Archives for August 2011

The Strategy of Hating One

The following was submitted by Nick Nottleman, a reader and concerned American.

The 2000 Presidential Election pitted George W. Bush against then Vice President Al Gore.  Ralph Nader from the Green Party received 2.74 % of the popular vote and no other candidate received more than .5% of the popular vote.  But the two main characters in this play were George W. Bush and Al Gore.  Or were they?

While the Internet bubble was definitely bursting, the country was for the most part in decent shape.  The military had been downsized considerably and for the first time in many years, there was a surplus in the Federal Budget.  The Story’s villain was “The Clinton” and his sidekick, the “Blue Gobbler.” There to report it all, the likes of Rush Limbaugh and several reporters at Fox News.

In the 2012 election, the same strategy seems to be being deployed.  An article at the Daily Caller quotes a Rasmussen poll:

A generic Republican presidential candidate would beat Barack Obama by a five-point margin if the election were held today, according to a poll released Tuesday by Rasmussen.

The as-yet-unnamed Republican candidate leads Obama 47 percent to 42 percent. This is the fourth consecutive week that Rasmussen’s polling has found a generic Republican candidate with a lead.

And Rasmussen is not alone.

Wait a second… you mean to say anyone with an (R) behind their name beats President Obama?

OK…. WHY?

Because the general consensus being built is that any Republican would be a better president.  On a semi-sane day, I might actually agree with that premise, but I prefer life out on the fringe.  You know, where things like realizing THAT IS EXACTLY HOW WE ENDED UP WITH George W. Bush happens!

Audit of the Federal Reserve finds massive bailouts

Congress pushed for an audit of the Federal Reserve.  They wanted to know what was going on behind closed doors.  The Fed wasn’t crazy about that, but the lost on that one.  The result?  Well, how about over $16 trillion in bailouts that the American public didn’t know a damned thing about for starters?

That’s right folks, $16 trillion was “loaned” out at 0% interest to corporations and national banks throughout the world.  It hasn’t been paid back.  So what’s the big deal?  Here’s an analysis of what we’re talking about:

To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.

Keep in mind that the Federal Reserve isn’t exactly a private bank.  It’s a semi-private bank that’s in charge of massive amounts of the United States economy.  In addition to acting as a bank, loaning money to other banks that permits them to loan it to us, it also lists the following as among it’s function.

The Federal Reserve has responsibility for supervising and regulating the following segments of the banking industry to ensure safe and sound banking practices and compliance with banking laws:

GOP Presidential Power Rankings

So what do we make of the Republican field after the Ames Straw Poll? It’s a good question, but there are a couple of factors that need to play out; including decisions by Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani, both of whom could change the face of the race.

I’ve been waiting for Ames to come and go since I anticipated the landscape to change, and it did with Tim Pawlenty’s exit (though I expected Rick Santorum to be out the door first) so I could give some power rankings for the candidates; something I hope to do at least every two weeks from now until the end.

Mitt Romney (even): As far as it goes, Romney is the guy to beat right now. Yes, he is going to have some problems to contend, including continued hits on RomneyCare and frequent position changes. He is, however, the establishment’s candidate. Romney also needs to be careful what he says on the trail, at least limit his points to easily explainable soundbytes. In other words, don’t say “corporations are people,” an accurate statement, but needs explaining to make sense.

Rick Perry (up): I’ve already touched on Perry’s campaign today, so I’ll be brief here. Electability in a general election are a question, but there is little doubt that Perry brings a formidable challenge to Romney’s bid for the presidency.

Bachmann thinks she can win over independents

Fresh off her win in Iowa’s Ames Straw Poll, Michelle Bachmann is pretty confident.  In a story over at The Hill, she claims that she can win over independents, which are often considered to be essential for any presidential win.  She even claims that Democrats are crossing the line to vote for her.

“We had people here yesterday who are independents and Democrats,” Bachmann said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.

“There isn’t an event that I have where I don’t have somebody who comes up to me and says, Michele, I am a Democrat. I voted for Barack Obama. I’m not going to vote for him, I’m going to vote for you.”

Sure they are.

First, I do want to congratulate Bachmann on her Ames win.  It’s a great first step.  However, I find it pretty hard to believe that any Democrat has found much of anything in Bachmann’s platform to support.  Oh, some folks might have said that to her, but they weren’t exactly telling the truth.

Michelle Bachmann is a hard social conservative.  That’s not a criticism, but a fact.  She had typical Republican stances on the economy.  About the only thing her and a Democrat have in common is how impressed they both are with Mitt Romney’s hair.  Admit it folks, that hair is PHENOMENAL!  But that’s it.

Obama’s approval rating falls to lowest level of his presidency

Polls haven’t been kind to either side lately, especially in the wake of the budget deal. We’ve noted recently that only 49% of Americans would re-elect their Congressman, which is an astonishing number. But it’s not just Congress that is being lashed out at by seething voters. According to Gallup, President Barack Obama’s approval rating have hit their lowest mark:

President Obama’s approval rating hit an all-time low on Sunday in the Gallup Poll’s rolling average of public opinion of the president.

Thirty-nine percent of Americans said they approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, eclipsing a previous low point of 40 percent from the Aug. 6-8 edition of the poll.

Fifty-four percent of Americans said they disapprove of the president’s job performance, also an ignominious distinction for being a high point in Gallup’s tracking poll.

It’s certainly ominous as Obama approaches what will be a very contentious election. And while it could just be a blip, it’s not a position anyone wants to find themselves in; especially that the economy is moving so slowly and possibly towards another recession.

A separate poll last week by Gallup showed that 51% of voters don’t believe that Obama deserves re-election and perhaps even more concerning is that independent voters are drifting away from him, according to a CNN poll.

ICYMI: Rick Perry enters the GOP race

It’s official. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination. While appearing at the RedState Gathering this weekend in Charleston, South Carolina, Perry gave, what Philip Klein calls, the “most effective speech, by far, of any Republican presidential candidate this year.”

In case you missed it, here is the full video of Perry’s announcement (and, in case you’re the reading type, here’s the transcript):

What Would USA Today Say about Howard Dean’s Performance in Iowa?

As Jason noted earlier, the results are in — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has handily taken top honors in the 2011 Ames Straw Poll, edging out Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and obliterating former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. Bachmann became the first woman in history to win the straw poll in the home of America’s first caucus, according to the National Journal.

Aside from the various problems with straw polls in a general sense, and how poorly the Ames Straw Poll serves as an indicator of eventual primary winners (note: the CPAC straw poll has the same problem), what does this really mean? Probably not much at all.

But that hasn’t stopped the editorial board at USA Today from getting their digs in while they can.

They editorialize, opining the attention “fringe candidates” receive in Iowa:

 

Of the candidates actively participating this year, only Pawlenty has any kind of background of centrism, and he has taken a right turn since announcing his candidacy. Much of the attention will be on Bachmann, who has been doing well in recent Iowa polls, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the darling of libertarians.

Michele Bachmann wins the Ames Straw Poll

The results are in from the Ames Straw Poll, where several thousand Republicans cast ballots for their favorite GOP candidate. The results may be somewhat surprising given how in the run up to the poll many observers seemed to be writing it off and debating whether it meant anything since Ron Paul seemed to be poised for a strong showing and Mitt Romney had not paid much attention to Iowa.

Well, he had a strong showing, but finished 152 votes behind Michele Bachmann, an Iowa native, in arguably the most important event in the GOP race thus far.

  • Michele Bachmann: 28.55% (4823 votes)
  • Ron Paul: 27.65% (4671 votes)
  • Tim Pawlenty: 13.57% (2293 votes)
  • Rick Santorum: 9.81% (1657 votes)
  • Herman Cain: 8.62% (1456 votes)
  • Rick Perry: 3.62% (718 votes) write-in
  • Mitt Romney: 3.36% (567 votes)
  • Newt Gingrich: 2.28% (385 votes)
  • Jon Huntsman: 0.41% (69 votes)
  • Thad McCotter: 0.21% (35 votes)
  • Other: 0.96% (162 votes)

The results are obviously good news for Bachmann. Paul’s showing was still very strong, despite finishing second. Pawlenty built off of a better debate performance on Thursday to finish third. Santorum finished ahead of Cain, who is effectively a non-factor in the race at this point.

Ron Paul and the Ames Straw Poll

So who’s going to win the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday? That’s a good question. Candidates generally bus in supporters to cast ballots, which is why Mitt Romney not winning there in 2007 was such a big deal, especially since he dropped over $1 million on the state.

Gov. Terry Branstad predicts that whoever wins on Saturday will go on to win the Iowa caucuses in February. That’s not always the rule, but it certainly does show that a candidate can be a formidable opponent. With a few of the candidates (Romney and Jon Huntsman, and Pawlenty has pulled his ads) not competiting there, it has paved the way for Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul to gain momentum.

The National Review has already labeled Ron Paul as the candidate to beat, but Philip Klein predicts that he’ll win on Saturday:

Michael Barone has a persuasive piece on why Rep. Michele Bachmann’s adept political touch in Iowa makes her the front-runner to win the Ames Straw Poll. But I’ve been assuming that Rep. Ron Paul’s rabid fan base, which has propelled him into first in many straw polls this year, will put him over the top on Saturday.

Chris Cillizza has argued that Paul’s success in straw polls is due to the fact that they usually have very small turnout, whereas Ames is quite large by straw poll standards. He notes that in 2007, Paul finished fifth, with 1,305 votes in Ames.

CNN Poll: Romney, Perry running statistically even

With the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday and candidates trying to gain ground, it looks Rick Perry will finally announce his president bid on Saturday in South Carolina; and he’ll enter the race as new polling from CNN shows him in striking distance of Mitt Romney.

The poll also shows Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin, neither of whom have announced, and Ron Paul are not far behind Perry and Romney. But what about Michele Bachmann? She may be driving some of the narrative in the race, but her numbers have dropped from 12% last month to 7% in August.

Here are the full results:

  • Mitt Romney: 17%
  • Rick Perry: 15%
  • Rudy Giuliani: 12%
  • Sarah Palin: 12%
  • Ron Paul: 12%
  • Michele Bachmann: 7%
  • Newt Gingrich: 5%
  • Herman Cain: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 4%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 2%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Other: 2%
  • None/No one/No opinion: 6%

CNN also weighed the field under the assumption that Giuliani and Palin don’t get in the race, and as you can see, Romney adds some separation between he and Perry. But Paul isn’t all that far behind.

 


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