Derision 2012! OK, now it counts.

The pick has been made, the game is afoot.

Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin is the Vice Presidential candidate for the republican ticket.

Cute Little bugger ain’t he.
Photo courtesy of Congressman Ryan’s official home page

Congressman Ryan serves Wisconsin’s 1st District and has since 1999.  The 1st district is home to Janesville, where Ryan is from, and the town of Racine.

You may have heard of Racine, it featured prominently in the Tom Hanks movie A League of their Own, about the Women’s Professional Baseball League that sprung up, largely in the mid-west, during WWII when Major League Baseball was going on hiatus for the war.

After the nonsense with the recall vote in Wisconsin, the stupidity with the dog on the roof (Romney), the eating of dog (Obama), the bullying of classmates (Romney), the using and selling of drugs in high-school (Obama), we may actually get to some serious issues in this campaign.

So you can forget all that crap, it counted for nothing.  We have the other player now. Now it all counts.

Tale of the Tape

Born in 1970 – so yeah he’s only 42, 23 years younger then Governor Romney, but more importantly only 3 short years younger than me.  Maybe my guidance counselor was right.

The congressman is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio with degrees in business and political science.

Married to Janna Little and has 3 children.  So we have four of the most boring faith based family men in the history of American politics going head to head for the White House.  As my friend John said the other day, they are all so alike personally, they’ll have to make stuff up about each other in order to attack.

Mr Ryan is Roman Catholic, coupled with the Governor’s Mormon faith, this is the first presidential ticket in some time without a traditional protestant.  Not sure this is an issue, no actually I’m sure this is not an issue, but with the dopiness that seems to define the President’s current campaign strategy, my gut tells me we’ll hear a little more about this than we should.

An odd but possibly serious fact – Ryan’s father, grand father, and great grand-father all died of heart attacks before the age of 60.  I’m almost positive this will come up.  Medical history is common fodder for campaigns, and that’s some serious history bro.

My $.02

In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for the President in 08, but I was probably voting for the Governor this time around.  The president’s campaigning has led me even further in that direction. This pick all but seals my vote.  I mean excluding the fact the guy is a heart attack waiting to happen, from appearances and speeches he is a no non-sense business guy with the only official budget proposal on the table.  That’s not just between the candidates, that’s all of the body politic in Washington.  His economic plan, like all plans, has rough edges but some republicans even ran from it.  Newt Gingrich, as you may recall, was one of the first to jump ship.

You remember Newt don’t ya: big ass blow hard, ego bigger than his belly, 3x loser on the marriage/adultery circuit.  Has plans for a moon base by his THIRD term as President and thinks little black kids should be taken from grade school and sent to be janitors of Moon Base Gingrich. Yeah that’s him.  Anyway he called Ryan a right wing radical on the morning talk shows when Team Gingrich thought they still had a shot, way back in February.

The right wing radical charge may well be true, and I don’t think it is, but as of this moment no one, not even the republicans, have come up with an official budget proposal even though they don’t seem to be fully behind the Ryan budget.  At least Mr Ryan is working, trying to fix things, a trait that seems foreign to most politicians in DC at the moment.

For the Governor this was a good pick.  Congressman Ryan gives the Governor a solid conservative to lean on.  It would appear to me the two of them can get the conservative base and have a good chance at all those independents and undecideds that will sway the election.

Passed Over 

Senator Rubio of Florida is a little young and Mr Rubio muddled his own history by claiming to have fled Castro’s Cuba when in fact his parents left before the crackdown started.  They didn’t escape or flee on a raft.  They bought airline tickets and basically immigrated to the US.

My pick, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, would have been a good pick, but he probably would not have brought the charge to the ticket the way Mr Ryan will.

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio was in contention but like Thune, a solid pick with no pizzaz.

Mr Ryan it is.  I like it.  I’ll probably buy the t-shirt.

I believe the R&R campaign will be civil and focused on the issues at hand.  They better be.  Unlike McCain and Plain, who sidetracked themselves with the nonsense of faith, country of origin, and other derogatory tacts towards then Senator Obama, Romney and Ryan can run on actual truths.  Truth 1: The President is a decent man, but his policies for the last four years have not fixed things.  Truth 2: They should stand up and declare that the President is indeed an American, just not the right American for the job.

All you weak minded folk can wallow in the stupidity of wether he is christian/muslim, American/Keynyan, socialist/communist.  Most of you wouldn’t know a communist or a socialist if they kicked you in the ass.  The irony is President Obama is losing votes from the progressives because he failed to deliver the socialism so many right wing nut jobs said was coming.  It would be laugh out loud funny if it wasn’t such a sad expose of the way the media, left, right, and center, seems to be able to lead the general public around by the nose.

In my opinion, much like President Bush, the current President is a good guy tying to do his best.  President Obama’s best is just not good enough.  Dissecting his polices without slinging mud at his character should be easy enough for the likes of R&R.  (credit Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina for the R&R tag)

However the President’s campaign has shown a bizarre willingness to crawl in the mud, and for no apparent reason.  The Governor never went there, but all the Presidents men seem in a rush to dive into the lowest level of the cesspool.   (A forthcoming post titled “The summer of stupid.” will go into much detail.)    The Governor has yet to make a personal attack against the President.

R&R need to stay on that path.  The high road should lead them to the White House.

You can read Vice Presidential candidate Ryan’s speech here: Romney/Ryan 2012

 

 

Derision 2012! No Recall in Wisconsin and I ain’t talkin bout cheese

In case you haven’t been glued to the state of Wisconsin politics for the last 9 months, Frank’s Place has been and is here to fill you in.  In the “He Who Smelt it Delt It” recall election of 2012, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker held off his challengers and won the recall election.

This all started when Governor Scott Walker restructured the bargaining contract with government unions in Wisconsin.  That caused a little 1960’s reenactment of the sit-in; a form of civil disobedience.  Angry Wisconsinites?, Wisconsiners?, whoever, staged a little protest in the state capitol and several democratic state senators fled to Minnesota to keep the state legislature from voting on the government union reforms proposed by Gov Walker.  Cause you know, Minnesota is where everyone flees to when they can’t stand the heat of Wisconsin or they fail to uphold their oath of office.  Looking at you Farve.  In case you were wondering, Walker is a tea party republican and the state legislature is, save those cowardly democrats who ran, is mostly conservative.

Once order was restored and those spineless democratic state senators returned to fulfill their oath and do their job, the reforms were passed.  That sparked a small grassroots movement to have the governor recalled.  Now a recall is normally used when misdeeds or corruption or provable crimes are committed by an elected official or an administration.  I can’t think of a time in our history where it was used because one political ideology just didn’t like the ideology of the opposition.  Not sure I’m fond of the precedent they set, but what do I know.  Gray Davis, former governor of California, was the last to be recalled.  He truly drove California into a ditch from which they have yet to recover.  Ineptness and lack of control over his administration led to Davis’ recall.  Plus they are still arresting some low level members of his administration.  That allowed Arnold the Governator to win the California Governor’s seat.

The grass roots movement in Wisconsin started gaining some momentum and managed to get enough signatures to trigger a recall.  That recall election occurred tonight.  It pitted Walker, the current governor, against Democrat Tom Barrett, the guy who lost to Walker in 2010.  Walker was twice as nice.  He smoked Barrett again.  Rebecca Kleefisch, the Lt. Governor, also a republican retained her seat as well.  Besides the Governor and Lt Governor, 4 state republican senators were also recalled.  It appears it will be a six pack for the GOP as they should win all six recall elections.

So, you know, well done Wisconsin democrats, well done.  It may be helpful next time if you’re going to bitch and moan about something, you remember to man up at the moment of truth.  As President Bartlett said on Twitter tonight, “way to take a slam dunk and turn it into an air-ball.”  Yes, the president from the show West Wing is on twitter, as is most of the cast.

I’m not a fan of Scott Walker.  He’s a conniving used car salesman.  However, Wisconsinites seem to like his union reform.  A key indication of that – once union dues became voluntary, unions across the state were reporting heavy losses to membership.  Some unions shut down completely.  Now we’re talking state government unions, not private unions.  Big difference.  The governor has no control over private unions.   At least not yet.  This victory tonight might signal other republican governors that state unions are now fair game and it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.  Could private unions be far behind if this becomes a trend?  It would be interesting to know how many of those who dropped out of the union when they we able, actually voted for Walker.

From the “egg on their face”  department I give you the network and cable news outlets.  They were using exit polling data that suggested this race would be close.  As the polls closed they all claimed the race was too close to call based on the exit polling showing each candidate with 50% of the vote.  Actual results started coming in and what do you know, a funny thing happened on the way to the teleprompter.  The results were no where near what the exit polling claimed.  Walker and his LT Governor crushed their respective opponents.  Which brings us to the  “what does this all mean” department.

Tonight’s election means a few things to me.  First, the death of the tea party has been greatly exaggerated.  They quietly kicked some serious hind parts in Wisconsin tonight.  I don’t agree with anything they have to say but you have to respect the effort and the outcome.

Second, Obama is smarter than I thought.  He’s going to get blamed by Wisconsin Dems for not coming to the cheesehead state once during this whole process.  Guess who was smarter.  Had the President campaigned actively for Barrett, who wasn’t even the union’s first choice to run against Walker, and the guy still lost by this much, it would have been a disaster.  This stink-bomb would have soiled the President for months, causing him headaches possibly up to the convention in September.  Now this story is a non-issue in a month maybe two.  It will not cause ripples in November.  The President’s campaigning for Tom Barrett would have not mattered one bit, so large was the margin of victory.

Third, exit polling (asking people how they voted after they come out and then projecting a percentage based on their answers) will come under some serious scrutiny during the Presidential Election in November.  It’s likely you’ll see the networks shy away from using exit polling too much.

Lastly, anyone saying this will mean anything in November is crazy.  It’s the first week of June, can you imagine the crisis; political, financial, natural, and man-made, that will occur between now and the first week of November?

My mantra during the GOP primary was delegate count, not voter count, wins primaries.  My mantra for the Presidential Election is this.  Anything that happens before the National Conventions for both parties later this summer will be meaningless to the actual election.  Now if either the President or the Governor were to be arrested, caught with a hooker,  died, etc… then all bets are off.  But for the most part, this election tonight will not cause neither Romney nor Obama to gain or lose votes.

By the way, those same exit polls that had the recall election at 50-50, had the President whacking Romney by some 15% points if the Presidential election were held today .  Guess what the Romney camp will be saying about the accuracy of those number tomorrow.   And they’ll be right.

God, I love this game.

Derision 2012! The Birth(er) of a Nominee.

The stars at night, shine big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.  Sing it with me.  Governor Romney secured the republican nomination for President last night; winning 90 of the 155 delegates up for grabs in the Texas primary.  That brings the Governors’ total to 1198, with only 1144 needed to become the nominee of his party.  So it’s official, Willard Mitt Romney is the republican nominee for President of the United States.  If he doesn’t get a handle on his newest big money donor, presidential nominee is the highest title the governor will ever get.

The Donald has become a big time spokesman for the Romney campaign.  His first effort in that regard came on the day Romney clinched the nomination.  Trump trotted out the old birther issue.  This was a mistake on so many levels.

First of all Trump is a bit of a kook and his dogged pursuit of an issue long laid to rest by the government of the state of Hawaii is only cementing the kook persona.  The Donald went at it on CNN with Wolf Blitzer Tuesday; trading blows over the absurdidty of the birth certificate released by Hawaii.  Trump maintains it’s a fake and claims a lot of prominent people agree with him.  When Blitzer pressed Trump on who exactly agrees, Trump pulled the old “I don’t name names” line.  Tough to name names when you don’t know any.   Keep in mind Trump is an entertainer and, as the President put it, a carnival barker.  This is all upside for the Donald, and all downside for Governor Romney.

To me the bigger issue is the mud.  The President was the first to crawl in it with all the attacks over the dog, the alleged bully incident, and the inaccurate Bain Capital attacks.  The Governor should have let the Obama campaign wallow in the muck by themselves.  Romney should have been happy to let the President have all that low ground to himself.  The President and his campaign did a masterful job in 2008 building up Obama’s person as an enlightened, above the fray guy.  Someone that high has a long way to fall and the thud will be loud.  Once more, the President’s own campaign seemed eager to get the fall rolling with all the idiotic moves they made early on.  Romney didn’t even have to work for it, they were tripping themselves.

Ultimately Trump is a carnival barker who always works himself to the center of any spotlight, good or bad.  He believes in the axiom of any press is good press.  Maybe when you’re trying to get ratings, but votes are different.  Romney has hooked his wagon to a carnival barker with no filter and an ego unmatched in human history.  Not sure I like that combo.  If I was advising the Governor I would tell him to use Newt’s line, yes that Newt.  Gingrich said yesterday “….we believe this is a American born, job killing, President.”  I would have Romney word it differently, make it more declarative.  He needs to say “I have no doubt that President Obama was born in America, just as I have no doubt he has been wrong for America and here’s why.”  Boom.  End the birther issue and pivot to your economic message in one easy sentence.  You’re welcome Governor.

Spel Chek Dipartmint

Rarely do the gaffes associated with a campaign originate with the nominee himself.  This is one of those cases but Romney will get tagged with it for a week, maybe two.  His campaign sent an iPad/iPhone app to Apple.  It’s supposed to be an advertisement and a campaign tracking app all in one.  Problem: the app’s opening page has the slogan “A Better Amercia”.   It happens, it’s embarrassing, it’ll go away by next week, especially with Trump on board.  And there is the one up side of embracing Trump, any gaffe your campaign or you make will be quickly overshadowed by The Donald’s antics.

Good luck Governor, I think you’ll need it now.

Tracker Change

With the nomination all sewn up, the primary voting tracker and delegate tracker on the right side of Frank’s Place will be removed.  In it’s place will eventually be opinion and polling trackers.  These will become more significant after each party has its national nominating conventions late this summer.

Stay tuned.