Showing posts with label president2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label president2012. Show all posts

The Night of the Thurmonds

Last night was a good night for the Thurmond family.

While Strom Jr. rolled to re-election without opposition in a Midlands region Solicitor's race, his brother Paul returned to politics with a solid win for the Charleston area state Senate seat formerly held by Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell.

Paul's father served in the Senate, representing Edgefield County, for several years before moving on to higher offices. Like Paul, his father took the seat when he was in his thirties, opening the door to a long political career.

While many tell us the Solicitor brother is content to be a career prosecutor in the Thurmond family home region, we see Paul as one to watch in the future. He made it into the GOP run-off for the First Congressional District two years ago and battled through a series of court battles and primary contests for the chance to take on Democrat Paul Tinkler, proving he's a fighter.

Like his father, Senator Thurmond is a likable guy, humble and hard-working. These qualities will do him well in politics - and possibly pave the way for a future bid for a higher office.

Watch this guy. He could be going places.

A rough road ahead?

As Election Night fades into the rear-view mirror of history, there's a lot to suggest that taking down an incumbent President was going to be a tough feat. In modern history, Presidents almost always get a second term in office. Since FDR ousted President Hoover in 1932, only three challengers have unseated sitting Presidents: Carter, Reagan and Clinton.

But winning isn't always everything.

History shows that most two-term Presidents in modern history had things head downhill in their second terms. If they don't accomplish what they're after in their first term, they usually won't have much to brag about in their second term:

The Battle for Interstate 80

Back in the summer, I predicted that the race for the White House would come down to a fight that would follow one of two Interstate highway corridors: Interstate 95, which runs down the Eastern seaboard, and Interstate 80, which runs across the center of the nation from New York to California.

I predicted that if Obama could force Romney to fight for swing states along I-95: Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia, there would be no way that Romney could win, but if Romney could gain the upper hand in those I-95 swing states and go on offense in a number of swing states that straddle I-80, he would go into the last two weeks with a serious chance of winning.

With the battleground now shifting to the I-80 corridor from the I-95 corridor, Romney shattered the original Obama plan to use Florida, Ohio and Virginia as their electoral firewall, moved the battleground to a string of states along Interstate 80 and put the Obama campaign into an unexpected defense mode in a race which could go either way.

Walton Cartoon: "The Race"

Walton cartoon: "Obama roulette"

Romney energy policies "merit a closer look".

Recently, we saw an editorial in Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine, a magazine aimed at upper-level utility management (which we happen to get as well). In an op-ed in the latest issue, Editor Michael Burr lays out a strong argument for why Romney's energy policies offer paths forward for greater energy development, as well as opening doors for innovation that will broaden our available energy options:

Just as we were going to press, the Romney-Ryan campaign released an energy plan that sets forth what purports to be a bold policy goal: to achieve North American energy independence in just eight years. That goal is interesting in its own right. But it’s even more interesting against the current backdrop of economic and policy trends affecting energy and utility companies. And make no mistake, energy policy issues are heating up again ... The November elections are set for just two months after this issue of Fortnightly hits readers’ mailboxes. Given the major energy policy issues now in play, Romney’s stated positions merit a closer look.

As South Carolina's utilities struggle with federal mandates that are forcing the closure of a number of coal plants, this agenda could help boost their ability to generate power, helping augment the supply of energy which, in better days, was a major boost to economic development recruitment efforts.

When the Blogland endorsed Romney in the primary cycle, we wrote "Mitt Romney has shown the depth of knowledge needed to make sound policy decisions, a willingness to apply logic instead of shallow rhetoric to solve problems". Seeing these kinds of assessments confirm that we made the right decision then and spell out why we stand by that endorsement going into November.

The problem of dependency: Maybe Romney was right

Mitt Romney's recent remarks about the growth of dependency set off a short-lived media storm, but in most polls, Romney's support barely moved and a week later, most polls showed little real change from the week of the DNC in Charlotte.

Perhaps it's because that many actually agreed with his basic premise that too many people are indeed dependent upon government assistance?

That seems to be what the findings of a poll released by Rasmussen Polling would suggest:

Americans strongly believe that there is too much government dependency in the country today. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 64% of Adults think there are too many Americans dependent on the government for financial aid. Just 10% think not enough Americans are dependent on the government, while 16% say the level of dependency is about right.

These concerns by Romney and poll respondents are being voiced during a time of unprecedented growth of social programs and their cost to taxpayers, as well as a continued inability of the federal government to rein in spending and balance its budget.

So how did YOU commemorate 9/11?

While Romney called upon Americans to remember 9/11 and Obama hustled for campaign volunteers to mark the anniversary of this tragic occasion, here's how others marked the occasion:

So how's that foreign relations "reset" thing working out?

Walton cartoon - "Biden goofs"

Rock the Red event to counter Dem convention

While holding the Democratic convention in Charlotte might once have seemed a good idea, it is increasingly viewed as the last stand of Democrats in the Deep South before a Romney-Ryan sweep in November. From the looks of it, they'll even be fighting to keep the media spotlight during their convention week.

ROCK THE RED - an all-star line-up of country music stars and Carolinas GOP politicos - will be gathering just several miles away from the Democratic convention to contest the political narrative being wielded by Democrats. Featuring the likes of Charlie Daniels and Travis Tritt, along with S.C. politico such as Alan Wilson and Mick Mulvaney, the event is scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, September 5.

Tickets are available online, with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $99. If you like to mix your politics with country music, you might want to check this event out.

Florence Republican would consider VP role

Florence County Republican Mike Reino surprised South Carolina political observers when he announced that if asked, he would consider being the GOP Vice-Presidential candidate. He enters a large field of those who have been the subject of Vice-Presidential rumors, including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

“Who wouldn’t consider this,” he said. “There’s a ton of travel, the work hours suck, and if I got elected, I’d be the butt of late-show jokes, just like the last few Vice-Presidents: Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Dan Quayle and Joe Biden. Not only that, but fewer people would want to go hunting with me.”

Moye Graham, Chairman of the Clarendon County Republican Party, dismissed these rumors: “If it’s this hard to get Mike to come down to Wyboo for free beer, how can he find the time to travel the country to do hundreds of fundraisers and publicity events?”

This speculation about Reino’s candidacy has reached a feverish pace amid surveys of Republicans indicated that, if asked, most of them would consider the slot. “Not surprising,” said Joe Schmoe, a Washington-based political columnist. “After all, if you ask me to shoot myself, I’d consider it. It doesn’t mean I’d do it, but we tend to think about most things we’re asked to do before we decide if we’re going to do them or not. At least after we graduated from college, stopped smoking pot and dropping acid and sobered up so we could get a job.”

Brian McCarty, another state political blogger, agreed with Schmoe: “Think about it - the odds of actually getting asked are about as good as most of us getting the hottest dame in the bar to talk to us. If it happens, great, but let’s face it, it ain’t gonna happen for most of us. But if asked, sure, I'd be willing to consider being number two in the fall of next year, as would most of us.”

Santorum campaign working to co-opt delegate elections?

While South Carolina’s delegates to the national GOP convention are locked in to support the candidates who won their respective district - or statewide – contests, this isn’t stopping the Santorum campaign from organizing efforts to elect delegates at the upcoming district conventions. According to a number of sources, the Santorum campaign is anticipating a “brokered” convention (which hasn’t happened in nearly 100 years) and is preparing to compete once nomination voting has gone several rounds and delegates are no longer obligated to support their voters’ choice and are then free to support the candidate of their own choosing.

But Santorum, long connected to K Street lobbyists and the game of Washington influence peddling, is no stranger to the kind of insider power plays that helped fuel the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress, as well as the TEA Party backlash which followed in the 2010 elections.

While they’re reportedly working statewide, their most intense efforts seem aimed at the Sixth District convention, where turnout is usually low and an orchestrated effort could give them control over the district’s three delegates. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich carried the Sixth, one of five of the state’s seven Congressional districts that he won. Mitt Romney won the First and Second Districts. Santorum led in none of the state’s districts, finishing third place overall.

Guest cartoon: Walton - "Obama's Clown budget"

Santorum campaign out to convert Jews?

As a Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum has show a willingness to pander to social conservatives by highlighting his stance on issues near to the hearts of socially-conservative Christians, just as he did before his home-state voters threw him out of the Senate back in 2006.

Now it seems that the Santorum campaign may be connected with a radical Christian group which works to convert Jews to Christianity - Jews for Jesus - by way of a recent Hannukah mailing by the Santorum campaign aimed at South Carolina Jews which quotes the same Christian biblical verse as one which is featured in a Jews for Jesus website article about Hanukkah which is critical of Jews:

Birthed out of the tumultuous Inter-Testamental Period, Hanukkah is a key celebration in the Jewish tradition. For many Christians, this near-Christmas, Jewish holiday carries a darkness of ignorance. Allow Jews for Jesus the opportunity to shed some light on the Festival of Lights.

The group's overt efforts to criticize Jewish teachings and convert Jews runs counter to a growing trend of acceptance and respect between Christians and Jews and the group's efforts and claims have been universally repudiated by Jewish theologians and scholars.

Given Santorum's close ties to evangelical Christians who make up much of his active support, and are seen as those least accepting of Jews, a potential connection between the mailing and radical groups like Jews for Jesus doesn't seem out of the question.

If true, this takes Santorum's agenda of advocating forcing values through the political process to a whole new level by using campaign resources in thinly-veiled effort to evangelize Christian teachings.

Inquiries to the Santorum campaign seeking clarification on this connection - not surprising given our frequent criticms of Santorum - have gone un-returned.

Santorum: A Jewish holiday card with a Christian message

Yes, really.

The Santorum campaign wasn't talking to anyone about this one - but considering the gross insensitivity and cluelessness of the piece, we're not surprised.

After Florida: Why a long GOP race could be a good thing

As the dust settles from the Florida Republican primary, the race for the Republican nomination remains unsettled. At this point, it's hard to see the contest settled at least until some time in March, as there will only be a handful of primaries and caucuses until March, when a series of "Super Tuesday" contests will award large numbers of delegates.

While some Republicans think a prolonged nomination contest will divide the party, raise negatives with swing voters, and bleed the eventual nominee dry, recent political history suggests that such a drawn-out contest does not necessarily mean defeat. This being the case, perhaps Republicans should relax and allow the candidates more time to work a larger number of states and prove themselves capable of campaigning in multiple states over a long period of time.

Even though Republicans have traditionally preferred short contests, afraid of the potential fallout from a protracted nomination contest, each of the last three elections where Democrats switched control of the White House from the GOP were prolonged contests:

Democratic rout looming in North Carolina?

Today, two prominent North Carolina Democrats abandoned their re-election bids, both facing strong possibilities of defeat at the hands of Republicans, raising doubts about the ability of Democrats to repeat their surprise win of the state in the 2008 Presidential contest.

Democratic Governor Beverly Purdue, long trailing GOP challenger Pat McCrory, a former Mayor of Charlotte, in polls, announced that she would not seek a second term. Democratic Congressman Brad Miller also announced he would not seek another term, after being forced to choose between almost-certain defeat at the hands of GOP challengers in his old district or by an incumbent Democrat in another.

These signs of trouble for Democrats in North Carolina as they fight Republicans - and each other - in several high-profile contests which follow the surprise 2010 takeover of the North Carolina General Assembly by the GOP.

Walton cartoon: Infighting

... enough said.

Mitt Romney for President

A rear view of the Bloglandmobile.

NOTE: The Blogland re-endorsed Romney for the general election. If you want to see the updated endorsement, read here.

The United States faces major challenges both at home and abroad. A stagnant economy has left many Americans convinced things are worse than before Obama took office, while growing interference from the federal government stifles economic growth and a growing debt has funded a series of failed initiatives while providing unprecedented incentives for people not to return to work. Around the world, our nation has lost credibility as our military strength and our will to use it effectively have diminished and our foreign policy grown less decisive.

As the Obama administration lacks the willingness and vision needed to address these growing problems, it’s time for a new President who will take them more seriously and who has the background and leadership ability to get results.

In this year’s Republican Primary, the Blogland has watched the evolving field of candidates, attended many events with the candidates and their representatives and absorbed far more information about them than human beings should be exposed to. After careful consideration, the Blogland will support former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the nomination.

Newt Gingrich's Ego Problem

Today's Newt Gingrich event in Florence showed Gingrich as his usual strong, outspoken self. But it also showed how big his ego could get, as he sought to consolidate the support of conservative Republicans behind his candidacy, telling the audience that "a vote for Santorum or Perry is wasted", criticizing fellow GOP candidate Mitt Romney as a moderate who Repubicans should unite against.

He also made sure audience members knew that Santorum "lost his state by the biggest margin of history". It's true, but it was hardly a generous gesture to the Santorum voters he was trying to talk into supporting him.

So why does Gingrich think he is "The One" for conservatives and all others are lost causes?