These are my links for March 14th from 11:15 to 11:45:
President 2012: South Carolina GOP primary filled with uncertainty – By this point every four years, South Carolina expects to see a flood of White House hopefuls crossing the state, from its low country swamps to its upstate farms to its coastal communities.
This time, there's been a mere trickle.
Republicans weighing presidential bids have all but ignored the state that in modern history has played an outsized role in GOP nomination fights: Since 1980, the South Carolina primary winner has emerged with the conservative seal of approval and eventually clinched the party's presidential nomination.
Nothing is certain until Sarah Palin decides to run or not. If she does not then DeMint will have to decide whether he will back romney again or not.
Why Republicans should run in 2012 — to lose – The Ides of March are almost upon us, but few potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates seem to have their eyes fixed squarely on the White House. As Salon's Steve Kornacki argued recently, the most obvious reason for the largely vacant GOP field — sorry, Herman Cain — is that the prospects of a Republican beating a once-again formidable Barack Obama seem rather bleak. The 2012 Republican nomination may be a prize not worth winning.
Because the nomination isn't worth winning, however, doesn't mean it is ill-advised for Republican hopefuls to run in 2012. In fact, if three historical patterns tell us anything, the smart play for any Republican who hopes someday to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office is to run in 2012 — but to lose the nomination.
Correct but win the U.S. Senate majority = correct GOP strategy
Big GOP donors taking time to get into 2012 race – The potential White House candidates need cash.
But donors aren't eager to shell out until the hopeful prove they're credible.
Which they can't — until they have the cash lined up to start their campaigns.
This helps explain why the 2012 Republican primary race has yet to begin in earnest.
"It's a little sluggish. The major donor folks are sitting back a bit," said Rob Bickhart, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman helping ex-Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
"The major donor folks, I think, are a little slower getting started because the whole process was slower to get started," said Bickhart, who helped raise money for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney four years ago. "The last one started, it seemed, after World War I and folks were just exhausted."
Read it all
Mitch Daniels: Candidate or influencer? – Add it all up and it seems as though Daniels wants to wake up the party — and the 2012 candidates specifically — to the dangers posed by placating social conservatives in the primary fight at the expense, literally, of the economy.
It’s possible, of course, that Daniels is simply priming the rhetorical pump to cast himself as the truth-teller in a field of candidates who will tell primary voters what they want to hear. But, if that’s his game, it’s a dangerous one, as GOP primary history is littered with men and women who thought they break down the foundational pillars of the nomination process.
Maybe Daniels — a high-level political and policy thinker — can change all that if he runs. But, as of today, it doesn’t sound like he wants to.
I think he would make a decent candidate but I do not see the "fire in the belly."
Jim DeMint machine could rival NRSC – Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is already building an aggressive campaign machine for the 2012 Senate elections, promising to push his party further to the right, despite angering many in the GOP establishment with his political activities last year.
DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund wants to rake in a staggering $15 million, which is nearly $6 million more than in 2010 when his political action committee raised more money than any other politician’s PAC.
Read it all.
Interesting that DeMint is not going after RINO's Olympia Snowe and Richard Lugar.
But, campaign cash is campaign cash and conservative challengers have a funding mechanism.
While executives at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) are raking in massive salaries, the organizations are participating in an aggressive lobbying effort to prevent Congress from saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year by cutting their subsidies. The so-called commercial free public airwaves have been filled with pleas for taxpayer cash. The Association of Public Television Stations has hired lobbyists to fight the cuts. Hundreds of taxpayer-supported TV, radio and Web outlets have partnered with an advocacy campaign to facilitate emails and phone calls to Capitol Hill for the purpose of telling members of Congress, "Public broadcasting funding is too important to eliminate!"
PBS President Paula Kerger even recorded a personal television appeal that told viewers exactly how to contact members of Congress in order to "let your representative know how you feel about the elimination of funding for public broadcasting." But if PBS can pay Ms. Kerger $632,233 in annual compensation—as reported on the 990 tax forms all nonprofits are required to file—surely it can operate without tax dollars.
The executives at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which distributes the taxpayer money allocated for public broadcasting to other stations, are also generously compensated. According to CPB's 2009 tax forms, President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison received $298,884 in reportable compensation and another $70,630 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations that year. That's practically a pittance compared to Kevin Klose, president emeritus of NPR, who received more than $1.2 million in compensation, according to the tax forms the nonprofit filed in 2009.
The Kochs fight back – Listing Who, What and Why – Faced with an avalanche of bad publicity after years of funding conservative causes in relative anonymity, the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, Charles and David, are fighting back.
They’ve hired a team of PR pros with experience working for top Republicans including Sarah Palin and Arnold Schwarzenegger to quietly engage reporters to try to shape their Koch coverage, and commissioned sophisticated polling to monitor any collateral damage to the image of their company, Koch Industries.
At the same time, through their high-priced lawyers, private security detail and influential allies in conservative politics and media, the Kochs have played hard ball with critics and suspected foes.
Young environmental activists who pranked them have been hit with a lawsuit seeking more than $100,000 in damages, and the leak of an internal document describing their political activities resulted in an investigation – complete with document analysis and interviews of suspects – that eventually identified the mole.
Both their new openness and their aggressive – and sometimes secretive – tactics were on display before and during the Kochs’ closed-door, invitation-only four-day annual winter meeting of conservative donors and leaders that concluded Tuesday with a breakfast at the pricey resort that hosted it here in the Palm Springs suburbs.
Read it all.
I missed this piece a month ago when I covered the Koch Conference in Ranch Mirage
The Enquirer’s Edwards Source’s Story – Observations by Mickey Kaus – Everybody’s favorite Rielle Hunter source, Pigeon O’Brien, tells her story in the Huffington Post. I learned some things: 1) A lot more people were investigating the Edwards/Hunter sex scandal than I’d thought. It wasn’t just the National Enquirer and Sam Stein of HuffPo. Other campaigns and other publications were calling O’Brien for confirmation. Which raises the question: If so much of the MSM knew or suspected the story was true, why was it subequently so easily cowed by the efforts of John and Elizabeth Edwards to cover it up? 2) After Edwards’ first semi-confession, when he swore he couldn’t be the father of Rielle Hunter’s child, MSM reporters took his side with O’Brien:
Rielle was flown out of the country and Edwards “confessed” on television (the first confession, the one in which he denied he was Quinn’s father) but included a troubling aside that he’d been with her at the hotel late at night because of her “troubles.” The press leaped on this and my phone rang all night: She’s blackmailing him for Andrew Young’s baby! Appalled, I spoke out and was told again and again, off camera, “Why do you defend her? Edwards says she’s a slut. Who knows whose baby that is?”
Read it all
I first learned of the National Enquirer and the entire flap through reading Mickey's blog
U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) (L), with his wife Debbie DeMint (C), takes part in a ceremonial re-enactment of his swearing-in by Vice President Joe Biden (R) in the Old Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 5, 2011
News that South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint will travel to Iowa on March 26 to address a conservative forum organized by Rep. Steve King is sparking another round of chatter that DeMint might launch a dark horse bid for the White House in 2012.
The Republican gadfly has been adamant in denying such intentions for more than a year – just Wednesday, he gave CNN’s Wolf Blitzer a flat “No” when asked if he plans to seek his party’s presidential nomination.
But the ground may be shifting in DeMint-world, and several of his closest advisers and political confidantes are now telling CNN that he is at least open to a presidential bid if a suitably conservative candidate fails to emerge from the early and wide-open GOP field.
“I think that you can read into it that he sees he has a role in the process and he hasn’t completely shut the door,” said one DeMint adviser asked about the Iowa foray.
DeMint currently sees his role in the 2012 process, the adviser said, as “setting the bar high” for the presidential contenders when it comes to advocating for a small government agenda.
“He hasn’t completely shut the door on running, and if there is a massive void in the group of candidates, who knows what could happen?,” said the adviser, who was quick to caution that there is only a five percent chance the senator will run.
So, what game is Jim DeMint playing here? Kingmaker?
He would certainly be able to garner votes in the early South Carolina Presidential primary as a “favorite son.” Which would then drive the race for the GOP nomination to later in the primary season – past Florida and Super Tuesday.
Of course, this is all dependent upon whether Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence and/or Sarah Palin run.
South Carolina GOP Senator Jim DeMint was named Conservative of the Year by Human Events. In an interview by Jason Mattera he said he believes Republicans should “resist” a vote to enlarge the top limit on the nation’s debt.
“We need to have a showdown at this point that we are not going to increase our debt ceiling anymore. We are going to cut [spending] necessary to stay within the current levels, which is over $14 trillion. This needs to be a big showdown.”
Watch the entire interview.
There will be some fireworks in the new GOP controlled House and the Senate when the debt ceiling deadline showdown comes to fruition in the next few months.