Continued from Part 01 and Part 02

Jon Huntsman

If it were up to me, which, of course, it isn’t.. I’d send Jon Huntsman to attempt to defeat President Obama in the next election.

IMO, he carries himself Presidentially, which makes sense, since he served in the administrations of four United States presidents… Something’s gotta rub off, right? >:D

The Wall Street Journal posted his jobs plan, entitled “Reigniting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”, which includes:

President Obama believes we can tax and spend and regulate our way to prosperity. We cannot. We must compete our way to prosperity. To do that, we must equip the American worker and the American entrepreneur with the tools to compete in the global economy.

In the long term, this will mean dramatic education and immigration reform, but in the short term, tax simplification, regulatory reform, and changes in energy and trade policy will jump-start the American economy and allow us to export more and import less, creating sustainable growth and jobs.

We need a revenue-neutral tax overhaul modeled after Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reform package—which will require taking on sacred cows. This means eliminating special interest carve-outs, loopholes and deductions while lowering rates across the board so our tax code is flatter, fairer, simpler and more conducive to growth.

This is similar to the reforms we implemented in Utah, which allowed our state to lead the nation in job creation and our economy to grow at triple the national rate.

In the debate, Mr. Huntsman said “We have to remember, that in order to beat President Obama, we have to have somebody who’s been in the private sector, understands the fragility of the free market system, has been a successful governor as it relates to job creation, and knows something about this world.”

I agree entirely that unless the Republicans send someone well-rounded to the big dance, there’s no way they’re going to win.

Apparently, there are 14 months left in the Obama Administration, which is approximately 420 days. The day after President Obama unveiled his jobs plan with Congress sitting right in front of him, so everybody knows the Republicans are aware of the proposed policies.

This means that every. single. day. that the Republicans don’t “Pass. This. Bill.. Right Away” is going to be a day that they’re perceived, fairly or otherwise, as not wanting to help teachers, schoolchildren (who would have better buildings to go to school in), construction workers and war veterans.. the groups explicitly named in the speech.

Of course, they *CAN’T* pass that bill, because a) people would get jobs and be able to feed their families, save their homes and spend money again, resulting in an Obama win in the 2012 election, and b) the Republicans’ ideas about how to escape this gloomy economy are drastically different from the Democrats’ ideas.

I personally don’t understand this, as I’m not a politician and I don’t have any employees… It seems to me that if someone asked a Republican or a Democrat whether they should cross the street when the light is green or when the light is red, they should *BOTH* give that person the exact same answer.

If not, the person that says “While the light is green” should be able to debunk the other person’s assertion, or vice versa.

There’s no way you should end up with a bunch of supposedly-educated, grown-ass men and women coming up with mutually-exclusive solutions to a problem, unless BOTH solutions work.

Anyway, I would send Huntsman. He doesn’t have the backing to actually win the Republican nomination this year, but I think he’d be a good selection for Vice President.

Michele Bachmann

Did I ever consider that Michele Bachmann might be sent to attempt to defeat President Obama in a Presidential election? Nope.

Nope. Not at all. No way. Not a chance.

She got a good start because she was the only available alternative to Mitt Romney. She won the Iowa Straw Poll, and Republicans started making a big deal about her chances.. except, look what the Straw Poll actually is. 😀

Ames Straw Poll

The poll has been described as a cross between a political convention and a county fair, where Iowa voters have a chance to mingle, eat barbecue and have a little fun. The party divides the venue into sections and auctions each to the candidates, who can then set up booths to present their case to the voters. The larger areas and those closest to the entrance often fetch the highest price. In 2011 bidding started at $15,000 and ranged to as high as $31,000 (bid by Ron Paul). [1]

Non-Republicans are allowed to vote in the Ames Straw Poll. However, all voters must be at least 16 1/2 years of age, be legal residents of the state of Iowa or a student attending an Iowa university/college, and purchase a ticket priced at $30, however some campaigns pay the fee for their supporters.[2] Voters have their hands stamped or their thumbs dipped in ink when entering the voting area so that they cannot vote twice. Ballots are put into electronic voting machines.

Did you see the bold print? 🙂 The big joke behind Michele Bachmann beating Ron Paul by 152 votes (4,823 to 4,671) is that she actually paid for 6,000 votes.

Politico: “Michele Bachmann has now given away 6,000 tickets at the Ames Straw Poll, a source familiar with the organization said. It’s a number that suggests she’ll leave the event with a serious head of steam. “

So, that “poll” is more an indication of organizational and fundraising abilities than someone’s nationwide electability.

Also, if it meant anything at all, they would have had to give Ron Paul his propers for just barely coming in second place. Instead, they chose to ignore him and talk about Bachmann and Pawlenty, who *immediately* dropped out of the race after receiving 2,293 votes, or approximately HALF the votes that Ron Paul received.

Anyway.. The media gassed this story up ad infinitum until Rick Perry joined the race and the ensuing polls started showing him quickly assuming the lead for the RNC nomination.

Unfortunately, the key aspect to Mrs. Bachmann’s campaign appears to be “I’m not him.”

Whenever she says something about herself, it’s either historical or hypothetical.

It’s either something she was involved in in the past, like being the first one to suggest blah blah legislation, or it’s some entirely unfounded speculation about the future, like $2/gallon gasoline prices.

This kind of stuff will get you a lot of fans, and she’ll make a lot of money on the book and lecture circuit when this race is over, but people get elected by saying “This is what I’m planning to do, and this is how I plan to make it happen”, like when Mr. Huntsman said in the debate “As governor of Utah, we were the #1 job creator in this country during my years of service. Mitt, 47th, just ain’t gonna cut it, my friend.”

“If you elect me, I’ll magically force gas prices back down to $2/gallon in a free market economy” will only get the dumbest of voters to vote for you.

There’s no crossover value there. Nobody’s going to say “You know what?.. I believe she can do that! :D” and sign on.

The time for that is over. Her advisors need to get her talking about specifics and unique qualities of a Michele Bachmann Presidency. Saying “I’m not Obama” isn’t going to get her elected. Saying “I’m not Romney” isn’t going to get her elected either.

She can’t even say “I’m not Perry”, because that’s where all of her “I’m not Romney” votes went.. To Mr. Perry.

On top of that, not answering questions miiiight get you the nomination, but it is *NOT* going to get you elected.

When a token Hispanic is brought on the show, specifically to ask you to your face if you would deport 11 million Hispanics who are here in the USA illegally (once you created a 2,600 mile fence, put a bunch of troops along it and launched the [unarmed, right? o_O] drones), your job is to answer “Yes I would” or “No I wouldn’t” or “Yes I would, unless they had children that were born here” or “Yes I would, for the ones that have criminal records of any kind” or some variation on that theme.

Starting a response with “What I want to say is..” and then talking about whatever you feel like, instead of answering the question doesn’t make you look unique. Neither does wasting your time talking about what President Obama did or didn’t do. That helps Republicans in general, but not *YOU* in particular, so if your goal is to assist Mr. Romney or Mr. Perry in becoming nominated, keep up the good work.

Anyway.. Unless she changes her strategy, she’s going to continue to slip in the polls for speaking about vague concepts instead of specific reasons why someone should nominate and elect HER, in particular, as opposed to “Anybody except Barack Obama.”

Mitt Romney

I don’t have much of an opinion about Mitt Romney because the media never really focused on him, being that he was considered to be the frontrunner from the giddyap.

I had seen sound bites from him on the news, but hadn’t heard him speak freestyle about anything.

I heard a list of documents being read that show him as having said one thing at one time, and then a completely opposite thing at another time.

During the debate, a commentator said “Bain Capital, a company you helped to form, among other things, often buys up companies, strips them down, and resells them at a net job LOSS to American workers.”, to which, he replied: “In fact, we started businesses at Bain Capital, and when we acquired businesses, in each case, we tried to make them bigger.. make them more successful and grow. They didn’t all work, but when it was all said and done, when we looked at the record we had had during the time I was there, we added tens of thousands of jobs to the businesses we helped support.”

Now.. That’s a very well crafted answer 🙂 however, it doesn’t address the commentator’s point.

Similar to the “Would you deport 11 million illegal aliens?” question, “Were you responsible for more people LOSING THEIR JOBS than becoming hired, during that period of time, with that particular company?” requires a “Yes, I was” or a “No, That’s not correct” answer.

Being slick and saying “We added jobs to the businesses we helped support”, a) says nothing about the businesses you absorbed and downsized (fired workers who previously had jobs) in order to “support” the businesses you wanted to bring up, and b) says nothing about the companies that fall under the category “They didn’t all work”.

This slick way of crafting sentences will get you nominated, but the other team’s going to have A FIELD DAY with all the information that’s available about you that you successfully talked around.

In fact, they’ll LET YOU talk around it so you’re the nominee and they have an easy time dismantling your viability as a candidate.

Speaking of Field Days.. The dreaded and oft-maligned Obamacare utilized Romneycare as a prototype:

This means that nobody’s taking Romney seriously when he talks down about Obamacare, *AND* that every time the Republicans talk down about President Obama because of his healthcare plan, Romney catches some flak too.

Mr. Romney was asked “Do you agree that a President realistically can do anything about gas prices in a free market?”, in an attempt to bait him into directly controverting Michele Bachmann’s “$2 Gas” claims.

His reply was “What the President can do is make sure we stop sending 500B to other countries, to buy energy from other people. We are an energy-rich nation, and we’re living like an energy-poor nation.”

Meanwhile, Jon Huntsman’s answer was “Of course not. We live in a free market society. I’m not sure that dictating prices is going to get you anywhere.”

This vague behavior is what’s NOT going to get you elected. Not being willing to say “Nah.. I doubt she can actually do that” will get you nominated by YOUR party, but if you’re going to need Independent votes in the general election, and you’re already well known for saying whatever people currently want to hear so you can try to get elected, now is the time to start making stands and sticking to them.

Last, but in no way the least… The “Tea Party” has been credited with stalling the USA Debt Ceiling negotiations, which are WAY MORE IMPORTANT than Mitt Romney being elected to a government office, and now, you have things like this happening:

Mitt Romney Targeted by Joe Miller’s Tea Party Group

ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: The day he’s set to announce his presidential ambitions, Mitt Romney is coming under attack by a Tea Party group that says the former Massachusetts governor isn’t conservative enough to represent conservatives.

The Western Representation PAC, a Nevada-based group led by the infamous former Alaska Senate candidate and Tea Party darling Joe Miller, launched its “Stop Romney” campaign today, designed to prevent Romney from becoming the GOP candidate.

So, there are quite a few forces that will oppose Romney’s efforts to reach the Dragon’s Lair.

Rick Perry

This leaves us with (unless Chris Christie or Paul Ryan hop in the race) the *probable* Republican Nominee for 2012, Rick Perry.

Sorry to use the same term three times in one episode, like Dave Pensado does, hehe, but the Democrats are going to have A FIELD DAY with attack ads if Perry gets the nomination.

Besides the gems that he generates on his own by speaking while cameras are rolling, there are articles like this:

Top 10 Things Texas Gov. Rick Perry Doesn’t Want You To Know About Him

(8) PERRY IS A STIMULUS HYPOCRITE WHO LOUDLY CRITICIZED FEDERAL RECOVERY MONEY BUT USED IT TO BALANCE HIS STATE’S BUDGET: As the nation struggled to avoid economic collapse in 2009, Perry was a vocal critic of Congress’s recovery package, even advocating that Texas reject the money because “we can take care of ourselves.” Months later, after Perry was able to balance the state’s budget only with the aid of billions in federal stimulus dollars, Perry again repeated that he would reject federal funding, arguing that the government “spends money they don’t have.” Five months later, Perry again took advantage of federal funding to issue $2 billion in bonds for highway improvements in Texas. Even so, the state faces a $27 billion budget deficit.

So I’ll save myself the time and skip over all the conspiracy theories surrounding Rick Perry. You can Google them yourself, if you’re interested. None of them are going to stop him from getting the nomination, especially since he has Tea Party support and Mitt Romney doesn’t.

For some reason, his campaign manager didn’t buy rickperry.com o_O but at least, he was able to get rickperry.org.

If you happen to know him, you should strongly suggest to him that he buy rickperry.com before the Democrats purchase it and hilarity ensues. >:D

Anyway, I went to his http://www.rickperry.org/issues/jobs/ page, and here’s what it says:

No other candidate for President – Republican or Democrat – can match Rick Perry’s record on job creation.

Rick Perry’s leadership has helped build the nation’s top economy. Since June 2009, more than 40 percent of all net new jobs in America have been created in Texas.

He cut taxes, including a historic property tax cut and a tax cut for small businesses. He established incentive funds to encourage employers to create thousands of jobs and invest in new technology. And he signed budgets that invest billions more in education, as well as some of the strongest lawsuit reforms in the country – including a “loser pay” law – to help create jobs.

Rick Perry’s support for low taxes, reasonable regulations, a predictable civil litigation system and an educated workforce has produced a job climate consistently ranked the best in the nation.

Perry’s pro-growth agenda, combined with real spending reductions, will lead to a new era of economic growth and the creation of millions of American jobs.

Which doesn’t actually say anything, especially compared to Jon Huntsman’s http://www.jon2012.com/blog/Aug-31-2011/Time-Compete-American-Jobs-Plan page, which includes:

       Tax Reform

  • Simplify The Personal Income Tax Code And Lower Rates.
  • Eliminate The Alternative Minimum Tax.
  • Eliminate The Taxes On Capital Gains And Dividends In Order To Eliminate The Double Taxation On Investment.
  • Reduce The Corporate Rate From 35% To 25%.
  • Regulatory Reform

  • Repeal Existing Regulations, Including Obamacare And Dodd-Frank.
  • Dramatically Rein In The EPA.
  • Curb The Excesses Of “Independent” Agencies.
  • Reform The FDA By Streamlining The Testing And Approval Process.
  • Enact Comprehensive Patent Reform.
  • Stabilize The Housing Market.
  • Energy Independence

  • End OPEC’s Pricing And Supply Power, Promote Jobs, And Increase Overall Domestic Supply.
  • Level The Playing Field And Create A Fully Competitive Market For Cleaner Domestic Alternative Transportation Fuels.
  • Free Trade

  • Make Free Trade A Priority Again.

The basics seem to be a) cut taxes, b) make government smaller, spending less money on it, c) lower regulations (stuff like how much toxic waste your company’s allowed to dump in a river), and d) create an environment where small business owners and “Job Creators” aren’t afraid to “risk their capital”.

Here’s the very first interaction that the debate moderator had with Mr. Perry:

Moderator: Texas ranks last among those that have completed high school. There are only 8 other states with more people living in poverty. No other state has more working at or below the minimum wage. Is that the kind of answer that all Americans are looking for?

Perry: What Americans are looking for is someone that will get this country working again. We’ve put the model in place in the state of Texas. We’ve created a lot of jobs.

Moderator: But you know by now the counter argument to that is the number of low wage jobs and that the fact that unemployment is better in over 1/2 of the states in The Union than it is right now in Texas.

Perry: – The first part of that comment is incorrect, because 95% of all the jobs we’ve created have been above minimum wage. Lower the taxes. Lower the regulations, so business owners will risk their capital and create jobs.

“How do I get a job?” is going to have to be the pivotal issue in the 2012 election.

In fact, it may very well be “How do I get a job? *AND* What kind of a job will it be?”.

I’m not unemployed, but if I were, I’d be saying to myself right now, “I’m not interested in shoveling dirt to make a road. I’m not a teacher. I’ve never been in the military… Short of joining my friend Lou’s construction company and competing for infrastructure contracts, I’m not seeing where the WIN is for me within President Obama’s plan.”

On the other hand… Do I really want an “above minimum wage” job from someone that hasn’t explicitly outlined any plan at all yet? o_O

What about the “regular people” jobs? o_O

What about the jobs for people that have college degrees in a particular field?

What about the jobs for people that had multi-year careers in their chosen profession before they got downsized or laid off?

The Republicans’ jobs plan is going to have to be obviously and demonstrably better than the Democrats’ plan in order for them to stand a chance in this Presidential election.

Saying “Obama hasn’t done XYZ” is easily countered by “Republicans have been blocking legislation that would have put you back to work”.

Saying “Get rid of FEMA” is easily countered by “Republicans don’t give a **** if your house floats down the river, so long as they don’t need you to vote for them in the next election cycle”.

Saying “Get rid of Federal regulations” is easily countered by “Republicans don’t care if your water supply is poisoned or your beach is ruined by another oil spill”.

Saying “I’m going to make gas cost $2” is easily countered by “This is a free market economy.. What the **** are you talking about?”

2012 Election Predictions

Assuming the Republicans don’t field any more candidates, I think it’s going to be Perry vs. Obama.

If The President’s jobs plan passes (which I entirely doubt), and people have jobs by election-time, Obama wins.

If people DON’T have jobs by election-time, and they don’t feel like that’s due to Republican obstruction, Perry wins.

If people DO have jobs, but the Republicans can prove those jobs aren’t sustainable and won’t lead to a long-term WIN, Perry wins.

If all things remain equal and there are at least two more country-galvanizing military wins before the election, that gives the edge to Obama.

Like I said earlier, I would have sent Huntsman. He has the demeanor, style, experience, record, and ideas. Out of the Republicans’ current field, he makes the most sense in the general election.

I don’t see any of the rest of them coming anywhere close to defeating President Obama in 2012. Their styles play well while they’re preaching to the choir, but once they need to sell their wares to anyone other than “true believers”, it’s not gonna fly.

My personal interest in this whole thing is people that are currently out of work getting jobs and being able to support themselves and their families.

As soon as the trend became moving factories to other countries in order to hire people for $26/day instead of $26/hour, it was clear that eventually, a lot of job-types would become virtually extinct here in the USA. Your options were either to move somewhere else, where you could get the same job you used to have, or stay where you are and do something else.

Not everyone CAN change careers on the fly, and not everyone CAN move to a different location, and not everyone CAN find another job in their chosen profession.

The concept of cutting taxes so American companies bring the money they’ve made overseas back to America to invest it sounds like a nice idea, but it’s still less expensive to hire more of the same non-Americans they’ve already been using, so why would they bother?

Anyway… SOMEBODY’S got to have the right answer to all this. 🙂 Hopefully, the right person for the job will be elected in 2012 and make things better than they currently are.

Until that time, both teams need to start acting like we all live in the same country and figure out a WIN for the United States of America.

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3 Comments

  1. Very clear-eyed assessment, Bill. You’ve obviously done your homework. Nice job. I’m looking forward to seeing your thoughts once the general election gets going.

    1. Thanks, Liz. 🙂

      By the time the GE rolls around, it’s going to be rather easy to predict.

      It was clear last time that nobody was going to vote for Palin as Vice President, as old as McCain was… That was an accident waiting to happen.

      I’d like to see the Republicans field a viable team this season, being that they’ve had 4 years (5, if you count the extra year before the election that they rolled with Palin) to figure this thing out.

      I’d also like to see them connect the dots and explain how an individual worker, a poor person, a non-job-creator ends up benefitting from putting more money in the pockets of company owners who are already making their profits by manufacturing in other countries… Everything they say is playing to the business-owner, when it’s clearly the BROKE PEOPLE that represent the larger number of voters.

      When you say “Let’s allocate funds to revamp roads and bridges and schools, so we can put construction workers, teachers and war veterans to work”, it’s easy for people in those fields to visualize their WIN.

      When you say “Remove regulations so job-creators are willing to repatriate their overseas funds and risk their capital in the USA”, nobody knows what the **** you’re talking about.

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