Tag Archives: Rick Santorum

Wacky Presidential Primaries; Part 2

Yesterday we posted a beginning to zany, wacky things going on in the Presidential Primaries. I figured this would be a series going on into or past the general election. Little did I realize that Part Two would be the next day.

The State of Georgia challenged Obama’s eligibility to be on the ballot. Obama was issued a subpoena which he ignored. Judge Halihi ruled that Obama’s birth certificate is valid. Secretary of State Brian Kemp ruled on February 11, 2012 that Obama may appear on Georgia’s ballot because the birth certificate Obama presented is valid and that he is a natural born citizen.

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich both failed to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot. This was not due to the 10,000 signature threshold, but due to the 400 signatures required in each of Virginia’s congressional districts. Perhaps Ron Paul and Mitt Romney signed all the registered Republicans in Alexandria?

Rick Santorum was told on February 3 that challenges to signatures on his Indiana filing left him 8 votes short of enough to qualify to be on the ballot. There is a legal question of write-in.

If Indiana and Virginia supporters of Rick Santorum are not allowed to write his name in, then their best strategy is to vote for Ron Paul. That would take delegates away from Mitt Romney and give them to a candidate who has no chance of winning.

Anticipating this strategy, some members of the RNC announced today that if the convention is brokered, that is no one wins on the first ballot, they would “look to someone else.” If Mitt Romney loses Michigan (likely, probable) and stays in the race (also likely, probable) and neither Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul support one of the two leaders, then a brokered convention is expected.

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Paul as VP for Santorum?

Jackie Kennedy believed LBJ killed JFK. Rick Santorum does not have to fear assassination by Ron Paul but the ticket above proves people don’t have to like each other to work together. Let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses of Ron Paul as a running mate for Rick Santorum.

Rick Santorum did not qualify for the ballots in every state, while Ron Paul has. Voters in states like Indiana and Virginia, where Santorum is not on the ballot, might be persuade to vote for Paul if they understand it will be a vote for Santorum. One often-repeated argument against Santorum is that he does not have a national organization. Ron Paul does, and if they combined forces it would convince people both that Santorum has a national organization and that he is willing to make reasonable sacrifices necessary to win the race.

If Santorum is the nominee he would likely follow tradition and announce his running mate during the convention. He would want to pick someone best able to help him win the general election. He would also like to pick someone he believes to be the best possible candidate to run the country if he were to die in office. In the case of George Bush Sr. under Ronald Reagan, Bush was groomed as a successor. At age 76 now, Paul would be 84 after two terms with Santorum. It is therefore extremely unlikely that he would ever become president himself. Considering their policy disagreements, Rick Santorum might look at this as a plus.

Running as Vice President under Rick Santorum, Paul has a better chance to see some of his policies put into place. With one exception on the domestic side, Santorum and Paul have very similar policies. Ron Paul’s auditing of the Fed is a good idea for Santorum to adopt. Paul wants to eliminate more federal agencies and cut the budget more even than does Santorum. This is also a good thing.

Ron Paul is in the race on principle. He has principles that he wants put into place because he loves America. He thinks that these policies are the best thing for America. He also understands that if he runs on his own, very few of these policies will be put into place, since his real chances of winning are small. If Mitt Romney wins the nomination, or even Gingrich, few or none of Paul’s policies will become reality.

It is very doubtful that Santorum would even consider legalizing drugs like Paul, and this is the greatest point of contention between the two. Rick Santorum’s military and general foreign policy and position on Israel are well know through his substantial voting record in the U.S. Senate. These are likely to be the most difficult areas for Ron Paul and his supporters to accept.

Any politician knows there are three types of voters. First are the voters who support him. Second are those against him or for his opposition. Third are various degrees of undecided. At the beginning of an election cycle undecided is the largest block. Most politicians look for ways to sway those undecideds to themselves.

Many Ron Paul voters have said they will vote for Obama if Ron Paul is not on the ticket. To the average person this does not appear to be entirely rational thinking. But having Paul on the ticket, even if not all his policies get put in place, means Obama loses. If some of Ron Paul’s crazier policies do not become reality, this may not be a bad thing, even for those who think they want them.

Apart from any policy considerations, a very realistic assessment is that it will take both Ron Paul’s and Rick Santorum’s supporters to defeat Obama.

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Rick Santorum Won in Iowa! Or, How Much Difference Can Just One Delegate Make?

To those in states with Primaries, the entire Caucus system seems confusing. We stayed up until 2:00 AM to watch the media proclaim Mitt Romney the winner by 8 votes. But the popular vote is not what counts. What counts is the delegates sent to the national Republican convention. While nothing is certified at this point and things can change, it appears that Rick Santorum might have one more delegate than Mitt Romney. How?

The widely publicized vote is actually a straw poll. http://www.iowacaucus.biz/IA_Caucus_Howitworks.html The votes are actually for delegates to a state convention on March 10. At this convention, these delegates will vote for the national delegates. Since they are morally pledged to their candidates, it seems the widely proclaimed Romney 13 delegates, Santorum 12 delegates will be the final outcome, plus Superdelegates (delegates picked by the state Republican convention). Not so fast.

First, at least 2 Ron Paul supporters monitoring vote counts have claimed errors in the vote counts. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/05/santorum-vote-count-error-in-iowa-is-no-big-deal/ The vote counts are not certified, so the totals, and the winners, could change.

Second, in another long shot, Michele Bachmann could attempt to transfer her few votes to Rick Santorum. While there is a lot of buzz about this on the Internet, none of the candidates in the Republican Party has commented on this possibility. The talk has ranged from “almost a done deal” to “not legal, not possible.” It is legal and possible because the state delegates pledged to Michele Bachmann now have no one to vote for and no legal requirement to vote for anyone in particular.

Third is the important part. From state party workers on caucus night, to county caucus, to state caucus, to national convention, these thousands of workers are all volunteers. This heavy time requirement means some of these delegates, especially on the state and county levels, will be unable to attend and vote. Alternates will fill these positions. The state party attempts to fill these empty delegate positions with alternates pledged to the same candidate so the missing delegates are not even noticed. This year saw a massive change. Ron Paul had a well-planned and well-executed plan to grab all the alternate slots throughout Iowa. Because of the late, close race many Rick Santorum supporters stuck around to provide enough Rick Santorum alternates. So if Ron Paul picks up some county delegates, at whose expense will they come? Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. It is almost certain that Ron Paul will gain some county delegates. The big question is will Ron Paul gain from this strategy or will Rick Santorum be the only beneficiary?

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Is Mitt Romney Really Our Only Hope?

I commented to a Mitt Romney supporter that he should be careful to be honest. He immediately wrote back that I was calling him a liar. No, I was just cautioning him. With the latest Ann Coulter column from TownHall.com, however, I believe a line was crossed. http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2011/12/28/only_one_candidate_is_right_on_the_two_most_important_issues/page/full/

There are two parts to this article. She opens by saying “In the upcoming presidential election, two issues are more important than any others: repealing Obamacare and halting illegal immigration. If we fail at either one, the country will be changed permanently.” That is an opinion; and a very good one, I might add.

She makes several well-thought-out arguments to prove her point, bolstered by enough facts to convince most reasonable people. So her major premise is honest, factual and well thought out. She might not convince everyone but there is no question that she is very honest in her major premise.

She then moves to her minor premise, that only Mitt Romney can defeat Barack Obama. Ann opens with several solid points. “Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich have never had to win votes beyond small, majority-Republican congressional districts.

“Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have won statewide elections, but Huntsman and Perry ran in extremely red states that don’t resemble the American electorate. Only Romney and Santorum have won a statewide election in a blue state, making them our surest-bets in a general election.

“But if Santorum wins, we lose on the second most important issue — illegal immigration — and he’ll be the last Republican ever to win a general election in America.”

This last sentence seems to be absolute nonsense on the face of it, but a well-respected commentator like Ann Coulter gets the opportunity to make her case. She then shifts to explain the horrors of illegal immigration finishing with “Any candidate who opposes E-Verify is not serious about illegal immigration.” Once again, her opinion, but one I go along with.

She then says: “Kowtowing to business (while pretending to kowtow to Hispanics), Paul, Perry and Santorum oppose E-Verify. As a senator, Rick Santorum voted against even the voluntary use of E-Verify.” Though Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican,” should keep Ann from saying this even if it were true, this is a lie.

The truth is that Rick Santorum voted for the “Basic Pilot Program” HR 3610 (E-Verify) on 7/18/1996. He voted for E-Verify again on 11/12/2003 under the name “Basic Pilot Program Extension and Expansion Act of 2003.” Rick Santorum voted against the McCain/Kennedy amnesty for illegals bill which was deliberately mislabeled with the propaganda term “E-Verify.” Ann Coulter is very confused on this point. Mitt Romney actually worked with Rick Santorum to help defeat this bill. In fact, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have worked on the same conferences, committees, etc. to help stop illegal immigration. So where is the difference?

The same day (Wednesday, Dec 28, 2011) Ann Coulter’s piece choosing Mitt Romney as the only right candidate for defending us from Obamacare, Mitt Romney says that the foundation of Obamacare, the individual mandate, is “a conservative fundamental.” Ann Coulter admits that every single Republican candidate, without exception, has pledged to repeal Obamacare. Again, this is a matter of honesty, telling the truth. Every other candidate will actually repeal Obamacare. Mitt Romney, however, plays with words. He actually believes that socialized medicine is a fundamental right. Mitt Romney actually believes that the only problem with Obamacare is in the details, the way that it is worded. Mitt Romney actually believes that the solution is Massachusetts style healthcare. http://www.redstate.com/erick/2011/12/28/today-december-28-2011-mitt-romney-calls-obamacare-conservative/

So for the repeal of Obamacare, one of Ann Coulter’s two foundational issues, Mitt Romney is the only Republican candidate who is completely UNQUALIFIED. Using Ann Coulter’s own standards of illegal immigration and Obamacare, the only logical conclusion is anybody but Mitt Romney. There is no other honest, logical conclusion.

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President Herman Cain

An unidentified man won a bet on the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series with 999 to l odds. Long shots can win whatever the odds. This also applies to elections. It’s not over until the last vote is counted. At this point anything can still happen. But the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election is already almost certain.

Gambling houses exist because the odds favor the house. The odds in politics heavily favor the status quo. Our son has asked in despair what he could do to end political corruption, but he didn’t like the answer. If you really want to make a difference, learn accounting and stay out of debt. Follow the money trail to find out who the real good guys and bad guys are. Then learn the system to understand how to make the bad guys pay and help the good guys win.

This would take a lifetime of effort, which is why bad guys often win. It’s too much trouble to stop them. The best example I know of this is the original TV Series Law and Order, Season 8, Episode 21, “Bad Girl.” The DA’s office has decided not to ask for the death penalty in this particular case. Robert Vaughn plays a representative of the police union. He meets with D.A. Adam Schiff in a closed-door meeting and tells Adam that they want this girl, who killed a police officer, executed. Regardless of the rest of the storyline, this is how the real world works. The rich and powerful call a closed-door meeting where they tell others what to do. This is what the current Occupy Movement claims to hate, yet their very tactics support that system. It is this very lack of understanding of the system that will allow Herman Cain to become our next President.

In a grossly oversimplified view, there are three basic types of primaries. Caucuses have party members who have earned the right to vote (usually by just showing up). They vote in a closed meeting. Though the average nonparticipating voter can vote for a representative, he does not directly vote for the candidates. Next are closed primaries. In a closed primary, only voters who register for the party holding the primary can vote. Last are open primaries where anyone can vote, just like a general election.

In states with a caucus system, you campaign to a small number who will vote. In states with a closed primary, you campaign to your party’s base. In states with an open primary, you campaign like a general election, emphasizing your party’s issues.

In the 2012 election, if Obama wins the Democratic nomination, he will almost certainly lose the general election. Yes, the St. Louis Cardinals beat 999 to 1 odds and something could cause Obama to win re-election. But the house usually wins and the house is against Obama. So the Republican nominee will probably win the general election. The odds are massively in his or her favor.

The Republican Party is split between conservatives, generally known as the TEA party movement, and more liberal members. Within the Republican Party, conservatives have more votes and liberals have more money. Several strong conservatives on principal have split the conservative vote. Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are vying for the same voters. Normally, that would leave the only strong liberal candidate, Mitt Romney, with the nomination.

In spite of what the liberal news pundits keep telling us, there are several reasons why Romney is not gaining support and pulling ahead. One is Ron Paul’s campaign. Even if Ron Paul is not the nominee, and his nomination is very doubtful, many of his policies will become part of the party platform. These policies are anathema to Mitt Romney and liberals like him. As various campaigns run out of money and collapse, the votes pledged to those candidates forced out of the running will be transferred to someone else. Historically, those votes go the candidate with the best chance of winning whose views are closest the candidate who dropped out. Of the conservative candidates, Herman Cain has the most support and the most money. Without any support from Mitt Romney and his followers, if Herman Cain picks up the votes pledged to Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, he will have a majority.

The major reason I believe Herman Cain will win is that he is the most liberal of the conservative candidates. His economic program is to simplify the tax code, but keep it “revenue neutral.” That is, no massive reduction in the bloated federal government. Though he says that he is pro-life, he wants to end Roe v Wade and let the individual states decide on abortion. He wants to stop illegals from coming into the US, but he has not spelled out how. Herman Cain is the only conservative that can take votes away from Mitt Romney.

Herman Cain is also likable and honest. His lack of political experience, at least for now, is a plus. The only other candidate that comes across as completely honest is Ron Paul. People are horrified by Ron Paul’s attempts to legalize drugs and close all foreign military bases, but they respect his honesty. Even Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann hedge their statements, which Republican voters are tired of. Even when I disagree with Herman Cain, I know why. Neither of the Bush presidents could claim as much honesty or clarity in their statements.

But in the end it is a numbers game. In the 2008 general election John McCain had 59,934,814 votes and Barack Obama had 69,456,897 votes. About 18 million voted in the Republican primaries, but most states had only a few thousand who controlled the delegate selection process. Probably the most telling sign is in the polls which show Herman Cain ahead of Rick Perry in Perry’s home state of Texas.

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