Guantanamo Bay isn’t going to be closed down any time soon. The 2008 campaign promise that played a major role in helping the President win his first election is officially going to remain unfulfilled as the office created to close the military detention center has itself been shut down. The administration reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison. He will not be replaced.
All of the points are legitimate. All of the statements are factual. With the American economy on the brink of collapse and the President doing everything he can to point fingers without performing the appropriate actions to fulfill the promise of good faith negotiations, this is one letter that absolutely deserves a prompt and public response.
When President Barack Obama came on stage to discuss the state of the bi-partisan deal to avoid the Jan 1, 2013 fiscal cliff, I was extremely hopeful. There were reports early Dec 31 that a deal was at and I was prepared to hear the President discuss some of the details and commend Congress for their hard work on putting a deal together. It wouldn’t have necessarily been completely truthful – Congress and the White House should have skipped Christmas break to make this happen as our elected officials in the midst of a crisis – but it would have been the right thing to say as the leader of the free world.
What came out of his mouth was 10 minutes of the standard “I” and “me” that has become a trademark of his speeches over the years. He threw jabs at the Republicans. He gloated over their willingness to see it his way regarding raising taxes on wealthy Americans despite vowing to never do so just a month ago. In short, he took an opportunity to handle the situation with class and instead stuck his foot in his own mouth now that the deadline has come and gone.
This was an opportunity for the President to push the deal through. By commending rather than insulting Congress, the chances that a deal would have been signed before the deadline would have gone up tremendously. Instead, it was a distraction, a point of contention that sliced off any remnant hope that the two parties could come together and make it happen.
Here’s the video. Watch as the President of the most powerful country in the world botches a chance to close the deal.
Depending on who you ask, social media may play a huge role in the outcome of the presidential election or it may be an insignificant venue through which supporters declare their allegiance but do not get swayed by others. Mitt Romney is hoping it’s the latter based upon how he fairs on Twitter versus President Obama.
Then again, the study below by Mashable and PeekAnalytics does give some hope to the GOP hopeful. On the surface, the numbers are tremendously on the President’s side, but digging deeper reveals that Romney isn’t as bad off as some may think.
Here’s the graphic.
(Hat Tip: Chicago Toyota)
- Obama Campaign Does A ‘Fact Check’ On Mitt Romney’s New Ad (politicker.com)
- Mitt Romney The Ever-Ready Candidate (usnews.com)
- Newark Mayor Cory Booker Criticizes Obama Anti-Romney Videos (jdjournal.com)
- TRENDING: Gingrich remains mild on Romney (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Mitt Romney expands on ‘day one’ promises (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
Ever since the GOP primary season started, I’ve been very displeased with Mitt Romney as the Republican Establishment’s anointed choice. He is not a conservative, but perhaps more importantly his health care record with Romneycare will absolutely prohibit him from being able to defeat Barack Obama in November. Conservatives don’t like him. Moderates don’t trust him. The only people who seem to like him are liberals because they see what the Republican Establishment is unwilling to see, that Mitt Romney is a fraud that will be exposed by the tremendous campaigning machine the Obama’s team will unleash on him if he is indeed the nominee.
The reason that he hasn’t been knocked off his pedestal thus far is me. That’s not a statement exemplifying delusions of grandeur. It’s what I represent as that loud but unconsolidated group of conservatives who are so strongly opposed to Romney that we are looking to Santorum or Gingrich (or even Paul) to step up. I have “pulled a Romney” several times in the last few months casting my support to the Conservative du jour who seems to have a chance.
That’s the problem.
Any of the candidates other than Herman Cain had a chance if only we would have united around one of them. It was Bachmann. Then it was Perry. Then it was Cain. Then it was Gingrich. Then it was Santorum. Then it was Gingrich again. Then it was Santorum again.
My indecision and the indecision of people like me have propelled Romney to the likely victory he is now clawing his way towards. In the end, he may be better for the country than Obama and that’s another part of the indecision that is haunting the party. Many who have voted or plan to vote for Romney are doing so reluctantly because we want the fighting to end and for the party to concentrate on the true foe. We want to prize. We want the presidency.
Right here, right now, I’m drawing the unpopular line. I will not vote for Romney. Many will say that it’s a statement and position that further damages the party. They are right. Unfortunately, they are also wrong. Voting for Mitt Romney will hurt the Republican party and the country more than another 4 years of Obama. His chances are mathematically lighter than either Santorum or Gingrich to be able to beat Obama simply because he cannot win the important states.
If he is able to win somehow in November (anything is possible in politics, particularly when Obama is involved), he will do damage to the party in ways that will take at least 8 years to fix much in the same way that Bush Sr. did in 1988-1992. He will hurt what has been built up recently in congress by pulling us away from the possibility of a majority in both the House and the Senate. He will put a Democrat back in the White House in 2016 and likely again in 2020 because of the debacle that his presidency would be.
Ron Paul, for all of his good ideas and intentions, is also in the same boat. His foreign policy ideas are impossible to support.
This leaves Santorum and Gingrich. The line in the sand has been drawn. Who will step up and earn my support from now until the end?
With 22 states very likely to vote for the Republican candidate and 19 states plus Washington DC very likely to vote for President Obama, there are 9 states that will be at the center of each campaign once the Republican nominee is selected.
For a Republican victory, it’s easy to see that Santorum would have an easier road to the White House than Romney.
In Colorado, Iowa, and Ohio, Santorum fairs better. In Virginia and Florida, Romney is the stronger candidate. However, Florida may be a moot point as it will likely stick with Obama as it did in 2008 unless Marco Rubio is the GOP Vice Presidential nominee. In that scenario, Republicans would have a great shot at picking up the state.
This leaves Pennsylvania, which voted for Obama behind strong campaigning by Scranton-born Joe Biden. Santorum can deliver Pennsylvania. Romney cannot.
The “established” delegate count puts the Republicans at 180 and Obama at 232. Add Santorum’s Pennsylvania delegates and Marco Rubio’s Florida delegates and it brings his total to 229. If he can deliver Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Colorado, places where his chances are stronger than Romney’s, he would squeak out a victory even if Obama retains New Mexico, Virginia, and North Carolina.
With Romney losing in Pennsylvania, he would have to win South Carolina (where he didn’t even win the primary) plus either Virginia or New Mexico to win. This is assuming he is also able to deliver Ohio, Colorado, and Iowa, places where Santorum is more popular.
If the Republican party’s goal is to defeat Barack Obama, there is very little room for doubt that mathematically speaking, Santorum is the much better bet.
It’s an antiquated system designed before the internet and with the intention of allowing voters and delegates to see their nominees in person. It harkens to a day when trains crossed from sea to sea with candidates waving at people who were lining up just for a glimpse. Those days are behind us. The system should be as well.
The grind of the nomination process (and the state-based election system altogether) no longer make sense. Currently, Rick Santorum leads all GOP nominees in national polls, but most of those voters will not have a voice. If Michigan goes to Romney, this race has 10 days left. For people living in states who have primaries after Super Tuesday on March 6th, your votes won’t make a difference.
A win for Romney will give him the momentum he needs to wrap up the nomination. The fight will continue for a long time, possibly up to the convention, but everyone other than the hardcore supporters of each remaining candidate will lose interest.
How can someone better-represent a party’s choice but not have a chance of reaching the majority of the voters? Why is a vote in Michigan more powerful than a vote in Utah, a state that has more delegates but who has very little chance to make an impact with their primary in late June?
According to the most recent USA Today poll, Santorum is ahead of President Obama head-to-head by 3% while Romney is tied with the President. As you can see in the graphic above, Santorum also beats Romney in a nationwide poll. The fact that we still have this ludicrous system is asinine.
We have television. We have the internet. We have ways to see each candidate and have them speak to the people in each state. The primary system should be consolidated to one that makes more sense in the digital age. Standard conservative thinking is to allow the states to do what they feel like doing to select delegates, but for once we’re deviating from the norm. Regardless of who wins today, the fact that voters in Michigan are more empowered than voters in other states is absolute proof of a broken system.
The challenges facing Barack Obama were apparent before he took office. A month into his term, he acknowledged that the problems needed to be addressed immediately and stated that he wanted to halt the growth of the national debt, including reductions of the $250 billion in interest that were paid towards it the year before.
Since then, the numbers have continued to rise faster than he had hoped. Much faster.
Bold statements and lofty promises are best made during campaigns and at the beginning of a second Presidential term. In the beginning of a first term in those first few months after taking office, the statements and pledges must be achievable.
As the Barack Obama rolls out his election-year budget, it’s clear that the national debt will be $1 trillion higher in a decade than forecast. This is a stark contrast to what he said a month into his term as President:
Further Proof that the Republican Establishment is Stupid: Romney Can’t Win in an #OccupyAmerica Atmosphere
It’s been made very clear that the Republican Establishment does not want Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, or Rick Santorum to win. They do not believe that any of them have a chance of winning against President Obama in November and have decided to back Mitt Romney as the moderate choice in hopes of not blowing another election.
Wins tonight for Santorum haven’t changed that. You can see already hear the media downplaying these wins as “beauty contests” and “glorified straw polls”. The same media said the Iowa caucus was a big win for Romney, then changed tunes once Santorum was declared the winner, dubbing the Iowa caucus as an afterthought. The reason: the Republican Establishment doesn’t want someone like Santorum going into November.
Their choices have been failing for decades. The same thinking put John McCain up against Obama 4 years ago. It put George W. Bush in office for 8 years because of weak opponents rather than because of strong leadership (Al Gore would have won had he taken a shot in 2004 instead of John Kerry – he peaked too late to win 2000).
The Republican Establishment put Bob Dole up against Bill Clinton in 1996. George H.W. Bush was not their choice but they didn’t have a choice in the matter. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was not their choice and is arguably the last effective Republican President despite going against what the Republican Establishment believed.
Who are these people? Are they really so against their own party that they are willing to push their hand-picked candidate into a position of failure every 4 years?
Mitt Romney has two major problems as a candidate. He has proven to be a shrewd business person. 20 years ago, even a decade ago, this was a good quality. In today’s atmosphere, it would be easier to get a Washington insider elected than a Wall Street insider, which is exactly how people view Romney.
His taxes aren’t helping, raising new questions about his use of offshore tax shelters.
Moderates have always had a hard time winning. George W. Bush was the exception, but for a reason. In 2000, he sounded like a true conservative. On foreign affairs, he was. Had there not been a war on terror, his failed, moderate fiscal policies would have tanked his chances of re-election. John Kerry was too weak and the American people were too scared to make a change.
Today, they’re not too scared to make a change, but they will not change to someone who is perceived to be on the wrong side. Barack Obama is a “roll up your sleeves” kind of President and while his policies have not yielded as much fruit as most expected, the people would rather give him the opportunity to continue in his direction rather than hand the country over to someone they simply cannot trust.
People on both extreme sides of the fence are fighting with Obama. The Tea Party hates his policies. The Occupy Movement doesn’t believe he’s liberal enough. For all of the negatives that have hit the country the last 12 years, the moderates are still going to choose to stay the course with Obama in November if the other choice is Romney.
The Republican Establishment has been wrong about candidates for decades, but they’ve never been this wrong. Any of the other 3 GOP candidates would have a better shot against Obama in November than Romney. What the other 3 candidates failed to capitalize on is the very thing that Obama’s team will highlight over and over (and over) again, that Romney is in an elite class and has no connection with the majority of America on any level.
We haven’t heard it much during the campaigns by the GOP, but Obama will hammer one thing into people: Mitt Romney can casually offer to bet what equates to 3-months wages for the average American. $10,000. It’s chump change to Mitt Romney, making Romney the chump in the #OccupyAmerica atmosphere that we’re in. It doesn’t ring well for conservatives, liberals hate it, and moderates will be turned off completely by it.
If nominated, that one moment will be enough to put Obama in the White House until 2016.