Archive for March 15, 2012


March 15, 2012

Is Paul Ready to Cut a Deal with Romney?

Ron Paul “has sent discreet signals to Camp Romney” suggesting he might be willing to trade his support in the GOP presidential race, Alex Altman reports.

“Aides say if Paul can’t win the nomination, four legislative priorities would top the Texas Representative’s wish list: deep spending cuts that lead to a balanced budget; the restoration of civil liberties; a commitment to reclaim the legislative branch’s right to declare war, which it abdicated to the executive branch in recent decades; and reforms that shore up the U.S. monetary system, such an audit of the Federal Reserve or competing-currency legislation.”

Paul might also be enticed “by the prospect of serving as a presidential adviser, a Cabinet position for someone in his orbit or ‘perhaps a vice presidency.’ Not for himself, but rather his son. Rand Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky and a Tea Party icon, is expected to launch his own White House bid in 2016. Being on the ticket now – or even being mentioned for it – would be a helpful step.”

Blagojevich Seeks Prime Time Farewell

Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) “has chosen prime time to deliver his final goodbye before heading to prison,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

A spokesman says Blagojevich will begin speaking at precisely 5:02 p.m. from outside his home — which would enable evening news programs to lead with his speech.

How Romney Gave Santorum an Opening in Illinois

BuzzFeed: “Mitt Romney could have assured himself victory months in advance in the now-crucial primary state of Illinois, but instead his Illinois campaign operation chose to allow Rick Santorum’s delegates to remain on the ballot despite a failure to meet signature requirements.”

“The decision produced a quiet storm of outrage among Romney’s allies in the state, who were bewildered by the decision to make a slam-dunk race competitive, and to grant an opening in the desperate scramble to reach the 1,144 delegates required for the Republican nomination.”

Santorum Leads in Texas

A new Wilson Perkins Allen survey in Texas shows Rick Santorum leading the Republican presidential race with 35%, followed by Mitt Romney at 27%, Newt Gingrich at 20% and Ron Paul at 8%.

The Texas primary is on May 29, and it is the second-biggest delegate prize behind California.

Rush Limbaugh Ad Boycott Stays Strong

The New York Times reports that this week “new evidence emerged” that the ad boycott of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show “was costing Premiere Radio Networks — the show’s syndicator — money, though the total amounts are unclear.”

“This month, powered by online organizing tools, liberal activist groups and other critics of Mr. Limbaugh have successfully highlighted the host’s repeated attacks on a Georgetown University law student, Sandra Fluke, and persuaded companies to advertise elsewhere, at least temporarily.”

Bloomberg asked American voters whether Limbaugh should be fired after the uproar over his remarks, and by a 53% to 42% margin, they agreed.

Nonetheless, ABC News says Limbaugh used his show to declare the controversy all-but-over, claiming victory against Democrats and the “Obama media.”

Santorum Way Ahead in His Home State

A new Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania shows favorite son Rick Santorum with a big lead over his GOP presidential rivals at 36%, followed by Mitt Romney at 22%, Ron Paul at 12% and Newt Gingrich at 8%.

The Pennsylvania primary isn’t until April 24.

Romney’s Message Problem

First Read: “What is his campaign about? He says he wants to ‘restore America’s greatness,’ but what does that mean? (Go back to the ’50s? The ’60s? The ’80s? The Bush years?) He says he’ll be able to turn around the economy, but what if it’s already slowly improving as the evidence currently suggests? And the campaign makes it clear that Romney is the inevitable nominee, but what happens if that inevitable nominee loses? Team Romney has had a message problem since this campaign began, and when you make your candidacy about electability and process, you’re going to pay a BIG price for losing to candidates. Why does Romney want to be president, an office he’s been running for the past six years? Has he really answered this basic question?”

Most Voters Think Obama Will Win

A new Pew Research survey finds that 59% of American voters say that President Obama is likely to be re-elected if his opponent is Mitt Romney.

If the contest is between Obama and Rick Santorum, 68% anticipate an Obama victory.

Officials Named Despite White House Rules

The White House organized a conference call with “two senior administration officials” to preview an announcement by President Obama about a a China trade issue but told reporters that no one could be quoted by name.

However, the AP ignored the instructions — reporting the officials were U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and the deputy national security adviser Michael Froman — stating Obama promised his administration would be “the most transparent in American history.”

Why Obama Took a Foreign Leader to Ohio

President Obama took British Prime Minister David Cameron to a NCAA basketball game in Ohio yesterday and is rewarded with the front-page of the Dayton Daily News and this headline: “The heartland is what it’s all about.”

The full quote from a half time interview: “Sometimes when we have foreign visitors, they’re only visiting the coasts. They go to New York, they go to Washington, they go to Los Angeles, but the heartland is what it’s all about.”

Quote of the Day

“I’m not sure I’m going to listen to a value judgment of a guy who strapped his own dog on the top of a car and went hurtling down the highway.”

— Santorum advisor John Brabender, quoted by National Journal, hitting back at Mitt Romney for saying Santorum was “at the desperate end of his campaign.”

An Epic Battle in Illinois

The Illinois primary is next Tuesday and after last night’s victories by Rick Santorum it’s shaping up to be a very important contest in the GOP presidential race.

First Read: “Once again, the pressure is on Romney. And once again, Team Romney has a HUGE advertising advantage, with the campaign and Super PAC spending nearly a combined $3 million so far (versus $16,000 for Gingrich and zero for Santorum). But the pressure is on Santorum, too. Can he defeat Romney in a state that isn’t dominated by conservatives and evangelicals? Can he pull off what he was unable to do in Michigan and Ohio? Romney hasn’t won an ‘away game,’ but neither has Santorum.”

“And the delegate match is NOT kind to Santorum in Illinois either. He didn’t file full delegate slates in the congressional districts; he’s 10 short. And Illinois is not an allocation system, it’s DIRECT ELECTION of the delegates INDIVIDUALLY in the congressional districts. A total nightmare, to be honest, for those tracking delegates. But it almost guarantees Romney will likely win a majority of the state’s delegates even if he loses the statewide vote, which has ZERO delegates connected to it.”

DNC Slams Romney Over Planned Parenthood

The DNC turned Mitt Romney’s promise that he would “get rid of” Planned Parenthood into a new web video.

See more…

Can Santorum Keep His Campaign Small?

Politico delves into Rick Santorum’s “decentralized, cause-driven, low-cost modern campaign” model and “guerrilla approach,” a sharp contrast to Mitt Romney’s much moreorganized, professional, and top-heavy operation.

“Santorum has battled concerns about his field and turnout machinery, suffering from a series of stumbles that left him without access to the Virginia ballot and ineligible for some delegates in Ohio. He leans on local political networks, powered in many cases by grass-roots Christian conservatives, as a substitute for Mitt Romney’s bulked-up organization. The campaign maintains the tightest of inner circles, reserving Santorum’s ear for a small list of longtime aides and supporters.”

“The fact that the campaign is now playing out across 50 states, rather than the three early battlegrounds Santorum’s effort was built for, is a double-edged challenge. On one level, Romney’s structural and financial advantages loom ever larger as the race moves into places where the GOP hopefuls cannot run a months-long, hand-shaking, Santorum-style retail campaign. On the other hand, it means that national-level messaging can have a disproportionate impact in states like Alabama and Mississippi…in which no candidate has been able to build up a daunting organizational edge.”

Bachus Survives Primary Challenge

Reuters reports that Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, defeated state Sen. Scott Beason and two other primary challengers in a closely watched race amid an investigation into whether Bachus violated insider trading laws.

Gingrich Now Just Trying to Block Romney

Patricia Murphy notes Newt Gingrich tipped his hand last night at “his campaign’s real strategy, which is no longer to win to nomination outright but to make Mitt Romney lose by denying him the 1,144 delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination before the Republican convention in August.”

“Gingrich has grown increasingly bitter toward Romney throughout the campaign, as the former Massachusetts governor has unloaded a barrage of attacks against the former speaker and, Gingrich believes, hurt his showings at the polls in the process.”

National Journal quotes Gingrich: “Governor Romney will get at most one out of every three delegates. Once again he will fall dramatically short … I think that the odds against his being able to get 1,144 delegates is very, very high. I think he is more likely to be a front-runner who ends up not finishing the race.”

Hatch Says This Will Be His Last Campaign

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced that this would be his last campaign and his final term in the U.S. Senate, KCSG-TV reports.

Hatch is currently 77 and would be 84 in 2018, the year he would again be up for reelection.

Mitt Romney and the Dog Food Problem

Paul Begala: “Let me be the first to call on Mitt Romney to get out of the race. By placing third in Alabama and Mississippi, losing to Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in both states, Romney has gone from inevitable to unelectable. Somebody strap him to the roof of one of his Cadillacs and drive him off to one of his many mansions.”

“One of the great legends of political consulting is the Dog Food Problem: an apocryphal tale of a company that had the best packaging, the best advertising, the best marketing. But there was only one problem: the dog wouldn’t eat it. Forevermore we should no longer call it a Dog Food Problem. We should call it a Mitt Romney Problem.”