Presidential Possibilities

Michele
Bachmann

Herman
Cain

Newt
Gingrich

Jon
Huntsman

Fred
Karger

Tim
Pawlenty

Ron
Paul

Mitt
Romney

Rick
Santorum

John
Bolton

Chris
Christie

Sarah
Palin

Rick
Perry


Republican
2012 Hopefuls Roll Out
Economic Proposals


Graphic of the word ‘ECONOMY’

        The Republican presidential candidates are drawing differences with each other on the best way to promote jobs and growth.
        Corporate Tax: Romney and Huntsman have called for a reduction to 25 percent from 35 percent. Bachmann would like to cut it by more. Santorum wants the corporate tax cut in half. Gingrich 12.5 percent. Herman Cain proposes a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent individual flat tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.
        Personal Taxes: Huntsman, 51 advocates rates of 8 percent, 14 percent and 23 percent. Perry said he would replace the current code in favor of a flat tax on income or a national sales tax or the Fair Tax. Cain and Ron Paul also approve of the Fair Tax -- a retail sales tax that would shield Americans below the poverty line from its impact.
        Romney would eliminate taxes on interest income, dividends or capital gains for Americans making less than $200,000.
        Spending: Romney initially wants to cut spending to 20 percent of gross domestic product. Huntsman and Santorum, favor an 18 percent cap. Bachmann has a three-page list of “potential spending cuts.”
        ‘Fire’ Bernanke: Gingrich has said he’d “fire” Bernanke. Paul would go even further [Bloomberg,Sept 15]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Sarah Palin's
Presidential
Plans Make
Perfect Sense

Photograph of Sarah Palin

Editorial

        The press has been critical of Sarah Palin for taking so long to decide about a presidential run, but she is on a path that makes perfect sense.
        While outside of the Republican primary race, she maintains high visibility for herself and is promoting the ideas and ideals of the teaparty movement. Instead of spending a fortune on campaigning, she is raising money with speaking engagements and SarahPAC is fundraising for a possible run.
        Palin wasn't needed to proclaim the teaparty views in the campaign or the debates; three candidates have been faithfully touting the teaparty idealogy.
        The press has been proclaiming 'rivalries'; first between Bachmann and Romney, then between Romney and Perry and between Romney and Paul all to distract from the substance of the campaign. Given the opportunity to pit Sarah Palin against Michele Bachmann the press would have been able to create a massive distraction.
        Entering the race in the early weeks would have hurt both Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann's efforts - and distracted from the serious issues. Entering in the later weeks would not have added to the substance of the issues or benefited the primary process.
        But she won't wait much longer.The deadlines for qualifying for primaries begin next month. If she does decide to run, she will not be blamed for Bachmann's loss of frontrunner status. Teaparty folowers are not fans of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry is having his problems with immigration and parental rights issues. This needs to be weighed against the fact that her personal popularity is at an all time low.
        Whatever she decides . . . her actions to this point have been right on target. [TeaPartyWatcher, Sept. 15]      Click here for the TeaPartyWatcher web site



Rasmussen:
Perry
&
Cain
Lead in GOP
Favorability

Rasmussen logo

        Perry's Positive Intensity Score of 24 is holding near the upper boundary of his scores since he entered the race. Cain's 22, however, is on the low end of his recent scores.
        Mitt Romney is the only candidate whose Positive Intensity Score has improved significantly in recent weeks. His current 16 is up from 11. Rudy Giuliani, who has yet to decide if he will run, still edges out Romney with an 18.
        Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann have seen significant declines in their Positive Intensity Scores. Palin, who has also not decided whether to run, is down six points, from 16 to 10, and Bachmann is down three points, from 13 to 10. Both women are now at new lows for the year, with Bachmann's score cut in half since early August. [Gallup.com, Sept. 14]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Rick Perry
defends
in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants


Photograph of Rick Perry

        Prompting "boos" from the boisterous audience at the debate, Rick Perry stood by his decision to allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition.
        "If you've been in Texas for three years, if you're working towards your college degree, and if you are working and pursuing citizenship in the state of Texas, you pay in-state tuition - no matter how you got into the state. I'm proud that we are having those individuals be contributing members of our society rather being on the government dole."
        The law is "very similar" to one President Obama has long been lobbying for. Perry attempted to distance himself from Mr. Obama's proposed DREAM Act, but emphasized that his legislation passed with bipartisan support.
        "What we did in the state of Texas was clearly a states right issue. And the legislature passed with only four dissenting votes in the House and the Senate. [CBS News, Sept. 12]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Sarah Palin:
Tea Party
Was Winner of Debate


Photograph of Sarah Palin

        “I was pleased with the debate and excited about the validation of the tea party movement here.
        “I believe the tea party movement was the real winner and validates what we have been talking about for two years: Obama’s agenda replicates socialized government policies in European countries and doesn’t work. You saw a group tonight talking about pro-private sector, entrepreneurial pioneering spirit of America allowed to thrive and prosper to create jobs.”
        "Only Newt Gingrich attacked Obama’s spending, a focal point of the tea-party agenda. Newt was right talking about waste — and hopefully, will teach his colleagues on stage that they can all be participants in getting rid of the waste in government. Some of them may have been participants in waste and casting votes for budgets full of waste. They haven’t tackled debt and deficit spending sufficiently and they don't have a strong record to stand on.”
        “The media will not dictate a drop-dead date for deciding to run for President. I don’t have an answer for you yet. I’m still thinking about it, praying about it, contemplating, talking to my family. [NewsMax, Sept. 12]      Click here for the complete source for this story



What To
Expect
From
Tonight's
GOP Debate


Debate Graphic

        The Republican presidential candidates will face off tonight in the CNN/Tea Party Express debate in Florida. Tonight's event is poised to be equally significant.
         Social Security: Perry doubled down on his criticism of SS last week, calling it a Ponzi scheme. Romney, Bachmann, Huntsman will try to hit him hard on this.
         Will Michele Bachmann stay relevant?: Bachmann has dropped to new lows in the polls to stay in the race in any meaningful way she has to score points against Perry.
         Will Jon Huntsman repeat?: Huntsman made waves in the last debate but it is not translating into poll support. He needs to perform well if he wants to stay in this race.
         The Tea Party: This debate is being co-sponsored by a tea party group, with supporters making up the audience. This probably helps Bachmann, Paul and Perry the most, and gives the rest yet another opponent — an unfriendly crowd.
         Solyndra: Republicans are ramping up their criticism of the Obama administration over a controversial loan to the solar company that later went bankrupt. [Business Insider, Sept. 12]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Bachmann: Don't pass Obama's plan

Photograph of Michele Bachmann

        Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said she is "deeply disappointed" by the president's jobs speech. "Clearly what we saw was just a sequel of all of the failed policies that the president has put forward in the past."
        She said she was offended by President Barack Obama's asking Congress to "stop the political circus" and she blasted the president's plan to prolong unemployment benefits, calling them poor incentives for people to get jobs.
        "Not only should Congress not pass this plan, I say, 'Mr. President, stop. Your last plan hasn't worked, and it's hurting the American economy'."
        Rep. Bachmann laid out her own nine-point plan, which included repealing Obama's health care reform, repealing financial regulation reform, and increasing exports.
        "The president's policies are acts of "generational theft" that take money from future generations. The president has embraced solutions that are temporary gimmicks. They come and they go. That's what we saw tonight in the president's remarks." [Political Ticker, Sept. 8]      Click here for the complete source for this story



CNN,
Tea Party Express
to Host
First-Ever
Tea Party Debate

Debaters graphic

        Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will face questions from moderator Wolf Blitzer on Monday, September 12th from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.on CNN
        In addition to questions from Blitzer, audience members inside the debate hall will be invited to ask questions of the candidates. [CNN, Sept. 8]      Click here for the source for this story



Debate Poll:
Ron Paul
Wins

Photo of couple voting on laptop

         Who Won The Debate? - These are the results from an MSNBC on-line poll with 200,000 votes cast: Ron Paul 56% (108,973 votes); Mitt Romney 15% (29,166 votes); Rick Perry 12.7% (24,687 votes); Jon Huntsman 6.3% (12,239 votes); Newt Gingrich 4.2% (8,165 votes); Herman Cain 3.1% (5,958 votes); Michele Bachmann 1.9% (3,683 votes); Rick Santorum 0.9% (1,826 votes) [MSNBC, Sept. 8]      Click here for a graph and the source for this story



Rick Perry
the focus as Republicans prepare for live TV debate


Photograph of Rick Perry

        Eight Republican candidates will help define the party's nomination battle tonight in the first in a series of debates at the Ronald Reagan Library. A focus of the debate will be on whether Texas governor Rick Perry can consolidate his frontrunner status.
        Perry received a pre-debate boost this morning when the Wall Street Journal offered a damning verdict on a jobs plan put forward by Romney. An editorial, described Romney's 59-point jobs plan as "timid and tactical". Perry's rapid rise would be halted if he comes across in the debate as too smug, or if his Texas accent reminds voters too much of George Bush.
        Others in the debate are: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum. This is the first of at least six debates this autumn, with the next on Monday, in Tampa, Florida. [Guardian, Sept. 7]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Mitt Romney
unveils 59-point jobs plan


Photograph of Mitt Romney

        Mitt Romney presented a jobs plan in a 160-page book which includes 59 policies, and 10 actions that he'd take on his first day in the Oval Office.
        Many of Romney's proposals are standard GOP fare: cutting corporate taxes, reducing government spending, eliminating burdensome regulations, expanding U.S. energy production and restricting the power of labor unions.
        One of his first-day actions would be an executive order to sanction China for its trade practices and the manipulation of its currency. He would also create a multinational trade group open to countries committed to open markets and free enterprise."
        By the end of Romney's first term, his proposals would lead to GDP growth averaging 4 percent per year over four years; 11.5 million additional private-sector jobs; an unemployment rate reduced to 5.9 percent and a reduction in spending of $1.6 trillion less than the projected amount under the current administration.
        While committing to reforming the tax code for individuals, didn't say how he planned to do it. He referred to "base broadening" - taxing items that are currently exempted by eliminating deductions and credits - but wouldn't say specifically how that would be done. [Politico, Sept. 6]      Click here for the complete source for this story



2012ers
to
attend
Sept. 7
debate



PHotograph of debaters

        Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum plan to appear on stage at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif. for the Reagan Foundation / POLITICO / NBC News debate.
        MSNBC will broadcast the debate live from the Reagan library's Air Force One Pavilion at 8 p.m. ET. POLITICO will stream the proceedings live on its website. CNBC and Telemundo (in Spanish) will also broadcast the debate.
        Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News," and John F. Harris, editor in chief of POLITICO, will moderate. [Politico, Sept. 6]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Herman Cain Photograph of Herman Cain

        Speaking at the Palmetto Freedom Forum sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint, Cain laid out his "bold" plan dubbed "9-9-9." It would do away with the existing tax code and replace it with a nine percent tax on corporate income, a nine percent tax on personal income and a nine percent national sales tax.
        "To solve the debt problem, we must boost economic growth with GDP growth of five or six percent and an across-the-board cut to federal spending of ten percent.
        "A balanced budget amendment and rein in the Federal Reserve Bank by asking Congress to limit the Fed's authority. We have got to get back to sound money. We need a gold standard to do that. It's the only way we're going to make our currency, the currency that people around the world depend upon. [Political Ticker, Sept. 5]      Click here for the complete source for this story



* VIDEO *
Sarah Palin
On Politicians And Crony Capitalism:
"I'm Not For Sale"

Photograph of Sarah Palin

        Sarah Palin gave the keynote speech at a Tea Party rally in Iowa on Saturday.
        "We sent a new class of leaders to DC, but the permanent career politicians tried to co-opt them. We need to change that. They talk about massive, unsustainable debt and yet they keep incurring more. They spend, they print, they borrow, they spend more, and they stick us with the bill. Then they pat their own backs and they claim that they faced and solved the debt crisis."
        "They arrive in Washington of modest means and then miraculously end up very, very wealthy because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money."
        "They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street, their corporate cronies, to reward contributors and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. It's called 'corporate crony capitalism,'"
        "Like you, I'm not for sale. I believe in the free market and I detest crony capitalism. Barack Obama has shown us cronyism on steroids. It will lead to our downfall if we don't stop it now."
        The 40 minute speech also covered reforming taxes and entitlements and for eliminating all federal corporate income taxes and called entitlement reform "our duty."      Click here for the source for this story and * VIDEO * of the full speech



Fox Poll:
Perry
Overtakes
Romney;
Palin
Should Stay Out

Photographs of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry

        A Fox News poll shows that voters view Rick Perry as itoo extremei compared with Mitt Romney. And most American voters -- including a majority of Republicans -- think former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin should stay out of the presidential race.
        Perry receives of 26% of GOP primary voters and Romney captures 18%. Palin receives 8%, and Ron Paul 7% and Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rudy Giuliana all at 4%.
        When asked which contenders they felt were itoo extreme to be seriously considered.
        Among all voters, Bachmann 18%, Perry 14%, Palin 12%, Paul 10%, Romney 4%.
        Among Republicans, Paul 14 percent, Bachmann 11 percent, Palin 9 percent, Newt Gingrich by 6 percent, Perry 5%, Romney 3%.
        All in all, most voters -- 74 percent -- think Palin should stay on the sidelines in 2012. Just 20 percent think she should run for president. [Fox News, Sept. 1]      Click here for the complete source for this story



CNN Announces Participants for 'Tea Party Republican Debate' on September 12

Debate image

        The CNN / Tea Party Express sponsored "Tea Party Republican Debate" will be held September 12 in Tampa, Florida.
        The debate participants will include: Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman.
         Participants needed to achieve a minimum 2 percent threshold in an average of national primary polls to be invited to the debate. [Mediabistro, Sept. 1]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Sarah Palin to go to South Korea

Photograph of Sarah Palin -

        Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will visit South Korea next month to speak at a global gathering of business leaders.
        Palin will speak at the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul, which runs October 11 through 13.
        She will discuss "U.S. leadership perspective on how to lead the world out of the latest crisis. [CNN, Aug. 31]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Palin Primary Posturing Signals Last Call for Republicans

Photograph of Sarah Palin

        For Republicans still in search of the perfect someone to defeat President Barack Obama, it's almost last call and all eyes on are Sarah Palin. The first nomination balloting is five months away and organization is needed for fundraising, planning and execution. Three debates are also set for September.
        That narrows potential latecomers to people with a big name, lots of money, or both. Palin is about the only remaining undecided, major party figure who fits that criteria.
        Regardless of what the public may think of Obama now, he created a new candidate: "the charismatic rock star." Palin was the only Republican to reach that height, other candidates in the race today don't quite have the star power. Texas Governor Rick Perry at the moment, comes closest, while Mitt Romney is mixed on being a star.
        Palin is keeping her options open and her supporters -- and detractors -- guessing. Asked if she would announce her intentions before the end of September, Palin said "Yes, definitely," Palin will appear at Labor Day weekend events in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that will start the nomination process early next year.
        Palin would face a large bloc of voters already opposed to her. A poll by the Pew Research Center found 41 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters say there is no chance they would vote for Palin. [Bloomberg Business Week, Aug. 31]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Obama
to deliver jobs address to
joint session
of Congress

Photograph of President Barack Obama

        "As I have traveled across our country this summer and spoken with our fellow Americans, I have heard a consistent message: Washington needs to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country and not what is best for each of our parties in order to grow the economy and create jobs. We must answer this call with a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy by strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work and putting more money in the paychecks of the middle class and working Americans, while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order."
        Republicans have said the 2009 economic stimulus package backed by Obama was a failure and they warned they will resist any new spending measures to push the economy forward. They have announced a fall agenda focused tax-cut measures and legislation that would roll back regulations which are holding back growth.
        The speech will fall on the same night the Republican presidential field is set to take part in a debate also scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. [The Hill, Aug. 31]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Black
Tea Party Leader
Demands Apology From
Maxine Waters

Photograph of Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
Photograph of Maxine Waters

        South Central L.A. Tea Party Founder and President, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is demanding an apology from Rep. Maxine Waters, for her remarks that the "tea party can go straight to hell."
        Mr. Patterson said: "Scapegoating the tea party for the wasteful liberal social policies which are destroying the U.S. economy is wicked and irresponsible. On behalf of millions of patriotic Americans we demand that Waters apologize! The tea party is the solution, not the problem. I'm sure Maxine Waters would like her attacks on the tea party to distract from her failures and serious ethics issues. Maxine Waters helped cripple the U.S. economy by pushing home loans to people who couldn't afford them."
        The South Central L.A. Tea Party (SCLATP) motto is "Power to the People!" It is open to patriotic American men and women of all races. [Tea Party Org, Aug. 30]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Romney
shifts schedule, decides to attend
DeMint's Forum

Photograph of Mitt Romney

        "We're pleased we were able to arrange our schedule so that Governor Romney can attend Labor Day events in both New Hampshire and South Carolina," said a Romney spokeswoman.
        South Carolina is a crucial state in the GOP primary process and Rick Perry leads in the state, 36 percent to Romney's 16 percent. Perry has been campaigning hard in SC and will attend the DeMint forum, as will Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.
        Romney's decision to participate in the forum, and in the Tea Party event, shows a strategy shift, sources close to his campaign say. Instead of picking and choosing events and staying above the fray, the former governor will run a more confrontational campaign, where he will meet Perry toe-to-toe. [The Hill, Aug. 31]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Will this fly?

Mitt Romney
to make first appearance at a
tea party rally

Photograph of Mitt Romney

        On Labor Day Mitt Romney will join the Tea Party Express' "Reclaiming America" bus tour in Manchester, New Hampshire. Romney's appearance at the event is significant: he has no participated in any tea party events since the movement began in 2009..
        Romney declined Jim DeMint's invitation to his Labor Day Forum. He also declined to participate in April 15's "Tax Day" protests.
        Romney has said: "The tea party isn't a diversion from mainstream Republican thought. It is within mainstream Republican thought, and I want to appeal to the tea party voters.
        And yet, Romney's relationship with the movement can be described as complicated, at best.
        In a new poll, Romney lands third among tea party supporters. Perry gets 37-percent, Bachmann, 14-percent, and Romney 11-percent. There's not a lot of enthusiasm for him. He has taken positions that are contrary to what most tea party people consider important. [Pollitical Ticker, Aug. 29]      Click here for the complete source for this story


New Yorker Magazine logo


A Different Kind of Texan

        A good article in the New Yorker Magazine about Rick Perry's background.      [New Yorker, Aug. 28] Click here for the complete source for this story


You Tube logo graphic


Ron Paul For President 2012 - Youtube Commercial

        Ron Paul's latest commercial for his 2012 presidential run. [You Tube, Aug. 29]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Gov. Perry
Makes Overtures to
Trump

Photographs of Trump and Perry on the phone

        Trump said in recent days he has received several calls from Perry. "We've spoken quite a bit. I like him and I respect him. He is doing a great campaign and will be making a visit to New York City soon."
        Trump said Perry's remark that it would be "treasonous" for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to pump more money into the economy was no gaffe. "I think those statements were absolutely what people want to hear. People are tired of political correctness, which doesn't get anybody anywhere."
        Trump said he has received calls from other GOP contenders as well. "They have been calling, and I have a lot of respect for a lot of them. I have great respect for some of them."
        "I think a third party could absolutely happen -- if it's the right person. And it really has to be someone that's either really very wealthy, or has access to a lot of money." When asked: "That's you?" Trump conceded: "Well, I do qualify on those scores, that's true." [Newsmax, Aug. 27]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Romney
won't be at
SC forum,
Gingrich
will be

Photos of Gingrich and Romney

        The five Republicans participating in Sen. Jim DeMint's Labor Day forum are Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry.
        Mitt Romney will not attend due to a scheduling conflict. Rudy Giuliani declined the invitation, citing a family conflict. Organizers did not hear from Sarah Palin.
        DeMint came up with the idea while watching the June New Hampshire debate and being frustrated that candidates had seconds to respond to key questions. He wanted a more deliberative, thoughtful discussion about key issues.
        The panelists for the Columbia forum will be DeMint, Rep. Steve King , and Princeton professor Robert Goerge.
        Each candidate will have 20 minutes to lay out their vision. There will be no exchanges between candidates or questions from the audience. The panelists and audience members will discuss the speeches in a 30-minute webcast after the candidates are done. [WSJ online, Aug. 27]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Candidates
set for
Politico/NBC
News debate

Logo for the  Politico NBC News debate

        The candidates have been set for the debate, sponsored by Politico and NBC News, at Ronald Reagan Presidential Liberty in Semi Valley, California.
        Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have all confirmed for the debate.
        The debate will air live on MSNBC at 8pm on Wednesday, September 7th. [United Liberty, Aug. 25]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Herman Cain
Backs Israel With
Glenn Beck
in Jerusalem

Photograph of Herman Cain

        Herman Cain was the only Republican presidential candidate at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Courage" rally in Israel this week, demonstrating his "courage" as well as resilience.
        The straw poll rankes Herman Cain fifth, but his supporters are all praises for his presence at ]Jerusalem's Old City where Beck, a Mormon, urged Israelis and their allies to courageously face a world "adrift."
        Herman Cain's Facebook page had comments like: "What a pleasure to see you standing for Israel in Jerusalem!" and "Our White House does not seem to fully understand the importance of having a friend in Israel, nice to see that you 'get it.'"
        Cain's support of Israel now portrays him as a tough man. While Cain did not speak at Beck's event, his mere presence was a strong statement. [Christian Post, Aug. 25]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Time to take
Ron Paul
seriously?

Photograph of Ron Paul

        The Texas libertarian placed a solid third in a new poll beating Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman. He also ranked a close second in Iowa's Straw Poll and raised $1.8 million in a 24-hour "money bomb".
        The guy most media assume too unelectable to be worth covering is losing to President Obama by 2 points in the latest Gallup poll. He's an anti-war Republican who also wants to abolish the Federal Reserve and the cherished institutions of the American social-insurance state.
        Ron Paul is still a fringe player. Paul's supporters are passionate about their candidate, but, for mainstream America, he's still not a "genuine phenomenon."
        Paul may like flying under the radar: Paul is a more plausible and influential candidate than most people give him credit for but Paul has managed to turn media neglect into an asset. For one thing, it allows him to escape the same scrutiny that other top-tier candidates have faced. That may help him -- but it's a disservice to voters and other candidates. "'Invisible' Ron Paul still has 'em talking." [The Week, Aug. 24]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Expect a
Third-Party
Candidate in 2012

Third Party graphic

        A Rasmussen poll found 17% of likely voters think the government has the consent of the governed and 69% believe the government does not have that consent. A majority of Americans are looking for alternatives to the two-party system. 57% of all said there is a need for a third party. One in five said they are certain or very likely to vote for a third-party candidate.
        "Americans Elect", a political organization, plans to break the the two-party system by selecting a third presidential ticket for 2012, via an Internet convention.
        The tea party movement demonstrated an unprecedented level of influence in the 2010 elections and in driving the debt ceiling debate. A tea party candidate could get 15%-25% of the vote running on an independent line. Donald Trump says he may run as an independent and there are certain to be others.
        Economic distress and political alienation in 1980 and 1992 led to John Anderson and Ross Perot. Each garnered high levels of support and the conditions were nowhere near as severe as they are today
        The political order is deteriorating and politics abhors a vacuum. So there is good reason to believe that a credible third party, or even fourth party, may be on the ballot in 2012. The American people clearly are looking for alternatives. [Wall Street Journal Online, Aug. 24]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Rove
Sounds Off on
Palin
2012 Candidacy Rumors

Photograph of Karl Rove

Photograph of Sarah Palin

        She's big -- she's a potentially big factor in the presidential election. If she were to get in, she'd be a "contenda," as they would say. She was the vice presidential nominee in 2008. She maintains a following.
        There are people who want her in and there are some people who would be deeply concerned if she did because she'd be eating into their ranks. But she's a player. And so if she doesn't want to be speculated about, then end the speculation by saying, "I'm not going to be a candidate."
        Until then, I would just recommend she might get a slightly thicker skin because if she's got this thin a skin now, when people are saying, Well, I think she might be a candidate, how's she going to react if she does get into the campaign and gets the scrutiny that every presidential candidate does get? I mean, that's not going to be a pretty sight if she's as thin-skinned in the fray as she is on the edges of it. [Fox News, Aug. 25]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Perry
opens up double-digit lead over
Romney


Closeup photograph of Mitt Romney

Closeup photograph of Rick Perry

        A new PPP poll shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry with a double digit lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The poll of Republican primary voters is the second to show Perry with a lead nationally. A Rasmussen Reports national poll showed Perry leading 29 percent to 18 percent.
        A separate PPP poll of Iowa Republicans found Perry taking the lead from Michele Bachmann among Hawkeye voters. The poll found Perry favored by 22 percent of Iowa Republicans, ahead of Romney's 19 percent and Bachmann's 18 percent.
        Romney currently enjoys leads in the early voting states of New Hampshire, Florida and Nevada, while limited polling in South Carolina makes it difficult to predict the preferences of the state assumed to be fertile ground for Perry. [NY Post, Aug. 23]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Romney, Perry, Paul and Bachmann Tied With Obama

Photo of Barack Obama looking angry with names of GOP contenders

        A Gallup poll on Monday found Mitt Romney beating President Barack Obama among registered voters 48 percent to 46 percent. Obama was tied with Rick Perry with both candidates taking 47 percent.
        Obama did better against two congressmen -- but just barely. The president led Ron Paul by only 2 percent, 47 percent to 45 percent. Michele Bachmann also came close to beating Obama 44 percent to 48 percent.
        Considering a 4% margin of error Obama is tied with all 4 opponents.
        Obama was losing among independents to most of the Republican hopefuls. Romney and Paul both led Obama by 3 percent among independents while Perry beat out the president by 2 points. Obama did lead Bachmann among independent voters by 6 percent. [Sunshine State News, Aug 22]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Four GOP candidates sign up for DeMint presidential forum

Graphic of Palmetto Freedom Forum

        Four presidential candidates have accepted invitations to a Sept. 5 forum in Columbia S.C. organized by Sen. Jim DeMint. Participating are: Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Herman Cain
         Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani were also invited. Rick Santorum & Jon Huntsman did not reach the required 5 percent threshold in the average of national polls.
        The "American Principles Project Palmetto Freedom Forum," will be fronted by DeMint, Steve King and Robert George, a conservative legal scholar and the founder of the American Principles Project.
        Candidates will take turns fielding questions from the trio of panelists for roughly 20 minutes at a time. According to organizers, candidates will be asked to "engage in a thoughtful, substantive discussion of their stances on critical issues facing our country." [Political Ticker, Aug. 22]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Herman Cain's
"9-9-9"
Economic Growth Plan

Photograph of Herman Cain

        Here's Phase 1 of my economic growth plan. It's called the 9-9-9 plan.
        A 9% business flat tax. Gross income less all investments, all purchases from other businesses, and all dividends paid to shareholders.
        A 9% individual income flat tax. Gross income less charitable deductions.
        A 9% national sales tax. This significantly expands the tax base, which helps everyone.
        This plan has the following advantages:
        It is fair, revenue-neutral, transparent and efficient.
        It puts zero tax on capital gains and repatriated profits.
        It replaces the payroll tax.
        It will aid capital availability for small businesses.
        It saves taxpayers $430 billion in annual compliance costs.
        It eliminates the uncertainty holding this economy down.
        This plan is bold and doable. It has been developed and analyzed by some of the best economic minds in the nation. I offer this plan to the president, the Congress and the "super committee". I could wait until after I am elected president, but America can't keep waiting. [North Star National, Aug. 20]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Rove:
Palin likely to make White House bid

Photograph of Sarah Palin

        "I'm not much of a gambler, but I'd bet that she gets in, because of the schedule she's got next week in Iowa -- it looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity" said Carl Rove, Fox News Channel political analyst. "A video Palin's political action committee released strikes me as pre-presidential campaign."
        Palin is to make the keynote address at a Tea Party of America "Restoring America" rally in Waukee, Iowa, near Des Moines, Sept. 3. She did not say if she would declare her candidacy then, but has said she would likely make her decision known by September.
        "Her difficulty is, if she doesn't get in shortly after next week, then I think people are going to basically say she's not in. You can only tease so many times in the political process, and I think she is getting to the end of that." [UPI, Aug. 20]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Ron Paul
doesn't fit the media's script


Photograph of Ron Paul

        No matter how you cut it, Ron Paul almost winning the Ames Straw Poll is news. Imagine how the media would have reacted if Rick Santorum had almost won the Ames Straw Poll or Tim Pawlenty.
        Paul lost to Michele Bachmann by nine-tenths of one percentage point. In a straw poll that isn't supposed to pick winners but is supposed to tell us which way the wind is blowing. Where are all the stories analyzing what it means that Ron Paul essentially tied for first place in Ames?"
        "The media doesn't believe that Ron Paul has a hoot-in-hell's chance of winning the Iowa caucuses, winning the Republican nomination, winning the presidency," Simon replied. "So we're going to ignore him.". CNN explained the media's kingmaker role, saying, "We are in the business of kicking candidates out of the race." But kicking them out based on what? [Daily Caller, Aug. 18]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Prejudice
alive and well against
political women


Graphic of boy & girl at chalk board

        "Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10. I'm in love with him. I'm so proud of him. What submission means to us is it means respect. I respect my husband. He's a wonderful, godly man, and a great father. And he respects me as his wife."
        But the issue of respect is not the main issue for Michele Bachmann; it is whether a male politician would have been asked the same question and whether male and female political leaders in the US and Australia are treated equally. It was a gender-specific question going to the very issue as to whether a woman was strong enough to be President of the United State. Neither Perry, Romney, nor Newt Gingrich, would be asked that question.
        The US has come a long way in advancing the role of women in politics, from Hillary Clinton almost clinching the nomination for the presidency to Sarah Palin being vice-presidential candidate and Bachmann a contender for president.
        A male politician can get away with a wardrobe consisting of a handful of suits, and provided he changes his tie and shirt daily he is regarded as well-dressed. Woman leaders need a wardrobe of different combinations of clothes. [The Australian, Aug. 18]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Tea party 'leader': Perry has problems

Photograph of Rick Perry

        Judson Phillips writes on the Tea Party Nation website that Mr. Perry supported in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigration and he refused to adopt something similar to the controversial law Arizona passed last year.
        Phillips predicts that in terms of immigration, a Perry presidency wouldn't look much different from Obama's policies. Perry also had it wrong in 2007 when he signed an executive order mandating that young girls get vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer. Perry's order smacked of the worst form of big brother. It was later learned that the Perry's chief of staff was a lobbyist for the manufacturer of the vaccine.
        Mr. Perry's pursued the Trans-Texas Corridor, a discontinued plan for 4,000 miles of cross-state tollways, passenger and freight rail lines, and utilities, which hinged on taking millions of acres of private land from rural farmers.
        "Perry has several major obstacles to overcome if he is going to get tea party support," he says [Washington Times, Aug. 17]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Perry's
No Tea Party Darling
in Texas


Photograph of Governor Rick Perry

        Texas Gov. Rick Perry might seem like the ideal tea party candidate, but he hasn't been winning activists at home -- and it's not just because he's competing with fellow Texan Ron Paul.
        Although Perry has railed against the stimulus, made billions in state budget cuts and threatened secession at an anti-tax rally, tea party critics are disappointed with his performance as governor. They accuse him of flip-flopping on immigration and federal stimulus funds, and cite his ties to big corporate donors and the inside circles of the Texas Republican Party. Both party establishments are growing government, and Rick Perry is a poster boy for them.
        Perry signed the Texas DREAM Act in 2001 to allow illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition for higher education. And even though he criticized the federal stimulus laws, Perry used that money to balance his state's budget.
        Tea partyers were split on whether to support Perry in his gubernatorial re-election bid last year. But enough of them backed him, propelling him to victory. Although some Texans criticize Perry other tea party activists support his views on states' rights and low taxes. [Roll Call, Aug. 17]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Christine O'Donnell Book: 'Troublemaker'

Image of book cover: Troublemaker: Lets Do What it Takes to Make America Great Again

        Christine O'Donnell became a national figure when she ran for the U.S. Senate in Delaware. She defeated the frontrunner in the primary but did not win the general election.
        In the book "Troublemaker: Let's Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again," she tells the story of her childhood, how she became a conservative and a political activist, and what she sees as ailing America.
        "We've watched the tentacles of big government reach into every part of our lives. A teenager can't use a tanning bed without a parent's permission but she can get an abortion without parental consent."
        "I'd never thought of myself as a candidate for political office. I was much more comfortable as the behind-the-scenes strategist . . .However, friends were all suggesting that I was uniquely positioned to bring a much-needed voice to the primary campaign."
        "I admire President Bush as a leader with courage to defend his convictions most of the time, but liberal influences within his administration, led at times by Karl Rove, tarnished Bush's legacy among true Constitutionalists." [ABC News, Aug. 15]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Once a fringe candidate, Paul shaping 2012 race

Photograph of Ron Paul

        Paul's second-place finish in the Ames 'straw poll' pushed Tim Pawlenty to third, leading Pawlenty to leave the race.
        Four years ago, Paul sought the nomination talking about economic policy, liberty and the Federal Reserve. Now the tea party has risen and seized on those issues, and some regard Paul as one of the movement's godfathers.
        "I believe in a very limited role for government. But the prime reason that government exists in a free society is to protect liberty, and to protect life. And I mean all life. The country's bankrupt, and nobody wants to admit it. And when you're bankrupt, you can't keep spending,"
        His opposition to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan defines him as a dove. His skepticism toward the Federal Reserve has spooked Wall Street and his views on gay rights draw the ire of social conservatives.
        He also argues it isn't the United States' role to police Iran's nuclear program or to enforce an embargo with Cuba. [Yahoo News, Aug. 15]      Click here for the complete source for this story


Bachmann
Wins in Iowa,
Paul Is a Close Second

Photograph of happy Michele Bachmann
Photograph of happy Ron Paul

        The race for the Republican presidential nomination came into sharper focus on Saturday as Michele Bachmann won the poll of voters in Iowa. Ron Paul finished slightly behind Mrs. Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty finished a distant third.
        "You have just sent a message that Barack Obama will be a one-term president," Mrs. Bachmann said, standing outside her campaign bus
        The participation of 16,892 Iowa voters on Saturday was an increase from 2007, when 14,302 voted. "The size of today's crowd is a sign that the Republican resurgence is alive," said Matt Strawn, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. [NY Times, Aug. 14]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Perry In,
Pawlenty Out

Photographs of Perry and Pawlenty

        Rick Perry stole the limelight from Michele Bachmann by announcing his candidacy on the same day as her victory in the Ames Straw Poll. He enters as a top-tier candidate alongside Bachmann and Mitt Romney, leaving the other candidates struggling for recognition.
        Tim Pawlenty's candidacy came to an unceremonious end. He spent over $1 million on the straw poll, and won only 13.6 percent of the vote. "We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward. That didn't happen," Pawlenty explained.
        Perry is likely the last candidate to enter the race, unless Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani or John Bolton jump in. [Front Page Mag, Aug. 8]      Click here for the complete source for this story



GOP
debate:

Winners
and
Losers



Photos of Ames Debaters with grades

        Mitt Romney sounded like a candidate ready to take on President Obama. Romney largely stayed above the fray, on message, even fitting his seven-point plan to economic recovery into a one-minute speaking limit.
        Michele Bachmann took a lot of hits from Pawlenty, but she reaffirmed what conservative voters know and like about her: She's willing to stand her ground on the issues, and she can hold her own in a fight.
        Jon Huntsman made his debate debut. And while he wasn't a breakout star, he did just fine, and now a few more Republican voters know who he is.
        Newt Gingrich was preoccupied criticizing the Fox News debate moderators and the media in general.
        Tim Pawlenty wanted to come off like a fighter, but his feud with Bachmann may have been too nasty for his own good.
        Herman Cain. The businessman made an impression in the very first Republican presidential debate, but he failed to stand out this time around, and did nothing to reverse his fading prospects.
        Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are about as different ideologically as two people in the same party could be as they sparred with one another. Santorum's hardline social conservatism will surely appeal to some voters, as Paul's libertarian views will appeal to others, but it's hard to see how either breaks through to a broader audience. [CBS News, Aug. 12]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Could
Ron Paul
win the
Ames
Straw Poll?


Photograph of Ron Paul

        Ron Paul has long been regarded as a somewhat entertaining distraction in his two presidential races over the past four years.
        Although still a longshot, some think Paul could seriously challenge Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty for supremacy at the Ames Straw Poll, the first major organizing test of the 2012 Republican presidential race.
        Paul's chances of pulling off an upset are entirely contingent on the number of people of voting. He has a very dedicated group of supporters who would walk over hot coals -- maybe literally -- for him.
        But Paul has also shown that he has little interest in expanding beyond that base of people. Turnout under 12,000 favors Ron Paul . . . turnout over 14,000 favors Bachmann." [Washington Post, Aug. 12]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Pawlenty,
Bachmann
spar
early,
often
in GOP
debate


Photos of Pawlenty and Bachmann


        The last vestiges of "Minnesota nice" fell by the wayside during last night's debate here as the two candidates who have the most at stake in Iowa went after each other in the roughest exchange thus far in the race for the 2012 presidential nomination.
        "She has done wonderful things in her life, but in Congress her record of accomplishment is nonexistent," Tim Pawlenty said of Michele Bachmann. Then it was Bachmann's turn. "When you were governor you implemented cap and trade, you praised individual mandates and called for requiring all people to purchase health insurance. You said the era of small government was over. That sounds more like Barack Obama, if you ask me."
        Their exchange underscored the fact that neither can afford to lose the Iowa caucus -- and that each poses the greatest threat to the other's hopes in Iowa. [Washington Post, Aug. 12]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Reform
Wins
Big
in
Wisconsin


Wisconsin state shape with crest graphic

        They promised revenge, and they said it would be the beginning of the end of the GOP ascendancy. Unions threw everything they had to defeat Wisconsin state senators who voted for collective bargaining reforms.
        Big Labor and Democrats tried to demonstrate that some political lines can't be crossed. Union power, once granted, is sacrosanct. Spending in the recalls totalled around $28 million, and Democrats outspent Republicans two to one.
         The Walker reforms have given local school districts the ability to renegotiate union contracts and save money, preventing teacher layoffs. Officials were able to dump union-affiliated health insurance plans in favor of cost-saving private competitors.
        The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, hardly a conservative paper, said: "The sky isn't going to fall on all local governments in Wisconsin. The numbers show that Gov. Scott Walker's 'tools' for local governments will help them deal with cuts in state aid imposed by the state budget."
        The lesson here is that you can attempt major, meaningful reform and live to tell about it. Some conservative fainthearts said Mr. Walker had "exceeded his mandate" by taking on the monopoly bargaining power of public unions. With state government no longer automatically collecting dues for unions, many rank-and-file members will choose not to provide dues for political purposes. Union monopoly power will diminish. Taxpayers will benefit. [WSJ.com, Aug.10]      Click here for the complete source for this story



8
presidential
candidates
qualify
for
debate


Debate graphic over University of Iowa logo Debate graphic over University of Iowa logo

        Massachusetts' Mitt Romney, Minnesota's Michele Bachmann, Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty, Texas' Ron Paul, Georgia's Herman Cain, Utah's Jon Huntsman, Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum and Georgia's Newt Gingrich will be participating.
        The two-hour debate, with commercial breaks, will start at 8 p.m. To qualify, candidates averaged at least 1 percent support in five national polls.
        Michigan's Thaddeus McCotter, the most recent candidate, and California's Fred Karger, an openly gay candidate did not qualify to participate.
        The moderators will be Byron York and Susan Ferrechio from the Washington Examiner newspaper, one of the debate co-sponsors, and Fox News anchors Chris Wallace and Bret Baier. [DesMoines Register, Aug. 10]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Sarah Palin
resumes her
bus tour
at the
Iowa fair


Photo of Sarah Palin

        Sarah Palin will be at the Iowa State Fair the day after the Republican debate and on the eve of the presidential straw poll.
        Palin said she is resuming her summer bus travels to iconic U.S. destinations with a stop at the fair. Most declared Republican presidential candidates will be in Iowa, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to enter the race and visit.
        Palin's visits to Iowa, including one in June and one planned for Sept. 3, have stoked speculation she is eyeing a 2012 presidential bid, although she has done none of the groundwork there others have. [Forbes, Aug. 10]      Click here for the complete source for this story



GOP
2012 Hopefuls
Raise
the Stakes for Iowa
Straw Poll

Iowa Straw Poll graphic

        Mitt Romney has been downplaying the straw poll being held by the Iowa Republican Party on Friday. Michele Bachmann, who has been surging in the polls, released a television ad as the leading conservative threat to front-runner Mitt Romney. Bachmann takes aim at President Barack Obama on the economy and repeats her opposition to raising the federal debt ceiling. Bachmann is pulling out all the stops to win the event.
        Revolution PAC, which is backing Ron Paul is buying a full page ad in the Ames Tribune and putting up billboards across the state. "The ads we've placed distinguish Ron Paul from the pack, and don't portray him as just another plain vanilla conservative Republican"
        While Paul and Bachmann are expected to do well in Ames, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is playing catch-up. Gingrich has been campaigning in Iowa.. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is looking to revive his campaign, which is lagging badly in the polls and performing under expectations. [Sunshine State News, Aug. 3]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Cain
comes
on
strong

Photograph of Herman Cain

        Herman Cain showed why he is outperforming more established candidates in the Western Conservative Summit straw poll. Mr. Cain captured 48 percent of the vote, far outpacing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who came in second with 13 percent. The ballot list the names of 14 Republican candidates, both announced and speculative.
        His speech was so well received that afterward, dozens of audience members lined up for him to sign his new book, "This Is Herman Cain!" -- and the book hasn't even come out yet. Instead, Mr. Cain autographed stickers that buyers could later attach to their books.
        The crowd was repeatedly on its feet as Mr. Cain delivered his compelling life story and a prescription for America's ills that was heavy on the private sector, light on the government, and long on patriotic vision."Hope and change ain't working," Mr. Cain said in one of his many applause lines. "I think the American people are ready for hope and Cain." [Washington Times, Aug. 1]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Palin
Still
Strong
in Poll



Photograph of Sarah Palin

        Despite fierce campaigning and the rise of Michele Bachmann, who is popular among Tea Party Republicans in particular, it is Palin who would come in second to Mitt Romney if the GOP primary were held today. Romney has 26 percent Palin has 18 percent. Michele Bachmann has 12 percent, with the rest of the field only scoring in the single digits.
        Although Romney tops Palin in the poll, she has a numerical advantage when participants were asked who "best understands the problems of people like you." When it comes to which candidate is "closest to you on the issues" and who best represents core Republican values she runs evenly with Romney.
        When it comes to Tea Party support, Bachmann scores much higher than Palin. Among strong Tea Party supporters Bachmann scores highest with 23 percent, which is a statistical tie with Romney - 18 percent. Palin has 13 percent. [ABC News blog, July 21]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Will Rick Perry's past come back to haunt him?

Photograph of Rick Perry

        It's still not widely known, but Rick Perry, like Ronald Reagan, was once a Democrat. And unlike Michele Bachman, who became a Republican in 1980 and voted for Reagan, Perry was a Democrat right through Reagan's first and second terms. In 1988, he backed Al Gore's presidential candidacy.
        Perry became a Republican in 1989. He supports securing the border but he has also supported giving college tuition breaks to illegal immigrants as well as controversial immigration laws like Arizona's SB 1070.
        In 2007, he signed an executive order mandating that teenage girls in Texas get vaccinated against human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer. But the FDA has ruled that it could have harmful effects and shouldn't be approved for public use until more tests are conducted. Virtually the entire Texas Legislature rebelled against Perry on the issue. In one recent state poll, just 4% of Texans said that Perry should run for president. [Daily Caller, July 17]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Herman Cain says "I'm more qualified than Bachmann"

Photograph of Herman Cain

        "The choice is real simple," Cain said on "Fox News Sunday," when asked why voters should choose him over Bachmann. "My entire career has been problem-solving, not politics."
        Cain and Bachmann have a history with the tea party movement that has helped propel them to national prominence.
        The former Godfather's Pizza CEO said they hold similar policy positions, but that as a businessman he has more "direct hands-on" experience and "stronger credentials than literally many of the other candidates." [Political Ticker, July 17]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Texas' Rick Perry starting to feel 'called' to run for president

Photograph of Rick Perry

        "I'm not ready to tell you that I'm ready to announce that I'm in," Gov. Rick Perry told The Des Moines Register. "But I'm getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I've been called to do. This is what America needs."
        Sarah Palin, told Fox News in May that she has "that fire in the belly" to run. It remains a question whether Perry does.
        "I'll be real honest with you, I don't wake up in the morning - never did and still don't today - and say, 'Gee, I want to be president of the United States,' " Perry, 61, said by phone last week.
        But his wife, Anita, and hundreds of people nationwide say they want him to run, he said. He said he would likely decide in two or three weeks. [DesMoines Register, July 17]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Don't count
Pawlenty
out yet



Photograph of Tim Pawlenty

        Tim Pawlenty will be watched more closely than any others at the Iowa straw poll because candidates who show poorly will be under pressure to drop out, as fundraising, buzz, and media attention will diminish.
        Pawlenty had momentum leading up to the first televised debate on June 14. He had attracted a top-notch staff of operatives, was winning over fundraisers and influential Republican figures, was giving major policy speeches, and had a very successful campaign launch on May 23, which continued for a full week.
        At the debate he repeatedly refused to defend the phrase he had coined, "ObamneyCare", and to criticise Romney. It was a cringe-worthy moment. Was he a paper tiger? Were his instincts not right to be the Republican standard-bearer next fall against the incumbent president? The questions were asked for days.
        Such a moment created a death spiral for the campaign, which has been difficult to break. NOw, for the Pawlenty campaign, the road back to contention runs through Iowa -- and they know that. [Statesman Journal, July 13]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Herman Cain's 1996 Gospel CD Goes Viral

Photo of Herman Cain Singing

        The Cain campaign did not intend to bring attention to the album. The 13-track gospel recording was posted about a month ago by Maurice Atkinson, the founder of DraftCain.org.
        "It shows a whole different side of a person, their interests, and I thought it had some value, so I put it up on line," Atkinson told the NBC affiliate. "He's got an incredible voice, you know. People hear about his speaking skills and his intellect; he's got some pretty good pipes in there."
        The CD includes such tracks as "Lord's Prayer," "I Must Tell Jesus," "Hallelujah Square" and "Precious Lord."
        The track "This Is The Day," was used by Cain as the musical intro for his radio show. [Eurweb, July 13]      Click here to hear excerpts of Herman Cain CD.



* VIDEO *
Sarah Palin
Interview on Hannity


Photograph of Sarah Palin

        Wednesday night Sarah Palin went on 'Hannity' to talk the debt ceiling, her potential run for the White House, and President Obama. When the conversation came to the President's "inherited problems" Sean proclaimed, "I've never seen such a crybaby executive in all my life!"
         Gov. Palin admitted that there was a definite timetable to announce if she will be running for President, somewhat hinting that August and September were the months that a plan had to have been laid out by "if you are to be one to throw your hat in the ring." [Fox News, July 13]      Click here for the complete source for this story and to see the * VIDEO *



Photographs of Ron Paul and chairman Bernanke

* VIDEO *
Dr. Paul vs. Bernanke at
Financial Services Committee Hearing 7/13
'Is gold money?'

        Some part of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke must be a little disappointed that Rep. Ron Paul will retire after his current term. No other congressperson may ever challenge him the way Paul, who currently chairs the House subcommittee on monetary policy, has over the past several years.
         In a hearing today, yet another amusing exchange occurred between the two. The topic was one of Paul's favorite: gold. The discussion got heated when Paul asked Bernanke whether gold is money. [The Atlantic, July 13]      Click here for the complete source for this story and to see the * VIDEO *



Rep. Ron Paul
Not Seeking
Reelection
To Focus On
White House
Bid.


Photograph of Ron Paul

        Rep. Ron Paul Not Seeking Reelection To Focus On White House Bid.
        "I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election. It's about that time when I should change tactics."
        Paul said his campaign is stronger this year than in 2008, when he picked up 35 delegates before the Republican National Convention. "We have a lot more support right now. Things are doing well for us."
        The outspoken libertarian said leaving the House does not mean he will stop pushing for smaller government and ending America's involvement overseas -- even if he doesn't win the GOP nomination.
        "I have been talking about this for years," he told the website. "I will always be doing that. But not in the U.S. Congress." [Business Insider, July 12]      Click here for the complete source for this story



We
don't
have
to
default.


Photograph of Michele Bachmann

        Michele Bachmann argues "We have sufficient revenue coming in to pay off the interest on the debt. We don't have to default. We have a great bill that's being put forward by Steve King of Iowa. It would combine paying off the interest on the debt first with paying the salaries for our brave men and women in the military. We deal with the must-haves like Social Security and Medicare, and then it's tough love. I agree, it would be very sacrificial, but the one thing that we can't do, Bill, is add another $2.4 trillion to the debt."
        Bachmann hints that she would support raising the debt ceiling if Democrats agreed to defund the health care reform law: "They'd have to cut an enormous amount, including they would have to defund ObamaCare. Because that's the largest entitlement in the history of the country." [Real Clear Politics, July 12]      Click here for the complete source for this story


Photograph of Sarah Palin


Sarah Palin is the cover story
in Newsweek Magazine.

     Here is a link to the Newsweek story


Blue Republican graphic

The
'Blue Republicans'
for
Ron Paul
are up
and running!


        They're Democrats and Independents registering Republican to vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries to win him the nomination... and thence, the Presidency.
        The group was inspired by Robin Koerner's, 7/7/11 HuffPo article. [DailyPaul.com July 8]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Santorum
campaign
is the
'little engine
that could'


Photograph of Rick Santorum

        Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he is competing in the Iowa caucuses in February and will have enough money to execute his plan for the high stakes Ames straw poll.
        The former Pennsylvania senator, who registers in the low single digits in national and state surveys, acknowledged the straw poll in August will be a benchmark for his campaign, but said a forth, fifth or sixth place finish would show the campaign's progress.
        The contest is a fundraiser for the Iowa Republican Party that traditionally tests the organizational strength of each campaign.
        Santorum has not announced his fundraising results for the last quarter but said he will report a figure under $2 million. Mitt Romney raised $18.25 million, Ron Paul brought in $4.5 million and Tim Pawlenty reported raising $4.2 million. Jon Huntsman raised $4.1 million and Herman Cain raised $2.46. [Poliitcal Ticker, July 10]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Ambassador
John Bolton
considering
Presidential Race


Photograph of Ambassador John Bolton

        John Bolton recently sat down with Ginni Thomas for a wide-ranging interview including the possibility he will run for president in 2012.The former U.N. ambassador has not ruled out a run for the Republican nomination and said he plans to decide by Labor Day.
        "I also think it's important to see how the field continues to evolve,I don't think we know everybody who's gonna be in the race. I can tell you having talked to people all over the country it's a very fluid environment.
        "Unlike past Republican nomination cycles where we've had a clear frontrunner, I don't think there is a clear frontrunner," he said. "Republican voters are very determined to find the right candidate to defeat President Obama." [Daily Caller, July 10]      Click here for the complete source for this story


* VIDEO * -
Sarah Palin
Movie Trailer
for
'Undefeated'


Photograph of Sarah Palin

        Directed by Stephen Bannon, Undefeated follows Palin's life and rise to priminence as the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008.
        "Daughter. Mother. Wife. Warrior." So begins the new trailer for Stephen Bannon's Sarah Palin documentary, "The Undefeated," before it goes on to offer testimonials to Palin's justice-seeking ways and her crusade against the Alaska Republican establishment. "Like a Marine, she runs toward the danger," goes one of the testimonials, which come largely from a group of young and attractive women and are cut between quick shots of the former vice presidential candidate in action.
        Watch the trailer for Bannon's Undefeated, which will be released Friday, July 15th. {Hollywood Reporter, July 7]      Click here for the complete source for this story and watch the Trailer * VIDEO *



Freshman
Republican
senators
go
guerilla


Image of monkey with word guerilla warfare

        Sen. Ron Johnson mounted a protest last week against Democrats' failure to produce a budget -- an effort which caused Harry Reid to yank a bipartisan Libya resolution from the floor.
        Sen. Rand Paul warned this weekend he would filibuster in an attempt to pry open closed-door debt ceiling negotiations.
        A key reason that the Senate is in session during the chamber's Fourth of July recess is that Freshman GOP senators, including Johnson, Paul, Kelly Ayotte and Marco Rubio, threatened a recess revolt that would force both parties to take an embarrassing vote to skip town.
        The new breed of troublemaker creates problems for Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They must now deal with an unpredictable, angst-ridden crowd uninterested in the pay-your-dues tradition of the Senate at the same time they're engaged in tense negotiations over the debt ceiling. [Politico, July 5]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Sarah
Huckabee
Sanders
joins
Tim
Pawlenty


Photograph of Tim Pawlenty

        Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and the former political director of his presidential bid, has signed on with Tim Pawlenty's 2012 campaign. She'll hold the position of senior political adviser and start work today in Pawlenty's Iowa headquarters.
        Sanders will be "taking the lead for the campaign on the Iowa Straw Poll effort," according to the Pawlenty camp. Pawlenty already has the most developed Iowa operation among the 2012 candidates and Sanders, who's no stranger to the state, adds to that muscle.
        Recruiting Sanders is an important symbolic move, as well as a substantive one, for Pawlenty, who is seeking to replicate the elder Huckabee's 2008 victory in Iowa. The news of Sanders's hire comes amid a major Iowa push from Team Pawlenty: They're currently airing their second TV ad in the state and have sent out several mail pieces. [Politico, July 5]      Click here for the complete source for this story


Zogby
Poll:

Bachmann
#1 Now
But
#3 When Perry & Christie
Are Included

Graphic of the Zogby logo

        Michele Bachmann has extended her lead over the announced Republican candidates, but she trails both Rick Perry and Chris Christie when both governors and Sarah Palin are included in a hypothetical preference poll of Republican primary voters. These results are from an IBOPE Zogby interactive poll conducted from June 28-30.
        Results with just the announced candidates. Michele Bachmann 34%; Herman Cain 15%; Mitt Romney 14%; Ron Paul 11%; Rick Santorum 7%; Tim Pawlenty 4%; Jon Huntsman Jr. 4%; Newt Gingrich 2%.
        And if Christie, Palin and Perry were added: Rick Perry 18%; Chris Christie 17%; Michele Bachmann 15%; Ron Paul 10%; Sarah Palin 9%; Herman Cain 8%; Mitt Romney 8%; Rick Santorum 3%; Jon Huntsman Jr. 3%; Tim Pawlenty 1%; Newt Gingrich 1%. [Zogby.com, July 5]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Romney
leads in
fundraising,
but
Ron Paul
is the big
surprise.


Photographs of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in front of hundred dollar bills

        Mr. Romney's campaign is expected to report a second-quarter haul of between $15 million and $20 million. That is still more than three times as much as his nearest competitors. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr raked in about $4.1 million, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty amassed about $4.2 million, according to the Associated Press.
        But the biggest surprise may be Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a tea party favorite who surprised political analysts in 2008 with strong primary showings and even stronger fundraising tallies. In the second quarter, Mr. Paul pulled in nearly $4.5 million.
        Mr. Paul attributed his success to the fact that Republican voters realize that much of what he preached in 2008 -- such as the need to dramatically reduce government spending or risk a debt crisis -- has turned out to be right.
        Herman Cain raised about $2.5 million, according to his campaign. He said he had to "prime the pump" from his personal bank account.
        The campaigns of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania had not released second-quarter numbers as of Monday afternoon. [Washington Times, July 4]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Perry
backers
seek space
at GOP
straw
poll


Photograph of Governor Rick Perry

        "We intend to have some kind of impact at the straw poll,We just don't know what that is yet, but we're working on it."
        The straw poll is a test of campaign strength and candidate popularity. It's also a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Iowa.
        Campaigns are not allowed to buy spaces after June 23. Vendors and advocacy groups still can, but the purchase doesn't mean a candidate will be allowed to speak or get a slot on the ballot.
        Americans for Rick Perry, a 527 independent expenditure group that's unaffiliated with Perry, is raising money on Perry's behalf while he contemplates a presidential bid. [DesMoine Register, July 1]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Sarah
Palin's
PAC
offering
donors
copy of
'The
Undefeated'


Photograph of Sara Paliln

        Donors receive an "early-release" DVD of "The Undefeated," which made its debut in Iowa this week, if they contribute $100 or more.
        "Taking back control of the House last year was only the first step. Now you and I must fix our eyes on 2012," Palin writes. "I'll be supporting common sense conservative candidates in crucial off-year elections and doing all that I can to ramp up our preparations for 2012."
        Conservative filmmaker Stephen Bannon, said that Palin and her team had no editorial role in the film. The ex-governor's camp helped set the process of its creation in motion, and Palin attended its premiere.
        The film paints her governorship in a positive light and frames her as a Reaganesque conservative savior for the GOP. [Home News, June 30]      Click here for the complete source for this story



Herman
Cain
unveils
economic
plan

Photograph of Herman Cain

        "The capital gains tax represents a wall between people with money and people with ideas," Cain said. "And people with ideas are the catalyst for new businesses and new job growth."
        Cain said this would also encourage companies to "invest in worker training programs, new equipment and emerging technologies." His "Economic Vision: Jobs for America" plan also includes lowering the top corporate and personal income tax rates to a maximum of 25 percent.
        He proposes forming a commission to review and possibly eliminate government regulations. Cain claims his plan would cut the unemployment rate in half.
        Herman Cain is the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, he also served on the board of directors for seven corporations and lead the National Restaurant Industry,      Click here for the complete source for this story


Photo of Michele Bachmann

* VIDEO * - Michele Bachmann's Presidential Announcement Speech - * VIDEO *

Click here to see the video



GOP
Presidential
Candidates
Speak at
National
Right to Life
Convention


National Right to Life Convention graphic

        Rick Santorum and Herman Cain were at the event while Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Tim Pawlenty spoke via Skype.
        Santorum received the most enthusiastic support from the audience in convention in Jacksonville, Fla.
        Cain, the only black candidate in the race, drew upon the Civil Rights Movement noting that Martin Luther King, Jr. "not only changed hearts of this nation, but of this world." As Cain left the stage, a crowd member yelled, "We've got the wrong black president!"
        Paul supports allowing states to regulate abortion, a position out of step with some in the pro-life movement. He said that he would, as a US representative, introduce the "We The People Act" putting abortion regulation in the hands of the states. [Christian Post, June 25]      Click here for the source for this story



Nevada
presidential debate
postponed
in hopes of
Perry
candidacy


PresidentialDebate Candidates pnotos-graphic

Photograph of Governor Rick Perry

        "We're waiting for Perry," said Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, which is co-sponsoring the debate with conservative Web site The Daily Caller. Norquist would not elaborate on how certain he is that Perry will run for president. But since former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney decided not to attend and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is also unlikely to participate, it made sense to wait to see if Perry jumps in.
        "There's nothing new to report," a Perry s[ples,am said. "The governor hasn't made his decision yet. He continues to think about a run, and that's where it stands."
        "It's really a logistical question: Can we build a financial infrastructure to raise the money without using so much of the governor's time that he can't campaign in the early states?" Carney said. "If you can do one without the other, it doesn't really matter -- you've got to be able to do them both. That's the real question, and we don't know the answer to that." [Washington Post, June 24]      Click here for the source for this story



.

Photograph of Governor Chris Christie

Christie Dominates Meet the Press...
Tells Gregory 'I'm Huggable'

He's not running - - but he is so good. Here he on Meet the Press on Sunday. *VIDEO*     

Click here to see the video



Stunner:
Bachmann
ties
Romney
in Iowa


Photograph of Michele Bachmann

        Romney attracts support from 23 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers. Bachmann, who will officially kick off her campaign in Iowa on Monday, nearly matches him, with 22 percent.
        "She's up there as a real competitor and a real contender," pollster Randy Gutermuth. "This would indicate that she's going to be a real player in Iowa."
        Former Godfather's CEO Herman Cain, who has a following among tea party supporters, comes in third, with 10 percent.
        The other candidates tested register in single digits: former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, 7 percent each; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, 6 percent; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 4 percent; and former Utah Gov. and ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, 2 percent. [DesMoines Register, June 25]      Click here for the source for this story



Drafting
Rubio

Photograph of Marco Rubio

        The Republican nomination for president is up for grabs, but there's a lot of agreement on who the vice presidential pick should be: Marco Rubio, the freshman senator from Florida.
        Mr. Rubio would not run for president because of his newcomer status to the Senate. But he still might consider the #2 spot. He is a big vote getter in the electoral swing state of Florida, a must win state for Republicans. And his Hispanic heritage is a proven vote-getter with Latino voters. He also has indisputable conservative and tea party credentials.
        He would be a natural pair with Mr. Romney, or Tim Pawlenty.
        One thing is sure: Mr. Rubio's political stock keeps rising. He's been a voice in the Senate for fiscal downsizing during the budget brawls. Last week he gave his maiden Senate floor address on how America's "future can be greater than its past" and how the 21st century can be the American century, much as the 20th century was. It was Reagan optimism from start to finish. [Stephen Moore, WSJ, June 23]      Click here for the source for this story



A
Texas-sized
quandary
for
Rick
Perry:

George Bush


Photograph of Rick Perry and George Bush hugging

        The buzz surrounding a presidential bid by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is growing, but he is bringing George W. Bush back into the spotlight.
        Bush and Perry share Texas accents, physical mannerisms and a cocksure approach to politics. There are striking similarities. As Bush's successor as governor, Perry had to distinguish himself as a politician in his own right.
        Now Perry once again faces the obvious comparison as he weighs a run for the presidency. His success might depend on how well he can differentiate himself from the Bush brand. There is also a mutual dislike for each other.
        Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's tried to unseat Gov. Perry in a primary election. Usually, efforts to unseat incumbents aren't appreciated within the party. But a number of prominent Republicans close to Bush liked the idea so much that they broke the unwritten rule and backed Hutchison. Bush left office as one of the most unpopular presidents in history, with an approval rating of 22 percent, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll. Perry beat Hutchinson by runnning an anti-Washington (Bush) campaign.
        And Perry just might have to fight off comparisons to the predecessor he has tried to distance himself from if he wants to follow Bush to the White House. [Christian Heinze in The Hill, June 21]      Click here for the source for this story



Gingrich
campaign
finance
team
quits


Photograph of Newt Gingrich

        The top fundraisers for Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign have abandoned his struggling bid amid anemic fundraising and heavy spending.
        Campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond is confirming to The Associated Press that fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman have left the team.
        The former House speaker's campaign has been on life support since earlier this month when 16 top aides and advisers resigned en masse over disagreements with the Republican candidate.
        People familiar with Gingrich's campaign spending say his fundraising has been weak since he launched his bid and that he has racked up large travel bills. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk openly about campaign inner workings.
        Gingrich has insisted that he will stay in the race. [Chron.com, June 21]      Click here for the source for this story



Huntsman
launches
campaign


Photograph of Jon Huntsman

        Speaking against a backdrop that included the Statue of Liberty and part of the Manhattan skyline, Huntsman said he would bring to the presidency a focus on substance, and not on politics.
        "We will conduct this campaign on the high road," Huntsman said during his speech, calling modern political debate mostly "corrosive."
        The mounting debt and other problems facing the United States are "un-American," he said. But he wouldn't extend that line of attack against his former boss, President Obama. Huntsman said his campaign against the president he'd served as ambassador would boil down to policy, and not attacks on patriotism.
        "He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love," Huntsman said. "But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better president; not who's the better American."
        His speech, delivered shortly after 10 a.m. in northern New Jersey, was meant to evoke President Reagan, the conservative icon to whom latter-day Republican candidates often praise themselves. Reagan delivered a speech here in the fall of 1980, just as he was preparing to launch into the height of his campaign. [The Hill, June 21]      Click here for the source for this story



DICK
MORRIS
&
EILEEN
MCGANN

Photograph of Dick Morris and Eileen McGann


Perry
has a
good
chance
in 2012


Photograph of Gov. Rick Perry

        Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, etc. withdrawals have thinned the Republicans' 2012 field. Mitt Romney is all alone at the top.
        A poll of GOP primary voters, taken after the June 13 New Hampshire debate, shows the former Massachusetts governor with 42 percent of the vote, 32 points ahead of his nearest competitors, Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul.
        Mitt has luck on his side. His remaining establishment rivals - Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman - are self-destructing. Pawlenty looked bad in the debate; Huntsman, says he won't compete in the Iowa caucuses, a sure path to oblivion. Newt Gingrich, the former second-place challenger, has shot himself in the foot, falling to 3 percent in the post-New Hampshire poll.
        Lured by this vacuum, Perry may give Romney a run for his money.
        If he runs, Perry can lay claim to Romney's signature issue: the economy. More than 40 percent of US jobs created since 2009 have been in Texas, so Perry can run as Mr. Fix-it for the protracted recession.
        Texas politics, while fierce, is not really about vetting -- the news media isn't good enough. We will learn about Rick Perry, and much of what we learn may or may not be good. With Romney, we know the good and the bad -- and that's a big edge. [NYPost, June 21]      Click here for the source for this story



Tea Party
group
targets
Orrin Hatch
for
defeat


Photograph of Senator Orrin Hatch

        Conservative PAC FreedomWorks, chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, is targeting Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in the 2012 Senate race.
        "It's clear that Senator Hatch is trying to capitalize on the popularity of the Tea Party movement by reinventing himself as a fiscal conservative," said Russ Walker, VP of Campaigns for FreedomWorks PAC. "But recent rhetoric and actions in favor of limited government simply do not erase decades of bad votes, costing taxpayers trillions of dollars.Possible primary challengers like Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-3, UT)give conservatives a great opportunity to trade up."
        Hatch could have reason to be worried: the six-term senator has sided with Democrats with politically risky issues, and he recently saw the defeat of longtime Utah Senate colleague Bob Bennett (R), who was defeated in a Tea Party upset in the 2010 midterm elections. [Lucy Madison, CBSNews.com, June 7]      Click here for the source for this story



'Draft
Jim DeMint'
rally


Photograph of Senator Jim DeMint

        The state that played a key role in the Draft Goldwater movement in 1964 has already spawned two draft efforts this year aimed at luring Indiana Rep. Mike Pence and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie into the 2012 race (both have declined). Now it's Sen. Jim DeMint's turn.
        Conservatives4DeMint has organized a "Draft Jim DeMint" rally for Saturday in the senator's hometown of Greenville, and two members of South Carolina's congressional delegation are lending some authority to the event. Rep. Jeff Duncan will headline the rally, and Rep. Trey Gowdy will send a letter to be read to the audience of DeMint supporters.
        Some DeMint advisers have urge him to join the race, but DeMint has said he has no intention of seeking the Republican nomination. DeMint, though, has said he will at least entertain the possibility "out of respect for the people who have asked us to think about this." [Peter Hamby CNN, June 7]      Click here for the source for this story



Ron Paul
handily won
GOP
debate
according
to
applause


Photograph of Representative Ron Paul

        Ron Paul may be a long-shot candidate to some, but the conservative congressman from Texas received more than twice as many rounds of applause as his opponents at Monday night's GOP debate.
        Paul was applauded 11 times while Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty were applauded five times each. Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain were applauded four times each. Rick Santorum brought up the rear by only being applauded three times during the two-hour CNN debate.
        Paul received one of the best reactions of any of the candidates after Romney said that if he were president, he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan only if his generals agreed that it was the right move.
        "I wouldn't wait for my generals," Paul responded. "I'm the commander in chief. I make the decisions. I tell the generals what to do," "I'd bring them home as quickly as possible. And I would get them out of Iraq as well. And I wouldn't start a war in Libya. I'd quit bombing Yemen. And I'd quit bombing Pakistan. I'd start taking care of people here at home because we could save hundreds of billions of dollars."      Click here for the source for this story



Why
Chris Christie
won't run
in
2012


Photo of Governor Chris Christie

        If there was doubt that he has been straight shooting in telling us he will not run for President, an interview Tuesday night put uncertainty to rest. Christie gave us persuasive reasons why he's ruled out a presidential run. He doesn't feel ready, and his family needs him.
        Christie said he would rather know that he's ready to be president and then worry about whether he could win - rather than figure he can win and then worry about whether he's ready.
        His wife, Mary Pat, said her husband's family responsibilities preclude a run for the presidency. The fact that Christie risked the public's ire by using a helicopter to get to his son's ballgame on time indicates that this "family first" assertion is more than just political rhetoric.
        Revamping the political and educational landscape in New Jersey will take time and effort. If they do work out Christie will not appear to deserve "promotion" to nationwide office. But, were Christie run for President, all progress on these projects would grind to a halt. Instead of a record of achievement, voters would be offered only a beginning to a successful governorship. That's a much weaker reason to cast your ballot for a candidate.
        And maybe, Christie is not be convinced that President Obama is likely to lose. [George Berkin/NJ Voices The Star-Ledger, June 16]      Click here for the source for this story



Ron Paul
shows
he's only real
GOP choice


Photograph of Representative Ron Paul

        If the debate in New Hampshire proved anything, it proved this: Texas Rep. Ron Paul is the only person worth the party's embrace. A consistent, principled conservative, Paul's answers to questions were erudite and well-informed.
        Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann got some applause when she declared "President Obama will be a one-term president." But since it's unlikely -- depending of course on the economy, unemployment and geopolitical events -- that any of the people on the stage Monday can beat Obama, why shouldn't Republicans nominate their most stalwart champion?
        While other candidates discussed Rep. Paul Ryan's plans to reform Medicare, Paul drew a harder line. "It can't be made solvent. It has to change."
        While most candidates said they'd wait to find out what "combatant commanders" thought about war before deciding whether to withdraw troops -- Paul said: "I wouldn't wait for my generals. I'm the commander-in-chief."
        Is there even a debate here? Paul has not only embraced the classic Republican stance on issues, he's been consistent about it. [Steve Sebelius in Las Vegas Review Journal, June 15]      Click here for the source for this story



Michele Bachmann
threatens
Sarah Palin's
claim to be
the new
Margaret Thatcher

Flag of Great Britain graphic

A Brits view of the debate.

        It was a poorly choreographed debate. With seven candidates limited to 30 second responses stretched out over two hours, things became repetitive. Tim Pawlenty was boring enough to substitute for Valium, Mitt Romney slipped into his "Gee golly, gumdrops, ain't life grand?" act too early, and Rick Santorum looked a little ill.
        And then Michele Bachmann ignored a question and announced her candidacy for the Presidency of the United States instead. It was a bold move that could have gone horribly wrong. Instead, it threw momentum her way and she rode it like a wild horse right through to the end.
        And how eloquent she was! Bachmann is seen by the liberal press as a rival to Sarah Palin because the two are conservative women. But while Palin has a "complex relationship" with the English language, and often wings it with generalities, Bachmann came off like a policy wonk. She reminded the audience of how much legislation she had either authored or tried to scrap, and made frequent reference to her trailblazing leadership of the Tea Party in the House. When asked what she would do regarding abortion in cases of rape and incest. Bachmann replied with a lyrical explanation of the value of life, side-stepping the specifics completely. Right-to-lifers will understand what she really meant; independents won't care because it sounded so good. That's how you sell conservatism. [Tim Stanley in The Telegraph, June 14]      Click here for the source for this story



New Hampshire
GOP debate
belonged to
Mitt Romney,
Michele Bachmann

Contenders in the NH debate

        Rep. Michele Bachmann used the occasion of the debate to announce that she is definitely running for president. She made it official in her opening statement. Ms. Bachmann then delivered a strong debate performance, articulating her conservative views, demonstrating her status as an activist member of the House, and introducing herself to voters.
        The second winner of the evening was Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. The early front-runner for the Republican nomination could have faced "incoming" from other contenders.
        One big question of the evening was whether former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty would go after Romney on health care. The day before, he had coined the term "Obamneycare," a ready-made sound bite to fling again at the front-runner. "Minnesota nice" prevailed again, as it had in the first debate on May 5.
        Herman Cain won big during the first debate, speaking bluntly and plainly as the only nonpolitician in the field. He has seen his poll numbers rise steadily since then. But Mr. Cain, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, got tangled up in his explanation of a previous statement of why he would not be "comfortable" having a Muslim in his administration. [Christian Science Monitor, June 14]      Click here for the source for this story


Monday debate contenders

Photograph of Michele Bachmann
Photograph of Herman Cain
Photograph of Newt Gingrich
Photograph of Ron Paul
Photograph of Tim Pawlenty
Photograph of Mitt Romney
Photograph of Rick Santorum

        Michele Bachmann: All the pieces in place.Bachmann has been called the next Sarah Palin. Perhaps it's because of their shared passion for the ideas behind the Tea Party.
        Herman Cain: Well-known in corporate, conservative circles. CEO and president of Godfather's Pizza, chairman of the board of the National Restaurant Association, and he sits on the boards of companies like Hallmark Cards, Whirlpool and AGCO.
        Newt Gingrich: Controversies key in rise and fall. "He is an idea factory. Republican voters love him. The cons are that he has a political record. He has been a career politician and a House speaker."
        Ron Paul: Long-held policies converge with Tea Party. Those positions: limited government; reduced federal spending; less U.S. involvement overseas, are now in the fore of national politics. He is perhaps most famous for his calls to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Reserve and return to a gold standard,
        Tim Pawlenty: His life story prepared him for White House run. An evangelical Christian, he is a staunch opponent of abortion rights and same-sex marriage -- messages that should help build support among social conservatives in the key states of Iowa and South Carolina.
        Mitt Romney: New mission is to change perceptions. Romney has shown that he can raise campaign cash and has the name recognition to help place him high in presidential polls. He is a successful businessman and organizer. Romney he made bipartisan compromises as Gov. of Massachusettes.
        Rick Santorum: 'Takes the bullets' for conservative causes. He still has very low name recognition among most Americans, and according to polls, he registers in the low single digits nationally among Republicans. His opposition to abortion rights and gay rights makes him popular with many social conservatives. [CNN, June 12]      Click here for the source for this story



Asked about Huntsman:

Sununu only supports Republicans


Photo of Governor John Sununu and Senator John Sununu

        Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu has narrowed down his picks for president in 2012 to three men who have held the same job in other states - Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, should Perry throw his hat in the ring.
        The Granite State Republican stalwart, who served as chief of staff for former President George H.W. Bush, said he is partial to those with executive experience because "you need more experience than being a community organizer to run this country."
        Sununu and his son, former New Hampshire Sen. John E. Sununu, both appeared Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley. The younger Sununu said governors are attractive because of their "chief executive experience, leadership, decision-making, handling all the aspects of the budget, dealing with different political constituencies."
        When asked about all-but-declared candidate Jon Huntsman, a former governor of Utah who most recently served as President Obama's U.S. Ambassador to China, the elder Sununu said, "Well I only support Republicans." [Political Tickier, June 12]      Click here for the source for this story



Ron Paul
thinks GOP
moving closer
to his
libertarian
views


Photograph of candidate Ron Paul

        The last time Paul sought the presidency, he was a little-known libertarian back-bencher in Congress, largely dismissed at debates and by party insiders as nothing more than a fringe candidate.
        But now, three years later, Paul is faced with a Republican Party more receptive to his small-government, anti-war attitudes, fueled in part by the rise of the Tea Party. He's begun to reach out to mainstream conservative voices in an effort to spread his message beyond his hardcore supporters.
        With the experience of one presidential campaign under his belt, Paul is building a more streamlined and formal campaign apparatus that gives him a better chance of competing in key early primary states. [The Hill, June 9]      Click here for the source for this story



Romney to skip Iowa GOP, Florida straw polls

        Presidential candidate Mitt Romney does not plan to compete in the Iowa Republican straw poll in August,
        The decision is a measure of how different a Romney 2012 campaign would be from 2008. It is further evidence that the non-binding contests, of which Iowa's is the best-known, are seen as optional for better-known candidates. Romney is not planning to compete in any other of the many nonbinding straw polls in early nominating states, including Michigan or Florida.
        "We respect the straw poll process. In the last presidential campaign we were both strengthened as an organization and learned some important lessons by participating in them," Romney campaign spokesman Matt Rhoades said. "This time we will focus our energies and resources on winning primaries and caucuses." [AP News, June 9]      Click here for the source for this story



What the
Newt Gingrich
staff implosion
means for
the 2012
Republican race


Photograph of Newt Gingrich

        The real import of Thursday's aide walkout from Newt Gingrich's flailing presidential campaign has little to do with the former House speaker himself. The players from Gingrich's now-crippled political franchise will get picked up and signed on to other GOP campaigns. This is the eve of prime-time for these savvy hired guns who live for the unpredictable adrenalin rush and constant predictable grind of campaign days.
        Sonny Perdue, national co-chair for Gingrich 2012, signed on to Tim Pawlenty's political team. Two of these now-departed Gingrich campaign aides were actually on loan from another governor, Texas Republican Rick Perry. Chief among them Rob Johnson, Gingrich's campaign manager, and Dave Carney.
        With his fiscal stinginess, no-new taxes and pro-business climate, Perry's state has created more new American jobs in the last four years alone than all the other 49 states combined.
        Perry's recent book title is a perfect campaign theme for anti-Obama forces assembling on the right: "Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington."
        Or will they wait to see if there is an opportunity with Chris Christie? (ed note) [LA Times, June 9]      Click here for the source for this story



RINO hunt
GOP
candidates
in the
Tea Party
crosshairs


RINO Republicans in name only graphic

        The Tea Party movement is taking aim at Republican incumbents, including Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Olympia Snow of Maine, and Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts.
        Orrin Hatch is conservative by almost any measure, but there is a real possibility that the Utah senator could become the first establishment casualty of the 2012 season.
        The Tea Party movement demonstrated its clout last year by knocking off Hatch's Utah colleague, Bob Bennett. Hatch, like most of them, is cultivating the grassroots, moving rightward, and hoping to fend off a serious primary challenger.
        It's already too late for that in Indiana, where state treasurer Richard Mourdock is taking on Richard Lugar. And it may be too late for Hatch, who could well face Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a self-described "definite maybe" who will decide after Labor Day whether to run. Others drawing conservative scrutiny and complaints are Olympia Snowe of Maine, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and Bob Corker of Tennessee. [CSMonitor, June 9]      Click here for the source for this story



Herman Cain:
Tea Party
racism claims
are
"ridiculous"


Photograph of Herman Cain

        "I have been speaking to Tea Parties, Americans for Prosperity, since 2009, before it was cool," Cain said, before pointing to victories in recent straw polls. "...If the Tea Party organization is racist, why does the black guy keep winning all these straw polls?"
        Asked if part of his appeal to the Tea Party is that he is an African-American carrying a conservative message, Cain said no.
        Cain said he does not feel that President Obama did not use race to get elected. But he said "a lot of his supporters use race selectively to try to cover up some of his failures, to try to cover up some of his failed policies."
        Mr. Obama's surrogates, Cain said, "try to play the race card because there's supposed to be something wrong with criticizing him."
        "We have the right to criticize any elected official constructively," he added. [CBS News, June 8]      Click here for the source for this story



Can Romney
win?

Yes:
He has
experience,
money,
and
he talks jobs

Photograph of Mitt Romney

        Mitt Romney can land $10 million in a single day of fundraising, and stand in a statistical tie with President Obama in a new national poll. He's well on his way to winning the GOP presidential nomination. Here's why:
        Romney talks jobs and the economy, not debt and religion.
        Money buys time. To win the nomination, you need money, and Romney has it.
        It's his turn. Republicans are orderly: it's his turn.
        He looks the part.
        Experience counts.
        Health care is a draw.
        Finesse Iowa.
        Consider the options. [Boston Globe, June 8]      Click here for the source for this story


Cain,
for the
full hour
Photograph of Herman Cain

        The conservative media love for Herman Cain keeps coming, today in the form of an extended sit-down on Glenn Beck's TV program.
        Cain's media schedule, emailed out by his campaign, describes the Beck hit as an "hour-long candidate profile with a live, studio audience."
        Beck, whose Fox show ends at the end of this month, has called Cain "brilliant" in the past. [SeattlePI, June 8]      Click here for the source for this story



Pawlenty's economic plan
seeks
5 pct
annual
growth


Photo of Tim Pawlenty

        The former Minnesota governor's plan aims for a bullish 5 percent annual growth that would balance the federal budget while forgoing trillions of dollars in tax revenue.
        "Growing at 5 percent a year rather than the current level of 1.8 percent would net us millions of new jobs, trillions of dollars in new wealth, put us on a path to saving our entitlement programs."
        Pawlenty's plan also would simplify individual tax rates to just three options and cut taxes on business by more than half. His cuts go further than House Republicans' recent proposal, which the Tax Policy Center said would cost about $2.9 trillion over the next decade.
        He said he wants to cut business taxes from the current rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, and he called for dismantling vast pieces of the government. [GOPUSA, June 8]      Click here for the source for this story



Five GOP
Contenders
Sign On
to Iowa
Tea Party
Bus Tour


Iowa Tea Party Revolution graphic

        Five Republican contenders -- Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, and Rick Santorum -- have signed on to participate in a Tea Party bus tour through Iowa,
        "The purpose of the tour is to train grassroots activists in the state of Iowa to get them as prepared as they're going on and best advocate for the candidate of their choice," Ryan Rhodes, the tour's organizer, told ABC News.
        The main focus of the tour will involve training on precinct organization, distributing a mock caucus video explaining the process, and educating people on the Tea Party principles and the gold standard. Organizers hope to train 500 to 1,000 individuals over the course of three weeks.
        Candidates have been invited to attend the training sessions to talk with Tea Party activists. [ABC News, June 8]      Click here for the source for this story



Bachmann Taps Ed Rollins to Assist Campaign

Photograph of Ed Rollins

        Veteran political strategist Ed Rollins has been tapped to help U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann assemble her presidential campaign, according to numerous sources.
        "If she runs, I'll help her," Rollins told CNN.
        Rollins, the chief architect of President Reagan's reelection landslide in 1984, most recently worked as the national campaign director for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2008, propelling the little-known ex-governor to a first-place finish in the Iowa caucuses that year.
        "We'll try and duplicate what Huckabee did in Iowa. It's a good act to follow," said Rollins.
        Rollins wouldn't confirm that he'll be running Bachmann's campaign, but said that he'll definitely be involved if and when the Minnesota congresswoman officially enters the fray. [Undercover Politics, June 7]      Click here for the source for this story



Rick Santorum formally joins GOP presidential field

Photograph of Rick Santorum

        "We're going to be in this race, and we're in it to win," Santorum said on ABC's "Good Morning America." He said his campaign has a "lot of momentum" in the early primary states
        On ABC, host George Stephanopolous asked a question which has been on the mind of many political observers: How can a man who lost his last Senate race (to Bob Casey) by 18 points make a credible case for the White House?
        Santorum responded by saying he has stuck to his core conservative principles. He blamed his loss in 2006 on a poor electoral climate for Republicans.
        Best known for his strong stance on social issues, Santorum also plans to be a loud voice in the room on entitlement reform. Not only did he renew his call for reforming Social Security on Monday, he said that the Paul Ryan Medicare revamp plan, which Republicans have been handling delicately ever since it emerged as a volatile and polarizing political issue this spring, doesn't go far enough because it wouldn't affect current seniors. [LA Times, June 6]      Click here for the source for this story



Candidates Fighting For The Conservative Heart And Soul

Logo of the Christian Coalition

        Nearly every major declared or potential Republican presidential candidate made a pilgrimage to an annual conference of social conservatives in Washington, DC over the weekend to pitch themselves to an important bloc of voters.
        "Most speakers replaced talk of abortion with talk of debt and deficit. Instead of gay marriage, they focused on the economy,"
        Many of the candidates stuck to the ailing economy and lethargic jobs numbers, crticizing President Obama as a failed leader. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney called the nation's ongoing fiscal woes, "a moral crisis."
        Still, by many accounts, the big crowd pleaser at the conference was Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who ended her speech by leading the conference in a prayer. [ABC News, June 4]      Click here for the source for this story



Conservative women enthusiastic about Bachmann, Palin

Photographs of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann

        They don't like identity politics and aren't crazy about the word "feminist." But a lot of conservative women here can't help but rejoice that they may have a couple of tough-talking, tea-drinking mothers to choose from in the Republican primary.
        Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is on the verge of announcing her intentions, and former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is contemplating a bid. If either runs, it would be the first time since Elizabeth Dole's bid in 1999 that a viable female candidate has sought the Republican nomination for president.
        The prospect has energized conservative women who four years ago were deeply uncomfortable with Hillary Rodham Clinton but who see in Bachmann and Palin the kind of family-focused, overtly spiritual candidate whose lifestyle and values seem to mirror their own.      Click here for the source for this story



Tea Party Groups Come Out Against Romney

Photo of Mitt Romney

        In recent polling, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is the leading candidate among the field of Republican presidential aspirants, both declared and probable.
        Due both to the health care law and what have been termed flip-flops on social issues from gay marriage to abortion, some conservative groups are organizing against Romney. Freedom Works, aligned with the Tea Party movement, has announced it is working to defeat Romney.
        Romney has raised a lot of money and has secured a lead in the polls, but the Republican primary may still be a long season. [Examiner, June 5]      Click here for the source for this story



There's two
of them!

Sarah Palin
bumps into
her double ...
and tries to
recruit her


Photograph of Sarah Palin and her 'double'

        Mrs Thompson, from New England, was waiting for Mrs Palin in the pews when she arrived to visit Old North Church on her One Nation bus tour.
        She started working as a lookalike in 2008, when Mrs Palin was revealed as John McCain's presidential running mate.
        Mrs Thompson, who advertises her services for fundraisers, church parties and cruises, describes herself as having 'an uncanny natural resemblance to Sarah Palin.'
        She has taken dialect classes to sound like Mrs Palin, theatre classes to act like her - and even comedy classes to 'keep things light, funny, and enjoyable'.
        Mrs Palin has embraced her lookalikes in the past, most famously appearing on Saturday Night Live alongside Tina Fey, who gave a mock press conference when the then-Alaskan governor was running for vice-president. [Daily Mail, June 4]       Click here for the source story



Huckabee
says
he could
change mind
on
presidential
bid


Photo of Mike Huckabee

        Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee foresees a "broke and battered" nominee emerging from the 2012 Republican presidential sweepstakes but says his recent exit from the race is not etched in stone.
        Huckabee said he is "not even thinking about changing my mind right now," but he added, "Don't rule anything out for the future."
        During his speech to an audience of about 300 people, Huckabee said several factors prompted him to bow out of next year's GOP primary, not the least of which he said was the difficulty he sees in defeating Democratic President Barack Obama, who will have a billion-dollar campaign chest and no Democratic primary opponent.
        "It's not going to be an easy path for whoever the Republican is," he said. "Whoever it is is going to come out of a bloody primary broke and battered. Because I anticipate the Republicans will do what they typically do: They'll have a demolition derby, a circular firing squad, and load up with bullets and start shooting." [Arkansas News, June 1]      Click here for the source for this story



GOP's
Herman Cain
appeals
to
Tea Party
in video

Herman Cain photograph

        GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain may not have Mitt Romney's campaign money or Sarah Palin's name ID, but he's got an official music video that is worth watching.
        Cain, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, has been attracting attention since his appearance at the first GOP presidential debate last month. His video highlights his ties to the Tea Party and tries to appeal to those voters by extolling his support for limited government.
        The video's jingle begins by praising Cain, who lives in the Atlanta suburbs, as a "true son of the South" who "raises some cain" in business and in politics. It features clips of Cain speaking at Tea Party rallies. By the end, his supporters say to the camera: "Get on the Herman Cain train."
        "All those people saying the Tea Party is a racist organization -- eat your words," says Cain, who is black. [USA Today, June 1]      Click here for the source for this story



DeMint
Spokesman:
'He's
Not Running
For
President'

Photo of Senator Jim DeMint

        DeMint told The Hill on Tuesday that he was thinking about running after an array of supporters encouraged him to do so. The comments came just as speculation has increased that another candidate will enter the GOP presidential field, which many see as lackluster, after Mitch Daniels and Mike Huckabee passed on a run.
        But Matt Hoskins, spokesman for the DeMint group Conservatives Senate Fund, said the senator does not have any plans to leave his seat.
        "Nothing has changed," Hoskins said. "He's not running for president."
        The senator was simply "being respectful to everyone who wants him to run," the spokesman said. "His heart is in the Senate." [HotLineOnCall, June 1]      Click here for the source for this story


Photographs of Donald Trump and Sarah Palin


Palin and Trump share pizza in New York

** VIDEO ** of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump at Trump Tower and 42nd Street pizza restaurant. [ConHomeUSA, June 1]      Click here to see the ** VIDEO **



Rick Perry Leaves the Door Open for 2012 Presidential Bid

Photograph of Governor Rick Perry

        Gov. Rick Perry of Texas opened the door perhaps for a run of his own.
        Asked on Friday if he would consider running for the Republican nomination, Perry replied, "I'm going to think about it." He added that he would focus on it after the Texas Legislature leaves Austin sometime after Tuesday.
        When reporters followed up asking Perry -- who had been issuing denials that he would enter the presidential race -- if he would change his mind, he said, "I didn't say I was running, did I? I'm going to think about it." [Sunshine State News, May 31]      Click here for the source for this story



Bachmann:
GOP race
can handle
me and
Palin

Photograph of Michele Bachmann

        Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, says she thinks the race can accommodate both her and Sarah Palin.
        Both women are favorites of the tea party movement. But Bachmann says she doesn't compare herself to Palin -- she compares herself to President Barack Obama.
        Bachmann says there's "enough room for a lot of contenders" to challenge Obama in 2012.
        The Minnesota Republican says she considers Palin, the GOP's 2008 vice presidential candidate, a "friend," not a "competitor." But she told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday that she has no problem running against a friend.
        Bachmann spoke to ABC from New Hampshire, which holds the GOP's first presidential primary next year. She is expected to announce her campaign decision in Iowa next month. [Google News, May 31]      Click here for the source for this story



Just who is
Herman Cain? And what
does his
presidential
run mean for
the GOP?

Photo of Herman Cain


        "This is what I was supposed to be doing," he said with a burst of laughter. He's chuckling a lot these days. And talking a lot, too.
        Romney and Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, he said, "tend to be much more risk-averse." His fellow Georgian, Newt Gingrich, is brilliant, but perhaps his "time has come and gone." He said he could understand why Fox television personalities Huckabee and Sarah Palin "would be reluctant to get back into that pressure cooker and back into that fire when they are now discovering a whole new career."
        Cain, who refers to himself in the third person and goes as THEHermancain on Twitter, acknowledged that there was no downside to his own campaign. "A lot more people know who Herman Cain is," he said, regardless of the outcome. "I don't have this long-term ambition of I want my own show on Fox," he said. "I want to be president."
        Cain, who today thinks he was a "catalyst" in the killing of so-called Hillary Care, became a conservative sensation and parlayed his star turn into political opportunities. [Washington Post, May 29]      Click here for the source for this story



Will
Republicans
draft
Paul
Ryan
for
2012 run?


Photograph of Senator Paul Ryan

        Conservative pundits have hardly been quiet about their desire to see House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) throw his hat into what many see as a less-than-stellar ring of prospective Republican presidential candidates.
        And earlier this week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) raised eyebrows by saying he would like to see Ryan run, arguing that the bold leadership and willingness to confront the difficult issues Ryan has displayed as budget chairman is exactly what Americans are looking for. [CBS News, May 27]      Click here for the source for this story



Is
Sarah Palin
Pulling a
Donald Trump?


Photo of Sarah Palin

        Sarah Palin's announcement that she will begin a slick, campaign-style bus tour this weekend set off a frenzy of media and political speculation about her intentions for the 2012 presidential race.
        The political flurry foreshadowed the kind of adrenaline shot to the heart that Ms. Palin's candidacy could be for a presidential campaign that had recently looked like it was coalescing around a pretty traditional set of contenders. Traditional she is not.
        But Mr. Trump's was a brief dalliance with presidential politics that almost appeared to have been done on a whim. Ms. Palin, by contrast, has been moving slowly and methodically for several years. Aides have said for months that she wanted to be in a position to run for president if that's what she decided to do.
        Ms. Palin and her aides revealed few clues on Thursday, which leaves a lot of people in Washington and around the country guessing.
        Who is waiting nervously for Ms. Palin to reveal her plan? Here's a partial list: [The Caucus, NY Times, May 27]      Click here for the source for this story


Does Sarah Palin's Bus Tour Mean She's Running?

Some speculate that the tour is the first stop in the race for the White House. Does Sarah Palin's Bus Tour Mean She's Running? Click here for an ABC ** VIDEO **.


Poll:
Palin
near
top of
re-shaped
GOP
field


Photo of Sarah Palin

        A new survey shows Palin in second place, close behind leader Mitt Romney. But the number of voters who are undecided is larger than any single candidate's support.
        The poll, which was limited to Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, has Romney in first place with 17 percent. Palin is next, with 15 percent. After that is Ron Paul, with 10 percent, Newt Gingrich with nine percent, Herman Cain with eight percent, Tim Pawlenty with six percent, Michele Bachmann with five percent, and Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum, and Gary Johnson with two percent. Twenty-two percent say they have no opinion.
        Although Romney and Palin are in the lead, the poll represents a significant boost for Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, who has long been a favorite with the Tea Party. Cain was not included in previous Gallup surveys; now, he is virtually tied for third place. [Washington Examiner, May 26]      Click here for the source for this story



Palin's Secret Weapon: New Film to Premiere in June

Sarah Palin photo


        Sarah Pallin asked her close aide, Rebecca Mansour to reach out to conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon with a request: ask him if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin's governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign.
        The response was more positive than Palin could have hoped for. He'd make a feature-length movie, Bannon told Mansour, and he insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself -- to the tune of $1 million.
         The result is a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut of which Bannon screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, where Alaska's most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home. When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -. . . [Real Clear Politics, May 25]      Click here for the source for this story



Giuliani
Sees an
Opening
in 2012
Field


Photo of Rudy Giuliani

        The loftiest trial balloon yet from Rudy Giuliani's camp was hoisted up on Monday night by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who told reporters that the former New York mayor and 2008 candidate was leaning toward mounting a run.
        A 2008 Giuliani aide told Power Play that key members of the old team are "staying loose" in anticipation of a potential run. He said the exploration seemed to have entered "a different phase" and that Giuliani had grown increasingly serious as the Republican field took shape. "You can't look at the Republican field and say that there isn't room," the former aide said.
        King, a longtime ally of Giuliani and a former surrogate on terrorism and security issues, floated the Rudy run at a Washington media dinner hosted by conservative magazine the American Spectator. It's the latest and greatest sign from a slow-developing effort from Giuliani's inner circle.
        In a speech to a Republican lawyers' group earlier this month, Giuliani made it clear he was considering the possibility but wanted to see who else got into the race. He had previously taken a "not closing the door" line, but the rhetoric has lately taken a turn toward interest rather than non-resistance. [Fox News, May 24]      Click here for the source for this story



Herman
Cain
responds
to Rove and
Krauthammer

Photograph of Herman Cain

        Fresh off his presidential campaign announcement Sunday, Herman Cain sought to push back against criticism from some prominent GOP opinion leaders. Karl Rove, for example, called him a "talk radio guy" and Charles Krauthammer said his candidacy was for "entertainment."
        "Karl Rove, I respect. Krauthammer, I have a lot of respect for -- he's one of the thoughtful conservatives out there," Cain told The Daily Caller. "My response is ... I'm not running to become president of the establishment. I am running to become president of the people of the United States of America."
        "[Rove and Krauthammer] will eventually wake up and realize that I am a serious candidate for the nomination" -- Cain added -- when they "realize there is a disconnect between establishment thinking and real world thinking."
        Speaking of average Americans, Cain has impressed many conservatives with his speaking ability, not to mention his credentials in terms of business and leadership experience, but has sometimes stumbled over foreign policy questions. [Daily Caller, May 24]      Click here for the source for this story



Is
Donald
Trump
Back in
the 2012
Race?

Photo of Donald Trump

        The billionaire business mogul phoned into Fox News' "Fox & Friends" this morning to lament the state of the Republican field. He took issue with Mike Huckabee exiting the race, saying he's sure Huckabee could win and he's still sure he could have won.
        Trump refused to rule out a late entry into the Republican presidential field.
        "Who knows if I did the right thing," he said. "I am not seeing a lot out of the Republican candidates."
        Asked if there's any chance he'll jump in later in the race, Trump replied, "I can't rule out anything ... [It's] vital that we choose the right person, and at this moment, I don't see that person."      Click here for the source for this story



Daniels exits crowded GOP nomination fight;
big scramble
for supporters,
front-runner status

Photo of Governor Mitch Daniels

        Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels joined the march of would-be GOP presidential hopefuls offstage Sunday in a dead-of-night decision that put his supporters in play and muddled the fight for front-runner status against President Barack Obama.
        Daniels' exit, which he said he made at his family's behest, clears the upcoming news cycle to absorb former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's entry into the race Monday in Iowa.
        For the moment, Pawlenty would be the only Midwesterner in the campaign, a conservative who governed a Democratic-leaning state and has a record resisting tax increases and spending increases.
        But Pawlenty would have a rival for the claim of No. 1 fiscal conservative in Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor and Obama's first ambassador to China. Both Republicans are competing to emerge as the principle challenger to ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.      Click here for the source for this story


Photograph of Herman Cain


Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain announces he is seeking the 2012 GOP nomination

Video of announcement on Herman Cain's web site.      Click here to see the video.



Sneak Peek: Former Gov. Sarah Palin 'On the Record' with Greta

Here's a preview of our conversation with former Gov. Palin ... tune in to tonight's ON THE RECORD at 10 ET to see more of our wide-ranging interview!      Click here for the full story



Newt
Gingrich
Is Not a Conservative


Photo of Newt Gingrich

        When Newt Gingrich criticized Congressman Paul Ryan's Medicare voucher plan and repeated his support for individual healthcare mandates this week, many conservatives expressed outrage and shock. Conservatives were right to be outraged. But they shouldn't have been . . . Newt Gingrich has never been a conservative.
        The reason Newt Gingrich is considered a conservative is because enough people have always said he's a conservative. But simply being partisan does not a conservative make. Gingrich has rarely, if ever, been for smaller government. He simply believes Republicans can preside over big government more effectively.
        Gingrich was a good Bush Republican in supporting TARP, the Medicare Plan D entitlement expansion and has even stated that he thinks No Child Left Behind isn't big enough--despite the fact that virtually all conservatives now reject these big government schemes.
        Lucky for Gingrich, perception is still reality, and amazingly the perception still remains that Newt is a conservative. Perhaps this most recent episode of blatant evidence to the contrary might finally awaken some conservatives from this chronic and troublesome delusion. [Am. Conservative Magazine, May 18]      Click here for the full story



Bachmann shopping book

Photo of Michele Bachman

        Michele Bachmann, who has been ginning up her fundraising and publicity machine in advance of a possible presidential bid, is shopping a book.
        Bachmann will be in New York this week meeting with publishers. She, unlike unlike everyone from Sarah Palin to Barack Obama, isn't represented by Bob Barnett. A rising conservative star with access to the conservative movements powerful distribution channels, she'd likely command a generous advance.
        Bachmann said in April that she was in the early stages of writing the book, now a necessary step in the rise of any political star. [Politico, May 18]      Click here for the full story



Newt Gingrich campaign fights for its life

Photo of Newt Gingrich

        Gingrich is urgently struggling to convince the political class that his 2012 hopes aren't dead, amid an unending barrage of Republican attacks over his comments on the House GOP's proposed Medicare overhaul.
        Gingrich finally seemed to realize the seriousness of his political plight Tuesday, when he held three conference calls, made a personal apology to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and admitted in a Fox News appearance: "I made a mistake."
        "The fact is that I have supported what Ryan's trying to do on the budget," Gingrich told Greta Van Susteren. "The budget vote is one that I am happy to say I would have voted for."
        It's not clear whether that course correction has come too late. Before Gingrich's evening mea culpa, there were growing signs that his gaffe - undermining his own party by calling Ryan's much-touted Medicare plan too "radical" to become law on NBC's "Meet the Press" - had already dealt him a near-fatal blow. [Politico, May 18]      Click here for the full story



GOP Braces for Bachmania

Photograph of Michele Bachmann

        Get ready, Republicans. Hurricane Michelle is heading toward your primaries.
        Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite and something of a surrogate for Sarah Palin, is getting ready to jump into the presidential contest. Her advisers put out the word on Monday that a run was "very likely". "This is now beyond speculation. They are doing this," the consultant said.
        While Bachmann is a polarizing figure in the party, her candidacy is quite logical. With Mike Huckabee bowing out of the race, Palin showing no outward signs of launching a campaign and Newt Gingrich seeming to burn up on entry into the race, that leaves former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with an almost unobstructed view of the social conservative voters who dominate Iowa's caucuses.
        Bachmann's candidacy is also helped by the fact that Donald Trump has renewed his contract with NBC and ended the most successful publicity stunt of his career. His appeal had been based on blunt, pungent attacks on President Obama, stock in trade for Bachmann. Plus, she gets similar attention from establishment media outlets that like to bring her on for bearbaiting sessions and then mock her afterwards. [Fox News, May 17]      Click here for the full story



Krauthammer on Gingrich's presidential aspirations: 'Now it's over'

Charles Krauthammer / Newt Gingrich photos

Charles Krauthammer / Newt Gingrich photos

        As the day has progressed, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's comments on Sunday's "Meet the Press" attacking House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's budget plan have come to haunt him. On Monday's "Special Report," syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer became the latest conservative figure to criticize Gingrich, calling his bid for the presidency "over."
        "This is a big deal," Krauthammer said. "He's done. He didn't have a big chance from the beginning but now it's over. Apart from being contradictory and incoherent - where he contradicted himself in the course of one day on the individual mandate - calling the Republican plan, which all but four Republican members of the House have now endorsed and will be running on, calling it radical and right-wing social engineering is deadly."
        Krauthammer's criticism of Gingrich echoed that of many other conservatives who said that Gingrich's words will be used against fellow Republicans in future congressional campaigns. [Daily Caller, May 16]      Click here for the full story



Mitt Romney raises $10.25M in fundraising 'call-a-thon'

Photo of Mitt Romney

        Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said he raised a whopping $10. 25 million today during a "call in" fundraising marathon, appearing to break his own record for a one-day haul for campaign cash.
        The former Massachusetts governor, who is considered the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination next year, staged his phone bank fundraiser in Las Vegas. Today's effort was similar to a call-a-thon he held during his 2008 campaign that netted $6.5 million in cash and commitments.
        "The results are a strong indication of the national enthusiasm for Governor Romney and his pro-jobs platform. As today's event makes clear, Governor Romney will have the resources to be competitive and to spread his jobs and economy message," [USA Today, May 16]      Click here for the full story



Senior aid says
Michele
Bachmann
is VERY likely
to run

Photo of Michele Bachmann

        Senior insiders to MN Congresswoman Michele Bachmann say the republican founder of the House Tea Party caucus is now very likely to run for president. In the wake of both Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump opting out of the 2012 GOP nomination, calls to Bachmann's offices "have been burning up our lines" according to a senior confidant who marveled "one guy called her our Margaret Thatcher!"
        She unveiled a new web design today that highlights TEAM Bachmann rather than Congreswoman Bachman. A big part of today"s encouragement by phone and email was the accompanying pledges to raise money according to one insider.
        All the republican White House hopefuls are vying for support from those who might otherwise have backed Huckabee or Trump. [GretaWire, May 16]      Click here for the full story


Trump
Not Running
'Decision
Does Not
Come Easily or
Without Regret'

Photo of Donald Trump

** VIDEO ** Image of Video Icon

        "I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election," Trump said. "I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector."
        Trump, who had contemplated running for president in years past, seemed poised take the plunge this year. He even had a tentative date set for a campaign announcement: May 25 in the atrium of Trump Tower in New York City.
        According to Trump aides, the real estate mogul and reality television mogul had even settled on campaign consultants to help steer his potential presidential bid. Trump had already made two visits to New Hampshire within the last month and had a series of events planned in that state and in Iowa over the next few weeks. [ABC News, May 16]      Click here for the full story     ** VIDEO **



Gingrich Blasts House GOP's Medicare Plan

Photo of Newt Gingrich

        White House hopeful Newt Gingrich called the House Republican plan for Medicare "right-wing social engineering," injecting a discordant GOP voice into the party's efforts to reshape both entitlements and the broader budget debate.
        In the same interview Sunday, on NBC's "Meet the Press," Mr. Gingrich backed a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance, complicating a Republican line of attack on President Barack Obama's health law.
        The former House speaker's decision to stick with his previous support for an individual mandate comes days after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney defended the health revamp he championed as governor, which includes a mandate.
        The moves suggest the Republican primary contest, which will include both men, could feature a robust debate on health care, with GOP candidates challenging the Democratic law while defending their own variations. [WSJ Online, May 16]      Click here for the full story



His Heart Says 'No': Huckabee Not Running for President in 2012

Photo of Mike Huckabee

        "All the factors say go, but my heart says no," Huckabee, who was considered the GOP frontrunner in several national polls, said on his Fox News Channel show.
        "The past few months have been times of deep personal reflection . . . even though I wasn't actively establishing a campaign organization or seeking financial support to run again, polls have consistently put me at or near the top to be the Republican nominee."
        "But I know that under the best of circumstances, being President is a job that takes one to the limit of his or her human capacity," he continued. "I can't know or predict the future, but I know for now my answer is clear and firm: I will not seek the Republican nomination for President this year."
        "I had not done much toward a race because my life was filled with work that I truly love here at Fox News, doing radio commentaries on my daily Huckabee Report on 600 radio stations, traveling the country for speaking engagements, and helping good conservative, pro-life candidates who were running for office," he said.      Click here for the full story



Cain: We're not No. 2

Photo of Herman Cain

        Herman Cain told Georgia Republicans Saturday that being No. 2 economically and militarily is "not in our DNA."
        The Atlanta businessman and former talk radio host delivered a rousing speech to party activists at the Georgia GOP's convention that echoed themes he's given in previous speeches, including his rallying cry that the American dream is under attack by runaway debt.
        Cain, who supports replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax, called for cutting taxes to stimulate the economy. "It's time to tell the people the truth, lower taxes are good for the economy, and we don't have any intention of hurting old people, children or puppy dogs," Cain said.
        Cain will formally announce his White House bid next Saturday at an Atlanta rally. [Politico, May 14]      Click here for the full story



Ron Paul:
'The time
is right'for
presidential
run.


Photo of Ron Paul

        Ron Paul said he's running for president "because time has come around to the point where the people are agreeing with much of what I've been saying for 30 years - so I think the time is right,"
        Paul's 2012 campaign has picked up right where he left off in 2008 -- generating major online buzz, successfully rallying his dedicated, libertarian-minded following, and raising big grassroots money via his patented "money bombs." He hauled in more than $1 million online last week during a 24-hour period leading up to the first presidential debate.
        And unlike last time, when Paul was relegated to fringe media coverage for much of the race, he's now attracting widespread attention. With Paul receiving some credit for kick-starting the tea party movement -- sometimes called its "godfather" -- and keeping up his longtime push to audit the Federal Reserve, it would seem that the decades he's spent beating the libertarian drum have reached an apex. [Politico, May 13]      Click here for the full story



Newt Gingrich's Iowa swing will hit 17 cities

photo of Newt Gingrich


        Newt Gingrich will barnstorm across Iowa next week, visiting 17 cities in his first trips to the critical caucus state since formally launching his White House campaign.
        The former House Speaker announced his candidacy Wednesday, and plans to give his first campaign speech Friday at the Georgia state GOP convention. Gingrich then plans to launch a 17-city Iowa swing on Monday. [Politico, May 12]      Click here for the full story



Newt
Gingrich's
route:
Leave
no state
behind


Photo of Newt Gingrich

        For Newt Gingrich, who will announce his candidacy Wednesday, the road to the Republican nomination runs through Iowa . . . . . . and New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida.
        Unlike some of his likely rivals, who are looking to downplay or even flat out skip some states on the primary calendar, Gingrich is headed down a different path, a more traditional route in which he competes aggressively all across the early-state map and among all blocs within the party.
        In Iowa, Gingrich has almost precisely the opposite problem as Tim Pawlenty, who is also working hard there. Both are lagging in early-state polls, but the former Minnesota governor's status can be mostly chalked up to his lack of name identification among GOP activists. Gingrich, however, faces what may ultimately be a more daunting task. He enjoys almost universal recognition among primary voters but must convince them that he's not just the '90s-era-leader-turned-Fox-News-commentator but also a potential president in 2012. [Politico, May 11]      Click here for the full story



Who is
Herman Cain?
An
African-American
Tea Party
Candidate

Photo of Herman Cain

        Herman Cain is probably the most interesting candidate so far for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
        He's a charismatic Tea Party and Obama-bashing African American who won (according to polls by Fox, which hosted the debate) the first GOP presidential debate.
        He also spent 10 years as the CEO of Godfather's Pizza, which he returned to profitability shortly after he took charge. Before that, he achieved tremendous success with a chain of Burger King stores in the Philadelphia region.
        On Obama, Cain said his administration is "the worst in current history."
        On his own business experience, he said he is a problem solver -- he defines the right problem, assigns the right priority, and surrounds himself with the right people.
        On the fact he's never held a public office before, he said most Washington, D.C. politicians have held public office before and they're doing a terrible job. [International Business Times, May 10]     Click here for the full story



Christie
says he may
support
Daniels
for GOP nomination


Photo of Governor Chris Christie

        New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who's met with potential Republican presidential candidates seeking his backing, said he would give "real consideration" to supporting Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Daniels, a former budget director under President George W. Bush said that he would announce whether he is running within weeks.
        Christie, 48, has become a rising national star in the Republican Party after he cut $10 billion in spending on schools, pensions and local aid in his first budget. He has said repeatedly that has no plans to run, even as the New York Post reported that his supporters in Iowa plan to meet with him this month to persuade him to seek the nomination.     Click here for the full story


Huntsman starts possible White House bid

Photo of Jon Huntsman

        Since leaving his post in the Obama administration late last month, Huntsman has put together a staff and fundraising apparatus. Last week, Huntsman filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to create "H PAC," a federal leadership political action committee that can pay for his travel and political activities.
        Although Huntsman's role in the Obama administration could be a hurdle to the nomination, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said that is not necessarily the case. "That's not a negative," Wilson said. "The real fact of being an ambassador is you are a representative of the people of the United States. ... That is not an honorary post."
        Huntsman will travel to New Hampshire this month for another commencement speech and plans to spend several days there in the hope of building more support in the state.     Click here for the full story



Tea party roots for Paul's message of government limits, personal freedom

photo of Representative Ron Paul


        A tea party debate-watching party here Thursday night gradually morphed into a de facto Ron Paul campaign event. The Texas Republican's supporters dominated the crowd of more than 150, many of them Greenville Tea Party members, who gathered in a ballroom of the Hyatt hotel to take in the first-in-the-country 2012 Republican presidential debate.
        With each Paul response during the debate, supporters loudly cheered and whooped for the Republican -- most notably during a response in which he voiced support for states' rights to legalize narcotics -- and jeered other candidates whose responses were deemed unsatisfactory.
        Just after 11 p.m., about a half hour following the conclusion of the debate, Paul took to the ballroom stage to address a crowd that had swelled to more than 300 people and said that he's getting close to formally declaring his candidacy for the Republican nomination. [Go Upstate.com, May 6]     Click here for the full story



After the First
GOP Debate,
Team Obama
Should Be
Taking Notes.

Photo from Fox News GOP debate

With only five of the declared candidates for the GOP nomination in attendance the ninety minutes went by with a surprising amount of substance being diligently discussed.         On style, smoothness, preparedness, and performance many will give the win on the debate to former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. He communicated well, handled a variety of issues to the general liking of most conservatives . . . --he was candid and humble. A lesson the current President could learn much from.
        Senator Rick Santorum gave what the GOP has come to expect from him, knowledgeable answers, an emphasis on the dangers posed by Iran, and the champion fighter for all things of social and moral values. Santorum was particularly effective in linking social values issues to the very core definition and belief of what it means to be, uniquely, American.
        Ron Paul was the libertarian crank, and as expected--denouncing the fed, calling for it's end, denouncing all extraneous military action taking place across the global war on terror, giving his approval to gay marriage, prostitution, and of course, the attempt to legalize heroin.
        Gary Johnson came off as whiny, a poor sport, and pretty much a one note pony somewhat incapable of moving off the topic of "cost benefit" analysis.
        Businessman and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain came off effective and winsome, perhaps the surprise of the night--especially for people that had not heard from him previously. [Fox News, May 6]
Click here for the full story



Smaller
names,
big
intrigue
in first
GOP
presidential
debate


presidential debate graphic


        A handful of GOP presidential hopefuls will debate tonight in Greenville, S.C. There will be no Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich; nor Mitch Daniels, Michele Bachmann or Jon Huntsman; nor Sarah Palin, Chris Christie or Mike Huckabee; nor Donald Trump.
         But there is still plenty we can learn from tonight's debate.
        # Can Pawlenty, a two-term governor of Minnesota who remains somewhat unknown but seems to be gaining momentum, shine bright enough on a small stage to give us reason to think he'd shine on a bigger stage?
        # Can Cain, the former Atlanta radio host and businessman who's still pretty much a political novice, make the same kind of splash he seems to have been making on smaller ones?
        # Will Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, or Paul, the longtime Texas congressman, come across as the most viable (little-L) libertarian in a Republican race?
        # Can Santorum, the former congressman and U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, come across as anything other than a candidate trying to keep social issues on the table in this primary?
         # Will any of these candidates offer something new on fiscal policy that breaks with the default GOP policy -- Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" -- or will they be content for now to ride with the peloton? [AJC.com, May 5]
Click here for the full story



First Debate to Feature Two Libertarian-Leaning Republicans

Photo of Representative Ron Paul Photo of former Governor Gary Johnson


        When Fox News and the South Carolina GOP hold the first Republican presidential debate Thursday, two of the five participants will be libertarian-leaning Republicans: Congressman Ron Paul and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.
        Paul and Johnson generally agree on the issues, championing civil liberties and the idea that government has grown far too big, is involved in far too many things, and does most of them poorly.
        Both favor drastic cuts in government spending, lowering taxes, repealing last year's healthcare reform legislation, eliminating the Department of Education and both also oppose legislation defining marriage as between a man and woman
        They oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. involvement in Libya, the War on Drugs, the Patriot Act and the border fence.
        But the pair parts ways on abortion. Paul opposes it, believing that life begins at conception. Johnson supports a woman's right to choose, though he opposes government funding to support abortion.
        The presence of two GOP candidates with such similar philosophies has prompted the libertarian blogosphere to question which man to support.
Click here for the full story



Herman Cain
Jumps Into
May 5
SC Republican
Primary Debate
Mitt Romney
Stays Out

Herman Cain photo

        Businessman Herman Cain will be on stage at the first presidential primary debate of the campaign season this Thursday in South Carolina, he announced on Monday.
        "I look forward to participating in the debate Thursday," Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, said in a statement. "It gives me the opportunity to share my 'Common Sense Solutions for America,' as well as my private sector experience in balancing budgets and creating jobs."
        The debate will take place Thursday night in Greenville, S.C. and it is sponsored by the South Carolina Republican Party and Fox News.
        Cain will file formal papers with the Federal Elections Commission in order to participate, but Cain aides cautioned it does not constitute a formal announcement of his candidacy. [ABC News, May 4]
Click here for the full story



Nevada Election Rules Could Give Sharron Angle a Boost

2011 election graphic

        Sharron Angle, who tried unsuccessfully to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) last year, might have a better shot as she runs for the U.S. House after a Monday decision by Nevada's Secretary of State Ross Miller.
        Mr. Miller, a Democrat, said Monday that the Sept. 13 special election would be open, not just two candidates from the major political parties. This would give a boost to anti-establishment candidates like Ms. Angle, who is out of favor with the state GOP since her loss in November's election. [WSJ, May 3]
Click here for the full story



Marco
Rubio
firm:
NO to
VP slot

Photo of Marco Rubio

        Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that he would not be on any Republican ticket in 2012. Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," he was emphatic with David Gregory.
        "I'm not going to be on a ticket in 2012," Rubio said. When pressed further, he added "under no circumstances."
        Since his election last November, Rubio has been mentioned frequently as a potential vice-presidential candidate for a variety of reasons: He's young, considered to be telegenic, the son of Cuban exiles and from a tightly contested state with a large number of electoral votes. [Politico, May 1]
Click here for the full story



Ambassador
Jon Huntsman
Returns
from China
to Possible
White House Bid

Photo of Jon Huntsman


        U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman officially leaves his post Saturday as the country's top diplomat in China -- a move that clears the way for a likely bid to unseat his former boss, President Obama, during the presidential election in 2012.
        Huntsman, 51, will make a splash back into national politics Saturday night with his expected attendance at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner in Washington, D.C.
        He also has planned visits next month to early the campaign states of South Carolina and New Hampshire, where supporters have created the nuclei of campaign teams to begin raising funds and lining up supporters and endorsements for Huntsman's political action committee, Horizon PAC. [ABC News, April 28]
Click here for the full story



Tim Pawlenty,
Ron Paul
headed to
Tea Party
debate


Tea Party Debate graphic

        Both Mr. Pawlenty and Mr. Paul will appear at the South Carolina Greenville Tea Party's "Presidential Debate Freedom Rally" on May 5. The rally will take place before the first Republican debate since various potential candidates, including Mr. Pawlenty and Mr. Paul, announce the formation of presidential exploratory committees.
        The Tea Party rally is the latest attempt by both candidates to reach out to the increasingly influential political group. Both Mr. Pawlenty and Mr. Paul have attended Tea Party speaking engagements in the past.
        South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is expected to headline the rally.
        Fox News will moderate the debate, which is expected to take place the same day. Joining Mr. Paul and Mr. Pawlenty will be other GOP hopefuls, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum.
Click here for the full story



Newt Gingrich,
Mike Huckabee
headed to
NRA convention

National Rifle Association logo

        Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee are headed to Pittsburgh, where they will speak at the annual National Rifle Association's annual event.
        The event, which is scheduled for the upcoming weekend, is expected to draw upwards of 60,000 participants. Among those speaking include former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, current U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, Republican National Committee official Ken Blackwell and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. [The State Column, April 27]
Click here for the full story



GOP Field Shapes Up: Paul Plays, Haley Quits

2012 Election star graphic

        After moving at a glacial pace for the first four months of the year, the Republican presidential field is breaking loose.
        The ultimate insider- Mississippi governor and former Republican National Committee chairman and mega-lobbyist Haley Barbour - announced he is out of the race.
        On the same day, the ultimate outsider - Rep. Ron Paul, the Texas libertarian and granddaddy of the Tea Party movement - let it be known that he would reprise his 2008 presidential candidacy.
        So, in the running now are former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, pizza mogul Herman Cain and Paul. On the fence about running, but soon to decide, are Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Oh, and some guy named Trump.
        Part of the reason that the ice is breaking up is that the first GOP debate will take place in just nine days - a May 5 face-off hosted by FOX News and the South Carolina Republican Party in Greenville, S.C. [Fox News, April 26]
Click here for the full story



Ron Paul
to announce
2012 committee


Ron Paul photo

        The two-time presidential candidate is scheduled to make his announcement during a press conference in the state capital of Des Moines at 4:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. During the press conference, Paul will also name members of his campaign's Iowa leadership team, according to a source close to the congressman.
        "We're going to announce that I am going to start an exploratory committee," he said on Fox News's "Hannity" show. "That might lead to the next decision."
        Paul will be the fifth Republican to take that official step toward running for president. An exploratory committee will allow him to begin assembling his campaign infrastructure in anticipation of a formal candidacy announcement. [The Hill, April 26]
Click here for the full story


** VIDEO ** Image of Video Icon



Sarah
Palin
Defends
Donald
Trump,

Talks
2012


Photo of Sarah Palin presidential candidate

** VIDEO **         Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she respects real estate mogul Donald Trump and he is getting a raw deal from the media who question his interest in President Barack Obama's place of birth. Palin also told Fox News' Sean Hannity Tuesday it is still too early for her to decide whether to seek the GOP nomination in 2012 -- adding she might not take the conventional exploratory-committee route if she does.
        "Well, first, I do have respect for Donald Trump and for his candidness -- I think people are craving that today, in the world of political speak . . . coming out of the White House," Palin said. "And the confusing messages that come from so many of our politicos -- we appreciate that Donald Trump is so candid. He's merely answering reporters' questions about his view on the birth certificate -- and then reporters turn that around and [say]: 'That's all he's got -- he's always running on a birth certificate issue,' when that's not the case.
        "Bottom line [is] that President Obama is so far over his head -- he has gotten us on the road to bankruptcy, and insolvency, and a less secure nation," Palin said. "And Trump, and so many of us, want to do something about that." [Fox News, April 20]
Click here for the full story



Sarah
Palin's
Campaign
Speech
in Wisconsin

Sarah Palin stump photo

        Sarah Palin gave her most robust and perhaps telling speech yet on a snowy Saturday in Madison, Wis. Speaking to a tea party gathering of anywhere between 6,000 and 9,000 -- not all of whom were supporters.
        Palin derided the GOP "establishment" and accused them of simply rearranging "the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic." And in a line that will surely be repeated, she used the Wisconsin women's hockey team as an example of the way the GOP needs to learn to fight: "Like a girl."
        But the real fire in the speech was saved for attacking President Obama. And attack she did. Palin is never one to shy from a good tongue lashing, but she was in rare form on Saturday. She accused Obama of "class warfare," "fear mongering," and "cowardice," not to mention throwing "hatred and violence at the good folks in Madison, Wisconsin." [Alaska Dispatch, April 16]
Click here for the full story



STRAW POLLS - EVERYBODY WINS

Straw poll graphic

        Add this to the pile of evidence that the GOP race is wide open: There's barely any trend to which candidates are winning activist-friendly straw polls in the state.
        - Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain won a pair of tea party straw polls in New Hampshire.
        - Newt Gingrich won a vote in his home state of Georgia.
        - Haley Barbour came out on top in Charleston County.
        - Ron Paul won in Lexington County, S.C., CNN reports: "Paul won the vote at the Lexington County Republican Party convention on Saturday [Politico, April 18]
Click here for the full story



House votes could define Michele Bachmann candidacy.

Michele Bachmann photo

        Presidential contenders such as Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney can talk all they want about governing from the safe harbor of the putative campaign trail. But only one prospective 2012 presidential candidate has to walk the walk on a regular basis: Rep. Michele Bachmann. Bachmann is the only working legislator who could end up on the trail later this year. (Rep. Ron Paul also could run again.
        Should the Minnesota conservative mount a run, her actions in the next two days could help define her candidacy.
        Today the House is expected to vote on the budget deal struck last Friday to keep the government funded for the rest of the year. Bachmann has been a vocal critic of the deal, while at the same time urging her colleagues to move on to the fights about the 2012 budget and raising the U.S. debt ceiling. She has said she'll vote against the package, largely because it doesn't de-fund the Democratic healthcare initiative. [LA Times, April 14]
Click here for the full story



** VIDEO **

Rep. Paul:
'Philosophy
of Liberty
Will Give Americans Answers'

** VIDEO **
   NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right, but it's fair to say one of the Paul's' is running?
    PAUL: I think there is a very good chance there will be a Paul on the ballot.
    CAVUTO: OK. More your dad than you?
    PAUL: Well, you know, I keep looking at his travel schedule.
    (LAUGHTER)
    PAUL: And he's certainly going to Iowa and New Hampshire quite a bit. [Fox News, April 12]
Click here for the full story ** VIDEO **



Tim Pawlenty hires a campaign manager

        Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty took another step towards running for president in 2012, hiring a campaign manager Monday.
        Mr. Pawlenty tapped Nick Ayers, one of the most sought-after GOP operatives in the country, to be the campaign manager of his presidential exploratory committee.
        Mr. Ayers served as executive director of the Republican Governors Association during 2008 to 2010. Mr. Ayers oversaw the organization under the leadership of Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, another potential presidential candidate. Mr. Ayers has also worked for former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue. [The State Column, April 12]
Click here for the full story



It's Official:
Romney's
running

Photo of Mitt Romney

         Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, has made his presidential ambitions official by forming an exploratory committee to run for president in 2012 and declaring ''it is time that we put America back on a course of -greatness''.
        Mr Romney, right, a top contender in 2008, has so far remained out of the spotlight. At this stage, he tops most polls for the Republican nomination.
        But the pressures of fund-raising are likely to be greater this time, with President Barack Obama expected to raise as much as $1 billion for his re-election campaign. [Sidney Morning Herald, April 11]
Click here for the full story



Oprah
Won't Endorse
Obama
in 2012

Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama photo


        Oprah Winfrey will not be endorsing US President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012 due to concerns that she may further alienate her audience.
        Winfrey threw her considerable weight behind Obama for president in 2008, the first time she ever endorsed a political candidate for office. She then refused to interview Republican Vice President candidate Sarah Palin, leading to a significant drop among her core audience of White women.
        "Unlike in 2008, when a drop in ratings didn't matter as much for the queen of TV, Oprah is now fighting every day to get people to tune into OWN." [The Right Perspective, April 10]
Click here for the full story



Rasmussen:
48% Prefer
Tea Party
to Congress.

Rasmussen logo

        The poll finds that 48 percent of Likely U.S. Voters say that when it comes to the major issues facing the country, their views are closer to the average tea party member as opposed to the average member of Congress.
        Just 22 percent say their views are closest to those of the average congressman. Even more (30 percent) aren't sure.
        This shows little change from a survey in late March of last year. [Newsmax, April 7]
Click here for the full story



Donald Trump's
support
surges in
New Hampshire.

Photo of Donald Trump

        Trump picked up the support of 21 percent of state primary voters, behind only 27 percent for Mitt Romney according to the survey from Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP).
        Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tied for third with 12 percent support apiece.
        Trump will head to the Granite State in June to address the "Politics and Eggs" speaking series in Concord, N.H., an important stop on the state's political circuit for any would-be candidate. He is also traveling to Iowa, another early voting hot spot.
        The New Hampshire survey followed a Harris Poll last week that measured Trump tied with Romney as the top pick for Republicans nationwide. [New York Post, March 5]
Click here for the full story



** VIDEO **
Rand Paul: In Iowa
Taking a Stand

Photo of Rand Paul

        Over the weekend, Senator Rand Paul gave the keynote address at the Iowa GOP's "Night of the Rising Stars" event, where he urged attendees to stand on principle.
        Paul calls for much larger budget cuts and for the president to come to congress before sending troops to foreign countries. [Campaign for Liberty, April 4]
** VIDEO ** - Click here for the full story



Bachmann hauls in more than $2 million

Money graphic

        Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) raised more than $2 million during the first quarter of the year as she weighs a 2012 run for president.
        Gov. Mitt Romney, raised $1.9 million through his Free and Strong America PAC.
        Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who's still deciding on another presidential bid, raised just over $1 million for his Liberty PAC.
        The impressive first quarter haul shows Bachmann could be a fundraising force if she opted for a run next year. Her fundraising prowess was evident during the 2010 cycle, when she raised a staggering $13.5 million for her House race. But proving it early in a wide open presidential primary battle is doubly important.
Click here for the full story



First GOP Presidential Debate Postponed Due to Lack of Candidates.

        The debate, co-sponsored by NBC and Politico, was scheduled to take place May 2 at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. It will now be held Sept. 14.
        Of the several major candidates believed to be running, only former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has even announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.
        "Although there will be a long and impressive list of Republican candidates who eventually take the field, too few have made the commitment thus far for a debate to be worthwhile in early May," Reagan Foundation Executive Director John Heubusch said. [Roll Call, March 31]
Click here for the full story



Rubio: 'I'm not running' in 2012

        "I'm not running for president in 2012," said the Florida Republican, who leveraged tea party support to beat then-Gov. Charlie Crist. "I want to be United States senator. I want to be the best United States senator that Florida's ever had."
        "I just got elected three months ago, so how can I be a full-time United States senator if my eye's already on something else?".
        "Even speculating about it is problematic, because when you speculate about it what you're basically saying is, I'm thinking about something other than the job that I have before me," he said. But Rubio didn't rule out being considered as the vice presidential running-mate.
        Rush Limbaugh, the king of conservative talkers, said he wanted to see Rubio in the White House. "I wish the damn guy ... would run for president," he said in mid-March. [Politico, March 28]
Click here for the full story



** VIDEO **
Monica Crowley
Refutes Eleanor Clift's
"Tea Party Candidate Can't Win National Election."

        ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK: If you elect a candidate, if you nominate a candidate that the Tea Party loves, that is someone that cannot win a national election in this country.
        CROWLEY: Not happening, not happening. If the government keeps spending like this, that Tea Party movement is only going to accelerate. And all of the top tier Republican candidates, whether it's Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich, they're all facing enormous pressure from the Tea Party, and they're going to have to change their positions and modify them to accommodate the Tea Party on spending and the size of government. [NewsBusters, March 27]
Click here for the full story



Michele:
"I'm in"
for
2012.

Michele Bachman

        In a rousing speech before a standing-room-only audience at a conservative conference in Iowa on Saturday, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann said "I'm in" for 2012.
        Earlier this week, CNN learned that Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee. The Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June, with an announcement likely around that same time.
        But a source close to the congresswoman said that Bachmann could form the exploratory committee even earlier than June so that she could participate in early Republican presidential debates. [CNN, March 26]
Click here for the full story



Zogby:
Gov. Christie
tops list of Republicans in hypothetical race for presidential nomination.

 Photo of Governor Chris Christie between two flags

        Christie, who has said repeatedly and emphatically that he is not running for president, received the most support, 19 percent, among Republicans asked about their preference for the nomination. Christie received 19 percent of the support, followed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who received 13 percent.
        Real estate developer Donald Trump and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romeny came next with 9 percent each followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 8 percent.
        When Christie was omitted from the sample, Palin topped the list of potential candidates with 14 percent of the support. [NJ.com, March 25]
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Sarah Palin
hints that she may not run for president in 2012.

        For the first time over the last two years Sarah Palin is beginning to signal that she is not going to run for president in 2012. In an interview with Greta Van Sustren Palin was once more asked whether she was any closer to declaring herself as a candidate in 2012. Palin remained relatively vague, but did say that "You don't need an office to make a difference. I'm proof of that."
         In 2009 Palin justified her mid-term resignation as Governor of Alaska by saying she could more effectively work for the conservative cause outside of the constraints of a political office. She now seems to be making the same claim about a potential presidential run by essentially saying she could do just as effective, or possibly better work outside of the presidency. [Examiner, March 24]
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First openly gay candidate files with FEC.


        Longtime GOP strategist and Laguna Beach gay activist Fred Karger made it official today, filing paperwork at the Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C., becoming the first openly gay candidate to run for president in history.
        Karger's 30-year career working for the party's cause brings considerable political and campaign experience. He has managed dozens of campaigns, worked on nine presidential campaigns including as senior consultant with President's Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford.
        Since his retirement at age 53 in 2004, however, Karger's career expertise and lifestyle finally consolidated and he has since wielded his prowess at opposition research for gay causes. [Laguna Beach Independent, March 23]
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Jim DeMint won't run for president in 2012

        Jim DeMint has ruled out a run for president in 2012, choosing instead to focus his growing political power on helping to elect more conservatives to the Senate next November, according to sources close to the South Carolina senator.
        "At the end of the day he believes he can do more to change America by continuing to change the U.S. Senate," said a source familiar with DeMint's thinking. "He doesn't wake up everyday with a burning desire to be the commander-in-chief [and] he knows without a deep burning desire to be president it is near impossible to successfully run for the job." [Washington Post, March 24]
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2012 GOP hopefuls meet with popular NJ Governor.

 Governor Chris Christie photo


        In office just over a year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has become quite the hot commodity to Republican presidential hopefuls. They all want to kiss his ring.
        "Let's judge the complete field once they all get in," Christie says, declining to publicly back any one White House aspirant even as a stream of them trek up the turnpike to pay respects to the top Republican in Trenton as the 2012 Republican nomination fight gets under way. He did, however, give clues about what type of candidate he would embrace.
        "You have to have unscripted moments. I mean you cannot be blow-dried and, you know, poll-tested and come out here. That's not what the American people want. They want somebody who is going to speak straight to them. And they want to ask you questions, so they want unguarded moments. That's when they can really judge your character." [Seattle PI, March 23]
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Mitt Romney Vows Repeal of Obama Care

        As US President Barrack Obama poll numbers continue to stay below the 50 percent mark while the field of Republican Presidential contenders for the 2012 election has begun to emerge. Some of the major contenders include former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former US Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
        Romney has said that he would issue an immediate executive order to pave the way for waivers in all 50 states. Romney continues to proclaim that the controversial law was passed in the dead of night last year with parliamentary trickery and maneuvers never used before. The former Governor has said that the executive order model would have to be used first since it would take far too much time to get an outright appeal. [ViscosiMedia, March 23]
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Rand Paul
Won't
Challenge Dad.

 Photo of Rand Paul and Ron Paul


        Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) "said Monday that the only decision he's made about a potential 2012 presidential campaign is that he won't run against his father -- Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX),".
        The elder Paul is seriously weighing another run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, while his son, Tea Party star Rand Paul, has teased the idea of his own campaign next year.
        During an appearance in South Carolina on Monday, the first term senator said part of the reason he's traveling to early primary states is because he wants the tea party "to have an influence over who the nominee is in 2012," according to the South Carolina Post and Courier. [SenateUS, March 22]
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And They're Off...
Pawlenty
Launches 2012 GOP
Presidential Race.


        Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has taken the plunge as the first major contender for the Republican presidential nomination to open an account with the Federal Election Commission for the purposes of eventually setting up a full-blown campaign.
        Team Pawlenty stuck to its plan to announce the formation of the campaign committee despite a very busy news day. In fact, Pawlenty's announcement didn't get a single mention on any of the three major commercial broadcast network newscasts on Monday night.
        (FYI: In the eyes of the FEC, there's no difference between what candidates like to call an "exploratory committee" and a presidential campaign committee. Candidates like multiple bites at the free media apple for rolling out a candidacy and an escape hatch should the money and support not immediately materialize, hence any talk of an "exploratory committee.") [PBS, March 22]
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Trump says he has doubts about Obama's birth place.

Picture of Donald Trump

        In an interview with ABC, Trump said he finds it strange "nobody knew" Obama as a young child in Hawaii.
        "Let me tell you, I'm a really smart guy. I was a really good student at the best school in the country. The reason I have a little doubt, just a little, is because he grew up and nobody knew him," Trump said.
        "If I got the nomination, if I decide to run, you may go back and interview people from my kindergarten. They'll remember me. Nobody comes forward. Nobody knows who he is until later in his life. It's very strange," the Celebrity Apprentice host added. "The whole thing is very strange." [CNN, March 19]
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Herman Cain back in 1994 just destroying then President Bill Clinton

Here is absolutely priceless video of possible 2012 GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain back in 1994 just destroying then President Bill Clinton during a Town Hall Meeting on Clinton's National Health Care Plan. Cain was then CEO of Godfather's Pizza, and was selected as a "business owner" to ask President Clinton a question. He calmly but forcefully demonstrated that Clinton's Health Care Plan would be devastating to his business by forcing them to provide Health Care for all of the part-time employees. Clinton tried to recover after Cain's opening statement, but once Cain finished the job with his response, Clinton could do nothing but ask Cain to "send me your calculations" so that he could look at them. [Freedom's Lighthouse, March 10]
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Jobs, Libya, and The Tea Party vs. the GOP, According to Potential Candidate Pawlenty

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, will the road to 2012 take any of the politicians in Iowa today all the way to the White House? Because this is where it begins. And former Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty, isn't shy. In fact, he's serious, but will he run? We asked the governor that and much more at The Machine Shed Restaurant in Des Moines.
         I would absolutely consider and likely deploy a no-fly zone over Libya for those reasons. We have a confirmed terrorist, a sociopath who is gunning down and killing his own people in the streets of Libya. We have, I believe, the reasonable capacity to prevent and stop that, at least as it relates to air strikes, and I think that's a viable option and he should take it. [Fox News, March 8]
Click here for the full story


Sarah Palin in Long Island


Sarah Palin: I'm "Still Thinking About" Running for President

** AUDIO/VIDEO **

Delivering remarks before a Long Island business group on Thursday, Sarah Palin said she was "still thinking about" whether or not she would run for president in 2012, and emphasized that "I haven't made up my mind." She added, however, that she had hired a chief of staff - and said that if she did run, she would operate a traditional in-the-field campaign. The 2008 vice presidential candidate also criticized President Obama for his recent budget proposal, and argued that the plan "it's not really a dent'' in the deficit. [CBS News, Feb. 18] Click here for the full story


Michael Glassner

Sarah Palin hired chief-of-staff Michael Glassner--indication she's running ... Michael Glassner, an attorney who has worked for several high-profile politicians, including Bob Dole and John McCain, will serve as the head adviser of her political action committee, Sarah PAC. Tim Crawford, the committee's spokesperson told CNN that the group is "excited that Mike has agreed to come on the team." Glassner is familiar working with Palin having managed vice presidential operations during McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, where Palin ran on the same ticket. He helped coordinate Palin's travel and scheduling. [NY Daily News, Feb. 13]


A Presidential Run for Rep. Ron Paul? The libertarian-leaning Republican from Texas, will speak in Iowa next month at a presidential lecture series for the Family Leader, a social conservative activist group. It's another signal Mr. Paul is pondering his third run at the White House. [Wall Street Journal, Feb.8]


A Graphical Overview of the 2012 Republican Field. One dimension is obvious: we can classify the candidates from left to right, from relatively more moderate to relatively more conservative. But another dimension that is often salient in the primaries, and perhaps especially so for Republicans next year, is what we might think of as the insider/outsider axis: whether the candidate is viewed as part of the Republican establishment, or as a critic of it. [NY Times Feb. 6]


News that South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint will travel to Iowa on March 26 to address a conservative forum organized by Rep. Steve King is sparking another round of chatter that DeMint might launch a dark horse bid for the White House in 2012. . . . several of his closest advisers and political confidantes are now telling CNN that he is at least open to a presidential bid if a suitably conservative candidate fails to emerge from the early and wide-open GOP field.[Political Ticker CNN Jan. 30]



Mike Pence announced Thursday night that he won't run for the White House,
leaving conservatives looking for someone new to serve them tea. [Politico Jan. 28]


Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney emerged as the winner Saturday of a New Hampshire Republican straw poll that aimed to gauge what kind of support early contenders have among the party faithful. Romney received 35 percent support from the state party-sanctioned straw poll that was organized by ABC News and WMUR-TV. [Foxnews Jan. 23]


Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said he is "absolutely" open to a run for president in 2012. [The Hill Jan. 23]


New Hampshire Republicans are turning their attention to the 2012 presidential primary this weekend with a straw poll set to gauge what kind of support early contenders have among the party faithful. The straw poll is being organized by ABC News and WMUR-TV and is sanctioned by the New Hampshire Republican State Committee. It will be held Saturday, when just under 500 Republicans gather for the party's annual meeting in Derry. [Washington Post Jan. 19]


      

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is offering some effusive praise for one of the potential Republican presidential candidates: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who previously served as Budget Director during the first term of the Bush-Cheney administration. [TPMDC Jan. 19]


ABC News/Wash Post Poll: Obama 54% Approval. President Obama gaining significant public support from their last poll. Their last poll, released in mid December, had the President at 49% approval (vs. 47% disapproval.) The new poll has the President at 54% approval (vs. 43% disapproval.) [The Presidential Candidates Jan. 19]


According to the new USA TODAY/Gallup survey, Palin's favorability rating has dipped to 38 percent while her unfavorable now stands at 53 percent. Gallup reports the 38 percent is a new low when it comes to the percentage of Americans who give the former Alaska governor a thumbs up. The 53 percent who dislike Palin is also a new high in Gallup polling. A similar poll in July found 44 percent of Americans viewed her favorably while 47 percent did not. [CNN Jan. 19]


Numbers USA issues report cards. Immigration Grades For 2012 Presidential Hopefuls [Numbers USA Jan. 19]


An independent campaign to draw GOP Rep. Mike Pence into the 2012 presidential race is under way, with a veteran of the Reagan White House launching a petition drive on Monday urging him to enter the primary contests. Ralph Benko, a deputy counsel to Ronald Reagan, announced the America's President Committee to encourage a Pence-for-president bid. Former Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., is also helping the campaign to collect signatures from conservatives and tea party activists. [AP Jan. 17]


Marist University has released their latest 2012 Presidential Poll [Race42012.com Jan. 17]


In an interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace Sunday morning. Christie said there are two reasons he's not running for president in 2012: He still has work to do in New Jersey and he's not personally ready. "I am not arrogant enough to believe that after one year as governor of New Jersey and seven years as U.S. Attorney that I am ready to be president," Christie said. "I don't think you run just because political opportunity is there, that's how we end up with politicians who aren't prepared for their jobs." [North Jersey Jan. 16]


The lack of a clear 2012 Republican presidential front-runner is prompting lesser-known figures to consider joining the race. Instead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, some conservative groups are looking for fresh faces. [Wall St. Journal Jan. 16]


Leaders of the religious right say it's time to restore America to the constitutional principles that made it great and are lining up to endorse Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Some tout her as the next Ronald Reagan -- with a twist. [Newsmax Jan. 14]


Sarah Palin is proceeding forward with a schedule full of campaign type events. This time it is in an early Presidential caucus state, Nevada. [Flaps Blog Jan. 14]


While Donald Trump has stated he won't be making any official announcements about political aspirations until after his TV reality show "The Apprentice" finishes its Spring season, he has been sharing news with his friends that he intends to run for President. When interviewed by Fox News and other news organizations, he will go so far as to he is 'seriously considering' a run at the presidency, and that he would seek the Republican nomination if indeed he did decide to run. [Electronics Jan. 14]


Gov. Mitt Romney has stepped down from the board of directors for hotel chain Marriott International Inc. for the second time in eight years. Romney's spokesman said the former presidential candidate felt he no longer had the time to devote to the position. [Boston Herald Jan. 13]


Gov. Chris Christie voiced a few sharp words about the most famous possible presidential contender. He argued that unscripted, even adversarial exchanges with reporters and the public are essential to judging a candidate, and that if Sarah Palin continues to avoid them, "she'll never be president." [NY Times Jan. 13].


Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to national Democrats, released a new poll Tuesday that showed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, would be the favorite to win the Iowa caucus to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. [Sunshine News Jan. 12]


         

Three Republicans openly mulling presidential runs will visit the Hawkeye State later this month -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. [Iowa Independent Jan. 12]


When Rep. Michele Bachmann's office declined to rule out a 2012 bid for the Republican nomination for president, religious right leaders responded with glee at what they say could be the next Ronald Reagan -- except "swap boots for pumps." [Independent Jan. 12]



Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is calling on conservatives to step up their outreach to Hispanic voters if they want to remain politically relevant. Bush wrote that "the center-right movement" is a natural home for Hispanic voters with its message of lower taxes and education reform. [CNN Jan. 10]


Herman Cain's presidential rumblings haven't garnered much national attention, but that isn't because he lacks popularity among grassroots conservatives or because he's shunned visits to early-voting states. The conservative talk-radio host is a bonafide Tea Party rock star who's a regular at their events and serves as a commentator on Fox News. By his count, Cain has visited Iowa six times in the past year and has supporters making calls to key activists in the state. He's also made three trips to New Hampshire, one to South Carolina, four to Texas and two to Florida.


Rick Santorum will attend a Tea Party event in Davenport, Iowa, as part of the early groundwork for a 2012 presidential run


Tea Party Express to co-host 2012 presidential debate







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