The Race For The Republican Nominee For President Has Begun

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Several Republican contenders for President gathered in South Carolina last night for a debate hosted by FoxNews. The participants hardly represented the Republican’s “A Team”, or at least those polling at the front of the pack. It was significant, however, that the public part of the 2012 Presidential campaign is now underway.

Though the distance to November 2012 seems like an eternity, in reality voting may begin in early primary caucus states in a little over 6 months. Like it or not, a new campaign is upon us. Georgia’s primary date has not yet been set. A new law passed this year gives Secretary of State Brian Kemp the authority to set the date for the Presidential Preference Primary.

Florida is considering jumping ahead of the traditional starting states of New Hampshire and Iowa, at a cost to the state of half of its Republican Convention delegates. If Florida chooses to fall in line and follow the rules, an early February date is probable, along with many other states. Under this scenario, Georgia may move its primary much later in the schedule, choosing instead to be a late campaign state that helps pick the ultimate winner assuming a tight race that appears headed to the convention without a certain victor. Political historians will note that the last time Republicans did not have a virtual nominee well before the convention was in 1976, when the aftermath of Watergate had delegates battling between President Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

Georgia will also have a unique spot during this Presidential campaign because two candidates plan to run as Georgians. Newt Gingrich opened his campaign office in Atlanta this week, taking time off from his tour announcing that he will announce something soon. Georgian Gingrich will run this phase of his campaign from the same Buckhead building that houses the offices of the Georgia GOP. Georgian Gingrich will be happy to note that the nearest office of the Georgia Department of Driver Services is only 8.7 miles away, and the fine folks there will be happy to help him exchange that Virginia Drivers License he somehow has been using to drive with a one issued from his “home” state.

The other Georgian in the race claims to have been born in Georgia, though birthers haven’t yet started asking for his birth certificate. Herman Cain most recently has been a talk show host for WSB radio in Atlanta, but also has served as the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and executive positions with Pillsbury and Coca Cola. Cain rounds out his experience with a stint as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas, and is a veteran of the US Navy.

Surrounded by an incredibly weak field, Cain emerged from last night’s debate as the winner judged by a focus group conducted for FoxNews by Republican pollster Frank Luntz. Cain is running as an “outsider” who has never served in elected office at any level, losing in his only attempt prior when he ran for US Senate against now Senator Johnny Isakson and then Congressman Mac Collins. His second place finish did garner him a sense that he exceeded expectations, however, and within Georgia, WSB’s radio market, Cain is looked upon favorably. It remains to be seen if Cain can build a nationwide campaign infrastructure to make himself known and be viewed credibly by Republicans nationwide. Cain’s message at least to be somewhat issues based, which is refreshing.

One potential candidate however, is not touting his Georgia ties. Donald Trump, who appears to be angling for making his campaign a new NBC reality TV show, impregnated then temporarily married Dalton Georgia beauty queen Marla Maples in 1993. Trump brings “interesting” credentials to the race to become the nominee of the party of family values.

While it remains a long time until the November 2012 vote, the time of being able to watch or read political news free of Presidential campaign madness is drawing short. We’ll try to let it invade this space only sparingly. But as the road to the White House must eventually come through Georgia, we’ll do our part to keep it interesting, as well.

99 comments

  1. Pawlenty made mention of being an example of the “American Dream” during his closing remarks. I’m glad he’ll get to complete that dream with a nice early retirement.

    • Goldwater Conservative says:

      That “Americanwill not get him very far. President Obama was raised by a single mother on welfare, worked his way through school, earned degrees from two of the most highly respected Universities in the history of the world, and made himself a millionaire…but you see no acknowledgement of that within the GOP.

      I watched the debate this morning…it was very lackluster, but the “big guns” did not show up for the media event. I still think the republican field is very weak. The GOP lead House is really hurting the party’s image and presidential election strategy in ways that I do not think the hard-right-wing is willing to admit.

      I agree with you guys that Cain probably won the event. That being said the debate was about as exciting and intellectually stimulating as the Special Olympics.

      All-in-all, nobody from last nights debate can win a nationwide general election. A primary, maybe…it would still be a long-shot. Dream” crap

  2. “Trump brings “interesting” credentials to the race to become the nominee of the party of family values.”

    The same could be said of Gingrich….

    “Gingrich has been married three times. In 1962, he married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old and she was 26. In the spring of 1980, Gingrich left Battley after having an affair with Marianne Ginther. In the mid-1990s, Gingrich began an affair with House of Representatives staffer Callista Bisek, who is 23 years his junior. They continued their affair during the Lewinsky scandal, when Gingrich was a leader of the Republican investigation of President Clinton for perjury in connection with his alleged affairs with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky. In 2000, Gingrich married Bisek shortly after his divorce from second wife Ginther. He and Callista currently live in McLean, Virginia.

    …yep, sounds like a real family values kinda guy to me. Good thing we don’t let teh gayz get married so as to defile the sanctity of marriage…

    • Charlie says:

      I gave a few comments on Gingrich today to Doug Richards before lunch. Was interesting to discuss presidential politics in front of the known Republican hangout of Ann’s Snack Bar (Memorial Drive, Atlanta). Technically, we were standing in the parking lot of the liquor store next door, but I digress.

      Anyway, Gingrich has Republican cred to some extent, and social conservatives are known to turn a blind eye to such things so long as they “trust” the person and he’s saying what they want to hear. And from ethanol to taxes to “family values”, Gingrich is working hard to be where early primary voters want him to be. Except, of course, that he just keeps announcing that he’ll announce soon.

      • Jessica J says:

        And if his wife doesn’t get sick he might get as far as NH. If she does, then he’ll cut and run and everyone who is still blind to him will open their eyes and see what he’s really made of…NOTHING!

  3. Ken Stepp says:

    I guess the most exciting element in the GOP race will be that so many ideas will be floated out to the American people. Taxes, The Fed, The War on Drugs, foreign aid, being involved in all these wars, etc. This may be the most interesting race in history because of the candidates believe that fixing this country will take such radical ideas. Or at least that is what I am hoping. I’d love to see more candidates talk about what has happened to The Constitution more. Without following it our country has lost its way.

    • Calypso says:

      “This may be the most interesting race in history ”

      We are talking about the same 2012 Republican Presidential Primary, right? Have you actually seen the field? Those guys (and possibly a few gals) are about as interesting as watching the A&P truck unload produce on a Saturday evening in Milledgeville.

      • Ambernappe says:

        You know, interesting is not necessarily a qualification. A “boring”, God-fearing, moral, intelligent man or woman (say Harry Truman, maybe Sarah Palin) may be just what this country needs to remember the goals and aspirations of the founders of our country. Boring? Create your own excitement with your spirit, idealism, and entreprenurial skills.

    • benevolus says:

      I think it is a bit distressing that we in general are attracted to political theater as if it were a game show. Movie stars, TV celebrities, preachers, cookie salesmen… anybody who wants their 15 minutes forms an exploratory committee and if they are outrageous enough they get media. There just doesn’t seem to be much respect for the process. Cain is implying that the President might have cost lives by allegedly “delaying” a decision for a few hours? That guy should be automatically disqualified by voters for being a lunatic. This guy is running for president? I think he is really probably running for Board of Director gigs. Either that or he is delusional.

      Politics usually is boring and that is good.
      Democracy (o.k., representative republic or whatever) is all about compromise and trying to serve ALL the people.

      • I agree that it’s political theater and that a lot of people with an interest in tactics or strategy look at it as an intellectual puzzle and some treat it like a horse race.

        I think Mr. Cain was referring to the decision on the Afghani version of the Surge which was delayed by months.

        In matters of principle, compromise is a last resort. To quote Leonard Read, “A principle cannot be compromised but only adhered to or surrendered. Honesty is abandoned as much by the theft of a dime as of a dollar.”

        • benevolus says:

          The component you are ignoring is time. Just because one compromises now in order to get the most possible under the circumstances does not mean that one has to abandon their principles and abandon their goals. It just means that they have to recognize that not everyone- not even their neighbors- always agree with them.

  4. analogkid says:

    I’m going to go on record now and predict that Cain takes the nomination. Initially, I thought he had no shot, but I think Republicans are eager to show that they’re not racists (cough… Michael Steele… cough), and, given that not even a good R candidate is likely to beat BHO in 2012, he seems like an excellent choice for Sacrificial Lamb 2012.

    • DTK says:

      “given that not even a good R candidate is likely to beat BHO in 2012 …”

      I’ve heard this a lot lately, and I’m not sure why this is hardening into the conventional wisdom. I think the President is in a decent position to be re-elected, but I wouldn’t be as flip about it as some people are. As George H.W. Bush can attest, just because the opposition lines up an apparently weak presidential field, doesn’t mean some po’dunk, no-name governor can’t come along and win the presidency. It’s still the economy, stupid, and this economy is not getting demonstrably better.

      • Goldwater Conservative says:

        The president does have a strong economic positions to make though. The 2010 election was also all about the economy, but the GOP has yet to put forward a jobs bill. Lets face it…it is very easy to tie any presidential candidate to the rest of the party, especially in the GOP.

        In many ways the economy is getting better. While jobs continue to be lost, the private sector is adding new jobs. Furthermore, as for the presidents position, he can make effective use of a combination of growth data, blaming Congress, and capitalist positioning that polls well.

        “For example, the stock market has nearly completely rebounded, we are no longer, technically, in recession as the GDP continues to be positive. Furthermore, big business is flush with cash…recent numbers show more than $2trillion dollars in cash is being held by American companies. It is not the governments job to demand that business spend that money, though they should spend it on new hires and investment. Why they aren’t makes some sense given that our House of Representatives is more concerned with symbolic legislation aimed at banning abortion, repealing Medicare and Medicaid along with repealing other popular programs than it is with job creation and economic growth. The last thing we need is a president of that party working with congress on these trivial issues than pushing the agenda I have been working on, which has been roadblocked in Congress, to create jobs.”

    • Jessica J says:

      As an African American, I can tell you now that I believe H. Cain has no chance of winning the nomination. First off, I don’t think White Republicans will vote for him and black African-American Democrats certainly will not. If Cain begins to “trash” President Obama, he can forget it. African Americans will begin to see Herman Cain as another “Clarence Thomas” and that’s a really, really, really, really, really bad thing! Watch and see what I tell you. I predict that Trump will be out of the race first, then Gingrich and then Cain.

      • analogkid says:

        African Americans largely do not vote in Republican primaries, so they will not be a factor in the Republican nomination process. Where we differ is that I believe Republicans are (and will be) eager to show that they’ll vote for “right” black guy, which necessitates nominating Cain absent a major gaffe or personal indiscretion.

        If Cain is somehow nominated, he will get pwned in the general election for the reasons you articulated. No argument there.

      • B Balz says:

        How will Georgia reconcile with the potential of a former MA Dem being the GOP candidate?

        Ms. Jessica J. called it – Trump (A shill), Newt (Damaged), Cain (A novelty), Sarah (Delta, take me away), plus Haley ($$$) all going, going, or gone.

  5. saltycracker says:

    A Romney/Cain ticket with Cain taking the lead on far right statements plus Romney clearing up his health care position would be most interesting. One that would clear the air and the GOP would fall in line with fairly quickly. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea (pun intended) but they can beat Obama/Biden……

  6. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Mitch Daniels also has some Georgia ties, I believe, but I haven’t been able to pin them down. I think he lived here as a child, I believe.

    That’s who I’m waiting for!

  7. Ambernappe says:

    Charlie,
    A quick search of American Thinker, back to 2009 (to which this poster occasionally contributes), reveals very positive opinions of Herman Cain. So, please tell us, who is your handicapping your presumed list of Republican candidates. (rhetorical, it does not matter) I first met Mr. Cain, at a regular Houston County monthly luncheon, about ten years ago. Color is superficial, you notice, but then it does not matter. He is the ultimate gentleman, intelligent AND intellectual, and inspires trust. Do you not credit him with anything but Godfathers Pizza? You are deficient in your research. In this case, do not go with what you read, do your own research. I am a Southern woman, raised in a racial climate, but will support Herman Cain for the Presidency of this country.

  8. MSBassSinger says:

    Herman Cain was the only Reaganesque candidate in the “debate”. I just don’t see Romney getting anywhere. He is a big government Republican who still doesn’t get that government – Fed or state – has no business running health care.

    Cain/Santorum sounds good. Let’s see how well they stand up through the meat grinder of a Presidential race.

  9. The MIA Awards go to Newt Gingrich and Mitch Daniels. Both would have helped themselves by appearing in the debate; Gingrich because he’s an excellent debater and Daniels because his positions, especially social positions, would have played well in the South and he needs name recognition.

    • Herman Cain did a tremendous job. The national response has been thoroughly amazing. Virtually EVERY state has responded in a dramatic way. I’m amazed at the comments I’m receiving from people young and old from every corner of the nation. If you visit http://DraftCain.org and click on the red circle in the Wibiya toolbar, you’ll see the response from the past 12 hours. Cain is definitely a contender.

      • Goldwater Conservative says:

        Winning elections takes more than winning a debate. Cain has some serious baggage that he is carrying around…the least of which is the fact that he has never, never ever, held an elective offices before.

        I was impressed with his performance, but I really do not think he is a contender…it will be very easy for every other candidate to beat up on him and he has no leg to stand on in his own defense.

        • Serious baggage…. Ok… Dream on. I’ve known Cain for 8 years. He’s probably the most intellectually honest politico I’ve ever met. His baggage is a long resume of providing problem solving leadership. Sure he’s never held public office, but he is strong, capable and effective.

          • benevolus says:

            Flat tax? Return to the gold standard? Really? He may be strong, capable, and effective at something, but it seems unlikely to be running a government. I think he’s strong, capable, and effective at marketing himself.

            • Ambernappe says:

              You are describing our current President exactly. Herman Cain has both abundant style and more than enough substance. And as far as having served in elective office, President Obama served just long enough to vote “Present”.

              • Goldwater Conservative says:

                Here we go again. 2 years ago he was not experienced enough and now you are all for having some guy that has never made a political decision in his life…just because he is a republican.

                The President had a popular legislative history in the Illinois State Senate over his three terms in office. Then a popular legislative history in his tenure in the US Senate. Voting present is not a bad thing…unless you just hate somebody and want to grasp at straws.

                • GC,

                  Not all executive decisions are made in government. President Obama has, up until now, been a part of a herd whether at the state or federal level. He has not, until now, held an executive position where there are real consequences for making a decision.

                  • Jessica J says:

                    But he made the biggest decision in his Presidency when he sent the Navy SEALS in after Bin Laden and it worked out perfect. Like him or not, the man will be hard to beat. With that being said, Republicans need to “come strong or go home”.

                    • B Balz says:

                      Spot-on. J-squared.

                      I see GOP discord and that truly scares me. But not nearly as much as a second term with a Dem activist President.

                      All shall be revealed after the budget debate. If the People prevail on tax considerations (i.e. closing loopholes, eliminating many credits, and other gratuities) and on multi-Trillion cuts, then we’ll see who deserves credit.

                    • benevolus says:

                      Republicans need to come to the table with some Pentagon cuts. If they expect all of this to come out of social programs this is going nowhere.

                    • B Balz says:

                      G’d LOVE you, Benevolus! My understanding is that defense is on-the-table, so let’s just see if that is true.

                      Our NatSec budget is largely a ‘black’ or undisclosed funding source. It is huge. There has to be change.

                    • Believe it or not, I also would like to see some well-informed, common-sense military cuts. How many troops do we really need in Germany now that that there is no East Germany?

                      How many weapons systems are actually required and not congressional or administrative vote buying?

          • KD_fiscal conservative says:

            I agree that Cain is a very smart guy, not your usually dumass talk show’er(Beck, Rush, Hannity…etc.) with a no real education, experience, and limited intelligence.

            But still, how many presidents have had NO legislative experience…not at the city, state or national. Even Obama was a state senator and a sophomore US Senator b/f running.

            • correction, freshman Senator. He never completed his first term.

              That is a hurdle he’ll have to overcome. I, frankly, think he can. Consider in 92, Ross Perot took 17% of the vote. There was limited internet and no social networks. He wasn’t even affiliated with a party. In just a year, with no money we’ve put together a network of tremendously impressive organizers and volunteers that know the landscape in their states and are working day in and day out. We’ve networked with attorneys, legislators, physicians, activists, political consultants and numerous tea party groups through DraftCain.org. Our numbers are substantial. We have no money and solicit no funds yet we have one of the best organized and mobilized groups out there…. I wouldn’t minimize Cain. He’ll be a contender.

              • Goldwater Conservative says:

                He is probably not a contender…just like Perot was not a contender. Remember, electoral votes decide President elections. Perot received 0. Not to mention he had two things Cain does not…and unpopular president from his own party to run against and $60million of his own cash to dump on long-shot campaign.

                There are quality candidates in the field…probably several of them. Cain may get a grassroots campaign going, but that does not win whole-sale elections. Forgetting the fact he is too far to the right to win a general election, which does not usually matter in primary campaigns, he lacks a record. By and large, voters make retrospective judgements…then sometimes try to extrapolate what that record means for the future (depending on which school of thought ones take as a theoretical starting point). They can not do this with Cain, just like they could not do this with Perot, and, regardless of how good he as at acting and presenting himself on television, he really has no substance.

                I know voters are not smart enough to figure this out on their own, but this is exactly what the other “x” number of candidates are going to do to him. It is one thing to know the guy personally and cough up a few bucks because it would hurt more not to, it is another thing to be one of the other 20 million or so republican primary voters watching the campaign unfold. As far as voters will likely be concerned, Cain is only saying what he is saying because it polled well…he has no history to back it up.

  10. Calypso says:

    MSBassSinger & Harry,

    Any ticket which includes Santorum, Bachmann or Palin insures Obama’s second term.

      • Calypso says:

        Harry, I don’t necessarily disagree with your assessment of the current administration, I’m just saying that any of the three I mentioned would not permit the Republicans to gain the White House.

        And Paul doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Ecuador of getting within shouting distance of the nomination.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      “MSBassSinger & Harry,
      Any ticket which includes Santorum, Bachmann or Palin insures Obama’s second term.”

      Exactly. Not only that, none of those wack jobs(yeah, I said it) can even win the primary.

    • MSBassSinger says:

      Your view is based on the same principles that said nominating Reagan would guarantee Carter’s win. The Democrats and Rockefeller Republicans detested Reagan, made fun of him, and didn’t think he had a chance. Now, when exactly have your middle-of-the-road Republicans ever won a national election when running as a middle-of-the-road Republican? Dole? McCain?

      So much for those principles. Only time will tell if Cain can handle the pressure of relentless assaults from the left and the middle. But he is head and shoulders above the ones who were there, and the ones who were not. Character and intelligence matters far more than political experience. My concern is that the Republican establishment will submarine Cain like they did Goldwater in ’64, Oliver North in NC, and when Cain ran for US Senator some years ago.

      In the race for which political party can destroy this nation first, right now it looks like a tie. Never underestimate the moderate Republican ability to self-destruct and take the party down with them.

      Time will tell.

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        See the problem with the Reagan comparison is that the far-right wing of the Republican party is now so far to the right that the average American voter will never support them.

        If you look at it issue by issue including the economic, taxes, spending, “teh mesicians”, or even incendiary rhetoric, Reagan would literally have no place in today’s “conservative-wing” of the Republican party. Which is why if you look at the polls, people like Palin, Bachmann and others who take similar far-right wing positions can not possibly win next(or any) general election. Romney is polling the closest to beating Obama, and the others are not even close, but I think we can do better then him without resorting to some of these nationally unelectable. The only “compromise” candidate out there would be Pawlenty, but I don’t know if he can convince enough people to vote for him considering he is “boring.”

        Also, to answer your question of the “middle of the road Repub.”Nixon, HW and arguably(esp. by his reelection) W were pretty moderate, and maybe even “liberal” by today’s standards.

  11. Herb says:

    The current field, besides Paul, is an absolute joke. I have it on good authority that Democrats are praying for the nominee to be Romney, Palin, or Trump, and not Paul. Paul would romp Obama. The others would cause Democrats to laugh all the way to x>400 EV’s.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Paul’s performance will depend on how bad the economy gets and/or how long we’re going to still have troops overseas.

      I’d say the odds of the economy improving are about as good as the odds of our troops returning home.

      • Goldwater Conservative says:

        Paul is also a joke. He has solid positions on a number of issues, fundraising for him will be difficult as the business community knows that he does not “play ball.”

        That being said, he is, by and large, too right-wing to get elected in a presidential general election.

          • KD_fiscal conservative says:

            huh?…I’m confused, I thought a conservative was limited gov’t, more freedom, less regulations etc…what would you say a “conservative” is?

            • Those are positions, not philosophies.

              I describe myself as a libertarian-leaning conservative. I have friends who are conservative-leaning libertarians. My libertarian beliefs fit within a conservative framework; their conservative beliefs fit within a libertarian framework.

              The beliefs are similar, but it’s the order of the priorities that are different.

              • KD_fiscal conservative says:

                Still, what is an example of a “conservative” position vs a “libertarian” position.

                • It’s about philosophy, not issues. You have to see deeper than issues which change from year to year or even day to day. The underlying belief systems are more important.

                  Each of these philosophies can arrive at the same position on an issue for the same or for different reasons. In addition conservatives and libertarians do not see issues identically even within their own groups.

                  Both groups believe in smaller government and what I call LCD (lowest common denominator) government and that is that problems should be handled at the lowest level possible and still be effective. That level can often be the individual. Some of my libertarian friends would make that regulation the individual, while I might prefer – in some instances – for it to be the county or municipal government.

                    • Goldwater Conservative says:

                      Philosophy? Conservatism is not a philosophy, it is a marketing label (just like progressivism). Libertarianism is an ideology…not a philosophy. It is about issues, by and large. There is no philosophical reason for Paul to back the gold-standard (there is no scientific reason for it either, it merely sets him apart from everyone else).

                      What makes you think that fewer regulations = more freedom?

                      Fewer regulations may mean that you are more free from the government, but that does not mean you are more free in general. Private business and industry has a way of “enslaving,” for lack of a better word, that is often more cruel than those “regulations” you worry so much about. Our “founders” built our Constitution largely on Montesquieu’s notion that government should be constructed so that “no man need be afraid of another” (see Spirit of the Laws 1748). By law there are civil liberties that man is, by law, free from the government. The government is also designed and given the power to prevent one man from dominating another…even if one or both parties are unaware of the domination itself.

                      Ken, you lean more toward some variation of communitarianism than libertarianism (this is a theory and an ideology). If you have not yet read Benjamin Barber’s “Strong Democracy” I would recommend it, you would probably really like it. Charles Taylor is probably the more accomplished communitarian, but his work requires a stepping stone to understand…and Strong Democracy is a great stepping stone.

                      Paul is right-wing in the American “ideological” context. In the context of political theory…it is much harder to say. The left-right continuum is an artifact of the media and campaigning…it is not real and is simply a heuristic used by campaigns and voters to cut down on the need to gather information on candidates. In the strictest sense most every American is a liberal, whether classically liberal, neo-liberal, social liberal, economic liberal, etc. This does not mean that they are left-wing, just that their central preoccupation is concern about individual freedom, development, and choice.

                      If “conservatism” were a philosophy it would be applicable to all fields of study. Liberalism is, and was born from, from Newtonian physics and has a footprint in every field from physics and chemistry to literature, psychology, economics, and political science. “conservatism” has no new axioms from which it arises, nor does it has any different corollaries that are arrived at via liberalism (call it pre-modernism, rationalism, etc if you like, but these are technically misnomers as well).

                      KD, the difference between”progressives,” “conservatives,” and “libertarians,” aside from the ontology listed above, is operationally defined as an ordering of values. Liberty is very important to each type of person (not there are really types, but for purposes of demonstration let us assume there are). Progressives tend to rank “equality” as being the value from which liberty arises. Conservatives tend to rank “order” as the value from which liberty arises. Libertarians try to rank liberty as the value from which liberty arises (it is a circular argument). Libertarians, in this sense, do not logically fit the paradigm…as one can be a left-wing libertarian or a right-wing libertarian. Ron Paul is a right-wing libertarian (his stand against the Civil Rights Act is evidence of this). The “liberal-conservative” paradigm in the US is not designed to look at ideologies…it is designed to catalog positions on issues.

                    • seenbetrdayz says:

                      Basically everything you just said can be summed up as ‘what government’s role ought to be.’ That’s where you have different philosophies.

                      Some believe that government’s role is to care for people from cradle to grave—whether it be domestically in welfare, or forcing democracy on others using military policy.

                      Others, like myself, don’t think that is a proper role for government, and can see the writing on the wall when it comes time to pay for that role.

                    • But don’t forget that there are many people who claim to be conservatives, but yet hold that belief that government should “care for people from cradle to grave” by telling them what they can and cannot put in their bodies or do to their bodies. They’re nanny staters too… just on different topics.

                  • B Balz says:

                    Excellent, points, Sir. Note to GaGOP, Ken has the style, sense, and intellect that represents the heart of our GOP. Not the fringe, not the loudest, but the heart.

                • TolleyJenkins says:

                  KD,

                  I’ll bite and try and answer within the parameters of your question: “conservative” to me (and I assume most people) connotes a combination of fiscal conservatism and social conservatism (using the term “social” to refer to anything that doesn’t fall into fiscal policy). Libertarian, on the other hand, connotes fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. If you tell me you’re a libertarian I’ll assume you’re conservative across the entire spectrum, which includes positions such as pro gay-marriage, anti-war (at least our current wars), anti-PATRIOT Act, anti-war-on-drugs, etc… If you tell me you’re a conservative, however, I’ll assume you take the opposite stance on those “social” issues.

                  Labels are nebulous, of course, but the vast majority of conservatives I know, mainly my family, are not at all pro-limited government when it comes to social issues. I suppose it’s because they don’t affect the majority as much as some fiscal issues, such as taxes. I mean, if you’re a straight, white, law-abiding non-terrorist, what do you care if some gay drug-dealer gets his house unlawfully searched while he’s out not getting married to his life partner?

                  • KD_fiscal conservative says:

                    Fair enough, so to sum it up a “conservative” is a fiscal conservative(wants gov’t to spend less) but a social totalitarian(want the gov’t to make more regulations). My main grip is that social “conservatives” aren’t really conservative when they want the gov’t regulate more.

                    But I guess the moral of the story is that these are all issue based marketing labels(less taxes, no more gays…etc).

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        “Cain’s foreign policy principles were the only ones I heard that made sense.”

        I will agree with you there. While the others acted like they knew exactly what they were talking about on foreign policy matters, and were talking strong positions one way or the others(both “neo-con” and “anti-war”) Cain admitted a through evaluation of the intell, that he, nor any other the other candidates have access to, would be necessary, but he still made his over all principles clear.

  12. Dave Bearse says:

    “His second place finish did garner him a sense that he exceeded expectations, however, and within Georgia, WSB’s radio market, Cain is looked upon favorably.”

    Cain is snart, no doubt about it. He’s as much a carnival barker as Trump, and has been doing it much longer.

    Cain would be the same as Palin—Obama is a lock for a second term if Cain is on the ticket. I listened to about 15 minutes of Cain’s show a couple of days a week for a few months in early 2007. Given that small sample, there’s no doubt a treasure trove of false, wacky Cain statements to choose from.

    A recurring Cain theme during the limited period of my listensing was that the economy then was doing simply fine. Those with concerns were simply pessimistic naysayers accordingly to Cain. Those with underwater mortgages hearing of that will no doubt appreciate Cain’s business sense.

    Cain stated on one show that Georgians were automatically being given Democratic primary ballots. Being new to crank radio, I checked with the Georgia SoS office to determine if any such complaints had been lodged. The SoS response was my cue that Cain was simply entertainment for the extremist fringe, and my cue to turn the dial.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      “there’s no doubt a treasure trove of false, wacky Cain statements to choose from.” I was thinking about the same thing.

      A portion of the primary voters will like that he “doesn’t talk like a politician” but real politicians carefully choose their words when making any statements in public for good reason.

    • grumpymoderate says:

      As someone who lives in the 4th District, the only reason I was given a Democratic ballot was because I asked for one. Herman Cain has shown time and again that the post he’s most qualified for is Treasury Secretary, not President of the United States.

      • Technocrat says:

        But what about a a Newt- Cain 12 ticket? At least they could balance out some of the edges.

        • Jessica J says:

          Newt is not Presidential. He doesn’t even look the part. He looks more like one of Santa’s elves. A Newt/Cain ticket will be just what the Dems want and a shoo-in for Obama/Biden.

    • Cain stated on one show that Georgians were automatically being given Democratic primary ballots.

      Dave,

      I can’t say for a fact that this has happened lately, but back in the 90s it happened to me. I actually had to argue with a poll worker at the Dodge County Courthouse to get a GOP primary ballot. It was an older lady and I won’t reveal her name because she didn’t realize what she was doing – or that she was committing a felony.

      She thought she was “helping” because if I voted in the GOP primary then I would have no vote in my school board race. When I finally raised my voice, she got embarrassed and handed over the appropriate ballot.

      So, you can label me “crazy”, too, but I know it happened to me.

  13. John Konop says:

    I thought this was very interesting. What does this say about the GOP race?

    Romney’s GOP Supporters Tilt Upscale; Palin’s, DownscaleHuckabee’s support leans to the right politically, to the South geographically

    PRINCETON, NJ — Republican college degree holders are more likely than those without a degree to support Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, 21% vs. 13%. Similarly, Romney’s support climbs from 9% of Republicans earning less than $24,000 annually to 21% of those earning $90,000 or more. The reverse is true for Sarah Palin, who is favored by nearly twice as many Republicans without a college degree as those with one, 16% vs. 9%, and her support decreases by income from 22% among the lowest income group to 7% among the highest.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/147452/Romney-GOP-Supporters-Tilt-Upscale-Palin-Downscale.aspx

    • Goldwater Conservative says:

      I can not believe how well Huckabee does across the board. That does not bode well for the GOP. Huckabee can win the McCain states…but he has almost no appeal out west or up north.

  14. Goldwater Conservative says:

    This is a terrible field of candidates…even including those we all expect to run that have not announced.

    Strike that…I should rephrase. There are many talented candidates, but none that have a likely chance to win the general election. If Hunstman decides to run he may be a contender…if he can make it through the primaries.

    “I don’t know, guys.” There may still be a person or two that will run that has not been in the press. That being said, any republican that can make it out of that party’s primaries alive will probably be too far on the right-wing to win a general election.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Not that I think the left-right paradigm has done this country a lot of good, but have you even once stopped to consider the fact that Obama’s presidency hasn’t exactly been an exercise of moderation?

      Just askin’, because you’ve made about 100 comments or so talking about how every candidate the GOP has is too far right-wing.

      I just don’t want you to get your feelings hurt if Obama gets thrown out for being too far left-wing.

      • Goldwater Conservative says:

        I agree the paradigm has not done the country good, but it is a fairly powerful variable for electoral popularity and likelihood of a candidates election.

        Obama has a record of making moderate proposals, but settling for slightly less than moderate legislation. For those of you on the right, sure he will appear more liberal than you think the median voter is, but your opinion is subjective and their are objective ways to measure presidential ideology and compare it to the median voter.

        I know I sound like a broken record, but it is a statement that should be asked a bit more often. President Obama is not too far to the left, some evidence of this would be the fact that he handily won a national election just a couple of years ago and his position has not much changed…despite what those talk-radio crowd believes.

        Sitting Presidents have one very big advantage: the can blame Congress. The most divisive policies that have come out during his presidency are the stimulus, health-insurance reform, the auto-company bailouts, and the budgets. The bailouts are not an issue any more, with the exception of the auto-companies, those were Bush presidency policies and then the auto-companies have paid back all of their loans. As for the remaining items, President Obama released his own versions of each plan and they are far more centrist than what was passed by Congress.

        I am not worried about President Obama losing. He is very likely to win, barring some unforeseen calamities to his personal life. If the economy not picking up enough will not likely hurt his reelection prospects all that much.

        The big thing the GOP is likely to fall short on is ideas. Like the Kerry 2004 campaign, or the Dole 1996 campaign, the GOP candidacies already “stand for” nothing…they only “stand against” the President. It is very hard to win a national election when your primary mobilizing and messaging strategy revolves around reversing policy or repealing policy. While the president’s economic package has not been vastly popular, it is still more popular than the GOP proposals. Especially on entitlements, taxes and other domestic spending.

        • I Miss the 90s says:

          That does make sense. There is a pretty vocal crowd that claim Obama is a communist or a socialist, but they do not know what either of those ideologies entail and they are never voting against a republican unless there is a libertarian candidate. The fact remains that the crowd of the “great unwashed” right-wing adds no value to the republican parties electoral numbers and for all we know they comprise the same 15% that claimed just 5 years ago that they would not vote for a black candidate for president.

          Here is a safe bet, if you are one of those 3million people (this is the high end of the estimate) that watch only FauxNews and/or listen to conservative talk radio you will think President Obama is a flaming liberal, but this is a subjective opinion.

          The President’s domestic agenda is very centrist and his foreign policy agenda is, well it is going slightly right-of-center in a couple of ways. Pulling out combat troops in Iraq is extremely popular across the spectrum, the war in Afghanistan is waning in public support…but is still not a hot topic in the media. bin Ladin’s killing is popular and nobody can take that accomplishment away from the President, regardless of how hard the FauxNews and Radio pundits try to claim it was the result of torture and Gitma (which it was not). As far as Libya goes, well it is Obama’s “Bosnia.” If the republic candidates bring it up the President keeps the center and left-of-center by making it a NATO issue, the hawks near the center probably should not complain about it since Obama did something up front, then the budget hawks probably should not complain because Obama’s decision to make it a NATO issue means that we are not going to borrow another $1-2trillion dollars to fund another unnecessary war.

          I never thought about the public release of Obama’s proposals on domestic items. That is a good point. We will have to see how much mileage he can get out of that, if any. Especially on the Healthcare Reform. I remember his proposal did not include a mandate or a public option. Overall the reform is very popular, the one issue is the mandate and that was all Congress.

          • KD_fiscal conservative says:

            I think you are right, that while his past record b/f presidency, while pretty shallow, still painted a picture of a very liberal ideologue. But his actual policies and rhetoric over the last two years so far have been fairly moderate. Outside of the Faux news and talk show’er world, mainstream America won’t view his policies as “radical extremist, racist, nazi, communist…etc” no matter how hard the far right wingers try. Rassmussen is showing people aren’t as pissed about the healthcare reform bill with only ~38% completly against it(which, interestingly, is the same % of people in the R ‘base’), repeating “socialist healthcare” over and over against doesn’t make it true, and before long the mainstream America will call you out. So if we are going to beat Obama, that type of nonsense must stop. There are legitimate concerns about that policy, as well other Obama policies, but none of the GOP candidates can articulate those(except maybe Romney or Newt).

            Mitch may be the answer, but for because he doesn’t use idiotic statements and other stupid generalizations, the low-common denominator crowd probably will not support him during the R primary(although he did throw the so-cons a bonelast week by defunding the alleged “taxpayer abortions”). Still, Rush and Co. have already put him on there hit list, and have already started relentlessly attacking him, like they did McCain during that the 2007 primary. Of-course we all know how won that, so maybe that wing of the party isn’t as strong as they would like to believe.

  15. Three Jack says:

    damn near perfect gop candidate: romney’s business experience, huckabee’s down home humor, newt’s creativity/ideas, palin’s looks, daniels’ practicality, pawlenty’s humility, paul’s fiscal approach, cain’s speaking ability, trump’s brashness…roll it all into one and we have our candidate.

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