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Thursday, August 2. 2012
So, let us recap what's transpired since we last discussed the election.
As I recall, once Time Magazine and the New York Times picked up on the Maggie's posts and started printing them, the entire world realized that the wise and kindly Dr. Mercury was correct that Newt 'Big Picture' Gingrich was the one candidate with the historical perspective and across-the-aisle contacts to really-
Oh, wait. That was a dream I had the other night. Never mind.
Okay, so, while other blog sites were still mocking Romney by calling the others the "not-Romney" candidates, we'd all-but decided over here that it was probably Romney or bust. I believe he won my prestigious 'most presidential' award in every debate except one, where he shared the honor with Jon Huntsman.
Once the primaries started, the 'presidential' difference just became all the more apparent and the only surprise was the strong showing some of the other candidates made in certain states. But only in certain states.
Which brings us to today.
Like others, I'm expecting the Romney VP pick any moment now. For the record, I publicly called for Sarah Palin to be John McCain's running mate three weeks before he announced it.
But that was a gut call; wishful thinking. This is me actually trying to be politically analytical.
The standard "It won't be pretty" warning is in place.
New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte,
Florida Senator Marco Rubio — The Great Hispanic Hope. Too young, too new to the national stage, and too much baggage at the moment. There are actually four or five 'pseudoscandals' that have whirled around him down here over the past few years (campaign credit card expenditures, friendship with someone being investigated by the IRS — the usual bullshit), all of which will be happily jumped on by the national media. I'm already on record as hoping for a Palin/Rubio ticket in 2016; I just think he needs more seasoning, and I'm guessing the Romney camp feels the same. I know I'm committing the heinous crime of ageism by saying this, but he simply looks too young for the job.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — The truth is, Palin was so goddamn charismatic and fresh and original that she simply eclipsed McCain in the election, and I gather Romney & bunch will be wary of the same thing happening again. And, if it would happen with anyone, it would happen with the charismatic, fresh and original Governor Chris Christie.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — I have no idea why people keep bringing up her name. She's flat-out stated from the get-go that she's not interested, and I would note that there's a difference between a politician saying "Sorry, not interested" — which translates to "Ask me again next week" — and some civilian of high rank saying the same. When people like Rice say 'no', it usually means 'no'.
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty — I'm also surprised people mention this guy as a possibility. He has 'also-ran' written all over him and it's generally agreed he did a terrible job during the primaries. I think I've made my stance on putting a Crazy Creationist in the White House adequately clear. Which brings us to...
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal — This is who the Hot Air crowd has picked twice in a row for the VP slot.
Well done, Hot Air crowd. We thank you, science thanks you.
For those of you scoring at home, Intelligent Design is even wackier than Creationism. While it may be a jarring sight to picture Jesus riding around on the back of a brontosaurus, at least they're not making any pretense that evolution might partially exist. The ID'ers are happy to let evolution take the lead — until suddenly it's "Wait, hold on a sec — evolution isn't smart enough to invent the eye, therefore God exists."
In the White House?
On the other hand, I'll quickly grant that it probably doesn't matter what he thinks. The school issues are all being fought on the state level, and that's what counts.
Jindal would probably be my back-up guess, though, because he's out to here with credentials, and although he looks a little bizarre, he's got the ever-important Mixed Race Certification Card (just ask Elizabeth Warren), so if anyone criticizes him, we get to call them a racist. If the Romney campaign wants to be a little feistier than I'm predicting, this is probably the guy they'll go with. They'll figure the press would never stoop so low as to drag their radically-conflicting religions into the public arena.
That would be unprofessional.
Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan — This is many a pundit's pick, because he stands for cutting back on government entitlements and related noble goals, but therein lies the rub. While he's clamoring about cutting back on entitlements, there's Mitt out there defending the massive entitlement RomneyCare — and both the press and the Obama campaign will have a field day with the disparity. On top of that, if there's any government or union employee out there wavering, they won't be with Ryan on the ticket.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman — Boring, plain, safe, predictable, non-controversial, well-vetted, no skeletons, no pseudoscandals — have I mentioned 'boring' yet? — and he'd be my guess.
Here's a fair question for you:
Did you recognize him in the picture?
No? Well, then you just proved he's boring, plain, safe, predictable, non-controversial, well-vetted, no skeletons, no pseudoscandals — and have I mentioned 'boring' yet?
Someone used the phrase that Romney wants to "glide to 51 percent", and that's how I see it. He'll want to stick some boring, plain, safe (well, you get the picture) no-name in the VP slot so no one will pay any attention to him, then harp, harp, harp on the economy until November. If there's enough people disgruntled at their recently-higher gas, food, energy and/or other costs, that might just be that 1 extra percent he needs.
If he wins, I'll call my victory post Glide Slope.
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I am betting--betting that the Dems will put a gay guy in the VP slot--or better yet--another lesbo (would make Hillary happy at least).
AP - That would normally be viewed as a fairly silly comment, but after incorporating it into the Official Democratic Talking Points the other day, you might be on to something.
The Democratic Convention should actually be quite interesting when it comes to the VP slot. A lot of people will want a "go with the flow, don't change horses in mid-stream" routine and want to keep Biden. And, admittedly, you'll notice the only gaffes he's made are just that -- a few verbal gaffes here and there. He hasn't done or said anything horrific (as compared to "You didn't build that", e.g.), so there's no real overt reason to oust him outside of "We need a fresh, new face!" But people who think the country is rolling along just fine don't want a fresh new face. Status quo, baby. Hence the conundrum they'll face.
I like Jindal a lot - unlike either guys on the Dem ticket, he has a successful record as an Executive.
The better Latino candidate than Rubio is - Luis Fortuno, Governor of Puerto Rico.
I like him, too, and he's got experience & credentials out the yin-yang, hence him being my back-up pick. His main strengths is that he doesn't bring along any minus points, like Ryan, yet he's not a flame-thrower like Christie is. I think he's a fine pick for the VP slot -- IF Romney & camp want to take a few chances. But if 'gliding to 51' is the objective, then he won't want anyone even slightly outspoken, hence the boring, plain, safe (well, you get the picture) Portman, allowing Romney to harp, harp, harp until the cows come home without any distractions.
I kind of agree with AP on Obama dumping Sheriff Joe and getting somebody more "attractive", but it would have to look like Biden was giving it up for a health/family issue - something other than just dumping Biden for somebody new. It would make Obama look really weak, weaker than he already is, if he did that. I'm not even sure that Obama can do that at this late stage in the race - he's committed at this point.
With respect to Romney, it's between Pawlenty and Jindal - at least that's my concept. For one thing, Pawlenty has some serious economic chops, he's run successfully against a big time Democratic machine and state, he was a successful governor in dealing with a balky legislature and he's a pretty good politician from the Midwest. Boring - yeah, but boring is good - he'll stay on message, work hard and keep the wolves at bay. Jindal has a similar background, is a true minority, has had success with fixing Louisiana's health care system, he's smart and no small amount of charisma - he's a good looking guy and would be a perfect match for the lily white Mormon.
I'm a gonna flip a coin and say Pawlenty has the inside track - it's his to lose.
Having said that, there is always the possibility of something completely off the wall and out of the blue - don't know - we'll just have to see.
I like the Rob Portman choice, but it falls victim to the "white men in power" meme that is so popular.
Of course, adding Palin didn't help remove that, the liberals just shifted the meme slightly.
Still, Romney has hurdles. I feel he has to pick either based on state (to win a battleground), gender, or race. If he can get 2 out of 3, all the better. I suspect he will, and there are plenty of candidates to fit that description, though some are much longer long shots than any you mentioned.
I'm all for the long shot, as long as they are well vetted. I suspect Palin, as good as she was, was not properly vetter or prepared for the role she was to play. As much as I liked her, I still think she has become a bit of a caricature of herself, which is unfortunate.
I noticed Nikki Haley wasn't on your list?
Trust me on this - you DO NOT want Nikki Haley on the short list for VP. That would be a total disaster. She's been a good and semi-effective Governor, but she has some non-lethal state baggage that would quickly turn into lethal national baggage in a New York Minute. She has made some very powerful enemies in this state including some of our Congresscritters and they would relish a chance to renew some of the more scandalous accusations even thought they have been proven false time and time again. Plus she hasn't been in office all that long and was only a back bench legislator before that.
As much as I hate to say this, there isn't a female candidate for either POTUS or VPOTUS because the time isn't right. There is much too much misogyny in the political arena for that to happen. A lot of what happened to Palin was the result of misogyny within the McCain campaign and the MSM just piled on. I think she would have made a very effective VP candidate given half a chance, but she wasn't given that chance. Now, as you say, she has become a cartoon character and lost her chance to be a truly effective conservative voice. Unfortunate.
Yes, I'm aware of the bizarre 'affairs' which some people claimed.
I suppose, like Christie, neither have been in office long enough to really run on a great record. I happen to think Christie is great, one of the rare instances where I've held my nose when I pulled the lever, but wound up very pleased. He's not perfect, and some people consider him a bully. I laugh at the bully charges - these are people who realize his concise confrontational style is not only effective, but often correct. So they feel bad for themselves that he's actually quite good.
I wasn't suggesting Nikki Haley, I just figure Doc's got the other two at the top of his long-shot list, and certainly she's worth consideration as a long-shot.
I don't believe there isn't a woman ready out there. Kay Bailey Hutchinson would be excellent, as would Condi Rice. I think, however, both recognize the dangers which face a female conservative on a national stage. Plus neither really offer clear advantages to Romney, except that they are women (sorry, Condi doesn't really play in the African American community, though I wish she was held up as a shining example more often by their leaders).
The VP choice, for Romney, is going to be critical. People like my wife are seriously considering not voting. She simply doesn't see enough value in Romney to cast a vote for him, even though she can't stand Obama. I have to say I agree, though I'm more concerned about getting Obama out than I am about worrying over Romney's 'issues' (which, to me, are multitude).
But the choice isn't as simple for many people, particularly many women. I sincerely believe Romney could win a chunk of the Latino and/or women's vote with a good VP choice. I think women don't have to have a female VP on the ticket, just someone they believe more closely suits their needs and desires. Vast generalization? Sure, but hey - politics is all about a vast generalization.
Roger Ailes says 5% of the voting population decide each national election. That will be more true this year than in any other, and knowing how to pinpoint that 5% is going to be critical. Obama has done wonders shoring up some of his frayed edges in the gay and latino communities, needs to do some work with women, but if he gets those locked down the 5% becomes more like 3%. That's a razor thin margin and one which is going to be difficult for Romney to identify and lock in.
At this point, I still believe that something is happening which I'd never have thought 8 months ago - Obama is vulnerable. Keeping him vulnerable will be essential.
Your comments about Intelligent Design reflect a visceral reaction to something that challenges a deep indoctrination. I don't know if it's possible to address this as it is a very complex problem but the following, I think, might indicate that the subject is a bit deeper than you perceive.
Is anyone paying attention to "natural-born citizen"? Geez, just because the Democrats ignored the Constitution doesn't mean there's been an amendment changing the qualifications.
Imagine the King of Saudi Arabia imprenating an American who is a natural-born citizen. Could their child be elected President? Not by any Constitution that I (or any of my dozen attorney relatives) have studied. The issue is a commander-in-chief with the potential for divided loyalty.
I just went through this with somebody the other day. If, for instance, the King of Saudi Arabia married an American woman who is a citizen, then any resulting children are automatically American citizens by default and considered "natural born" by virtue of the mother's citizenship. Period - end of discussion.
Now, while this has never been actually adjudicated by the Supreme Court, the exact understanding which has been in place since the Chester A. Arthur imbroglio:
"The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.”
You need to have your attorney relatives to look up Lynch v. Clarke which pretty much defines natural born as any child born to an American citizen - that includes children born to naturalized parents by the way. So you could have a situation in which the parents are naturalized citizens with natural born (by definition) children. They also need to look up the associated clauses of the 14th Amendment which clarifies this even further.
In every case where a Presidential candidate has been challenged with respect to this issue, the issue has always been resolved in favor of the candidate. In order: Chester A. Arthur, Christopher Schürmann, Charles Evans Hughes, Barry Goldwater, George Romney, Lowell Weicker, John McCain and Barack Obama - I think that's the entire list - I might have missed one or two.
Sorry, Tom. Wikipedia? Lynch vs. Clarke only discusses whether or not the woman, born to two aliens on U.S. soil, was a native-born citizen despite the fact that Britain also claimed her. We fought the War of 1812 over Britain's insistence that U.S. citizens were still citizens of The Crown. This issue is based on allegiance. Natural-born is uniquely described by the U.S. Constitution as a child born to TWO (2) citizens of the U.S. at the time of said birth (excepting the granfather clause).
Legitimate questions should be raised, but two wrongs don't make a right regarding Rubio or Jindal running for VP. Barry Goldwater's eligibility was based on his parents both being natural-born citizens (California and Illinois) although he was born in Arizona Territory. George Romney's parents and grandparentss never gave up their citizenships when they moved to Mexico nor did they pledge allegiance to that country.
Barack Obama Sr. was certainly not a U.S. citizen, thus his son is not born of TWO U.S. citizenship at time of birth. Obama Jr. is a citizen, but not a natural-born citizen.
Ugh. This discussion again.
Here's the thing, McCain was born in Panama. Sure, on a US base and to US citizens. But still, let's not get too technical.
Then, of course, there was the mild controversy surrounding Mitt's dad George during his Presidential run. Didn't seem to bother too many people back then, though the word "brainwash" certainly had an impact.