Mr. Obama is no Commander in Chief — He is a Weak Man of Character for Exploiting the SEALs

Very few things in life ever make me angry. Messrs. Obama, Biden, and Clinton have crossed the line in their gloating and bragging and have gotten my attention.

The issue of President Obama and Vice President Biden boasting of the decision to kill Bin Laden is unbecoming any leader, gentleman, or certainly a President of the United States. I could not let this one go by. Back in February, I wrote this piece about how the Navy SEALs were upset that Mr. Obama would allow leaking of classified information.

Recent news exposes what I consider to be weakness of character of Mr. Obama as he continues to brag about this event while at the same time criticizing Gov. Romney by stating he would not have taken the same action. While Mr. Obama deserves credit for making the decision certainly, he and Governor Romney are miles apart in one very important way. I wish I could shout this from the rooftops! Once a President Romney were to make such a decision, he would NEVER boast about it and he would NEVER create a political television commercial about it. NEVER!

Anybody who has been around or known any person that has served in the armed forces, in any leadership position, knows that they never brag about combat missions (in part because human beings die as a result). And yet our Commander in Chief is doing exactly that! In my opinion, his language and actions this week are absolutely deplorable!

UPDATE: Outstanding WSJ article: Michael Mukasey: Obama and the bin Laden Bragging RightsIt’s hard to imagine Lincoln or Eisenhower claiming such credit for the heroic actions of others.

Consider this opinion from Breitbart. The article refers to a memo by Panetta and many have referred to Obama’s decision as a “gutsy” call — certainly that is the case in the Clinton narrated ad. The Breitbart article is worth reading in its entirety. Here is an excerpt:

Only the memo doesn’t show a gutsy call. It doesn’t show a president willing to take the blame for a mission gone wrong. It shows a CYA maneuver by the White House.

The memo puts all control in the hands of Admiral McRaven – the “timing, operational decision making and control” are all up to McRaven. So the notion that Obama and his team were walking through every stage of the operation is incorrect. The hero here was McRaven, not Obama. And had the mission gone wrong, McRaven surely would have been thrown under the bus.

The memo is crystal clear on that point. It says that the decision has been made based solely on the “risk profile presented to the President.” If any other risks — no matter how minute — arose, they were “to be brought back to the President for his consideration.” This is ludicrous. It is wiggle room. It was Obama’s way of carving out space for himself in case the mission went bad. If it did, he’d say that there were additional risks of which he hadn’t been informed; he’d been kept in the dark by his military leaders.

Finally, the memo is unclear on just what the mission is. Was it to capture Bin Laden or to kill him? The White House itself was unable to decide what the mission was in the hours after the Bin Laden kill, and actually switched its language. The memo shows why: McRaven was instructed to “get” Bin Laden, whatever that meant.

President Obama made the right call to give the green light to the mission. But he did it in a way that he could shift the blame if things went wrong. Typical Obama. And typical of him to claim full credit for it, when he didn’t do anything but give a vague nod, while putting his top military officials at risk of taking the hit in case of a bad turn.

MailOnline obtained the opinions of Navy SEALs regarding Obama’s using their mission for political gain — consider:

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.
[...]
Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.
[...]
Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

Even Arianna Huffington ripped Mr. Obama!

Mr Obama has faced criticism even from allies about his decision to make a campaign ad about the bin Laden raid. Arianna Huffington, an outspoken liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room… all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’
[...]

The article continues:

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander-in-chief so his secret is safe.’
[...]
A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

‘In the end, Obama was forced to make a decision and do it. He knew that if he didn’t do it the political risks in not taking action were huge. Mitt Romney would have made the call but he would have made it earlier — as would George W. Bush.’
[...]
It was ‘stretching a little much’ for Mr Obama to suggest only he would have made the decision. ‘I personally I don’t think Romney would have any problem making tough decisions. He got a very accomplished record of making decision as a business professional.
[...]
Clint Bruce, who gave up the chance of an NFL career to serve as a SEAL officer before retiring as a lieutenant after nine years, said: ‘We were extremely surprised and discouraged by the publicity because it compromises the ability of those guys to operate.

[emphasis added throughout]

Frankly, I am angry. President Obama is accurately credited for the decision he made. But for him to effectively glory in the mission by exploiting the true heroes who made it happen — and to politicize the mission — is beyond the pale. His extremely poor judgment in constantly seeking political gain, using a military operation, speaks volumes of his utter lack of decency while at the same time revealing his character.

Obama, Biden, and Clinton are weak men for using our service men and women in this way.

Obama and Axelrod Are Losing It — Romney Driving

Prediction: Mr. Obama or Mr. Axelrod will lose their temper in public before November 6th. Axelrod came this close to blowing a gasket at minute 5:45. And this is Mr. Obama’s best guy! Watch his eyes, body language, stuttering, interrupting Wallace, talking over him, raising his voice (FOX video). Obama’s team is scared (check minute 8:20 — Classic!). Related prediction: Obama will fire Axelrod before November 6th. BTW, Axelrod was interrupting Candy Crowley on her show this morning because he did not like the nature of her questions.

Evidence abounds that Mr. Obama and team are scared. His fear, and that of his surrounding team, was described well a week ago by David Parker in his Op-Ed “Obama’s Rage!” Mr. Obama is getting good marks by voters currently for being a nice guy — “the kind of guy you could see yourself sitting down to have a beer with” as they say. Just what we need — a good ole boy that really understands the average guy!

What about decisive leadership and accomplishment? Are we not yet “over it” when it comes to Mr. Obama’s blaming others and taking credit for the successes of others? I am over it! There are lots of people like Obama in business; they never last. They are the talkers, not the doers. They can talk a good line but can rarely execute.

I strongly believe that David Parker is right; Obama is scared. Since the 2008 election cycle, the Democrat party has lost voters to independents and Republicans. Just yesterday, a U.S. Senator publicly stated he’s not sure he can vote for Mr. Obama for president (many Democrats have shifted their support to Gov. Romney as evidenced in part here). And here.

Numerous sources are reporting “anemic” fundraising by the Obama camp. To be certain, they are in a better position financially than the Romney campaign, primarily due to the fact that Mr. Obama had no primary challengers against whom to defend. However, Obama’s fundraising efforts are far behind projections of both the Democrat and Republican political leaders. The Obama campaign is now asking Pres. Clinton to help out (WSJ):

Mr. Clinton is likely to assist the super PAC, called Priorities USA Action, whose anemic fundraising total thus far has unnerved the Obama campaign and senior Democrats.
[...]
“They’re asking for him to do anything,” the Clinton friend said. “Whatever he’s willing to do—to the extent they can get people in a room with him.”

The New York Times is also reporting that the Obama campaign is scrambling to raise more money.

From Wall Street to Hollywood, from doctors and lawyers, the traditional big sources of campaign cash are not delivering for the Obama campaign as they did four years ago. The falloff has left his fund-raising totals running behind where they were at the same point in 2008 — though well ahead of Mr. Romney’s — and has induced growing concern among aides and supporters as they confront the prospect that Republicans and their “super PAC” allies will hold a substantial advantage this fall.
[...]
“They clearly are feeling the pressure,” said one major Obama fund-raiser, who asked for anonymity to characterize his conversations with campaign officials.

Two days ago, Toby Harden wrote a compelling piece titled, “Barack Obama’s re-election bid is already in deep trouble”

Obama will keep trying to talk about something, anything other than the economy — contraception and dogs being the most recent examples — but Romney has the relatively straightforward task of being disciplined enough to talk relentlessly about jobs and the economy.

Certainly, Romney will never win the “guy you’d like to have a beer with” test, as Bush did in 2000. But 2012 will not be about that — there’s more at stake than in 2000. And as Nate Silver argues, Romney has room to grow and favourability ratings at this stage are unreliable indicators for November.
[...]
Even without factoring in the likely negative political impact of, say, Obamacare being struck down by the Supreme Court in June, Obama’s re-election bid is already in deep trouble.

Only a fool would underestimate Obama’s campaign machine, his ability to raise money and the fact that he remains personally likeable to a majority of Americans despite the state of the country. Anyone who argues at this stage that Obama is doomed to defeat is deluding themselves.

But the reality of this campaign is that it is likely to be brutal, very close — and could well result in Mitt Romney becoming the 45th President of the United States next January 20th.

[emphasis added in several places above]

Obama is looking in all corners for votes. He has decided to pick up the frequency of appearance on comedy shows in the hopes of appealing to young voters. See article in the Daily News here.

One simple method to measure the progress or success of a major political campaign is to simply observe which campaign is on the defensive most often. The candidate and his team that is on defense most is failing, no matter what the polls say at the moment. Governor Romney knows this well and it is one reason he has been all over Obama’s record.

Some pundits have criticized Governor Romney lately for not communicating his plans more specifically and how he would govern as president. There is plenty of time for that. Right now, each side is in the process of defining the contest and defining the other guy. In my opinion, Governor Romney is doing a far better job of defining Mr. Obama. Governor Romney is in the process of backing Mr. Obama into a corner. He is very effective at this.

As Mr. Obama becomes more and more cornered, he becomes more and more dangerous and he will lash out. When he does, we will see the real man.

One big reason we need President Romney to take over in January 2013:

Artwork by Michael Ramirez

Mitt Romney to Address 48,000 Evangelicals at Liberty University in May

Among friends and family members, discussions will often turn to the presidential campaigns. It is well known that Governor Romney has a strong, optimistic vision and message for America, contrasted with Mr. Obama’s aversion to any discussion of his own record as president (for example, when was the last time he touted his signature legislative “victory” — ObamaSnare?). His rhetoric is mostly negative and serious.

It seems the question always arises, “What do you think the Democrats are going to do to attack Romney?” One answer I hear almost every time goes something like, “Oh, there is no question the Democrats are going to make this one of the nastiest presidential elections of all time! They are going to look for every angle they can to attack Governor Romney’s Christian faith.” Anybody who follows the writings of our friends at Evangelicals for Mitt (“EFM”) and Article VI Blog know these attacks began in earnest about five years ago and really never abated (see John Schroeder’s excellent piece yesterday).

Liberty University

Though the DNC has said, “Attacking a candidate’s religion is out of bounds,” they know such a statement is like an open invitation to the liberal mainstream media and Democrats of all stripes do exactly the opposite. The latest example is the Democrat governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer’s reference two days ago to Governor Romney’s LDS family background, generations ago. And to what end? Division: a weak attempt to divide Americans of faith. Oh, and deflection from Mr. Obama’s record of course — as always.

I was excited Thursday to read the announcement that Governor Romney would give the commencement address at Liberty University next month — the audience is expected at 48,000 (Liberty University is to Evangelicals what BYU is to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Minutes after receiving the news alert, I sent an email to Nancy French at EFM asking if she might like to write a brief guest post for MRC (little did I know that she had just brought her husband David home from the hospital with a concussion — she reports that David is recovering well). Charles Mitchell at EFM wrote this piece about the announcement.

David French is relentless in his support of Governor Romney for president; even with a concussion he was somehow lucid enough to provide these excellent thoughts for National Review Online yesterday regarding Governor Romney’s speech May 12th. In my opinion, should Governor Romney be elected POTUS, the national attention he receives at the Liberty University commencement address will be exceeded only by his Tampa and inaugural speeches.

Interesting Factoid: Mark DeMoss, a trustee of Liberty University and a nationally prominent Evangelical gave an outstanding speech at BYU January 24, 2012. Referring to the invitation to speak at BYU, he said it was, “one of the highest honors I have received.” His BYU speech is truly outstanding and worth watching in its entirety.

Unfortunately, in the next six months, there will be many enemies of religious freedom that will do everything in their power to divide people of faith in the battle tested tactics of “divide and conquer.” We saw it this week. Jayde referred to it in her “Bigot Hall of Shame” post of April 6th referring to O’Donnell’s MSNBC lies that he later admitted were wrong.

Never forget Mr. Obama’s central campaign strategy: DIVIDE — DISTORT — DISTRACT — DEFLECT… Mr. Obama will use any person, entity, and message to take voters’ minds away from his record as POTUS.

Once before, I mentioned Dennis Prager, one of my favorite radio talk show hosts; one who is nationally syndicated. He refers often to his faith — he is an orthodox Jew. In light of the Obama strategy to relentlessly divide Americans on class, gender, faith, ethnicity, etc. and with this week’s announcement of the Liberty University address, I decided to include a segment from Dennis Prager’s radio program. Prager provides excellent reasoning to illustrate that he perfectly understands what he calls “the Evangelical argument” — also included are his thoughts on Romney and the presidential election. ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT (crescendo to the end):

“Bigotry and intolerance, silenced by argument, endeavors to silence by persecution, in old days by fire and sword, in modern days by the tongue.” ~ Charles Simmons

“Bigotry and judgment are the height of insecurity.” ~ Jasmine Guy

“Bigotry or prejudice in any form is more than a problem; it is a deep-seated evil within our society.” ~ Judith Light

Mr. Obama’s Commitment to North Carolina

These next 6+ months are going to be fascinating to watch. There are dozens of video clips of very specific promises and commitments Mr. Obama made on a variety of very important national issues. This short video is a good example of promises made.

“I’ve been looking at some video clips on YouTube of President Obama – then candidate Obama – going through Iowa making promises. The gap between his promises and his performance is the largest I’ve seen, well, since the Kardashian wedding and the promise of ’til death do we part.” ~ Mitt Romney

“I think it is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises – but only performance is reality.” ~ Harold S. Geneen

McGurn: Romney’s Leadership Trumps Obama’s Likability

William McGurn is an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal — he writes the “Main Street” column for the Journal. Two days ago, he wrote “The ‘Likable’ Barack Obama”

Mr. Obama on Cloud 9 / Photo: AP


Subtext:

In 1980, Ronald Reagan zeroed in on the incompetence of Jimmy Carter, a good and decent man. That should be Mitt Romney’s strategy in 2012.

Between now and November 6th, I expect to see many comparisons to the Carter/Reagan contest of 1980; there are just too many similarities to ignore. However, I think Obama will eventually be critiqued by historians as a greater failure by comparison. That said, we can never allow ourselves to become complacent in our work to elect Mitt Romney as our next president.

There are tens of millions of voters out there that will vote on a smile, charisma, a good speech, and “likability.” Barack Obama can never be underestimated.

By WILLIAM MCGURN

How likable is Barack Obama?

Very likable, it seems, at least in contrast to his GOP rival. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released a few days ago, Americans by a more than 2-to-1 ratio say the president is more “friendly and likable” than Mitt Romney.

Look at the photo above — what’s not to like? In this American Idol age in which image is everything, it is no wonder that the casual voter will feel perfectly fine voting for the one they think they know rather than for the new guy. Especially if the new guy likes the Red Sox.

Many Republicans, and especially conservatives, can find these numbers hard to credit. Some note that the poll sampling favors Democrats and thus artificially inflates the president’s numbers. Still others have come to dislike President Obama so much that it makes them suspicious when they read numbers indicating they are in the minority.

The focus on likability is a mistake. It’s a mistake, first, for Democrats if they believe likability will be enough for Mr. Obama to win re-election come November. It’s even more of a mistake for those Republicans who believe that the only way to defeat the president is to get fellow Americans to dislike him as much as they do.

McGurn referred to “the unwitting arrogance” of Hilary Rosen and how the Obama administration trashed her in order not to appear connected to her.

Republicans ought not make this mistake with Mr. Obama. When Americans look at the president, many see a loving father with personal values they admire and an attractive wife and children. The administration understands this, which is why a recent Internet campaign ad asking voters to “help the Obamas stand up for working Americans” did so over a photo of the president, his wife and his two daughters.

I have seen this ad all over the Internet. It is most appealing. Mr. Obama is a nice guy!

Resurgent Republic, a conservative-leaning public research firm, found the same likability at work in recent focus groups of independents who had voted for Mr. Obama in 2008. The good news for Mr. Obama is that “these Obama Independents still like the president.”

The bad news for him is that “[w]hen asked what they like most about the president, participants refer almost solely to personal traits like his character and speaking skills. At best, they credit President Obama for trying.”

That helps explain why the same poll that showed the president more likable than Mr. Romney went on to report that a majority nonetheless thought the former Massachusetts governor would do a better job with the economy.

I would like to speak to one person who thinks that Mr. Obama would do a better job with the economy over Governor Romney — I have not met one yet.

Mr. Obama ought to be worried. Sixty-four percent also say the country is on the wrong track; [...] a number of Americans who voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 are open to the idea that someone else could do a better job.

Now, the president’s likability doesn’t mean Mr. Romney shouldn’t go on the offensive. It does mean he ought to attack hardest where Mr. Obama is at his weakest: his failed policies. [...]

He also suggests conservatives drive home Obama’s incompetence.

Mr. Romney is hardly the first Republican presidential aspirant to take that tack against a Democratic incumbent. In 1980, Ronald Reagan zeroed in on Jimmy Carter’s competence. Plenty of Americans thought President Carter was a good and decent man too—but by election day Mr. Reagan had persuaded them that his rival just wasn’t up to the job.

The day after that election, Mr. Reagan’s pollster, Richard Wirthlin, explained the campaign this way: “We saw the opportunity for a role reversal—that is, by the end of the campaign, I think we came very close to having people look upon Ronald Reagan as more presidential than Jimmy Carter.”

Mr. Romney now has a similar opportunity. Certainly he can point out that Mr. Obama has no excuses. If ever the stars were in alignment for liberal Democratic policies to shine, it was during the first two years of Mr. Obama’s presidency, after he had handily defeated John McCain and been sent to Washington with huge, veto-proof majorities in Congress.

Mr. Romney already has the votes of those who dislike Mr. Obama. The votes he needs are there for the asking: folks who like Mr. Obama but have serious doubts about his leadership as president.

[emphasis added]

“Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Humor? (hat tip to Steve Miller from Wisconsin for this image below the fold) (more…)

Religion & Romney, Passover & Good Friday, Bigot Hall of Shame & O’Donnell, Rev. Mills

Update - Mitt Romney today made the following statement on Passover:

This Friday night, Jews around the world will join with their families and friends to observe the holiday of Passover. This ancient celebration of freedom reminds us that free people everywhere have a stake in ending oppression. Ann joins me in wishing everyone sitting down for a Passover Seder a joyous time with family and friends.”

April 6, 2012…

It’s an important religious day for Jews and Christians.

Christians in America and across the world are reflecting on the atonement and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Those of the Jewish faith in America and across the world are observing the first day of Passover.

Today also serves as a bold reminder of the gift of the United States Constitution – wherein religious issues are addressed.

The First Amendment guarantees Americans the freedom of religion. Article VI prohibits the imposition of religious tests as a condition for holding public office. These are our rights. This is the law. Untold treasure and lives have been sacrificed to make it so. Responsible, decent, patriotic American citizens cherish these laws.

Warty political tentacles – whether from the left or the right – are stretching and flexing to selectively choke and kill these guarantees for those with whom they disagree. Yes, as despicable as it is, fellow Americans are actively working to blunt these rights for other Americans.

It’s Un-American. Anti-constitutional. It’s the equivalent of spitting and trampling on the graves of all who have given their lives in the name of freedom.

America – the great religious melting pot of the earth – enables us to celebrate our own religious beliefs while recognizing others are free to do the same. Those living here, enjoying the benefits of our democracy, who seek to deprive the rights of others based on their religious affiliation – whether overtly or covertly – deserve to be shrouded in shame.

I intend to reflect and rejoice on this religious day and I celebrate the opportunity it provides to speak up. Without going in the weeds, I’ve held my thoughts on religious bigotry thus far in this presidential primary, but feel those days have ended. Speakers of religious hate and particularly bigots against Governor Romney’s faith will be outed in Hall of Shame posts. For today, I refer readers to the latest on Article VI blog. They’ve got it covered – but their topics deserve more coverage. Evangelicals for Mitt is another great source. They both have a friend in me.

A final thought before sharing a remembrance for the the day… Those seeking to become United States citizens are REQUIRED to take an Oath of Allegiance:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic . . . “

Are natural born citizens exempt from the same standard?

Maybe religious bigots don’t consider themselves domestic enemies of the Constitution… but, they are. Yes, in the future, I’ll be naming names. It’s that simple – name names and induct them into the Wyatt Hall of Shame. Here are the first two: Lawrence O’Donnell and Santorum endorser Reverend Huey Mills.

Speaking of good – Governor Romney tweeted this today:

Praying for a quick recovery for Bella. Ann and I are keeping Rick, Karen and the entire Santorum family in our thoughts.

My prayers are for little Bella and the Santorums at this time, as well.

Click below the fold for a remembrance…

(more…)

Prediction: Senator Santorum to Quit Presidential Race in April

This week, a number of news outlets have reported a conspicuous drop in Santorum’s typical strident rhetoric against Gov. Romney. I believe this is a less than subtle way to position himself to exit the race. Yesterday’s New York Times reported,

Rick Santorum has eased up on using phrases like “worst Republican in the country” when tearing into Mitt Romney. And he is no longer saying that a vote for Mr. Romney would be basically the same thing as a vote for President Obama.

Meet subdued Santorum.

After several highly publicized remarks that left many in his party questioning whether he had crossed the line in attacking a fellow Republican, Mr. Santorum has struggled to find the balance between being a tenacious underdog and leaving himself open to criticism that he is just an embittered also-ran.
[...]
The sudden restraint has surprised some of his supporters.

[emphasis added]

Senator Santorum is not stupid; think about it. Just a few days ago, he rips Gov. Romney publicly and that very same day publicly states he would consider a veep position under a President Romney. Yes, I did a double-take as well! But why let up now? The NYT article even quotes his supporters saying that his “passionate” language is one of the things most appealing.

Here is the reason I believe. There are eight primaries between now and April 24th. Romney is expected to win six of them and probably by a wide margin. The other two are Wisconsin (4/3) and Pennsylvania (4/24). As of 7:30 p.m. PST tonight, Intrade shows the probability of a Santorum win in Wisconsin at 11.8% and a win in his home state of Pennsylvania at 31.1%. The other six states are below 5% except Connecticut (6.8%). Above, I said Santorum is not stupid. He is looking at these same probabilities and he is thinking now.

Here is where the dew of reality is descending upon Santorum’s thoughts.

Rick Santorum’s private thoughts (my conjecture):

“Wow! I could lose this thing fast in the next few weeks. I have to win. I put too much into this thing with my wife, my children, and Bella — And dang it, I worked harder than the other guys and I deserve to win! I have to win Wisconsin to build the momentum into my home state but Mitt is so much more prepared and his machine is killing me in Wisconsin. I have to win Pennsylvania! If I lose Wisconsin, that will not be good going into Pennsylvania! Mitt is picking up steam in Pennsylvania this week. I have to win Pennsylvania! Having to answer to that dang 18 point loss in my senate race in 2006 has been shear [pain] in this race — embarrassing! There is no way I will lose Pennsylvania — No way!”

Do you see where Rick’s mind is right now? Can he win Wisconsin next Tuesday? Absolutely he can if we let up at all. I strongly believe Governor Romney has Santorum in a strangle hold with Wisconsin, especially if he trounces him Tuesday. Romney will likely smash Santorum in DC and Maryland and if he has a really strong win in Wisconsin, Santorum will be all but dead going into Pennsylvania.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported in February:

Yet six years ago, as he sought a third Senate term in Pennsylvania, Santorum proved he can also lose in such a politically competitive state — and lose big.

Santorum’s last race — an 18-percentage-point defeat in 2006 bid — raises questions about his appeal to independent voters who could help decide the national election in November, as well as to Republicans who will determine who gets the party’s nomination.

Santorum’s loss was “the largest defeat by a Republican United States senator seeking election or re-election in modern Pennsylvania history,” said G. Terry Madonna, a polling expert and public affairs professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

So think about it. If I am Santorum and I know I now have two choices (after losing Wisconsin): 1) I could do what I have said I would do and stay in the race all the way to the convention (remember: “principle”) and lose Pennsylvania and be thoroughly embarrassed again, or 2) I could exit stage right and declare my loyal support to Romney and hear everybody cheer me to glory.

How does Santorum avoid losing Pennsylvania again?

If Santorum were to lose Wisconsin to Romney, which do you think he will choose? 1? or 2? I predict Wisconsin will be another close race but that Romney will win it. If this happens, Santorum will “evaluate” the race at that point and decide to exit entirely. What seems hard to predict is when he would make that announcement. I think it would likely be the weekend following the Wisconsin primary and not a lot later so that it does not appear to be correlated with a fear of embarrassment — which a loss in his home state certainly would be.

The most compelling argument for Santorum to attempt a graceful exit from the race, upon losing Wisconsin, is this (he is not stupid — Santorum is the epitome of the political animal): He wants a future in politics — and presidential politics at that. If he were to lose Pennsylvania bad (very good possibility), he would be almost for sure pushed out of the race with people laughing, and his political reputation would be all but destroyed.

If he were then to attempt to run for POTUS in future years, it will always be remembered of him that he could not win reelection (2006) to the Senate in his home state (historically huge loss) and that he bad-mouthed Romney for months before being trounced again in his home state of Pennsylvania (2012). And why? Because of a) a huge ego, b) stubbornness, and c) strident social positions. He would be washed up and would forever be overlooked as a serious national candidate. He will not allow that to happen — not when he can control the outcome now.

As we say in business, the risk-reward consideration is making this untenable for Mr. Santorum. I think the probability that Santorum will compete in Pennsylvania is less than five percent.

He will not allow himself to be embarrassed. Not by Governor Romney!

GO MITT! Let’s all work as hard as we can to bring a HUGE win to Mitt in Wisconsin — We do not want the Wisconsin results to even be close! We can finish off Santorum next Tuesday.

“As the world’s finest democracy, we do not do guillotines. But there are other less bloody rituals of humiliation, designed to reassure the populace that order is restored, the Republic cleansed.” ~ William Greider

Exit Question: What is a One Term Obama Presidency Worth to You?

U.S. Marine Meets Governor & Mrs. Romney at California Fundraiser Luncheon

Governor Romney held a fundraising event yesterday in the Orange County community of Shady Canyon at the home of a supporter. It was a beautiful, sunny day — perfect for an outdoor event [see several photographs below the fold].

Photo by Amanda Earnest

I asked three people attending the luncheon to provide highlights of the event, including the comments of Governor and Mrs. Romney. This was the first time that each of them had met Governor Romney. Following are their observations and several photos of the luncheon. They include Marine veteran Marlon Bateman, Shady Canyon resident Bill Joiner, and Amanda Earnest who helped raise funds for the event. I appreciate each of their contributions for this post.

REQUEST: There were hundreds of people in attendance at this luncheon. If you were one of them yesterday, please leave a brief comment to this post and add your observations to those of Marlon, Bill, and Amanda. Why are you supporting Governor Romney’s candidacy for President?

I am proud to include Marlon Bateman in this post. It was he that inspired me to write this after discovering it would be his first time to meet Gov. Romney. I believe I speak for my family, friends, and all Americans in publicly thanking him for his years of honorable service in protecting our nation; and to his wife Emily for her service in support. Thank you so much — we will always be grateful.

CPL Bateman in Afghanistan w/ Afghan National in Back

Marlon Bateman grew up in California, and joined the Marine Corp. after graduating high school. He served from October 2007 to September 2011 (at rank of CPL) with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines Infantry. Shortly after joining the Marines, Marlon married Emily and was later deployed to Iraq and then again to Afghanistan in 2010. He is active in his church, has a passion for politics, is a full-time college student, and will be assisting Governor Romney’s campaign any way he can in 2012 (David Parker of MRC called Gov. Romney to inform him that Marlon would be there to meet him).

On Tuesday my wife and I had a chance to meet Governor and Mrs. Romney. A friend who knew that I had served four years in the Marines and was now in college and working (as well as helping to campaign for Governor Romney) invited me to an event that supporters of the governor were holding in Irvine, California. So my wife and I came and were treated to a few minutes conversation with the governor and his wife. (more…)

Obama’s Unemployment Albatross / Romney Best as Health-care Expert / TRENDS

NOTE: See “Feelings about Mitt Romney” below the fold, at the end of this post.

Chris Wallace is one of my favorite political interviewers. He is tough and will generally stay with a line of questioning until he gets answers. Yesterday he interviewed David Plouffe, one of Obama’s senior advisers. The interview spanned a number of topics, the most important being unemployment and gasoline prices.

This video clip is over 14 minutes, but at 13 minutes, five seconds, Wallace put up a chart that shows the unemployment rate at the time three incumbent presidents lost an election “seeking another term” over the last 36 years. The implication of course being that a key reason each of these one-term-only presidents lost reelection was due to the unusually high unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate today is 8.3 percent, not including those who want to work, but who stopped looking — that the government stopped counting. Following were the unemployment rates at the time of the presidential elections:

  • Gerald Ford — 7.8%
  • Jimmy Carter — 7.5%
  • George H. W. Bush — 7.4%

The future does not look good for Mr. Obama if history is any indication!

Of course, many things factor into the ability of any incumbent president to win reelection, but the unemployment rate is a very important number and Obama knows it. You can tell by Plouffe’s demeanor and answer that the Obama Administration knows it. Top that off with high and rising gasoline prices and we have a current political climate that is worse than that of President Carter when Governor Reagan beat him with a mandate. We have seen both Gingrich and Santorum become desperate in their rhetoric; I will venture a guess that their desperation will pale in comparison to Obama’s in October and November.

Kimberly A. Strassel WSJ Op-Ed

Many editorials have emerged these past two weeks basically advising Gov. Romney to get out ahead of the opposition and provide more details to illustrate how his Massachusetts health-care plan is different from ObamaCare. In my opinion, the differences are many and very important — but I believe Gov. Romney’s lack of focus on healthcare in his speeches right now is a good strategy. He is succeeding without it and the risks associated with bringing it up are not worth it right now.

That said, Ms. Strassel makes some valid points in her Op-Ed. The first half of the piece discusses how she feels Gov. Romney’s lack of clarity in describing/defending his health-care plan against charges from Santorum and others has hurt him, but then she ends the piece by arguing Romney can turn it to his benefit (see Paul Johnson’s excellent article below to compliment this point). Strassel: (more…)

Governor Romney’s Huge Success Amid Other Republicans’ Seeking Blame

Mr. Neil King Jr. of The Wall Street Journal yesterday wrote “Romney Widens Lead, but Prize is Elusive” providing an excellent snapshot of the race in the graphics below and in his analysis below:

King’s analysis indicates that if Santorum and Gingrich are going to make a difference to impress, they better get on it now. It is my opinion that it is time for a few Republican sages to tap each man on the shoulder and quietly help them see what they are blind to: that their quest entered the selfish phase awhile back and that it is now obvious to all but a few Americans they seem intent on damaging the Republican chances against Obama. While Obama is amassing war chest funds at a pace much faster than the four GOP candidates combined, we are squandering our funds in needless inter-party scrimmages:

Indeed, a look at the delegate math in the Republican contest shows Mr. Romney still could face a drawn-out race against his main challenger, Rick Santorum, as well Newt Gingrich, and he faces a primary calendar that seems structured to maintain the suspense.
[...]
Mr. Santorum, who lags behind the front-runner by well over 200 delegates, would have to win about three-quarters of all remaining delegates to cross that bar, while Mr. Gingrich would have to win nearly 90% of remaining delegates up for grabs.
[...]
Mr. Santorum’s aides acknowledge that April holds little promise for their quest. They hope to do well in Wisconsin on April 3, and then in the former senator’s home state of Pennsylvania on April 24. But the campaign isn’t predicting wins in either state, raising the possibility that Mr. Santorum could go 0-for-8 in April, a month that will put 329 delegates up for grabs.
[...]
That means a central question in the campaign becomes whether Mr. Santorum’s candidacy can survive a nearly 10-week period of sparse delegate pickups in April and few hospitable states in early May.

[emphasis added]

In a separate WSJ article, Jason L. Riley gave us “Santorum’s Blame Game” (whatever happened to a leader accepting responsibility for failure in a hard fought battle?):

Significantly, Mr. Romney, a Mormon, has continued to beat Mr. Santorum, a devout Catholic, among Catholics — an important swing voting bloc that broke for George W. Bush in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008.

By the way, if you want to see Santorum become snarky, watch the way he answers questions about the Catholic vote! In the Michigan primary loss, he was asked about his big losses to Catholic voters and his reply was that he does well with those that “attend church.” Well, in the Illinois primary exit polls, Governor Romney won the vote of Catholics that “attend church at least once a week.” NICE! It will be interesting to see how he answers the question the next time he is asked about the Catholic vote. Can he blame another Christian for the Illinois loss of Catholics? Why find blame? Why not just accept defeat like a man?

Despite the thumping, Mr. Santorum made it clear last night that he isn’t quitting the race, refusing even to acknowledge that he had performed poorly. [...] The Santorum camp also continued to point the finger at Newt Gingrich. “It’s time for Gingrich supporters to get behind us if they truly want a conservative candidate,” a Santorum aide told reporters, according to Politico.

Mr. Santorum believes that Mr. Gingrich’s presence in the race is splitting the anti-Romney vote and hurting his campaign. That’s certainly plausible but is becoming less so as the nomination process continues. Mr. Romney’s Illinois vote total yesterday was easily greater than Mr. Santorum’s and Mr. Gingrich’s combined.

[emphasis added]

What is it about today’s leadership at the national level? I fear that many Republicans have fallen into the liberal trap of finding blame outside of oneself for failure. We see it everywhere among the Democrats — we expect as much from them. I strongly believe that a President Mitt Romney will accept every responsibility as a man in a way that all strong leaders do — and he will do so by sharing his successes with others while shouldering set-backs with “the bucks stops here” attitude.

Sadly, if either Gingrich or Santorum exit the race involuntarily, it will likely the be the ignoble way: When they run out of runway (cash is gone).

What would Mitt Romney do?