Republican National Convention

The schedule for next weeks RNC:

Interesting that Romney is scheduled on Wednesday, along with Jindal, Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Carly Fiorina (for the long shots).  Pawlenty and Sen Brownback are scheduled for Thursday and Sarah Palin and Tom Ridge are currently scheduled for Tuesday.


Veep Stakes

The polls have stalled.  As of today,  there is no clear leader in the race to be the next President.  Voters are ready for the next big thing in this race, the VP picks. 

In previous elections, the choice of VP was seen as mostly insignificant.  What did Al Gore bring to the table?  Did Kerry take North Carolina with Edwards on the ticket?  Who thought Cheney was on the short list?  But this election is different and the VP choice WILL affect the outcome of this election. 

John McCain will benefit from his choice of VP much more than Sen Obama.  For voters, Sen McCain’s choice is more about who will balance the ticket.  For voters on the right that means a candidate with more conservative views than McCain.  For independents that means a candidate who shares most of McCain’s views but can also add something, such as experience or knowledge in economics, to the ticket.  And for Democrats unsure about Obama, it is a candidate who will not go too far right on issues important to them.  And let’s face it, no matter how healthy McCain is, all voters are looking at the number 2 guy as a possible replacement. 

For voters looking at Sen Obama and his VP choice, it is more about who will add the most to the ticket without highlighting the inexperience of a first term Senator.  Independent voters are looking at Obama’s choice as their key.  Independents who like his message of change and hope want a VP with the same wide eyed view of the world but has been around politics longer than the top name on the ticket.  Independents  who are undecided because of Obama’s inexperience and worry about his message of hope and change are looking for a VP who will keep Obama grounded in reality as he tries to run the nation, possibly someone they feel will hold him back a little.  Those on the left who are unsure about Sen Obama will be looking for a candidate who will be able to keep Obama focused on the issues important to the party.  And everyone is looking for a VP who has seen and experienced the world for longer than 9 days. 

Obama will have a harder time choosing a VP that will help him win as well because he has placed himself on such a high pedestal.  With soaring speeches infused with whimsical rhetoric, Sen Obama has captivated audiences and the media.  His VP choice will have to bottle some of this magic as well if he or she wants to be an asset to the Democratic ticket.  He or she will also have to be able to explain Sen Obama’s policies, a task not many surrogates can do on the talk show circuit without resorting to talking points. 

The influence of Dick Cheney will be felt in this election as both candidates struggle with the VP choice.  Just as Hilary wandered into politics as First Lady and redefined that role, Dick Cheney (for better or worse, depending on your thinking) redefined the role of the VP under Bush.  Both candidates need a strong choice to motivate voters to cast ballots in their favor.  For Sen Obama that task will prove to be more difficult as he tries to find someone who will not upstage him or his message.  For Sen McCain the task is to find someone to compliment him and his message.  The advantage is clearly with McCain as the Veep Stakes continues. 

(It’s going to be Romney for McCain!, and Clinton is a huge risk for Obama that won’t help him in the end)

Offending Obama

What exactly can you talk to Sen Obama about?  The latest thing you can’t discuss is his religious affiliation.  Yesterday GMA ran a piece about Sen Obama’s pastor and the radical comments he has made.  The pastor of Obama’s church for the last 20 years blamed America for 9/11, called the US the US of KKK A, and said “not God bless America, God DAMN America!”,  among other things.  In addition, church members that were interviewed did not see anything wrong with the pastor’s statements, one even saying that it’s just called being black in America.  Sen Obama’s staff has said that the Senator does not agree with some of the things the pastor has said and likened him to a crazy old uncle.  however, Sen Obama has not denounced anything the pastor has said during his campaign.

Apparently Sen Obama’s life is untouchable.  When people use his middle name, a registered name with the US government used for Social Security,drivers license etc,  he calls its use extreme. When people point out, factually, that he is receiving a very high percentage of the black vote, he calls it missing the point.  Whenever his race is brought up in any conversation, he calls it racist.  And when voters question his policies they are called Republicans because they don’t understand hope and change.  

I do not believe that race,heritage,gender or religion should be a factor in deciding how to cast your ballot.  However, when serious issues about a candidates past,  are brought up, they need to be discussed.  In Sen Obama’s case the discussion over his pastor’s comments is a legitimate one.  The pastor made defamatory and malicious comments against the USA and the government.  Sen Obama sat in the same church listening to sermons from the same pastor.  Why has he not denounced his pastor’s comments?  Mitt Romney was vetted about his Mormon beliefs and even had to have a press conference about his beliefs and those of the modern Mormon church.  Romney denounced certain beliefs that are held by fundamental Mormons.  Should we not expect the same from Sen Obama whose own church leader has said these very public comments? 

Published in: on March 14, 2008 at 9:27 am  Comments (1)  
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As often happens when you have kids at home, I saw more Curious George yesterday than news.  So it was quite a surprise when I saw Romney endorse McCain on the nightly news.  The surprise was turned to reason quickly when I remembered the volume of calls to talk radio from Romney supporters saying they would now vote for anyone else besides McCain.  Romney simply made a tactical move to not only unify the party but also set himself up as a party favorite for the VP or other nomination. 

I have said before that Romney reminds me of a boss, he is only interested in results.  When he left the primary, the party became fractured with conservatives looking for an alternative, even asking for a third party.  Now, by endorsing John McCain, Romney sets himself up as a unifying force in the Republican party.  McCain can still unify Independents and Republicans behind the America before the party sentiment but now Romney can unify the party for America.   Results that no McCain supporter can truly ignore. 

As far as the VP nod, Romney may have become a consideration yesterday and set up an alliance of convenience.  McCain and Romney do not see eye to eye and there may be better candidates for VP to sway more conservatives,  but McCain will have to consider how much Romney helps his nomination going forward.  If Huckabee starts getting fewer votes and less delegates as a result of Romney’s intervention,  can a VP consideration be tossed aside by McCain?   Romney may not accept even if he is offered the post, deciding instead to prepare for 2012 or 2016, but his influence will not be forgotten by the party.  If Romney does accept,  McCain gains another point with voters afraid of his age (despite his vitality) because there will be a strong a “youthful” VP at his side. 

 Romney’s business is taking risks and producing results.  The risks are few in supporting McCain but the results are huge for Romney.  McCain is already the front-runner so Romney’s support is just another endorsement toward the inevitable nomination.  The result of the support however, gives Romney an edge in all future political considerations. 

Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 1:05 pm  Comments (3)  
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Romney is your boss

McCain WINS!!Everyone said he couldn’t do it because he wasn’t republican enough and yet here we are tonight.  After watching the concession speeches, I am positive about a few things.  One, Romney reminds me of every boss I’ve ever had or met while I was working. He is only interested in results and be damned all those who don’t produce! (such as the voters in FL). Or more simply, the people don’t matter, only the results. And two, had Giuliani been a contender in the early states, he would have changed the race,probably in his favor. His speech was impassioned and thought provoking as he was trying to bow out, but not quite yet, of the race. After hearing him speak, I have renewed faith he can be a force in the Republican party nationally.