Tag Archives: Conservatives

Rudy Giuliani Tops Republican Contenders in CNN Poll

If one needs any further proof that the GOP grassroots are not thrilled with the current crop of candidates for the 2012 presidential nomination, a new CNN poll released last night illustrated it in Technicolor. Two of the top three contenders are not even announced candidates, and many of those who are buried deep in the pack. The deeper you dig into the poll the more troubling it is for the current announced candidates. Yet the big surprise is the leader with 16 percent support when asked who they favor, likely GOP primary voters picked former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani followed by Mitt Romney with 15 percent, well within the poll’s margin of error. Sarah Palin was in third place with 13 percent and Ron Paul in fourth with 12. The remainder of the field is fractured with none of the announced candidates gaining traction.

Undeclared Republican Candidate for President Rudi Giuliani

But the presence of Rudy Giuliani at the top is startling in two fundamental ways. Giuliani had a disappointing performance in 2008 where he entered the race as a frontrunner and proceeded to run a campaign which won only one delegate to the convention. His campaign, if you can call it that, this time around has been almost stealth like and surprisingly low profile for the former Mayor who loves the spot light. None the less he has been campaigning and focusing on the early states where he may in fact show a great deal of strength, However more surprising is that while so many have suggested that party conservatives are disappointed with the choices, the leader is a candidate who is often viewed as a moderate.

Most in New York would not call Rudy Giuliani a moderate, but to many social conservatives that is exactly what he is. He is also the real deal. Unlike certain other candidates who have seen many (and in some cases most) of their positions evolve based on who they are speaking to, Rudy is Rudy. His standing as a fiscal conservative is unquestioned and his record of fiscal responsibility and control as Mayor of the largest city in the country is impeccable. He inherited a city with a crime rate that left many uncomfortable on the streets and left as Mayor of the safest large city in the world. That Giuliani would defend and protect the homeland if elected mayor is without doubt.

It is his social moderation that has raised many doubts among conservatives. However he in fact personifies one of the core principals of conservatism, that decisions should be made by communities as close to the governed and not by national governments. True conservatives opposed federal activism and support strict constructionist views of the constitution and Giuliani has advocated that since his days as Associate Attorney General in the first term of the Reagan Administration. Combined with the fact he is simply a genuinely strong leader, Giuliani is much more appealing to many conservatives than the left leaning media would like to think.

This poll makes one thing clear, this race is very much open and the president’s polls continue to show he will be very beatable in 2012. But the time for those on the side line to sit and watch and ponder is running out. There is a fine line between plotting a strategic entrance into the race, and doing a sad impersonation of Hamlet.

Read details of the CNN Poll here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Conservative, Politics, Republican Party, Rudy Giuliani, The Grand Old Party, The White House

What Lessons Should GOP Take from NY 26 Loss?

While it is easy to portray the loss in NY 26 as simply as a missed opportunity in a three way brawl with two well funded Democrats, there are some deeper lessons for 2012. Clearly the Democrats have a strategy that worked and they will try to repeat in any district they can of planting fake Tea Party candidates in races. The mainstream media totally ignored the fact that the “Tea Party” candidate had run three times previously as a Democrat and as late as the 2010 election cycle had made contributions to the Democrats. Only a grass roots uproar and efforts to expose the frauds by conservative groups prevented this from being totally successful. That said, there is a lesson for the Tea Party that any third candidate efforts are likely to elect Democrats in almost any race.

The Democrats also test ran their Mediscare campaign with great success where they characterized Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, and specifically its proposals to reform Medicare as an effort that would leave old folks sick on the streets. This is classic Democratic scare tactics where they make no proposals of their own how to solve the nation’s problems but run against the GOP by a well orchestrated scare campaign. They have been using it effectively since they won back the senate in 1996 on republican plans to reform social security. Twenty five years later those reforms seem modest compared to those needed now to restore solvency to the retirement plan, but nobody since has seriously faced the reality which was seen a quarter of a century ago that social security was going bankrupt. Today, the senate democrats, the majority party, are making no budget proposal of their own but rather want to force a vote on the House GOP budget which will be defeated by their majority but they hope to force senate GOP to vote for those cuts. Even faced with a financial crisis the Democrats would rather a vote they can use for politics over one that solves the nation’s problems.

Now is a time of serious problems which require serious efforts to avoid an even deeper crisis. It seems we never g take the fight back to the Democrats. Hade the 1995 GOP plan to reform social security been adopted there would be no need for the significant cuts we face today. These changes are nothing compared to what we will face in a decade if nothing is done. The spending reductions in the Ryan budget are nothing compared to the impact on the economy if we experience a full debt crisis in a decade if the Democratic budget deficit grows unchecked. While the Bush deficits were indefensible, the Obama solution has been to double them. The lesson of NY 26 is we need to take the fight to the democrats first and paint a very real picture of how scary the future will be if we do not restore fiscal responsibility. There are no easy solutions, but it is solutions which America needs.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012 Election, Barak Obama, Budget, Congress, Conservative, Liberals, National Debt, Obama Administration, Spending, Taxes, The Grand Old Party

Tim Pawlenty: A Time for Truth

I have to admit; this past week I have become board with the media narrative that all the good republicans have dropped out of the race before it has even begun. While we can expect the Obama Cheer Squad in the media to run with negative predictions of the future of the Republican Party, today may be the day we look back and say the beginning of the end of the Obama Administration began. Republican former two term Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty officially entered the race with the theme of its Time for Truth. Pawlenty may well be the Lefts worst nightmare as the man who turned Minnesota, the only state Ronald Reagan did not win in 1984, into a red state in training. His message is optimistic while not denying the reality of our current situation. While there is a long campaign to go, T-Paw is the real deal and deserving of a serious look by all republicans.

Pawlenty has a solid record of applying conservative principles in a state that was as democratic as any in the nation. Some in this campaign are talking of great things while never having accomplished any; Tim Pawlenty has walked the talk, and that counts for a great deal. So the campaign had begun, and the choices we have to face are very real. If Governor Pawlenty maintains the tone he has struck so far, it will be one heck of a ride.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012 Election, American Leadership, Barak Obama, Politics, Republican Party, The Grand Old Party, The White House, Tim Pawlenty

Help Wanted: Republican President, Apply Soon

With Mike Huckabee’s decision not to seek the Republican presidential nomination coming on the heels of Haley Barbour’s three weeks ago and other prominent Republicans such as John Thume, Bobbie Jindel and Jeb Bush taking themselves out one has to wonder why they are being so hesitant. Indeed one would have the feeling that they were seeing the same political landscape the Democratic candidates were seeing in May 1991 when George H.W. Bush was at 91 percent approval. Are those of us on the right drinking our own kool-aid and ignoring some political strength of President Obama that would make him a lock for reelection? So it’s time to not talk about positions and take a look at the numbers, the picture they paint is interesting.

Right from the start let’s look at the number that many feel is the single best predictor of the overall political climate, the differential between those who consider the country to be on the right track or the wrong track. Using the real clear Politics averages, this is currently at those feeling the country is on the right track of 35.0 percent and those feeling it is on the wrong track at 56.4 percent, an almost unprecedented -21.4 percent differential and a number which has remained relatively constant since last fall’s midterm elections. Regardless of their public statements, this has to cause president Obama’s political advisors considerable heartburn as they plan for the campaign. The RCP Presidential Approval average stands at 51.4 approval and 42.6 disapproval reflecting a modest 5 or 6 percent bounce the president received after the elimination of OBL. Like the right track/wrong track this has been relatively stable since the summer of 2010. In head to dead match ups with hypothetical republican candidates the RCP averages show Obama leading by 5.8 percent against a generic Republican. To be blunt, these are not the numbers of a President who is a sure bet, if there is such a thing, for reelection. Most incumbents have strong double digit leads against generic opponents since there is always a stature gap which is only addressed once a challenger wins their nominations.

Perhaps more telling are not the political numbers, but the economic since as James Carville famously told us, “It’s the economy stupid”. Here the story is much more problematic for the administration and perhaps more predictive of the political climate in 2012. Using Bureau of Labor Statistics Numbers, Unemployment in April was 9.0 percent, with 205,000 more people on the unemployment rolls and likely many more “long term unemployed” who are not looking or underemployed. This number has been locked in a one prevent band for over 2 years now and seems to experience resistance when it challenges 8.5 percent. One political fact, no president has been reelected with unemployment over 7.5 percent in the modern era, period. The recovery is indeed a recovery, the US economy has had positive economic growth for the past 7 quarters, but the 1.8 percent annual growth rate in the first quarter of 2011 offers the president nothing to rejoice about.

Please understand I am not trying to create some form of predictive model, with 17 months until the 2012 general election anything can truly happen, but what we have is a landscape of what is likely to be a very competitive election. So why have a number of candidates stepped back after flirting with running this year? Part of it may be the rough treatment any republican is likely to receive from a media which remains very much President Obama’s booster club. Part of it is while the landscape is that President Obama seems likely to raise One Billion Dollars, which is an unimaginable war chest for any challenger to raise. All that having been said, let those who are not totally committed walk away now. As former speaker Tip O’Neil famously said, politics ain’t bean-bag. You do not get to the white house without a singular focus to get there. At the risk of using too many quotes, let me close with Speaker O’Neil’s nemesis, President Ronald Reagan, “the future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted, it belongs to the brave”. So let’s see who has what it really takes to earn a ticket to the race which will determine who sleeps in the white House on the night of January 20, 2013.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012 Election, Barak Obama, Conservative, Media, Obama Administration, Politics, Republican Party, The Grand Old Party, The White House

Run Huck Run!

It seems the starter’s gun has sounded and the 2012 presidential race is on in full. With the announcements in the last week by Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, I suspect we will be hearing from most of the major candidates for the Republican nomination in the coming days and weeks. Later today Mike Huckabee will announce his plans for 2012. The front runner in many of the polls, Huckabee is the first of the truly viable candidates to make an announcement in season and his decision will have a dramatic effect on the race. When Haley Barbour backed out three weeks ago in a surprise to most, his impact was mostly inside the game. Two decades in mostly political jobs before he became Governor of Mississippi including a term as RNC Chairman gave him the best rolodex in the race with key fundraisers and consultants on his team. However Barbour was in single figures in the polls so his decision not to enter the race (he was in my mind the odds on winner of the nomination) was not felt immediately on the standings. Mike Huckabee is the frontrunner in most polls and given his tenure as Governor of Arkansas and as a commentator since his 2008 run makes Huckabee a force to be reckoned with this year.

The decision to run for president is intensely personal and one which changes the lives of not only the candidates but their families. If you go on the win the nomination your life story and those of your immediate family are laid bare by the media. Should you go on to win the presidency the transformation is permanent and your life is forever changed. Form most of my adult life I have studied the presidency and would never second guess the choice one makes not to run, indeed it may be the sane and rational choice for a family centered person to make. Yet I am a true believer and we live in a time of great challenge and we republicans need a core group of candidates to ensure the vitality of the nomination process. Mike Huckabee is one of the most dynamic and vital potential candidates today and the one who has best represented the populist interests of the average American. Should Huck decide to enter the race today he becomes the instant front runner. I’m far from endorsing him, indeed I have some serious questions about his tax policy as Governor (he raised them far too willingly), but he has connected with both the party and average voters in a way few have in recent years. So I say Run Huck Run, and cross my fingers he chooses to join the race later today.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012 Election, American Leadership, Politics, Republican Party, The Grand Old Party, The White House