Thoughts on Obama’s State of the Union Speech – Mitt Romney Responds


He stepped to the presidential pulpit, spoke for over an hour to Congress and the American people about our ‘Sputnik moment‘, and signed autographs on his way out.

In case you missed it, the full text and video of President Obama’s State of the Union speech may be found here (click on video in left-hand column). Pundits generally felt Obama fell short.

After Obama’s lacking-specifics speech, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)delivered the official Republican response:


In an unprecedented one-two punch, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was selected by the Tea Party to present their response to Obama (delivered after Ryan’s address):


Some think the President hit it out of the ball park. Others overwhelmingly felt the president delivered flat platitudes:


Stephen Hayes (The Weekly Standard blogger and FOX News contributor) summed up the State of the Union Speech as meaningless:

“Overall, the speech was a lot like the Obama presidency: phony bipartisanship, too much spending, unconvincing rhetoric on fiscal restraint, and not enough attention to foreign policy and national security.”

A few other responses:

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) – Mr. President, you don’t believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism. Press Release: It appears that the only thing President Obama has changed is his rhetoric. No matter how he tries to spin it, more spending has not and will not create jobs. The President’s proposal to freeze spending at record-high levels is unacceptable.

Michelle Malkin, conservative commentator via Twitter – I’m all for road maps. But pardon me if I’m wary when the person selling me his map helped drive the car into the ditch.

Brit Hume, Fox News commentator via Twitter – This speech didn’t suggest much (towards reducing the federal deficit) and it means he doesn’t intend to do much.

Governor Mitt Romney issued this response:

“President Obama knows where he wants to go, but he has no idea how to get there,” Romney said in a blog post in response to the State of the Union address.

“Under President Obama’s economic leadership, more Americans have lost their jobs than any time in modern history. The on-the-job economic education of the President has cost American families almost a trillion dollars in failed stimulus schemes and, unfortunately, he’s still failing the course. Rhetoric, however soaring, does not put pay checks in pay envelopes at the end of the week. You can’t build a high speed rail system fast enough to outrun the President’s misguided regulations, higher taxes or lack of focus on jobs. Hopefully he is learning. American families are depending on him.”

*Note: Romney will appear on Hannity tonight to respond further to the State of the Union speech. The program will air at 9:00 PM Eastern. By the way, we had so much fun at last night’s SOTU Bingo and chat party, that we’re going to have another chat party tonight during Romney’s speech. Don’t miss it!

What did YOU think of Obama’s State of the Union speech? The responses by Ryan and Bachmann?

► Jayde Wyatt

Republicans’ Top Ten Pundits, FOX News’ Coverage of Potential GOP 2012 Candidates

Although not a GOP affiliate, ConservativeHome, a new website that launched on November 15, 2010, hopes to spur the ongoing debate about the future of the Republican Party and conservatism. They also believe the GOP should function as a broad-based coalition to ensure long-term success. CH recently polled 1,152 Republican activists (identified by YouGov America) on who they consider to be the top three political commentators. Results were released yesterday; here are the top ten:

The Top Ten Pundits Among Republican Activists

The total percentages for each of the top ten were*:

•Rush Limbaugh: 41%
•Glenn Beck: 33%
•Charles Krauthammer: 29%
•Bill O’Reilly: 24%
•Sean Hannity: 21%
•Newt Gingrich: 16%
•Michelle Malkin: 16%
•Mike Huckabee: 13%
•Ann Coulter: 13%
•George Will: 13%

* There were two phases to the voting process. Last week Panel members were asked to nominate favorite commentators. This week Panel members were presented with a list, derived from their nominations, and asked to vote for their three favorite.

•The list reveals the massive gap between broadcast pundits and newspaper commentators.

•Limbaugh, for example, was named as a favorite by 41% of ConservativeHome’s Republican Panel.

•Worryingly, columnists often regarded as among the most thoughtful conservatives did not fare well. David Brooks of the New York Times only mustered a mention from 1.3% of the panel (14 people). Ross Douthat, also at the NYT, won just four votes and Mike Gerson, Washington Post writer and former speechwriter to President Bush, gets just three mentions.

•Another former Bush speechwriter and Rush Limbaugh’s leading critic, David Frum, only gets three mentions. Peggy Noonan, however, gets favorited 35 times.

The ticket to high status is clearly Fox News. One of only two upmarket newspaper columnist to appear in the top ten being Charles Krauthammer, who combines his syndicated Washington Post column with his Fox punditry. He was named by 29% of grassroots Republicans. The other broadsheet columnist, at number ten, is George Will, syndicated Washington Post Op-Ed writer and ABC News veteran.

(my emphasis)
To join YouGov’s Republican Panel click here.

Regarding FOX News’ high status…

Liberal advocacy group, Media Matters, has been keeping tabs on FOX News airtime featuring John Bolton, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee. Although Media Matters receives funding from George Soros, their conclusions are worth considering: Because of his weekend television show, Huckabee registers more time than the others. Estimates are that these five potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates were on the air nearly 66 hours in the first 10 months of the year. With current advertising rates, the five of them – thus far – have received at least $40 million worth of free advertising.

DAVID BAUDER -AP News
Nov 18, 2010

[...] For Fox, locking up these prominent Republicans for roles on the network is a good way to appeal to a viewing audience dominated by conservatives, Graham said. The payoff comes on nights like the midterm elections, a good-news night for Republicans where Fox outdrew every broadcast and cable network covering the races in prime time.

“They see it as trying to even out the bias,” he said. “There is just a remarkable amount of promotion of Obama and it continues.”
[...]

Fox’s stable of potential candidates raises questions for the network and political process moving forward. Pat Buchanan, who worked at CNN in the 1990s, took periodic breaks from “Crossfire” when he announced candidacies.

The questions are similar for Fox: Will these politicians leave Fox’s employ if they run for president? Will they delay announcing candidacies in order to get more time on the air? Will Fox feel comfortable keeping these politicians as employees if a candidacy is announced?

The exposure could be a real advantage for these politicians, and the lack of it a detriment for potential candidates such as Mitt Romney who are not in Fox’s employ. As it is, candidates will be going out of their way to appeal to Fox personalities like Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity, Rabin-Havt said.

“There never has been a network that has so dominated a political process,” he said.

There’s also the possibility that GOP candidates in the upcoming political season may avoid other news organizations to conduct much of their campaigning before a Fox News audience, he said.

Huckabee appeared onscreen on Fox for more than 38 hours through Oct. 31, according to Media Matters. Palin and Gingrich each had nine hours, Santorum had five hours and Bolton, four.

(my emphasis)

Fox News contributors sign contracts forbidding them from appearing on any network other than Fox. Their television coverage serves as a platform for their messages. Politico quoted Jim Dyke (GOP strategist) making a germane point: “As it becomes clear somebody is looking at running, Fox gets into a bit of a box because doesn’t it become an in-kind contribution if they’re being paid?”

Perhaps this is why Governor Romney joked with Jay Leno: “If you ever see me sign up for a gig on Fox News, it’ll be a clear indication that I’ve decided to run for president. That’s not in the cards anytime soon – thanks.

Questions…

1. We clearly don’t want to alienate FOX News, but has their approach to the 2012 potential presidential GOP candidates been fair and balanced thus far?

2. If not, do you see their coverage on the 2012 GOP possibilities becoming more/less fair and balanced in the future?

3. Do you agree with Conservative Home’s Top 10 Pundits poll results?

4. If not, which pundit(s) would you add/remove?

► Jayde Wyatt

Palin Pick Poll Plus Personal Ponderings

mccain, palin

Please participate in the poll on the left sidebar to show what you think about Sarah Palin being selected as McCain’s VP.

Click here for “All you need to know about Sarah Palin”

I have a number of thoughts on Palin. After initial thoughts I have very quickly come to believe that this is a brilliant pick by team McCain. Here are some reasons why people will be willing to accept her as VP:

Pros

  • very conservative governor with all the right stances on issues
  • has an excellent record as a reformist
  • being from AK and wanting to drill in ANWR makes her a strong voice for energy independence, which will be a hot issue the election round
  • has a son in the military – and is a life-long member of the NRA
  • has five children including a very young son with Downs Syndrome, attractive to those with strong family values
  • frequently described as ‘very down to earth’ and not a Washington insider
  • last, and probably most important, she is not only acceptable to both parties of the Huckabee/Romney feud, but also to Hillary supporters thanks to the Clinton/Obama feud.

In short, she does no harm to the ticket, but in fact brings in other would-be fence-sitters had someone else been chosen.

Cons

  • relatively unknown
  • though able to fulfill the roll of VP, I’m not confident in her ability to step into the roll of Commander in Chief in a moments notice should the need arise
  • unsure of how she will hold up in debate versus Biden, though she does have the advantage of her being right and him being wrong
  • currently under investigation for alleged abuse of power for helping to get her ex-brother-in-law fired

I think the pros seriously out weigh the cons in this case. I do have one rambling thought I’d like to express concerning this pick. I can’t help thinking that her being a woman was a major factor in her being selected (brings in huge crowds of Hillary supporters). Being a woman is neither a qualification, nor a disqualification. Identity politics has won the day. If this is true it is akin to voting for (or against) Obama because he is black, or voting for Romney solely because he is Mormon. One’s identity is not a qualification! I think Romney and Pawlenty are better qualified, but Palin (my third pick) is the clearly the smarter pick if you want to win the election. Well I do want win the election because of the serious threat of an Obama presidency.

That said I feel that I can wholeheartedly support the Republican 2008 ticket of McCain/Palin.

BTW, I stole the image from Race42008.com where there is a big discussion going on about the pick. Kavon says “Best. Vice. Presidential. Pick. Ever.” Also of interest at Race42008.com is a post from Romney supporter Jason Bonham “Gov. Palin: Awesome Choice, But Still a Bet”

~Nate Gunderson

Other news about the Palin Pick:
Marc Ambinder (includes text from Palin’s speech)
Hugh Hewitt talks about “An Extraordinary Choice”
Michelle Malkin - Palin for America: A true conservative: “She knows when to stand up and doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down”