A Personal Perspective and 10 Key Takeaways – Romney Victory Leadership Retreat

Having attended the Romney Victory Leadership Retreat, I wanted to offer a brief insight and some personal takeaways from the Park City event this weekend. In a subsequent post I will address the issue of Substance and Depth: The Candidates.

A Lifetime of Experience and Preparation for America's Defining Moment

Appreciating an expected crowd of 300, then 400, then 500+, and ultimately nearly 800 attendees, the recent retreat at Park City, Utah was a moving and inspiring experience. While returning to the hotel after Friday’s dinner at the Olympic Park, we were conversing with a couple from Florida, who at the last minute (Thursday night) decided that they would come to Utah, and they did. That seemed to sum up the attitude of so many present in Park City – this was an event not to be missed; everyone was energized.

James Baker offered one of the most cogent, articulate and impassioned arguments of any I have heard and read as to why the nation needs Mitt Romney! James Baker has spent his life in service to our nation and, having served four US Presidents in key positions, provided a compelling and detailed introduction of why Mitt Romney is the most qualified of any in our lifetime to lead our nation at this critical juncture of domestic and global uncertainty. Of any who would know, it would be James Baker.

Ann and Mitt Romney then followed with a ‘tenderly’ humorous introduction of their sons (by Ann), and a passionate and galvanizing speech about the greatness of the task before us (by Mitt). Governor Romney went on to talk about his faith in, and the depth and capacity of, the American people; to rise above trial, tribulation and a dearth of leadership in our most critical moments, and fulfill our responsibility to pick up and carry the torch of freedom; a torch carried so capably by our ‘greatest generation’. He said it wasn’t our torch, but it was our privilege to carry it and hold it high. He inspiringly spoke of our greatest generation who valiantly fought for and preserved our freedom, and the freedom of so many in the world. Acknowledging the sacrifices born by this generation of our fathers and grandfathers, and the diminishing numbers who remain, Mitt movingly touched the hearts of all present to stand tall; to stand firm; and pick up that which so was so valiantly fought for by our fathers; and upon whose shoulders we stand. I have heard many speeches in my 60 years, but this one will stand apart, for it resonated in my heart as few have; and I was not alone in these feelings.

Saturday we were privileged to further hear from Senator John McCain, Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Reince Preibus, Jeb Bush and Governor Romney, among many others.

Senator McCain stated with clarity that America is no longer leading from behind – we are not leading at all. He talked of the Arab Spring and that it is only the beginning, with more to come. He further emphasized that at a time when Obama has undermined trust with our allies through critical security leaks, outing British and Israeli cooperation; when our relationship with Israel has been undermined and is at its worst in history; when we have placed greater risks to American lives and the lives of our Allies; we don’t need a President who politicizes our national security and allied relationships through security leaks and self promotion; we need a LEADER who understands America’s exceptionalism in the world; we need a LEADER who can restore trust and what has been lost; we need a LEADER who puts country and others above self; we need a LEADER with sound judgment, trust, capacity, and integrity; we need a LEADER who is principled; we need Mitt Romney.

Secretary Rice was absolutely inspiring. She spoke of the three great shocks that have occurred in the last decade; (1) 9/11 challenged our physical security, (2) the financial meltdown in 2008 challenged our economic security, and (3) the pinnacle Arab Spring, perhaps the most dramatic, illustrated the risk to and opportunity for freedom. Even so, the need for and absence of American leadership in the latter has exacerbated tumult, chaos and created a more dangerous threat to our American and global societies. The world looks for and needs American leadership. In the absence of American leadership, the void will be filled elsewhere, and no one can or will fill such a void with the fundamental principles of freedom. She stressed, with depth of understanding and experience, that the narrative of America is empowerment, not entitlement. Without equivocation, Secretary Rice was clear in her entreaty – we need someone who understands and can lead – that person is Mitt Romney!

Reince Preibus talked of his rearing as a young man at the feet of his grandfather, a resident of Greece; and how much his grandfather loved America! Chairman Preibus was equally inspiring in clearly delineating our task ahead, for we are engaged in a battle for freedom as with our founding fathers and the greatest generation before us. This is our moment to fill the shoes of those who have gone before.

Much more was discussed by panelists on innovation and the media, as well as a strategy breakdown from the tremendous campaign team of Governor Romney.

Jeb Bush was absolute in his advocacy for the message of and person in Mitt Romney, while reaffirming what all present believe – Mitt Romney is uniquely qualified and prepared at this critical juncture in our nation’s history to lead America forward in freedom and prosperity. He stated that where we have been in the past three and a half years has set us on a course of intended decline, a decline that MUST, CAN, and WILL be reversed; that Mitt Romney has been prepared for this moment; and that we, as a nation, need him!

Of course, as has been written, we were also able to enjoy private and group interactions with leading surrogates for the Romney campaign.

10 Key Personal Takeaways
1 – We are living in a more tumultuous, chaotic and dangerous world because of failed American leadership.
2 – Through a conscious and deliberate effort by a self-aggrandizing President and his team who place personal interest and position above the needs and security of our Nation, the lives of many Americans and Allies are at risk.
3 – Mitt Romney is distinctly and uniquely qualified as few have been, to lead our nation through its current crises.
4 – Gathered were some of our nation’s most influential business leaders, entrepreneurs and bankers who collectively have the capacity and ability to move our economy, if government would empower and not constrain or burden them. We gathered together because we support and see in Mitt Romney, an incomparable leader for the 21st century; one who can turn around an ailing nation and economy; a leader who can make a difference in the lives of every American; a leader we can TRUST, whose judgments are sound and whose principles are aligned with America’s; a leader who gets it; a leader who will LEAD.
5 – Mitt Romney not only can, but will win in November – because of who Mitt Romney is, his message of a Strong America, the team he assembled to manage his campaign, the coalescence of Republicans, Independents and the coalitions of so many whose concern for America has elevated beyond measure; and the depth, commitment and energy of so many like unto those attending in Park City this weekend.
6 – A comparable gathering by Barack Obama would look completely different – instead of influential business (large and small), banking and entrepreneurial leaders, and coalescing constituencies, Barack Obama would draw Hollywood celebrities and community activists. Unlike those supporting Mitt Romney, i.e., successful entrepreneurs and coalescing assemblages across all spectrums, who are deeply connected to our economy and jobs, and making a difference, those supporting Barack Obama comparatively have little impact on the granular depth of our economic recovery and jobs. Hollywood will not lead our recovery.
7 – There is an undeniable energy and intensity on the part of all in attendance to effect a change and assure that Barack Obama has a job in the private sector come November 6, 2012. To a one, everyone in attendance is stepping up their game, which is huge because of what has been accomplished thus far.
8 – Not to underestimate the capacity of Barack Obama.
9 – Mitt Romney will not be outraised by Barack Obama, nor will his message of a Strong America be silenced by the MSM or Barack Obama.
10 – Barack Obama continues to run a fractured, fear-based, and divisive campaign, seeking to elevate himself at the expense and attempted destruction of others.

As private as this retreat was, it was by greater measure a furtherance of Mitt Romney’s campaign for America to a cause greater than self.

Follow David Parker on Twitter @dparkersrs

David Parker’s latest book.

Mitt Romney Wins 2011 California Republican Party Straw Poll

After several rounds of voting, Mitt Romney won the California Republican Party straw poll:

“At the California Republican Convention late last month, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won a poll of preferred GOP candidates for president in 2012.

After eight rounds of voting, Romney came out on top, besting former House speaker Newt Gingrich (who garnered the second-highest amount of votes) and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. Big names like former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin were knocked out in early rounds of voting.”

California is a crucial state for anyone hoping to become the next President of the United States since it carries a whopping 55 electoral votes.

In the summer of 2008, Mitt Romney purchased a home in coastal LaJolla, CA to enjoy “the waves” and be nearer to one of his sons who lives in nearby San Diego. Romney is known among the locals as a paper-plates-plastic-utensils down-to-earth guy.

When his book, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness” was first published, Romney made three stops in California during his book tour.

Along with endorsing a number of CA candidates during the 2010 Primaries, Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC contributed to their campaigns. His endorsements included: Meg Whitman, Tony Strickland, Van Thai Tran, Carly Fiorina, and other political candidates.

In March 2010, Mitt Romney won the Magellan early 2012 Presidential Preference poll. He was also found to be the top Republican contender in California in a Public Policy Poll taken in  November 2010. He also came out on top in the Public Policy Poll taken in February 2011:

“In the presidential race, Mitt Romney continues to show strength in the West and in blue states. He leads California’s primary contest nominally, but the top four are all statistically tied. Romney has 22% over rare second-place finisher Newt Gingrich’s 18%, Sarah Palin’s 16%, and Mike Huckabee’s 15%. 12% prefer an unnamed candidate or are undecided. Ron Paul has a somewhat unusually high 10%, with Tim Pawlenty (3%), Mitch Daniels (2%), and John Thune (1%) about where they usually are.”

If you are in California and would like to help Mitt Romney in California, join the Californians for Romney 2012 on Facebook and help Mitt Romney become the next President of the United States!

~ Jared A.

VEEP MADNESS! Time to pick the bottom-half of the 2012 GOP ticket


Veep Bracket


Since this is a pro-Romney site it would be pointless to run a presidential preference tournament. So we are going to do the next best thing – pick the bottom half of the ticket. Click the image above to see the whole bracket. If you don’t like my seeding assignments… well… it was all pretty much arbitrary anyways.

The first round polls are below. Voting for this round will go until Sunday.

Click here to continue reading

John Thune Out of 2012 Presidential Race

I guess John Thune is not the “dark horse to watch” after all…

Here is the statement that was posted on his website:

John Thune

Senator John Thune (SD)

For months now, my wife Kimberley and I have received encouragement from family, friends, colleagues, and supporters from across South Dakota and the country to run for the presidency of the United States. We have appreciated hearing their concerns about where the country is headed and their hopes for a new direction.

During this time, Kimberley and I and our two daughters have given a great deal of thought to how we might best serve South Dakota and our nation. That process has involved lots of prayer.

Along the way, we have been reminded of the importance of being in the arena, of being in the fight. And make no mistake that during this period of fiscal crisis and economic uncertainty there is a fight for the future direction of America. There is a battle to be waged over what kind of country we are going to leave our children and grandchildren and that battle is happening now in Washington, not two years from now. So at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate.

I want to thank those who have encouraged us and prayed for us during the past several months. We are forever grateful for all the support.

John and Kimberley

Hopefully Thune will return the favor, and endorse Romney when it comes time!

New Hampshire GOP Straw Poll Results: Romney Wins Big Time!

Some of us here at MRC have been watching twitter feeds with much anticipation this morning, waiting for the results to come in from the New Hampshire GOP presidential straw poll. The straw poll (sponsored by ABC News and WMUR-TV) took place moments ago in Derry, NH and was the first-ever straw poll of state Republican officials. Reportedly, the turnout at this state GOP gathering was “highest in memory“.

The results leaked in the form of a tweet from Amy Walter’s Twitter page:

Results of NH GOP Presidential Straw Poll

Excellent showing for Romney, whose whopping numbers are greater than the sum of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th place finishers!

Interesting side notes from Nate Gunderson: One significant point to make about this is that convention delegates are strong conservative voters. Throw in the fact the indies also vote in the primary (and Romney has an even bigger lead amongst them) the actual primary voting margin would be higher. ALSO, the NHGOP selected a Tea Party backed candidate for NHGOP Chair — these same Tea Partying members selected Romney as their candidate of choice. In summary, Romney has widespread appeal amongst indies, mods, and cons alike. That is a recipe for success!

-Aaron Gundy- Follow @AaronGundy on Twitter

Update: reports say 273 of the 493 attendees participated in the straw poll, but the original percentages posted by WMUR only come to whole integers if there were 278 votes. Here are the results as I’ve tallied them. ~Nate (HT BOSMAN and RightSpeak for the graph)
[table "30" not found /]

GOP Insiders Poll: Mitt Romney DOUBLES the Nearest Contender!

More great results for the Governor today, coming from a newly released GOP Insiders Poll at Nation Journal:

James A. Barnes, Insiders Poll Director at NR, sums it all up in the video below:

Coupled with the amazing results of this Insiders poll, BOSMAN posted a new poll that has Mitt Romney dominating New Hampshire. I was wondering, will a solid win in New Hampshire’s early primary be enough to push Mitt to a prominent, permanent position at the top? It did for McCain. I remember in the days leading into the ’08 NH primary, there was talk of McCain’s campaign being completely deflated — not even enough steam (funding) to make it until Super Tuesday. But the guy eeked out a win in NH, gained huge recognition for the victory, and the money and support came flowing in.

I don’t see Mitt’s numbers going down anytime soon. Only time will tell how things play out for Mitt (assuming he’s up for the challenge). Until then, anyone know the cost of a plane ticket from SLC to Manchester? Oh, and will 50 Mitt Romney yard signs make it through airport security? …Here’s hoping.

-Aaron Gundy- Follow @AaronGundy on Twitter

Rochester Business Journal: Mitt Romney Strongest GOP Pick 2012

The Rochester Business Journal asked its readership who they thought would be the the most formidable GOP candidate in the presidential election against Barack Obama in 2012. Here is their headline:

Plurality picks Romney as strongest GOP pick

November 19, 2010

A plurality of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would be the strongest Republican candidate in a 2012 race against President Barack Obama.

With the Republicans’ success at the polls in the midterm elections, speculation about the upcoming race and the 2012 GOP presidential nomination has intensified. So far, no leading candidate officially has announced his or her intention to seek the Republican nod.

When asked to choose among a field of potential candidates, 21 percent selected Romney. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was favored by 15 percent of respondents.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin garnered 9 percent of the vote. And 8 percent picked former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Romney also led a recent national Gallup poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, with 19 percent. Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee each received 16 percent. In the RBJ poll, 6 percent picked Huckabee as the strongest candidate.

More than 665 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Nov. 15 and 16.

In your opinion, who would be the strongest Republican presidential candidate in 2012?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: 21%
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 15%
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: 9%
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: 8%
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia: 7%
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: 6%
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: 6%
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: 5%
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas: 5%
Sen.-elect Marco Rubio of Florida: 4%
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty: 4%
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels: 3%
Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina: 2%
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: 2%
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour: 1%
Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania: 1%
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence: 1%
South Dakota Sen. John Thune: 1%

(my emphasis)
To add a comment to RBJ’s article, click here.

Another great early indicator for Governor Romney!

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney Most Capable 'Shellacker' of 2012 GOP Hopefuls

Just as the dems are trying to recover from the midterm ‘shellacking’, Republicans are gearing up to extend that shellacking all the way to the White House. Chris Cillizza, from the “The Fix“, reminds us who the most capable ‘shellacker’ is in his latest presidential power ranking line-up. Mitt Romney maintains the top position as most influential leader within the Republican party heading into the 2012 primaries.

“These rankings come from conversations with a variety of Republican strategists — those aligned with potential candidates and those not — as well as an analysis of fundraising potential, quality of staff, name identification, organizational ability and natural on-the-stump talent.

Top Influential Republicans and Possible 2012 Contenders

Here is what he had to say about Mitt Romney:

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, spent the entire 2008 cycle trying to win over skeptics with a be-everywhere-do-everything, Energizer Bunny sort of approach to the presidential race. His style in advance of the 2012 race has been strikingly different; Romney has picked his issues — economic ones, mostly — carefully and avoided wading into every fight with President Obama or intraparty squabble. The goal seems clear: to make Romney look like the adult in the room. And, to date, it’s worked well — establishing him as a candidate of serious purposes who won’t be distracted by the shiny objects thrown in front of him. Romney also has, by far, the most intricate and able political and financial organization in the race — a machine that can instantly be turned on whenever he decides to announce for president. Challenges remain, most notably explaining to Republican primary voters why the healthcare bill he passed in Massachusetts is different from what Congress passed earlier this year.

Here is some video analysis:

h/t: Right Wingnut

Here is the full list of those that made the top ten:
1. Mitt Romney 2. Sarah Palin 3. Tim Pawlenty 4. Haley Barbour 5. John Thune
6. Newt Gingrich 7. Mitch Daniels 8. Mike Huckabee 9. Mike Pence 10. Marco Rubio

*The top five are pictured up above in order of their rank.

Mitt Romney to Raise Funds for Senator John Thune

Great news! Hot off the press from National Journal: Romney will head to South Dakota this month to raise funds for Senator John Thune, who is up for reelection later this year. It’s great to see Mitt uniting with other respected conservatives in an effort to win our country back from the mindless Democrats.

Mitt Romney to Fundraise for John Thune

By Erin McPike
Get out the long lenses in South Dakota: Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) is making one of his first high-profile fundraising stops of the 2010 midterm cycle later this month for none other than Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

Romney will join Thune for a fundraiser to benefit the senator’s re-election bid at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Sioux Falls, SD, on Feb. 19, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by National Journal. The suggested contribution is just $100.

Romney and Thune met several years ago in the Capitol and have seen each other at a couple of social functions since then, but they have never made a joint appearance. Sioux Falls and Sioux City, Iowa, a conservative bastion in the first-in-the-nation pres. caucus state, share a media market, so photos of the once and likely future pres. hopeful and a possible rival — or ticket-mate — will hit voters in the caucus state.

“This has 2012 written all over it. Two high-profile Republicans in the same place — one who has already run for president and one who is being encouraged to do so — to have them together makes for quite a photo-op,” said one veteran GOP strategist.

The rest of Romney’s itinerary has yet to be determined, but an IA GOP strategist said he doubted Romney would drop down to the Hawkeye State since he is scheduled to be there for his book tour in March.
“But to have two superstars like that together, people will pay attention. It wouldn’t be unheard of for the two of them to do a media avail,” the operative said, since the media market reaches a wide swath of northern Iowa.

As for Thune, with $6M in his war chest and no Dem challengers on the horizon ahead of the Mar. 30 filing deadline, why the early, splashy fundraiser? As Thune campaign manager Justin Brasell put it, “Sen. Thune has been through 2 grueling and very expensive Senate races, and if there is one lesson he took away from those contests it’s that you can never be too prepared.”