Tim Pawlenty

The State Of The Electoral College 26 Days Before The Election: Obama Wins By More Narrow Margin!

There has been a lot of hysteria and panic about Barack Obama, as a result of his sub par performance in the first Presidential debate last week.

But even before the Vice Presidential debate tonight between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, and next Tuesday’s second Presidential debate between Obama and Mitt Romney, when one thinks clearly and calms down, it is clear that Barack Obama is going to win the election, and that the Electoral College, which elects our Presidents, is favorable to him.

This has been discussed before by this blogger, and certainly the math of the Electoral College is in flux, but still the odds are heavily in favor or Obama winning!

Let’s start with the reality, that Obama has 237 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win, and anyone who hallucinates that somehow, the states that he is seen as having certain in his camp will magically switch to Romney, needs a dose of reality!

Obama will win the entire Northeast (except possibly New Hampshire); Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota in the Midwest; New Mexico; the Pacific Coast; and Hawaii. This is a total of 18 states and the District of Columbia. No money is being spent by the Romney campaign in these states, as Romney alienated Michigan in calling for the bankruptcy of the auto industry, and Minnesota has never been seen as a state that was seriously a candidate to back Romney’s candidacy, although if former Governor Tim Pawlenty had been Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate, Minnesota might have been in play!

Everyone talks about “swing states”, and yes, there are nine of those up for grabs, but in four of them, Obama is favored because the unemployment rate is lower than the national average—New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Iowa–with a total of 41 electoral votes, which if added to the 237 for Obama, becomes a grant total of 278 electoral votes, 8 more than needed.

Iowa is sixth lowest unemployment rate with 5.5%; New Hampshire is seventh lowest with 5.7%; Virginia is tenth lowest with 5.9 %; and Ohio is 20th lowest with 7.2%. Additionally, Wisconsin is 25th lowest with 7.5%—all five of these states under the national rate of 7.8%!

Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada have higher unemployment rates, and therefore can be seen as much more difficult for Obama to win, particularly after the “bump” in some polls for Romney after the first Presidential debate.

So let’s assume the latter four states, and even Wisconsin (as the home of Paul Ryan) go to Romney. It still is not enough, as the most he would have then would be 260 electoral votes, ten short of the number needed to win the Presidency!

The Electoral College numbers are still subject to change over the next 26 days, but it is safe to say, that the LOW point is 278 electoral votes for Barack Obama from a total of 22 states and the District of Columbia, with still the potential for Obama to win all nine of the ‘swing states”, rather than four, and a grand high total of 347 electoral votes to 191 for Mitt Romney!

What Republicans Will Never Understand: The Role Of Wealth In Politics!

Let’s face the facts: People who become politicians invariably are wealthy, or become wealthy, before they serve in public office.

The fact that politicians are wealthy is not a problem. What IS a problem is when they fail to understand the daily struggles of average Americans, and go out of the way to benefit their new status–wealthy Americans, who do not need political favors because they are already privileged!

These politicians in the Republican Party all love to talk about the struggles that their grandparents and parents went through, which is fine and good. Marco Rubio talked about it; so did Tim Pawlenty, Chris Christie, and numerous others who gave speeches at the Republican National Convention. But to get them to translate to the idea that today there are millions of people who are not as fortunate as they are, to be born to wealth as Mitt Romney was, or to live a prosperous middle class existence, and then inherit millions from family or in laws, as Paul Ryan has experienced, shows that they have no concern for the average American who is not born to wealth, or does not inherit money!

Let politicians have their wealth, but let them, as Franklin D. Roosevelt or Ted Kennedy or many other wealthy Democrats, not be so selfish and greedy as to only care about people of their social class, as wealthy Republicans have proved is their only motive in life!

FDR and Ted Kennedy demonstrated real concern and desire to help those not as fortunate as themselves and made America a better place, and that is a lot more admirable than Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan or others in the GOP having no concern about those below their class, and in fact, condemning middle class and poor people to the bottom of the pile, forgetting it is not only adults, but children and the elderly being abandoned in the name of greed, selfishness, and lack of compassion!

Amazing Transformation Of Presidential Campaign Of 2012: From Barack Obama’s Economic Record To Protection Of Medicare!

The last 72 hours have been unbelievable, the best stroke of luck possible for President Barack Obama and the Democrats!

It looked as if the issue of the campaign would be the economy, which Mitt Romney was trying to make it for the past few months.

Instead, it is the Paul Ryan plan for transforming Medicare to a voucher system over ten years that has become the issue of the campaign, and it is an issue which Barack Obama can use effectively against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

It is already evident that Mitt Romney knows the whole campaign has been upended by his unwise choice of a lightning rod, Paul Ryan, who is being eviscerated by media investigations of his contradictions and hypocrisy on so many issues!

But Mitt Romney is stuck with his choice, and will pay dearly for it, as many Republican leaders privately admit, but not for attribution!

It is very likely that the election has been lost for Mitt Romney, and won for Barack Obama, simply on the blunder that Mitt Romney, a cautious person politically, committed by going for a controversial running mate, rather than a much safer candidate such as former Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota or Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. There would have been far less to criticize and attack on either of these political leaders, had they been chosen to be the Vice Presidential candidate!

One can be sure that, secretly, both Pawlenty and Portman are glad they are not part of a sinking ship, although both will profess support for Romney all the way to the bitter end!

And the likelihood is growing that the Republican Party will suffer by losses of seats in either or both houses of Congress, and possibly lose control of the House of Representatives, because of the “coattail” effect of having a heavy weight at the top of their ticket in November!

The “Might Have Been” Vice Presidents And Presidents!

Every four years, Presidential candidates pick a running mate for Vice President, and every four years, there are potential running mates who are passed over.

Sometimes, these potential running mates for Vice President may feel as they are “a bridesmaid, instead of the bride”, when they come close to being the choice more than once.

And sometimes, a potential running mate passed over sees someone else become President by succession.

Examples in the last half century are numerous!

Florida Senator Bob Graham was on the “short list” for both Bill Clinton in 1992 and Al Gore in 2000.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty made the “short list” for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

Missouri Senator Stuart Symington was the favored choice for John F. Kennedy in 1960, but Lyndon B. Johnson was picked instead for political and sectional reasons, to gain the support of the South for Kennedy, despite his Catholicism. Of course, Johnson went on to be President.

Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy was on the “short list” to be Vice President with Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, but Hubert Humphrey was selected instead, and McCarthy went on to become a major critic of the Vietnam War, and challenge Johnson in the New Hampshire primary in 1968. Who knows whether or not Johnson might have avoided a primary challenge altogether if he had picked McCarthy in 1964, although it is still likely that Robert Kennedy would have challenged Johnson for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968 in any case. And of course, there were rumors that Kennedy was considered by Johnson to be his running mate in 1964, which would have made it impossible for Kennedy to challenge Johnson in 1968 altogether. But then, maybe Humphrey would have done so instead, without the trap of being Vice President under Johnson!

Mayor John Lindsey of New York City was on the “short list” for Richard Nixon in 1968, and had he been on the ticket and become Vice President, he would have succeeded Nixon after the President resigned due to the Watergate scandal!

When Nixon faced having to replace Spiro Agnew in 1973, due to scandal, he considered John Connally, former Democratic Governor of Texas, but who had become a Republican and was his Treasury Secretary, as his new Vice President, but knew that there would be a battle for him to be confirmed, so Nixon picked Gerald Ford instead, and Ford became President. Connally might have been President, if he had not alienated Democrats by switching parties!

So if things had worked out differently, we might have had President Symington in 1963, President Lindsey in 1974, or President Connally in 1974, and President Johnson might have had no challenge, run and defeated Nixon in 1968!

And poor Bob Graham and Tim Pawlenty were passed over twice each, by two different candidates for President in their parties! Graham never had another opportunity, and Pawlenty will not, either!

The Right Wing Push For Congressman Paul Ryan As Vice Presidential Nominee

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is being pushed by right wing forces, including the Wall Street Journal and the National Review, as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate, as the time nears for the announcement of who will be the former Massachusetts Governor’s Number Two!

Ryan is very young (42), handsome, articulate, and willing to get into the fray, as he is an ideologist, out to privatize Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, therefore dramatically changing American economic and social policy. His budget plan, drawn up as House Budget Committee Chairman, is highly controversial.

But for a man like Romney who emphasizes the private sector, Ryan is just the opposite, as his entire career has been in government, a contradiction of what Romney thinks is his own advantage over other politicians.

If Ryan is picked, he would be the fourth Vice Presidential nominee of the GOP who would be extremely young, as compared to the Presidential candidate, an interesting scenario, as Richard Nixon was 40, more than 22 years younger than Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, and Dan Quayle was 41, more than 22 years younger than George H. W. Bush in 1988. Ryan at 42 is also more than 22 years younger than Mitt Romney. Of course, Sarah Palin was 28 years younger than John McCain in 2008 at age 44, the all time difference in age.

Of course Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida are almost a year and a half younger than Ryan, at age 41, so would be actually 24 years younger than Romney, were they to be chosen.

The question that also arises is whether Romney really wants a strong willed, outspoken man to be his running mate, since he loves to be in charge of everything he runs, without question. Who would he be most comfortable with is certainly a factor in who he chooses.

The gut feeling is that either he goes with Ryan as a bold pick, an ideological pick, hoping to benefit from the clear cut alternative to what Barack Obama represents, or surprises everyone by selecting a woman, such as Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, a swing state and a pitch to women, similar to what John McCain did with Sarah Palin in 2008. Ayotte, while certainly better than Palin, would still be a controversial pick, as her total experience in government is extremely limited.

Picking Senator Rob Portman of Ohio or former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would make more sense long term, but would be boring, and would not please the ideological right!

We will learn a lot about Mitt Romney when he picks his running mate in the next few days, already a long time overdue!

General David Petraeus As Vice President? Why Would He Do It?

Rumors are flying that four star General David Petraeus, presently head of the Central Intelligence Agency, and formerly engaged in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and seen as a national hero, might agree to resign his position in government to run as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate.

Certainly, if Petraeus did so, it would electrify Mitt Romney’s candidacy, and give him a real shot at winning the White House over President Barack Obama.

But although Petraeus is registered Republican, it is hard to imagine him giving up his responsible position in the government for the Vice Presidency.

Yes, Petraeus could be an active Vice President, and would certainly add stature to Romney in the area of foreign policy, national security, and defense, in which Romney has no background at all.

But despite that, Petraeus, having worked with Barack Obama very closely, and with the understanding that the two men have high regard and respect for each other, it is inconceivable that Petraeus would agree to run against the man, who, technically, has been his boss.

And the question of who would replace Petraeus, with his depth of knowledge and expertise, is also one to consider, and to imagine Petraeus really doing this, considering it is still a long shot that Romney would win the Presidency, is hard to conceptualize.

We will know in less than a week what Romney is doing, but again consider the likelihood of Paul Ryan or Kelly Ayotte as more likely, with Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty as safer choices and alternatives!

The Vice Presidential Selection: More Important Than Many People Realize!

The office of the Vice Presidency has often been ridiculed, and some have argued for its abolition by a constitutional amendment, but that is a wrong headed idea.

The Vice Presidency has become an important office since the 1950s, when Richard Nixon transformed the office, both by his own ambitions, and the willingness of President Dwight D. Eisenhower to allow the office to expand.

While Lyndon B. Johnson under John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey under Johnson were not used effectively by their Presidents, and while Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon and Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush could be seen as disasters in office, still the office has grown in stature and accomplishments otherwise.

So Gerald Ford, in his brief Vice Presidency under Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller under Gerald Ford, Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan, Al Gore under Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney under George W. Bush, and Joe Biden under Barack Obama have had a great impact on the office, and made it an office of real power and influence!

When one realizes that Ford and the first Bush ended up in the White House, as did Nixon and Lyndon Johnson; and that Humphrey, Mondale, and Gore were Presidential nominees; and that Rockefeller and Biden both sought the Presidential nomination, one realizes that choosing a Vice Presidential nominee is not to be regarded as insignificant to the nation!

But can we afford another Agnew, Quayle, Geraldine Ferraro, or Sarah Palin to be a possible heartbeat away from the Presidency?

The answer clearly is NO, so Mitt Romney, by taking his time to choose a running mate, hopefully is carefully considering who could really contribute to the office, and help Romney if the two of them end up in the White House!

If one decides to forget everything but experience and competence, and ability to add to Romney’s candidacy, then the choice must be one of the following: Condoleezza Rice, Rob Portman, or Tim Pawlenty.

Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Bob McDonnell, John Thune, and Kelly Ayotte all have issues and problems if they are chosen, and one could argue that some of them could not match the list of Vice Presidents who have served, as not being on their competency level.

But if one had to predict what now seems likely, don’t be surprised that Mitt Romney selects Paul Ryan, which would be an unmitigated disaster, as the controversy surrounding him and his economic plans would reverberate against Mitt Romney.

The gut feeling is that Ryan is on the top of the list, followed by Kelly Ayotte, who is simply not qualified to be President, and would not be much better than Sarah Palin was in the 2008 election cycle.

So bet on Ryan or Ayotte, but if Romney does the best for the nation, it would be Rice, Portman, or Pawlenty!

One Month To The Republican Convention: Time To Reconsider Mitt Romney Being The GOP Presidential Nominee, Before It Is Too Late!

The Republican National Convention begins one month from today, and the party is in deep trouble.

It has a presumed nominee who is a total disaster, an embarrassment to the party in so many ways, it cannot be calculated.

With all of his faults and shortcomings, it was thought that Mitt Romney would conduct himself properly at the Olympic Games in Great Britain, but instead he managed to alienate, totally, our closest ally with his stupid, inane comments, and his blunders and forgetfulness–mentioning the secret intelligence service, and forgetting the name of the opposition leader, after claiming there were problems with holding the Olympics in London, as compared to Salt Lake City. The Mayor of London was incensed, along with Prime Minister David Cameron, and rightfully!

This man is now being compared by the British press to George W. Bush and Sarah Palin!

It is clearly time for the GOP to consider nominating someone else,and the answer might be to have Romney pick a running mate, who would then be nominated for President, and the best choice clearly would be former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the race after the straw vote of the Iowa Caucuses, but to many seemed an acceptable candidate, somewhat boring, but still pleasant and competent!

Picking Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal or Chris Christie would be far worse, with only Rob Portman, Senator from Ohio, being acceptable as an alternative to Pawlenty.

Would Pawlenty or Portman win over Barack Obama? Highly unlikely, but at least neither would be an embarrassment to the party or the nation!

It is time for Mitt Romney to have the courage to back down from the nomination, but he will not do so, so he must be forced by the GOP delegates to do so!

Anyone who now still thinks Mitt Romney will be the next President needs to have his head examained!

Mitt Romney’s Vetting Process For Vice President: Different Than For Himself!

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential nominee, is deep into the process of vetting potential Vice Presidential running mates.

Among those thought to be in the competition are:

Tim Pawlenty
Rob Portman
Paul Ryan
Bobby Jindal
Marco Rubio
Condoleezza Rice
Bob McDonnell
Kelly Ayotte
Chris Christie
John Thune

What is being expected of any, and all, of the above candidates?

A complete vetting, including many years of tax returns!

Hey, wait a minute here! Mitt Romney wants these people, or at least those on the short list, to give information about their finances?

If that is so, which it is, WHY is it that Mitt Romney refuses to give the American people an accounting of his finances, as well?

Why is it that potential Vice Presidential candidates must do this, and Romney will not do so?

Does Mitt Romney think he is a “privileged character”, who does not have to meet the same standards as those who might be his Number Two, and ALL presidential nominees or contenders from his father George Romney on through both Bushes, Bob Dole, John McCain, and all others?

That is the answer: Mitt Romney THINKS he is a “privileged character”, who is “entitled” to play by his own rules, and to remain secretive about his finances!

Why would he be so vehement about this, if there is nothing to be concerned about in his finances?

BECAUSE, obviously, there is a lot to hide!

But one thought crosses one’s mind: Mitt Romney handed over 23 years of financial information to John McCain in 2008, as he was on the short list to be McCain’s running mate!

So the McCain campaign has these records, and if Mitt Romney refuses to release them, they should be released against his will!

Of course, one would say that would be illegal, which, technically it would be!

And certainly, Senator McCain, being a loyal Republican, is not about to do such a thing to his fellow Republican!

But what about the thought that to refuse to reveal information that EVERY other candidate in the past 40 years has done SHOULD be seen as disqualifying someone to be President, and should actually be illegal itself!

In conclusion: Mitt Romney is trying to hide something, probably a lot, as if that were not so, why not release the financial information?

So as Vice President Joe Biden said the other day; Mitt Romney wants Latino and Hispanic immigrants to be forced to “show their papers”, but he is not willing to show his own papers!

It is a great laugh line, but also totally TRUE!

Is Mitt Romney A Pathological Liar?

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential nominee, is looking worse every day he is on the campaign trail.

Romney is demonstrating to millions of Americans that he has, sadly, what seems like a pathological liar syndrome!

He has “flip flopped” on every issue he has ever taken a stand on, since he first ran for public office in 1994 against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts, when he said he would be to the left of Kennedy on abortion and gay rights!

He told us “RomneyCare” was good for Massachusetts, but now wishes to obliterate “ObamaCare”, despite the fact that the Supreme Court has upheld it, and it has brought great benefits to millions of Americans, who would now lose those benefits!

Romney has refused to release any tax returns except for 2010, and has delayed submitting his 2011 taxes, even though his father, George Romney, had released 12 years of tax returns back in the 1960s, and EVERY other candidate for the Presidency, including recent GOP nominees John McCain and George W. Bush did so, and even potential running mate Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota Governor, did a complete vetting when considered for Vice President with John McCain in 2008!

Romney has sent a large portion of his massive fortune to accounts in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda (rather than the mistake of the author, who had previously said the Bahamas), and Switzerland, and refuses to release any information about those accounts

Romney refuses also to give more details about his years at Bain Capital, about his governorship in Massachusetts, and even denies remembering the bullying of a schoolmate in high school that others remember vividly! And he also thinks that putting a dog on the roof of an automobile for many hours while on a vacation trip is something that a dog, or any pet, would automatically love!

Romney’s body language reveals so much about him, and his failure to look people or the camera directly in the eye, also reveals that he is constantly lying!

Now there are reports, not yet proven, that he and his son Tagg MIGHT have been involved in a Ponzi scheme, which, even if not proved true, cannot surprise anyone who has watched him dart back and forth when answering questions, or making daily changes in his stand on issues!

One has to say: Is this what the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike wants as the inheritor of their traditions and beliefs, which made the party a great institution historically?

Is this what the American people deserve–a conniving, open faced liar, who seems not even to know he is lying and covering up, since it seems pathological in nature?

One would have to worry about high level corruption under a Romney Presidency, since the top one percent would have a “field day”, with secretiveness, paranoia, and personal insecurity returning to the White House!

If this sounds like Richard Nixon returning, in many ways it would be, EXCEPT that Nixon, believe it or not, also had real PRINCIPLES mixed in with his faults and shortcomings,while Romney is just a very wealthy guy who wants power for power’s sake and to enrich his friends and his own pockets!

Now some might say, come on, ALL politicians are crooks, are self servers, are liars!

To which the answer is YES, MANY are, although not all! But there are levels of lying, and being self serving, and Mitt Romney is the true champion on the top of the heap in that regard!

America deserves better and can do better than Mitt Romney!