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Allen West on Israel

From Moonbattery:

Would a President Allen West knife Israel in the back on behalf of our shared Islamic enemies? This speech from last December answers the question:

Republicans Will Steal the 2012 Election

From National Review:

Expect to hear that claim in the run-up to the election. Similar claims were made before the 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections.

During the 2000 presidential election, activists claimed that dogs and hoses were used to keep black voters from the polls in Florida. Claims that thousands of black voters were disfranchised, harassed and intimidated ran rampant. As I mentioned yesterday, the U.S.Commission on Civil Rights conducted a six-month investigation of the charges and found absolutely no evidence of systematic disfranchisement of black voters. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice also found no credible evidence that any Floridians were intentionally denied the right to vote.

These findings failed to dispel the myth of massive disfranchisement that caused Al Gore the election. Politicians and activists persisted in circulating outlandish stories of nefarious Republican schemes to steal votes, stories that became more numerous and absurd during the months preceding the November 2004 election. Speaking before predominantly black audiences, John Kerry repeatedly suggested that a million black votes were stolen in 2000. Rep. Bernice Johnson (D., Texas) asserted that George W. Bush lost the popular vote in Florida, despite the fact that every official count showed that Bush clearly won. Nonetheless, in July 2004, Johnson led a group of a dozen congressmen who requested that then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan provide U.N. election observers to monitor the 2004 election to prevent a repeat of “the nightmare of the 2000 presidential election.”

As the November 2004 election drew near, the mythologists issued dire warnings of Election Day calamities. When polls gradually made it clear that Ohio would be 2004′s ground zero, thousands of election lawyers and observers swarmed to the state. The mythologists railed against inevitable black voter suppression and intimidation. The media braced for a repeat in Ohio of the narrow popular vote margin and recount circus that occurred in Florida 2000.

But then, to the mythologists’ chagrin, Bush defeated Kerry in Ohio by 119,000 votes. The army of lawyers and observers reported no major problems. The predicted calamities failed to materialize: no stolen votes; no harassment and intimidation; no widespread confusion.

Since the U.S.Commission on Civil Rights is specifically charged with investigating deprivations of voting rights, its staff had been instructed to monitor the election and report back to the commission at its meeting the week after the election. The commission dispatched monitors to battleground locations. The staff reported . . . absolutely nothing.

The mythologists were undaunted. When initial claims of disappearing votes, voter intimidation and rigged “Republican” election machines proved false, they tried to make the most of the less titillating claims that long lines, inadequate voting machines and partisan election officials disfranchised voters.Senator Barbara Boxer asserted that 5,000 to 10,000 black voters in Columbus had abandoned long voting lines out of sheer frustration. Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) admonished that we should be as worried about voter disfranchisement in our country as in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Rep. Maxine Waters said she was “ashamed to say” that Ohio’s top election official,  then Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, is black.

If there was a conspiracy to disfranchise Ohio voters, black or white, its execution was profoundly inept. Ohio voter turnout increased from 4.9 million in 2000 to 5.5 million in 2004. Estimated black voter turnout alone rose by 25 percent. The claims of disfranchisement proved false.

But the myth of a stolen election persisted. In 2008, activists again warned that Republicans would attempt to steal the election. But unlike the aftermaths to the 2000 and 2004 elections, after Barack Obama won on election night the claims of a stolen election evaporated. No conspiracy theories circulated. No media obsession with voter disfranchisement.

Now we’re only a year and a half from another presidential election. The claims of impending disfranchisement are sure to multiply.

Mitch Not Running

From HoosierAccess:

That about sums it up.

The task of saving America from the fiscal nightmare in which we find ourselves will be left to a field that is currently populated (in my opinion) with lesser candidates.

Mitch’s statement was short and sour:

Over the last year and a half, a large and diverse group of people have suggested to me an idea that I never otherwise would have considered, that I run for President. I’ve asked for time to think it over carefully, but these good people have been very patient and I owe them an answer.

The answer is that I will not be a candidate. What could have been a complicated decision was in the end very simple: on matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.

I am deeply concerned, for the first time in my life, about the future of our Republic. In the next few years Americans will decide two basic sets of questions: Who’s in charge here? Should the public sector protect and promote the private sector or dominate and direct it? Does the government work for the people or vice versa?

And, are we Americans still the kind of people who can successfully govern ourselves, discipline ourselves financially, put the future and our children’s interests ahead of the present and our own?

I am confident that the answers will reaffirm the liberty and vitality of our nation, and hope to play some small part in proving that view true.

He also felt compelled to provide the Star with a second statement about his relationship with his wife, which is both odd and gratuitous (speculation on all of this would only have become material had he decided to run; it’s gone with him not running, which is probably a big reason why he didn’t run in the first place):

It is important to correct some factually incorrect accounts about the time when our family was divided. When Cheri and I parted, the court agreed with my view that our daughters’ best interests would be served by their staying in Indiana. Cheri and I were granted joint custody. Within a short time, she purchased a residence just a few minutes from our house. Until we remarried, we shared custody fully, the girls dividing their time between the two homes.

The notion that Cheri ever did or would “abandon” her girls or parental duty is the reverse of the truth and absurd to anyone who knows her, as I do, to be the best mother any daughter ever had.

All it takes for bad men to triumph is for good men to do nothing. And good women to not let good men do anything.

I do not think that the Republican nominee exists in the current field, but I do think that the odds of defeating Obama are lessened for want of a capable one.

Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Someone will fill the void being left by extremely capable men like Mitch Daniels (and Haley Barbour and Chris Christie, among others) saying no.

We just don’t know who that is yet, but we’d better know soon.

Gov. Daniels on the Verge

From National Review:

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels met with a group of journalists assembled by Bloomberg View in New York City today. Here’s what I picked up from the meeting:

His conservatism is not combative. Daniels was pressed repeatedly about the role of the Bush tax cuts in building today’s federal debt, about the failure of his fellow Republicans to recognize the need for tax increases, about the nuttiness of his party’s birthers, and about its general “reality-denial problem.” Daniels politely disagreed on the Bush tax cuts, said that Republicans weren’t the only people with nutty ideas, and suggested that Obama’s budget was “disappointing” in its denial of reality. But there was no forceful pushback of the type one might have gotten from other conservatives.

He is passionate about cutting entitlement payouts to the affluent. “Why are we sending Warren Buffett a welfare check?” Universal programs have been defended as a means of building social solidarity. What Daniels sees, however, is “cynicism.” The theory that well-off voters won’t support programs to help the poor unless they get a cut themselves is “politically manipulative”: “People are led, still are led, to believe things that aren’t true.” He adds, “The assumption it makes about the American people”—that they are purely self-interested—“is very unfair.”

His foreign-policy details are TBD. Daniels said that “it cannot be illegitimate to ask” if some of the country’s military commitments should be unwound, but he has not yet reached any conclusions about which should be—or, at least, any he is willing to share. On Afghanistan he refuses to second-guess the decisions of the president, to whose greater access to information he defers. On Libya he says only that he has not seen the case for intervention made. One gets the impression of someone who is much more cautious about foreign intervention than Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, but also cautious about saying so. He was asked if he were ready to debate President Obama on foreign policy. “Probably not.” (He is candid.)

His ambivalence about running seems real. “I encouraged four different people to run,” he says, and failed. (He wouldn’t name them but Haley Barbour appears to have been one of them.) At one point he used the words “if I talk myself into this” when discussing a run of his own. Why might he run? “I believe the country’s at a very perilous point arithmetically. And I haven’t yet—still hope to—seen anyone else step up to it. . . . So far my brethren have been a little hesitant.”

But he’s leaning toward running. That’s just the impression I got. If he does run, he says, there will be no exploratory committee, “nothing cute.” “We’ll just get on about it.”

Would Presidential Candidate Mitch Daniels Resign as Governor?

This morning Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels told reporters that he would make an announcement as to whether he was running for President “within weeks.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if the announcement doesn’t come earlier than that – in particular, next Friday evening at the state Republican dinner.  Cheri Daniels, the Governors’ wife, is speaking and is set to introduce to him.  In fact, the news  might be leaked before then so that the news hits the Friday newspaper rather than be confined to the worst read newspaper of the week – Saturday.

Further news is that the Governor wil sign the abortion/Planned Parenthood bill.  The General Assembly gave Daniels a huge gift in sending that bill to his desk, the ability to with a stroke of the pen set aside much of the flack Daniels would have received from social conservatives on the primary campaign trail for his “truce” comment.

I went from thinking there was about a 10% chance Daniels will run back in January, to about 55% (maybe 60%) today. The Republican field has stayed very weak and there has been a much later start in the campaigns than has previously been the case.   So much about politics is about timing and luck, and both seem to be playing into Daniels’ favor this year.

Finally, the one thing that doesn’t seem to get any press, but should, is the question whether Daniels would remain as Governor while running for President. I can’t see that happening. Running for President is a full-time job and it would not seem to be Daniels’ style to be an absentee Governor.  Further Daniels has a chance to leave on a high note with most of his legislative agenda passing.  I believe there is a excellent chance that a Governor Skillman will serve the remaining 1 1/2 years of Daniels’ term assuming the Governor runs for President.

The Campaign Waiting for Mitch Daniels

From RealClearPolitics:

By Erin McPike

After Indiana’s legislature gavels to a close today, Mitch Daniels will enter the final phase of his decision-making process about whether to run for the presidency in 2012. But unlike some of the contenders who decided against a run in part because it takes a lot to build one from scratch, Daniels could stroll several blocks out of his Statehouse office, flip on the light switch and the campaign would be right there waiting for him (much like Jon Huntsman will have in Washington when he gets home this weekend).

With more than three decades in politics behind him, the governor has done more than develop a Rolodex he could deploy for fundraising, as most point out. The campaign operative in him also has built an organization ready to go whenever he tells them to — and the media doesn’t seem to know it yet. For the past year, he’s been playing its members like piano keys as he orchestrates his national rollout.

Anthony Dolan, the chief speechwriter for the entire Reagan presidency, knows Daniels well from the time they worked together and explained, “Mitch has always been a marvel with the news dynamic.” He added, “A year ago people were saying ‘Mitch who’ and then comes a rollout with more elaborate choreography than a Busby Berkley musical — we haven’t seen the synchronized swimming yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.”

Indeed, at the same time Daniels has ruminated publicly about whether or not to run — as Dolan put it, “for a while there the Daniels speculation was crowding out the royal wedding” — his team also has carefully blocked out time for national reporters to descend on Indiana to profile him, one at a time. And the intrigue has grown.

Read the rest at RealClearPolitics.

Is Mitch Daniels About to Emulate Bob Dole?

From Ricochet:

Now that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is officially out of the running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, focus on the still-germinal GOP field is now turning to Barbour’s friend and fellow governor Mitch Daniels, the Hoosier who many believed would stay out of the race if Barbour got in (if only to avoid a protracted, divisive Ricochet primary).

Daniels, of course, has been famously reticent about a White House bid, and that leads to doubts from Associated Press writers Philip Elliot and Thomas Beaumont, who write, in a piece published today:

Daniels is the first to acknowledge he’s done little to lay the groundwork for a campaign, and his lack of planning has been striking to some who would support him if he ran.

“I don’t know if he’s got the fire in the belly, drive and desire to run for president of the United States. I haven’t seen it,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad told The Associated Press. “At this point, I don’t think it’s likely that he’ll run.”

Branstad, Republican governor of the first state to hold a leadoff nominating contest, got that impression last week when Daniels called to discuss education policy but made no mention of a presidential campaign.

Unlike many in the Ricochet family, I’ve never met Governor Daniels. But monitoring his public statements leads me to believe that our friends at the AP may have this one wrong. What they take for a lack of ambition may instead be a loyalty to the old-fashioned notion of republican virtue, something I wouldn’t expect to be instantly recognizable to the mainstream press.

Governor Daniels has been clear all along that he would await the conclusion of this year’s legislative session in Indiana before announcing his presidential plans or lack thereof. Given his past statements and his character, the reason for this seems disarmingly clear: he actually thinks he has a responsibility to the citizens of Indiana who elected him governor. And it may well be that he thinks that the time to govern is when he’s his state’s chief executive and the time to campaign is when he’s a presidential candidate.

For this reason, I predict that if Mitch Daniels decides to run for president he may well resign his post as governor of Indiana. And if so, bully for him. One of the few decisions in the 1996 Bob Dole campaign that made sense to me was Dole’s resignation from the Senate to focus on his presidential ambitions. The idea that one can discharge the duties of a lower office while simultaneously entering into the all-consuming world of presidential politics is either insulting to the lower office or to the presidential campaign. And — for reasons I can’t quite articulate — the idea of holding on to the lower office as a safety net has always seemed a tad unseemly to me.

One wrinkle for the more politically astute among you: if Daniels resigns, Indiana’s Republican Lieutenant Governor, Becky Skillman, will assume the governorship. You may be wondering how this would effect the probability of Congressman Mike Pence’s all-but-announced 2012 gubernatorial bid. The answer is not much. Skillman has already begged off the 2012 race, citing health issues. In the final calculation, then, that’s Daniels on the road to the White House and Pence on the road to Indianapolis. I don’t know about you, but I could live with that.


Tavis Smiley Unveils Liberal Media’s 2012 Campaign Strategy

From Moonbattery:

The Left must be getting worried that they’ve pushed America as far as it will go without a backlash. Watch how desperately Tavis Smiley deals a deck full of race cards as he denounces color-blind Tea Party patriots and proclaims that 2012 will be the most racist election in American history:

This dim-witted ultra-left race-baiting jackass makes a nice living at your expense with a tax-payer subsidized program on PBS.

Which 2012 POTUS candidate can do the most damage to the Left?

I’m afraid some of you won’t like the answer…

From RedState:

You may have guessed that the Redstate contributing editors have had a few discussions about the selection of 2012 POTUS candidates from the GOP.  Interestingly (and perhaps not surprisingly), few of us have strong opinions on any particular candidate.  I believe there’s a reason for that: the field of candidates seems weak, and no one candidate stands out from the rest.  And as Gallup points out, this is a rather unusual situation.  Right now it doesn’t look like things are likely to improve, and if the Gallup article is correct, a late-bloomer candidate likely will not appear.

What do we need in a good candidate?  There are some who say that executive experience is key to a candidate’s viability.  Others believe that a strong conservative record is the most important attribute.  And others think that “toughness”, a “fighting spirit” and a “confrontational manner” is what we need in the White House, in order to beat up the Left, promote the conservative cause and bring the nation back out of the ditch.  Problem is: the current GOP field seems to be devoid of candidates that simultaneously possess all of the key attributes.


Here’s a key problem:  At a time when gas prices are topping $4/gallon and headed even higher, when unemployment is still in the 9% range, the housing market is still in the dumper, inflation fears are heating up, and President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are as low as ever:  Obama still polls ahead of every single (anticipated) GOP candidate. Now this should be considered in light of the data that Moe wrote about earlier today – the majority of Americans don’t even know who might be running on the GOP side.  There are two possibilities here:  1) they don’t care, or 2) they list isn’t exciting enough to get their interest…I lean towards 2), since Donald Trump is rocketing to the top of the awareness list already; a guy like him would tend to get some interest.

Barack Obama will have the incumbent’s advantage in November, 2012.  Of course we haven’t the slightest idea what will happen between now and then.  It is a fairly safe assumption that the economy won’t get a whole lot worse than it is now, so we can’t expect that will help the GOP cause too much.  Obama is a failure on foreign policy, so it’s quite possible that Libya or some screwup-to-be-named-later could tank his approval even more, but his ratings are unlikely to drop too far below 40%, as the core Democrat constituency will approve of his job performance no matter what he does.  Therefore, barring a yet-to-occur catastrophe, he’s unlikely to mess things up much worse.  Given the near-bottom for his approval and the lackluster GOP candidate crop, Obama’s chances of winning are not bad.

So what do we do?

With the low odds of a knight in shining armor appearing to save the GOP, I am inclined to support a candidate who is most likely to make the Democrats squirm and who is most likely to expose the Left’s true colors of hate and divisiveness.  Who might that be?  Which candidate can do the most damage to the Left?

Read the answer and the reasoning at RedState.


A Time for Choosing Mitch Daniels

From National Review:

Mitch Daniels’s exceptional performance as governor of Indiana suggests that he is anything but a flavor of the month. Yes, he has received a lot of favorable attention from the media, and the American media’s love affairs do not always end well. But President Obama’s election in 2008 proves that media praise is by no means always a kiss of death. And Daniels is no mere “heartthrob of the elites” (if it is even possible for a conservative to be such a thing). The Student Initiative to Draft Daniels — which has aired TV ads in Iowa, Indiana, New Hampshire, and Washington D.C. — indicates his popularity among young people across the country, from Republicans like myself to independents and disaffected Obama supporters.

Daniels is a compelling candidate not simply because he is a truth-teller willing to state hard facts (as he did in his speech at CPAC), but also because he has a long record grounded in principle and characterized by competence. Throughout his tenure as governor, Daniels has been an enormously successful budget hawk, transforming deficits into surpluses — which complements the reputation he acquired at the Office of Management and Budget, where he was nicknamed “The Blade” for his efforts to slash government spending.

He appeals to young people because he has the ability and credibility to speak out on generational issues like the national debt and entitlement reform. He is not the first candidate in recent history to be willing to speak hard truths, of course. But seeing as our president did not even mention entitlement reform in his State of the Union address, Daniels’s timing could not be better.

This past November we witnessed a rejection of President Obama’s arrogantly expansive and ferociously expensive brand of liberalism. But the conservative movement needs a leader who will do more than reject; it requires a leader who can rebuild. Daniels is a proven small-government hero who can bridge the gap between establishment conservatives and their populist Tea Party critics. Daniels served as a top political adviser to Reagan, and he has clearly learned several lessons from his old boss — for one, that politics is “a game of addition, not subtraction” (in Peggy Noonan’s words). And while some social conservatives have raised concerns about Daniels’s idea for a “truce” on social issues, we should remember that the subject of Reagan’s famous 1964 speech “A Time for Choosing” was not abortion or gay rights, but “whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.” Reagan maintained these priorities when he ran for president in 1980, emphasizing lower taxes, smaller government, and a strong national defense.

The key question, then, is not whether Daniels is too elite to be electable, but whether the fact that he eats fiscal responsibility for breakfast will compel Americans to vote for him. I believe both that it can and, in light of our growing federal debt (a flood of red ink that Daniels in his CPAC speech termed the “New Red Menace”), that it must. Simply put, Daniels is a candidate who could restore the Republican party’s ability to do arithmetic and make it stand for the extraordinary aspirations of ordinary people once again.

The only unremarkable piece of the equation is the fact that if elected, Daniels would follow a long line of successful governors who were elected president: Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and most recently, George W. Bush. The time for what George Will has called “conservatism for grown-ups” is now.

God Bless America

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