March 12, 2012
The Daily Bell
By Ron Holland
“It’s either Ron Paul for president or no one. Who else is going to stop these wars?” –KTRN
It is time for a groundswell of Ron Paul supporters to quietly, respectfully but firmly make their position clear to the mainstream media and the GOP establishment. Simply put, “No Paul on the ticket means no vote for the GOP in November.”
The Ron Paul Campaign has the GOP establishment stuck between a rock and a hard place even though they have not won a single state in the primaries to date. Every Paul supporter knows the underhanded tactics used by the Republican leadership at the state and national level as well as the organized smear and news blackout campaign carried out by the mainstream media.
Making Nice For the November Election
As we move into the last months of the GOP presidential nomination campaign, most of the establishment media are now “making nice” with Ron Paul and his supporters. He actually gets questions during the debates, some press coverage and the other candidates seem friendly. The reason is simple. The Republican Party desperately needs the votes of Ron Paul supporters in order to win in November against Obama.
Obviously, Virginia Heffernan didn’t get the memo in her typical anti-Paul elitist drivel titled Ron Paul’s Pointless Internet Presidency posted on Yahoo earlier in the week but now this is the exception rather than standard procedure for the press. The word has gone out to be nice and respectful to Ron Paul so they can get our votes in November.
Too Little Too Late
The Republican establishment has obviously done its homework with focus groups, polling, etc. and here is their situation. Although they have successfully held back the Ron Paul campaign to date from threatening to win the GOP presidential nomination, in the dirty tricks process they have ostracized the substantial Paul voting constituency even more from the GOP than before.
Paul supporters are far more than portable as suggested by Tucker Carlson; rather they are toxic toward the GOP elites and very few will now support any of the establishment candidates after the abusive treatment given to Ron Paul as well as the crude attacks against Paul supporters.
I well understand these feelings of resentment, as I am a Ron Paul supporter. There is no way I will vote for either Romney, Santorum or Gingrich, although I certainly prefer their fake rhetoric to the Obama propaganda. If Ron Paul isn’t the Republican nominee for president, then the establishment nominee desperately needs the votes of his supporters in order to beat Obama in the fall general election.
September 28th, 2011
The Huffington Post
By: Jon Ward
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all but announced himself as the next coming of Ronald Reagan and cast President Obama as Jimmy Carter in a speech Tuesday night that will only inflame speculation that the Republican plans to run for president.
Christie’s long-planned speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California in many ways seemed like an audition for a potential candidacy, even though he told a group of donors before the speech that he still does not plan to run.
Asked directly during a question and answer period whether he is reconsidering his past refusals to run, Christie gave a less than convincing denial. He pointed to a video of past statements where he has said he will not run: “Those are the answers,” he said.
Minutes later, a woman in the audience rose and gave an impassioned plea for Christie to run: “I really implore you, I really do. This isn’t funny. I mean this will all my heart … I really implore you, as a citizen of this country, to please sir, reconsider … We need you. Your country needs you to run for president.”
Christie thanked her: “I hear exactly what you’re saying and I feel the passion with which you say it and it touches me.”
“But by the same token, that heartfelt message you gave me is also not a reason for me to do it. That reason also has to reside within me,” he said. But unlike in the past, Christie did not say he feels in his heart that he is not ready and does not want to run.
“I’m listening to every word of it and feeling it too,” he told the woman.
In his speech, Christie didn’t just voice obligatory Republican criticisms of Obama. He contrasted himself directly with the incumbent Democrat currently inhabiting the White House, suggesting that his own record as governor has shown him to be more prepared than Obama to carry the mantle of national and international leadership.
As governor, Christie said, he “has not sat by and waited for others to go first to suggest solutions.” But Obama, he said, “once talked about the courage of his convictions, but still has not found the courage to lead.”
“We continue to wait and hope that our president will finally stop being a bystander in the Oval Office. We hope that he will shake off the paralysis that has made it impossible for him to take on the really big things that are obvious to all Americans and to a watching and anxious world community,” Christie said.
He castigated Obama’s dismissal of a bipartisan deficit commission that “the president asked for himself,” and through repetition branded the president a failure. He blamed him for “failure to act on the country’s crushing unemployment…the failure to act on ever expanding and rapidly eroding entitlement programs…the failure to discern pork barrel spending from real infrastructure investment.”
Christie then summed up his own approach to governance: “When there is a problem, you fix it.”
He included a nod to the Democratic leaders in the New Jersey state legislature — Senate President Stephen Sweeney and House Speaker Sheila Oliver — describing them as ” two people who have more often put the interests of our state above the partisan politics of their caucuses.”
“And that’s why I call them my friends,” he said.
“In New Jersey over the last 20 months, you have actually seen divided government that is working. To be clear, it does not mean that we have no argument or acrimony. I think you all have seen my YouTube videos. There are serious disagreements, sometimes expressed loudly, you know, Jersey style,” Christie joked.
The speech came at the end of a day when speculation about Christie’s political ambitions had reached a new high, fueled by dissatisfaction among Republican activists with the current presidential field and by slyly placed non-denials and encouragement from unnamed Christie advisers in the press. At one point Tuesday afternoon, Fox News even reported that Christie had officially decided to rule out a run, only to have anonymous Christie advisers tell ABC News that the suggestion was incorrect.
Close Christie confidantes have told The Huffington Post that Christie is not running at present, but has not ruled out the possibility of a run.
It is Christie’s blunt manner and his ability to notch several accomplishments in just two years as governor, that has made him a hero to many Republicans. Christie did not fail to mention his wins: two balanced budgets in which he closed $13 billion in deficits without raising taxes, hard fought changes to New Jersey’s pension and health benefits system for state employees, and a cap on annual property tax increases.
He linked all of this to foreign relations and diplomacy through Reagan, the nation’s 40th president and a conservative icon. Christie used the example of Reagan’s decision to fire striking air traffic controllers in 1981 and said that showed to the nation and to foreign adversaries that Reagan was ” a man who said what he meant and meant what he said.”
Christie also ventured to stake out a general position on the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, aligning with a more reductionist view of the U.S. role in the world.
“The United States must also become more discriminating in what we try to accomplish abroad,” he said. “We certainly cannot force others to adopt our principles through coercion. Local realities count; we cannot have forced makeovers of other societies in our image. We need to limit ourselves overseas to what is in our national interest.”
Christie ended with another shot at the president, saying Obama spoke in 2004 of unity, but in 2012 is preparing “to divide our nation to achieve re-election. This is not a leadership style, this is a re-election strategy.”
And he suggested that the nation needs a leader willing to talk tough with Americans about meeting current challenges, someone like himself: “The biggest challenge we must meet is the one we present to ourselves.”
September 26th, 2011
The New York Times
By: Jackie Calmes
President Obama on Sunday criticized not only the Republicans vying to defeat him but also their party’s conservative base – symbolized by the audiences at recent candidate debates — in a busy day of four West Coast fund-raisers to collect money and rally dispirited Democratic donors.
In Woodside, Calif., an affluent community between San Francisco and San Jose, Mr. Obama hit his stump-speech theme that the 2012 election will be “a contest of values,” and then suggested that some in his audience might well be former Republicans “puzzled by what’s happening to that party.”
“I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately?” he asked. Referring to Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who has sought federal aid to fight wildfires caused by a prolonged drought, Mr. Obama said: “You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change. It’s true. You’ve got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don’t have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because they’re gay.”
“That’s not reflective of who we are,” Mr. Obama said. “This is a choice about the fundamental direction of our country.” Obama advisers in the past have said he does not watch Republicans’ debates. But by his remarks, Mr. Obama showed he is well aware that a recent string of debates produced moments in which reactions from audiences of Tea Party sympathizers became as widely discussed afterward as anything the candidates said – prompting some of the candidates to distance themselves later from the expressions of intolerance or hardheartedness. Besides the episodes Mr. Obama cited, at another debate the loudest applause came at the mention of the numerous executions Mr. Perry has sanctioned.
To the relief of many Democrats, Mr. Obama has become more assertive lately in attacking Republicans and drawing contrasts with them. At Sunday’s first fund-raiser, one of two in the Seattle area, he said a Republican president would institute “an approach to government that would fundamentally cripple America in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.”
Depending on the event, donors gave from $100 to $35,800. Those in Woodside, on the expansive and sumptuously landscaped lawn of John W. Thompson, chairman of Symantec, gave the maximum amount, to be split between the Democratic Party and Mr. Obama’s reelection campaign. He addressed them as “my stockholders.”
There and elsewhere, Mr. Obama acknowledged that many of the donors would probably pay higher taxes after 2012 under his proposals to raise taxes on high-income households, both to offset the short-term costs of his job-creation plan in Congress and to reduce future annual budget deficits. Citing Republicans’ criticism that his proposals amount to “class warfare,” Mr. Obama delivered what has become his standard response – he is a proud warrior for the middle class – and drew applause.
Celebrities made appearances at several events. Lady Gaga was at the final function, held at the Atherton, Calif., home of Sheryl Sandberg, an executive of Facebook who was a Treasury official in the Clinton administration. The singer, extravagantly attired as usual, was about two feet taller than Mr. Obama thanks to her towering heels and upswept hair.
The musician Bruce Hornsby performed at the Woodside fund-raiser. And the former pro basketball players Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkens introduced Mr. Obama at Seattle’s Paramount Theater. At each stop, Mr. Obama gave a rundown of his administration’s record, including taking credit for rescuing the economy, decimating Al Qaeda and killing Osama bin Laden, ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy against openly gay service members, tightening financial industry regulations and – “as long as I get a second term” – implementation of the law expanding health insurance.
But Mr. Obama acknowledged that many Democrats, especially liberals, are disheartened that he has not been more successful in overcoming the obstructions of Congressional Republicans. “Shake off any doldrums,” he told supporters at the Seattle theater, and “get to work.”
In Woodside, he urged donors to “push back” against friends and neighbors whose criticisms are based on “inadequate information” from Fox News or Wall Street Journal editorials. “And in some cases,” he told them, “I may need you to have some arguments with our progressive friends.”
“We’re going to have a stark choice in this election,” Mr. Obama added. “But I have to make sure that our side is as passionate and as motivated and is working just as hard as the folks on the other side because this is a contest of values.”
Quoting his vice president, “my friend Joe Biden,” Mr. Obama said, “Don’t compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative.”
September 19th, 2011
The New York Times
By: Jeff Zeleny and Megan Thee-Brenan
President Obama’s support is eroding among elements of his base, and a yearlong effort to recapture the political center has failed to attract independent voters, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, leaving him vulnerable at a moment when pessimism over the country’s direction is greater than at any other time since he took office.
The president’s effort to seize the initiative on the economy was well received by the public, and clear majorities support crucial pieces of his new job-creation program. But despite Mr. Obama’s campaign to sell the plan to Congress and voters, more than half of those questioned said they feared the economy was already in or was headed for a double-dip recession, and nearly three-quarters of Americans think the country is on the wrong track.
Republicans appear more energized than Democrats at the outset of the 2012 presidential campaign, but have not coalesced around a candidate. Even as the party’s nominating contest seems to be narrowing to a two-man race between Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a majority of their respective supporters say they have reservations about their candidate. Half of Republicans who plan to vote in a primary say they would like more choices.
A snapshot of the Republican Party, four months before the first primary ballots are cast, shows that voters are evenly divided between preferring a presidential nominee who can defeat Mr. Obama or one who aligns with them on most issues. A majority of voters who support the Tea Party movement place a higher priority on winning back the White House.
The Republican primary campaign is unfolding in a more conservative electorate than four years ago, with 7 in 10 Republican voters calling themselves conservative and one-quarter who say they are moderate.
The poll, which was conducted after Mr. Obama’s economic address to Congress last week, contains considerable warning signs for the president. The poll found a 12-point jump since late June, to 43 percent, in the number of Americans who say the economy is getting worse. And for the first time since taking office, his disapproval rating has reached 50 percent in the Times and CBS News polls.
“I don’t disapprove of Barack Obama as a person, but as a president he has disappointed me greatly,” said Ann Sheets, 69, a Democrat from Chattanooga, Tenn., speaking in a follow-up interview. Ms. Sheets added, “I’m realistic enough to know how difficult it is and I am not against compromise, but I voted for a backbone. You have to draw some lines in the sand, and I don’t think he has done that.”
The poll found a 43 percent approval rating for Mr. Obama. It is significantly higher than Jimmy Carter, who had an approval rating of 31 percent at a similar time in his presidency, according to the Times and CBS News poll, which showed Ronald Reagan with an approval of 46 percent and the elder George Bush at 70 percent.
The president’s support has fallen to its lowest levels across parts of the diverse coalition of voters who elected him, from women to suburbanites to college graduates. And a persistent effort over the past year to reclaim his appeal to independent voters has shown few signs of bearing fruit, with 59 percent of this critical electoral group voicing their disapproval.
While Mr. Obama has not yet succeeded in winning over independent voters, who comprise the most influential piece of the electorate, neither have Republicans. The field is largely unknown to independents, and few have a favorable opinion of any of the candidates.
As the Republican Party experiences something of a reinvention, with Tea Party activists often clashing with the party’s weakening establishment, the poll found an overall electorate that is not entirely in step with the campaign messages of the party’s candidates.
More than 8 in 10 Republicans voters would like to see the national health care law repealed, at least in part. About half say illegal immigrants should be deported, rather than offered a chance at citizenship or an opportunity to serve as guest workers.
Yet in stark contrast to the positions taken by some presidential candidates, three-quarters of Republicans say global warming exists — either as a result of human activity, natural patterns in the earth’s environment, or both. Nearly 6 in 10 favor allowing same-sex couples to either form civil unions or marry. And only one-third of Republicans support a ban on abortion.
A slim majority of Republican voters say it is important for a presidential candidate to share their religious beliefs. And more than one-third of Republican primary voters say that most people they know would not vote for a candidate who is Mormon.
Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, struggled during his presidential bid four years ago to explain his Mormon traditions to some voters. Mr. Perry speaks frequently to Republican audiences about his evangelical beliefs.
The poll was taken as Republicans hopefuls are drawing sharp distinctions with one another in a series of nationally televised debates.
A fight over Social Security has emerged as one of the early yet defining differences between Mr. Perry, who has called the program a “monstrous lie,” and Mr. Romney, who has called for maintaining the current system with some changes to shore up its long-term financial condition. The poll found that nearly three-quarters of Republicans said they thought Social Security and Medicare were worth their costs.
The crosscurrents across the Republican landscape show the promise and peril for the candidates. Nearly half of Republicans surveyed said they considered themselves supporters of the Tea Party, but that finding was tempered by two-thirds of Republicans who said a candidate’s identification with the Tea Party made no difference in their vote.
“Any Republican who gets the nomination, whether it’s my first choice or not, is going to be better than what we’ve got now,” said Allen Hulshizer, 77, a Republican and retired structural engineer from Glenside, Pa. “By the time you get down to the final selections, any one of the top contenders will certainly be better than Obama.”
The nationwide telephone poll was conducted from last Saturday through Thursday with 1,452 adults, of whom 1,356 were registered to vote. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for both groups.
The poll found that most Americans are familiar with the American Jobs Act, the president’s $447 billion proposal to create jobs. Almost half of the public is confident the plan would create jobs and improve the economy. A substantial majority of Americans support the main proposals aimed at creating jobs, including tax cuts for small businesses, improvements in the nation’s infrastructure and payroll tax cuts for working Americans.
Yet despite their support, two-thirds of Americans from broad majorities across party lines are doubtful that Congressional Democrats and Republicans will be able to reach an agreement on a job-creation package despite near universal bipartisan support for compromise. The poll also found a historically low approval rating for Congress, with just 19 percent approving of Republicans, compared with 28 percent that approve of Democrats.
The poll had a few promising signs for Mr. Obama. Americans strongly support his position that creating jobs should be a higher priority than cutting spending. Democrats and independents agree on that view, while Republicans do not. And across party lines, Americans support his position that a deficit-reduction plan should include a mix of tax increases and spending cuts.
But the poll also found a dark mood on Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, with 34 percent approving and 57 percent disapproving. His numbers on job creation are similarly bleak, with 40 percent approving of his performance and 53 percent disapproving. Two-thirds of the public say Mr. Obama has not made progress in fixing the economy, even though a majority of people concede the condition of the national economy is not something a president can do a lot about.
“I have incredible empathy for the spot he’s in. He walked into the huge mess left behind by George Bush,” said Barbara Cornell, 56, a Democrat and hospital chaplain from Shoreline, Wash. Ms. Cornell added, “I believe he is a good person, but there are all these issues and problems that aren’t being dealt with.”
September 19th, 2011
By: Paul Joseph Watson
Ron Paul is riding high again after his California Straw Poll victory yesterday, but some Paul supporters are questioning why the Texas Straw Poll was cancelled for “lack of interest,” and whether it was actually killed because the Congressman would have inflicted an embarrassing defeat on Governor Rick Perry in his own state.
According to a June 16 Washington Times report, the Texas GOP decided to cancel the straw poll, which was held on September 1 last year, because of a “lack of interest expressed by the candidates,” and due to fears that the event would not recoup the financial outlay needed to stage it.
The claim that the poll was cancelled due to “lack of interest” doesn’t correlate with the firestorm of media attention generated by Rick Perry’s announcement of his candidacy, as well as the building momentum of the Paul campaign, which went supernova after the media hoax of attempting to pretend the Congressman doesn’t exist spectacularly imploded last month.
There seems little doubt that Ron Paul would have defeated Rick Perry in the Texas Straw Poll, sending out the embarrassing message that those who know Perry’s record best, lone star state voters, have no trust in his leadership. This would have been a massive blow to the perception of Perry’s electability nationwide.
A presidential survey of voters in both candidate’s home state conducted by the Azimuth Research Group last month found that Texans would be more likely to vote for Congressman Paul over Governor Perry by a margin of 22% to 17%.
Indeed, Paul has made it a focus of his campaign, including an expensive TV commercial, to bring attention to what the Perry campaign fears the most, his outing as a globalist RINO (Republican In Name Only).
A Texas Straw Poll win for Paul would have thrown fresh spotlight on Perry’s history as a campaign manager for Al Gore, and his legacy of big government policies such as his support for the Trans Texas Corridor, toll roads owned by foreign companies, and his 1993 advocacy of Hillarycare.
It would not be the first time a straw poll was cancelled by establishment Republicans in order to neutralize a winning platform for Ron Paul’s campaign. The 2007 San Francisco straw poll was cancelled due to there being “too many Ron Paul supporters”. The Colorado straw poll was also cancelled that year, with the Adams County GOP citing the exact same reason.
The establishment media has openly attempted to unfairly marginalize Ron Paul’s campaign this year. Following a September 12 Republican debate in Cincinnati, a straw poll found Ron Paul to be the winner. However, CNN refused to release the results of the poll and instead published an online poll, omitting Ron Paul from the list of candidates.
March 10th, 2011
A video made surreptitiously by a conservative sting artist shows phony, would-be Muslim donors meeting with two NPR fundraisers who are caught on the tape making candid, awkward comments about the Republican Party — and also talking bluntly about the ouster of commentator Juan Williams.
The sting operation, produced by conservative activist James O’Keefe, shows NPR fundraisers Ron Schiller (who has since announced his departure from NPR) and Betsy Liley at lunch with two men masquerading as wealthy Muslim donors. That the NPR people appear to tell the supposed contributors what they want to hear is not an unusual approach for fundraisers.
But against the backdrop of a possible cut off of NPR funding proposed by the GOP-controlled U.S. House, Schiller can be heard saying that “very little of our funding comes from the government.” That is correct. “In the long run,” he said, “we would be better off without federal funding.” That’s at least debatable. Then, talking about the GOP, Schiller added: “The current Republican Party, particularly the tea party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian — and I wouldn’t even call it Christian.” In answer to a leading question about the tea party movement, he adds, “Basically, they believe in white, middle America, gun toting — it’s pretty scary. They’re seriously racist.”
Schiller, who said Tuesday night his resignation as NPR Foundation’s senior vice president for development would take effect immediately, went on to say that he was proud that NPR let Juan Williams go last year after Williams said on Fox News he would be concerned if he boarded a plane with fellow passengers in Muslim garb. “He lost all credibility and that breaks your ethics as a journalist.” Schiller says.
NPR, in a statement, said: “The fraudulent organization represented in the video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept. We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for. Mr. Schiller announced last week he is leaving NPR for another job.”
O’Keefe’s Project Veritas gained notoriety in 2009 in another covertly made video that showed individuals posing as a pimp and prostitute seeming to get advice on gaming the tax system from a representative of ACORN, a liberal community activist organization. O’Keefe went too far last year when he and three others were charged with attempting to tamper with the phone lines in Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, received three years’ probation, a $1,500 fine and 100 hours of community service.
Watch the new video, courtesy YouTube.
September 20, 2010
The NewYork Times
By Jakie Calmes
President Obama’s political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a range of ideas, including national advertisements, to cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said.
White House and Congressional Democratic strategists are trying to energize dispirited Democratic voters over the coming six weeks, in hopes of limiting the party’s losses and keeping control of the House and Senate. The strategists see openings to exploit after a string of Tea Party successes split Republicans in a number of states, culminating last week with developments that scrambled Senate races in Delaware and Alaska.
“We need to get out the message that it’s now really dangerous to re-empower the Republican Party,” said one Democratic strategist who has spoken with White House advisers but requested anonymity to discuss private strategy talks.
Democrats are divided. The party’s House and Senate campaign committees are resistant, not wanting to do anything that smacks of nationalizing the midterm elections when high unemployment and the drop in Mr. Obama’s popularity have made the climate so hostile to Democrats. Endangered Congressional candidates want any available money to go to their localized campaigns.
Late Sunday night, White House advisers denied that a national ad campaign was being planned. “There’s been no discussion of such a thing at the White House” or the Democratic National Committee, said David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser.
Proponents say a national ad campaign, most likely on cable television, would complement those individual campaigns and give Democrats a chance to redefine the stakes. The Democratic strategist said voters did not now see much threat to them from a Republican takeover of Congress, even though some Tea Party-backed candidates and other Republicans have taken positions that many voters consider extreme, like shutting down the government to get their way, privatizing Social Security and Medicare and ending unemployment insurance.
So far, Mr. Obama has largely limited his campaigning to fundraisers and small events. That will change soon as he plays a bigger role to rally the flagging faithful, officials said.
To mobilize younger voters who supported him in 2008, Mr. Obama will hold four big campaign-style rallies, the first Sept. 28 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, with satellite transmission to campuses in other states. The later rallies will be in Ohio, Philadelphia and Las Vegas. He also will send e-mail and record robocalls to spur voters, and conduct a national “town hall” Webcast in October.
“These events are about activating the Obama grass roots to help organizationally in terms of volunteers” for get-out-the-vote efforts, said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “We’re not going to get all the 2008 Obama voters out. We may not get most of them. But in close races, it can be decisive.”
Mr. Obama will also step up his efforts to draw contrasts between the parties, in particular by pounding away on his call for extending the expiring Bush-era tax cuts, except for “millionaires and billionaires.” Republicans want the tax cuts extended for people of all income levels, not just incomes below $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families, as the president has proposed.
Republican strategists remain confident of the party’s prospects for big gains in November, even as they acknowledge that they are unlikely to win the Senate race in Delaware after the victory in the Republican primary there of Christine O’Donnell, a Tea Party-backed candidate with a long record of controversial statements, over Representative Michael N. Castle, a moderate and popular former two-term governor.
Also last week, Alaska’s Senate race was upended when Senator Lisa Murkowski, who lost the Republican nomination to a Tea Party adherent, Joe Miller, mounted a write-in candidacy against him, saying, “Alaska is not fair game for outside extremists.”
“While we may have a handful of nominees out of the mainstream, the American people have come to the conclusion this administration and this Congress are out of the mainstream,” said John Weaver, a Republican consultant.
In 1994, Democrats were in power and similarly took hope when Republican primaries yielded candidates deemed too far right for the general election. Yet the wave against Democrats that year was strong enough to carry those newcomers into office and put Republicans in control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.
Except for Ms. O’Donnell in Delaware, Republican nominees that Democrats like to showcase as extremists — including in Senate races in Nevada, Colorado, Kentucky and even blue-state Connecticut — are even with their Democratic rivals in polls or ahead.
And even as the White House maps the final campaign push, advisers are distracted by the expected exit of the chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, to run for mayor of Chicago. Mr. Emanuel, who as a member of Congress helped engineer the Democratic takeover of the House in 2006, is among his party’s foremost strategists when it comes to Congressional elections.
Peter M. Rouse, one of Mr. Obama’s closest advisers, has assumed additional responsibilities. But Mr. Rouse, who is intensely private, does not want the high-profile job of chief of staff; instead he is helping Mr. Obama vet names. Leading candidates are said to be Thomas E. Donilon, the deputy national security adviser, and Robert Bauer, the White House counsel.
On top of the personnel distractions at the White House, the strategy discussions with Congressional Democrats come after 21 months of legislative and political battles that have strained relations between the two camps.
Democrats on Capitol Hill say that Obama aides, including Mr. Axelrod, and Jim Messina, the deputy chief of staff, do not consult with them enough and are more concerned with positioning Mr. Obama for his 2012 reelection race than with re-electing Democrats now.
At the Democratic National Committee, aides already have started work on a database to link the most controversial statements of the Tea Party-backed candidates to possible Republican presidential aspirants.
The database will point out, for example, that Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are supporting the Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, Sharron Angle, who once said that victims of rape should make “what was really a lemon situation into lemonade,” and Ms. O’Donnell, who has said that having women in the service academies “cripples the readiness of our defense.”
The tactic of linking potential Republican rivals to such statements was already in evidence last week. After Ms. O’Donnell’s victory, a party spokesman told reporters, “The fact that Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin would put their name behind a candidate that believes women who serve our country ‘cripple the readiness of our defense’ make them unfit to be commander-in-chief.”
September 20, 2010
By Greg Bluestien
Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday he sees parallels between today’s tea party and his own campaign for the White House in 1976. But he doesn’t think the movement will be much of a factor beyond this fall’s elections.
The Georgia Democrat told The Associated Press he rode a wave of voter discontent to the presidency on the heels of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal that felled President Richard Nixon, much like tea partyconservatives are now earning support by voicing anger at the nation’s economic woes.
“I was a candidate that was in some ways like the tea party candidate,” Carter said in an interview. “I was a complete outsider. I capitalized legitimately on the dissatisfaction that was permeating our society.”
“I think they’re going to be quite a major factor in November,” he said. “I think there’s already a process of absorbing them into the Republican Party. I think they will be much less of a factor in 2012 and in future years.”
The comments came the same day the former president’s new book, “White House Diary,” was released.
In the book, Carter said he pursued an overly aggressive agenda as president that may have confused voters and alienated lawmakers. But he said the tipping points that cost him the 1980 election were the Iran hostage crisis and the primary challenge by U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.
“Had we not had the hostage crisis, I would have won,” he said in the interview of his defeat to Republican Ronald Reagan, adding: “Had I not had Kennedy as my opponent, who sapped away a portion of the Democratic wing, I would have been re-elected.”
Carter said in the book that he is proud of his accomplishments during his presidency, but that pushing controversial decisions such as the end of U.S. control of the Panama Canal and working to normalize relations with Communist China cost him political support.
“I overburdened Congress with an array of controversial and politically costly requests. Looking back, I am struck by how many unpopular objectives we pursued,” he said, adding: “We were able to achieve a remarkable amount of what we set out to do, but ultimately the political cost—of my administration and for members of Congress—was very high.”
Carter, 85, compiled the book from thoughts and observations he dictated several times a day in tapes turned over to his secretary. Thirty years later, he condensed and annotated the diary with recent reflections. The book was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The former president said in the interview that he neglected his role as the party’s leader, opening a vacuum that cost some of his chief legislative supporters their jobs. He said there were 20 senators up for re-election in 1978 who voted for the Panama treaty—and only seven came back to the Senate the next year.
“One of the things I could have done better is I could have been a better leader of the Democratic Party. I didn’t feel comfortable,” he said.
Carter said he decided to publish the diary because it “may be my last chance to offer an assessment of my time in the White House,” he wrote.
I used to be a devout Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly listener and a steadfast Republican. However, since learning the honest truth that you expose on world issues and the individuals that run it, I have given up listening to Rush and Bill and have stopped all support of the Republican Party. I knew politics was corrupt, but I never realized to what extent. Kevin, you have my full support and vote when you decide to run for President of the United States.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 18 years ago and have been hospitalized 3 times for it. During a scheduled colonoscopy last year, my wife explained that the doctor came out of the procedure and sat down by her and wanted to know who (what quack) diagnosed me with Crohn’s. See, I had done a couple of cleansing I learned about through your books. Also, before listening to your show my wife was taking 8 to 10 ibuprofen tablets a day for knee pain. Since changing our lifestyle my wife has not had an ibuprofen in the last 4 months. We have both quit smoking and quit all prescription medications.
If you would have told me several months ago that I could get off all medication and still be okay, I would have thought you lost your mind. I can not thank you enough for the help, information and teaching that you provide in your books and radio show. I also realize that you put yourself at risk to bring us the truth and I can not tell you how much that means to my family and me. I really enjoy how you make these subjects so entertaining to learn.
Kevin, you are a hero and a champion!
Fort Wayne, IN
October 30, 2009
The Raw Story
By David Edwards
The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart tore into Fox News Channel Thursday, highlighting the extent to which he believes it serves as a communications arm for the Republican Party, and alleging that the line between Fox’s “opinion” programming and “news” programming aren’t as disparate as the channel claims.
“According to Fox, the weekday news programming — and this is according to Fox — runs from 9:00 to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. for a total of nine newsy hours a day,” Stewart notes. “Let me, for the audience here, help you out.
“The three hours you spend in the morning with Fox and Friends, not news,” Stewart continues. “Your 4:00 to 5:00 post tea Neil Cavuto break, not news. The 5:00 and 6:00 emotional whirlwind and therapy session that is Glenn Beck, not even close to news. O’Reilly, Hannity and then van Social Security tern, not news.
“This is according to Fox News,” Stewart adds. “Those people, the ones featured in promos about how fair and balanced Fox News is are not news. These people, otherwise known as the only people you ever think of when you think about Fox News, are not news. They are Fox opinutainment.”