Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.
Over the weekend in New Hampshire, the state’s Republican Party along with WMUR and ABC News conducted a presidential straw poll a year in advance of the primary; with Mitt Romney winning big:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the first presidential straw poll of the 2012 cycle, kicking off New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary election race.
Romney won with 35 percent, beating second-place finisher Ron Paul by 24 points in the WMUR-ABC News straw poll of members of the state Republican Party. In third place was former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who won 8 percent—just one point ahead of Sarah Palin, who drew 7 percent.
Because Romney has such high name recognition here and has a home in Wolfeboro, N.H., he was widely expected to win—and observers here were far more interested in who would come in second and third.
Only three candidates—Romney, Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum—have spent significant amounts of time on the ground in the state over the past few months. At today’s convention, Pawlenty staffed a table to promote his new book while Santorum consultant and longtime New Hampshire operative Mike Biundo had a table and worked the crowd.
Romney, who is adding staff in preparation for his bid, has the money to build an influential campaign in the state. He is also focusing more on economic issues, which is a smart move in New Hampshire. For a social conservative like Santorum, who has spent a lot of time in the state, or Huckabee, New Hampshire represents a significant challenge; where as Iowa may be more welcoming.
Here are the full results of the straw poll:
Over at the Washington Examiner, Mark Hemingway reminds us that Tax Hike Mike Huckabee believes in a very active nanny-state as the likely-candidate for president is defending First Lady Michelle Obama’s support of regulations to combat childhood obesity:
Just as a reminder, Mike Huckabee is no conservative when it comes to using the federal government to regulate what we eat. Here’s what he wrote on page 64 of his book, From Hope to Higher Ground:
There are those who believe that America cannot break or shake its addiction to fried, sugary or over-salted foods. These people believe that we are incapable of shifting our unhealthy culture, which is making us fatter, unhealthier, and more likely to die prematurely. History shows that we can, in fact, help Americans to change, not by force-feeding them government restrictions or requirements but by first changing the attitudes and atmosphere in which we live. Eventually, having shifted public opinion, we can solidify the attitude and atmospheric changes with government actions that define the will of the majority.
Emphasis added. I don’t know how one can say that we shouldn’t “force-feed” restrictions and then claim we need “government actions that define the will of the majority” in the same breath. Either way, I think Huck’s thinking here about the role of goverment is awfully muddled and certainly won’t instill confidence among conservatives.
Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party are planning a debate in Greenville on May 5, 2011 (and another in 2012):
FOX News and the South Carolina Republican Party have jointly announced that they will present two presidential debates, which are expected to attract the top 2012 Republican contenders for President of the United States. The debates are currently scheduled to be presented live and exclusively on FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX News Radio, FOX News Mobile and FOXNews.com.
The initial debate will take place on May 5, 2011 at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. The second debate will be held in 2012 prior to the South Carolina primary at a location to be determined.
CNN is planning a debate for June 7, 2011 in Manchester, New Hampshire:
The New Hampshire Union Leader, WMUR-TV, and CNN are once again teaming up to present a Republican Presidential primary debate in America’s first primary state. The debate is scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in Manchester, which will make it the first debate in the “First in the Nation” primary state of New Hampshire.
Information on the location and exact time of the New Hampshire debate will be forthcoming. The three news organizations have a long history of working together to host presidential debates in the state, most recently in 2007.
Over at Slate, Dave Weigel catches Tax Hike Mike Huckabee telling an outright lie about his past support of cap-and-trade:
In a recent internet post, a contributor makes the claim that I supported cap-and-trade in late 2007 while running for President. To put it simply, that’s just not true. If companies chose to participate voluntarily as part of their corporate policy, then fine. But I was clear that we could not force U.S. businesses to do what their Chinese counterparts refused to - and doing so would have been a serious job killer.
This isn’t what he said in 2007. At an October 13 appearance at the Clean Air Cool Planet conference in Manchester, NH, Huckabee was clear: He wanted the House to pass measures passed by the Senate that would raise standards for emissions.
I also support cap and trade of carbon emissions. And I was disappointed that the Senate rejected a carbon counting system to measure the sources of emissions, because that would have been the first and the most important step toward implementing true cap and trade.
I posted on this a year ago, including the video:
While Tax Hike Mike Huckabee matches the brand of intrusive, big spending and big government “compassionate” conservatism that he and his son pushed while in office, George H.W. Bush has named Mitt Romney as his favorite for 2012:
Asked by King who his personal favorite in 2012 is, Bush said, “Well, I mentioned [my son] Jeb, but he’s not going to try. So, I don’t. I don’t really. If you asked me, who will the nominee be, I couldn’t tell you. We like Mitt Romney. We know him well and like him very much.”
The informal endorsement comes three weeks after the midterm elections in which Republicans, partly on the backs of conservative Tea Party activists, took back control of the House and picked up six Senate seats and seven governorships. Their wins sparked talk that the party stands a good chance of defeating President Obama in 2012.
King asked Bush if Romney is “keeping with the Bush political stance,” as in being “middle of the road.”
“Don’t want to kill him off,” Bush replied before calling him a “reasonable guy” and a “conservative fellow.”
Of course, Barbara Bush’s humorous comment about Sarah Palin are what everyone has taken from this interview with Larry King.
Here is a great editorial out of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on why the tea party movement should turn its it attention toward farm subsidies:
The stakes really are not very large, about $15 billion to $20 billion per year for the U.S. as a whole. Some $10 billion to $15 billion is in cash payments to farmers, including land rental under the Conservation Reserve Program. Another $5 billion or more goes into subsidized crop insurance.
For Minnesota, direct payments in 2009 came to $852 million, of which $114 million was for CRP acres. Overall, our state came fifth in national rankings. Neighboring states also placed high, with Iowa second, North Dakota sixth, South Dakota ninth and Wisconsin 11th.
Murray County in southwest Minnesota, where I grew up and own farmland, got $15 million, a typical amount for the uniform rectangular counties across the southern part of the state.
These sound like big sums, but relative to total cash flows in farming, especially with growth in Asia propelling crop prices higher, they no longer are that important. The tragedy is that relative to the cost to the Treasury, they do little good for anyone.
Compared with an annual budget deficit of $1 trillion, $15 billion or $20 billion saved by complete elimination of farm payments is a drop in the bucket. But so are many other programs dear to the heart of one interest group or another.
That is the point. If the tea party adherents in the new Congress are not able to completely chop out entire programs like this, their movement will quickly become a debacle, economically and politically. Committed tea party members will be bitterly disappointed by the realities of Washington, just as true believers in Supply Side economics like Reagan Budget Director David Stockman were back in 1982.
Even though we just wrapped up the mid-term election (though a handful of races are yet to be decided), the presidential election is just around the corner. This was something I noted last week on my personal blog. In case you don’t remember, the first debate for the Republican nomination for president for the 2008 cycle took place on May 3, 2007 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Semi Valley, California.
Yesterday, Politico and NBC announced the first debate for the 2012 cycle will take place “during the spring of 2011” at the same location, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. You can read the press release below.
We’ve compiled a list of potential candidates. We expect more names to be floated out there over the next several months, so we’ll be adding to it. But the obvious names are that you’re going to here are Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
While visiting with Judge Andrew Napolitano on Freedom Watch this past weekend, Mike Huckabee, a potential GOP candidate for president in 2012, took issue with libertarians and free marketers over his record, saying, “If a libertarian thinks he’s a better Republican and calls people like me a RINO or a liberal, I have a real problem with that.”
Here is the segment:
While many are fans of Huckabee because of his support of the “Fair Tax,” there is little question that he is a fiscal liberal. During his tenure as Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee gave residents of the state a net tax hike of over $505 million to finance his big government agenda. His record on taxes is worse than Bill Clinton.