Thursday, 23 August 2012

Democrats Could Have Just Lost the Catholic Vote

As a Catholic myself, I have been greatly irritated by polls that suggest that despite Obama's horrific HHS mandate attack on religious freedom, Catholics still lean towards the incumbent President.  There are some caveats here (some polls suggest that actually practising Catholics lean Romney, while those who are non-practising lean left) but Obama does seem to be clinging on -- just -- to what is known as the Catholic vote that he won in 2008.

Yet things might be changing.  The attack on religious freedom back in March may be out of the minds of a lot of Catholic voters, but two things are about to happen that may lead to a shift in the Catholic vote, and move the vote that has been decisive in all Presidential Elections in recent history into Romneyville.

The first is that the Democrats are using their convention not to focus on jobs and the economy, but on abortion and gay marriage - two things that faithful Catholics oppose vehemently.  It is necessary to know that faithful Catholics who vote Democrat tend to justify their choice by saying that the above policies are just part of a much wider Democrat program.  By putting these two issues at the forefront of the convention, the Democrats are contradicting this and saying "Nope, this isn't just a part of our program, this is who we are." This is going to make a lot of Catholics very uncomfortable and could send them running Romney's way.

The second is that Timothy Cardinal Dolan -- Archbishop of New York -- is going to lead the closing prayer at the Republican Convention.

Dolan is one of the most popular clerics in the Catholic Church, loved by liberals and conservatives alike, as well as many people in wider society.  Dolan would be the first to say that leading the prayer is by no means an endorsement of the Republican platform -- although many whining left-wingers are claiming this is the case.

The reason it is important is not just that he is leading the prayer at the Republican convention, but because it sends an interesting question -- would a Catholic leader be welcome at a Democrat convention filled with pro-gay marriage and pro-abortion activists who often spew pure venomous hatred at the Catholic Church? Quite clearly not - a Catholic leader is more likely to get booed and heckled at an abortion/gay marriage lovefest

That leads to a question that will be in the minds of many a Democrat Catholic in the next few weeks, "If the Cardinal isn't welcome in the Democrat Party - am I?"

The Cardinal's presence at the GOP Convention, and the Democrat's focus on abortion and gay marriage, suggests the answer to that is an emphatic NO.  Expect this to start showing in polls in September.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Paul Ryan on Fixing Medicare

Why should we be excited about Paul Ryan?  Take a look at this video, and see how easily and convincingly he lays out his Medicare reforms.  This is just brilliant - if he could cut it to a minute, I'd run it as an ad tomorrow!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Why Paul Ryan is the Right Pick for Romney

So, as I called for yesterday, it's Paul Ryan!  I'm not suggesting any connection between my post and the pick of course, but who knows, maybe Romney tuned in to "The Anglo-American Debate", read my piece, and yelled to his pilot "Turn away from Portman!!  I'm going to see Paul Ryan!"  I can dream...

But anyway, it's Paul Ryan and the conservative side of the Republican party are delighted.  Ryan is young, slick, has intellectual weight, and has for a long time argued strongly for fiscal responsibility and has backed it up with real proposals.

Yet there are some in the GOP, as well as many in the MSM, who are less sure.  A lot of this focuses on the fact that Ryan wants to reform Medicare, and this opens the campaign up to left-wing attacks about pushing granny of a cliff, in spite of these claims being proven demonstrably false.  As last week's "Romney gave my wife cancer" ad showed - the truth and the left have only a passing acquaintance.

Yet I believe these worries are not something to worry about.  Ryan is a tough talker and I believe that he can win the argument any day of the week.  All he needs to do is say "Ok, what are you going to do about Medicare" and watch his opponents mumble.

However, it ignores what Ryan really brings to the table - he makes this election about ideology, not about personality.  For some unknown reason Obama is still personally fairly popular, in spite of the fact that the majority of Americans hate his stance and positions on just about anything and everything.

It is for this reason that Romney needed to stop making this election about Obama's personality, and more about an ideological debate between conservative and liberal - a debate conservatives always win.  Charles Krauthammer argued this very persuasively in his latest column  - for this election to be won it needs to come down to an ideological debate about where Americans want America to go.

If Americans want to go down the path of European socialism, vote for Obama; if they want to continue the American dream, vote Romney/Ryan.  This is the debate that Romney wants to have, this is something Ryan can provide, and it is for this reason why Paul Ryan is the right pick for Mitt Romney!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Time for Romney to Go Bold

Stephen F Hayes and William Kristol have an article in "The Weekly Standard" that has been causing a fair bit of discussion.  If you haven't read it already, go take a look because I think it sums up the choice that Mitt Romney faces before him.

I've made it clear before that I would pick Condoleezza Rice in a heartbeat, but it seems that that is not the case, mainly because she has been listed to speak formally at the convention in a different capacity.  Bah!

So Kristol and Hayes propose that the four candidates left are:

1. Paul Ryan
2. Marco Rubio
3. Rob Portman
4. Tim Pawlenty

Other sources, such as this morning's Wall Street Journal, having pointed to a possible option of Chris Christie, but let's keep it to these four because I think Christie is just a bit of wishful thinking - I can't foresee a situation where Romney picks Christie.

The first two are identified as "bold" picks, while the latter two are "safe" picks.  While I agree with the separation, I'd be more likely to label Portman and Pawlenty as disastrous picks, while the only two viable options out of these four are Ryan and Rubio.

My reasoning is thus: basic poll analysis tells us that it's tight, with Obama probably having an ever-so-slight edge based on the various swing-states he can win.  There are a few possible factors that can boost Romney into victory, and he needs them.  They include the unemployment numbers (which won't be going down significantly anytime soon), issues to do with money (O is already spent up), the debates (maybe, maybe not) and the convention, where the challenger will always attract more attention than the incumbent.

One of the ways he could take advantage of the prospect for a boost from the convention is by picking someone interesting as a VP, the same way in which Palin attracted interest initially in 08.  Romney's biggest weakness at the moment is that he is dull, and so what he doesn't need is more dullness from a Portman or Pawlenty who, frankly, bring nothing to the table.

If Romney had a 10 point lead, I'd say go for the safe choice, don't rock the boat, and let's coast to victory.  But Romney can't afford to coast to victory, this race is tight, tight, tight.  He needs to spice it up, and take advantage of the possible boost.

He has given a great case for why Obama shouldn't be president.  Now he needs to bring attention to why Romney should be President.  One of the great ways to do this is to fire a bolt of interest into the campaign by picking a Rubio or a Ryan (preferably Ryan, but that's for another blog post), and take advantage of the opportunity to tell America why the Romney ticket is something that people should really be excited to vote for.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Let America Be America Again

Great new ad by Scott Brown.  If I were Romney, I'd ask to replace the last set of clips from Brown to Romney at the end and I'd run it nationally!  It shows not only how far Obama is disconnected from the ideas that made America great, but also how far he is from other Democrats including Clinton and even Carter!  Great ad!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dirty Harry's Slur Shows Democrat's Desperation

Remember when the Democrats were all about civility and "tone"?  Remember all the finger-wagging and head-shaking we were subjected to by Obama and friends after Rep. Giffords was shot?  Yeh?  Well, apparently that's well and truly out of the window now.

This week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has come out in an interview with HuffPo and claimed that Romney's father (who is deceased) would be ashamed of his son.  Classy, Dirty Harry!

Now, obviously this is shameful behaviour.  Saying to anyone in any situation that their deceased parent would be ashamed of them is reprehensible.  I'm not one to bang on about tone, but this shot is just low, and well out of order for anyone with even an iota of self respect.

But the more interesting question is why.  Why did Dirty Harry fire this one out? It clearly isn't going to benefit him in any way, even  he can realize that it will more likely disgust people than give them a reason to vote O in November.  So why do it?

The answer to this is simple - the American left are panicking right now, and they should be.  With just over 3 months to go until the election polls are tight, but this doesn't tell the whole story.

At time of writing Rasmussen has Romney leading Obama by 47-44.  Gallup basically has a dead heat, and other polls have round about the same numbers, either a close race, or Obama or Romney leading by a point or two.  I gesture towards Rasmussen as they go off "likely voters" so produce a more accurate picture. We also know from electoral history that undecided voters are more likely to break against a sitting President, so that makes things even worse for Barry O.

However, the Obama campaign has a significant number of things to worry about just with their campaign.  The first is that they are already resorting to negative ads in July.  Negative ads are not unusual, but they usually come in greater quantity later in the campaign, and are usually a hallmark of a challenger not an incumbent -- who should have a record to brag about.

For them to be resorting to negative attacks this early suggests that Obama's gang know they have no achievements on which to rest a campaign, and so can only smear Romney.  What's worse is that it isn't working - the Bain attacks have made nothing more than a minor dent in the numbers, and they were a pretty weak attack to begin with.  Did they really think that with 8%+ unemployment and $15 trillion debt, that anyone cares what Mitt was up to in 1999?

In addition, reports are coming out that the Obama campaign is not only being significantly out-raised by Romney, but that the Democrats have already spent a large amount of their dwindling war chest, so much so that they are already running a deficit..  Simply put, they have played their best card, used a huge chunk of cash to do so, and Romney is still ahead.

It appears that Obama's campaign is running out of money, has played what it feels is its best attack, and have no achievements to spout.  Meanwhile Romney still has the VP pick, the Convention and a huge war chest to be spent on tv ads, all that can be relied on to give the Republican a significant shot in the arm in the polls.  With a possible European meltdown coming up in the next few months to top it all off, things look very bad for Obama.  An October with rising unemployment, stale arguments from the Dems, and new aggressive, well-funded attacks from the Republicans look likely.  The Democrats are understandably cracking up.

It is with this in mind that we must look at Reid's hideous attacks.  Yes they are tasteless, but they must be seen what they are - attacks from politicians who know that their goose is cooked. They are desperate, out of money, and out of ideas.  Expect more frenzied, hysterical attacks as America's left begin to act more and more like cornered rats and aim for the throat.

Romney should keep his cool and keep doing what he is doing - we are winning...

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Condoleezza Rice Should be the Next VP.

The following is a blog post I wrote for "The American Thinker" a few weeks ago.  I am fully aware that the odds favor Rubio being the pick, and I don't doubt that he would be a good choice, but I think Condi definitely has to be seen as a good prospect.  Anyway, here are my four reasons for why Rice would make the perfect VP pick for Romney.  The article in its entirety can be found here.


To focus on Condoleezza Rice's skin color or her gender is to miss why she would be the perfect VP pick for Mitt Romney.
On Thursday evening, "The Drudge Report" reported the rumor that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was being considered by the Romney campaign as a potential pick for Vice President.  Predictably, talk has focused on the fact that Rice is African-American and a woman, with a Washington Post op-ed framing her as the "anti-Palin."
While these are certainly factors to consider -- anything that could make a dent in Obama's unfathomable domination of the black community would be welcome -- it is folly to focus on these as Rice's strengths.  I propose that she has four characteristics that make her the perfect choice for Romney's running mate.
Foreign Policy Background
Rice's biggest strength by a mile is also Romney's biggest weakness -- knowledge and experience of foreign policy.  Romney's two pillars of experience are his work in the private sector and his time as the governor of Massachusetts.  While perfectly serviceable credentials, and certainly much stronger than the man currently occupying the White House, they contain no foreign policy background. 
This is exemplified in Romney's book "No Apology."  The chapters on domestic policy are written with large helpings of personal experience, while the foreign policy sections rely almost exclusively on secondary sources.  His international arguments are sound, but reek of speculation.
Possibly for this reason, the Romney campaign has shied away from sinking its teeth into Obama's dismal record abroad, for it knows that the Democrat's attack will be "Obama knows what it's like to make these decisions - Romney doesn't."
Rice is a game changer here.  First as National Security Advisor from 2001-2005 and then as Secretary of State from 2005-2009, Rice played a fundamental role in forming foreign policy during the Bush Administration.  Although these roles contained failures as well as successes, it means the Republicans would have a VP pick who (in terms of time served) has more foreign policy experience than the current President.
It would form a devastating tag team whereby Romney could savage the President for his dismal domestic record, and then step back while Rice takes apart his foreign policy "achievements."
Executive Branch Experience at the National Level
Linked closely to Ms. Rice's background in foreign policy is the fact that she held the office of Secretary of State between 2005 and 2009 and therefore has national experience in the executive branch.  This again fills in for one of Romney's imperfections - that he has no experience at the national level. 
While this is by no means a weakness (many presidential candidates do not), Rice's time as the third-highest official in the executive branch not only rule out questions of whether the VP pick is "ready" for the job, it also intensifies the spotlight on the current President's complete lack of previous qualifications. 
When the Republican's Vice Presidential nominee could argue that she has more experience under her belt than a sitting President, it would be an uncomfortable situation for the Democrats to say the least.
Although the Palin experience tells us how quickly popular poll numbers can change, it is undeniable that Rice's numbers are astonishingly high among both Republicans and the public at large for a nationally well-known political figure. 
In a CNN poll of Republicans in April, she held an 80% approval rating - which seems to dismiss concerns that her soft tendencies on issues like abortion could upset grassroots conservatives.  This, with the fact that the Obamacare Supreme Court decision has fired up conservatives on an unprecedented level, should quell the fears of anyone worried that a Romney-Rice ticket wouldn't mobilize the base.  They are mobilized to the teeth, and a Rice pick won't change that.
Yet it is her likeability with the public at large that should raise eyebrows.  Among likely US voters, Rasmussen reports that Condi has a 66% favorability rating, with 32% viewing her Very Favorably.  Only 24% have a somewhat or Very Unfavorable view of her. 
It is for this reason I disagree with Erick Erickson who dismisses her for her connection to Bush.  Yes, Ms. Rice is connected to the Bush administration, but she has managed not to be tainted by it.  It's the best of both worlds for conservatives.
This last point is probably the point in which she is the least unique, as there are a whole host of candidates who have solid rhetorical skills and who are good in a debate.  Yet the fact that it is just another feather in her cap as opposed to a defining characteristic -- as is the case with someone like Chris Christie -- proves what a strong candidate Condi is.
As an academic, Rice knows how to make her point clearly, in a concise and professional manner, and with passion.  Although judgments on these matters are largely subjective, rumors that her recent speech in Park City led to two standing ovations amongst Republican elites, and immediately put her at the top of Romney's list, give weight to this claim.
Condi also brings an unflappable calmness in the face of intense criticism that allows her to stop an attack in its track and deconstruct the opposition argument in a way that can be truly breathtaking.  I saw her at a book signing a few years ago at which she was heckled by a number of screaming liberals throughout.  Each time she'd let them speak before annihilating their talking points with a polite smile, in the same way she has been filmed doing time and time again.  A debate between Rice and Joe Biden would be a bloodbath.

Therefore, Condoleezza Rice has a wealth of experience that would both compensate for Romney's weaknesses and open up new avenues of attack against Obama, she is hugely popular with both Republicans and the public at large, and we know that she is going to be a fierce foe in any debate in which she participates.
There is no need to discuss her skin color or her gender to know that Condoleezza Rice would be an incredibly effective pick for VP.  Yes, it's a bold move, but should Romney stick his neck out on this one, Ms. Rice could prove to be a game changer who could deliver a landslide for the Republicans in November.