Herman Cain tied for 2nd in Iowa numbers we'll release tomorrow (...)
*Enlace relacionado: Biografía de Herman Cain
Herman Cain tied for 2nd in Iowa numbers we'll release tomorrow (...)
(...) The former Alaska governor is using her bus tour to gauge interest in a presidential bid, says a knowledgeable source. Shushannah Walshe on the way to tell if she’s in or out.
Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” Bus Tour launched Sunday, but is it an unofficial exploratory phase for a potential 2012 run or is it a Palin family vacation stopping in historic sites in the Northeast? The answer may well be both.
According to a source with knowledge of Palin’s operation and thinking, keep a careful eye on how long the tour lasts, because it is intended as a way to test the presidential waters. If the road trip ends abruptly, it’s a sign she didn’t get the enthusiastic responses she believes she needs to launch a campaign. If the tour heads to regions outside of the Northeast like Iowa and South Carolina that, the source says, is a “big indicator” that Palin will pull the trigger. (...)
Mary Kaye Huntsman stands out from the crowd of prospective 2012 presidential spouses in one important way: she actually wants her husband to be president.
In a season of reluctant partners, she’s not only supportive of Jon Huntsman’s presidential run but a key force in making it happen.
In her maiden outing on the trail in New Hampshire, she showed an easy familiarity with retail politicking. She’s also been a central player in the decision-making process — most notably, she pushed to base the former Utah governor’s campaign in Orlando, Florida, where she grew up. Perhaps most important, she says she’s at peace with, and fully committed to, the prospect of her husband’s presidential run.
“I am very comfortable. I feel very much at peace about it. At the end of the day it’s his decision, and he knows we are 100 percent behind him. … I believe in him,” Mary Kaye Huntsman said.
That places her at sharp odds with several other wives who blanched at the prospect, expressing — either privately or publicly — profound misgivings about the idea of putting their families through a grueling bid for the White House. Most recently, it was Cheri Daniels whose reticence played a critical role in her husband Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s decision to forgo a 2012 campaign.
Mary Kaye Huntsman shows no such reluctance to enter the fray. If anything, she’s tempting the fates by inviting even more scrutiny.
(...) He first said, as he always does, that he’s focusing on the legislative session.
Asked if he’ll think about running when the session ends Monday, Perry had a new answer: “Yes sir. I’m going to think about it.” Then he added, “I think about a lot of things”
Asked what made him change his mind, Perry first said, “I didn’t say I was running, did I? I’m going to think about it.” (...)
(...) UNH poll director Andrew Smith said that before the likely voters were asked the horse race question of who they would vote for if the primary were held today, they were first asked if they were sure at this point who they intend to vote for. A striking 87 percent said they had no idea who they will end up voting for, while only 4 percent said they had definitely decided and 9 percent were leaning.
Smith said that at this point in the last cycle, an early June 2007 poll had 37 percent saying they had decided or were leaning, while 57 percent said they had no idea who they would support. (...)
As big as a football field and nearly as empty, Barack Obama's re-election headquarters looks like a start-up gone wrong. Wires sprout like weeds from the carpeting, legions of bookshelves stand empty, and the swing-state maps hastily pinned to the wall are freebies from the AAA auto club down the street. In one room that could fit hundreds of people, just a few dozen sit at long desks. Most don't look old enough to buy a beer.
But if you want to find out why the President has set up shop in a Chicago skyscraper 18 months before Election Day, you need only peek into the office of Jeremy Bird, 32, the campaign's field director, at the far end of the room. He pulls a name from a database on his laptop, picks up his phone and dials in the hope of reminding one more person of the 2008 magic. "I just wanted to call, and first I wanted to thank you," Bird says when a volunteer from Obama's first presidential campaign answers in North Carolina. The computer screen notes that this guy hasn't done much in recent years, so Bird asks for his thoughts about 2012. "You are listed as a superstar 2008 volunteer," Bird continues. "What do we need to do to get you back involved?"
A top goal of the nation’s most influential national Tea Party group is to stop Mitt Romney from winning the Republican nomination for president.
Interviews with top officials at FreedomWorks, a Washington-based organizing hub for Tea Party activists around the country, revealed that much of their thinking about the 2012 election revolves around derailing the former Massachusetts governor.
(...) Brendan Steinhauser, who travels around the country meeting with activists as FreedomWorks’ top liaison to the grassroots, said most people he talks to are “definitely trying to stop Romney.”
“I don’t think I’ve met any groups or any local activists that like him or want him to be president,” Steinhauser said. “They just don’t believe he’s authentic. That’s the biggest problem in addition to the health care thing.”
(...) But Steinhauser said there is a growing concern that the Tea Party movement is going to splinter its vote because there is no clear alternative to Romney at the moment. Without such an option, grassroots conservatives may scatter among GOP candidates such as Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and others. Such a scenario would likely help Romney.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is emerging as Romney's clearest rival, though many questions remain about his ability to unite the Republican base. Former Utah Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman could become a Romney alternative for some voters, but he is likely to be too moderate for most Tea Partiers.
So FreedomWorks plans to bring its influence to bear during the primary. They'll be violating former President Ronald Reagan's so-called Eleventh Commandment -- that Republicans should not attack other Republicans -- but Steinhauser said these are unusual circumstances.
“You can’t divide the vote in the primary and end up with, you know, who? Newt Gingrich? Mitt Romney? Somebody’s got to beat those guys,” Steinhauser said. “I think it’s important that we really point out the flawed candidates and brand them as such and point out who are the people we consider unacceptable.”
(...) While FreedomWorks hopes to raise roughly $20 million for the 2012 election cycle, the group's focus will not be on fundraising or TV campaign ads. They will concentrate instead on nudging the grassroots toward coalescing behind whoever ends up being the most electable alternative to Romney. They see their role as being crucial after the GOP candidates have gone through the first three or four primary states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
“When you come out of those early primary states, the only thing that’s going to be uniting the surviving candidates is they’re all going to be broke. They’re not going to have the money to go saturate Florida and Ohio on television and Super Tuesday states,” said Brandon.
“What we’re going to be ready to do, is when these candidates -– let’s say it’s Romney versus one of the governors, or there’s four candidates –- at that point that’s when we probably really start focusing on getting behind one person,” he said. “And then these networks will help propel that person through those states.”
FreedomWorks is not currently leaning in any one candidate’s direction, though Pawlenty’s was mentioned as having the best shot to beat Romney and win the general election. Though Bachmann is formidable in terms of her appeal to the conservative base, the group does not appear to view her as a particularly strong opponent for Obama. (...)
Jon Huntsman Jr. kicks off a fundraising swing to California today, looking to drum up support for his likely presidential bid. The former Utah governor will meet with donors in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County, as likely opponent Mitt Romney continues to show his fundraising edge — last week, he raised $10 million in a single day.
Though Huntsman has access to a vast family fortune, he has said that, should he run, he will rely on donors rather than his own wealth. Huntsman, who was born in Palo Alto, Calif., has a team of advisers who worked for former California governor Arnold Schwarzennegger.
Huntsman, who spent last week in New Hampshire meeting with party leaders and voters, met yesterday with President George H.W. Bush in Maine at a private lunch.
Huntsman served in the administration of George H.W. Bush as deputy assistant secretary of commerce and as U.S. ambassador to Singapore. Members of the Bush family had seemed to support Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels's potential candidacy — Laura Bush called Cheri Daniels to encourage her to back her husband’s run.
But with Daniels out of the race, a Bush family endorsement is up for grabs — Tim Pawlenty met with the elder Bush in Texas this month. Of all the likely candidates, Huntsman has the deepest ties to the Bush family, having also worked for President George W. Bush as deputy U.S. trade representative.
Huntsman, who will announce his intentions in June, will meet next week with Texas Governor Rick Perry, who Republicans have courted for 2012, but has said he will not run. He heads back to New Hampshire at the end of the next week, where polls show a wide open race.
Mitt Romney's Tuesday swing through the First Coast was a good one.
The all-but-declared 2012 Republican presidential contender brought in more than $300,000 during a fundraiser at EverBank Field. Organizers were hoping to raise $250,000.
The event was co-chaired by U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, state Sen. John Thrasher, R - St. Augustine, and Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton. (click invite to see others who were at the event)
"It was a good event. We had a great turnout," said John Rood, who is a state co-chairman. (...)
Shortly after Republicans swept last November to a historic victory in which Sarah Palin was credited with playing a central role, the former Alaska governor pulled aside her close aide, Rebecca Mansour, to discuss a hush-hush assignment: Reach out to conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon with a request. Ask him if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin's governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign.
The response was more positive than Palin could have hoped for. He'd make a feature-length movie, Bannon told Mansour, and he insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself -- to the tune of $1 million.
The fruits of that initial conversation are now complete. The result is a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut of which Bannon screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, where Alaska's most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home. When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -- an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won't run.
Bannon, a former naval officer and ex-Goldman Sachs banker, sees his documentary as the first step in Palin's effort to rebuild her image in the eyes of voters who may have soured on her, yet might reconsider if old caricatures begin to fade. The film will also appeal to staunch Palin supporters who have long celebrated her biting rhetoric and conservative populism yet know little about her record in Alaska and have perhaps written her off as presidential material. (...)
(...) Tim Pawlenty’s campaign slogan “A Time for Truth” seeks to contrast the Minnesota governor with more slippery opponents such as Mitt Romney or President Obama. But in announcing his run for the presidency today, he let slip that he’s going to be putting that slogan to an even sterner test: he’s planning on running against ethanol subsidies in Iowa. Although Pawlenty also said that he will talk about social security and Medicare reform in Florida and financial reform on Wall Street, the bit about opposing the ethanol boondoggle in Iowa is what ought to really catch some attention.
(...) Pawlenty is counting heavily on winning in Iowa where some have already dubbed him the frontrunner. A loss there would severely damage his chances of winning the nomination. So stepping on what is a third-rail issue in Iowa can be portrayed as a true profile in courage for the Minnesotan. But it may not be as self-destructive as some might think. Rather than making him vulnerable, opposing ethanol could be the smartest way to box in his most dangerous opponent in the Hawkeye state: Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.
Although Bachmann is routinely dismissed as too much of an outlier to be a formidable presidential candidate, she does provide Pawlenty with his toughest competition for two key constituencies in Iowa: evangelicals and Tea Party activists. It is not likely that either has a substantial advantage with the former. Both can credibly represent the views of conservative Christians who catapulted Mike Huckabee to a victory in Iowa in 2008. As the putative leader of the Tea Party caucus in Congress Bachmann cedes no ground to any Republican. But by stating his opposition to ethanol subsidies, Pawlenty is setting a trap for Bachmann.
If Bachmann attempts to pander to Iowans on ethanol, she can be easily branded a hypocrite and Tea Party apostate. After all, how can anyone who claims to represent a pure anti-tax and spend position while endorsing what amounts to welfare for people who grow corn? Though Pawlenty might lose some votes because of his ethanol position, he stands to garner applause and credibility among hard core Tea Partiers and other GOP activists. If Bachmann joins him in opposing the subsidy, he is no worse off and will at the very least compete with her for that segment of voters. If she waffles on the issue, then she is cooked not only in Iowa but any other state where she attempts to fill the void left by Mike Huckabee.
So while Pawlenty’s truth-teller spiel may sound corny to seasoned political observers, it may be that in throwing down the gauntlet on ethanol, he may have correctly estimated that even in Iowa the path to the nomination lies in appeasing anti-tax activists more than corn farmers. (...)
DANIELS: Over the last year and a half, a large and diverse group of people have suggested to me an idea that I never otherwise would have considered, that I run for President. I’ve asked for time to think it over carefully, but these good people have been very patient and I owe them an answer.
The answer is that I will not be a candidate. What could have been a complicated decision was in the end very simple: on matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.
I am deeply concerned, for the first time in my life, about the future of our Republic. In the next few years Americans will decide two basic sets of questions: Who’s in charge here? Should the public sector protect and promote the private sector or dominate and direct it? Does the government work for the people or vice versa?
And, are we Americans still the kind of people who can successfully govern ourselves, discipline ourselves financially, put the future and our children’s interests ahead of the present and our own?
I am confident that the answers will reaffirm the liberty and vitality of our nation, and hope to play some small part in proving that view true.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a laid-back Midwestern Republican who governed a Democratic-leaning state, is running for president and will declare his candidacy on Monday in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa, an adviser told The Associated Press.
The adviser, who disclosed the plans on the condition of anonymity in advance of next week's announcement, said Pawlenty will formally enter the race during a town hall-style event in Des Moines, Iowa. (...)
Earlier this afternoon, the Republican Party of Iowa held its first meeting in advance of the Iowa Straw Poll. On the agenda for today’s meeting was introducing RPI staff to the various presidential campaigns, discussing the meeting process, and reviewing the initial rules and layout of the event.
The meeting provides us with the first glimpse of which campaigns are planning to participate in the event. In attendance at today’s meeting were representatives of Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Roy Moore. Also at the meeting were representatives for Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Thus far, Romney has indicated that he will not aggressively campaign in Iowa like he did four years ago. Many expect Romney to bypass this year’s straw poll, but with Mike Huckabee out of the picture, his campaign may either be giving Iowa a second look, or they are merely trying to gleam information from the other campaigns by attending the meeting.
The Iowa Straw Poll has historically played two significant rolls in the Iowa Caucus process. First, it winnows the field of candidates. In the last two contests, the candidates who finished in third place never made it to caucus day. In 1999, Elizabeth Dole’s disappointing performance ended her campaign, and the same was true for Sam Brownback in 2007.
The event also has proven to be an indicator of who will fare well in the Iowa caucuses. George H. W. Bush won the first Iowa Straw Poll in 1979, and he went on to win the caucuses that year. The only time that the top two finishers at the Straw Poll were not the top two finishers in the caucuses was in 1995, when Phil Gramm tied with Bob Dole. Gramm’s campaign ended when he lost the Louisiana Caucuses to Pat Buchanan right before Iowa.
While this straw poll meeting signifies a starting point for the planning the event, the date to keep an eye on is June 23rd. That is the date that campaigns will have to bid for space at the event. Only then will the party know who is actually committed to playing in the Straw Poll. (...)
It was after 8 p.m. at the public library in the quiet town of Adel, Iowa, and staffers were folding up the metal chairs. Tim Pawlenty's question-and-answer session had wrapped up some 30 minutes earlier, but a handful of voters were still here, and therefore so was Pawlenty, tall and lean in his dark suit, staying as always until no one was left to talk with him. When the polls show you in the low single digits, you make time for everyone.
Presently, one middle-aged man in a blazer was telling Pawlenty why Republicans need a tough-talking presidential candidate like Donald Trump. "We need to be bold," he implored. Conservatives were going to be attacked in 2012, and they had to be willing to fight back hard. Was Pawlenty up to it?
The candidate smiled patiently, crinkling the crow's-feet around his eyes. He'd heard this before. "Don't confuse being loud with being strong," Pawlenty told him. The man began to protest — something about threatening to shoot illegal immigrants at the border — but Pawlenty gently interrupted him. Republicans had to pick their fights wisely, he said. "You and I already agree with each other. The question is, The people we need to get — how do they respond? We need to reach out and get new people to join the team."
That, in a nutshell, is the dilemma facing Tim Pawlenty as he launches his campaign for the GOP nomination. Conservative activists want a political ninja to kickbox his way to the White House. There's a reason a brash loudmouth like Trump was a brief Republican sensation this spring. But that's not Tim Pawlenty, he of the Minnesota-nice demeanor and goofy sense of humor. His appeal is in the middle, not the margin. He's smart, likable and decent and, as the blue collar son of a truck driver, has a powerful American story to tell. He cut taxes and reined in spending in his two terms as governor of Minnesota, proving himself a solid conservative but not a fanatical ideologue. Those credentials have earned him the respect of Republican insiders. But poll after poll shows that he's yet to catch on with voters.
(...) He arrives on Thursday evening and immediately attends a "meet-and-greet" hosted by former McCain 2008 campaign state co-chair Nancy Merrill at Jesse's Restaurant in Lebanon.
On Friday, Huntsman:
- Speaks at a house party at the home of former Cheshire County Republican Chair (and unsuccessful candidate for state GOP chair) Juliana Bergeron in Keene.
- Speaks at a House party at the home of former McCain backers Bobbie and Jarvis Coffin in Hancock.
- Speaks at the VFW Post 1631 in Concord.
On Saturday, Huntsman:
- Delivers the commencement address at Southern New Hampshire University at mid-day.
- Makes afternoon stops at two Hooksett campaign "landmarks," Riley's Gun Shop and Robie's Country Store.
- Speaks to the Windham Republican Committee at the local Nesmith Library.
On Sunday, Huntsman:
- Meets with members of the Winnipesaukee Republican Committee at Jo Green's Garden Cafe in Wolfeboro.
- Speaks at the Laconia VFW Post.
- Attends a house party hosted by Bill and Patty Grimm, former "McCainiacs," in Franklin.
On Monday, Huntsman:
- Speaks at a house party at the home of Richard and Jeannine Poore in Durham. (...)
(...) In the next couple of weeks Mitch Daniels will announce he is running for President. I know, he is denying he has made up his mind. On Monday night I put on twitter that my sources are telling me a decision has been made. The next day, Daniels denied that.
But three people who know Daniels well are telling me his mind is made up and his wife is at peace with the decision. They could be reading tea leaves, but they tell me their certainty goes beyond that. (...)
Jon M. Huntsman Jr. is a former governor of Utah. He now lives in Washington. But the site of his presidential campaign — if he jumps into the race next month — will be in Florida.
A search for a possible campaign headquarters has been under way since Mr. Huntsman returned two weeks ago from Beijing, where he served as United States ambassador to China. His advisers say they have probably settled on Orlando as a base for Mr. Huntsman’s operation.
While most presidential campaigns are anchored in a candidate’s hometown, aides concluded that it was not practical for Mr. Huntsman to choose Salt Lake City because it is so far away from New Hampshire and South Carolina, the two early-voting states that Mr. Huntsman is eyeing.
Florida quickly became a leading choice, aides said, because of its critical role in the Republican primary — and general election — and because Orlando is the hometown of his wife, Mary Kaye Huntsman. Aides briefly discussed locating the campaign in New Hampshire or South Carolina, but concluded that it would make Mr. Huntsman look like a one-state candidate. (...)
As many grass-roots Republicans remain in search of a conservative candidate with the pizazz to go toe-to-toe against President Obama, a man from deep in the heart of Texas who was tea party before the tea party was cool appears to be giving the presidential race some thought.
Gov. Rick Perry has insisted on multiple occasions that he has no interest in the presidency, but RCP has learned that political associates have begun to nose around quietly on Perry's behalf.
A Texas pol who is close to Perry has been telling a few key strategists that the nation's longest-serving governor sees a vacuum and is waiting to be summoned into the race. This source believes that could happen by late summer. Without fellow Southerners Haley Barbour or Mike Huckabee in the race -- and with Newt Gingrich's early troubles raising further doubts about the current lineup -- there could be a glaring niche for Perry to fill.
According to another well-connected Republican, at least one Perry confidant has been very quietly making inquiries about the political terrain in the nation's first voting state of Iowa. A third Perry associate, RCP has learned, has been heralding a small contingent of Iowans with the time-tested line that is often used by would-be candidates who are leaving their options open: "Keep your powder dry." (...)
(...) "It's only been a couple of weeks," Daniels said. "I'll decide pretty quickly."
Political observers are watching Daniels' every move for signs of a possible decision. Some recently speculated on Twitter that he would run, which Daniels seemed to find surprising Tuesday.
"I don't Twitter so I wonder who made the decision," Daniels said. "It didn't start with me, obviously."
Daniels also laughed at speculation that he would announce his plans at the Indianapolis 500 or sometime after the May 29 race.
"I don't have a fixed date," Daniels said before speaking at a meeting of Indiana state agency officials to review state government performance.
"I'm not going to take much longer with it," he added.
Daniels said the fact that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, another possible Republican presidential contender, raised more than $10 million in a single day Monday doesn't add to the pressure on him.
"I guarantee you that if we did it, I think we'd have the best letterhead and plenty of money," Daniels said. "I just don't think these things get settled by money. ... I think it's going to be a lot more about the quality of ideas." (...)
(...) The all-but-declared Republican presidential contender, who has kept his head low for much of the year as he collected cash, raised $10.25 million in a single day Monday after bringing together his network of wealthy donors to dial for dollars in a city with no shortage of them. It's a hefty one-day total that Romney's team hopes will show his strength in the emerging GOP field.
Romney's phone bank fundraiser at the Las Vegas Convention Center, much like one during his first attempt at the Republican nomination, was the centerpiece of a series of fundraising events that included a conference call with volunteers who were asked to solicit their friends and neighbors for donations.
"This is a big kickoff for us, for our fundraising effort. It's kind of a celebration," Romney told the more than 400 supporters tuned in to watch him host a brief town hall-style broadcast on Facebook. "It's important to me that we get that started, the ball rolling today." (...)
“Like all of us who worked so hard for my good friend Mike Huckabee’s 2008 campaign, I was disappointed he decided not to run for president this year. However, in the quest to replace Barack Obama, we must quickly look to the future.
“On his recent visit to South Carolina, I had the opportunity to meet with Governor Jon Huntsman, and I was extremely impressed. As Governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman demonstrated he is the type of problem-solver our country needs. He’s a proven conservative who cut taxes, grew jobs, passed free-market health care reform, and signed strong pro-life legislation.
“Like my Dad, Huntsman was a popular Governor who kept his promises and left office with a powerful record of achievement. As more South Carolinians get to know Governor Huntsman, I believe they will come to the same conclusion I have — that he is the right leader for our party and our country in this important election.
“Governor Huntsman and I spoke on the phone today, and we had a great conversation. I strongly urged him to run for the Republican nomination for President and offered my enthusiastic support if he does.”
Tomorrow night (Saturday) I will announce the next step in my plans for 2012 during my show on the Fox News Channel. I would like to be able to call you or email you personally and in advance of the announcement, but due to the fact that the decision was not finalized until today and that I committed to Fox that I will absolutely not release it prior to doing so on the channel, that became impractical.
A lot of information and speculation was already rampant in the press today, and it frankly isn't fair to you to tell you the details and then put you in the awkward position of saying you didn't know (which at that point wouldn't be true) or saying you did know, but couldn't reveal or discuss it.
It was this afternoon before I could even get word to all of my own children and even now, the executive producer of my show and the staff and crew of the show don't know and won't until I actually do the final preparation literally minutes before I share the decision live Saturday night.
I will look forward to speaking with you soon and once I fulfill my sworn obligation to Fox, I will be free to discuss things that I can't now due to promises to them and to some possible legal considerations of the announcement.
Many friends have said, "how can we help you in the decision?" My answer has consistently been, "Pray that I have clarity." I have it and will share it Saturday night during the show. Please be patient if I don't respond immediately to an email because I expect that once I pull the trigger Saturday night, things will get even crazier, as if that's possible.
My heartfelt thanks for your friendship, prayers, and support,
BREAKING OVERNIGHT – LAURA PHONES CHERI – Former first lady Laura Bush has spoken with Cheri Daniels to discuss a possible 2012 campaign by Daniels’s husband, CBS News reports. The news comes hours after Mitch and Cheri Daniels addressed the state GOP’s annual dinner, making little 2012 news in the process. CBS’s Jan Crawford: “[A]s a sign of how important his wife is to [Daniels’s 2012] decision, sources tell CBS News that even former First Lady Laura Bush has called Cheri Daniels personally to encourage her to support the effort and offer advice on how to define what her role on the campaign--and potentially in the White House--would be.” (...)CBS News también comenta que cuatro gobernadores de peso e importantes donantes vinculados a las antiguas campañas de Bush ya le han asegurado personalmente su apoyo al Gobernador de Indiana.
(...) He has been assured backing from big-money donors who supported George W. Bush, in addition to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, as well as top sitting Republican governors.
Sources tell CBS News popular New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has told Daniels he would back him, as would Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. (...)
Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, will announce on Saturday whether he will run for president, the producer of his show on the Fox News Channel said Friday.Según Ed Rollins, Huckabee no ha consultado nada con él, lo que le lleva a pensar que no se presenta:
“Governor Huckabee will announce tomorrow night on his program whether or not he intends to explore a presidential bid,” Woody Fraser, the executive producer of “Huckabee” said in a statement. “He has not told anyone at FOX News Channel his decision.”
Senior political aides to Mr. Huckabee also said Friday they do not know what he will decide, raising suspicions that Mr. Huckabee will take a pass on another campaign. (...)
(...) But Ed Rollins, who directed his 2008 campaign and has been organizing his 2012 campaign-in-waiting, said he has not been consulted.
“I’ve heard nothing, which indicates to me he’s not running,” Mr. Rollins said in an interview. (...)
Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman has just proved he can keep 1,100 graduating college kids awake for 17 minutes — and even led them in a popular local cheer about kicking ass. But Obama's lean, understated former ambassador to China is really here to prove he can mount a credible campaign against the man he was working for a week prior. In a brightly lit cinder-block room inside the sports arena where the University of South Carolina has held its commencement, the former Utah governor jokes that the stark setting of our interview — his first since returning to the U.S. — suggests he might be in for some "enhanced interrogation."
But if that's what I'm up to, then torture really doesn't work, because in several sittings and a couple of hours together over a week's time, I don't even come close to getting him to spill such puny secrets as whether he thinks we should be in Afghanistan or Libya ("There will be more to say about that"), in what ways he disagrees with Obama ("I don't want to get into specifics") or, for that matter, where he parts company with his fellow Republicans, including his distant cousin, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney ("It wouldn't be fair to offer an opinion without doing due diligence").
And as for whether or not Huntsman still belongs to the Church of Latter-day Saints, I know less than I did before I asked him. ("I'm a very spiritual person," as opposed to a religious one, he says, "and proud of my Mormon roots." Roots? That makes it sound as if you're not a member anymore. Are you? "That's tough to define," he says. "There are varying degrees. I come from a long line of saloon keepers and proselytizers, and I draw from both sides.")
(...) When Haley Barbour announced he wasn’t running for President, the big question quickly became: where will his campaign staff go? Specifically, Barbour made seven rather marquee hires during the run-up to his aborted bid that I am hereby dubbing “Haley’s Seven”:
•Mike Dennehy (NH) – McCain’s campaign director (2000) and political director (2008)
•Paul Young (NH) – McCain’s outreach coalition director (2008)
•Jim Dyke – former RNC Communications Director; adviser to George W. Bush, Bill Frist, and Rudy Giuliani
•James Richardson – former RNC Online Communications Director; worked on Dan Coats’ 2010 campaign, blogs at RedState
•Rob Collins – expected to be Haley Barbour’s overall campaign manager; former top aide to Eric Cantor and staffer for Norm Coleman
•Warren Tompkins (SC) – political consultant for Romney (2008), Bush-Cheney (2004), and Reagan-Bush (1984 and 1980)
•Sally Bradshaw (FL) – campaign manager for both of Jeb Bush’s gubernatorial campaigns, worked on Romney’s FL campaign (2008)
As you can see, these seven folks represent a wealth of campaign talent spread over numerous different areas – from early states to establishment support to online presence. Where these seven folks will end up has been the topic of many postulations and guessing games since Barbour released them.
This morning comes news that the first one of them has signed on with a new suitor: James Richardson is going with Jon Huntsman. (...)
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels wants to run for president and is not in the process of convincing himself to do it, a close adviser said. The last hurdle remaining is ongoing discussions between him and his wife, Cheri Daniels, over whether she is ready to face questions about their past.
“I think he would like to do it,” the Daniels adviser told The Huffington Post by phone. “I actually think he’d have a decent chance of getting the nomination.”
The insight from a source close to the governor contradicts many of the reports that have focused on whether Daniels will run or not. Daniels has been portrayed -- and has in some ways portrayed himself -- as a reluctant potential candidate, someone who had hoped the GOP would find someone else to be their standard-bearer but is unimpressed with the candidates who have so far declared their intent to run.
The confirmation that the Daniels’ marriage is the last hurdle in front of a bid for the White House highlights the delicate situation in which the Governor finds himself.
In 1993, Cheri Daniels left her husband with their four daughters and married another man in California. She returned a few years later, reconciled with Daniels, and the two were remarried in 1997. That is, in a nutshell, the story. The national press first picked up on it last year when it was buried at the bottom of an 8,600-word Weekly Standard profile.
But much is unknown. Why did she leave Daniels? Why did she come back? That she would be reluctant to publicly answer such delicate questions in front of the nation seems only natural. (...)
Mitt Romney to Lay Out Plan to Repeal and Replace Obamacare
Reforms to Empower States and Reduce Healthcare Costs
BOSTON, MA — The Romney for President Exploratory Committee today announced that Mitt Romney will present his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that lower costs and empower states to craft their own health care solutions.
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM EDT
Participants: Mitt Romney
Location: University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center
1500 E. Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5852
Asked if he is closer on a decision regarding the 2012 race for President, Mitch Daniels said “yes” this morning. He declined to elaborate and said a final decision is still a “few weeks” away. (...)
Some of Iowa’s top Republican campaign contributors, unhappy with their choices in the developing presidential field, are venturing to New Jersey in hopes they can persuade first-term Gov. Chris Christie to run. The entreaty is the latest sign of dissatisfaction within the GOP over the crop of candidates competing for the chance to run against President Barack Obama in 2012.
Bruce Rastetter, an Iowa energy company executive, and a half-dozen other prominent Iowa GOP donors sought the meeting with Christie, the governor’s chief political adviser, Mike DuHaime, told The Associated Press. The get-together is set for the governor’s mansion in Princeton, N.J., on May 31.
The meeting speaks to what some Republicans nationally say is a lack of enthusiasm about the emerging roster of contenders. It’s also unusual because candidates typically court Iowans, who get the first say in presidential nominating contests, and not the other way around.
Christie, who was elected in 2009 and has drawn national attention for his tough talk and battles with Democrats, has explicitly and repeatedly rejected the idea of running for the White House. Yet that hasn’t deterred these Iowans.
“There isn’t anyone like Chris Christie on the national scene for Republicans,” Rastetter told the AP. “And so we believe that he, or someone like him, running for president is very important at this critical time in our country.”
It’s not the first instance this year of Iowa Republicans seeking to widen the 2012 field. A former state party chairman, Steve Grubbs, approached Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ top aide in Indianapolis last month. Daniels expects to say in a few weeks whether he will enter the race. (...)
(...) On Huntsman Jr.’s political career so far:
“When he left Utah as governor he had positive ratings from 80% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats. The state had a AAA credit rating.”
On his other experience:
“He has been ambassador to Singapore and China. He was a rockstar over there. He had to manage Sino-American relations including the trillions of trade dollars, the Dalai Lama, the Koreans, the Russians. The Chinese loved him. He is an exceptional individual. He was also president of our Huntsman Cancer Center.”
On his likeability as a person:
“He’s a motorcross rider, he does these long jumps. He’s a keyboard player. He had long hair and dropped out of high school to play in a band…He played with REO Speedwagon. I made sure I told him this was a temporary thing.”
Would Jr.’s campaign overlap too much with Mitt Romney’s? (Huntsman Sr. was co-chairman of Romney’s effort in 2008 and they all share the same Mormon faith.)
“Mitt and Jonny are third or fourth cousins. Mitt’s father was a dear and special friend to me when I was in the Nixon White house. But they are very different individuals. Jon Jr. is raising one his daughters as a Hindu [she's adopted from India]. He feels all people should exercise the faith of their heart. Also Jon’s issues are foreign policy. Put the two of them [Jr. and Romney] on the David Letterman Show and the public would think they are two very different people. One would arrive on a motorcycle and play the keyboard and have fun. It would be a fascinating campaign.”
So is he going to run or not?
“When you are in China for two years you are out of circulation. Before he gets too far out he wants to understand America’s needs and understand them thoroughly and deeply. I think he wants to be extremely well-prepared. If he finds there are challenges here and that he can put his arms around them…In a few weeks if he finds he can, then he wil feel comfortable proceeding. His father is clearly cheering him on.” (...)
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) has tapped Rob Johnson to manage his presidential campaign, Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler has confirmed to Hotline On Call. Johnson most recently ran Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (R) successful 2010 re-election effort. He's a well-known political operative in the Lone Star State and signed on with Gingrich as an adviser in March. (...)
(...) Since the 2008 election, 18 states have experienced a change in their number of electoral votes because of the decennial census. Some (mostly red ones) have gained electoral votes and some (mostly blue) have lost electoral votes. John McCain would have closed the gap by 14 electoral votes in 2008 if the contest had been run under the 2012 Electoral College distribution.
Most states are not in play. Mr. Obama will not win Utah and Wyoming, and the Republican nominee will not carry the District of Columbia or Rhode Island. But right now 14 states (with 172 electoral votes) are up for grabs.
Mr. Obama narrowly won three traditionally Republican states in 2008: Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina. Democrats last carried the first two in 1964 and the third in 1976.
(...) Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, and Florida, with 29, both went Democratic in 2008 (they went Republican in 2004), but the swing in each was less than the national average.
(...) There are nine other states that have frequently been battlegrounds in recent contests. There is every reason to believe they will be so again.
(...) If Mr. Obama loses the three states he narrowly carried in 2008 plus Ohio and Florida, then the GOP would win back the White House by swiping any one of the nine remaining battlegrounds. This is a good place for the party to be right now.
The GOP could benefit from the enthusiasm and new registrations generated in its primaries, just as Democrats did in 2008. It also helps that there are Republican governors in 10 of the 14 battleground states. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is planning a big ground game in these states to register, persuade and turn out the vote.
Team Obama can't afford to only play defense. They say they will make plays for Georgia, Arizona and Texas. The first is a long shot; the last two are either attempts to sucker the GOP into a defensive crouch or simply represent bravado. Neither state is likely to go Democratic.
The president's team is already focused on its Electoral College math project. According to CBS Radio's Mark Knoller, since January President Obama has made 40 stops in 15 states. Twelve stops were in battleground states and of the remaining 28 events, 15 were fund raisers in Democratic treasure houses like New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
At this point, the 2012 election is shaping up to be much closer than 2008. Mr. Obama has the considerable benefits of incumbency but also a dismal record. The electoral map has shrunk for him: Key states that went for him last time are unlikely to do so again. This election is within the GOP's grasp. The quality of the Republican candidate's campaign and message will decide whether it becomes so. (...)