Archive for the ‘Sarah Palin’ Category
After the amazing Ted Cruz triumph over Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, a couple political Twitterati including Rick Wilson and David Weigel mused that success has 1000 fathers . The implication, of course, that everyone wants to share in the success and no one wants to admit they were part of a losing effort.
That’s true, of course. As I tweeted: Winning > Losing. And it’s fun to be on the winning side.
In thinking about Ted Cruz’ win, though, his success really did have a thousand fathers. More, actually.
I could probably list 100 people, easily, who put it on the line, and early, for Ted Cruz. I’ll admit I came on board after Jim DeMint because of my love for both Michael Williams and Ted Cruz. Both are great conservatives. It was a matter of who could win. It didn’t take long for Ted to demonstrate that he was the guy.
Jim DeMint lead the way. Mike Lee pushed everyone far and wide for Ted. But that really wasn’t the beginning.
Ted Cruz spoke at Texas Americans for Prosperity events and was introduced to grassroots there. After that, Ted did the hard work of attending CPACs, multiple Tea Parties, and all sorts of conservative gatherings.
Every Texas Tea Party leader and many tea partiers themselves knew Ted personally. He and his campaign manager John Drogin gutted it up day in and day out doing the hard politicking that it takes to win when you don’t have millions to burn.
Club for Growth, Freedom Works, and Sarah Palin [her analysis here], to name a few, came in and fortified and energized Cruz supporters, pushing Cruz enough to rob Dewhurst of the primary victory and forcing a run-off.
And here is why Citizen United is so very, very important: Without SuperPACs, incumbents are nearly untouchable.
How many important donors could give to these PACs and not risk the wrath of the very powerful powers-that-be? Many. Otherwise, they’d have to curry favor with someone like the Lt. Governor or sit on the sidelines for fear of losing and being punished for disloyalty.
PACS give donors both big and small the ability to fight for politicians who represent them without fear of reprisal should their fight be lost.
So, Ted Cruz success had thousands of fathers, but mostly Ted Cruz succeeded because he is a great candidate, the right man for the time, and worked his tail off doing the old fashioned work of politics — earning one vote at at time.
Ted’s victory speech here.
Ted Cruz looks good going into the run-off election with Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to be the Republican nominee for the United States Senate. How did this happen?
Well, Ted is a great candidate first of all: smart, principled, and hard working. He has been working the grassroots circuit for years. I first met Ted maybe three or four years ago when he was speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event in Austin. Since then, he’s faithfully attended Teaparty after Teaparty event. Ted knows every significant grassroots activist in Texas personally.
Ted’s hard work gave him name recognition among the around 30% of the most faithful, devoted conservative leaning political faithful in Texas. They came through and voted for him in the primary but Dewhurst still beat him with his higher name recognition and money, but I knew pretty assuredly that if Ted got into the run-off, Team Dewhurst was in big trouble.
Why? A couple reasons:
1. Most Republican voters have already voted and won’t come back out to vote.
2. The most dedicated will vote.
3. In a head-to-head, Cruz’s name recognition will increase.
The Dewhurst camp made a bad decision when they went so negative on Ted Cruz: The criticism was so outrageously over-the-top that people were forced to go look up the truth. When they went to investigate, many liked what they saw. I’m not sure if the negative ads didn’t help Ted Cruz.
Thursday night of last week, FreePAC, Freedom Works political action committee taught a stadium full of people how to get out the vote. [My interview with Matt Kibbe here.]
After that, there were rousing speeches from all sorts of Cruz supporters. Following the speechifying, Senators Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul, Republican usurper Richard Mourdock of Indiana (who beat incumbent Senator Lugar), and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe gave a press conference. There were a couple reporters there and then about 20 bloggers.
[Aside: Journalists ask stupid questions. I got to roll my eyes in front of them instead of online. Example: "Do Republicans want to win the Presidency more or the Congress more?"]
The FreePAC event lasted late and so early Friday, I drove back to The Woodlands, Texas and then went to the TeaParty event where many state TeaParty leaders showed up and endorsed Ted Cruz. Also there: Senator Jim DeMint and former Alaska Governor Ted Cruz.
Combined, these events and others like them around the state have the troops riled for a big turnout tomorrow. The energy certainly seems in Ted Cruz’ favor.
Tonight, I had the very special opportunity to talk to former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz. Ted is running for U.S. Senate but first he must win a very expensive and very challenging primary against an opponent who is spending a million dollars a week to beat him. He’s still confident.
Ted received another big endorsement — this time from Governor Sarah Palin. He’s also been endorsed by Rand Paul, (and just now, RON Paul!!), Mike Lee, and a bunch of other people.
What Ted needs is your vote and money.
Have a question about Ted Cruz? He answers it here. Everything from social to fiscal to economic issues. Listen and share!
CPAC 2012 seemed surreal. The event was anchored by two staunch conservatives.
Thursday, Governor Rick Perry gave a rousing speech with multiple standing ovations. Saturday, Governor Sarah Palin gave a barn burner of a speech, firing up the crowd. She deftly dealt with protesters. She painted a soaring vision.
Sandwiched in between these speeches: Moderately interesting political speeches from Santorum, then Mitt, then Newt.
Internet connectivity was spotty to an enraging degree. I couldn’t write, upload, and sometimes even tweet. Any coverage I did give, came via my phone and 3G.
Aside: This is the fourth time I’ve been to CPAC and this is the fourth time the internet has been a problem. If they want their event to be reported effectively, you’d think the organizers would make the investment into some serious bandwidth.
A couple people asked me how I felt CPAC compared to years past. Well, in 2008, Mitt Romney got out of the race at CPAC and there were multitudes of weeping Romneybots there. Mitt Romney still won the straw poll that year.
Romney edged out Santorum for the CPAC Straw Poll this year. In years past, paid Romneybots or Ronulans stuffed the vote. It was a competition to see who could win. The Straw Poll has never mattered, but the press loves to blab about it anyway. That Santorum came so close to winning this year is somewhat significant. He must have some organic following amongst the faithful to even compete with Romney’s Straw poll ballot-stuffing machine.
Generally, the energy just didn’t seem to be there for CPAC this year–not like I think it should be during an election year. Does it concern me for November? Yes, it does. This should be a shoe-in year for Republicans. I’m afraid it’s going to be close because our candidates can’t articulate a clear, inspiring vision. We’ll see.
Some fun moments included the Paul Begala – Tucker Carlson slap fight, Andrew Breitbart’s rousing speech and the promo for the Hating Breitbart movie, and Steve Crowder and Chris Loesch’s parody rap (watch for the N-word–lefties fell right into the trap).
Mostly, CPAC is about networking. On that account, it was a spectacular success.
Some years back, Hillary Clinton groused about a “vast right-wing conspiracy”. That statement was laughable when she said it. Now, there’s a right-wing network. No, it’s not the top-down MMFA-Obama machine fueled by Journolist like on the left. The more a patchwork of people who tolerate each other and work together when forced to achieve a useful end. Ever try to rangle a hoard of one-man-bands? Well. The bands are starting to become aware of one another, work together, and help promote each other’s work. It’s heartening.
A couple events help with that. For the third year, Ali Akbar, Aaron Marks and I decided to torture ourselves by throwing a party for bloggers. Microsoft on the dreaded K-street hosted and the party was an alcohol-soaked success. As John Brodigan says, the proponents of limited government are not for limited alcohol. See also karaoke.
At the Blogbash awards were given by and for bloggers. They weren’t the only ones. The TeaParty.net presented some awards, too.
Winners included Michelle Malkin (legacy award), Andrew Breitbart (changing the narrative — Weiner Press Conference), Ezra Dulis (video–Attack Watch), Jimmie Bise (podcast–The Delivery), RB Pundit (Twitter–@RBPundit), Peter List (Activism — unions), Lisa DePasquale (friend of bloggers), Jason Hart (state level blogger of the year — Ohio politics), True The Vote & Catherine Englebrecht (bloggers stand with), James O’Keefe & Project Veritas (Sunlight–New Hampshire voter registration fraud) and John Sexton who won both investigative post AND Blogger of the year for work at Verum Serum with Morgen Richmond.
One heartening part of CPAC: Hollywood types are starting to come out of the closet. Kirk (Growing Pains) Cameron spoke for the first time. Allen Covert and Dan Kessler launched their patriotic iPhone/iPad app CherryTree for children. I saw Chuck Wollery on Radio Row.
CPAC seemed better and more discouraging than in past years. Better because it was wonderful to make more new friends and renew old acquaintances. Worse because I believe that the country is moving leftward both morally and fiscally to our eventual demise. Conservative actions are spreading locally and at the state level. Nationally, conservatism is voiceless and leaderless and that’s too bad.
Last night, conservative commentators Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham made news for telling Sarah Palin, “To fish or cut bait.” A friend on Twitter said,”If Sarah Palin has lost Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter….” To which, I responded that Sarah Palin never had Coulter or Ingraham. Ann has been jonesin’ for Chris Christie–whom I would bet she doesn’t believe it’s too late for him to enter the race. Laura is predisposed to Romney.
What struck me about the talk about Sarah Palin, though, was that it really wasn’t about Sarah Palin at all. The Ann-Laura analysis was only about Sarah Palin to the extent that Ann and Laura believe Sarah Palin, or conservatives like her, are unelectable.
Many, if not most DC conservative pundits believe that only a moderate, middle-of-the-road guy can win the election.
I disagree. In fact, I think a center-right moderate is very nearly a sure loser in the 2012 election. Specifically, I think Mitt Romney is a troubled candidate. Here’s why:
Social conservatives don’t trust Romney.
Think that’s no biggie? Social conservatives voted against John McCain in the Republican primary. They thought he was weak candidate. They found him untrustworthy. Sound familiar? Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on the abortion issue depending on what’s politically convenient. A great way to suppress turnout among social conservatives, again, is to have a weak candidate, again.
Small government types (aka Tea Party) don’t trust Romney.
They see Romneycare and flee for the hills. It’s not that they mind Massachusetts residents binding themselves with their own velvet handcuffs, it’s that they don’t like the big government impulse Mitt Romney has that would see the government as a better solution than the private sector. Over and over, the government has shown itself to be unwise stewards and yet Mitt Romney trusted the government to control a big portion of each citizen’s life. Romneycare is a failure.
Evangelicals don’t trust Romney.
I live in Texas. Don’t shoot the messenger. Many religious conservatives see the Church of Latter Day Saints as a cult. My choice after Fred Thompson in 2008 was Mitt Romney. Evangelicals? Well, they loved Mike Huckabee–who I viewed as a charlatan. No matter. People worry about a conservative winning the north. Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about Romney winning the south?
Romney as milquetoast.
John McCain refused to go negative on Barack Obama. Afraid of being cast as racist? Probably. Still hoping for fawning press? Definitely. I see the same streak of public weakness in the face of what’s going to be a brass-knuckled campaign from Romney. Now, the Romney campaign is dirty. No fear there. It’s the perception that I’m talking about. Passive aggressive, below-the-belt punching by proxies will be de riguer with a Romney campaign. Fine. That’s politics, too. This year, though, the GOP candidate needs to be willing to scrap openly with Obama. This is, of course, why people like Ann Coulter yearn for a Chris Christie candidacy. They know that the populace wants to see some fight. They want a happy warrior. Mitt Romney seems like a bland banana in contrast to a rather boring Obama.
A word about, strategy and messaging. In 2008, one of the arguments against Sarah Palin as Vice President, and the only one I saw as even mildly valid, was that Sarah Palin’s short term as Governor would undermine the experience argument with Barack Obama. No, it was not fair, because she’d been in public service for years, because she was the Vice Presidential nominee and he was the presidential nominee, etc. Still, the people who blew up that argument (namely Dems and the DC GOP Smartypants Set) are the same ones saying Mitt Romney is an awesome candidate.
Well, a Romney candidacy effectively neutralizes the single most hated legislation ever passed in the history of America. From a strategic perspective, having Romney as the nominee is just stupid. The left can say, accurately, that Obamacare was built off the Romneycare template and Romney loves (and still defends) Romneycare.
A conservative candidate, in contrast, will be able to show the differences both rhetorically and in action. Rick Perry is ideally suited to do this. Conservative policies have created a haven in Texas. The contrast to liberal policies nationwide, and in Massachusetts, is easily defined and patently obvious.
It’s conventional wisdom that a Romney campaign is a shoe-in to win in the general election. The conventional wisdom is, as it was with McCain, wrong. Mitt Romney has a deeply flawed campaign–one that counts on an awful Barack Obama, rather than a great conservative message. Again, this is reminiscent of the McCain candidacy. The “I-hate-Bush, too” wink-wink straddle wrapped in mild words for opponents and harsh words for allies does not win elections. The candidate this year will need the base to be fired up.
The base won’t be fired up with a Romney campaign. They’ll be angry at more of the same. They view the problem to be not just Democrat policies but the Republican acquiescence when faced with these policies.
A Mitt Romney candidacy would dishearten and fracture the Republican base.
Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about that?
I’m seeing so much biased bullcrap coming out of Politico these days, I thought it might be useful to revisit Journolist — the listserve of liberal journalists and leftist thinkers who work together to form a narrative and push it into the mainstream media. The ultimate goals: 1) Make conservatives look stupid and 2) help President Obama or the liberal du jour look fabulous. Read background here.
If you think their coordinated efforts are a thing of the past, think again. On Twitter, it’s very easy to follow the Genesis of a liberal meme and to see that coordination is necessary to elevate it. For example, when Markos Moulitas and Matthew Yglesias, and then, dull-witted useful idiot David Frum, pushed forth the outrageous and malignant idea that Sarah Palin was responsible for the Arizona shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, it caught like wildfire throughout the same old group of lefties. They were none too subtle.
Other talking points are coordinated. You’ll see the same phrases, probably focused grouped by the White House, in every piece about a topic. The current issue the White House is pushing: Green jobs. Expect all sorts of lavish praise for them.
The current negative issue: Get rid of Rick Perry. So, while Obama has made repeated promises about transparency and failed, you’ll be reading lots of pieces from different folks on Rick Perry’s transparency. The “transparency meme” takes the place of the old leftist meme about how Texas jobs aren’t real jobs, etc. And that story took the place of crazy religion wingerdoodles and creationism and, you get the idea.
The leftist press just doesn’t stop. You may be left scratching your head wondering why you even like these accomplished conservatives. That would be the point.
Meanwhile, what you won’t be hearing about: 9.1% unemployment, Obama’s horrible poll numbers, how Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, the double-dip recession, how consumer confidence has bottomed out, how President Obama would rather play golf or fundraise than lead, how manufacturing is leaving America, how the Obama administration is targeting political enemies, how it’s helping political friends. You won’t hear much of anything about these topics.
The goal is to Protect Obama At All Costs.
Some Republicans know how this mean leftist machine rolls, so they’ll feed their opposition research to the hack houses and let the liberals do their gleeful dirty work. And then, the same politicians will be shocked and appalled when those biased beasts turn on them. Exhibit “A”: John McCain.
Please know that when you read most of what passes for Journalism these days, it’s agenda-driven. These Gatekeepers at the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, and elsewhere work together with the goal of making conservatives look stupid. They hate conservatives ideologically. They hate liberals only to the extent that liberals are ineffective.
The liberal press is not upset with Obama in substance — everything from Union malfeasance to project gunrunners serves a Machiavellian purpose — they’re just frustrated at the perception that Obama is weak and ineffectual. They want more liberalness from him. They want more autocracy! Thus, any displeasure at Obama they convey is for those reasons.
Paul Krugman — Moron Economist for the New York Times
Ezra Klein (Founder and keeper of Journolist) — Moron Economist blogger for the Washington Post
Mike Allen — POLITICO
Jonathan Chait — The New Republic
Eric Boehlert — Media Matters (SEIU hush money, Soros funded)
David Corn — Mother Jones
Brad De Long — Moron Economist at Berkley
Kevin Drum — Mother Jones, Washington Monthly
Dan Froomkin — HuffPo, Washington Post
James Fallows — The Atlantic
Chris Hayes — The Nation
Joe Klein — TIME
Robert Mackey — New York Times
Peter Orzag — Office of Management and Budget Director for President Obama
Michael Scherer — TIME
Nate Silver — 538, now, New York Times
Ben Smith — POLITICO
Jeffery Toobin — CNN, The New Yorker
Matthew Yglesias — Center for American Progress, The Atlantic Monthly
I just pulled some more well known names. There are at least 160 + known Journolisters.
Liberal scholars who get quoted in the aforementioned articles as impartial experts are on the list, too. Learn their names.
Nearly everything read at every one of these publications must be interpretted through the lens of bias and agenda. These folks are not truth-seekers. They are ideology pushers. Some are more subtle than others. Some, like Krugman, get more Out-Of-The-Closet flagrant as they get more comfy/old/senile.
Know that they are working with the White House. Remember, Rahm Emanuel (former White House aid, current Mayor of Chicago), James Carville (political strategist, Bill Clinton assistant, foreign elections consultant, commentator), Paul Begala (Clinton assistant, political strategist, CNN, Law professor) and George Stephanopoulos (former Bill Clinton comms director, ABC News This Week)have their daily phone-call confabs and they then pass orders to the Journolisters.
It’s an efficient system that benefits the whole. Like the Borg.
Journolist and the Leftist narrative machine is as strong as ever. As the election year rolls around, they’ll be out in force propping up President Obama and denigrating every single Republican hopeful. If they can undermine every Republican by using the opposition research fed to them by all the different campaigns, they’ll do it. It ultimately serves their goal, anyway — weaken all the Republicans so that none of them can beat Obama.
Don’t be duped.
Want to subscribe? Please do here!
This CNN poll came out with great fanfare because it put Huckabee ahead of Romney and Palin. But when all three of these folks are put up against President Obama, this is the result:
What about the hypothetical general election matchup in 2012 against President Obama?
The poll shows Obama topping Romney 53 percent to 45 percent, beating Huckabee 54 percent to 45 percent, defeating Gingrich 55 percent to 43 percent and topping Palin 55 percent to 42.
“It is important to remember that at this stage of the game, candidate matchups are largely driven by name recognition, and at least a quarter of all Americans are unfamiliar with Romney, Huckabee and Gingrich. As a result, Obama has an 8- to-12-point edge over each of them in hypothetical matchups,” adds Holland. “But in a previous CNN poll, Obama managed no better than a tie against an unnamed Republican.”
But there is something more than name recognition at work in Obama’s big lead over Palin.
“Palin is almost as well known as Obama, but the general public appears to have some doubts about what they have seen of her so far,” says Holland.
Hmmm…. Well, for being so unqualified, she’s almost neck in neck with Huckabee and Romney and that’s very interesting.
She has a couple years to demonstrate her qualifications. And if things get bad enough, her optimistic attitude might well be enough.
Hotair has more.
What a weird conference. There. I said it. The Tea Party received the biggest cheers. The Republicans bashed their own party. Attendees were optimistic and cheerful. Politicians were purposeful and focused on 2010–a marked shift from the usual perspectives at SRLC which has been a conference that gives voters a first look at potential Presidential candidates. Ron Paul’s groupies were suitably worshipful and idealistic. Mitt Romney’s posse were mission-focuses as always. But something was off.
It wasn’t the city or weather. New Orleans was more beautiful than I have ever seen it and the weather was perfect. Food? A+. Gambling? I wouldn’t know, but people had fun. A shooting did clear a friend’s restaurant, though–so it’s the same old New Orleans we know and love.
It wasn’t the venue or organization which was okay–although the scheduling was unorthodox. The speakers didn’t get going until the afternoon every day while the delegates had various brunches. It made for an excellent blogging schedule.
What simmered below the surface of the event, though, made me uneasy. And it was who didn’t attend the event that concerned me.
Eventually, Mitt Romney is going to have to show up at an conference with other political contenders. Will he get more cheers than Newt or Sarah or Mike Pence or Rick Perry? I know he’s hoping to wait them all out, gather to himself a gagilliion dollars and be the presumptive nominee. That method worked in the past, will it work now?
Haley Barbour endorsed Charlie Crist who is miles behind Marco Rubio. Barbour was RNC chair during the 1994 revolution. Many of these old dogs are still around and enjoying power. They remember sweeping in and they don’t want to be swept out.
The recent arm wrestling being done by the NRSC and NRCC against the RNC might actually be wasted effort. If donors are by-passing all of them and funding the Rubios of the world, the party bosses might matter less even as the give full-throated endorsements to establishment candidates who have zero chance of getting elected.
One Republican said to me, “It’s like the Republicans are ten years behind the times. They’re looking for women candidates, when the voters are beyond that.”
What he meant was, the voters now, men and women, want a good candidate who follows, as Rick Perry mentioned, first principles. Gender matters little anymore. Beliefs matter most.
But first principles are inconvenient when an old-guard politician is trying to keep power and money. And so beneath a placid, optimist surface, there is struggling. The struggle would seem to be philosophical: big government Republicans against tax-assailing and small government conservatives with some Tea Party help.
Unfortunately, the struggle seems to be more base than that: who is going to man the ship when Republicans get power back in November? There are lots of Republicans angling for chairmanships and sweet deals and that seems to be a more important fight to them than fighting Democrats and a President who are trying to do to dismantle freedom and the American way.
Politics, like business, has many aging boomers who love their jobs. They don’t want to give them up. Terrified of becoming relics and irrelevant, they fight like badgers to hold on to personal power while not paying attention to what they’ll even be owning after they “win.” If the establishment Republicans rip the party apart, they may have power in a party that no longer matters. Do they recognize this reality?
Many of the old guard are suspicious of the Tea Partiers and conservatives in general. Cozying up with small government types, makes keeping a big government difficult.
Bottom line, the leadership of the party isn’t at the top anymore. The grassroots are leading, amoeba-like, toward a philosophical goal of smaller government, less taxation and more freedom. So far, no presumptive presidential candidate has taken on that mantal.
After the November mid-term elections, I expect a very wild presidential campaign. And while Mitt stuffed the ballot boxes at the Southern Republican Leadership Council, I don’t think his place as the new face of the GOP is anywhere near certain.
The Republican party will change, people will give them one last chance, because voters burned themselves with Ross Perot going third party. But if the party isn’t responsive to the base’s concern after the last two years, I’m afraid there will be a new party building and the old guard will be manning an empty ivory tower.
Tabitha Hale has more. She has a controversial take on the opening speaker who decided that the most important issue facing the nation is gay marriage.
Here are some interviews I conducted at SRLC:
Ted Cruz, former Texas Solicitor General who has argued many cases before the Supreme Court (and won) discusses the possible legal approaches to get rid of Obamacare. Also here.
A great Republican running against Deborah Wasserman-Schultz: Learn about Brian Reilly here.
I also got to spend 10 minutes with Herman Cain. That video is still loading, but I’ll add it to the cue.
Liza over at Culture Kitchen gives me a back handed compliment and then dismisses a Rick Perry run for President because of his secession hyperbole while extolling Mitt Romney.
One word: Jobs
Texas has them. No other state comes close.
One phrase: It’s the economy stupid.
Rick Perry gets that, the Democrats don’t.
Now, Perry may have no chance to get elected, I don’t know. But please let’s not pretend that Romney doesn’t have baggage.
Can you say RomneyCare? And much as it pains me, his religion will still be a stopper for many people.
The press likes Romney way too much. Remember how they loved McCain? Yeah.
Andrew and Melissa contemplate whether Obama has a chance in 2012, the consequences of health care reform, his humiliating evening with Karl Rove and Benjamin Netanyahu’s humiliating evening with the President.
Listen here. Do it now.