Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Was Sarah Palin Properly Vetted By The McCain Team?

Right Wingnut, a blogger who writes for Right Speak, has initiated a debate with me claims that the liberal media started pushing the meme that Sarah Palin wasn't properly vetted and that meme is now being pushed by bitter Romney supporters such as myself: 
A few weeks ago, I started to notice a theme developing - designed to discredit Sarah Palin and the amount of vetting that was done prior to adding her to the ticket in 2008. Nearly every MSM article about the topic suggested that the GOP nominee would be more cautious in their vetting process to avoid making the same "mistake" the McCain campaign made.
Initially, the propagation of this false meme was mostly limited to left-wing journalists with an axe to grind. Lately, it seems that some on the right (mostly Romney supporters who are still bitter that McCain picked her over Mitt) are seizing on the opportunity to pile on.
This claim is false. 
The claim that Sarah Palin wasn't properly vetted was mentioned almost immediately after John McCain announced her as his running mate and it was an observation that was made by people both on the left and the right during the 2008 campaign. For example, Jazz Shaw, a well known conservative blogger who writes articles for the popular conservative website, Hot Air, said back in 2008 that he suspects that Sarah Palin wasn't properly vetted:
Ok, team, we clearly need to address this a bit more. First, let’s start with a bit of background. The original intent of this post, as a follow-on to a previous one, was to express not only my personal dissatisfaction with McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as the running mate, but to highlight my suspicions that Ms. Palin had not been vetted as fully as some of the other potential nominees.  
Back in 2008, Allahpundit, writing for Hot Air had an article that had links to other articles that raised questions over whether or not she was properly vetted. Other conservative websites such as Townhall.com,  Little Green Football, Right Wing News and Red State all discussed the issue of whether or not Palin was properly vetted during the 2008 Presidential election. Conservatives during the 2008 election had every right to be concerned about whether or not Sarah Palin was properly vetted.
John Aravosis, a blogger, carried a short little article in 2008 on his blog, AmericaBlog about how Sarah Palin wasn't vetted.
Let us review the facts why so many people on the left, right and center who were in the media, in the political trenches and at home were concerned about the vetting of Sarah Palin.
There were news reports that John McCain deliberately chose not to involve some of his top senior campaign advisors when they were deciding who to pick as his running mate. For example, McCain spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenhauer didn't even know how McCain and Palin knew  each other:
"You're running flat into the wall of my ignorance here," she said. "I truly have no indication whatsoever the extent of a relationship that exists with the Governor of Alaska."
There are also reports that the McCain team did not contact state political leaders or business leaders about Sarah Palin. Moreover, it appears that the McCain team didn't even look at the local newspaper archives to see what they had to say about Palin.  They didn't even contact Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, a man that Palin tried to fire after he refused to fire a family member from the Alaskan police force. Even more surprisingly, there is a report by Marc Ambinder that the McCain team didn't even conduct an FBI background check on the governor.
In fact, it appears that a intensive vetting of Sarah Palin didn't occur until shortly before it was announced she was McCain's running mate:
Aides to Mr. McCain said they had a team on the ground in Alaska now to look more thoroughly into Ms. Palin’s background. A Republican with ties to the campaign said the team assigned to vet Ms. Palin in Alaska had not arrived there until Thursday, a day before Mr. McCain stunned the political world with his vice-presidential choice. The campaign was still calling Republican operatives as late as Sunday night asking them to go to Alaska to deal with the unexpected candidacy of Ms. Palin.
It appears to conservatives and liberals and reporters that the McCain team was trying to close the barn door after the horse has already bolted.
Lets not forget that experienced Conservative campaign advisors have always believed that she was not properly vetted. For example, Sara Fagen, a former political director for President George W. Bush.had this to say about the vetting process of Sarah Palin:
"There's one thing the people in the Republican establishment agree on: There was clearly not a thorough thought process or vetting that went into the vetting of Sarah Palin. They didn't ask the fundamental questions or spend enough time with her,"
Finally, McCain advisor, A.B. Culvahouse, who says that the vetting process was fully conducted. In contrast, we have at least two McCain staffers who say she wasn't vetted. For example, Nicolle Wallace, one of the ’08 campaign’s top advisors, said that the HBO movie, Game Change, was too close to the truth as to make it uncomfortable. to watch. We also have Steve Schmidt who also says Sarah Palin wasn't vetted:
“It’s a story of when cynicism and idealism collide, when you have to do the things that are necessary to win to try to get in office to do the great things you want to do for the country,” Schmidt said. “And I think it showed a process of vetting that was debilitated by secrecy, that was compartmentalized, that failed, that led to a result that was reckless for the country. And I think when you look back at that race, you see this person who is just so phenomenally talented at so many levels, an ability to connect. But also someone who had a lot of flaws as someone running to be in the national command authority who clearly wasn’t prepared.”
Its clear to me that the McCain team is still in disagreement on the issue of whether she was properly vetted or not. Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace have been vilified for reporting their observation about what they saw and as controversial as their testimony may be, we still have to take it into consideration given what we know of the facts as reviewed above. 
In the end, the debate over whether or not Sarah Palin was properly vetted or not will go on for a very long time. Historians, journalists, academics, politicians, bloggers, activists and people will debate this issue for many years to come. However, there are enough facts, individually and collectively, to give a reasonable person a legitimate and rational basis for their belief that Sarah Palin wasn't properly vetted. This belief isn't some fringe conspiracy but a belief held by a lot of people on a wide range of the political spectrum. More importantly, conservatives of all stripes and in various levels of power and influence in the Republican party such as Dick Cheney and Ann Coulter believe she wasn't properly vetted. 
In conclusion, it isn't just some blogger such as myself that believes she wasn't properly vetted. This belief isn't just some meme that is being pushed by people on the left or the right because they don't like Sarah Paln and have some sort of axe to grind against her. There are plenty of facts and evidence from a wide range of sources and people that are independent of each other that gives people reasonable doubt that she was vetted. As a result, I stand by my belief that the McCain team did a shoddy job vetting Sarah Palin.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mitt Romney & Mormon Underwear

Bob Lonsberry, who is a well known conservative talk show host, has penned an article about the LDS use of temple garments which are known to members outside of the LDS Church as Mormon underwear or "magic underwear" as detractors of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints like to call it. 
Here's a portion of Bob Lonsberry's article below: 
What about Mitt Romney’s magic underwear?
Mitt Romney is a Mormon. That is a Christian religion founded in 1830 in upstate New York. Some Mormons do wear a religious garment under their outer clothes. Presumably, Mitt Romney is one of those Mormons.
What is a religious garment?
Well, it depends on the religion. Several faiths have unique bits of clothing that mostly seem to have the same purpose – to remind believers of who they are and what they have promised to God.
Thus the headwear of the Sikh, and the beads, prayer feathers, medicine pouches and shamanic robes of various Indian tribes.
As well as the yarmulke of some Jewish men and the head coverings of some Jewish women, and the aprons, trailing strings and hats of yet more followers of Judaism.
Or the phylacteries and other garments and devices described in particular detail in the Bible.
In that regard, it’s quite possible that Jesus, following the Old Testament Law of Moses and being an observant Jew, wore religiously prescribed garments.
Roman Catholic religious have worn sacred garments for 1,700 years. Similarly, religious garments – or “habits” – have been worn by Anglicans and religious of the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic and Greek Orthodox churches. Some of these garments are priestly, and just for ceremonial purposes, while others are worn constantly as a declaration of faith.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, specialized articles of religious clothing, of one type or another, have been worn for at least 4,000 years. Some of these have been visible, as a sign to the world, and some have been worn under other clothes, as a reminder to the wearer.
In Islam, many women wear religiously prescribed head coverings, as they have since the religion’s founding. Some Muslim women also wear a veil.
The notion of a religious head covering and even a veil is a belief also held for centuries by Christians and Jews. The Bible teaches men and women about the propriety of covering or uncovering their heads, particularly during prayer and worship. Some Christian denominations in America today, including some conservative Evangelicals and Mennonites, follow these teachings. Until a couple of generations ago, it was common for women to wear hats or scarves to mainstream American churches, to obey the biblical command to cover their heads.
The “babushkas” of many Eastern European women are worn in obedience to their understanding of their Catholic faith.
The point of all this is that religions around the world have various types of religious garments. If you do the math, most believers on earth belong to a religion that commands its followers or leaders to wear religiously significant clothing.
While some people find it odd or funny that the Mormons consider the temple garment to be sacred underwear, it is, nonetheless, like all other religious clothing, designed to help the believer of that faith remain more committed to their faith. For Mormons, the temple garments are religious clothing designed to help members of the LDS Church follow the teachings of that religion. It helps that person to be more focused on Jesus Christ, to be more diligent in keeping the commandments and covenants and to dress modestly when required.
While the temple garments may odd or strange to you, the idea of clothing being used to demonstrate commitment to one's faith is something everyone understand. Other items such as rings, earrings, pendants and jewelry also help people to be more dedicated to their faith. A well known example is people wearing crosses for necklaces or rings. As a result, the way people of other faiths demonstrate their commitment to their faith might be different from your own, it deserves respect and understanding.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Who Will Be Mitt Romney's Running Mate?

People have been speculating on who Mitt Romney will pick to have as his running mate and future Vice President. Romney has so far hasn't said much about who he will pick, but in an interview with National Review, he's said that he hasn't made a list yet but that he's in the process of making one. that he's looking for someone who can also lead the nation if necessary: 
NRO: Let’s begin with your process of selecting your running mate. As you’ve interacted with elected officials throughout this primary season, have you thought about any of them as potential running mates and whether you would trust that person to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?
Mitt Romney: [Laughter.] I’m not going to give you any names!
NRO: You don’t have to give names. Just . . . has anybody piqued your interest?
Romney: There are a lot of terrific people in our party, as I’m sure you know. We will begin to put together a list of folks to do a deep-dive vetting. That’s something which Beth Myers, my former chief of staff and former campaign manager, is guiding. I’ve been very impressed with a lot of folks I’ve worked with, and I’m impressed with others that have not been in battleground states, but who nonetheless are key leaders in our party. At this point, it is a wide-open process.
: Is there one trait or quality that you think is particularly important for a running mate and vice president?
Romney: The vice president has to be someone who would be seen as having the capability to become president and lead the country if that were to become necessary. That is, without question, the most important quality that you consider.
Romney has already selected campaign advisor Beth Meyers to assist him in making his selection. Here a list of possible running mates that Beth Meyers might be looking at:
Marco Rubio
Mitch Daniel 
John Kasich
Chris Christie
Paul Ryan 
Bobby Jindal
Bob McDonnell 
Susana Martinez
Nikki Haley
Allen West 
Kelly Ayotte
Jeb Bush
Tim Pawlenty 
Rick Santorum  
Many candidates have either stated that they will or will not be Mitt Romney's running mate. Marco Rubio has consistently stated that he will not be Romney's Vice President. Many people have recommended Marco Rubio to be Mitt's VP like Jeb Bush. However, Marco Rubio said that Jeb Bush would make a good running mate for Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush said he would be Mitt's VP if asked
Bobby Jindal has also stated that he's not interested in being Mitt's running mate because he likes being the governor of Louisiana. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has given conflicting answers in which he has said he wouldn't mind being Romney's VP but has said at other times that he wouldn't be his running mate. 
South Carolina Govenor Nikki Haley has said she would not be Mitt Romney's running mate and suggested that Allen West would make a great pick and then backtracked on that recommendation. Other people such as Sarah Palin and Herman Cain have also endorsed Allen West. Allen West has stated that he would accept the invitation to be Mitt Romney's VP if asked.
Many people have talked about Virginia Govenor Bob McDonnell as being Mitt Romney's Vice President. Although, Governor McDonnell has down played talk of him being selected as Romney's running mate.
Paul Ryan has been widely discussed as Mitt's VP. Although people know Paul Ryan for his mastery of economic issues, he's equally powerful when it comes to foreign policy. Paul Ryan hasn't publicly denied a hypothetical offer from Mitt Romney but he's remained mostly quiet on the subject of being Romney's VP other than to say that the discussion hasn't been brought up by Mitt Romney and that he would think about it when the offer actually is presented to him.
There are a lot of good people on the list and most of them would be a great running mate for Mitt Romney. Personally, my list of who I would pick for Mitt's running mate would be quite short. I personally like Paul Ryan, John Kasich, Rob Portman, Nikki Haley, Bob McDonnell, Allen West and Condoleezza Rice. There are others who I know will not make a good running mate for Mitt Romney and as a result, they are probably not on Mitt's short list. Those people are Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Mitch Daniel. 
Who ever Mitt Romney picks, the vetting process will be much more intense than in the past due to the shoddy vetting process the McCain team did with Sarah Palin. However, I am confident that Mitt Romney will make the right choice. It will be someone who will be just as equally competent in leading the country as Mitt Romney is, who will work well with the President and with Congress in passing the necessary laws, who can help Mitt win the necessary votes needed to win the election and who can go one on one with Biden in a debate.   
I am excited for Mitt Romney's running mate and I can't wait for Mitt to make his announcement. I suspect that Mitt Romney will make his announcement shortly before the Republican convention in Florida. Whoever Mitt picks, it will be a good choice for America.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Robert Jeffress Endorses Mitt Romney

I was very critical of Rick Perry's campaign for stubbornly allowing Pastor Robert Jeffress to spew religious bigotry on behalf of their campaign. Other people were quick to condemn Robert Jeffress for his comments about the LDS religion. Robert Jeffress wrote an op-ed defending his religious bigotry and I wrote a blog article dismantling his arguments.
As much as I strongly disagree with Pastor Robert Jeffress' opinions about the LDS Church being a non-Christian cult, he has kept his promise that he would get behind Mitt Romney if he became the Republican nominee. Here's what he said in October of 2011: 
ACOSTA: Wolf is asking me to ask you, are you saying that because of Mitt Romney's faith, that people should not vote for him? That people should not go into the voting booth and flip the switch for Mitt Romney because of his faith? Should that be held against him?
JEFFRESS: Look, I think if it came down to a contest between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, I would hold my nose and hope for Mitt Romney. I would rather have a non-Christian who at least supports biblical principles than a professing-Christian like Barack Obama who embraces unbiblical positions.
True to his word, Robert Jeffress is now getting behind Mitt Romney: 
The Southern Baptist pastor who last October called Mormonism a cult and said Mitt Romney is not a Christian is now endorsing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
The pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, tells The Associated Press that he still doesn't believe Mormons are Christians.
But Jeffress says voters will have to choose between a Christian like President Barack Obama and a Mormon like Romney. He says the difference is that Obama embraces non-biblical principles while Romney embraces biblical principles like the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.
Given that choice, Jeffress says he believes Christians should support Romney in November "in spite of his Mormon faith."
Jeffress says that there are no perfect candidates - and no perfect pastors either.
Here's the video of the Pastor talking about his support for Mitt Romney: 
My respect for the Pastor has increased because he kept his word on supporting Mitt Romney. I agree with Ed Morrisey's observation about Robert Jeffress' endorsement: 
But hopefully Jeffress has learned a lesson about having to eat one’s words down the line, if not the dangers of indulging in ecumenical combat in the middle of a political campaign.
I hope he's learned his lesson because there is more at stake in Presidential elections than worrying about a candidate's faith or insisting that the Republican nominee be of a particular religion. As a result of Romney becoming the nominee, I don't think he will have to hold his nose in voting for Mitt Romney as he said he would last October and that he will be enthusiastic in voting for him. Moreover, other evangelicals have come out and said that they will vote for Romney in the general election. Even more interesting is that a recent poll taken in Virginia shows that evangelicals in that state would overwhelmingly vote for Romney. This poll that was conducted in Virginia might be true across the country in which evangelicals either don't care about Romney's faith or that they are so strongly opposed to Obama that are willing to vote for Mitt Romney and help the Republican party regain the White House in 2012.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Who Has A Better Economic Record: Obama Or Romney?

With the general election underway in which Mitt Romney will challenge Barack Obama for the Presidency, both candidates will try to make the case that they are the one who can turn this economy around.
Unfortunately, Obama cannot make that case because he's never been serious about improving the U.S. economy. And it shows. Now that Obama has been in office for almost four years, his economic record is something that Americans are not proud of. 
Obama's reelection strategy is to blame the previous administration for the current problems. If that's the strategy he wants to use in this election, its not a very good one because he hasn't done anything to fix the problems he has inherited from the Bush Administration. Take a good look at the chart below and you'll see why: 
When Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, the previous administration had left him with a terrible financial mess for him to deal with. When Mitt entered into office in 2003, he was a left with a massive deficit of approximately $3 billion. Mitt Romney did not complain about the previous administration nor did he attempt to place the blame on anyone else. He simply went to work to balance the budget. By 2005, Mitt Romney had a budget surplus of $1 billion and by the time he left office in 2007, he left the state had a $ 2 billion surplus. Moreover, when the state was threatened with a loss in credit rating, Mitt Romney took swift action to take care of the problem.
Mitt Romney's economic record stands in stark contrast with Barak Obama's. Our economy is in grave danger and we need a candidate who knows how businesses work, knows how to create jobs, and how to whip a government back into financial shape. 
The choice for who should be the President is clear. We need Mitt Romney in the White House. You can make that happen by voting for Mitt in November.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Simple Way To Destroy Obama's New Attack Ad On RomneyCare

Recently, the Obama Campaign team released a new ad titled, "The Anniversary of Romneycare" in which it attacks Mitt Romney's for supporting the individual mandate at the state level but wants to repeal the individual mandate at the national level. 
Here is the clip below:

The Romney Campaign is well known for rapidly responding to political attacks from campaign rivals can simply refute this ad by simply airing this clip on nation wide: 

The video clip isn't the first time Obama has objected to the individual mandate. Back in 2008, when Obama was running for President, he supported a health care reform proposal that didn't not include the individual mandate because he had concerns about how the individual mandate was a slippery slope that could lead the government to think that they can solve homelessness by mandating that everyone buy a house.
All the Romney media team has to do is throw Obama's own words back at him. This would be very effective since it would show Obama flip flopping on the individual mandate. Moreover, it would cause the voters across this country to wonder if Obama was so strongly opposed to the individual mandate in 2008, why would he include it in his own health care plan? The only conclusion that the viewers will draw from that question is that Obama must have disingenuously opposed it for political reasons rather than having any sincere objections to it.

Obama Uses The Media As Surrogates To Attack Mitt Romney's Faith And Family

The Obama administration knows it cannot launch personal attacks on Mitt Romney's faith or family. However, given that President Obama has a very cozy relationship with the media in which 19 journalists and media executives either work in the administration or in political groups connected to the White House, its not surprising that some people believe that the Obama administration is using the media as a surrogate or proxy to attack Mitt Romney in ways that they do on their own.  
Now that the general election has started, the media wasted no time in going after Mitt Romney. In a multi-pronged attack, they went after his religion and his wife. When it comes to Mitt Romney's faith, the media has intentionally mislead its views on the facts about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The most egregious example is Larry O’Donnell's offensive and dishonest description of how the LDS Church got started: 

Not surprisingly, it took a Mormon Congressman from Idaho, Represenative Raul Labrador, to call out MSNBC to its face for allowing blatant religious bigotry to be spewed on the air: 

The media is obsessed with Mitt Romney's faith not because they are intrigued or fascinated by the religion but they think that they can use people's unfamiliarity about the Mormon religion as a way of turning voters away from Mitt Romney. However, that strategy won't work because people are seeing right through the media and know that this isn't news reporting but a propaganda campaign against Mitt Romney. 
A few days after the media went after Mitt Romney's faith, they decided to get ever more personal with Mitt Romney by inviting DNC advisor Hilary Rosen to come on CNN to talk about how both candidates are trying to win the female vote: 

Here's the full quote from Hilary Rosen:
With respect to economic issues, I think actually that Mitt Romney is right that ultimately women care more about the economic well-being of their family and the like.  But he doesn't connect on that issue, either.  What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing.  Guess what?  His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.  She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why we worry about their future.
After Hilary Rosen's comments, Ann Romney quickly responded and did not hold back either on twitter and on television interviews: 
Despite the massive negative response from the media and news commentators, Hilary Rosen doubled down on her comments before she finally offered a faux apology:
“Let’s put the faux ‘war against stay at home moms’ to rest once and for all. As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen. In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his poor record on the plight of women’s financial struggles. Here is my more fulsome view of the issues. As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay at home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”
However, Rosen's half hearted passive-aggressive apology may not be enough to undo the damage that may have occurred with female independent and democratic voters. As a result, the White House is doing damage control by trying to distance themselves from her as fast as possible. Yet, it is impossible for them to do so because Hilary is well connected to the Obama administration.
Last year, it was revealed that Obama planned on attacking Mitt Romney's faith but that idea was immediately ridiculed. However, a year later and with the hopes of their plans for Mitt Romney has faded from public memory, we see the media going after Mitt Romney's faith. Its also not surprising that the close triangular relationship between Obama, the media and Hilary Rosen has resulted in an attack on Ann Romney.
The quiet but orchestrated attacks on Mitt Romney are starting to back fire on Obama especially when it comes to the trying to win the female vote. As a result of Hilary Rosen's comments, she has made it harder for the Obama administration to attract female voters because women are very much in tune with the economy whether they are stay at home mothers  or work outside of the home. Women are very aware of how the national economy affects the economy of the home because they are the ones who typically, but not always, balance the checkbook, buy the groceries, gas up the car and pay the bills. 
In the end, Hilary Rosen's attempt to make Ann Romney look like she is out of touch with women across this country only exposed how out of touch Hilary, and by extension, the Obama Administration,  is with women. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rick Santorum Suspends His Campaign

Rick Santorum must have had a change of heart in deciding to stay in the race to now dropping out of the race because prior to his announcement that he was suspending his campaign, Rick Santorum called Mitt Romney to concede the race. In response to this news, Mitt Romney praised Rick Santorum for being an “able and worthy competitor." Newt Gingrich has stubbornly refused to drop out of the race and is courting Rick Santorum's supporters to back him in the race: 
Newt Gingrich praised Rick Santorum’s “remarkable campaign” Tuesday after the former Pennsylvania senator bowed out of the presidential race, and Gingrich invited Santorum’s supporters into his own camp.
“I am committed to staying in this race all the way to Tampa so that the conservative movement has a real choice,” Gingrich said in a statement. “I humbly ask Senator Santorum’s supporters to visit Newt.org to review my conservative record and join us as we bring these values to Tampa. We know well that only a conservative can protect life, defend the Constitution, restore jobs and growth and return to a balanced budget.”
Gingrich has conceded he has little chance of securing the 1,144 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination outright. Late last month, his campaign announced it was shedding a third of its staff, and the former House speaker also has pledged to back front-runner Mitt Romney, if Romney becomes the nominee.
But Gingrich is holding out hope that he can attract enough votes from Santorum supporters to prevent Romney from reaching 1,144 delegates before August and that he can win the GOP nomination at a contested Republican National Convention.
However, Newt Gingrich's chances of getting enough delegates to become the Republican nominee or force a brokered convention is slim or impossible. Currently, Romney has 661 delegates while Newt Gingrich only has 136 delegates. Even if Rick Santorum gave all of his 285 delegates to Newt, he would only have 421 delegates. As a result, he would still be far behind Mitt Romney. However, it is not likely that Newt Gingrich will pick up any more delegates since his campaign is so in debt that they can't even afford the $500 check to get on the Utah ballot. I highly doubt Newt can wage a competitive campaign that would seriously challenge Mitt Romney. 
If you're wondering what will happen to Rick Santorum's delegates now that he's out of the race, you'll be surprised to learn that Rick Santorum cannot gift his delegates to any competitor but will become free agents in which they can support any candidates they choose: 
Santorum has 285 delegates, according to the latest ABC News delegate estimate, second to Mitt Romney’s 661. He captured the majority of them by winning 10 states–11 if you count Missouri’s nonbinding primary, which the candidate counted in his bowing-out speech today.
But some of those delegates were never really “his.”  ABC estimates that 78 Santorum delegates, from his wins in states that don’t “award” their delegates – Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, and North Dakota, would have been free to support any candidate at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Another two of Santorum’s delegates were Republican National Committee superdelegates, who will attend the convention by virtue of their positions in the party, and are also free to support whomever they choose in Tampa.
Santorum won seven more delegates from unbound caucus states Washington and Wyoming.
He won another 10 delegates from Illinois, where they would not be required by state or national-party rule to vote for Santorum in Tampa, either, although Santorum’s campaign presented their names and qualifying signatures to the state board of elections.
That leaves 188 Santorum delegates heading to Tampa. They’ll be required to vote for him, unless he chooses to release them, according to state-party rules.
Even if Santorum endorses Romney, that doesn’t mean he can gift all of his delegates to his former rival.  Should Santorum elect to release his delegates, they’ll become free agents, able to support whichever candidate they choose.
I think a majority of Santorum's delegates will ultimately back Mitt Romney. Some will still vote for Santorum at the Republican convention while others will support Newt Gingrich. However, now that Rick Santorum is out of the race, it is safe to say that the 2012 primary elections are over and Mitt Romney will become the Republican challenger to President Obama. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rick Santorum Back On The Campaign Trail

Rick Santorum has spent some time contemplating on if he would stay in the race or not and he's made his decision. He's staying in the race: 
After a five-day break to celebrate Easter, help care for his sick daughter and thrash out strategy, Santorum kicks off the fight for his home state, Pennsylvania, in earnest on Tuesday.
He needs to win the state by a decent margin to stay in the race against Romney, whose allies have already begun negative TV attacks against the conservative former senator.
Santorum holds a rally in Bedford on Tuesday and then addresses his alma mater Penn State Dickinson School of Law, dampening talk he is near to quitting the race.
"Clearly, once we get campaigning, then that will certainly quiet any talk of us doing anything other than moving full-speed ahead," campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said.
Speculation that Santorum could be headed for the exit increased last Thursday when he held a strategy meeting with conservative leaders.
The meeting with conservative and evangelical leaders did not go as well as Santorum would have liked:

Rick Santorum, who rose in the polls thanks to enthusiastic support from Christian conservatives, faced pressure Sunday from a key Republican evangelical to end his increasingly long-shot White House bid.
Richard Land, a top official with the powerful Southern Baptist Convention, urged Santorum to abandon the race and throw his support to frontrunner Mitt Romney to increase Republicans' chances of defeating Barack Obama in November.
"Rick's a good friend. I like Rick a lot," Land told CBS "Face the Nation" program on Sunday.
But he said, "as his friend I would say to him, 'you know, you ought to seriously consider leaving the race now'," the prominent Baptist clergyman said.
But after their candidate failed to pick up sufficient steam to seize the nomination, Christian conservatives met again with Santorum last week, to strategize about how they should proceed going forward.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, trounced Santorum in primaries held last week in Washington, DC, Wisconsin and Maryland, lending additional credence to his case that he will be the party's inevitable pick.
Land told CBS that the tea leaves appeared not to favor Santorum -- although he left open the possibility that he could be a strong contender for a future Republican party nomination.
"In eight years he'll be three years younger than Romney is now," said Land.
He added, however, that "running for president is a very personal decision, when to get out is a very personal decision, and he's going to have to make that," Land told CBS.
Ebbing support among Christian leaders would come at a bad time for Santorum, who has denied rumors that he is plotting his exit from the race to avoid what could be an embarrassing loss in his home state of Pennsylvania.
With the Pennsylvania primary only a few weeks away, the window of opportunity to have a graceful exit from the campaign will shut and he will face an embarrassing loss in Pennsylvania.  Mitt Romney is ahead in the polls in Pennsylvania and ahead in the polls nationally. Even if Rick Santorum manages to win in his home state, the primaries in May will not go as well as he thinks it will. If Santorum loses in Pennsylvania, then he should drop out of the race immediately. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Is Rick Santorum In Or Out Of The 2012 Race?

 There is some speculation that Rick Santorum will be dropping out soon given that he may not win any delegates in Pennsylvania and that there has been no campaign activity from the Santorum campaign:
Rick Santorum’s campaign insisted Friday the former Pennsylvania senator is still in the race despite mounting pressure even from voters in his home state that he pull out before the Keystone State’s primary April 24.
But Santorum has scheduled no public events over the holiday weekend and has made no major media buys, fueling speculation that he might quit. Polling in Pennsylvania that shows him slipping against front-runner Mitt Romney raises the prospect of an embarrassing home-state loss that could hurt his chances if he were to make a run for the nomination in 2016.
A Santorum campaign spokesman said the candidate had a busy slate of events scheduled for next week and promised that a list would be released soon.
If he decides to stay in the race, Rick Santorum will have to face some harsh facts about his campaign. Recently, a memo was released to the press from the Santorum campaign in which he outlined his belief that he can become the Republican nominee. However, Santorum's path to victory is based on some very flawed assumptions:
Santorum's camp said its internal count shows Romney with only 571 delegates while Santorum has 342. CNN's current delegate estimate, however, shows Romney with 657 and Santorum with 273.
"This race is much closer than the media and Establishment Republicans would like to report," stated the memo.
By CNN's count, Romney needs 44% of the delegates remaining to gain the nomination while Santorum needs 78%.
The campaign reached its rosier version of the delegate count making some assumptions that many experts don't believe will happen, including that Florida and Arizona will change positions and decide to award their delegates proportionally instead of winner take all. Santorum officials said the states broke Republican National Committee rules by not making their contests proportional and therefore conclude the RNC will take away some of Romney's delegates there.
Florida Republican Party Director of Communications Brian Hughes told CNN his state's rule was accepted by the RNC and therefore it will stay a winner take all state.
"It's a kind of a sad commentary on where they are that they have to make things up rather than face the reality of the status of their campaign," he told CNN.
Rick Santorum doesn't have a whole lot of time to decide. The Pennsylvania primary is in a few weeks and he has to decide whether he's in or out. Hopefully, he makes the right decision and bows out. 

Happy Easter 2012!!

I would like wish Christians everywhere a Happy Easter. Let us remember the true meaning of Easter. I would like to share "He Is Risen" as performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: 

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Media Is Intentionally Misleading Its Viewers On Mitt Romney's Mormon Faith

When it comes to the media covering the Presidential elections, conservatives don't have a lot of trust in these institutions to present all the facts in a straightforward manner. The famous example is "Rathergate" in which Dan Rather attempted to create news about President George W. Bush in which he claimed to have authentic documents about Bush's service in the national guard only to have those documents exposed as forgeries.
The media has learned not to repeat the same mistake again. Rather than manufacture news based on falsified documents, the have shifted to a more subtle form of creating news by selectively editing important key facts. The most recent example of this tactic can be seen in the Treyvon Martin case in which NBC edited the 911 police call to make it look like George Zimmerman said "This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black" when in reality that is not what he said on the 911 police tapes. As a result, NBC is now conducting an internal investigation into a major breach of journalistic practices.
NBC pulled the same trick on Mitt Romney in which Martin Bashir aired an edited audio clip of an audience member asking a question about Romney's faith. Jeffery Meyer, pointed out that NBC distorted what Mitt Romney said because of their bias towards Republicans:
Bashir, who loves to attack Republicans on a daily basis, has decided to deliberately distort Romney and selectively edit his words so as to create a controversy where none exists.  Such journalistic malpractice is unacceptable and MSNBC needs to be held accountable.
The media isn't always subtle in its distortion of the facts. Sometimes it throws journalistic integrity out the window and reports false facts as if they were true. Watch the clip below for a good example of this:
CNN should be ashamed because the LDS Church has no position on interracial marriage amd it has never forbidden interracial marriage. Consider the following statements from past Mormon leaders. President Spencer W. Kimball, in a speech given to BYU students in 1965, had this to say about interracial marriage:
"Now, the brethren feel that it is not the wisest thing to cross racial lines in dating and marrying. There is no condemnation. We have had some of our fine young people who have crossed the lines. We hope they will be very happy, but experience of the brethren through a hundred years has proved to us that marriage is a very difficult thing under any circumstances and the difficulty increases in interrace marriages." (Source: Interracial Marriage Discouraged", Church News, June 17, 1978, p. 2.)
Here's another statement from Spencer W. Kimball: 
“When I said you must teach your people to overcome their prejudices and accept the Indians, I did not mean that you would encourage intermarriage. I mean that they should be brothers, to worship together and to work together and to play together; but we must discourage intermarriage, not because it is sin. I would like to make this very emphatic. A couple has not committed sin if an Indian boy and a white girl are married, or vice versa. It isn’t a transgression like the transgressions of which many are guilty. But it is not expedient. Marriage statistics and our general experience convince us that marriage is not easy. It is difficult when all factors are favorable. The divorces increase constantly, even where the spouses have the same general background of race, religion, finances, education, and otherwise. ” (Spencer W. Kimball, “The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,” p. 302)
Another favorite tactic of the media is not distort the facts but to distort the viewer's perception of the facts as to elicit the desired response or reaction from the viewing audience either by reaffirming their biases or introducing them to it. Watch the clip for textbook application of this tactic below:
What Larry O’Donnell has done is use legitimate polling of people's willingness to vote for a candidate based on their religion as a means of cementing people's unwillingness to vote for a Mormon by distorting the history of the LDS Church. Noah Glyn, writing for National Review Online, summarizes O'Donnell's blatant and false distortion of the beginnings of the LDS religion:
Last night, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell attacked Mitt Romney, Mormonism, and Joseph Smith. According to O’Donnell, Smith only created Mormonism to justify his lax sexual mores.
In this case, O'Donnell admits his bias towards the LDS religion. As a result, O'Donnell isn't educating the public about the news as a news reporter should, but is preaching his gospel of religious bigotry to anyone who will listen. As a result, those who are already biased towards the LDS faith will have their beliefs reaffirmed and those who haven't had such a bias are now potentially infected with it.
The reason why the media has been dishonest in the way they cover Mitt Romney's faith is because many members of the media are liberal and are hostile to religion. Nancy French explains why the media has been untruthful about Mitt Romney's faith:
Secular leftists are often quite religious in their zeal to attack traditional values, and I’d say that they have Mormons in their crosshairs in large part because they’re quite effective in defending our culture. After all, there’s only 6 million Mormons in America, yet the media Left — from HBO to PBS to Broadway — has spent much of the last two election cycles flailing away at the LDS church.
In other words, the secular Left hates Mormons because they see the LDS church as a part of the same Judeo-Christian tradition we belong to; the same Judeo-Christian tradition they so despise. 
John Schroeder over at Article6 blog explains why the intentional distortion towards Mitt Romney's faith is unacceptable for a religiously diverse country as ours:  
We cannot take this bait.  These kinds of assaults – the “weirdness” of proxy baptism, polygamy as a justification for illicit sex – may have some appeal if you think Mormonism a “false” religion.  But here is the thing.  In a religiously pluralistic society like ours, if it stands against them, something similar will stand against us. 
Last year, it was revealed that Obama planned on attacking Mitt Romney's faith but that idea was immediately ridiculed. Recently, Senator Orrin Hatch asserted that Obama would go after Romney's faith and many Democrats immediately denied Obama would do that. The President knows he can't get 6 million Mormons in the United States to vote for him and that he may not have it in his election strategy to make Romney's faith an issue in the campaign. However, those in the media have already made it an issue in this election in which they will discourage as many Americans as they can to not vote for Romney by intentionally distorting their coverage of his faith.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rick Santorum Considering Dropping Out Before Pennsylvania Primary

Given that Rick Santorum faces a possible embarrassing defeat in his home state, he's considering suspending his campaign:  
The possibility of a loss in his home state of Pennsylvania might force Rick Santorum to drop out of the Republican primary sooner than he’d planned, say GOP strategists.
Santorum is notoriously strong-willed, and those close to him say that party elders will not be able to convince him to exit the race if he thinks he has a shot at the Republican nomination.
But one of Santorum’s close friends told The Hill that while the former Pennsylvania senator remains confident about winning his home state and using that to build May momentum, if that confidence falters, he might exit the race. Pennsylvania state Sen. Jake Corman (R), a longtime friend of Santorum and his family, said if it appeared Santorum wasn’t going to win the state, the former senator could drop his campaign.
“He’s a realist; he doesn’t have his head in the clouds,” Corman told The Hill. “As long as he sees a pathway to the nomination he’s going to stay in it, but he won’t stay in it to prove a point. If he gets to the point where he doesn’t think he’ll be the nominee, he’ll get out.”
One of the big factors that is weighing heavily on Santorum's mind is facing the possibility of losing in his home state twice which would tarnish his political future:
Many Republican strategists argue that Santorum has resurrected his political career after a bad 2006 Senate loss with his surprisingly strong presidential campaign — but that another loss in his home state could undo all that work, leading to predictions that if he thinks he could lose Pennsylvania, he might bow out.
“If he loses Pennsylvania twice, that’s going to really hobble him in the future. That’d be very hard to live down,” said Kirsten Fedewa, Mike Huckabee’s 2008 communications director.
Another point for Rick Santorum that he will probably be considering is that his support is shrinking dramatically after suffering a humiliating three state loss just a few days ago
“There’s a point on the campaign trail where you start seeing diminishing returns, thinner crowds, you’re not getting the big boost on your website fundraising, the enthusiasm factor is dying down,” she said. “He’s going to be feeling it on the stump and seeing the impact on his campaign. He’s an anti-establishment candidate, so what the establishment does or doesn't do isn’t going to persuade him — but when he sees the intensity factor waning, that’s going to weigh heavily.”
Another factor that Rick Santorum is considering is that there is no realistic way for him to continue on in the race no matter how confident he feels in Pennsylvania and in the following primary elections. Dick Morris explains why: 
Rick Santorum has now punted April and is saying that we need to wait until May for him to rack up significant totals of delegates. Fat chance.
After DC, Maryland, and Wisconsin, Romney has about 640 delegates. He will probably win New York (95 delegates), Del (17), Ct (28), and RI (19) raising his total to about 770. He’ll lose Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri but he’ll get his share raising his total to 800 delegates). He could, and probably will, win Pennsylvania giving him 870. (Santorum doesn’t have delegates in each part of his home state).
Then comes May, Rick’s favorite month. But Romney will probably win Maine (24), Indiana (46), and Oregon (28) giving him just shy of 1,000 delegates. He’ll probably lose Arkansas (36), and might lose Kentucky (45), Nebraska (35), North Carolina (45). He will however pick up some portion of their delegations in the proportional representation states. And he’ll likely lose the big May primary – Texas with 155 votes. But since Texas votes by Congressional District, he’ll win his share. Most likely, he will exit May with over 1,000 delegates and could approach 1,100.
Then, by June 6th, he will vault past the 1,144 he needs for the nomination by winning California, New Jersey, Utah, South Dakota, Washington State, Montana, and New Mexico.
Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul not only have no chance at winning a majority of the delegates, but they also have no chance of deadlocking the convention. The numbers don’t add up.
Rick Santorum shouldn't have to think too hard about whether to drop out or not. All the evidence strongly indicates that he cannot win Pennsylvania since Mitt Romney is leading in the polls in that state, he cannot win any of the subsequent primary elections nor can he win the Republican nomination. Moreover, he can't even cause mischief by creating a brokered convention because the delegate math states that is not possible. 
Mitt Romney bowed out graciously when he realized that he could not win the Republican nomination and then worked hard to help McCain. Rick Santorum should do the same so that everyone can focus on making President Obama a one term President.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mitt Romney Wins Big In Wisconsin, Maryland & Washington D.C. Primary!!

Tonight was a big night for Mitt Romney. in which he won Maryland, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. A combined total of 98 delegates were at stake in these states and a substantial majority of the delegates in each state. Each of these primary elections were winner take all states in which all the delegates were up for grabs. By winning tonight, Mitt Romney increased his massive lead over his Republican competitor.
In Maryland, Romney won 53% of the vote which allowed him to win all the 37 delegates available tonight. An interesting fact came from the Maryland exit polls in which Romney TIED Santorum in Maryland among the very conservative voters. Also, 41% of Maryland voters said that the most important quality that they wanted in a candidate was someone who can beat Obama. Mitt Romney's victory in Maryland pushes him past the half way point of getting the 1,114 delegates needed to become the GOP nominee: 
Maryland was expected to go to Mr. Romney, but the delegates he secured there pushed him past an important milestone on his quest to be the Republican presidential nominee: Mr. Romney is now more than halfway towards the 1,144 delegates he needs to mathematically win the nomination.
Maryland brings Mr. Romney's delegate total to 600 according to an ongoing count by The Associated Press. Rick Santorum, with 272 delegates, has less than half that amount.
Romney also won all of the 19 delegates in Washington D.C with 72 % of the vote  Rick Santorum was not able to get on the ballot in Washington D.C. and as a result, Romney got those delegates pretty much for free.
Finally, in Wisconsin, Mitt Romney won  21 delegates with 43% of the vote. Clearly, this was a good night for Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum wanted to take Mitt Romney out by any means possible tonight but  admitted that he doubted he could win Wisconsin after it became clear that Romney had erased his lead in that state in the weeks prior to the election.
Prior to this election night, the current delegate count stood as the following: Romney (568), Santorum (273), Gingrich (135) and Paul (50). Now the delegate count stands as pictured below:
Rick Santorum suffered an embarrassing loss tonight which demonstrates his declining influence in this primary race. He's stated that he would be open to becoming Mitt Romney's VP but Team Romney shot that down by stating he's not on their list.  Part of the reason why the Romney campaign doesn't want Santorum as their VP is that he doesn't really have much influence or clout inside or outside the Republican party. 
Despite losing badly to Romney, Rick Santorum remains undaunted and vows to fight on despite the fact that it is virtually impossible for him to win the Republican nomination because Mitt Romney Romney has collected 70% of delegates thus far (646), more than all the other other candidates combined (458). Given the impossibility of getting the Republican nomination, some people are questioning Santorum's sanity in pressing forward despite getting swept out by Mitt Romney.  However, Rick Santorum has indicated that he will stay in the race until the Pennsylvania primary.
Tonight's victory demonstrated the 2012 Republican primaries are over. Rick Santorum is in denial about this fact. However, it has been announced that Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Romney campaign will now be raising campaign funds together. That's an obvious sign that the Republican party already knows who the Republican nominee will be.
Another sign is that for the first time in the Romney's campaign, supporters who came to see Mitt's victory speech tonight had to walk through metal detectors and saw an increase in the number of Secret Service agents at campaign event.
The best thing about Mitt Romney's win tonight is that it marks the beginning of the general election against President Obama. Romney is already beginning to shift to the general election by spending more of his time attacking President Obama than focusing on contrasting himself with the other 2012 candidates.  Mitt gave an great speech tonight distinguishing himself from Obama and setting out his vision for America.
The battle between Obama and Mitt Romney is now on. Go Mitt Romney!