Category Archives: Sam Brownback

Another Endorsement for Mitt Romney

 Today, the Romney campaign announced that SC State Senator Kevin Bryant is endorsing the Governor for President.  While not as significant as Paul Weyrich’s endorsement yesterday, this is still good news for the campaign.

First, South Carolina is the closest race of all the early states and the one that poses the most significant problems for Romney.  The Mormon issue will be a greater obstacle here than anywhere else.  Endorsements by elected officials in SC can only help to overcome such challenges.

Second, Kevin Bryant formerly worked on the Brownback campaign.  It is no secret that Brownback and many of his supporters loath Mitt Romney, so this shows a lot about Romney’s appeal across the board.  It may also help steer former Brownback supporters into Mitt’s camp.

Below is the official press release:

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE SENATOR KEVIN BRYANT
ENDORSES MITT ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT

Boston, MA – Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced that State Senator Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson), a former member of Senator Brownback’s South Carolina Campaign Leadership, has endorsed his candidacy for President.

Announcing the endorsement of Senator Bryant, Governor Romney said, “Senator Bryant is a strong voice for conservative principles, both at the Statehouse in Columbia and in the Anderson community that he serves.  As a pharmacist and small businessman, Senator Bryant brings real-life experience to the table when it comes to working towards solutions for solving the healthcare crisis and keeping our economy growing.  As a Senator, he is a leading advocate for lower taxes, limited government and preserving traditional family values.  I’m proud to welcome him to the team.”

Senator Bryant will join an already strong Romney for President South Carolina team that includes National Campaign Co-Chair and United States Senator Jim DeMint as well as numerous other leaders across the state.

With today’s announcement, Senator Bryant said, “Governor Romney is the only candidate with the experience, values, and vision to solve the problems facing the United States.  His experience in the private sector, success turning around the 2002 Olympics and leadership as a Governor make him uniquely qualified to be our next president.  I am proud to announce my support for Governor Romney’s campaign.”

Background On Representative Senator Kevin Bryant:

Senator Kevin Bryant Has Served In The South Carolina Senate Since 2004.  During his time in the South Carolina legislature, he has been a strong proponent of lower taxes, smaller government, and protecting traditional American values.  Senator Bryant is a seasoned grassroots leader, tripling voter turnout in the 2000 GOP presidential primary as the Chairman of the Anderson County Republican Party.  Senator Bryant, along with his father and brothers, manage Bryant Pharmacy and Supply, an independent pharmacy in Anderson.  Senator Bryant and his wife, Ann, live in Anderson with their three children.  Prior to joining Mitt Romney’s South Carolina team, Senator Bryant served on Senator Sam Brownback’s South Carolina Presidential Campaign Committee.

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Filed under Brownback, Christian, Election 2008, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics, Sam Brownback, South Carolina

GOP Debate: Winners-Mitt, Rudy, Duncan. Thompson-Yawn

As usual everywhere on the blogosphere and in the MSM there are opinions on who did well and who flopped in the debate yesterday. Many are saying that the debate did little to change the current standings, and they are largely right; at least at a national level. Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani did well. Giuliani was consistent the whole time, didn’t make any mistakes, but never really said anything memorable.

Mitt on the other hand completely fumbled the first part of the Iran question by leaving the issue up to the lawyers ((memo to Mitt: people don’t like lawyers, don’t mention them again!)) but recovered with a strong response condemning Iran. Mitt also had the best one liners and was incredible on the economic issues. The reason I would say the number one winner is Mitt is because he helped himself the most in Michigan. He new the Michigan economy and the trouble the people are having , he came across as understanding the auto industry, and he made Michigan personal. So while Mitt perhaps didn’t not have the most consistent debate, he certainly helped himself the most.

The third winner I have is Duncan Hunter. I have never really liked him and have always thought he needed to drop out of the race. But watching him yesterday made me think that he would actually be a solid and competent president. And that is more than I can say for Brownback. While he is a bit too hawkish for me, he performed well and likely scored some points with the national security crowd.

As for Fred, yes Fred, how could I wait so long to get to him you ask? It is because he doesn’t deserve to be any higher. Many commentators are saying that he did just what he was supposed to do and did fine. I ask, what was he supposed to do, not fall asleep? He gave decent answers but seemed no different than Hunter or Tancredo or anyother second tier candidate. He said ‘uh’ way to much and talked a bit too slow to keep my attention. So while he may not have ‘hurt’ himself with this debate, he certainly did himself no favors.

The other candidate that I was intrigued to watch because of his surging numbers in Iowa was Huckabee. I am a Huck fan. I think he would be a great Pres and I would be fully supporting him if I did not think that Mitt would be an absolutely incredible President. However, he too had a poor debate. Probably not because he wasn’t good, but he has set the bar for himself fairly high at debates, and this was a let down. I doubt it will hurt him much in Iowa, but it likely will with other voters in early states.

As for the others, go home and quit. Except for Ron Paul. I know, I know, we are all sick of his crazy spam-like supporters, but his is a healthy voice in the campaign. He is our “null” factor. I thought it was great that he was so unequivocal and gave straight answers, we need more politicians like that; despite the fact I disagree with him. So he has my approval to stay in as long as he likes.

What are your thoughts on the debate?

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Filed under Brownback, Candidates, Conservative, Democracy, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Media, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback

The Media on Hillary v. Barack, Romney v. GOP, & the Primaries

Ocassionally while flipping through the channels on TV I stop on cnn or foxnews or any other news program out there.   As a rule of thumb, I do not watch partisan news shows (e.g. Hannity & Colmes, Olbermann, etc), however if there is a topic that interests me I will stop and try to last as long as possible without throwing my shoe through the TV.  I have always paid attention to politics and the goings on in the world, I have always had an opinion about everything, but it was not until I started blogging that I realized how much information the media leaves out or fails to cover.  I have also noticed that they push things they want to be true regardeless of if they are more than I ever anticipated.  This is especially true of the ’08 election.

First, the media gives predominant coverage to the Democratic race, despite the fact the GOP race is ridiculously tighter.  It would be comparable to sports writers constantly writing about an AL East race where the Red Sox are up by 7 games on the Yankees in mid-September, but it is reported like it is neck and neck.  The reason for this coverage seems to be 2-fold.  First, the media wants a Dem victory in ’08 and they think it is inevitable.  Second, the media seems to have (on average) a fascination and crush on Barack Obama.  So regardless of how large Hillary’s lead gets, the media will continue say the race is closer than it looks.  The media needs to clue in to the fact that Hillary is the nominee for the Dems. Period.

The close race, despite a fairly large lead nationally, really resides in the GOP.  We’ve got Giuliani with about a 10 point lead nationally on Thompson and a twenty point lead on Romney.  Looking purely at this, it seems that Giuliani is a near lock.  However, Romney has a huge lead in Iowa and a solid lead in New Hampshire.  Additionally, he leads in Wyoming, Nevada, and Michigan, all comprising  the first five contests– and Thompson leads in South Carolina.  So Giuliani doesn’t really lead the race.  No one leads the race.  Despite this all we hear about is the democratic contest. 

This leads to my next piece of evidence.  It appears that the media (mainstream and otherwise) is fairly anti-Romney and it baffles me.  He certainly has been raked over the coals more than other candidates and is the primary target of other GOP attacks.  Usually, this is a sign that he is the biggest threat among GOP candidates, something that I believe is accurate.  However, whenever I watch news shows or go to MSM websites they always tout Giuliani, Thompson, and McCain.  They fail to recognize that Romney is a legitimate candidate and is running no worse than a solid second, or even tied for first in the race.  And McCain is all but dead (despite a slight resurrection of late).  So not only does Romney get the most negative coverage, he also gets treated like a second tier candidate.  Something is not adding up, second tier candidates are not the target of negative media attention (unless your Ron Paul).

Finally, (and this expands on some comments above) whenever media folk are summing up the race for the GOP they say something along the lines of this, “While Giuliani leads nationally, Romney leads in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and Thompson in South Carolina.”  And then they proceed to act like the order of the primaries are IA, NH, SC, FL, then super-duper Tuesday in February.  By only mentioning those select states, they act like a Romney win in IA and NH would be fairly easy to overcome.   Which, if this were the actual order, it would be in the realm of possibility with SC going to Thompson and FL likely going to Giuliani.  It would be wide open in February.  However this is not the schedule.  The schedule is/will likely be IA, NH, WY, MI, NV, SC, FL, ME, then super-duper Tuesday.   So looking at this, Romney is not only ahead in the first two states, he is ahead in the first 5.  A Romney sweep of those first five states would be near impossible to overcome.   But, probably to keep people interested, we never hear about that.  It is a slight to not only the true status of the race but also to Wyoming, Nevada, and Michigan that they are rarely mentioned. 

(Side note, we never hear anything about Wyoming.  I don’t even think a poll has been done there.  How strange.  I know that it is largelt inconsequential, but considering there are reports about polls in PA and OH, two states that vote later, one would think that at least an occasional story or poll would come out of Wyoming.  I would think that they would have at least some sway in the momentum of the race, being so early and all.) 

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Romney Opens Huge Lead in Michigan…Maybe

Great news for the Romney camp today.  According to an ARG poll,  Mitt has opened up a 26 point lead in Michigan!  Who would have thought? 

 While this is great for the campaign and demonstrates Romney’s continued claim of being the GOP front runner, let’s not get too excited yet.  I get the sense this could be another “California blunder” from when Datamar gave Romney a 17 point lead there.    First, ARG is notoriously out of step with the other polling agencies.   A couple of weeks ago in both New Hampshire and Iowa, ARG reported that Giuliani took a one point lead, while every other previously released poll by other pollsters were giving Mitt a solid 9-10 point lead.  After that ARG poll was released, those other polls showed Mitt jumping to a 13-20 point lead.  So ARG is sketchy at best. 

Despite this I have the utmost confidence that Mitt will win Michigan and win it big.  He grew up there, his father was a popular governor there, and he has the best organization in the state.  So, as of now, revel in this poll, but be skeptical.  I would bet that in the next poll by some other pollster, Romney will have around a 3-7 point lead.  Nothing comfortable yet, but getting there.  But I’ll settle for a 26 point lead for now.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Brownback, Conservative, Democracy, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, McCain, Mitt Romney, Politics, Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback

It’s time to Slim Down the Competition

Currently in the Democratic and Republican Presidential races there are too many people running for President and wasting people’s time. I categorize the candidates into three groups: 1. Candidates who have relatively legitimate shot at the nomination, 2. Candidates who are in the race based on principle and have a message to get out AND know they can’t win, and 3. Those who are only in it because, well no one knows, they are delusional. The parties break down like this:

Dems:
Group 1: Hillary, Barack, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson
It is still too early to fully discount Edwards and Richardson, and while they seemingly have no shot, we will keep them here for now.

Group 2: Dennis Kucinich – he has no strange illusions about his chances, but he is making a point by running. I think he’s nuts, but I can respect that.

Group 3: Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and Mike Gravel

GOP Candidates:

Group 1: Rudy, Mitt, McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee

Group 2: Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo (?)

Group 3: Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo(?)-He could go in either group, he is riding the fence.

Now, let’s just get rid of the group 3 folks. There is no reason for them to be in, they have not shot, and they have no message. I recognize that some of them may have good ideas and be solid Presidents but they are not going to win the nomination, so it’s time for them to go.

As for group 2, it is healthy to have candidates that are out there to push a message and to provide a different point of view, Paul and Kucinich do this for their respective parties. As annoying as the Paul supporters can be, they are dedicated and sold on his message. Both of these candidates are welcome to stay in the race as long as they are content wasting money on their candidacy.

Often, people complain that there is not a candidate that they like or can give their support to. The most popular phrase in electoral politics from the voters is, “I don’t like any of ’em.” The people that say that in this election either hasn’t really paid attention or will never like any candidate, regardless of how good one might be. The only group of people that I can think that arguably do not have a candidate to support are moderate Democrats (Hillary is not a moderate, stop fooling yourself); although I would argue that Giuliani would fill that niche nicely.

So with at least four candidates in each party’s group 1, there is a candidate out there for nearly everyone, the others all support Ron Paul. There is no reason to have 10 candidates running around and stepping on each others’ toes, let’s slim down the competition already.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Brownback, Conservative, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, Liberal, Liberalism, McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback

Ames: Called It! … Huckabee, Romney the Big Winners

Before diving into analysis, let’s review how I did on may Ames Straw Poll predictions:

Prediction: 1. Romney (by 13), 2. Huckabee 3. Giuliani 4. Brownback 5. Paul

Results: 1. Romney (by 13) 2. Huckabee 3. Brownback 4. Tancredo 5. Paul

Nailed it! Well, I was way off on Giuliani and think I (unofficially) had Tancredo in 6th or 7th. I will admit, that all through Friday and Saturday of last weekend, I was doubting my Huckabee prediction; that was a risk well taken. I am most pleased with my 13 point margin of victory prediction. Anyway, enough with that, let’s get to some analysis.

While Romney won, the biggest news was Huckabee’s second place finish. He had no buses and his organization was poor compared to Brownback. While this may not be enough for him to overtake Romney or Giuliani in January, it will certainly put him in the mix and will earn him outward support from people who were not supporting him purely because they thought he had no chance. Look for Huckabee to get a significant jump in support over the next few polls in Iowa.

Huckabee’s win also spells doom for Brownback. Sam can try to spin this all he wants, but the fact that he hired some 100 buses (by some accounts) and lost to his chief rival, Huckabee, who had no buses, demonstrates the weakness of his campaign. I would be surprised if Brownback stays in through January. It would be a waste of time and resources to do so.

This is also a big deal for Huckabee because it makes him a front runner for the VEEP slot should Romney or Giuliani win the nomination. Both of those candidates would have a fairly tough time in the South, and would absolutely need to run with a southerner. (The short list: F. Thompson, Huckabee, Kay Baily Hutchison, and Charlie Crist – but this is a topic for another day).

Mitt Romney, obviously, was also a big winner in this. And had Brownback or Tancredo come in second, as many predicted, he would have been the only big winner. The 13% victory, as I said in my Friday morning post, is just fine. It is not too low, but it is not groundbreaking. Romney did what he needed to do, and he seems to have Iowa locked up. Romney should continue to have an active presence in Iowa, but should scale it down. Invest more resources in SC, FL, and NV.

Mitt’s victory has been getting some criticism due to the claim that he spent some $400+ dollars per vote. I suppose that this is one way to look at it, but more accurately, all of this is an investment. Sure he spent a lot of money to get people there, but he doesn’t have the advantage of Giuliani, McCain, or Thompson who have built in name recognition. Romney has to work harder and spend more money than any other of the top candidates. The money he spent on Ames was purely for marketing. He did not spend the money to win Ames, he spent the money to get his name, demonstrate that he is electable, and to keep in in the top tier. This event was about January, not Ames.

Finally, some analysis on the other candidates. This morning Tommy Thompson withdrew. He was a nice enough guy and was likely competent enough to be president, but he was lacking everything else. In the debates he looked like a talking statue, he does not carry himself in a presidential manner, and he did not have the bank roll to compete with the other candidates. A person like Thompson is perfect for a cabinet postion, but nothing more.

Ron Paul also did not have a bad day, while 5th is nothing to pat yourself on the back for and was worse than his supporters thought they would do, it shows that he at least belongs a little. Paulites have been complaining about efforts to keep Ron out of the debates, they have a legitimate argument. Ron Paul is a legitimate second tier candidate, if Hunter, Brownback, and Tancredo are in the debates, so should Paul. I think he will stay in the race if only for ideological purposes. He is the GOP Ralph Nader.

McCain is done in Iowa and likely nationally.

I am starting to doubt if Thompson will really run. I’m not sure his heart is in it, at least that’s my impression.

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What Ames Means for Romney, GOP

Since Giuliani and McCain announced that they would not be participating in the Ames straw poll, most people have argued that the poll (to be held on Saturday) will have less of an impact than in previous elections.  While this is seemingly so, it will still play a significant roll in the GOP race. 

With what has happened to McCain in the last month, Giuliani is likely kicking himself for withdrawing from the poll.  Had Giuliani stayed in and McCain still collapsed, Giuliani would have likely had a whole new constituency that would have flocked his way.  At the time of his withdrawl, it seemed like the right choice to make; it looked as if Romney was running away with Iowa.  While Romney is indeed pulling out a huge lead, had Giuliani stayed in he would have had a real chance to pull out a victory or, at the worst, pull out a close second.  Close enough to give him a realistic chance in January (December now?).    Instead, baring a complete collapse of the Romney campaign, he not only has a lock on the poll in Ames, but he likely has nearly the same hold on the actual caucus. 

Ames means more for Romney than for almost anyone else (of course a few people may be out of the race come Sunday, so they may have something to say about that).  In the extremely unlikely event that Romney comes in second, his campaign would be dead; game over.  This is won’t happen though.   While some argue that anything less than a 10 point win for Romney would be near devastating, I suspect Romney would be fine.  If, however, someone comes within 5 points, Romney will have a very uncomfortable ride to the caucuses.  A 6-13 point victory and Romney is sitting pretty, but in the same place he was before caucuses.  Ames wouldn’t really affect him.  

However, if Mitt can pull out a 14+ point victory, especially upwards of 20 points, the entire GOP race changes.   The other three front runners, will of course, downplay it because they did not partipate.  But it will be hard to argue with a 17 point victory.  That type of victory would attract major media coverage and would likely have a greater impact on the national polls, drawing Romney closer to Giuliani and Thompson.

The most interesting story in Ames, however, has nothing to do with Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, or McCain.  It has everything to do with whose candidacy will be alive on Monday.    Tommy Thompson already said that he needs to finish in the top two in order to continue, so he is as good as gone.  He is not finishing in the top two. 

Both Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo will likely finish outside of the top four.  This will likely be more detrimental to Tancredo, as he seems to have been working harder in Iowa.  Tancredo will likely drop out by the end of the month with a 5th or worse finish.  Hunter hasn’t seemed to put much stock here, I think he is in for ideological reasons and will stay through at least the first caucus/primary.

Ron Paul will not drop out, at least not because of Ames.  He is one to watch for in the poll because he has an extremely loyal and dedicated following.  His following is likely not large enough to crack the top four at Ames, although I wouldn’t be shocked if it happened.  Paul will see it through at least mega-Tuesday in February. 

The most interesting race in Ames is between Brownback and Huckabee.  Both have substantial support and organization in Iowa and they have been targeting each other as of late which has increased the drama.   It is likely that only one will survive the weekend.  Romney will win and Giuliani will likely finish in the top 3.  Either Sam or Mike will take the other spot in the top 3.  The loser will finish fourth or worse.  A fourth place finish may not be the knock out punch, but it will be painful.  If one of them finishes fifth, he will drop out.  

Regardless of how significant Ames may or may not be, it will certainly help shape the GOP race – if only to pare down the number of candidates in the debates.   Romney has the most to lose with the least to gain.  The “second-tier” candidates have tons to lose, but there is a lot to gain also.  If the race is close with Huckabee or Brownback in a close second, you could see a fifth addition to the big four. 

Predictions:  1. Romney (by 13)  2. Huckabee  3. Giuliani  4. Brownback (2-4 all very close)  5. Ron Paul

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