The Big 14: GOP 2012 Presidential Candidate Round-up

The John Birch Society weighs in on the three Republican Presidential candidates, currently in office, in the House:
Put simply, most Congressmen earned failing grades. But not all. In the House, 24 congressmen earned 100-percent scores, including presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas. (Two other House members running for President, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, earned scores of 95 percent and 89 percent respectively.) In the Senate, two lawmakers earned perfect scores — Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

There is an interesting item to note beyond Representatives Paul, Bachmann, and McCotter: Mitt Romney finished up his term and did not run for a second — which he would not have won. (it’s pretty typical: John Edwards would not have won a second term, for instance, before taking up for a Presidential bid.)  Tim Pawlenty served his two terms, both won with under 50 percent of the vote, and then took up a bid for President.  Newt Gingrich resigned his seat in 1998.  Gary Johnson started his last term in office in 1998.  Jon Huntsman left his office to join the Obama Administration.  Rick Santorum lost his last election, winning 41 percent of the vote — which, come to think of it, is a greater percentage of the vote than the one current office holder from a statewide election of the bunch– Rick Perry (last election won with under 40 percent of the vote).  Roy Moore lost his last election campaign for governor — after creeping out the Republican establishment.

Of course, the leader of this brigade of “Kind of embarrassing their last election”, and this is going to have to be mentioned in EVERY SINGLE PROFILE for Buddy Roemer — see:

It’s been two decades since Louisiana’s election from hell, the race that appeared to mark the end of the political line for then-Gov. Buddy Roemer.
The profile is worth a gander — I begin to presume that Buddy Roemer is actually running for the nomination for 2012’s version of “Unity ’08” — “Americans Elect“.  For the Republican nomination, The candidate he lost to — David Duke — is also considering a run for the President.  (Maybe Duke will win this place?)  One thing to watch for the 2012 presidential candidate — Buddy Roemer versus David Duke: the Rematch.  Who will last longest in the presidential bid?  (There are reasons to take either of them.)
One way to get out of the Buddy Roemer versus David Duke rut:
Buddy Roemer is going to  fille in on Stephen Colbert after Herman Cain dropped out, citing scheduling.  Notable is that there is nothing on Herman Cain’s schedule.  But maybe he has scheduled something with Muslim leaders.
On Wednesday, Cain met with four Muslim leaders in Stirling, Va. He said in a statement later he was “truly sorry” for comments that may have “betrayed” his commitment to the Constitution and the religious freedom it guarantees.
I do not know why Stephen Colbert picked Buddy Roemer.  Maybe Thaddeus McCotter had an already planned campaign appearance?

Thaddeus McCotter He has Five Core Principals

#1: Our liberty is from God not the government   #2: Our sovereignty is in our souls not the soil   #3: Our security is from strength not surrender   #4: Our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector   #5: Our truths are self-evident not relative.

Hmmph.  Some things to watch with Thaddeus McCotter:

Labor is keeping a close eye on Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) to see whether he disavows his pro-union record as he campaigns for the White House.

This is pretty interesting.  It’s the “Will he deviate for the broader party electorate?” line.  (Like Tim Pawlenty with Global Warming.  Like Dennis Kucinich on Abortion… Like Mitt Romney… And this is interesting:

“Unemployment rising, people struggling in the Obama-Romney economy,” McCotter tweeted Friday.

HOTCHA!  A Mitt Romney — Thaddeus McCotter Fight!
By and by, the answer to the question of the possibility of McCotter flip-flopping on his relatively pro-union voting history:

But McCotter defended his own support for the 2008 auto bailout, saying he’s favor of keeping Americans working instead of losing those jobs to overseas manufacturers, saying that opponents of the plan “don’t have a problem with communist nuclear-armed China being the manufacturing giant in the 21st century.”
It seems that he can escape the party-line trap by evoking the Nuclear status of China.  But one good thing about being tied with Michigan’s economic overlords is that this means he probably won’t have to flip flop on the environment and global warming.

Two interesting items about this Tim Pawlenty profile in the New Republic.

Perhaps the best example of Pawlenty gaming things out a few steps ahead of the pack came during his second term. Reelected by just 21,000 votes in November 2006, Pawlenty two months later made renewable energy one of the four cornerstones of his State of the State address to the legislature. “Minnesota can’t reverse global climate change by ourselves,” he declared. “But we can do our part and help lead the way. Our energy plan will significantly reduce the amount of carbon we put in the atmosphere. I look forward to working with the Democrats and the Republicans to pass and sign comprehensive historic renewable energy legislation this year.” Pawlenty endorsed cap-and-trade, and his far-reaching environmental agenda called for Minnesota to derive 25 percent of its electricity from wind power and solar energy by 2025. As Sviggum put it, “Tim was a bit more green than I was.” By 2008, Pawlenty had begun seriously discussing visiting the North Pole with Arctic adventurer Will Steger, a Minnesota native, to see firsthand the effects of global warming.

That notion died just about the same time that John McCain began vetting Pawlenty as a potential 2008 running mate. Democratic State Senator Steve Murphy, who negotiated with Pawlenty on energy-related transportation issues, recalls, “When it became public that he wasn’t going to the North Pole with Will Steger, everybody knew that Tim Pawlenty, the environmentalist, was history.”

Pawlenty now treats this period of his gubernatorial career as the equivalent of a politician’s pot-smoking college days. “Everyone has some clunkers in their record, and cap-and-trade is one of mine,” he has said. During our interview, Pawlenty ticked off practical reasons for not trekking to the North Pole with Steger, ranging from cost (“I couldn’t do it at state expense, because it didn’t seem like a good use of state money”) to time pressures (“It’s not easy to carve out a week or two of the governor’s schedule”). But, in the end, Pawlenty contended that his melting enthusiasm for both the Arctic adventure and cap-and-trade was based on a gimlet-eyed assessment of the science.

Figures.  Our political climate is out of whack.  Once upon a time, “Cap and Trade” was that “market oriented” policy idea.  It’s actually, I think, a bad policy (look into the arguments for and against yourownself) — but it is something designed to “address” the issue of global warming.  It was fiercely opposed by those “market oriented” forces once it came into focus, suggesting that the proponents pushing for it as against “market unfriendly” ideas never took it seriously in the first place — Competitive Enterprise Institute and… Newt Gingrich must now back-peddle.
Back to the base:  Nearly six in 10 white evangelical respondents believe that natural disasters are signs from God.

Second interesting tid-bit about Tim Pawlenty. 

“He is actually a very interesting person.” Sviggum makes a similar point: “He’s been branded by the national press as bland. If you know Tim Pawlenty, that’s just wrong. He’s a jokester, a prankster.” When I asked Sviggum for an example or an anecdote, he replied with frustration audible in his voice, “I’m not coming up with anything right now.”
Interesting thought about Tim Pawlenty:
I’m a little annoyed to see Tim Pawlenty clapping at Michele Bachmann after he declined to address Mitt Romney face to face.
I suppose it’s unfortunate, and the first opportunity to make amends for not going after Romney ended up at Michelle Bachmann.  (Some things to think about with Bachmann as she gets tabbed into a “mainstream”.)
Jon Huntsman, former Cap and Trade enthusiast and now hedging straddler
Huntsman has an interesting fun raising letter.
I note a sense of “religion” anxiety in this blog post.  But… wait…
Wait.  Not Mormon enough!
Says:  Jon Huntsman is Mormon like Lady Gaga is Catholic.
Ouch.
By and by, this person misses the mark on analysis:
Since the first rumors of Jon Huntsman joining the 2012 race there have been dismissals of his candidacy because of his service as Ambassador to China under the Obama Administration. Personally, I felt it was a weak and shortsighted criticism when it was first cast by the left, and instead I believe it is this service in China that gives Jon Huntsman a level of knowledge and experience that no other candidate offers. I believe this video not only proves Governor Huntsman is the only candidate with global economic experience, but it’s also a taste of what’s to come in the candidate debates should China or other global economic issues be raised by the moderators.
Basically agree that in a better world, particularly in such a non-political slot, Huntsman’s role as Obama’s Ambassador to China would be an asset and not a liability — mind you, in a Republican Primary.
For what it’s worth, if I had to rate the presidential candidates’ chances for the nomination, I’d have Romney first, and a task at splitting apart Pawlenty, Huntsman, and Perry for second.  Unconventional rating, surely, but it’s important to note I note that Huntsman has a much better chance of splitting out before the years is out than winning the nomination.
And what about that Rick Perry?:
Rick Perry took over from Jim Hightower and canceled subscriptions to Mother Jones.
And several other liberal magazines.  That Jim Hightower had subscribed to.
It is interesting to note Rick Perry as the campaign head of Al Gore’s Presidential bid in 1988 — back when Al Gore was the Southern (read: conservative Democrat) candidate, best known for his wife’s campaign against explicit music lyrics, bashing Michael Dukakis for being soft on crime and weak on the military.  Rick Perry since switched parties — which puts him in the same category as his fellow presidential opponents for the nomination — Buddy Roemer and David Duke.
These days the man he has to distance himself from is George W Bush, cowboy boots included.
Er… maybe?
Okay, fine:  Here’s what you need to know about Rick Perry’s record as Texas governor.  Also, he — like the rest — doesn’t see anything wrong with America Defaulting:
Gary Johnson is for “rebooting“.
Hm.  Fight with Herman Cain?
As for Herman Cain, who’s been doing well despite never holding office or running outside of Georgia, Johnson attributes that showing to having a name that sounds similar to one Republican voters already know well. 

“I think Herman Cain, I think a lot of that has to do with ‘McCain,’” Johnson said.

Ouch.
Note to Rick Santorum: It is a pretty bleak sign of your campaign when Dan Savage’s antics are dominating its coverage.
Ron Paul:  A dip through the “Daily Paul”:  Has Ron Paul made you more courageousJanet Napolitano: Government Has Defaulted Before!  (It’s the Gold Standard.)    NYT: Ron Paul Could Go Mainstream with Iowa Straw Poll Win.  (Yes.  America is on the edge of the seats to see the Iowa Straw Poll results.)  Help promote Ron Paul simply by looking at an article.  (Get the page view count up.  Now that’s political Activism!)

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