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Outside the OK Corral, Gov. Palin is keeping her powder dry

Posted by joshpainter on July 25, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
Sarah Palin’s strategy of staying out of the early battles for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination is increasingly looking like a very wise plan, as her would-be rivals seem intent on taking shots at each other, and in some cases, shooting at their own feet.

It’s not yet August, and just look how the two Minnesotans in the scrum, Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty are pummeling each other:

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Bachmann in a statement released by her campaign, taking Pawlenty to task over health care, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and cap-and-trade legislation.

“Governor Pawlenty said in 2006, ‘The era of small government is over … The government has to be more proactive and more aggressive,’” said Bachmann. “That’s the same philosophy that, under President Obama, has brought us record deficits, massive unemployment, and an unconstitutional health care plan.”

Bachmann’s decision to engage Pawlenty marks a major change in strategy for the Minnesota congresswoman. But is it a sign that she is worried about Pawlenty’s progress in Iowa in advance of the Aug. 13 Ames Straw Poll, or simply that she was fed up?

Ed Rollins, Bachmann’s campaign manager, insisted in an email to The Fix that his candidate “just [got] tired of [Pawlenty] taking cheap shots” and decided to respond. “Even if he’s at 2 percent in the polls, we are not going to let anyone take free shots at us.”

Pawlenty has been goading Bachmann for weeks as he seeks to make up ground against her in Iowa — a state seen as a must-win for both candidates’ chances in the 2012 presidential race.

Pawlenty’s main attack on Bachmann is that she lacks any record of achievement, and it appears that Pawlenty’s comments to CNN’s Candy Crowley along those lines are what set Bachmann off.

In an interview that aired Sunday, Pawlenty said that “these are really serious times and there hasn’t been somebody who went [directly] from the U.S. House of Representatives to the presidency, I think, in over a hundred years, and there’s a reason for that.”

Though it remains to be seen if Pawlenty’s attacks on Bachmann will ultimately be successful, her campaign’s decision to get into a slugging contest with with the former governor may indicate that Ed Rollins’ internal polling may indicate that Pawlenty has been making up some ground on her in advance of the Ames Straw Poll.

Businessman Herman Cain appears to be leading the GOP pack in the number of self-inflicted wounds he’s suffered. Cain came out of the gate strong, but a series of foreign policy position blunders have removed much of the shine from his rising star, as Commentary Magazine’s Jonathan S. Tobin recounted early last month:

You may recall that at the South Carolina GOP presidential debate he said he had no idea what to do about Afghanistan but would consult with experts about it. Later he said he would come up with a plan sometime between his election in November 2012 and his inauguration the following January. Then he was asked about the Palestinian right of return by Chris Wallace on Fox News and had no idea what he was talking about. He later said that he was reading a book about Israel but wouldn’t say what book it was. This week he said he would go to Israel to join a Glenn Beck rally.

Last night, as The Hill notes, Cain went on the Bill O’Reilly show to further showcase the fact that he knows about as much about the dangers facing the world abroad as many of us do about the intricacies of managing a fast food franchise. O’Reilly asked him what he would do to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and all he could say in reply was that he would work for energy independence for the United States. That’s a good cause but as O’Reilly tried to put out to Cain, it wouldn’t do anything about the terrible danger to the West that Iranian nukes pose.

Cain may be a good man and he may even be on the right side on these issues, as his instinct to support Israel seems to show. But the point about Cain and foreign policy is not just that he’s not very knowledgeable about such things. It’s that he is so self-confident about his abilities that it seemingly hasn’t occurred to him that this ignorance is a liability.

Herman Cain is a political neophyte, and his inexperience at least somewhat excuses his missteps. But Newt Gingrich, a veteran of many political campaigns, can claim no such excuses. He was the first of the GOP presidential pretenders to self-destruct, and the list of his stumbles runs from losing most of his campaign staff only days after his formal announcement to his inexplicable attack on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal to reform Medicare. Now the Gingrich bandwagon seems to be a one-horse parade mired hopelessly:

For a host of party leaders, Gingrich seems to have proven with astonishing speed that he deserves his reputation as an undisciplined, self-destructive, shoot-from-the-lip politician. His flair for provocative rhetoric, combined with his desire to make loftier political points, might make him too combustible for the presidential campaign trail.

“The problem for Newt is, this is exactly what everybody who has ever worked for or around him said was his basic problem,” said Rich Galen, the veteran Republican strategist and former Gingrich aide. “Sooner or later, I suspect, unfortunately, the campaign will collapse from the top because people are going to say, ‘I love him and he’s really smart, but he can’t be president.’”

The campaign, Galen added, is “close to being functionally over.”

Little wonder that Republicans, in poll after poll, have indicated that they are generally unimpressed with the field of announced candidates so far. Meanwhile, Gov. Palin has told her supporters to keep their powder dry and has even encouraged grassroots organizers in Iowa to keep up their good work on her behalf. As she stands on the sidelines, Sarah Palin can see Gov. Rick Perry doing pretty much the same thing on the opposite side of the field. As many have speculated, when those two get into the race, the game will have changed in the blinking of an eye.

Cross-posted from Texans for Sarah Palin

- JP

Posted in 2012, GOP, presidential election, Sarah Palin | 3 Comments »

Inspired by Sarah Palin, County Clerk in Texas ‘Fights Like a Girl’

Posted by joshpainter on July 7, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
To say that Bowie County in northeast Texas is a Democratic Party bastion would be a gross understatement. The 923 square-mile jurisdiction, which has a population of almost 90,000, had never in its history elected a Republican to county office before 2010, when a determined 34-year old conservative defeated her Democrat opponent for the County Clerk’s job. Now, six months after taking office, she finds herself engaged in cultural combat with those liberals who are still clinging to power on the Texas side of the border with Arkansas.

Pamela Geller has a chronicle of Natalie Nichols and her struggle with the entrenched Bowie County “progressives”:

Natalie Nichols, a newly elected county clerk in Texas, is fighting back against a rogue court that actually voted to remove the Pledge of Allegiance and an opening prayer from the court’s official records. She refuses to do it, has made it her official stance and is now actually being threatened with legal action by a representative of the district attorney’s office. But Nichols is standing firm: She has stated that she would rather be removed from office than acquiesce to this.

Of course, the district attorney is a Democrat. Nichols, who was inspired to go into politics by watching Sarah Palin in 2008, was the first-ever Republican woman elected to a county-wide office in the history of Bowie County, Texas. “Since our county’s been in existence,” she told me, “it was just understood that if you wanted to run for office, you ran as a Democrat or you had no chance.” Nichols, however, was not interested in doing that: “I wasn’t about to compromise my values to get into office, and I will not compromise them now that I am in office. I ran as a Christian conservative and I am a Christian conservative.”

As county clerk, Nichols keeps the minutes of the proceedings of the Commissioners Court, which are held before an audience and begin with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. While Nichols was away attending a county clerk training conference on June 13, the Commissioners Court voted to remove the invocation from the minutes of a previous meeting. Why? Nichols said that County Judge Sterling Lacy told her that he “didn’t want some group like the ACLU to come in and sue.”

They removed the Pledge from the minutes also. Nichols commented: “Are we now afraid to be patriotic in America? Well, I am not. I will not sit down while people drag our country into a direction that makes me not even recognize it anymore.” Nichols is fighting this decision, against heavy odds. Judge Lacy remarked ominously: “What she hasn’t thought through are the unintended consequences” of her stand.

Nichols responded: “Contrary to what Judge Lacy seems to understand, I have thought through the unintended consequences of being a party to removing an official record of saying the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. I have thought through the impact it will have on my grandchildren to read the history of our county and errantly think that our customs were such that we didn’t proudly proclaim a love of God and Country.”

[More]

Examiner Devonia Smith, on how Natalie Nichols found inspiration in 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to “fight like a girl” for the principles she believes in:

A hint about why Nichols didn’t hesitate to challenge the court can be found in Nichol’s personal choice of heroines. A twelfth generation American, Nichols shares that, although she never voted before the last presidential election, she was “inspired by Sarah Palin and realized there were conservative, strong women out there, like myself, and that we actually could make a difference.”

She went on to explain why she admired Palin, “mainly because she is a mother and doesn’t apologize for that. She’s holding strong in her convictions and she doesn’t hide her Christianity, which is very important to me.”

Smith has more on Natalie Nichols, including the transcript of her “scathing address to the Texas Bowie Commissioner Court” here.

Nichols is a district coordinator for Smart Girl Politics and is active in the Texarkana TEA Patriots and the faith-basedd Bowie County Patriots. She’s the founder of Texans 4 Sarah, a Sarah Palin support group. A detailed profile of Natalie Nichols is here (PDF).

Cross-posted from Brazos Valley Pundit

- JP

Posted in Democratic Party, GOP, Sarah Palin, Texas | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Can Governor Palin rewrite the political playbook?

Posted by joshpainter on June 2, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
Sarah Palin’s One Nation bus tour of the American northeast seems to have met or exceeded her expectations, so much so that she and her team will try out the innovative concept to the Midwest and the South. Associated Content contributor Mark Whittington opines that if she decides to run, expect more innovation in the form of her campaign structure:

Clearly Palin is conducting a test run of what may be the most unusual presidential campaign in recent American history. She means to bypass the Republican Party establishment, including the cadre of precinct chairman whom political candidates usually cater to, and take her case directly to the voters. Many pundits regard this as a mistake and even a sign Palin has no intention of running. The party apparatus is considered crucial for creating on the ground organization that a candidate needs to get out the vote.

Palin may be thinking of a different model, one that seems to have worked in the past two or so years to shake the political foundations of the United States: the Tea Party movement.

The Tea Party has not been a hierarchical organization in the classic sense. It is one example of what law professor and Instapundit Glenn Reynolds calls an “Army of Davids,” in which individuals band together, self-organize, and go forth to effect change. The Tea Party has been wildly successful in this, putting hundreds of thousands of people in the streets and organizing voters for the 2010 election.

It could be that Palin is thinking along these lines if she pulls the trigger on a presidential run in 2012. Activists, bound together by social media, would band together and work cooperatively to elect Palin, just as the Tea Party worked together to oppose President Obama and get more conservatives elected in 2010.

[More]

There are, of course, naysayers in the chattering class who doubt that the political ground can be broken with with a campaign organized using such a cutting edge model. But if Gov. Palin were to get herself elected president in this fashion, she will have rewritten the political playbook.

Cross-posted from Texas for Sarah Palin

- JP

Posted in 2012, GOP, grassroots, tea party | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Christianity Today: Palin Stands to Gain Most with Huckabee Out

Posted by joshpainter on May 25, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
According to a report by Christianity Today’s Tobin Grant, a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press suggests that most of Mike Huckabee’s support would go to Sarah Palin, if she ran:

In March, Pew asked GOP voters who they wanted in the presidential race. Huckabee received 20 percent support among Republican voters. He did even better (29 percent) among evangelicals in the GOP. The Pew poll also asked who voters second pick was. By using Huckabee supporters second pick, the poll finds that support for Sarah Palin is the most likely to increase.

With Huckabee out of the race, support for Palin could increase from 13 to 19 percent. Support for other candidates also increased but not more than the margin of error; the increases could be due to chance.

Palin’s support increases even more among evangelicals. Originally, with Huckabee in the field of candidates, Palin was tied with Mitt Romney for second. Each received around 15 percent among these voters. With Huckabee gone, Palin is the top-choice among evangelicals in the GOP with 25 percent support and Romney’s support barely increased.

More than half (51 percent) of Republicans qualify as born-again Christians, according to research by the Barna Group, but their extraordinary turnout rate at the polls place them among the most influential demographic groups in Republican primaries. In Iowa, for example, 60 percent of Republican caucus goers are evangelical Christians, and in South Carolina, half of GOP voters are self described evangelicals.

Cross-posted from Texas for Sarah Palin

- JP

Posted in GOP, Mike Huckabee, poll, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

UT/Trib Poll: Palin 12%, Gingrich 11%, Huckabee 10%

Posted by joshpainter on May 25, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
According to a new statewide poll, Sarah Palin leads all of her potential rivals as the top choice for the GOP presidential nomination in the Lone Star State. The survey, which was conducted by The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune the week of May the 11th, was taken just before former governors Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels, along with real estate Mogul Donald Trump, removed themselves from contention. The poll also preceded missteps by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and businessman Herman Cain, as both stumbled coming out of the starting gate.

Results of the survey show that Gov. Palin led the field at 12 percent, followed closely by Gingrich at 11 percent, and Huckabee with 10 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota were in a tie for fourth place at 7 percent each, followed Donald Trump at 6 percent; Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty with 4 percent; former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 3 percent. Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah were at the back of the pack, tied at 1 percent apiece.

The poll also found that Texas is still a “red” state, with only 30 percent of all registered voters saying that they would cast ballots to re-elect President Obama, while 48 percent would vote for the Republican candidate in the presidential race. Obama remains unpopular in Texas, as his job approval rating is only 35 percent, while a majority — 55 percent — disapprove of the job he’s doing. Of the latter group, 46 percent strongly disapprove of his job performance. Gov. Rick Perry’s job approval rating is balanced, with 41 percent giving him positive marks and 42 percent are negative about his performance. The Texas Legislature fares somewhat worse than the governor, with 35 percent approval and 38 disapproval.

According to the survey, true independents are not a very large demographic in Texas, as most registered voters associate themselves with one of the two major political parties. But when it come to the contest for the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison, many voters, including half of Texas’ Republicans and a solid majority of Democrats, are still undecided.

Most Texas voters see both the state and the nation as being on the wrong track. A significant percentage of Texans say they are economically worse off than they were a year ago. Lone Star State voters are evenly divided about the state of the economy, with 48 percent saying Texas’ economy has worsened and 49 percent saying the same about the national economy.

This latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll is an internet survey of 800 registered voters, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.46 percent. The Republican primary questions have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.98 percent.

[More]

h/t: M. Joseph Sheppard

Cross-posted from Brazos Valley Pundit

- JP

Posted in 2012, GOP, poll, Sarah Palin, Texas | 2 Comments »

Gallup: With Huckabee out, Palin, Gingrich, Romney lead the GOP

Posted by joshpainter on May 18, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
A new Gallup analysis of its most recent polling data finds that with Mike Huckabee out of the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are the leaders in Republicans’ preferences:

Romney and Palin are essentially tied; Gingrich does slightly less well even though he and Romney have nearly identical name identification.

Ron Paul and Bachmann are the only other potential candidates with name recognition above 50%. They are also next in line in terms of Republican nomination support.

[...]

Palin’s support is the most intense. A higher percentage of Republicans have strongly favorable opinions than is the case for the other two, giving her a slightly higher overall Positive Intensity Score despite her higher strongly unfavorable percentage.

Gingrich and Romney have similar Positive Intensity Scores.

The overall differences in Republicans’ views of these three well-known candidates are not large.

[...]

Palin, who has given no indication of whether she will run for the nomination, has very high name identification, is near the top of Republicans’ nomination preferences, and has a higher Positive Intensity Score than any other well-known candidate. Palin thus must be considered one of the GOP leaders at this point. Romney and Gingrich are also well-known. Of the two, Romney is slightly better positioned at this point due to his higher ranking in Gallup’s trial heats.

[More]

Cross-posted from Texas for Sarah Palin

- JP

Posted in 2012, GOP, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, poll, Sarah Palin | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

So Mike Huckabee is not running…

Posted by joshpainter on May 15, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
Mike Huckabee has made his announcement. He’s not going to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. How does his decision affect Sarah Palin? Well, that depends on a number of things.

The factor Texas for Sarah Palin is most concerned about tonight is her army of supporters. We here at this blog want to see that army grow. As many pundits, paid professionals and armchair amateurs alike, believe that no small number of Huckabee’s supporters — evangelicals in particular — would find that coming on board for Sarah Palin would be a natural fit. But Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann also stand to gain some troops from the Huckabee ranks. The former Arkansas governor’s more committed supporters will be less inclined to move into the Palin camp if they notice Palin supporters trashing their guy. Any swipes of a personal nature taken at Mike Huckabee by Palin supporters will be taken personally by Huckabee’s supporters.

As Palin supporters, don’t we see that personal attacks upon her are also attacks on ourselves? And if some Palin supporters are making such attacks on Huckabee, what are his followers more likely to do? Will they let it pass and support her anyway? Not when they’re burning from that sort of attack. They will swear an oath not to give her their support — not because of anything Gov. Palin said or did — but because of the people who are supposed to be advancing her cause and her political prospects. She has been most kind and gracious toward her potential rivals. Even some who have said unkind things about her have received only humorous retorts from her in response. Which is right out of the WWRRD book (What Would Ronald Reagan Do?).

Palin supporters would do well to follow the governor’s example. Nothing is to be gained for Sarah Palin by attacking Mike Huckabee’s character. His record, his policies and even the manner in which he made tonight’s announcement are all fair game. But Palin people should keep their opinions on Huckabee’s character to themselves. We are all children of God, and we all struggle with our own personal issues. Like Gov. Palin does, let’s let our faith guide us during what could be a defining moment in her political career. As Jesus told his disciples in the Book of Matthew (7:12 AKJ):

“Therefore all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

So let us treat Gov. Palin’s political rivals, whether in the race or not, as we would have them treat her. Thomas Schmitz was especially gracious on Twitter this evening:

.@GovMikeHuckabee: Good luck, U weren’t my choice for the nomination but I wish U well. P.S. I love the cartoons!

.

Now that’s class, guys. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it shows the way to win friends for Governor Palin. If she gets into the race, she’s going to need all of the supporters we can help to bring over to her side, considering the type of campaign that the Democrats and some Republicans will wage against her. Besides, if you burn bridges, it makes it extremely difficult for those on the other side to cross over to yours.

Cross-posted from Texas for Sarah Palin

- JP

Posted in 2012, GOP, Mike Huckabee, Republican Party, Sarah Palin | 2 Comments »

Tony Lee: Top Ten Ways the GOP Establishment and Mainstream Media Try to Dissuade Sarah Palin From Running For President

Posted by joshpainter on April 14, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
Wednesday Tony Lee listed ten signs that Sarah Palin is running for President. In today’s second installment of his series, Lee chronicles the top 10 ways the GOP establishment and the Democrat/Media Complex try to dissuade Gov. Palin from running. We’ve excerpted the first three:

1. Be a kingmaker (or queenmaker)

As noted by the likes of Grover Norquist and many other pundits and establishment Republicans, Palin, their reasoning goes, would best serve the party as a kingmaker. What they are essentially saying (try to follow the logic) is that Palin’s endorsement should be the gold standard but her candidacy would not be appreciated. Even more ironic is that should Palin run, it diminishes the kingmaking capabilities of the traditional and spoiled cast of characters who are used to getting their brass rings kissed every four years.

2. Make money and be a celebrity

Andrew Breitbart recently told GQ Magazine that Palin would give up the chance to be the next Oprah should she run for President. This line of “persuasion” has also been thrown out by many, which essentially says Palin should lose millions if she threw her hat into the 2012 ring.

But if Palin were the type of candidate who would run solely to increase her earning power, it would actually be her incentive to run for the presidency in 2012.

3. You’re too divisive

Another argument is that Palin would be too divisive to win a general election. And the only thing those who say this cite are polls released over a year before any voter of importance started paying attention to the election. In these early polls, there is probably some type of Palin effect (or a reverse-Bradley/Wilder effect), as Sheya at Conservatives4Palin noted, where voters either do not want to tell pollsters they support Palin for fear they would sound stupid or are withholding their potential support until she announces her candidacy, if she indeed does.

Further, as Pollinsider noted, Palin always has a strong floor, which potentially helps her in the primary (if the GOP primary has many entrants) and the general election (2012 may be a “base” election like 2004 where turnout matters, so the floor that Palin starts off with would give her significant advantages over other candidates who do not have that built in floor).

[More]

Cross-posted from Texas for Sarah Palin

- JP

Posted in 2012, establishment, GOP, Sarah Palin | Leave a Comment »

Gov. Palin stands apart from the pack on negotiations

Posted by joshpainter on April 8, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
As the clock counted down to the deadline to avoid a government shutdown Friday night, Sarah Palin, via Twitter, encouraged Republican Congressional leaders to stand firm, while at least two of her potential rivals for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination seemed to argue for caving on conservative principles to cut a quick deal. Michael Falcone of ABC News has the story:

“GOP: don’t retreat! The country is going broke. We can’t AFFORD cowboy poetry & subsidizing abortion,” Palin tweeted [here and here]. “If we can’t fight to defund this nonsense now when we have the chance, do you think we’ll win the big fight on entitlement reform later on?”

Palin referred to an issue that both sides involved in the ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill agree has been a major sticking point — the debate over providing federal funding to the family planning group, Planned Parenthood.

[...]

Earlier today Palin posted a more than 800-word Facebook message, critizing President Obama for threatening to veto a one-week continuing resolution proposal that would have funded the Department of Defense for the rest of the fiscal year.

“Why would the Commander in Chief declare that he will veto this?” Palin wrote. “Why would he play politics at the expense of our troops who are putting everything on the line to protect us?”

Notably, some of Palin’s fellow possible 2012 presidential contenders appeared to be at odds with her Friday evening tweet, counseling GOP leaders on Capitol Hill that it’s time to cut a deal.

“I am ready for a big fight that will change the arc of history,” Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., wrote on Twitter this afternoon. “The current fight in Washington is not that fight.”

Gov. Mike Huckabee, in an interview on Fox Business Network, recommended that Republicans make a deal and “live to fight another day.” But talk show host Mark Levin sided with the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, tweeting his approval:

“Gov. Sarah Palin: Right on!

Cross-posted from Texas for Sarah Palin

- JP

Posted in GOP, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Palin – Ryan 2012?

Posted by joshpainter on April 6, 2011

- by Josh Painter
*
Jonah Goldberg makes the case for Paul Ryan as the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee:

That would require taking off from the budget committee from August to November — unless of course the Republicans won, in which case he’d have to take off considerably more time.

Meanwhile, there’s really no one who unifies the party more than Ryan and, with the possible exception of Rubio, there’s nobody who’d make a more formidable or attractive vice presidential candidate. I’m sure many of the presidential candidates would be uneasy about tapping Ryan since it would probably mean endorsing Ryan’s plan to one extent or another.

Ah, but Sarah Palin has already done that, calling it “serious & necessary reform” and a “good start” toward a balanced federal budget.

Yes, speculation about a possible vice presidential candidate at this stage of the banquet is a bit like putting the dessert before the salad, but it’s interesting food for thought nevertheless.

Cross-posted from Texas for Sarah Palin

- JP

Posted in 2012, GOP, Republican Party, Sarah Palin, Vice President | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

 
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