Michele Bachmann‘s presidential campaign dissolves, her former allies on the conservative right are losing patience.
What the Tea Party gives, the Tea Party can take away. As
Last night Barack Obama held a dinner with four donors who won the right to dine with the president after making donations to his campaign. But it came as analysis by the Associated Press found that Obama’s early donors from the 2008 campaign are proving less enthusiastic in this election cycle..
Meanwhile, Rick Perry‘s campaign team are rowing back on suggestions that their candidate might skip some of the coming GOP presidential debates. Because the only thing worse than Rick Perry appearing in a debate appears to be Rick Perry not appearing in a debate.
All this and more, as the clock ticks on the deliberations of the congressional super-committee, while Republicans and Democrats tussle over the $1.2tn cuts required.
For some reason Herman Cain is appearing in Anniston, Alabama at a Tea Party breakfast:
We need to put some fuel in the engine of this economy. This administration put a trillion dollars in the caboose, and the economy didn’t grow…. this administration expects the caboose to push the engine.
All very well and good but when was the last time you saw a caboose on a train?
The call for Michele Bachmann to step down comes from Ned Ryun of the American Majority – one of the many Tea Party organisations.
On the group’s blog Ryun writes: “It’s time for Michele Bachmann to go.” It’s a crushing piece:
Bachmann has ridden her tea party credentials from obscurity to a national platform like no other…. In Bachmann’s case, it is clear that the campaign has become less about reform and more about her personal effort to stay relevant and sell books; a harsh commentary, but true. It’s not about tea party values or championing real plans to solve real problems. While other campaigns are diving into the substance, the supposed tea party candidate Bachmann is sticking to thin talking points and hanging on for dear life.
Every day the campaign flounders, it risks hurting the credibility of the movement. If she really is about the tea party, and making it successful, it’s time for the Congresswoman to move on. The Tea Party doesn’t have a spokesperson, and it’s certainly not Michele Bachmann.
Part of the reason behind this, surely, is that Bachmann’s tepid performance is making the Tea Party movement look bad.
Other wings of the Tea Party aren’t jumping off Bachmann’s bandwagon just yet.
Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots – the faction that Bachmann has been most closely identified with – told CNN:
Michele Bachmann has fought and championed the tea party core values – the fiscal responsibility, the constitutional and limited government and free markets on Capitol Hill – oftentimes when very few others were willing to take up the mantle. And tea party supporters appreciate her for championing their cause repeatedly and consistently.
pushes back on the Tea Party group calling on Bachmann to quit:
The Bachmann campaign
Michele Bachmann enjoys strong support from Americans across party lines that that certainly includes the Tea Party.
Not according to all the opinion polls in the early states, she doesn’t. The latest CNN/Time magazine poll [pdf] put Bachmann at 6% in Iowa, 4% in South Carolina and Florida, and 2% in New Hampshire.
Taxi for Ms Bachmann.
Fun fact: Paul Mulshine, a columnist for New Jersey’s Star Ledger, notes that American Majority Tea Party leader Ned Ryun is the son of Jim Ryun, the famous US middle-distance runner and former Republican congressman.
Why is Herman Cain so happy?
widely-ridiculed Herman Cain campaign ad that we have all enjoyed.
Like most people you want to know more about Mark Block, the cigarette-smoking savant seen in the
The Associated Press’s Shannon McCaffrey and Ryan Foley do the spadework and find out more about Cain’s Marlboro Man:
Meet Mark Block, Cain’s unorthodox campaign manager. Perhaps no one is more responsible for the Georgia businessman’s meteoric rise in the presidential polls than Block, a Republican strategist and tea party leader who’s left a trail of questionable campaign work behind him.
Block has been accused of voter suppression and was banned from running Wisconsin political campaigns for three years to settle accusations he coordinated a judge’s re-election campaign with a special interest group.
Records show Block has faced foreclosure on his home, a tax warrant by the Internal Revenue Service and a lawsuit for an unpaid bill. He also acknowledges he was arrested twice for drunken driving.
On the presidential trail, some former Cain staffers say Block broke promises. Traditional GOP strategists have been scratching their heads at his renegade tactics to win the White House, all but ignoring some early states in favor of a book tour and swings through states without early primaries.
Who would hire someone with such a chequered past? Guess who:
Block engineered a comeback when he was hired in 2005 as the Wisconsin director of Americans for Prosperity, the group founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. He also helped organize the tea party in Wisconsin and in that role met Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive who’d come aboard as a speaker after a failed US Senate campaign in Georgia.
Jon Huntsman’s run for the Republican presidential nomination is already going badly enough – but did his own father really have to put the boot in like this?
Jon Huntsman Senior told the Deseret News in Utah:
If he were running for president of China, he would have already won the election.
As Bart Simpson’s father once said: “D’oh!”
Barack Obama hosts a dinner with four lucky donors to his re-election campaign, winners of a competition to dine with the president. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty IMages
Time magazine polling a few voters on the subject:
What if Zombie FDR replaced Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee and ran in the 2012 election? We’ll never know. And we’ll never know what would happen if Hillary Clinton did the same thing. But that didn’t stop
A national poll conducted for Time on Oct 9 and 10 found that if Clinton were the Democratic nominee for President in 2012, she would best Mitt Romney 55% to 38%, Rick Perry 58% to 32% and Herman Cain 56% to 34% among likely voters in a general election. The same poll found that President Obama would edge Romney by just 46% to 43%, Perry by 50% to 38% and Cain by 49% to 37% among likely voters.
Jon Huntsman decides to call Mitt Romney “a perfectly lubricated weathervane”:
Yikes. Possibly in a bid to overshadow his father’s contention that he would be elected president of China,
“You can’t be a perfectly lubricated weathervane on the important issues of the day,” Huntsman said. “Romney has been missing in action in terms of showing any kind of leadership.”
Some people may find the image of a “perfectly lubricated” Mitt Romney too much to bear. Rick Santorum, for example.
Democratic primary in New Hampshire in January. Barack Obama is running, of course, as are a few other oddballs.
In case you were wondering, there will be a
Anyone can register to run in New Hampshire, so long as they pay the $1,000 filing fee and fulfill the constitutional requirements.
Rick Perry’s latest ad
offers this explanation:
Jay Newton-Small of Time has a crack at the “where did it all go wrong Rick Perry?” piece, and
Perry and his team haven’t been in a close contest in more than a decade. The last time most former staffers remember seeing Perry work hard on the campaign trail was in 2002, when he was running against Democrat Tony Sanchez. Back then he campaigned in one big market and two medium-sized markets each day and attended fundraisers every other night. (These days he’s doing one, maybe two, public events a week.) “They got soft,” says Paul Burka, a longtime political columnist for the Texas Monthly.
Hmm, I’d say Perry’s 2010 gubernatorial primary against Kay Bailey Hutchison wasn’t exactly a barbeque.
The American Enterprise Institute has a “symposium” on whether or not Perry’s flat tax proposal earlier this week can save his campaign. The consensus is: maybe.
Now, according to the polls, former senator of rock-ribbed social conservative Rick Santorum hasn’t got a hope in Hades of winning the Iowa caucus (or anything else) but one wonders. Santorum is certainly doing everything he can – here’s his schedule for Monday:
8am CT: Hosts a meet-and-greet. Garner Education Center, 325 West 8th Street, Garner, Iowa
9.45am CT: Hosts a meet-and-greet. Northwood Civic Center, 627 Central Avenue, Northwood, Iowa
11.15am CT: Hosts a meet-and-greet. Osage Public Library, 406 Main Street, Osage, Iowa
12.45pm CT: Hosts a meet-and-greet. Sue Z-Q Restaurant, Highway 9 East, Cresco, Iowa
2pm CT: Hosts a meet-and-greet. Pizza Ranch, 212 College Drive, Decorah, Iowa
3.30pm CT: Hosts a meet-and-greet. Gus Tony’s Pizza and Steakhouse, 508 West Main Street, Waukon, Iowa
5.30pm CT: Hosts a meet-and-greet. New Hampton Public Library, 20 West Spring Street, New Hampton, Iowa
On the other hand, maybe Santorum just likes pizza. And libraries.
Santorum also this bare-knuckle attack ad aimed at Herman Cain’s shifting positions on abortion.
After a set of debate disasters, Rick Perry’s campaign mused about its candidate skipping some of the many debates among Republican candidates still to come.
But the candidate hilmself doesn’t think he will. Perry was speaking to journalists earlier today:
I don’t know whether we’re going to forgo any debates,” the Texas governor said in a question-and-answer session with reporters at the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office, where he filed for that state’s primary. “There are a lot of debates. Shoot, I might be a good debater before this is all over.
Barack Obama was no great shakes as a debater when the primary campaign started in 2007. So, who knows.
It’s a shame Jon Huntsman doesn’t have a hope of winning the Republican presidential nomination, because otherwise this spoof ad by his daughters – the “Jon2012girls” – would be pretty cool.
But he doesn’t, so it’s not. Nice spoof though.
impenetrable Herman Cain analogies:
Larry Sabato, America’s political guru, has the last word on
Finally it hit me. Herman Cain is Hal Phillip Walker in Robert Altman’s 1975 masterpiece movie, Nashville. Look it up.
OK then. According to an IMDB plot summary for Nashville:
An independent presidential candidate is running, bold and cheap, under the banner of the Replacement Party: their unbelievable platform includes banning lawyers from Congress and re-writing the national anthem. This uncanny Perot-like figure is never seen, but his campaign wagon blares out rambling, pre-recorded speeches as it lumbers through the film unnoticed. The backdrop is Music City, the characters a myriad and hero-less cross-section of America. The lone foreigner is an insufferable reporter from BBC whose aimless monologues provide satirical counterpoint to the film’s deadpan delivery.
Yes that sounds exactly like contemporary US politics. (No it doesn’t.)
Oh dear, it had Jeff Goldblum in it.
The White House has been forced to address the buzzing mini-controversy over the government’s failed loans to the failed Solyndra solar panel manufacturer.
President Obama visited the Solyndra plant in May 2010. Photograph: Paul Chinn/AP
The White House is ordering a review of loan guarantees made by the Energy Department after a California solar company that got a half-billion-dollar federal loan went bankrupt.
Congressional Republicans have been investigating the bankruptcy of Solyndra amid revelations that federal officials were warned it had problems but nonetheless continued to support it. The House Energy and Commerce Committee could vote as early next week to subpoena White House records related to the loan.
White House chief of staff Bill Daley says the new independent review will assess the condition of other loan guarantees made by the Energy Department. There are more than two dozen of these to a variety of clean energy companies.
Daley said he’s tapping a former Treasury official to conduct the review.
It’s Friday afternoon – and what better time to announce mildly embarrassing news. The toal amount of the loans or guarantees outstanding is about $35bn.
Here’s another good video today from the Jon Huntsman campaign:
That’s the most effective ad to hit Mitt Romney on flip-flopping so far in this election cycle. The monkey is a nice touch.
it’s the approval ratings, stupid:
Charlie Cook, another of America’s prized political pundits, says
The best barometer of how a president is going to fare is his approval rating, which starts taking on predictive value about a year out. As each month goes by, the rating becomes a better indicator of the eventual results. Presidents with approval numbers above 48 to 50% in the Gallup Poll win reelection. Those with approval ratings below that level usually lose. If voters don’t approve of the job you are doing after four years in office, they usually don’t vote for you. Of course, a candidate can win the popular vote and still lose the Electoral College. It happened to Samuel Tilden in 1876, Grover Cleveland in 1888, and Al Gore in 2000. But the popular votes and the Electoral College numbers usually come down on the same side.
Currently Obama’s approval ratings are mired in the low 40s. So if that doesn’t start moving upwards, he’s in trouble.
terrible business according to the Washington Post … ah, what’s this? [pdf]
Remember the $16 muffins that the taxpayer paid for faceless government bureaucrats to stuff into their faces? A
Audit of Department of Justice Conference Planning and Food and Beverage Costs (Revised Version), Audit Report 11-43, October 2011 (Originally Issued September 2011)
Revised version? How interesting….
This revised report supersedes the original version of the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) report, “Audit of Department of Justice Conference Planning and Food and Beverage Costs,” Audit Report 11-43, published in September 2011. The original report, which examined event planning and food and beverage costs at 10 Department of Justice (the Department) conferences between October 2007 and September 2009, contained a discussion of costs for food and beverages purchased for an Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC, in August 2009. Among other things, the report concluded that the EOIR had spent $4,200 for 250 muffins, or $16 per muffin, a finding that brought significant negative publicity to the Department and the Capital Hilton.
After publication of the report, we received additional documents and information concerning the food and beverage costs at the EOIR conference. After further review of the newly provided documentation and information, and after discussions with the Capital Hilton and the Department, we determined that our initial conclusions concerning the itemized costs of refreshments at the EOIR conference were incorrect and that the Department did not pay $16 per muffin. We have therefore revised the report based on these additional documents and deleted references to any incorrect costs. We regret the error in our original report.
That’s that then.
That’s enough politics for one week. Thank god for YouTube videos, that’s all I can say.