Despite having a pretty good December, with employment down below 9% and a last minute payroll tax extension that seemed to be a Democrat victory, 2011 has been a tough year for Obama and the Democratic party.With only a few days to go before Iowa the entirety of the media is focused on the Republican race. As of right now the Democratic party is not very healthy despite having both the Senate and the President. The Republican party has all the rising stars and there seem to be no high profile Democrats waiting in the wings(pun intended). While they would never admit it, I believe that hardcore Republican strategists really don’t want this election all that badly. While it would be very nice to win it, House Republicans have proven that they are very effective at stopping nearly anything Obama does. While it is making the party look bad they are all definitely looking forward to 2016. Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal both look good and are the wonder kids of the Republican party and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are the top Democrats.They also have more established leaders such as Jon Huntsman(who appears to be very well set for a 2016 run and he’s doing pretty well right now considering he basically hasn’t left the state of New Hampshire in a couple months) and the always good Mitt Romney. Advantage Republicans. If Obama wins again this year they will be in the same position if things stay pretty much the same, and if they get better the Republicans would have no problem taking credit for it(see Newt Gingrich circa 1996). And on the flip side if things get worse, it will be a sure shot for the Republicans. Right now it is very likely that both sides will have a very good shot at the White House just like in 2008. Theoretically at least, right now the Democrats do not have any real high profile contenders. It’s not that don’t have any, it’s just that people don’t know about them. One excellent example is Mark Warner, the soon-to-be senior senator from Virginia. He is intelligent(see Harvard Law School) and a moderate enough that it is likely that independent voters would flock to him. But right now he does not have the exposure that he should have. Obama needs to think about his party and perhaps consider dropping Joe Biden and picking someone like Mark Warner up. Warner said in 2006 that he would not peruse a 2008 Presidential run citing that he did not want to disrupt his family life, but I believe that he would accept a Vice Presidential nomination as The White House is not that far from his home in Alexandria, Virginia. While the chances of Obama dropping Biden are very slim, Democratic leaders need to start thinking about the longterm health of the party. The Democratic party is aging and the Republican party is getting younger, not a good combination for the Democrats especially when the economy is not doing well and the Democrats have presided over a bad economy and little job growth.
Please visit my website at http://www.cogpac.org and please consider donating.
Citizens for an Operational Government is a Political Action Committee. PACs are inherintly political but we try our best to be bi-partisan. A better description of our political views might be equeal opportunity crticizers. People on both side of the fence are responsible for the state of America today and both sides need to work together to reduce government spending. While even mentioning cutting government spending might make one seem like a Tea Party activist it really should not. While I believe that the cuts Republicans talked about making this summer were not the right way to go politically they did so anyway(the nerve). I believe that if they went after this kind of spending both sides and the rest of the population would be on anyone who supported cutting these types of spending side.So without further ado THE WORST EXAMPLES OF GOVERNMENT WASTE:
- Washington will spend $2.6 million teaching Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.
- The refusal of federal employees to fly coach will cost taxpayes $146 million.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearanging its desks in its Washington, DC headquarters.
- The US Postal service charged $13,500 on one dinner at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, including “over 200 appetizers and over $3,000 of alcohol, including more than 40 bottles of wine costing more than $50 each and brand-name liquor such as Courvoisier, Belvedere and Johnny Walker Gold.” The 81 guests consumed an average of $167 worth of food and drink apiece.
- Washington will spend $126 million in 2009 to enhance the Kennedy family legacy in Massachusetts. Additionally, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) diverted $20 million from the 2010 defense budget to subsidize a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute.
- The Federal Communications Commission spent $350,000 to sponsor NASCAR driver David Gilliland.
- Congress recently gave Alaska Airlines $500,000 to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737.
- The Transportation Department will subsidize up to $2,000 per flight for direct flights between Washington, D.C., and the small hometown of Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY) — but only on Monday mornings and Friday evenings, when lawmakers, staff, and lobbyists usually fly. Rogers is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which writes the Transportation Department’s budget.
- Two drafting errors in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act resulted in a $2 billion taxpayer cost.
- The National Institutes of Health spends $1.3 million per month to rent a lab that it cannot use.
- Lawmakers diverted $13 million from Hurricane Katrina relief spending to build a museum celebrating the Army Corps of Engineers — the agency partially responsible for the failed levees that flooded New Orleans.
With just over a week to go until the Iowa Caucus, the GOP nomination is still pretty wide open. Although some things have been cleared up, Iowa is still very volitil. GOP hopefuls have not spent as much time in Iowa as in recent years and do not have as many people on the ground. They are instead relying on the many debates and more internet campaigns. Voters in Iowa, like in New Hampshire often relish these face to face encounters that they have had the privilege of in the past elections and many make their decisions based on these encounters. The lack of interaction will lead to more volatility. Now for the state-by-state breakdown:
Iowa- It doesn’t seem like Iowa will be as much of a swing state as in the past. Whoever wins will probably not blow anyone out so it could still be wide open after Iowa. Ron Paul has been leading in the polls and his supports are way more likely to vote for him than say, Newt Gingrich. If Paul doesn’t win, then it is up to Romney, Gingrich, and Perry. Out of these three Perry has the most to gain, As Romney can look good anywhere, plus he’s got New Hampshire coming up, he can afford a second, third, or even fourth place finish. If either of the other two win it will most likely be a lateral move as each have support in South Carolina and New Hampshire. Paul would benefit greatly from a win, But a Perry win could really bring some momentum to a campaign that has been in a free fall since the week after he entered the race.
New Hampshire-It is a little more clearer here, but it will still be a huge state for several second-tier candidates. Huntsman could go a long way in extending his campaign and a surprise win by anyone else could do the same. Huntsman has put all of his eggs in New Hampshire’s basket and if he finishes in the top three his campaign might last until after Florida depending on what he does in South Carolina and Florida. A win for Huntsman would create a real fight in Florida for some Independents and Blue Republicans. A Romney win would simply reaffirm him as what he is- a top rate, intelligent candidate-and perhaps loosen him up a little. New Hampshire being a pretty liberal state, Independents will play a huge part in anyone’s win and hardcore GOPers will probably dismiss whoever wins as a ‘progressive’. Excpect for either Bachmann or Santorum or both to drop out if both have bad showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.
South Carolina-So far the most conservative state. Look for Gingrich to have a great showing. Romney will probably also have a good showing. If Huntsman does well in New Hampshire he will be hard pressed to keep the momentum going in South Carolina as he has very little infrastructure in South Carolina and look for him to drop out after this, although if he pulls of a miracle and does well in SC he might have a lot of momentum going into Florida.
To wrap it all up it is a crapshoot. Romney is looking good and so could a lot of other candidates if they get some pieces to fall into place for them. In the end it will be Romney against someone to be named later. And that someone might be able to give Romney a good fight.
Although it is a little disheartening that 93% of the US Senate voted for essentially getting rid of the 5th, 6th, and 7th amendments at least 7 had the guts to vote against it. Here they are:
- Thomas Coburn (R-Oklahoma)
- Thomas Harken (D-Iowa)
- Mike Lee (R-Utah)
- Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon)
- Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
- Bernard Sanders (I-Vermont)
- Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)
It is nice to see a mix of Republican, Democrats, and an Independent. Maybe if more voting records were as mixed as this we would have a more functional Congress. In addition, it is nice to see that some Senators still vote based on their convictions.
President Obama seems to be afraid to do anything out of fear of making a mistake, and that has been his biggest mistake. We need an intelligent, well-spoken, and respectful person to lead this nation to great things. Something that seems to get overlooked now is a need for administrative experience. As Obama is proving now the White House is not a great place to learn how to be an effective administrator. With Ron Paul and Gary Johnson both running for President on very similar platforms-Johnson is running as a Libertarian Candidate while Paul, although Libertarian, is running as a Republican- Paul has gotten the majority of the support and money. Even though Paul is well respected he has not had to balance his views with that of running a government as Johnson has as the governor of New Mexico. Johnson has done an excellent job of being an administrator and a politician, while many running have only been politicians.
The media should pay more attention to people who have successfully run governments as that is what elections should truly be about: a good candidate who has administrative experience and strong convictions to guide him through the daily tasks of leading this country. The seven senators who voted against NDAA showed strong convictions in voting “nay” and if any of them had administrative experience or get it soon any one of them should be a viable candidate inane election. It takes courage to vote against a bill like that and they should all be commended for their courage.
Please visit my website at http://www.cogpac.org and please consider donating.