Archive for March, 2012

Tidbits & Cherry Blossoms…

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Spending a few days in Washington…where politics never stops…Cherry Blossoms return annually…and after 25 years here…it’s like coming home.  The Republican presidential contest is CENTER STAGE…Romney is working the hill…the Supreme Court gets ready for Obamacare on Monday…and 2016 may be underway.

When the Afternoon Fix [Thursday] hit computers…reporting Santorum suggested he’d reelect President Obama over Romney…the Cherry trees began to shake.

Santorum quoted from Texas…”If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch-a-sketch candidate of the future.”  Romney responded in a statement, “I was disappointed to hear Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican…Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.”  Gingrich likewise said any Republican better than Obama.

Straight out of POLITICO…on Romney visit to Capitol Hill yesterday: “Romney shared a light moment at the breakfast, which was held in the Hyatt Regency Washington, when 88-year-old Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas) told him that he had ‘never met a Mormon I didn’t like’ and noted that Latter-day Saints teetotalers ‘give me those airplane bottles of booze when we’re on a flight.’ Romney laughed good-naturedly with the oldest member of the House.” Enjoy the full story here.

The 2016 presidential campaign is underway…POLITICO Playbook says…Wayne Berman a DC GOP player…emailed “There is a keen awareness in the party, particularly among fund raisers and elected officials, that Santorum is playing to hurt Romney so that Romney loses.  Santorum sees himself as the nominee in 2016, and he’s playing a 2016 game.”

Four former Republican Senators wrote this morning about “GOP ideals that unite, not divide”worth a read just click here.

An important development this week…FREEDOMWORKS…the Tea Party group decided to drop its opposition to Mitt Romney…its VP Russ Walker told The Washington Times “It is a statistical fact that the numbers favor Mitt Romney.  We are dedicated to defeating Obama and electing a conservative Senate that will help Romney…repeal Obamacare and address the nation’s economic and spending challenges.”

Who would have thought a child’s toy playing a role in the presidential contest…Eric Fehrnstrom…whose comment raise the stock of Etch A Sketch joked on Twitter…about a poor choice of words that led to two days of attacks from his boss’ [Romney] rivals.  “Etch A Sketch stock is up?” he wrote. “Psst. I’ll mention Mr. Potato Head next.  By Hasbro.”

MEMORIES…former Senate majority leaders Howard Baker and Bob Dole struck a collegial tone at the “century of service” tribute to them at the Bipartisan Policy Center.  Click and check out the event here.

Laura Bush & friends were early morning visitors to see the Cherry trees…while brother-in-law former Florida Governor Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney.

Does it sound like I support Mitt Romney…well I do.

Political Observations…on Sunday

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Speaking With the Speaker

By Peggy Noonan

John Boehner talks about the need for Republican unity and why the House is in ill repute.  Read the full column here.

A not-so-favorite son of Pennsylvania

By Timothy McNulty (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Not a single major statewide Republican leader in Pennsylvania has endorsed him.  Read the full story here.

It’s Time to Believe:  Romney’s a Winner

By Dana Milbank (The Washington Post)

The reviews of Mitt Romney’s Super Tuesday performance were murderous.  But the question of who had the best Super Tuesday is a matter of fact, not opinion: Romney did.  Read the full column here.

Political Tidbits @ The Movies

Friday, March 9th, 2012

University of Tennessee students made a video about “The Debt Generation”.  The message should be shared with young people across the country.  Watch and do your part in sounding the alarm.  Click here to view

A 14 year old girl disappeared in New York City for 3 days.  Stepping forward to find this young lady was her father’s business partner.  Click here to view

One of the Republican presidential candidates says he’s the principled conservative in the race, but that‘s not how he voted.  Click here to view

A GOP deadlock could re-elect Obama.  Click here to learn more.

Politicial Tidbits…3.5.12

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Republicans [State] gathered this weekend…it was easy to detect a new feel about 2012…and it was not all based on Obama’s attack on WV…but there was a buzz in the morning air about Stuart’s “explosive” Mardi Gras Casino news conference earlier in the week…more to come below.

Candidates galore gathered for training…County Chair’s showed new signs of life…and Young Republicans chapters are growing…fund raising is getting attention…and the state ticket is full…even with a primary contest for Secretary of State.

What’s happen to the Democrats…they have not filled the new Senate seat in the Eastern Panhandle…former House member Craig Blair…appears headed back to the Capitol.

TAKE NOTE…Republicans have three state candidates from Eastern Panhandle…what’s this tell you about “new feel”…and three from Morgantown…Maloney…Raese…and Kent Leonhardt who replaced Mike Teets  Commissioner of Agriculture.

Questions continue why Mike Teets dropped out of a race for Commissioner of Agriculture…that he nearly won in 2008.

 Congressman David McKinley…used his time at lunch…to show the party faithful how easy it is for Obama to still win…he had an interactive presidential electoral vote map…to show the election is about 270 electoral votes…McKinley showed how just one or two states can change the outcome…he implored the leaders…2012 is all about getting-out-the vote.

See for yourself …TRY OUT THE MAP Congressman McKinley used to make his point…click here to reach 270 to Win…BTW recall WV gave Bush 41 the final electoral vote he needed in 2000

John Raese back again as a candidate for U. S. Senate…introduced to the weekend luncheon…he may have had the best line of 2012…”WHERE ELSE BUT IN WV COULD A FIVE TIME LOSER GET AT STANDING OVATION”…those there showed real enthusiasm for this candidacy.

New candidates were drawing the attention…Patrick Morrisey seeking the AG’s position was a hit…Allen Loughry running for Supreme Court came across strong…congressional candidates in the 3rd District…Rick Snuffer…Bill Lester…and Lee Bias made favorable impressions…running for Treasurer Sen. Mike Hall…outlined his credentials…while his home county opponent Scott Connolly…did not make the meeting.

Delegate Brian Savilla seeking the SOS position is already traveling the state…2nd District congressional candidate Michael Davis worked the room…but where was Delegate Jonathan Miller…his 2nd District candidacy is hard to understand…and former Delegate Larry Faircloth…seeking the Auditors job…another Eastern WV resident was not there.

Often ask…why does PhillipsBillboard not have more comings and goings about Democrats…it’s called access to information…all tips are welcome at

Republicans do have a primary for Governor…but it was hard to notice…BILL CLARK another Morgantown candidate…was there…and recently published a nine page paper …”Big Ideas for our Small Wonderful State”…Bill Maloney hosted with an open house…addressed the luncheon…and spent the day.

JUST AS THE MORNING BUZZ WORE DOWN [4PM] an inquiry was made of Chairman Stuart…why the state executive committee was not consulted…before his news conference…that has caused such a stir.  Committee members and candidates were concerned that a local issue [Kanawha] could become a jobs and tax political issue in a campaign year.  Stuart explained and defended his action to move for a recall of the 2007 election…saying when Kanawha voters approved table games for the Mardi Gras Casino…that promises were made…but not kept by the Casino.  There was no argument with that…but was it appropriate for him to insert the State Executive Committee into this local issue… with the potential of significant political consequences.  As the discussion of his action gained momentum…a motion regarding his action….was changed to put the State Party on record of holding local, state and national governments accountable…party unity won the day…at least for now.





Computers & Politics

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

A lot of political junkies follow PhillipsBillBoard.  One of them is Jim Lees (former WV Democrat candidate for Governor).  He has offered a window for political junkies into what to watch in the upcoming presidential election. 

Computers & Politics

By Jim Lees

      For those interested in Presidential politics two economists affiliated with Yahoo Labs have created a pretty sophisticated computer model using scientific algorithms derived from the past ten presidential elections to predict the final electoral vote count in this coming November’s presidential election.  The model predicts the percentage of votes President Obama will receive in each state and then awards the electoral votes from that state based upon his projected vote total.  Interestingly the model also assigns odds to the President’s chances of winning each particular state.

     For example the computer model predicts that President Obama will receive 42.8% of the vote here in West Virginia, thus resulting in our State’s five electoral votes going to the Republican nominee.  Given the past three presidential elections here I would guess 42% of the vote for Obama is about right unless there is some dramatic shift between now and November.  More interesting is that the computer assigns the President only a 5% chance of winning West Virginia this fall.  Don’t therefore expect to see the Presidential candidates making any significant appearances here in West Virginia (perhaps an airport stopover) nor should you expect to have an up-close seat to the ad campaigns that will be waged in the battleground states.  And prepare to watch some Democrats running for state-wide office place some distance between themselves and the President.

     The computer model is excellent at showing which states will be contested in November and surprisingly the number is very small.  Right now the computer model awards 235 electoral votes to the Republican nominee including the state of Florida.  Surprisingly of the states that comprise those 235 votes the only state in which the computer model gives the President a chance of winning is Florida and there his chances are only a bit more than 35%.  His chances of winning any of these other states are much less than 35%, meaning that the Republican nominee is pretty solid for at least 235 electoral votes assuming they can win Florida (Florida is probably the only one of these states where the President may make a serious run at winning).

     The computer model has 303 electoral votes going to President Obama which of course would make him the winner in November (270 is needed to win).  But unlike the solid win margins and percentages for the Republican the computer is predicting the President to win Virginia with 50.2% of the vote and Ohio with 50.3 percent.  His odds of winning each state are about 52%.  Meaning the Republican nominee has a 48% chance of winning each of these states.  These are the states where you need to rush out and purchase a newspaper, radio, or TV station so as to watch the advertising dollars start rolling in.

     The stunning thing to me however is that if the President loses Florida (which the computer certainly believes he will), Virginia, AND Ohio, he still wins by a count of 272-268 (California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, all solidly in the President’s column, account for 124 electoral votes alone).  So what other state might the Republican nominee win to assure the election?  As crazy at it may seem that state is….New Hampshire.  The computer model projects Obama the winner with only 50.8% of the vote and assigns him a 57% chance to win the state.  The reason here is that the computer model assumes Romney is the nominee and Romney puts New Hampshire in play (Santorum and Gingrich do not).

     So how many electoral votes does little New Hampshire have?  A grand total of 4.  Meaning if the Republican can win Virginia, Ohio, AND New Hampshire, the Republican wins 272-268.  The next best shot for the Republican is Colorado but there the computer assigns the President a 67% chance of winning.  All other states appear out of reach for the Republican nominee.

     If you are in the business of betting that you know who the Republican Vice-President Nominee will be you may want to learn a bit more about a guy named Bob McDonnell.  He happens to be the governor of Virginia.  Oh yeah…….he is also a Republican.

The PhillipsBillboard welcomes commentary from readers.