Mitt Romney’s Test: Surviving Tuesday

Mitt Romney’s against the ropes and Rick Santorum’s hoping to land a knockout blow on Tuesday before his own skeletons come to light, taking the wind out of the sails of his surging popularity, forcing him to compete with Romney on substance rather than rhetoric.

A double-defeat in Michigan and Arizona would imperil the Romney campaign, risking the perceived Republican front-runner’s chances of winning the nomination, in the process weakening the GOP’s chances in the fall elections.

Until recently tomorrow’s primaries were viewed as a stepping stone to the big show on March 6th known as Super Tuesday. In the past month Romney’s poll numbers have nose-dived, at one point bottoming out 15% below Santorum in Romney’s home state of Michigan.Romney’s Raider’s responded quickly by increasing the number and severity of attack ads and tripling Santorum’s advertising budget in an attempt to revive Romney’s hopes in his home state.

That strategy appears to be working. The race has tightened considerably, with Romney showing a slight two-point lead in both states. However, the latest polls also reveal that neither Romney nor Santorum is doing well against President Obama, who’s maintaining a double-digit lead over both potential Republican candidates in multiple head-to-head polls conducted on Monday, February 27th.

Repeated flubs and miscues by both candidates are undermining their campaign hopes.

In a speech for members of the Detroit’s Economic Club, the focus of Romney’s speech – the unveiling of his plan to increase Medicare’s eligibility age – was undermined by the following twittable quip, “I uh – I love this country. I should love this state. This feels good being back in Michigan. Uh – you know the trees are the right height, the uh – the streets are just right. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy Pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillac’s actually and uh – I used to have a Dodge Truck so I used to have all three covered.” That quote went viral immediately and became the fodder for satirists everywhere.

It was matched by an equally embarrassing revelation by Santorum. In a widely disseminated speech from 2008 an excited Santorum is shown telling an enraptured audience that Satan has attacked America “using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

If Santorum can pull off another sweep Romney will be reeling and possibly down for the count. However, if Romney’s Raider’s are able to revive their champion through attack ads their success may undermine the hopes for any Republican presidential candidate in the fall elections as the negativity fostered during the primaries will come to fruition in the fall’s ballot boxes.

The results of tomorrow’s primaries will determine whether or not the Republican primary becomes a veritable wasteland of negativity. A place where there are no winners, but a place where victory is awarded to the candidate suffering the fewest degrees of loss.


A Mitt and his dog

Mitt plays the role of Seamus at a town hall meeting

Mitt recreating that fateful vacation

I don’t understand all the hate being directed towards Mitt Romney. Yes, he drove from Boston to Canada with his dog strapped to the roof of his SUV. What his critics are failing to realize is that Mitt had found a brilliant solution to a terrible situation.

Mitt had just packed the last piece of luggage into his SUV when the sound of his dog yelping caused him to look up. Seamus, his beloved Irish Setter with the slow Scottish mind, was running toward the house yipping and yapping.

The sound reminded Mitt of one of those furry little soccer balls popular among the suburbanites who wanted a trained cat but settled for the closest thing they could find. As Mitt headed toward his dog the breeze brought with it a hint of the scent that had set off his friend – Rick Santorum’s skunk. Mitt realized the poor dog must have wandered into Santorum’s yard (again) and Rick had sic’d his pet Skunk, Gipper, on the poor pooch.

Rick had been threatening to do this ever since Seamus had eaten one of his children. Unfortunately neither Rick nor his wife was certain as to which child had been devoured. Mitt had brushed off the angry words of his working staff. He believed that the Santorums, being good Catholics, would simply replace their missing offspring within a year — no harm, no foul. Even the Santorums weren’t sure how many children they had, as evidenced by their creative tax returns.

There wasn’t enough time for a trip to the veterinarian, nor did Mitt want to delay his family’s vacation. Everyone was looking forward to laughing at the poor people of Canada. Mitt had planned on using the trip to teach his children firsthand about the evils of Socialism. Seamus was becoming an unacceptable delay.

The children might catch on if he replaced the dog again and Seamus Mark III arrived at the hotel after being shipped same-day from another state. That worked last summer when the kids were at band camp, but it wouldn’t work here.

Mitt had really liked Seamus Mark I and regretted the events that led up to the unfortunate accident: a luxurious yacht, a bottle of wine, and one angry swordfish. At the end of the day the score was: fish 1, dog 0.

Looking up at the sky darkening with rain clouds, Mitt had an idea.

After loading his family into the SUV, Mitt placed Seamus in his cage and then strapped the cage to the roof. As the last strap was tightened the first drops of rain, heavy and wet, began to fall.

Mitt went into the garage and looked through the dog supplies until he found what he was looking for, a bottle of Skunk Be Gone®. He returned to find the rain, which was coming down in sheets by this time, had completely soaked Seamus.

Squirting the thick liquid all over his beloved friend he worked it up to a frothy lather (something that would make Santorum smile). Mitt thought the heavy rains and his lead foot would power-wash his pooch, removing all traces of the Santorum Scent. Once they were out of the storm he hoped the 100kph winds would dry Seamus’s coat and bring it to a brilliant luster.

It worked like a charm. His children were able to laugh at scores of poor people and Seamus smelled as fresh as a warm spring shower.

Romney’s Rebound

Romney’s Rebound

The Republican front-runner Mitt Romney pulled out of a political tailspin Saturday by winning both Maine’s caucuses and the CPAC straw poll, four days after losing three contests to former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.

With eighty-four percent of the precincts reporting the state Republican Chairman Charlie Webster called the election and announced that Mitt Romney had won Maine’s Caucus with thirty-nine percent of the vote (2,190), narrowly defeating Ron Paul’s thirty-six percent of the vote (1,996). Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum received eighteen percent of the vote, while Newt Gingrich, who did not campaign in the state, received six percent of the vote.

After announcing the results in Portland Webster added that “Some caucuses decided not to participate in this poll and will caucus after this announcement,” and because of this “Their results will not be factored in. The absent votes will not be factored into this announcement after the fact.”

Webster’s decision angered members of Maine’s Republican Party and some of the presidential candidates.

Chris Gardner, chairman of the Washington County GOP and a Romney supporter, was forced to postpone the county’s caucuses due to bad weather said he knew that his county’s votes wouldn’t be included in Saturday’s results, but assumed they would be included once all of the votes were tallied. “Refusal to reconsider under those circumstances would be extremely disheartening,” he said, and then added that “I trust that the party will make the right decision here. We will proceed next Saturday. We’ll have our vote and we are going to submit it to the state party for them to reconsider.”

Mark Willis, a county coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign believes that “There’s a very good chance that you’ll find that Washington County goes for Ron Paul.”

“I wish all the caucuses met today,” Paul told a large group of supporters in Portland. He said that the margin of victory was so small that “it’s almost like we could call it a tie,” and he believes that once the Maine delegates are finally assigned that “we will control the Maine caucus when we go to Tampa” (where the Republican convention will be held in August).

This win follows another Romney victory, CPAC’s (Conservative Political Action Committee) straw poll vote, earlier in the day. Romney has been trying to wrap up the nomination, but has struggled to win over the conservative base.

Sarah Palin, a self-professed conservative and Tea Party proponent, has called for an extended political battle in the selection process for the Republican nominee. She took the stage immediately following the announcement of CPAC’s straw poll results and received the loudest applause of the entire conference, beating out all of the speakers, including all of the presidential candidates. “I believe that the competition has got to keep going,” Palin said to a jubilant audience.

“We’re hearing now, we’ve all heard from these experts — ‘We’ve got to name our nominee right now, wrap it up, no debate for you,'” Palin told the crowd, “As if competition weakens our nominee.”

“And in America, we believe that competition strengthens us,” but then added that once a nominee is chosen that all Republicans should “for the sake of our party we must stand united.”

The next primaries will be on February 28th in Arizona and Michigan. Following those contests will be Super Tuesday (on March 6th) in which ten states will be holding either primaries or caucuses.

— Something to think about —

Charlie Webster’s body language appeared to undermine the conviction of his words and have led some to speculate that tampering might have occurred. This harkens back to the 2008 Missouri Republican Primary, in which large swaths of Paul supporters were disenfranchised in order to secure Senator McCain’s nomination.

Could this be why some of the Republican faithful are calling for an extended nominating process?


The Santorum Sweep Reveals Deep Divisions within the Republican Party

Mitt Romney was poised to lock up the nomination going into Tuesday’s elections. Staking his political future in the hands of delegate-rich Colorado Romney essentially ignored Missouri’s zero delegates and conceded that Minnesota’s conservative base would likely vote for Rick Santorum, even though Romney won a decisive victory there in 2008 with 41% of the vote.

The Santorum Sweep changes everything.

Romney is reeling from the losses while Santorum is scrambling to find support and funding to compete with his well-funded and better organized rival. According to year-end filings Santorum raised $2.2 million in 2011 while Romney raised $56.8 million.

“I don’t think the conservative base changes its mind day to day,” Romney told reporters, dismissing rumors that party’s conservative base is rejecting his candidacy. “The places where I campaigned actively, we got actually in some respects record support from the conservative base.”

In a meeting in McKinney, Texas Santorum told a crowd of around 600 “Nobody ever thinks I can win anything,” and that “The gift of being underestimated is a great gift.”

The main backer of Santorum’s Super PAC “Red White and Blue,” Foster Fries said on Wednesday “I think as a result of last night there seems to be a nice flow of money, suddenly people realize that he’s got a shot.”

Keith Appell, a Republican strategist, believes that Santorum’s consistency on the issues is resonating with many voters. “In a time when there is much cynicism about the authenticity of candidates, he has that box checked.”

This is being viewed by many as a major upset. It reflects the deep divisions that have fractured the Republican Party, weakening the chances that any candidate will be able to defeat President Obama in the fall election.

A recent GOP poll done by Republican polling firm Wenzel Strategies for World Net Daily found that at least 20% of GOP voters are leaning towards voting for President Obama. Only Ron Paul fared better by losing 19% of prospective GOP voters. The poll found that 54% of GOP voters, 52% of Moderate voters, and 60% of Independent voters surveyed believed that Obama had exceeded or lived up to their expectations. Here is how the candidates fared in the head to head match:

Ron Paul:  40%           Obama: 44%

Romney:   41%           Obama: 48%

Santorum: 34%           Obama: 49%

Newt Gingrich: 36%   Obama: 50%

The next major Republican Primaries are in Arizona and Michigan on February 28. Maine wraps up its caucuses this Saturday.

Romney’s Raiders shift focus to Santorum

Romney’s Raiders are setting their sights on Santorum after sinking Gingrich’s hopes in a flood of negativity. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is focusing his attention on conservative rival Rick Santorum, who is expected to win Minnesota’s primary in spite of Romney’s victory there four years ago.

In a war of attrition Santorum appears to be strengthening his conservative base within the GOP.

He said that Romney “should not be our nominee” and portrayed him as being “dead wrong on the most important issue of the day” in regards to the health care overhaul Romney signed into law while governor of Massachusetts.

Romney, who’s expected to win Colorado after back to back victories in Florida and Nevada said Santorum was “not effective” when he was serving in the senate because of his “long history of pork-barrel spending.”

For the past two weeks Santorum has been working Minnesota and the conservative areas of Colorado, while Romney campaigned and won back-to-back victories in Florida and Nevada. Santorum is hoping to capitalize on the conservative shift in Minnesota with a victory, while placing a strong second in Colorado.

An invigorated Santorum showed up at an appearance in Rochester, Minnesota, going after Romney’s health care plan, which he referred to as “Obamneycare” while making clear that Romney becoming the nominee would be “a devastating thing” for Republicans who want to defeat President Barack Obama in the fall elections.

At the speech Santorum complained that Romney was turning his attack machine on him. “Any time someone challenges Gov. Romney, Gov. Romney goes out and instead of talking about what he’s for — he just simply goes out and attacks and tries to destroy,” Santorum said.

Santorum urged his supporter to “go out and talk to folks in the next 24 hours,” telling them it was their “charge” to “Talk to them about a candidate who understands what’s at stake in this election.”

Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are still vying for the nomination, though neither one appears to be gaining traction. Gingrich has watched his poll numbers steadily drop in the face of Romney’s negative assault. The long-term effects of Romney’s campaign tactics might undermine his chances against President Obama should he win the Republican nomination.


Trump Endorses Romney (spun news)

Donald Trump, businessman, celebrity, and owner of exotic furry forehead pets has endorsed Mitt Romney for President. It’s rumored that this is part of a new reality show, “Who wants to be a President.” Trump stated that he wouldn’t mount an independent campaign or call President Obama an illegally born Muslim if Romney secures the nomination and if every time one of the remaining candidates drops out of the race he’s allowed to go on national television and say “You’re fired!”

On Thursday Donald Trump and Mitt Romney held a brief joint press conference in Trump’s Las Vegas hotel. It had to be brief as there were numerous reports of oxygen levels dropping immediately following both gas giants squeezing inside such a small space. Trump praised Romney for being tough, smart, sharp, and for effectively destroying the dreams of many former employees.

Trump urged members of the media to vote for Romney so he’ll be unable to work for Bain. “He’s not going to continue to allow bad things to happen to this country if he’s no longer working with Bain. A vote for Mitt’s a vote to save your dreams.”

In response Romney praised Trump for having “an extraordinary ability to understand birth certificates and hipster hair styles” and for being “one of the few who has stood up to say China is cheating, and that it’s not fair because we had a monopoly” in international trade.

Nevada’s caucuses take place this Saturday, and I’m sure the voters look forward to an end of negative campaign commercials. Romney has bought won two of the first four contests, winning the primaries in New Hampshire and Florida by healthy margins due to a healthy checkbook. Both races were predominantly won using negative campaigning, which might backfire in the fall. Gingrich won South Carolina’s primary, while former Senator (and current dog lover) Rick Santorum won Iowa’s caucuses.

What’s interesting about this endorsement is that it appears to have occurred at the last minute. The day before endorsing Romney there were reports that Trump would be endorsing his rival, Newt Gingrich. In related news, it is rumored that Romney’s super PAC has had some unusual expenditures this week, details should be available shortly.

Donald Trump endorses Mitt Romney (straight news)

Donald Trump, businessman, celebrity, and author has endorsed Mitt Romney for President, and stated he wouldn’t mount an independent campaign if Romney secures the nomination.

On Thursday Donald Trump and Mitt Romney held a brief joint press conference in Trump’s Las Vegas hotel. Trump praised Romney for being tough, smart, and sharp. “He’s not going to continue to allow bad things to happen to this country” and then told Romney and his wife to “Get out and get ’em. You can do it.”

In response Romney praised Trump for having “an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works and to create jobs” and for being “one of the few who has stood up to say China is cheating” in international trade.

Nevada’s caucuses take place this Saturday. Romney has won two of the first four contests, winning the primaries in New Hampshire and Florida by healthy margins, though both focused heavily on negative campaigning, which might backfire in the fall. Gingrich won South Carolina’s primary, and former Senator Rick Santorum won Iowa’s caucuses.

It’s unclear how much this endorsement will have on voters. A Pew survey found 64% of definite and likely GOP voters would not be swayed by an endorsement from the reality television star, another 13% of likely GOP voters said it would make them more likely to back a candidate, while 20% of likely GOP voters said it would make them less likely to vote for a candidate.

This might undermine Newt Gingrich’s assertion that it is the Washington establishment out to stop him (Gingrich) in their effort to nominate Romney. “Endorsements rarely sway voters,” Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said. Then added, “The Trump endorsement undermines (Newt) Gingrich’s argument that it is just the Washington establishment that is out to stop him and nominate Romney. Trump is the ultimate outsider.”

What’s interesting about this endorsement is that it appears to have occurred at the last minute. The day before endorsing Romney there were reports that Trump would be endorsing his rival, Newt Gingrich.

This doesn’t eliminate the possibility that Trump might run an independent campaign in the fall if Romney doesn’t secure the Republican nomination. Last year Trump flirted with running for the Republican nomination, but after being roundly criticized for pushing the discredited birther issue, dropped out of the race.

In December Trump left the Republican Party after a planned presidential debate he was scheduled to host fell apart, in the process becoming a favorite target of late night talk show hosts.