For the last couple of years, I’ve heard rumors about Obama dropping Joe Biden off the 2012 ticket and replacing him with the Democrat that Republicans fear the most: Hillary Clinton. Then earlier today a friend shared this article, which goes into detail about how August 24 is the likely time that Obama will announce that Biden is being replaced with Hillary Clinton.
The logic on that timeline would be just fine, except that’s not going to happen. Here are a few reasons why:
Biden makes Obama look good.
Joe Biden is quite literally a sideshow. He’s Larry, Moe, and Curly all rolled up into one ridiculously gaffe-tastic goof ball. The things he does and the things he says just go to make Obama look sane and in control. Obama may be like a Clark Griswold (a well-intentioned man with issues of his own), but Biden is his Cousin Eddie.
When Biden opens his mouth and says something stupid, Obama is there to explain what should have been said, show he’s got a handle on the campaign, and demonstrate that he can keep the crazy cousin at bay.
A change this close to their convention would show disorder and desperation.
With a little more than a month until the primary, the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Arizona is getting very interesting. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who has been one of the handful of Republicans in the House that taxpayers can count on, was thought to be the odds on favorite in the race, but Wil Cardon, a wealthy businessman, has come on strong in recent months.
Flake has received support from the Club for Growth, Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, FreedomWorks, and former Vice President candidate Sarah Palin. But former U.S. Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum endorsed Cardon in the race last week:
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has endorsed businessman Wil Cardon in his hard-fought primary for the GOP Senate nomination in Arizona, a high-profile endorsement that could counteract some of the establishment support rallying around rival Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz).
“I am pleased to announce our endorsement of Wil Cardon for the U.S. Senate in Arizona,” Santorum said in a statement. “As a business owner for more than two decades, Wil has seen firsthand the crippling effects of Obamanomics and why we must solve our economic challenges with market-based solutions rather than more government intrusion. Wil is exactly what Washington, DC needs — an outsider beholden to no one other than the Arizona residents he hopes to represent.”
Santorum also offered the support of Patriot Voices, the independent fundraising organization he now helms.
While most Americans already are looking to November in anticipation of getting this presidential campaign over with, there are still a couple of races that have yet to be determined outcomes.
In Arizona, for example, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is a locked in a surprisingly tough primary challenge against Wil Cardon. The Club for Growth has come to Flake’s aid, dropping $500,000 in ads in the state. But Flake’s campaign hasn’t had it easy, being knocked back by some missteps along the way. He may, however, have just received a boost as Sarah Palin has given Flake her coveted endorsement:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has endorsed Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in his Senate primary, a boost for Flake as he fends off a tough challenge from wealthy businessman Wil Cardon (R).
“Jeff is a proven conservative crusader, and today I am proud to announce my support for his campaign to become the next U.S. Senator from the great state of Arizona,” Palin said in a statement provided by Flake’s campaign. “Credited by many as the leading anti-earmark crusader in the House, Jeff has fought hard against pork barrel spending — often times casting one of the few GOP ‘no’ votes on bloated spending measures. He’s not afraid to ‘go rogue’ against his own party and its leadership; and even though he has sometimes suffered the consequences from GOP leaders for failing to toe the party line, yet he continues to fight for what is right.”
ABC News reported this morning that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a popular figure in the conservative movement, is not being vetted to serve as Mitt Romney’s running mate:
Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.
But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
Although it is possible that Rubio may yet be asked to go through the vetting process, it has been nearly two months since Romney named his long-time aide Beth Myers to run his vice presidential search. The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney’s short list of potential running mates.
This is sure to disappoint many conservatives and Tea Party-minded activists and sure to add to the skepticism of Romney, much of which is reasonable. Many feel that the former Massachusetts Governor needs to add a dynamic figure to his ticket, one that can appeal to conservatives and establishment Republicans alike. Rubio seems to fit that bill the best out of potential running mates that have been floated.
Those pushing Rubio are surprised, according to Zeke Miller:
Facing perhaps the biggest fight of his political career, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) managed to get to endorsements last year from prominent conservative talk show hosts, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. The hope was that the 35-year Senator could build up enough support to avoid a primary challenger from the right.
Political pressure kept Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) from running, but State Sen. Dan Liljenquist managed to push Hatch into a primary last month after the latter was unable to gain enough support at the Utah GOP convention. Hatch knows he has an advantage, which is why he’s been avoiding debates with Liljenquist — a point Glenn Beck brought up recently on his show, offering to host a forum for the two.
Based on what I’ve heard from friends in DC, they’re managing expectations, choosing instead to focus their efforts on Ted Cruz in Texas and elsewhere. This may have been brought home yesterday when Sarah Palin endorsed Hatch over Liljenquist:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has endorsed Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who is facing a Tea Party challenge from former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist (R).
“I want him to win. I join Sean Hannity and Mark Levin and other conservatives who would like to see Mr. Balanced Budget return to Washington,” Palin said on Fox News on Tuesday night. “He wants to apply that common-sense economic principle of balanced-budget fiscal responsibility, and I want to see him reelected.”
Conservatives and Tea Party groups have been working recently in several states to influence Republican Senate primaries. You know that Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) was recently defeated by Richard Mourdock. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) could face a similar fate at the hands of Dan Liljenquist, though that’s less likely. And with more money being sent to help Ted Cruz in Texas, they could see another huge victory there.
However, conservatives are divided in Nebraska. Jon Bruning, who was once seen as the frontrunner in the GOP Senate primary in the Cornhusker State, has been beaten and battered, but thanks to endorsements by prominent figures and grassroots groups, the conservative vote has been split, leading Matt Lewis to conclude that they may have missed an opportunity:
Things were so much simpler just one week ago, when Sen. Dick Lugar was the obvious villain and Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock was the conservative alternative. One short week later, with no squishy incumbent to oust, all three Nebraska Republicans are vying to occupy the conservative mantle.
And thanks to the seemingly schizophrenic endorsements of prominent national conservatives, the waters are thoroughly muddied.
We noted yesterday that, after a win over Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) on Tuesday, the Club for Growth was preparing to spend $1 million in Texas trying to take down David Dewhurst, hoping that it will boost the campaign of Ted Cruz, who is backed by the Club and other grassroots and Tea Party groups. But things in the Lone Star State were ramped up a bit yesterday thanks to a pair of endorsements for Cruz from Sarah Palin and Ron Paul.
Palin’s endorsment, given her standing in the conservative movement, is obviously more high profile and is being touted heavily by Cruz, both in fundraising letters and on ads on the web (I’ve already seen it several times):
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, have endorsed another Senate candidate in a contested Republican primary: former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz.
Cruz told supporters in an email that he sought her support via a letter.
“We’re proud to join conservatives in Texas and throughout the nation in supporting your campaign to become the next Senator from the Lone Star State,” Palin wrote back.
“Your conservative principles, passionate defense of our Constitution and our free market system come at a time when these cornerstones of our freedom and prosperity are under attack,” she added. “Our shared goal isn’t just to change the majority in control of the Senate, but to assure principled conservatives like you are there to fight for us.”
During an interview yesterday evening with conservative talk show host Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska, will not run for president in 2012:
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin announced Wednesday evening that she would not be running for president in 2012.
On the Mark Levin radio show Wednesday evening, Palin said she believed she would have more impact outside of the race. The decision ends over a year of speculation about the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee’s plans.
“Not being a candidate, really you are unshackled and you’re able to be even more active,” she told Levin. “I need to be able to say what I want to say.”
Palin, who made the speculation of a bid unnecessarily dramatic, sent out a full statement shortly after the interview, noting that her efforts in 2012 would be focused on “replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House”:
While his numbers have been rising after a straw poll win in Florida, Herman Cain may have overplayed his hand in his criticism of Rick Perry, who was the subject of a recent Washington Post story dealing with hunting ground with a racially insensitive name. Matt Lewis gives us a rundown of what happened:
After Sunday’s Washington Post reported that Texas Governor Rick Perry had utilized a Texas hunting camp named “N*****head,” GOP candidate Herman Cain (a former pizza exec. and the only black candidate running for the GOP presidential nomination) wasted little time in accusing Perry of being insensitive to racial issues.
“Since Gov. Perry has been going there for years to hunt,” Cain told ABC’s “This Week,” think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place.”
When anchor Christiane Amanpour pushed back — noting that the rock had actually been painted over — Cain doubled-down, saying: “But how long ago was it painted over? So I’m still saying that it is a sign of insensitivity.’’
(Cain made similar comments on Fox News Sunday — demonstrating that this was not a gaffe made in response to a question that simply caught him off guard.)
Lewis explains that Cain’s comments, essentially allowing himself to be used to by the media to further a misleading piece on Perry, may show that he isn’t ready for this latest round of press:
We’ve been meaning to run a poll here for sometime on the Republican nomination, but I haven’t gotten around to putting it together. But since I’m short on content this morning thanks to an incredibly busy evening last night, I figured this would be the perfect chance for it.
Below is our poll of the nine candidates Republican candidates that participated in the most recent debate. In other words, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, and Chris Christie aren’t included since they haven’t confirmed anything at this point.