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!