Businessman Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll Saturday, beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential frontrunner who just two days earlier delivered a debate performance that was widely panned.
Cain finished with 37 percent of the vote, while Perry trailed with 15 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed with 14 percent while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum drew 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul finished with 10.5 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finished with 2 percent.
Congratulations to Herman Cain, and to Jon Huntsman who came in with 2%–which is 1 point higher than Michelle Bachmann, whose campaign is all but finished at this point.
All joking aside, it ‘s an impressive result for Cain, but we can’t make much of it until further polling data confirms Cain’s actual standing among the candidates. I’m curious to see how the next few weeks pan out, but it seems as if Republican voters are sick and tired of the Romney vs. Perry bitch-fest. Romney is a non-starter for so many grassroots conservatives, and Perry’s star seems to flame out the more they learn about him. Nobody really knows at this point.
My guess is that voters are still not impressed with the current batch of contenders. No candidate is ever without flaws, but I’m getting the feeling that voters seem to think that these individual flaws are not mitigated by big enough plusses.
Nevertheless, a big congratulations is in order for Herman Cain–excellent work in making this silly season especially more entertaining.
Meanwhile, you know who this really helps? Stacy McCain. He hasn’t been on the Cain bandwagon—he’s been the coach driver.
I get e-mail from Obama 2012 headquarters:
I love seeing 2008 bumper stickers on cars and bicycles when I travel across the country. But as we start to see Republican gear hit the streets, what about making sure people know you’re supporting the President in 2012?
You can do that with a 2012 campaign car magnet. Will you donate $10 or more and we’ll send you one?
An Obama 2012 car magnet? With a minimum $10 donation to the campaign? Clearly, the Obama campaign doesn’t realize there’s a recession going on right now. Oh, well. The e-mail continues:
Maybe you’re wondering how putting a magnet on your car will help re-elect the President.
When people see us out in the neighborhood showing support with our clothing, our dog leashes, our cars, or our water bottles, it starts conversations. You might get a chance to tell someone why you’re supporting the President, and maybe even convince someone to sign up to volunteer.
At the very least, you’ll show everyone that you’re on the President’s team — and you’re proud of it.
Starting conversations is good. Unfortunately for the Obama camp, I’m seeing some different sentiments on people’s cars these days. I saw this down in Cape May this past July:
Talk about starting conversations. And this one I saw on the way to work just last week:
These are all in New Jersey for pete’s sake.
And from Virginia, a state that many leftist bloggers and pundits are claiming is turning deep blue, a friend sends this:
Maybe Americans are tired of having “conversations” with this president. And maybe, just maybe, they’re about ready to move on.
Of course, that distinction belongs to President 39%, who deserves all the credit:
“There is a dramatic contrast with the governor of Texas” when it comes to his record versus the president’s on job creation,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Not the least of which is that it is extremely difficult for him to deserve credit for that job creation when you have rising gas prices that created oil jobs that he had nothing to do with, when you had military spending as a result of two wars that created military jobs that he had nothing to do with, when you have the Recovery Act championed by President Obama that created jobs in Texas that he had nothing to do with.”
[...] “So it is way overblown to suggest that the job creation in Texas is squarely on the shoulders of [Perry's] policies.”
Democrats, apparently, are born liars. If the Democrat party wants to campaign on the stimulus bill to scream about all of the wonderful jobs they have created, then so be it. Try selling that to the American people for the next 15 months.
Meanwhile here’s Ms. Shultz in Iowa this past weekend, preaching to
getting booed by the Democratic faithful:
If I was a Democrat, with unemployment over 9%, a historic downgrade of our country’s credit, a stalling economy with little or no growth, I wouldn’t exactly be too confident in my party’s outlook right about now. And having this uninspiring moonbat representing the party wouldn’t be helping matters.
Because she can relate to you miserable rubes in Missouri with your hundreds of thousands in back taxes and private aircraft:
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) said Monday she will sell her private plane and pay back $287,273 in four years of back taxes, the latest chapter in a politically embarrassing saga for the moderate Democrat facing a tough reelection battle in 2012.
McCaskill has been answering questions about the plane since POLITICO recently reported that she billed taxpayers for a political trip around Missouri. POLITICO also reported that McCaskill spent $76,000 from her Senate budget on trips on the aircraft over the past four years, prompting the senator to refund the Treasury Department more than $88,000 for the cost of the trips plus pilot fees.
McCaskill’s announcement Monday is the latest twist in a political scandal that has dogged her for the past two weeks. The expensive fiasco clashes with her self-made image as a reformer and good-government advocate during her first term in the Senate. McCaskill has now shelled out more than $375,000 in payments to cover the cost of the plane flights and back taxes, a series of events the senator herself has called “embarrassing.”
On top of this, McCaskill signed on in February as a co-sponsor of Senate legislation that would fire federal employees if they are “seriously delinquent” in paying their own federal taxes.
Yep. She whipped out her checkbook and wrote a check for $300,000. Because we all have that kind of money laying around. This from a member of the party that purports to be on the side of working class Americans.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
Mitt Romneyis warming up for 2012 by appearing in New Hampshire and tearing into the President. It’s the standard fare for the pre-pre-primary fireworks, but I thought this bit was interesting:
And now, with the entire Middle East in turmoil, [Obama] and his administration were caught off guard. The President and his team look like deer in the headlights. Instead of leading the world, the President has been tiptoeing behind the Europeans. Newsweek magazine this week said that he hasn’t just lost his foreign policy map for the Middle East–he doesn’t even have one. This is the first time in a quarter of a century that America has had no discernible foreign policy. Not since the days of Jimmy Carter have we had such a foreign policy vacuum in Washington. And it could not have come at a worse time.”
Over the past two years, it’s been made clear that the President and his administration don’t believe in American exceptionalism. The benefits or faults of that posture can still be debated, but what Romney spoke of is what not being exceptional looks like. With that mindset, there is no impetus to really lead. This shouldn’t come as a surprise.
David Weigel is no fan of the soon-to-be former Senator from Indiana, who’s been making the rounds of the cable talk shows, opining on tomorrow’s midterm elections:
If you’re a Democrat, watching Bayh predict that his party will only lose seven seats is remote-control-through-the-screen stuff — Bayh quit his job with $13 million in the bank and polls showing him with a very good chance of holding his seat. It’s now one of the three to five seats seen as certain to go Republican.
But if you’re a Republican, surely you find Bayh’s circus act tiring, too. This is a guy who voted with his party on every significant vote of the Obama presidency thus far — Supreme Court judges, health care reform, stimulus package, all of it that actually got through the Senate. And yet whenever he gets a microphone, he whines that Obama made too many moves to the left and ignored the center. All by himself, Evan? We’re lucky this guy didn’t find his calling as a guidance counselor.
Nothing should give Obama supporters as much doubt in their man’s political acumen than the fact that this quivering mound of generic brand jell-o was on the shortlist for the vice presidency.
I have to agree with most of Weigel’s post.
But still, as Democratic party big shots assess the damage from tomorrow’s election, I’m sure there will be a sizable push to moderate. And there really isn’t a more clear example of moderation than Evan Bayh. And if the polls showing that Democrats favor a primary challenge to President Obama, are even somewhat accurate, you can be sure Mr. Bayh will be paying attention.
Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio made an interesting statement this week, noting that should the Republican party win big in November, as they are expected to do, it should provide a springboard for the 2012 election.
Of course, the left side of the blogosphere is tsk-tsking the comments (how dare politicians actually think about playing politics!).
But I seem to recall back in 2006 that the liberals were openly applauding the idea of that year’s midterms as a “first step” in their agenda–that the election was just a building block for congressional majorities and the White House in 2008. Again, when the Left engages in politics, its for altruistic betterment of society. When the Right does it, it’s well—just dirty politics.
This kind of rhetoric is plain ignorance and propaganda. To the extent that what conservative activists are supporting is the antithesis of everything that the Obama Democrats stand for, then yes–2010 should be setting the stage for 2012. Part of that is making sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president.
But I digress.
Andy McCarthy is up with an interesting post agreeing with Congressman Jordan’s statement:
Even if the GOP takes back both chambers, they will not have veto-proof majorities (either in straight Republican numbers or in the sense of a “working majority” that assumes peeling off some Dems). The president is obviously not going to sign off on what he regards as his signature progressive achievements. Consequently, the best the Republicans can expect — and this would be pretty good — is to tee up repeal, force Obama to veto it, and set up the 2012 election as being about the president who is the obstacle to reversing policies the American people despise.
I don’t have great hope for repeal, though I devoutly hope I am wrong. In any case, though, it’s a project that has to take at least two election cycles: first developing a mandate for repeal and finally electing a president who is willing to execute the mandate. So if they win in ’10, they have to start the ’12 campaign instantly. Anything else means collaborating with the White House in the consolidation of Obama’s new New Deal — which, though it would force Obama to give some ground, would on the whole be a permanent victory for big government.
I’m just as pessimistic as McCarthy. I’ve written about this over and over. Sure, the GOP has a great shot at taking back the House and an extremely outside shot in the Senate. But in terms of having enough firepower to push-back on the progressive agenda (the crown-jewel of which, healthcare reform, has already been passed into law), the Republicans pretty much need the 2010-2012 strategy, as it were.
But take note conservatives, the most critical bit of McCarthy’s post, which I completely agree with:
If I am right that Obama is not a conventional politician, that he is a movement leftist who cares more about imposing his program than being reelected, we are in for a very difficult time, beginning with the lame-duck session right after the election. And if you thought the last two years were bad in terms of transparency, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.
As long as the president had commanding majorities in Congress (2009-10), he had a powerful incentive to ram through unpopular legislation. Legislation is a relatively open process. Even with all the backroom horsetrading, the process of passing laws requires public debate and public voting. But executive agencies conduct much of their business behind closed doors, and they are notorious for ignoring congressional oversight demands.
We could end up longing for the days when you had to pass the bill in order to know what was in it; soon, you won’t know what your government is doing until it’s already done.
Is there anything more socially and politically dangerous as a politician who doesn’t care about getting re-elected? We’ve been warned.