Archive for the ‘2012 National Election’ Category

What’s Their Problem with Romney?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

(Editor’s Note:  In the interest of full disclosure I am involved with Gov. Romney’s WV efforts.)

A North Carolina friend emailed me a recent column by Ann Coulter regarding Governor Mitt Romney.  A personal comment in their email was on target.  They wrote, “Praying that we don’t give this election away while some Republicans are waiting for Reagan to come back from the dead.”

What’s Their Problem with Romney?

By: Ann Coulter

As governor of one of the most liberal states in the union, Mitt Romney did something even Ronald Regan didn’t do as governor of California:  He balanced the budget without raising taxes.  Read the full column here.

60 Years Ago & Today

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Is there a similarity in today’s search for a Republican Presidential candidate and that of sixty years ago?

The contest of 1952 saw conservatives generally supporting Senator Robert Taft of Ohio – son of former President William Howard Taft while moderates were getting behind General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The Party was unsure of Gen. Eisenhower and was not certain he was one of them – but appeared more electable.  Sound familiar?

New Hampshire voters went with Eisenhower 47,000 to 37,000 for Taft – even while Ike remained in Europe.

 The Party and Taft came to terms with Eisenhower when he selected Richard M. Nixon as his running mate.  There may be a lesson here!

Despite a nomination contest twelve years later that was even more bitter between Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller – than between today’s Presidential contenders – the Republican Party never totally lost its way.

Richard Nixon in 1959 warned against either of the parties undergoing an ideological realignment – that has now taken place over the years.

He told the California Commonwealth Club, “I think it would be a great tragedy if we had our two major political parties divide on what we would call a conservative-liberal line.  I think one of the attributes of our political system has been that we have avoided generally violent swings in Administrations from one extreme to the other.  And the reason we have avoided that is that in both parties there has been room for a broad spectrum of opinion.  Therefore, when your Administrations come to power, they will represent the whole people rather than just one segment of the people.”

Despite the divide between today’s GOP Presidential contenders they should think about the sage advice of Nixon.


Jim Lees “The Republican Party Gone Crazy?”

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Jim Lees (Former WV Democrat Candidate for Governor)

      Has the Republican Party gone completely nuts?  I just finished watching Rick Perry refer to Governor Romney for the third time today as a “Vulture Capitalist” and I just finished watching Newt’s “independent PAC film “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” and I must question whether there is truly a Republican Party as a functioning organization that exists anymore.  Since when do Republicans attack fellow Republicans for being capitalists?  I am stunned to see the direction of the attacks being mounted by Perry, Gingrich, and Santorum against a fellow Republican candidate.  The people in the President’s campaign must be doing cartwheels today as well as taking notes.  So now the Republican Party has become the party of the occupy Wall Street movement?  With differences among the candidates on tax policy, budget issues, social issues, foreign policy, and other legitimate issues up for debate why in the world are Republican candidates using Governor Romney’s record with Bain Capital and his venture capital background as the main attack point?  Does anyone not see how this will play perfectly into the President’s re-election campaign?  Has the Republican Party been completely co-opted by the white working-class tea party underclass to the point where capitalism and taking profits is now considered a sin and a disqualification to be President?

       I am literally stunned at this latest turn of events in Republican politics.  I never thought I would see a Republican candidate for President much less three of them attack a fellow Republican for being a greedy Wall-Street capitalist who dared to make capital investments and take profits.  As a Democrat I fully understand that an argument can be made that in doing so innocent hard-working people are sometimes hurt and lose their jobs, but I never thought I would see the day when Republicans slam other Republicans for “immoral” profit-taking in a capitalist system.  Wait……………was that screaming and cheering I heard coming from the President’s re-election headquarters? 

The PhillipsBillBoard welcomes commentary from readers.

Thought Provoking

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

This has been a tumultuous political year that has seen an effort to further divide the country.  As we close out 2011 today’s Charleston Gazette had a thought provoking piece by Froma Harrop a columnist for the Providence Journal.  

As we face the political world waiting for us in 2012, which in all likelihood will further divide us, we should have a positive conversation about the real issues that have caused the decline of the middle class.

Happy New Year!

By Froma Harrop

Syndicated columnist

This was the Year of the Middle Class — as in, its falling incomes, loss of job security and anger. The global economic forces fueling the decline, such as foreign competition and computers, have been well reported. But what about cultural factors?  Is the middle class going down partly because it stopped acting middle class?

For those who remember the American middle’s golden era of 40 years ago — or see it reconstructed on TV dramas — the cultural losses are pretty shocking. The middle managers in “Mad Men” returned to orderly homes with tidy children, even as their personal lives spun into chaos. While comfortable, their houses were modest by today’s McMansion standards. That’s because they were living within their means.

On “Pan Am,” the passengers in economy class are served hot meals on trays. The flight attendants (stewardesses then) deal with neatly dressed travelers in all classes. And while they have their problem passengers, they do not do daily battle against swinish slobs with money.

Frugality used to be a central middle-class theme. What happened to it? We now read the stories of middle-class families in free fall because they lost a job and had no savings. Back in the mists of time, there was a rule about setting aside six months of salary to cover a possible job loss. Not only did the middle class stop saving, but it famously borrowed to maintain extravagant living beyond what its stagnating salaries could support.

Middle-class Americans used to throw “mortgage burning parties,” when, after 30 years, they finally paid off their home loans. They understood as long as they had a mortgage, they were not full homeowners.

But come the housing bubble of the last decade, middle-class people no longer viewed their rising home prices as mere whipped cream on a prudent savings plan. They saw a higher value as the main course to be quickly devoured by borrowing against it. Now Americans’ equity in their homes (the home’s value minus mortgage) is half what it was in 2006.

Many middle-class parents of the ’50s and ’60s well remembered the privations of the Great Depression. Thus, they raised their children to be survivors in an uncertain world, not as princes and princesses who can do no wrong. They understood the importance of education and manners. They regarded teachers as authorities to be respected. (Observe the strict supervision of the children in “Mad Men.”)

Girls from the middle class — or from what once was — now scamper through the mall baring cleavage, and wearing thick eyeliner and outrageous heels. Their intellectual interests seem nil, and their apparent need to push their sexual availability on boys depresses the feminist soul.

The public square was the meeting ground for all classes. But while the rich could always retreat to private splendor, the middle class needed its Main Streets for civic engagement.

And it was the middle class that abandoned its downtown retailers for the big-box discounter filling the shelves with the cheapest goods from Asia. The factories its members worked in closed. And the neighborhood store that sponsored the local baseball team vanished.

Brands of detergent, scouring powder and other household staples were once a shared experience of all but the poorest classes. The consumer products giant Procter & Gamble is now coming out with a cheaper brand of soap for the middle class, The Wall Street Journal reports. On the high end, P&G is selling a fancy package of Olay-Pro-X skin care basics for about $60.

Can the losses, economic and cultural, be reversed? Perhaps, but that would require a very different political and social conversation. We may have a theme for 2012.

Election 2012

Monday, November 7th, 2011

In case you are not one of phillipsbillboard readers following the presidential campaign, you may find The Washington Post articles below a good update.  The election is only 364 days but seems in full swing. 

A year from Election 2012, a dark mood awaits Obama and GOP rival

By Dan Balz, Jon Cohen & Chris Cillizza (The Washington Post)

One year out from the 2012 election, President Obama faces the most difficult reelection environment of any White House incumbent in two decades, with economic woes at the center of the public’s concerns, an electorate that is deeply pessimistic and sharply polarized, and growing questions about the president’s capacity to lead.  Read the full story here.

Romney still seen as most electable, poll shows

By Jon Cohen & Dan Balz (The Washington Post)

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has a significant advantage over his rivals for the Republican president nomination in only one area – electability – and will approach the next round of candidate debates with several potential liabilities, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.  Read the full story here.

Obama Moves Scare Tactics to a New Group

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

It has been a usual and customary vote getter to scare seniors about losing Medicare.  With polls showing young voters not as supportive – or at least as enthusiastic as in 2008 Obama used a scare tactic on youthful voters.

While at the Northern Virginia Community College town hall, Obama appealed to young voters saying that unless they mobilized, special interests will balance the federal budget by slashing student aid and other education spending.

As reported by  The Hill he told the town hall Republicans want to cut Pell Grant scholarships with their budget, Obama said, while his own budget plan would increase education spending.

“There are powerful voices in Washington…And they’re going to want to reduce the deficit on your backs.  And if you are not heard, that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” Obama said.

He was then off to rekindle excitement among younger voters at a town-hall hosted by Facebook in California.

Sharing Insight

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Obama Is Likely to Lose

Peggy Noonan lays out how Obama is likely to lose in 2012 in her Wall Street Journal DECLARATION column.  She then warns Republicans about what could happen if the GOP does not get serious.   Read the full opinion here.

West Virginia Governor’s Race

Dems differ on Tobacco Taxes, abortion

Sunday Gazette-Mail offers a summary of what to expect from the Democrats seeking the nomination in the May 14 special primary election.  We are going to share for our readers who have not seen.  Read the full story here.

 2011 Voters Guide to the Governor’s Race

Accompanying the summary story was the complete answers offer by the Democratic candidates for Governor.  The Republican responses will be published next week.  Read the full guide here.

 Check often for political and public policy insight and prospective.  With the WV election just a few weeks away forward to your friends and email list.

Obama in Campaign Mode

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

President Obama did not wait to kick off his $1 billion dollar 2012 campaign later this week in Chicago.  He did so today in a speech at George Washington University.  The speech was billed in advance as a policy address regarding his plan to cut the national debt and reduce spending. 

Professor Obama spent the first 20 minutes of what I would call a 2012 campaign kick-off speech lecturing the public on the economic realities that face the government.

Then he put on his partisan hat and fiercely attacks the Republican Ryan “Path to Prosperity” plan using language and threats to please his Democratic allies who are beginning to have second thoughts about President Obama.

Obama is in trouble with his liberal base as reported in The Washington Post this morning.  He said in the GW speech he was “sympathetic” to those who oppose cutting spending now, but came right back in campaign mode to say “doing nothing on the deficit is just not an option.”

We should have known this would be a campaign event when the President sent our this 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe to all the Sunday talk shows to announce the forthcoming “policy address on the debt.”  Plouffe is now a senior White House advisory – likely providing political advice not economic policy counsel.   

What this country needs is a President-In Chief not a Campaigner-In-Chief.

Political analysis impacting 2012

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

The incredible, changeable independent voter

By Chris Cillizza & Aaron Blake (The Washington Post)

In American electoral politics, independent voters are the holy grail. 

Thousands of hours are spent by political strategist and reporters (read: nerds) pouring over what makes them tick and how best to court them.  Read the full story here.

BREAKING–EPA Suddenly Reconsidering Its Policies

Monday, March 14th, 2011

“Now that labor unions are joining the chorus” against EPA regulations, “the pressure on the agency is intensifying,” reports the Wall Street Journal.  Check out the link to WSJ.