Monday, August 15, 2011

GOP Candidate Reviews - Early

I have already COMPLETELY decided exactly who I will be voting for in November 2012.


Any other vote may as well be cast for Obama, and I am positive that the DEMs will again have some tricks and “ringer” candidates to bleed off votes from the GOP candidate.    Vote in the primaries with your heart if you wish, but in the general election you had better vote with your head!  I believe that we may be able to defeat Obama with taking only 6% of his expected constituency.  I wish Trump was patriot enough to turn the tables on the DEMs, and run against Obama as a Democrat.  He could probably siphon off the required 6%, and he is financially capable of surviving the sacrifice.  He also stands to benefit the most from an economic recovery – with all his businesses.  I would do it if I had his Billions.

With that in mind, take a look at this post by Josh Kraushaar  “Perry: the GOP Front-Runner” posted August 15, 2011 in NationalJournal.

"Gov. Rick Perry talks like George W. Bush but might win like Ronald Reagan.  Last weekend’s Ames straw poll made for great political theater, but the important action was taking place in South Carolina and New Hampshire, where Texas Gov. Rick Perry kicked off his presidential campaign.

Perry, the straight-talking three-term governor, is bringing to the race a message and biography that couldn’t contrast any more starkly with President Obama’s.

He grew up in rural Paint Creek, Texas, farming cotton in his early years, and attending the state’s land-grant university, Texas A&M.

Obama went to Harvard Law School, earned his political chops in Chicago, spending much of his early career in academia.  Perry has governed a low-tax, low-regulation state at a time when the president has sought to expand government’s role in the economy.  The Texas governor's blunt advocacy of conservatism and faith-tinged rhetoric couldn’t be any different from Obama’s nuanced rhetoric and cautious governing style.

Obama Owns the Economy - Or Not?

POLL: Obama Hits New Low In Gallup Survey

And he’s going to be bragging about his record of job creation in Texas, compared to the economic stagnation that’s been prevalent nationwide.  The money line from his kickoff speech:  "I’ll work every day to try to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can."

Those 18 words will define Perry's candidacy, and is a pitch-perfect appeal to a Republican primary and caucus electorate angry at Obama’s policies and a November electorate disenchanted about the lack of jobs and economic growth.  If he becomes the nominee, it would also set up an epic general election with two divergent visions of the appropriate role for government in American life. 

The contest for the GOP nomination, meanwhile, is shaping up to be a compelling affair between Perry and Mitt Romney, the two heavyweights in the GOP field.  Romney has run a cautious campaign, focusing more on preparing for a general election than catering to the conservative interests that predominate in Republican primaries. 
Polls show Romney as the front-runner, but one vulnerable to a serious challenge.  He achieved front-runner status after other serious contenders decided not to run or flamed out.  His campaign has been premised as much on electability as it is around a narrative about his record.  It’s a strategy that’s worked very well so far, but with Perry now in the race, he’ll need to present a compelling case for his own candidacy. 

Going after Perry as a career politician - which was the Romney campaign’s opening gambit - doesn’t sound like the most effective line of attack, given that Romney’s essentially been running for president since 2007.  This campaign has changed markedly in the last two weeks, and Romney will need to quickly show he can connect with conservatives and speak their language.

With the Ames victory, Michele Bachmann has proven her political chops, but it will be difficult for the Minnesota congresswoman to sustain her momentum throughout the nomination process - with the media spotlight on high and a Republican establishment looking to rally for the rival most likely to beat her if she gains traction.  She has to prove she can put together a coalition beyond the most ardent tea partiers and cultural conservatives.  She’ll face her toughest test holding onto support against a candidate with a more accomplished resume and his own healthy dose of charisma, to boot.

Make no mistake: Perry is no flash-in-the-pan candidate, akin to Fred Thompson in 2008 or Wesley Clark in 2004.  Just before he entered the race, national polls showed him at the top of the Republican field, narrowly behind Mitt Romney.  He wasn’t even on the Ames ballot, yet managed to tally 718 write-in votes, ahead of Romney’s total.  Despite being CARICATURED as a candidate whose appeal is limited to hard-right conservatives and Southerners, he’s spent much of his early focus in New Hampshire, a state where social conservatism is shunned, but which has a proud libertarian tradition in line with Perry’s message.

Perry has his own obvious vulnerabilities.  Close your eyes and listen to him speak, and you could mix him up with George W. Bush.  Even though they both come from very different backgrounds (Bush, an establishment blue-blood, versus Perry, who grew up poor on the Texas plains) and their political teams in Texas are famously distant, voters may not be ready for another straight-talking Texas governor as president.

That said, the political environment has changed markedly in the last several months.  With Obama’s job approval rating now below 40 percent in Gallup’s latest survey, nominating a candidate based on electability is becoming a non-issue for Republicans.  If the economy fails to grow - and the current economic forecasts are grim - it’s hard to see Perry’s style being a serious impediment to becoming president.  The notion that a three-term governor of the second most-populous state in the country is somehow unelectable simply because of his Texas twang strikes me as fanciful.

If Obama’s in trouble, Perry should be able to hold the states Bush carried in 2004.  He could be stronger in some of the Southern battlegrounds, like North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia.  But he’d probably face a higher hurdle winning “suddenly-competitive Democratic-leaning”, Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, where his style could wear thin and Romney would be a better match for the electorate.
No two elections are alike, but in style and substance, this year’s Republican primary and general election are shaping up to be replays of the 1980 presidential race:  President runs as an outsider looking to clean up Washington, but deals with the harsh reality of an economy out of control; a Republican primary pitting an outspoken conservative governor of a large state, considered unelectable by Democrats and the establishment, against a moderate blue-blood preparing for a candidacy for some time.

Reagan, the famous cowboy, dispatched George H.W. Bush and went on to win 489 electoral votes in 44 states. We’re about to see if another cowboy will repeat the trick.

Here is an interesting comment to a post on July 11, 2011, by Dr. Mark Perry "Intrade odds: Gov. Rick Perry is Now Front Runner", at Carpe Diem
At 7/22/2011 9:52 PM,   Paul said...
Not a huge Perry fan, but he doesn't carry around Romney's health care baggage, and he can point to a robust job creation record during the same period Obama took a wrecking ball to the rest of the country.

On the other hand, there are a lot of nitwits like Benji out there who will say, with nothing but surface evidence, that he reminds them of Bush.

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