Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sanford: no more"compassionate conservatism"

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford:

"there’s a real temptation in Republican circles right now to try and be all things to all people. We tried that already — it was called 'compassionate conservatism,' and it got us nowhere."

Huck speaking at Florida church

December 7th in Brandon Florida, at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Palin, the permanent celebrity

Phil Noble, president of Politics Online:

"As long as she’s still in the mainstream media, it will continue to fuel her presence online. She’s sort of fanning the flames just by showing up. The other issue is that at some point people become permanent celebrities. She may have just reached that status.”

Read the rest of Mahtesian's article on rock star Palin. I'll say this -- you can be a rock star for writing a brilliant song or for having a complete meltdown. After that, it's up to the voters to decide whether to keep buying your records.

Jindal's 2011 dilemma

Marc Ambinder:

... he will face a tough decision in 2011, when he must decide simultaneously whether to run for re-election at the same time he'd have to begin the heavy lifting of a presidential campaign. Could he contest his re-election and a straw poll at the same time? Does he bet his future on 2012 and forsake another term, or does he take the chance that 2016 might be a better opportunity?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Profile: John Thune in 2012

Contender: South Dakota Senator John Thune

Official Site

Wikipedia Page

Why he's important: Took Tom Daschle out of the Senate in 2004. Think that's easy? Try this on for size. That represented the first time a Senate Majority or Minority leader has lost his seat since 1952.

Ideology: To the right. Received a 100% rating on Pro-Life issues by the NRLC, voted to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage and end gay adoptions in D.C., contributing to his 0% score on gay rights by the Human Rights Campaign.

On education, he has consistently opposed more federal intervention, while supporting a constitutional-amendment for school prayer, and vouchers in DC schools.

He supports most free-trade agreements, and has voted for Fast Track authority executing those agreements. One free-trade agreement he opposed was CAFTA.

Thune's a strong proponent of gun rights, voting to prohibit lawsuits against gun manufacturers and and allow firearms in national parks. He's been awarded an "A" by the NRA for his efforts.

Immigration activists will like his opposition to sactuary cities and comprehensive immigration reform. Thune has

Overall, Thune botes with the Republican party 91% of the time. The American Conservative Union awarded him a rating of "100" in 2006 and a lifetime rating of 87.07%.

[for more, see On the Issues, John Thune]

Why he can win: Movie-star good lucks, and not in a patrician, Romneyian way. The base will love his socially conservative views, and the Left will have difficulty defining him as a flame-thrower, thanks to a reputation for steady, effective leadership in the Senate.

Official GOP leadership has taken note, and Thune was recently promoted to chief deputy whip. Since then, he's been tasked with building the party's outreach to K Street hands, a role that will foster important connections and provide a measure of his ability to bring diverse audiences together.

Finally, Thune holds the potential to pull off what many GOP candidates are unable to -- unite warring factions within the party. Roll Call claims Thune "is a pragmatic conservative who will be able to appeal to a wide array of GOP-leaning interests from economic conservatives to 'values voters' and military hard-liners."

And he's eloquent.

Why he can't win: Despite his moderate rhetoric and temperament, Thune remains susceptible to far right stereotypes. He attended a private, Christian university, and is an evangelical Christian who believes in creationism. He also discussed the war in Iraq's potential benefits for Christianity's advance in that country, which may lead the Left to scream "Holy Warrior!"

Thune doesn't come from a GOP power base. South Dakota is South Dakota. It's not Florida, where Charlie Crist resides, or your living room, where Mike Huckabee lives, or wherever the hell Mitt Romney is these days.

He's a dark horse right now -- the question is whether he's too dark to gain traction by 2012.

Will he be able to raise the money to raise the name rec?

For more GOP 12 Candidate Profiles...

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Florida Governor Charlie Crist
Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker
Former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

More coming soon...

Evangelical Electoral College Map

Includes the evangelical % of the vote in each state, as well as who they preferred.

For example:

California: 17% Evangelical
McCain 70%, Obama 26%

New York: 9% Evangelical
McCain 77%, Obama 21%

Alabama: 46% Evangelical
McCain 88%; Obama 11%

PACS for Palin

Red State reports on two PACS that are running Palin ads for S & G's.

America Deserves Better: "Thanks, Sarah".
Freedom's Defense Fund: "Thank you, Sarah". ... while you're there, you can also sign a virtual card for her. And shut up, it's not a going-away card.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Noonan: Dems using Palin against us


"I happen to think the media is up to a bit of mischief here. I think the media wants to take Sarah Palin and make her, subliminally, the face of the Republican party. They want to make her: this is what Republicans are, the face of the party, the leader of the party, because it amuses them to do that."

[hat tip: Political Wire]

Huckabee to Maher: "Did you get hit by a church bus?"

Palin-Crist 2012?

SemDem at Daily Kos has got an idea.

My idea is that the GOP will pick Palin in 2012, and Charlie Crist as the veep. Palin would be the extremist idiot in the top slot. As they learned from McCain, the GOP stays home unless there's an extremist on the top of the ticket. However, they need a semi-competent person to run things--and Charlie can fit that bill. His moderate persona, the thinking will go, should be enough to draw in others.

If Palin is at the TOP OF THE TICKET, there will be no oxygen for her Veep. People are not going to vote for or against Palin on the prospect of Charlie Crist tagging along.

Huckabee born again, again?

Ambinder smells a reconciliation.

Note that Huckabee, like Pence, Shadegg and Huckabee's enemy, the Club for Growth, opposed the bailout bill. (Will the '08 bailout bill be for Republicans what the '02 AUF resolution was for Democrats in 2004 and 2008?)

Who will save us?

Gallup tracks the coolness of the GOP.

Rove: midterm elections will test Palin's power

Eliot Peace: Mark Sanford in 2012

On The Governor of South Carolina...

Six years in Congress and two terms as Governor have not tempered his fealty, or enthusiasm, for conservative principles.

And his accomplishments:

Two major agenda items, comprehensive tort reform and a marginal income tax cut, passed for the first time in state history. He pushed for, and won, optional health savings accounts for all state employees, and a free-market solution to a potential disaster with hurricane insurance (in contrast to Florida, where the taxpayers are on the hook). Sanford presses on with his goal to improve the soil conditions to attract jobs and capital investment — which in turn improves the lives of real citizens.

A deeeeep South governor? Is that the geographical direction the GOP needs?

Palin to speak at 2009 CPAC

So says Joseph Logue, from the American Conservative Union.

CPAC says speakers and events won't be posted until Feb. 2009, but I think it's a safe bet Palin will be pallin' around with the 18-25 year, predominantly male attendees for the next few years.

Conference Details:

Dates: February 26-28, 2009
Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel in D.C.
For more FAQ, click here.

[Hat tip: Think Progress]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Huckabee in Fort Smith, Arkansas

He used a book-signing stop to, well, sign books and promote his fair tax.

"Congress must pass the fair tax law, which is a tax that doesn't penalize productivity and production because it will help us maintain and bring manufacturing jobs here..... it's a shame we're making it impossible to compete, not because they're unproductive, but because the tax structure makes it tough."

"The Number 1 Republican Spokesperson"

Matt Lewis from Townhall, anoints.

Hewitt interviews Huck

Click here for transcript. Here for podcast.

Lots of time spent back-pedaling on his feud with Romney. But can't resist one parting shot.

HH: One more Romney question, then I want to get to the fair tax, Governor, in the first segment. You got quite angry with him for not calling you on the night of the Iowa Caucuses. Isn’t that right?

MH: It wasn’t anger, no. It was frustration, because we were trying to meet the deadlines of not only the print journalists, but the networks were having...
Just like your wife gets frustrated when you fuck another woman.

Palin meeting with Obama next week

In Philadelphia, at the behest of the National Governors Association.

"I don't know if she has a one-on-one with (Obama)," said Palin spokesman Bill McAllister. "It may be, given that they were both involved in the national campaign."

That goes for here, too

Thomas Jefferson weighs in on our internecine feud:

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

[Hat tip: Derbyshire @ The Corner]

Mitt's official Myspace page

He hasn't logged on since August 24, 2008. Sarah Palin was picked August 30, 2008.

Come on, Mitt. Don't tell me you were just using social networking for political purposes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Grand Old Turkey Hour


Anyone else think she's still using McCain/Palin '08 talking points?

[Hat tip: Daily Kos]

Dobson answers Parker

James Dobson discusses Kathleen Parker's recent consummation with secularism...

it’s the notion that, because there are people of many faiths in the United States, those of the Christian faith must not think or act like Christians when engaging the public square.

Profile: Mitt Romney in 2012

Contender: former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney

Official Site

Wikipedia Page

Why he's important
: In the incipient days of the Obama administration, Mitt Romney had the Mormon Temples to praise the new President's pragmatism, while the GOP grassroots screamed at Marxism run amok.

Then when Obama finally started getting a little ideologically frisky, Romney was everywhere with his free market, limited government mantra.

Any Republican can say the right words, but with Romney, it's clear he actually understands them.

And he's been a model of ideological consistency since 08.

Perhaps this is the new Mitt: locked, loaded, firing straight.

Ideology: To the left; then to the right. It's safe to say that at some point in his political career, Mitt Romney has agreed with you.

He's evolved on nearly every hot-button issue, from immigration to abortion to gay rights. In 2002, he ran for governor of Massachusetts, claiming that he'd "preserve and protect" the right to choose. In 2007, he said that when he had to actually confront an issue of life as governor, he came down on the side of life and has remained pro-life ever since. His position on guns is similarly dynamic. In 1994, he said he did not "line up with the NRA", but in 2006, he signed up for a lifetime membership in the NRA. Nevertheless, he doesn't agree with all the NRA's doctrines. As recently as 2008, he said he would ban assault weapons if given the opportunity to do so.

On economic issues, he's as Reagan as they come, supporting broad, permanent tax relief, while cutting spending. Romney also believes slashing the corporate income tax is necessary for ensuring American competitiveness, but that corporations shouldn't benefit from tax loopholes. Mitt believes in free-trade, but also supports re-negotiating some trade deals.

In 1994, he told the Log Cabin Republicans he was in favor of overturning "Don't ask; don't tell", but now supports leaving the current policy in place. Romney concedes benefits for same-sex couples, but would prohibit marriage equality. In 1994, he also came out in favor of allowing gays to participate in the Boy Scouts of America.

[For more, see On the Issues, Mitt Romney]

Why he can win: He's been through the bruising process before, and fills the vernal pool dreams of both conservatives (who think he can unite the party) and liberals (who think the only thing he can unite is a neighborhood ward).

If any candidate can assume the mantle of establishment leader, it's Romney.

He also has significant appeal to the far right grassroots, having won his 3rd consecutive CPAC straw poll in 2009.

He could easily unite all elements of the Republican party after turning himself into a pro-life, tax-cutting, hawkish bird of whichever state he now holds residency in.

Why he can't win: No one likes him, broadly speaking.

He connects with television cameras, but not with people.

His town hall interactions are tense and stilted. Everyone senses his wealth, they can smell his privilege, and Romney hasn't figured out how to wear a flannel shirt or drink a beer.

If there was any year Romney could have won the nomination, it was 2008. But instead, the party chose reviled John McCain to bear its message. Romney floundered in socially conservative states, and struggled in more moderate primaries like New Hampshire.

The question is: what has fundamentally changed about Mitt Romney since 2008?

For more GOP 12 Candidate Profiles...

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
South Dakota Senator John Thune
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Florida Governor Charlie Crist
Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker
Former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

More coming soon...

Commentary: Charile Crist and gay adoption

One of the knocks on a Crist bid is that he might be gay. And if a Mormon is too edgy for GOP primary voters, how do you think they'll respond to a "Might-Be Gay"?

Politically-speaking, Crist could dampen these rumors by a) marrying a woman (check) and b) taking a hard-line against lifting the ban on gay adoption in Florida (check).

So today's ruling might actually help Crist score points with social cons by putting him squarely to the right on a big gay issue that could be in the news for awhile. In the past, Crist's shown no signs of backing down, and nothing would indicate he's changed his mind.

Palin campaigns for Chambliss in Georgia

Expect big crowds next Monday.

Rallies are 8:30 AM Augusta, 11:00 AM in Savannah, 1:30 PM in Perry, and 4:00 PM in north metro Atlanta.

Don't bet on Pence

He doesn't like on-line gambling.

Comment: Mitt overcoming Brigham

Mitt's going to need more sites like this if he's to win the nomination in 2012. Until he can convince evangelicals his church isn't in league with Satan (which it is), then he's going to have trouble doing much better next go around.

In fairness, I think Mitt emerged from McCain's spanking a more attractive candidate. He was a good foot soldier in the McCain revolution election bid, and who didn't wish we had someone who knew more about the economy in October?

So okay, maybe one more reinvention. But careful, Madonna's watching.


The new blacks!

Perhaps most strikingly, the anticipated evangelical shift away from McCain never happened. Despite widespread predictions that many evangelicals would stay home or pull the lever for Obama, McCain managed to collect more white evangelical voters than George W. Bush four years ago. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. One of the most popular story lines of the 2008 campaign was that evangelical Christians were wiggling free from their longtime allegiance to the Christian Right and the GOP.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Profile: Sarah Palin in 2012

Contender: Alaska's Governor, Sarah Palin

Official Site

Wikipedia Page

Why she's important: On a Wednesday night in the late summer 2008, she sauntered into prime-time television and delivered one of the most rousing political speeches in years; at first silencing the critics, then enraging them.

She didn't abort her baby, and is still a feminist, no matter what the Left might say.

Her efforts at breaking up a political dynasty involved beating an incumbent governor in the primary. That's never easy unless you're staging a coup.

She underwent one of the most burning trials-by-fire in modern political history, and emerged ready for more of it by taking immediate, calculated steps to set up a Presidential run. That's no walk in the park -- either for herself or her family, but then again, neither was defeating that incumbent governor.

Ideology: Reformer and rock star. Considers herself a feminist, and stands against the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. She favors energy exploration, and dare we say, it Drill baby Drill. She doesn't think global warming is man-made, but supports capping carbon emissions. Palin also supports a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

She's a big fan of guns, a lifelong member of the NRA, and proponent of ending DC's 32 year ban on handguns. Palin's strongly pro-life and opposes embryonic stem cell research; however her decision to nominate a former Planned Parenthood board member for a key Supreme Court spot outraged some conservatives. She's against gay marriage but favors giving same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

On education, Palin's advocated more flexibility on No Child Left Behind, claims she never tried banning books at any library, and favors teaching creationism alongside evolution in public schools. She also opposes explicit sex education programs.

On immigration, Palin has taken no action on Alaska's sanctuary cities.

[For more, see On the Issues, Sarah Palin]

Why she can win: She inspires a reflexive, almost tribal defensiveness in her supporters. And reflexive, almost tribal activists can get you elected President (See 2008 for more).

Ironically, she can expect to receive fawning coverage in the 2012 primaries. An Obama v Palin matchup will prove too difficult to resist for the media, and you can expect a primary prop-up, only to be followed by a general beat-up from the press.

She'll come to the table as a second-term governor, who's been tested on the national stage, and perhaps, most importantly, she won't have to lift a finger to raise a dime. Witness her fans' desperate desire to pay off her legal fees, even though she's rumored to get a book deal worth some $11 million.

Expect money from her PAC to flow like a rainy waterfall, while other candidates are begging like Oliver Twist at the guillotine.

Why she can't win: She quit.

And this.

For more GOP 12 Candidate Profiles...

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
South Dakota Senator John Thune
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Florida Governor Charlie Crist
Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker
Former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

The Unnamed U.S. Senator says...

Roger Simon scores an anonymous and ominous interview with an unnamed Republican Senator.

“We need someone who speaks from the center. Sarah Palin is not the voice of our party. Jeb Bush could do so much for our party, but his name is Bush............. Sarah Palin seems to have been anointed by the media. But I don’t know how she becomes the voice of the party by the power of her ideas or by going to Lincoln Day dinners in Iowa or Florida. But I did rallies with her, and she is a phenomenon.”

Huckabee charms voters he's already won

The Huckster was in Iowa on November 20th, signing copies of his new book.

Real Revo:

The place was swamped. The store is in a strip mall with at least four other large retailers and several restaurants on nearby pads. I couldn’t even park in the mall lot and had to park at an Applebees and brave a hike in the cold, wind and light snow to get in. Once inside, you could barely move. The line to purchase books and have them signed snaked up and down every aisle between the stacks. Back and forth it went until it ended at a table with Huck furiously signing books as fast as he was able.

The big question is whether the 2012 field will concede Iowa to him. If they do, a Huck win won't do much.

Profile: Utah Governor Jon Huntsman in 2012

Update: He's resigned and joined the Obama Administration. So consider this a 2016 profile.

: Utah Governor, Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Official Site

Wikipedia page

Why he's important: As a Mormon governor of Utah, he endorsed John McCain over Mitt Romney.

That's like when you were six months old, and your Mom decided to breastfeed your best friend instead of you.

Either wildly egalitarian, or brutally inhumane.

He's worked to eliminate some of Utah's strange drinking laws in a state that likes its drinking... laws.

He's also supported reducing Utah's sales tax on food to ZERO %.

Most surprising of all, the governor's come out in support of same-sex civil unions in a state where 70% of voters oppose such arrangements.

And what's more, he doesn't seem to give a damn.

Ideology: To the slight right. He believes in school choice, and has worked hard to make Utah's tax code friendlier to business. His fiscal policy has been moderate-to-liberal. To combat Utah's budget deficit, he tried dipping into his state's rainy day fund and was vocal in his desire for federal bailout funds to jump-start a number of infrastructure "improvements". Additionally, his state's Republican Legislature has advocated steeper cuts in spending than Huntsman is willing to allow.

[for more, see On the Issues, John Huntsman, Jr.]

Why he can win: He's in tune with demographic realities that will reshape the Republican party, and has a record of standing up to both party and church that could resonate with independent-minded voters.

He's frequently compared to fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, but ideologically, has a more consistent, if not conservative, record.

The question is: why did Romney lose in 2008?

If religion played a primary role in his undoing, then Huntsman's in trouble. If it was the perception Romney's a flip-flopper, then Huntsman may have a shot.

If Charlie Crist decides to sit 2012 out, Huntsman would be the party's lone moderate candidate, which could propel him to a respectable showing in New Hampshire.

If he's going to win at all, he'll need to win in New Hampshire.

Iowa and South Carolina are out like RuPaul performing "Go West" in the Castro.

Why he can't win: He's Mormon. The universe knows that if any Latter Day Saint will win in these latter day times, it will be Mitt Romney.

No matter how moderate his record, a governor of Utah will be subject to some pretty bad stereotypes. That's just the way it is.

Once the primaries head west, his machismo and political independence should play well, but the west doesn't come soon enough to stake a claim on the peaks of the Rockies.

Huntsman recently hinted that he may start a PAC, and he could have a respectable number of grassroots volunteers at his disposal, but expect most Mormon activists to gravitate toward Romney. He's safer.

For more GOP 12 Candidate Profiles...

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
South Dakota Senator John Thune
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Florida Governor Charlie Crist
Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor
Former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker
Former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

More coming soon...

Gallup on 2012 GOP favorites

That new Gallup poll.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sanford: Don't bail me out

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, in the WSJ:

I find myself in a lonely position. While many states and local governments are lining up for a bailout from Congress, I went to Washington recently to oppose such bailouts. I may be the only governor to do so.


Washington is short on cash these days and will borrow every dime of the $150 billion to $300 billion for the "stimulus" bill now being worked on. Federal appetites may know no bounds. But the federal government's ability to borrow is not limitless. Already, our nation's unfunded liabilities total $52 trillion -- about $450,000 per household. There's something very strange about issuing debt to solve a problem caused by too much debt.

What's Sanford's Rx?

.... free states from federal mandates. South Carolina will spend about $425 million next year meeting federal unfunded mandates. The increase in the minimum wage alone will cost the state $2.6 million and meeting Homeland Security's REAL ID requirements will cost $8.9 million.

[Hat tip: Net Right Nation]

Friday, November 14, 2008

CBS reporter: "Palin has reached her sell-by date"

Brian Goldsmith:

Another way to judge Palin is by McCain’s own standards. He picked her to do two things: rally the Republican base, and attract key swing voters, including women, independents, suburbanites, and younger parents. By every conceivable measure, Palin failed.

Was it realistic to demand so much from a Veep?