Monday, January 28, 2008

How Do I NOT Love John McCain, Let Me Count the Ways!

An interesting study; Mitt Romney is the antithesis of John McCain, hence my complete support of W. Mitt Romney. Reasons that disqualify John McCain, not only for President of the United States, but also as a US Senator.

1. Prideful and Arrogant - His ego and pride are such that he is unwilling to accept advice or admit his own failings or errors. A dangerous failing that places his interests above our nation and the needs of America. Unwilling to seek understanding, seeking first to impose his own agenda. The greatest leaders and Presidents in our nation have always sought contrary counsel and became great leaders because of it. It is a unique individual who can look to contrary thought and counsel, and choose wisely. The proof is in the pudding, compare McCain's history and Romney's.
2. Lack of Intellectual Capability - McCain evidences his ignorance and lack of intellectual capacity by his failure after 25 years in Washington to learn about the economy and the economic principles that are foundational to the US. His myopic capacity of military strategy defines him, and nothing else. You would think after 25 years in Washington he would have broadened the depth of his knowledge of issues and principles that are fundamental to the USA. McCain may be a great military strategist, but the POTUS needs to lead the nation in all things fundamental; economics, foreign policy, and social values. Military strategy falls within foreign policy only as a subset and is not the substance of such.
3. Lack of Discipline - McCain's inability to communicate without profanity is an indication of a limited vocabulary and incapacity to control his speech and as noted below, his anger or temper.
4. Volatile Temper - Frightening as it is, John McCain does not have the demeanor nor capacity to govern without a violent and uncontrollable temper, which bodes poorly for reasoned leadership. He is too quick to react without thought or substance, which threatens our National Security. John McCain poses a greater risk to our National Security by virtue of his volatile temper.
5. Dishonesty - The great paradox of his "supposed" honor and integrity is seriously compromised by his personal agendas, past actions (Keating Five), and delusions of grandeur as to his importance and prominence. His win "at any cost" attitude in the Presidential campaign reflects a lack of integrity. Absent his incarceration in Hanoi, he would not even be considered relevant in today's political and national society.
6. Age - Not that being 72 is a negative thing, as wisdom in most cases is evident in age. Even so, at 72, McCain specifically has become more rigid, more cantankerous, subject to serious health issues (that have plagued him in the past), and has illustrated a general sense of negativity beyond measure. Further, he plays to the age of his mother, but his age and risks associated therewith are more resident in his father, who is no longer with us.
7. Economic Policies - or lack thereof.
8. McCain Kennedy - continued resolve to promote immigration policies that adopt amnesty. A rose by any other name smells just a sweet. Securing the border is only part of the solution. Eliminating magnets is critical, as is abiding by the rule of law.
9. Radical Jihad - McCain only understand the military complexities and strategies without understanding the fundamental and foundational issues relating to the radical Islamic Jihad. He thinks of it as a military action, when in fact it is grounded in radical religious thought and demands the comprehensive solution proposed by Governor Romney.
10. McCain Lieberman - McCain lacks an understanding of energy policies and global warming and thus cannot propose a reasoned solution without compromising our Nation, in jobs, trade and economic compromise. After 25 years he has turned first to compromise over principle, which defaults to compromise of critical and inviolable principles.
11. McCain Feingold - So anxious to limit capital in politics, he compromised free speech in American politics and has exacerbated the problem. There is more money in politics now without accountability than ever before.
12. National Security/Strong Economy - John McCain does not understand that we cannot have a secure nation without a vibrant economy. If anyone doubts, talk with the Soviets...oh that's right, they don't exist anymore. The philosophy of the Soviets was a strong military and national security without a strong and vibrant economy. Look what happened. We need a strong and vibrant economy to maintain National Security. You can't sustain one without the other. It is the economy ...!
13. Decision Making/Problem Solving - McCain offers solutions without understanding the problems, a critical flaw in analytic thought and leadership. This approach is frightening if applied to the problems we face in our Nation. Can you imagine the consequences! Look at his history of solving problems - did anything get solved, or is it now worse?
14. Fidelity - If you can't have fidelity in marriage, how can you have such with our Nation.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shame on You, John McCain - You Have Dishonored Your Legacy!

John McCain has dishonored his legacy, again. For a man who has stood on his record of integrity and honor, he has diminished his character again by his false accusations and failed attempt to malign the character of Governor Mitt Romney by using our military men and women. Fortunately, Mitt Romney is one of honor who cannot be diminished by those that are less than him. By making false statements about others for his own personal gain illustrates the true character of the man. No one can deny Senator McCain’s service as a POW in Viet Nam; he paid a great price for his service to our country. But when he undertakes to lie and misrepresent the positions of others on Iraq, he affirms his own weaknesses and incapacities. It is obvious, by his own admission and responses to economic questions, that Senator McCain is inept when it comes to understanding economics. It is also obvious that he is trying to reorient the current Presidential dialog back to his perceived strength of military strategy and away from the economy. Even so, he should make the case for his own strength rather than lying about the position of others to prop himself up. It shows a great weakness in character and one unworthy of President of the United States. And, to do so using the service of our military personnel is even more egregious. If you are going to run for the office of POTUS, do so with honor and integrity; do not sully the office by deceit and falsification; do not compromise the principles that American’s expect of their President. Too many in the past have done so, only to bring shame upon the office!

Personally, I have not held Senator McCain in high esteem given his past follies (Keating Five), cheating on his wife who waited for him while held prisoner in Hanoi, and his continued egotistical and arrogant manner, even his failure to acknowledge his mistakes. Senator McCain is quick to anger and character assassination when others do not agree with him. He has evidenced his inability to control his emotions and keep his language in check, time and time again. Even so, to my knowledge he has not traded his emotional outbursts and anger using our military men and women, until this election cycle. However, in his anxious and vain pursuit of the Presidency, he has used the honor and service of our military men and women more than once for his own personal gain. It proves the point that Senator McCain has put his personal interest above the honor and character of the office he seeks.

Senator McCain’s flat denial of statements concerning his lack of understanding of economic issues is not only illustrative of his willingness to compromise his principles of integrity, but a further indication of a serious flaw in his character, integrity and honesty. These actions coupled with his continued falsifications and misrepresentations about others for his own aggrandizement and gain is beyond the pale, and disqualifies him for the office of President. It places him firmly in the camp of Hillary Clinton and others who have sought to lie their way into the office of POTUS. Although, I have not agreed with John McCain on many issues, i.e., illegal immigration, economic policies, marriage amendment, campaign finance reform, energy policies, and on and on, his lack of honor and integrity in that which matters most is the greatest disqualifier. Had John McCain not been a POW in Viet Nam, we would never have had to experience his failed leadership in the Senate; sadly, America would be a better country without John McCain in Washington. We cannot afford his continuance in our nations's capitol.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

On to Florida - Delegate Count

Whereas we had expected a greater thinning, it appears that Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee are severely damaged going into Florida. Both couldn't translate their southern roots to a much needed victory, and with diminished financial capacity, they will find it difficult to compete in Florida and February 5th. John McCain's South Carolina victory was not resounding, leaving Florida a battleground state. Although McCain can claim victory, and the MSM proclaims his frontrunner status, he still has yet to gain validation or acceptance of the Republican base. Rudy has bet the farm on Florida and it could be argued that his residence in Florida these past weeks has not garnered him any more support than a 4-way tie for first. Mitt is going into Florida with strength after Nevada, the delegate count, majority of Republican votes and depth in his financial resources and message. Florida is the next defining moment for McCain, Giuliani and Romney. Huckabee and Thompson will most likely continue to struggle and ultimately withdraw, whereupon their likely constituencies would lean to Romney, coalescing the conservative Republican base behind a Romney candidacy and Republican nomination. Patience, Perseverance and Strength will be advantages to Mitt's message and well of experience and leadership, leading to the nomination.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Romney wins Michigan! What Now?

They say it is wide open in the Republican race. With a decisive and foretelling win in Michigan (Romney 39%, McCain 30%, Huckabee 16%, Paul 6%, Thompson 4% and Giuliani 3%), Mitt is off to South Carolina, Nevada and Florida. Patrick Ruffini has a great summary of Michigan HERE, and what it means for John McCain. Rassmussen and Fox polling currently show McCain with the advantage in South Carolina (pre-Michigan), but the landscape has changed. Just watch, Mitt could finish very strongly in South Carolina in spite of the punditry! Most recently Mitt has been leading in the Nevada caucus, and Florida has a margin of error race between Giuliani, Romney, McCain and Huckabee for first. We press forward and on to the nomination!

South Carolina will be a defining moment for each of McCain, Huckabee and Thompson, with a must-win for each. Whether it is McCain, Huckabee or Thompson, whoever wins South Carolina will move forward in this strategic race! Realistically, there is no room after 1st for Huckabee or Thompson. 2nd and 3rd hold little value for them and will likely result in a withdrawal from the race, either before or after Florida. Huckabee and Thompson must win to evidence their viability among the Southern States. The absence of a win, and with little financial depth, they will be fatally wounded. McCain, most likely, could continue with a strong 2nd in South Carolina, but anything short of 1st or 2nd would be fatal to his campaign. If Huckabee or Thompson were to win in South Carolina, they would breathe new life into their campaigns, but it will be a struggle for them on February 5th, given the breadth of the race and diminished resources available to them. Hence, South Carolina will determine who among McCain, Huckabee and Thompson will remain in the race.

Florida remains Rudy's firewall, and absent a strong win, he will struggle through February 5th. A flaw in Rudy's February 5th execution, has been his hoped for, but not achieved, strong finishes (2nd or 3rd) in the early states.

Mitt Romney remains in the strongest position of all Republican candidates to secure the nomination. With wins in Wyoming and Michigan, 2nds in Iowa and New Hampshire, and with the most delegates, Republican votes and depth of financial resources, Mitt has established a strong lead among the field of candidates. Rudy must win in Florida to validate his strategy. He is pouring all of his resources into Florida, and absent a win, he will only have fumes to carry him into February 5th. The winner of South Carolina among Huckabee, McCain and Thompson, will remain in the field. Thankfully, after South Carolina, the field will be narrowed down to 3.

However, don't dismiss Mitt in South Carolina, as he still polls statistically tied for 2nd. He may well pull out South Carolina and Florida victories with a strong campaign effort and a Michigan bounce. If he does, the landscape changes dramatically. If Mitt is 1st or 2nd in South Carolina and Florida, he will be tough to beat for the nomination. I have always held a firm belief that Mitt will be the nominee, and the strategic victories to date support that position.

John McCain and Rudy Giuliani lack the support of the Republican base, and Huckabee has never had it. Huckabee lacks the depth and substance to lead, and having appealed only to the evangelical community, cannot nor will not succeed in his ambitions. Thompson has yet to garner the needed traction to win. Notwithstanding the lack of 1st place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, Mitt's strategy to compete in all states, and to do well in the early states, is proving to be the right strategy. We talked about this strategy 2 years ago and amid the fluidity and uncertainty of politics, Mitt has executed his strategy quite well to date. And so it truly begins...



Unpledged RNC-0


Wyoming01/0514 *

New Hampshire01/0812 *

Michigan01/1530 *

1,191 Delegates Needed to Win the Nomination
According to Real Clear Politics

Friday, January 11, 2008

Pundits - What Do They Know?

The punditry never ceases to amaze me. The only view that truly seems to be "fair and balanced" and/or reasoned thought is that of Hugh Hewitt. Hugh gets it in his commentary after the Romney interview! All others are so anxious to write off the most viable of candidates, Mitt Romney, for reasons cited by Hugh.

My view of the Repubulican race -
The following candidates are out of money or have so little that they are unable to compete effectively for the nomination:
John McCain (heavily in debt), Rudy Giuliani (senior staff foregoing pay), Fred Thompson (not enough money to buy paid media), Mike Huckabee (post MI and SC he is flat broke).

The only candidate with financial resources, having raised an impressive $5+ million with a second place finish in New Hampshire - Mitt Romney. An interesting aside, little of the fundraising success was reported in the MSM.

It isn't all about money, but it helps immeasurably.

Message and Experience:
Recent polling in the US indicates that although the war on terror is important, more are concerned about the economy. If John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee cannot manage a campaign's finances to achieve their stated objective, how can they lead or manage the US economy? You cannot lead from a place that you haven't been!

Mitt Romney remains the only candidate to have worked in the private sector, who has successfully led business, philanthropic and public enterprises. If only we had invested with him early on, our $1,000 investment would have been worth $36 million 14 years later. Which candidate of all that are running for president, Democratic or Republican, would you want to invest your money with? Who can you trust to manage and lead in a global economy? Mitt's messaging will illustrate the point. For Michiganders, the answer is obvious. For pundits, they have no clue! Mitt is not stepping aside and has no reason to do so given the depth of resource and message, and delegate count (now and through February 5th).

Prognosticating the Race:
Mitt Romney's message of turning around the MI economy should resonate - Mitt should win*
*If he doesn't win, it will be a result of the Democratic invasion (Hillary is the only one on the ballot - no real primary) into the Republican Primary to influence a lesser candidate, McCain being the likely beneficiary.
If Democrats and Independents truly care about their economy in MI, they will still vote for Mitt. Watch for a positive message from Governor Romney on the economy. An interesting dynamic, will be to compare Governor Huckabee's economic message with Governor Romney, both will be presented before Tuesday, Huckabee today and Mitt tomorrow at the Detroit Economic Forum. A further note on John McCain's economic credentials - he saved money on military spending? Having never been accountable for a budget or enterprise, I am struggling to understand his economic expertise - he seems to struggle with even the most general concepts when queried in debates.

The failure of Mike Huckabee to win Michigan will debilitate him sufficiently, that anything less than 1st place in South Carolina may well end his run. McCain can finish in the top two without any negative consequence, however, he will need to finish strong (top two) in South Carolina to continue.

South Carolina:
A knock down battle is underway between Huckabee and Thompson, and McCain. If Thompson doesn't finish strong in South Carolina, he is most likely out because he doesn't have the resources to continue. If Huckabee doesn't win, or finish strongly in South Carolina he is without the resources to continue. If McCain does not win or finish strongly in South Carolina, he is also without the resources to continue. Although a win by McCain in Michigan will diminish his need to win South Carolina. Effectively, it is likely that only one, or maybe two, of McCain, Huckabee and Thompson will survive the South Carolina primary. As for Romney, a top three finish in South Carolina is fine following a strong Michigan finish. Further, Mitt has the resources, supporters and commitment to continue through February 5th, and beyond.

Mitt Romney should win Nevada, which carries more delegates that South Carolina.

Nevada has not been seriously contested by the other candidates and Mitt has been polling very strongly, given his campaigning in Nevada.

It doesn't make much sense to prognosticate Florida at this point given the fluidity of the race and the consequential impact of Michigan and South Carolina. Patience! Even so, it is a firewall for Rudy. If Rudy does not do well in Florida, it will affect him on February 5th.

In summary, without a clear frontrunner and with competing candidates that are constrained in their resources and relegated to must win scenarios, Mitt Romney is well positioned in the race and he has a sustainable strategy. Rudy, albeit with limited resources, is probably the next best positioned to carry through to February 5th. McCain, Thompson and Huckabee are fragile and very dependent on the next couple of primaries, and will struggle to continue without strong finishes. My suspicion is that McCain will do well in South Carolina, leading to an early exit by Thompson and most likely Huckabee. If Huckabee continues it will be limping through the process. I find the pundit's commentary interesting as they give McCain the nod for being in a strong position. McCain is in a very dependent position, to say nothing of the fact that he is surviving on borrowed funds.

In the end it will be Romney vs Rudy or Romney vs McCain.

Ron Paul is in his own element and will continue as long as the cash lasts.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Strategic Review - Rudy Giuliani leading the pack?

As in any endeavor and with the depth of experience of Governor Romney, strategic reviews and tweaks are a constant. Some call it " white boarding," where you look at what you know today and redefine your strategy to adapt to the current dynamics to achieve success. Governor Romney spoke with Hugh Hewitt last night and made some interesting statements with regard to the state of the race and how dynamics are different. Rudy Giuliani is no longer the Republican frontrunner, in fact there isn't one. Hence, the needed early state strategic victories, although it would be nice to claim, are not necessary to the strategy to win the nomination. Therefore, the campaign adopts an alternate strategy and Mitt, given the depth of his support and resources is keenly positioned to stay the course and emerge as the frontrunner.

Scorecard - Updated Delegate Count

The latest Delegate count can be found HERE. It looks as if Romney is leading with 30, followed by Huckabee at 21, McCain at 10, Thompson with 6, Ron Paul with 2 and Giuliani and Hunter each tied with 1.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Non-MSM Veiwpoint - The Republican Campaign for POTUS

We now have 3 states in the compressed political calendar under our belt. What does it all mean? Hugh Hewitt gives a good summary HERE.

New Hampshire
With 84% of the precincts reporting, John McCain has won the New Hampshire Primary with 37% of the votes cast and Mitt Romney took second with 32%. The rest of the field included Mike Huckabee with 11%, Rudy Giuliani at 9%, Ron Paul with 8% and Fred Thompson with 1%. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton won with 39% and Barack Obama took second with 37%. Why compare both sides of the aisle and what does it mean?

Nearly 40% of those voting in the New Hampshire Primary are Independents and can vote in either the Republican or Democratic election. In recent press interviews of those attending Obama and McCain rallies, a sample of those interviewed stated they were wrestling with a vote for Obama, Edwards or McCain. Really? It reminds me of the song on Sesame Street, which of these things don't go together. The Independents were those that were either going to sway the vote for Obama over Clinton or McCain over Romney.

How does all of this fit? If you consider the above facts and the tight margin between McCain and Romney it becomes apparent that the Independents cast their votes for McCain, leading to his victory and away from Obama, leading to his loss to Hillary. Further noted, that turnout in NH was high on the Democratic side and that the precincts were running out of ballots early, which may also have pushed more Independents to McCain. At the end of the day, in a pure Republican race, Mitt Romney may well have led John McCain in NH.

Considering Fred's showing, it is likely that he will literally limp to South Carolina. As for Messrs. Huckabee and Giuliani, very close.

For reasons stated in the previous post on What happened in Iowa, the singular surge of evangelicals changed the course away from the core Republican vote, leading to a Huckabee victory. In the constant sense and analysis, again Mitt Romney won the core Republican vote.

A pure Republican caucus, but ignored by many, Mitt Romney won by a significant margin, with Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter following.

It is truly a wide open race on the Republican side with no clear frontrunner! The current inside viewpoint and analysis is that Mitt Romney has won one gold and two silvers, while McCain and Huckabee have won one gold (and Huckabee's bronze in NH). Rudy is holding fast to his original strategy and Fred, well?

Currently Mitt leads the delegate count with 26 pre-NH (see Hewitt post), and will continue to lead in the delegate count post-NH, as the delegates awarded in NH will be nearly the same between McCain and Romney, given the close proximity of the vote.

On to Michigan with strong support. Wednesday will bring some interesting press. Expectations from the pundits and press are that Mitt is cooked and can't raise anymore money, not even $100,000. Wait for the end of Wednesday. Again, it will be self evident that not only is Mitt the most qualified for POTUS, but his successes in the early states have yet to be matched by any one candidate, and he continues to be the only candidate with strong financial backing, both in supporters and personal wealth. There are 500+ here for National Call Day. I think we will exceed the $100,000 bar set by the press.

Rather than being defeated, the Romney supporters tonight have been strengthened in their resolve to stand for what is right and what is necessary for our country, a Romney Presidency. It is another interesting point how the MSM and Republican candidates want Mitt out of the race, quickly, when in fact his resume and capacities far exceed those of all other candidates. Tell me one other candidate who has finished with 2 silvers and 1 gold that the MSM and pundits are saying is cooked. The ganging up of so many to alter the course of the race is disheartening and further validates the need to end the cynicism of society. Oh well, we press forward with confidence and strength. Just watch how things turn.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Defining Moments - Our Future!

We are facing a Defining Moment in our country as we choose our next President. The current commotion in our society, amid contrary winds, pose significant challenges to our nation and those who lead us. It remains with the electorate to choose our President, which is somewhat troubling given the cynicism in our society. Hence the defining moment of our day. Unfortunately, this cynicism is not only reflected in society, but critically it is reflected primarily in the leadership of our nation and in the attitudes of most of the Presidential candidates, be they Republican or Democrat. As evidenced in the ABC Debates last Saturday, the prideful and cynical attitudes of our "politicians" were self evident and disturbing at best. Specifically, in the Republican debate we suffered through the childish, immature and cynical attitudes of selected candidates. It was truly distressing to watch. Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul remained above the fray, choosing the serious course of considering critical issues facing our society. To the others in the debate, they chose to dilute the dialog and distill critical moments to childish barbs and personal attacks. What was even more distressing was the delight they took in doing so, with reaffirming glances to each other. It was very interesting how cynical and prideful Mike Huckabee, our Southern Baptist Minister, was Saturday night. It is expected of John McCain, for his character and nature in this regard have been unchanged since previous Presidential pursuits. Even so, it was embarrassing and disheartening.

It was no less distressing on Sunday's talk shows, ABC This Week and Meet the Press, where Mike Huckabee and John McCain continued in their pride and cynicism. Specifically, when confronted by George Stephanopoulos where he caught Mike Huckabee in a clear and definable contradiction, Mike Huckabee persisted in denying the contradiction and refusing to acknowledge his mistake. It couldn't have been more plain. Pride in its most debilitating moment. See below

"That's a pretty clear contradiction. … you didn’t say you supported the surge, you said, 'I'm not sure that I support the troop surge.' … according to this evidence you did not support the surge before Mitt Romney. … I don't know how you can have it both ways on that, Governor." – ABC's George Stephanopoulos

John McCain was no less than Mike Huckabee when confronted by Tim Russert on his contradictions with the Bush Tax Cuts and amnesty. Can't either admit their mistakes? Unlike Mitt Romney who is willing to admit to mistakes as contradictions arise, which they will from time to time, and offering clarity to resolve confusion, Mike Huckabee, John McCain and others fail the test miserably. We cannot afford in these critical times for stubborn pride and cynicism in our Presidential leadership. In fact, we need honorable and humble men who understand who they represent and on whom they rely, for all of us derive our strength, capacity and capability from our God and those whom we serve. We need a President who is strong and resolute, but cognizant of who they are, on whom they rely and who they serve. For Mike Huckabee or John McCain, it isn't about them, it is about our nation and its citizens. That should be why they are running for President. This isn't about vanity and self aggrandizement. The call of POTUS is to serve and to lead our nation honorably, in humility and strength, with the operative word being lead.

On Sunday night, we had the opportunity to observe another Presidential Forum with each of the leading Republican candidates for POTUS where each had an opportunity to truly discuss and debate the issues facing our nation. It was less cynical, thankfully. However, I believe the cynicism was suppressed given the reaction and outcry to Saturday's childish antics. Notwithstanding, I don't believe that Mike Huckabee or John McCain are any less cynical because of suppressed behavior, for it is clearly evident in their past attitudes and actions. One night does not reflect a repentant or character change.

It must be said, given recent polls and successes of Ron Paul, his exclusion from this forum was not appropriate. Even so, I did appreciate the additional time offered to those attending as it afforded greater exposure to their views and capacities. Fox News could have accommodated in another way without excluding Dr. Paul, with more time for the broadcast and less punditry.

The results of the evening were stark and clarifying in distinguishing the most capable and electable Republican candidate, Mitt Romney (see the reactions below). Mitt Romney, for innumerable reasons, stood out among his peers. His depth of experience, integrity, knowledge and ability to understand and assimilate data and information, his decision making abilities, and articulation of the critical issues facing our nation were self evident tonight. Mike Huckabee proved he is well out of the league of Presidential contenders. John McCain lacks the experience and capacity to fully understand the complexities of economies and immigration, although he is well versed on national security matters. Even so, we need someone who is well versed in leadership experience on more than national security. John McCain would make a great Secretary of Defense, but not President of the United States. Fred Thompson was insightful, but lethargic. Maybe Attorney General. Rudy Giuliani was enlightening, but lacks the conservative credentials on economic, immigration and non-security issues. Further, he is not aligned with the social conservative values of the Republican Party.

Mitt Romney stands above the crowded field and proved it Sunday night. He is the most effective of the candidates and it is time for his detractors within the party to begin to unify and cease their inappropriate labeling. It is not too late, but if Senator McCain and others continue their course, they will have crossed a line that makes the unification process more difficult. It is time to call an end to personal attacks and labeling, and focus purely on the issues and differences between the candidates.

Mitt Romney is resolute and not what John McCain and others have painted him to be. He is a man of integrity and constancy in that which matters most to Americans. Finally, we are not choosing the lesser of two evils when choosing a candidate. In Mitt Romney, we have an individual who has credibility, capacity, ability and capability to lead our nation with experience, optimism, strength, humility and hope. One in whom we can trust to honor America and serve all Americans, not for his own glory, but out of duty and love for that which God has entrusted to our nation, the preservation and advocacy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - freedom.

He understands the complexities of what we face in radical jihad, global economic dynamics, education, entitlements, education, taxes, energy independence, May we stand together as a united nation, to remain as the hope of the world.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Republican Debate or Childish Play?

Simply put, it was nice to have an adult in the room. The true character of a man is manifest in times of stress and when all things are in commotion. Tonight in the Republican "Debate," Mitt Romney stood as the one candidate in the Republican field with character, integrity and respect for the office he seeks. He is intelligent and capable to lead, and it was self evident this evening. Amid the childish and immature barbs thrust at him by an angry and mean spirited John McCain and an ignorant and immature Mike Huckabee, Mitt was respectful, responsible and resolute in elevating the dialog to the stature of the office he seeks. He stood the challenge well without digressing into the worlds of McCain and Huckabee.

John McCain and Mike Huckabee were an embarrassment to the office they seek, and without the capacity to speak intelligently about the issues facing our nation, they dissolved into childish and immature personal attacks and took absolute glee and pride in their immaturity. I was pleased to see their true colors and lack of character on display as it is foretelling of their nature. I was embarrassed for the Republican Party, as it reflected poorly on the Republican electorate that supports them. Although Rudy and Fred participated in the childish attacks, they did so wanting to be a part of the "me too" crowd. In spite of such Fred at least spoke to issues with intelligence and may well have helped himself somewhat tonight. Rudy was Rudy and added value on some points, but didn't really stand out. John McCain and Mike Huckabee had their Howard Dean moments tonight and it should become evident on Tuesday. I am anxious to be in New Hampshire to enjoy the moment.

The only other candidate, besides Mitt Romney, who showed respect for the office of POTUS and the process of reasonable debate was Ron Paul. Amazing!

Friday, January 4, 2008

What Happened In Iowa, What Does It Mean and Where Do We Go From Here!

Many have wondered what happened in Iowa, what it means and where we go from here. With some brevity, here are some thoughts.

What Happened in Iowa -
Governor Huckabee rallied two critical grass roots groups, the evangelical Christians with their home schooling networks, and the fair tax advocates. As to the evangelicals, some interesting statistics can be found here and here. In summary, the turnout for the Republican Iowa Caucus was nearly 50% higher than the previous Caucus with a 125,000 record turn out. It was expected that the turnout would be about 75,000-80,000 with the unknown being the evangelical and fair tax groups. Had such been the case, Mitt would have won Iowa with his stable and strong support. It wasn't to be. Of the 35% that voted for Mike Huckabee, 80% claimed the label of evangelical Christians. Upon further inquiry, a large majority of the evangelicals stated that the most important measure of the candidate was whether his faith and religion were aligned with theirs. Mitt being Mormon was catalytic to their rally around Mike. They further indicated that only 7% felt Governor Huckabee was electable and only 10% felt he had the necessary leadership experience to be POTUS. Unfortunately, a very sad commentary on the failings of the Iowa evangelicals, that they would vote principally on the basis of religion. I must say, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my support of Governor Romney is first and foremost on his character, leadership, experience and competency, while appreciating, albeit nominally that he is LDS. Surely, I wouldn't vote for Harry Reid or even Orrin Hatch because they are members of my faith.

An interesting statistic quoted in The Corner, of the non-evangelical vote, Mike Huckabee took 4th among the Republican candidates, an indication of where he will stand in New Hampshire and in most states. It was apparent with the turnout that in spite of good and solid support for Governor Romney, he couldn't overcome the ignorant voting practices of the dominant evangelical community. Even so, it has been written that not all evangelicals take to the same course of the Iowa evangelical community, which may bode poorly for Governor Huckabee in other religious settings. Surely he will try.

What Does Iowa Mean -
Given the measure of impact by a singular group of religious voters, the results in Iowa are of little consequence to Governor Romney. He won the votes of the issues based voters in Iowa and is the only Republican candidate who is competitive in all early states and nationally. Some other interesting statistics:
  • No Republican who finished lower than 3rd place in the Iowa Caucus has gone on to win the party's nomination. Only once (1988) did a third-place finisher (George HW Bush) go on to win the nomination. (Doesn't bode well for Rudy)
  • No candidate who finished with less than 18% of the vote at the Iowa Caucuses has ever won the nomination (also 1988). (Doesn't bode well for Fred or John)
  • George HW Bush lost the 1988 Caucus by 20,467 votes (19%) yet went on to win the nomination. Ronald Reagan lost the Iowa Caucus by 2,182 votes (2.1%) yet won the nomination. (Bodes well for Mitt)
Where Do We Go From Here -
As noted above, Governor Romney is the only Republican candidate that is competitive in all early state primaries/caucuses. An interesting analysis by the political wonks offers further credence to Mitt Romney's campaign and his electability (see below).

Mitt Romney is competitive in all states and has a deep well of financial resource, both from donors and his personal wealth to engage a national campaign. He is the only candidate who represents the Reagan Coalition of a strong military, strong economy and strong families, in spite of Ed Rollins (Huckabee's campaign chairman) stating the Reagan Coalition is dead. Mitt is the only candidate with significant and successful leadership experience in private, philanthropic and government enterprise. Although criticized for his personal self made wealth, I want a candidate who has succeeded on principles of integrity, intelligence and hard work. Mitt Romney represents the agent of change to fix Washington without being inside Washington. Mitt Romney surrounds himself with bright and intelligent people to lead teams and execute on strategic initiatives that he and his team develop.

John McCain is out of money and is borrowing heavily to stay in the race, and is further considering matching funds which all but sinks his ability to compete in a general election; John McCain is only competitive in New Hampshire and it has become his firewall; John McCain is currently leading in the New Hampshire polls (within the margin of error), but is without a strategy beyond New Hampshire; John McCain benefited from Huckabee's Iowa victory, but was counter punched with Obama's win, as the Independent and Democratic moderates will likely vote Democratic in New Hampshire rather than rally to McCain, a source of his strong polls. A great American, but not a great Republican (gang of 14). And let's not forget the Keating Five, which causes some consternation on ethical lapses. John McCain has poorly managed and led his Presidential Campaign.

Rudy Giuliani is lagging seriously in all early state elections and has very little money to engage a national campaign; Rudy Giuliani, albeit strong on executive experience, has been challenged with ethical and judgment issues; Rudy Giuliani does not reflect social conservative values or principles; Rudy Giuliani left New York City in financial disarray, as stated by Michael Bloomberg, with a deficit exceeding $2 billion - Rudy is not a fiscal conservative. Rudy Giuliani has not surrounded himself with strong leadership and has governed as mayor in a self absorbed and dictatorial fashion.

Mike Huckabee is a social conservative but a moderate to liberal advocate on fiscal and foreign policy matters; Mike Huckabee's gubernatorial service was fraught with ethical violations, significant growth of the Arkansas government and fiscal budgetary expansion of greater than 100%; Mike Huckabee is ignorant to foreign policy matters and appears to inform his policies with what he reads in the newspapers, when he reads them. Not very intelligent, but politically astute, Mike Huckabee has not selected or surrounded himself with bright leadership. In fact, he has chosen Ed Rollins to chair his campaign - not much else need be said. Mike Huckabee, albeit affable, has little to offer other than quaint phrases and well-timed humorous punchlines - He is not well informed on matters of critical importance and thus not fit to lead our nation. Mike Huckabee is running for President as a Christian, not as a leader who happens to be a Christian, there is a stark difference. Mike Huckabee is without significant financial resources to carry his campaign beyond New Hampshire or South Carolina.

Fred Thompson is a consistent conservative, a good actor, and was an average Senator. Fred Thompson doesn't have the financial resources to continue his campaign and is in effect broke. Without any leadership experience, Fred Thompson is firm in his convictions and Federalist policies. Likeable and deliberate in thought, Fred Thompson seems to be running a vanity campaign rather than a campaign to serve our nation. Not very well spoken, nor energetic, Fred Thompson seems to be a mediocre candidate with little to show of success other than his career in Hollywood. Too casual for me, and I believe for most Americans.

With the above comparative, Mitt Romney presses forward as he stated, having finished the first of fifty innings. He is in it to win and is the most credible and viable candidate to lead the Republican Party. Does he need to win New Hampshire? Not necessarily. Although a win would be nice, a strong finish is what matters. Ultimately, the Republican race for President will distill down to two candidates, Mitt Romney and either John McCain (if he garners momentum out of New Hampshire) or Rudy Giuliani (if he can hang on until February 5th as he will be out of the media and Presidential dialog until then).

Mitt needs the continued support, both financially and politically, of each of us. I solicit your support on his behalf and look with anticipation to the nomination on September 4th in Minnesota.

Religious Tolerance - No Litmus Test!

A new documentary is coming out in 10 days that is a must see. Click HERE to see the trailer. It is entitled Article VI, Faith. Politics. America. I would encourage all to view it as the political season is underway!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Interesting Iowa/New Hampshire Factoids

Some interesting factoids about the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary -

  • Three of the past five winners of the GOP caucuses have gone on the win the nomination.

  • Of the 13 contested caucuses in both parties since 1972, eight times (61%) the winner of the caucus has gone on to win his party’s nomination.

  • No Republican who finished lower than 3rd place in the Iowa caucus has gone on to win the party’s nomination. Only once (1988) did a third-placed finisher (George H.W. Bush) go on to win the nomination.

  • No candidate who finished with less than 18% of the vote at the Iowa caucuses has ever won the nomination (also 1988).

  • George H.W. Bush lost the 1988 Iowa caucus by 20,467 votes (19%) yet went on to win the nomination. Ronald Reagan lost the Iowa caucus by 2,182 votes (2.1%) yet won the nomination.

  • With the exception of Bill Clinton in 1992, every major party nominee who lost Iowa went on to win New Hampshire.

  • The largest victory margin of the Iowa caucus was Bob Dole’s 13,900-vote win (12.8%) in 1988. The narrowest previous victory margin was George H.W. Bush with 2,182 votes (2.1%) over Reagan in 1980.

  • The previous high for turnout was 108,806 in 1988, and the previous low was 87,666 in 2000.

  • Bob Dole garnered the most votes of any GOP candidate in the Iowa caucuses—40,661 votes in 1988.

  • Only GOP incumbent presidents (Bush 2004, Bush 1992, Reagan 1984, Ford 1976) have ever carried both Iowa and New Hampshire. No non-incumbent GOP candidate has ever carried both.

  • Since 1988, every successful GOP presidential nominee has won at least 2 out of 3 of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Disappointed, but surely not Disheartened!

The results are in and unfortunately Mike Huckabee has won the Iowa Caucus. With an estimated 114,000 voters in the Republican Caucus, it is apparent that Governor Huckabee's grass roots supporters (Evangelical Christian Community, Home Schoolers and Fair Tax advocates) rallied beyond the expectations of the political insiders. Congratulations to Governor Huckabee. Surely, we are disappointed, but not disheartened.

Not to take anything away from Governor Huckabee's victory, but it was an insurmountable hurdle for Mitt. Unfortunate as it is, it is a stark reminder of religious bigotry in our Country, evident in the cynical and duplicitous commentaries of Governor Huckabee and the innumerable anti-Mormon commentaries and rhetoric on the Governor's official blog, that is further grounded in the evangelical Christian movement.

"A significant chunk of Huckabee supporters - eight in 10 - said they are born again or evangelical Christians, compared to less than half of Romney's backers. Nearly two-thirds of Huckabee voters also said it was very important that their candidate share their religious beliefs, compared to about one in five of Romney's." Glen Johnson, My Way Blog

Although, not fully disclosed and further evidenced by the activities of the TrustHuckabee organization, that those supporters of Mike Huckabee have also taken to low road tactics in anti-Mormon and anti-Mitt push polls. Appreciating Governor Huckabee's resolve to run a positive and high road campaign, I can't help but be cynical and distrusting of the man. The sly statements of ignorance about LDS beliefs with an innocent and inflammatory doctrinal question used typically to smear the Church, juxtaposed against Governor Huckabee's leadership at the Southern Baptist Convention against the LDS faith; or, the ad attacking Mitt Romney's honesty and integrity (not on issues) which he chose not to run, but presented to the national media, and ran in Iowa anyway; or the inability to silence his ardent financiers and supporters in the TrustHuckabee organization who have undertaken negative and inappropriate push-poll practices; or his snide commentaries at every turn that attack the character of Mitt Romney, and on and on.

I apologize in this post for vetting, but it is difficult to standby and watch the duplicity, the dishonesty and the mean-spirit of one who claims to be a good Christian, for the guile within Mike Huckabee is self evident.

With that being said, we are renewed in our resolve to assure that the one state success of one who is not worthy of the honor of being a conservative (for reasons noted in previous posts) is not repeated.