As you know doubt know by now, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) officially announced her bid for the Republican nomination for president yesterday in Waterloo, Iowa, which is her hometown (although wasn’t a big secret that she was running):
Republican Michele Bachmann is casting herself as the “bold choice” in the 2012 presidential race.
The outspoken congresswoman and tea party favorite formally launched her bid Monday in her Iowa birthplace, Waterloo, after first making her intentions clear at a debate earlier this month.
Outside a historic mansion, Bachmann said she’s waging the campaign “not for vanity.” Instead she says voters “must make a bold choice if we are to secure the promise of the future.”
Bachmann enters the race as an Iowa poll shows her near the front of the pack in the first in the nation caucus state.
“I am a descendant of generations of Iowans and I know what it means to be from Iowa. I know what we value here and I know what’s important,” said Bachmann.
Bachmann played up her tea party ties but also made mention of her Democratic roots. Bachmann said she grew up a Democrat, but changed parties after working for Jimmy Carter in 1976. She didn’t like his spending policies.
She now counts herself as a tea-party candidate, which she said is made up of Republicans but also fed up Democrats and independents.”It’s a very powerful coalition that the left fears, and they should because make no mistake about it Barrack Obama will be a one-term president,” said Bachmann.
With all this talk of isolationism in the GOP, namely over our “kinetic military action” in Libya and the wearying, ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there’s an atmosphere that Republicans will be more willing to cut defense spending and reorganize our military to better fit in with the rest of the world. No more Dubya’s and silly foreign expeditions, more or less. But there’s one area that I see missing: Europe. I think it should be front and center.
When we Americans start arguing over welfare spending, it almost inevitably comes to be that those on the “left” say “Well, we’re spending billions and billions of dollars on bombing people in foreign countries, maybe we should cut that first, huh?” Naturally, conservatives balk at cutting military spending (while libertarians agree and then continue arguing to cut welfare anyways), but in terms of Europe, this is an area where they can make a great tactical manuever. I say this because, also almost inevitably, some liberal or progressive will then cite Europe as a great example of their welfare state ideal, saying “See, they can do it! Why can’t we, with the #1 economy in the world, do the same?” This was almost always brought up in the healthcare debate, focusing on the United Kingdom’s NHS, Germany’s social insurance policies, and infant mortality. And what else can conservatives and libertarians say? Europe sucks? Only in some limited aspects, and that’s simply not a respectable argument anyway.
Like 2008, the field is littered with so-called conservatives who have been indelibly influenced by the rise of the neoconservatives, which peaked in 2004 and has, unbeknownst to its members, been in free-fall decline ever since.
At around the same point in the race four years ago, Ron Paul was relatively unknown except for a few hard-core followers. He made an impression back then in one of the early debates by repeating something he has said for years, that he would abolish the income tax given the chance.
His famous exchange with Rudy Giuliani at another debate propelled him even further. But because Paul didn’t have nearly the financial backing his opponents had in the early part of the campaign, his showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, two key states, seemed to doom his attempt to electoral failure. In all other ways, however, he has secured a victory that no other person with whom he’s shared a stage before or since has even remotely approached.
He’s made it possible for people to associate themselves with the Republican party and be proud to do so. As long as they can do so by defining themselves as “Ron Paul Republicans” that is. So, in this respect, the 2012 cycle is vastly different .
If you were able to sit through the entire debate, I think you deserve an award. Seriously, that was rough. There wasn’t much in the way of substantive answers. And outside of Rep. Ron Paul, who is focusing his message on monetary policy and non-interventionist foreign policy, no one really seemed to want to separate themselves from the pack last night. There was a lot of agreement and no fireworks.
CNN’s John King, who served as the debate’s moderator, did a terrible job. He spent most of the evening utting “uh huh” behind the answers given by each question. Just before commercial breaks he asked candidates if they preferred “Conan or Leno,” “Elvis or Johnny Cash” and “Coke or Pepsi.” CNN will be hosting a Tea Party debate on September 12th, let’s hope they workout the kinks between now and then.
Michele Bachmann: Even though she contradicted herself on a couple of occasions - for example, saying that she wouldn’t interfere with state marriage laws, but yet supports a Federal Marriage Amendment; Bachmann, who used the debate as an opportunity to announce her candidacy, actually came across fairly well as far as communicating her message. I’d say she was in top three debate “winners.” By the way, Bachmann’s House seat seems to be up in the air. If she’s actively running for president, she can’t run for re-election. However, she has until June 2012 to make a decision.
We’ll be covering the debate sponsored this evening by CNN, WMUR and the Manchester Union Leader beginning at 7:30pm. The candidates participating this evening are Rep. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Gov. Mitt Romney and former Sen. Rick Santorum.
Gary Johnson, who served two-terms as Governor of New Mexico, was not invited to the debate even though he met CNN’s criteria.
And before you watch the debate for tonight, here is some suggested reading: Dave Weigel has a report from the Granite State, AmSpec’s Jim Antle has a few quick thoughts on each candidate, The Hill offers five things for us to watch for this evening and a preview of tonight’s debate from The New York Times.
During Rand Paul’s campaign to become Senator from Kentucky, he held a few positions that gave some of his father’s supporters pause. Specifically, his disagreement with Ron over the issue of criminal trials versus military tribunals was a point of contention making it difficult for some to back his candidacy without trepidation. Rand thought we should keep the tribunals while Ron was vehemently opposed to any trial that didn’t give the accused the best protection of his rights.
After this past week, It probably isn’t far fetched to say that any trepidation one may have had about Rand Paul’s commitment to the principles of freedom has vanished.
Paul managed to single-handedly take control of the Senate chambers in a heroic attempt to move the Senate to consider and debate the Patriot Act - something shockingly absent since it’s first passage. In fact, in 2001, when the Patriot Act was first introduced, a single Senator read the bill before casting a vote. The vote cast was a resounding “NO” by Russ Feingold, coincidentally, the only vote recorded in opposition to the bill.
Rand’s efforts were unsuccessful if you deem passage of the Act’s extension the sole measure of success. However, Rand did far more than capture the imagination and attention of the country for a suspenseful 36 hours, 7 of which were spent on the Senate floor.
I first became interested in politics during a GOP Presidential debate in 2008. In the middle of that array of candidates, one really stood out to me. What he had to say sparked my interest, and his 2008 campaign cured my political apathy.
There’s a significant group of people who will read this post who are, like I was, primarily apathetic when it comes to the political process. If you find yourself in that group, this post is for you.
2012 is coming soon, and it’s going to be a huge election year. The presumed frontrunner Republican candidates are, quite honestly, no good. So what’s so great about tonight’s debate? They won’t be there. Instead, we’ll be hearing from the people who actually have things to say – things that you won’t hear when those bigger names are in front of the camera.
Not everyone in tonight’s debate is a great candidate, but if you watch this evening, you’ll be exposed to some great minds – people who have real ideas for how to make America better who typically have to fight for their fair chance to be heard.
I’d like to ask each of you to tune into tonight’s debate. Watch it with an open mind and give fair consideration to what each of these candidates has to say. You may see somebody who stands out from the crowd – someone who resonates with what you believe.
And you might even go to bed tonight having found the cure to your political apathy.
News broke last evening that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) will announce the formation of an presidential exploratory committee today as he continues to weigh a second bid for the Republican Party’s nomination:
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, whose outspoken libertarian views and folksy style made him a cult hero during two previous presidential campaigns, will announce on Tuesday that he’s going to try a third time.
Sources close to Paul, who is in his 12th term in the House, said he will unveil an exploratory presidential committee, a key step in gearing up for a White House race. He will also unveil the campaign’s leadership team in Iowa, where the first votes of the presidential election will be cast in caucuses next year.
Paul took 10 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses and 8 percent in New Hampshire’s primary. He finished second, with 14 percent of the vote, in the Nevada caucuses, and eventually finished fourth in the Republican nominating process with 5.6 percent of the total vote. Paul’s campaign book, The Revolution: A Manifesto also reached No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list in 2008.
This would seem to be an ideal year for Paul: Since the last election, the Republican Party has moved much closer to his view on deficit reduction, which made him an early tea party favorite. All of the party’s top-tier presidential hopefuls are focusing on lowering debt, government spending, and tax rates, issues Paul has long advocated.
It looks like Paul’s staff is getting better at planning, an aspect of his campaign that was missing sorely in 2008. This news will largely drown out the Gary Johnson’s announcement for president late last week (he is bypassing the exploratory process).
On Thursday, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson announced his candidacy for President of the United States. Texas Congressman Ron Paul is expected to announce his candidacy at some point in the future. That would put two libertarians campaigning for the limited libertarian vote in the GOP. Some argue that this would be a good thing, that the two could shred the likes of Donald Trump and Sarah Palin in the primary debates. Unfortunately, let’s face facts. Paul didn’t perform well last time in the debates, so the only reason to expect different this time is the pathetic line up we’re looking at from the GOP this time around.
However, as things stand at the moment, I’m putting my weight behind Gary Johnson. This isn’t a lack of respect or admiration for Ron Paul, those are as strong as ever. However, Johnson has a few things going for him that Paul doesn’t necessarily.
It’s true that both have a record to stand on. However, Paul as repeatedly used earmarks to send money to his home district. Granted, he always votes against the budget after adding those earmarks, but some can easily argue that Paul knows it will pass anyways so he’s just voting against the budget on form. He’s bringing home the pork just like so many he criticizes, at least in their eyes. Johnson, on the other hand, vetoed over 750 pieces of legislation during his time as governor of New Mexico.
As a libertarian, I’m obviously a fan of Ron Paul. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I think he brings up some valid points. He’s also known for sticking to his principles. Because of this, the Young Americans for Freedom have “purged” him from their advisory board due to his anti-war stance.
From the group’s press release:
(Washington DC – 2/12/11) The National Board of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF)—America’s oldest conservative-libertarian activist group—has, per curium, voted to purge Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) from YAF’s National Advisory Board.
YAF’s concern with Rep. Paul stems from his delusional and disturbing alliance with the fringe Anti-War movement.
“It is a sad day in American history when a one-time conservative-libertarian stalwart has fallen more out of touch with America’s needs for national security than the current feeble and appeasing administration,” said YAF’s Senior National Director Jordan Marks.
Paul, who had served on the YAF Advisory Board for more than two decades, was awarded with YAF’s highest honor, the Guardian of Freedom award, an honor Rep. Paul has touted on his biography for many years. Only a decade ago, Dr. Paul praised YAF’s work on the House floor. Paul called YAF’s founding document, the Sharon Statement “a great document explicating the philosophy of freedom.”
The Sharon Statement, clearly states: “American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: does it serve the just interests of the United States?”