Saturday, November 26, 2011

I read the news so you don't have to

Welcome to another edition of "I read the news, so you don't have to!" Thanksgiving weekend is a fairly slow political news weekend, while the candidates let their staffs get some sleep, and the candidates pose for family photos. Or if you are President Obama you can catch up on college basketball.

Categorized by candidate, here are a few headlines-

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich spent Thanksgiving defending his stance on immigration. Apparently the crazy old man actually thinks we should let families stay together. An ironic position for a Republican to take on the weekend we celebrate a bunch of Europeans immigrating to a new land for a better life. He told a group in immigrant heavy and friendly Florida, "I am not for amnesty for 11 million people. I’m actually not for amnesty for anyone. I’m not for a path to citizenship for any people who are out here illegally. But I am for a path to legality for those people whose ties run so deeply in America that it would truly be a tragedy to try and rip their family apart." (Source: CNN)
He also added, "I think the vast majority [of illegal immigrants] will go home and should go home and then should reapply. I do not think anybody should be eligible for citizenship. I am suggesting a certification of legality with no right to vote and no right to become an American citizen unless they go home and apply through the regular procedures back home and get in line behind everybody else who has obeyed the law and stayed back there." (Source: MSN)

Former mathematician, minister, radio talk show host, and pizza aficianado Herman "the Hermanator" Cain, was the subject of a profile piece by MSNBC but otherwise stayed out of the limelight. Warning- reading this piece gives away all the spoilers in Mr. Cain's autobiography. He's American, he's black, and he's (mostly) conservative.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann can be found attacking Gingrich on immigration. She called him <gasp> a "liberal" that supports amnesty for illegal aliens. She cited a letter, co-signed by Gingrich and 14 other conservatives and published in the Wall Street Journal in 2004, offering support for President George W. Bush’s proposal at the time for a guest-worker program. (For an updated point of view from Mr. Gingrich please see approximately 10 lines up.)
Because Mr. Gingrich has clearly changed (or do we consider this a more educated or clarified opinion?) his position on amnesty, I present him with this lovely golden flipflop award. Wear it proudly, Mr. Former Speaker.

Rick Santorum could not be found in any new national news stories. Sorry Mr. Santorum.

Rick Perry could be found in a few stories, but nothing that was actually interesting. The Des Moines Register did let us know that the Gov. Perry released a Thanksgiving web video. It is worth noting that Perry is trailing the front-runner (Gingrich this week) in Iowa by over 16 points, according to the latest polls.  And in case you were curious, in a national election, Obama would beat Perry by about 9%.

Jon Huntsman also failed to make the national news, but apparently he did speak to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Or as the Manchester Union Leader reported it the "New Hampshire House or Representatives." Maybe they were just confused. 

Texas Congressman Ron Paul was also not to be found making any national headlines this weekend. But since I have been criticized for not covering Mr. Paul enough, here's a few facts about him. According to polls conducted by reputable national organizations, he is currently polling at his highest ever in Iowa at 13% (that is 9% behind the front runner, and puts him in 4th place. In national polls he is bringing his 8%, which is 15.8% behind the front runner, and at 5th place. He's not faring much better in New Hampshire or South Carolina either. However, if you take polls conducted among Christian home-schoolers in Iowa, he's in first place. (No, seriously.)

Which brings us to former Governor Mitt Romney. Romney was found in headlines all over the place thanks to the unhappiness from his first TV spot. Now before you go calling me biased for Mitt, let's review a few things. I, like so many others, absolutely agree that his TV spot was wrong, and he took Obama's quote on the economy completely out of context. I'm a little disappointed in straight arrow Mitt for that one. So let's see how his team is spinning and defending this foul ball.
In we read, " The Romney campaign could have cared less."We want to engage the president," explained Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom in the spin room. "We look at him as our rival. It's all deliberate; it was all very intentional..." Romney adviser Ron Kaufman, an RNC committee member and longtime operative, simply said that the ad "worked."
Politico quoted Romney campaign strategist Stuart Stevens as saying, "It is now my goal for every ad we make to so upset the White House that they will force [White House Press Secretary Jay Carney] to go out with his light saber and do his thing." He also pointed out that Democrats have been more than willing to target his candidate in harsh terms. “These guys have attacked Romney in one form or another hundreds — yes, hundreds — of times over just the last few weeks,” Stevens said. “Everyone from multi-millionaire investment banker and brother to Ari, Rahm, to Wesley Clark to the legions of interns they have tweeting away as if they are trying to write Moby Dick by tweet every week.
The Washington Post story title even read, "Romney ad misleads its way to desired result." 
I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed in the Romney camp for intentionally misleading anyone (even if this ad only ran in a small media buy in New Hampshire). Isn't it just a little too soon for the smoke screens and mirrors? I expected a cleaner campaign from you, Governor. I get why you did it, I just wish you hadn't.

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