Analysis of the Scott Brown Victory in MA

January 20, 2010

Could anyone have ever dreamed of a more unusual scenario? The seat held by Ted Kennedy for over 40 years has now been replaced by a Republican in Massachusetts.

The Stage was Set

Let’s rewind to 1994. In the midst of a surge sweeping across the nation against the Democratic majority after a Clinton victory in 1992, in Massachusetts, a man named Mitt Romney dared to challenge the lion of the Senate himself: Ted Kennedy. But while Romney managed to lose by the second smallest margin in Kennedy’s nine elections, the score was a 17-point difference: 58 to 41.

By 2004, Romney was governor of Massachusetts. In an effort to avoid a Romney-chosen senator should Senator John Kerry win the White House, the Democratic majority of the Massachusetts state senate passed legislation that would keep the governor from being able to appoint a U.S. Senator until a special election was held.

But in 2009, with a Democratic governor in place, the Democrats reversed the legislation to allow a Democrat to be appointed to replace Ted Kennedy after he died. Before his death, Kennedy had even requested the reversal himself. After Kennedy’s death, Paul Kirk was appointed to replace him. The seat remained in the hands of the Democratic party.

On November 3rd of that year, GOP candidates Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie won the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, respectively. Both states had Democratic governors.

That same month in Massachusetts, Democratic candidate Martha Coakley led Republican Scott Brown by as much as 31 points. The Kennedy family endorsed Coakley to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat. At that point, it appeared obvious that the seat will continue to be in Democratic control.  After all, in Massachusetts, Democrats outnumber Republicans by as much as 3 to 1. But independents outnumber Democrats in the Bay State. And the hypocrisy of the Democratic party had worn down the respect of their constituents.

The Meteoric Rise of Scott Brown

Through a series of gaffes by Coakley herself, Scott Brown began to rise. Coakley’s numbers started to drop. Whether it was the pointless sparring with Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling or the arrogant and elitist opposition to schmoozing with hockey fans at Fenway Park, Coakley couldn’t seem to keep her mouth shut. If that wasn’t bad enough, her claim that terrorists no longer reside in Afghanistan certainly didn’t buy her any foreign policy points.

But in spite of Coakley’s best efforts to sink her own campaign, it still seemed unlikely that a Republican would be the one to replace Ted Kennedy. However, in early January, a Rasmussen poll revealed that Coakley’s lead narrowed to a single digit margin, albeit a 9 point margin.

In a debate with Coakley, Brown was asked how he could sit in Ted Kennedy’s seat and vote against the healthcare legislation that Kennedy had fought so hard for in his career. Brown responded, “With all due respect, it is not Ted Kennedy’s seat. It is not the Democrats’ seat. It is the people’s seat.”

For some reason, the wind was suddenly at Brown’s back. Perhaps even to the surprise of some Republicans, Brown was gaining momentum. Rasmussen’s next poll had him losing by only 2 points. A Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll had him up by 1. Coakley’s lead was vanishing before her very eyes. In the latter polls of the campaign, it was fully erased, replaced by as much as a 15 point margin of victory for Brown according to PJM/CrossTarget.

On the night of January 19th, Coakley delivered her concession speech. Brown had won 52 to 47.

Is Brown the New Face of the GOP?

Perhaps it’s a bit early to say that Brown is the face for the GOP brand. Typically, Republicans require dues to be paid before its leaders are rewarded with a  higher status. It took Ronald Reagan several years to become a major voice in the party, having lost to Ford in 1976 before winning the nomination in 1980. But if there’s one politician whose own meteoric rise could provide Brown a pathway for an early entry into the presidential fray, it would be none other than Barack Obama.

Obama was  still a state senator in Illinois back in 2004 when he delivered the keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. He was elected as a U.S. Senator later that year. By February 2007, he had declared himself a candidate for the White House.

Brown was also a state senator when he won his U.S. Senate seat. While it may seem the least bit unlikely, Brown could very well be among the names floated for the 2012 GOP nomination.

But even if Brown did find himself amidst the field of candidates in the GOP primary, he would probably not win the support of many social conservatives. While Brown remains to the right of most Democrats on abortion, he is still essentially pro-choice. This would prove to be a rather difficult hurdle to overcome should Brown have loftier aspirations.

An Unusual Victory, A Glimmer of Hope

To say that Brown’s victory is historic would be an understatement. The Bay State has not had a Republican U.S. senator since 1978. Kennedy’s seat hasn’t been held by a Republican since 1952.

If he is seated soon, Scott Brown will bring a screeching halt to the Democratic supermajority in the U.S. Senate, thus being the one man who can dissolve the liberal dream of Obamacare.

It seems evident that there is a trend in America towards the right. A trend towards smaller government. A trend towards fiscal responsibility. A trend against runaway spending. A trend towards transparency in government.

Last night, the people of Massachusetts spoke to the nation about the kind of government they want. If this type of sentiment is displayed there, in the bluest of blue states, it will not end with them.

Finally, it seems that America may be correcting its course.

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Romney vs. Palin: A Quasi-Rift That Should Not Exist

May 13, 2009

We’re hearing a lot about division in the Republican party these days. The mainstream media loves to point out how weakened they are due to their back-to-back losses in 2006 and 2008. However, they seem to ignore how Americans are beginning to trend towards Republicans near the close of Obama’s first 100 days according to current Rasmussen polling. At any rate, I find it silly that such squabbling is going on in the GOP. Rush Limbaugh said this. Mitt Romney says that. Sarah Palin says this. Michael Steele says that. It’s childish. Can’t I like all these people and share the majority of their collective viewpoints without having to pit them against each other?

A lot of this stemmed from a CNN interview that Romney had in which he was asked about the fact that Time Magazine’s World’s Most Influential People list only included two Republicans: Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. So in response to that, Romney said “I think there are a lot more influential Republicans than that would suggest.” Many took this as a jab at Palin. I tend to disagree. Keep in mind that the question was about how few Republicans made the list. Romney was simply stating that there should’ve been more that made the list like perhaps Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Eric Cantor, or even Michele Bachmann. So to say this is an attack against Palin is really being a bit disingenuous.

Rush Limbaugh has also attacked Romney and Jeb Bush for conducting their “listening tour,” claiming that instead, they should be conducting a “teaching tour.” Okay Rush, I agree. The American people, by and large, do need to be educated on what Republicans can do (or at least, should be doing) for this country. But isn’t that what you’re on the air for? Would it not be a good to at least listen to the American people and find out why they voted for Barack Obama? Or even better, would it not be good to listen to conservative Americans and find out why many of them didn’t vote for John McCain? I guarantee you that most of the Ron Paul crowd didn’t vote for McCain.

It’s ridiculous for this infighting to be going on. For the most part, we agree on the same basic principles. Granted, I will say that John McCain was definitely not a true champion of those principles and that’s why many conservatives didn’t support him. But we need to band together. There’s no reason for these little skirmishes. Personally, I think a Romney-Palin ticket in 2012 would be a dynamic force that could defeat Obama. Who knows? This could be the biggest kiss-and-make-up since Reagan and Bush in 1980.

 

Romney and Palin campaign for McCain

Romney and Palin campaign for McCain

For example, I think that for the most part, Romney and Palin agree more with each other than Palin and McCain did in 2008. Both are pro-life. Both oppose gay marriage. Both support drilling in Alaska (unlike McCain). Neither of them support the FairTax. Economically, they’re generally the same although Romney is much more experienced. Both of them take strong immigration stances.  I’d being willing to say that they generally line up on the majority of the principles and values that conservatives hold dear. Both of them are worthy of carrying the Reagan banner. So let’s not beat each other up too bad. We’re going to need all the help we can get in 2012.


I’m Frustrated with John McCain

April 27, 2008

O John McCain, how you torture me. After a bitter and tumultuous primary season that ended in a heartbreaking victory for the one candidate I liked the least, I was beginning to think I could stomach McCain. His pro-life credentials appeared legit (even though he specifically said that he did not care about “social issues”). He supports the war on terror, almost to a fault that could be considered hawkish at best, if not neoconic (is that a word, if not I’m claiming it). He is opposed to raising taxes, even though he voted against the Bush tax cuts. And well, he’s not as bad as Obama or Hillary, right?

It was bad enough that his success in the primaries was due to a split among real conservatives between Romney and Huckabee, along with some fortunate winner-take-all victories and open primaries that allowed Democrats to vote for him.

And sure, I’ll readily admit that John McCain is the lesser of the 3 evils currently left in this race. However, while that may be the case, I find myself wondering how great (or small) the margin of evil is between McCain and his future opponent.

As I’m thoroughly enjoying the mudwrestling match that is Hillary v. Obama, hoping that their infighting will result in a Republican victory in November, I can’t clear out of the back of my mind that I still don’t even like our nominee. I hate to paint a gloom and doom picture, but to me it seems that America is just going to have to take one for the team for the next four years.

On top of all that, I can’t even enjoy opposing Barack Obama the way I want to, not with John McCain’s blessing anyway. He found the following ad offensive:

First of all, the only thing offensive in that ad is Jeremiah Wright. It shouldn’t offend Obama, since Wright is his spiritual adviser. It shouldn’t offend McCain because it doesn’t mention him anywhere in the ad. Second, why does John McCain feel like he has to denounce this kind of ad? He had no problem with viciously attacking Mitt Romney, a fellow Republican, in the primaries. So why can’t he let someone else attack Barack Obama?

This year, I feel as if my hands are tied. John McCain has made this a miserable voting year for many Republicans, including myself. I’m tempted to stay at home or write in a candidate that won’t nauseate me or leave me with a guilty conscience. Maybe I should do a little more research on Bob Barr.

If McCain doesn’t pick a good running mate, I mean like really good (i.e. Mitt Romney, possibly Mike Huckabee, or Newt Gingrich) I may find myself going to the polls with a vomit bag and clothes pin over my nose.


Why I’m Voting For Mitt Romney and You Should Too

February 4, 2008

Back in March of last year, I announced my support for Governor Mitt Romney as President of the United States. I did not come to this decision lightly. I researched the records and platforms of all that were involved at the time including Senator John McCain, Governor Jim Gilmore, Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator Sam Brownback, Congressman Tom Tancredo, Congressman Ron Paul, Congressman Duncan Hunter, Governor Tommy Thompson, Senator Fred Thompson, and Governor Romney.

Despite what many felt was a lackluster field, I found hope in Mitt Romney. His turnaround experience as CEO at Bain Capital, CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and as Governor of Massachusetts, the most liberal state in the union, impressed me. And unlike many who felt like his conversion to the pro-life position was less than genuine, I was proud to see a man who had the conviction to reverse course and stand up for the cause of life.

I admired the fact that Mitt Romney had championed the cause of families as governor of Massachusetts. Throughout his career, he fought against gay marriage, cloning and embryo farming. He even fought to define life as beginning at conception. As a result, the Massachusetts Citizens for Life gave Governor Romney the leadership award for his efforts in the fight to protect human life.

I’ve always been a fan of lower taxes and effective managment. I was pleased to find out that in the face of a multi-billion dollar deficit, Governor Romney managed to balance the budget in Massachusetts for every single year of his term without raising taxes.

As a member of the NRA, Governor Romney fought for the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. Having spent a lifetime around guns, I considered Governor Romney’s support of the 2nd Amendment to be quite reassuring.

Unfortunately, most Republicans seem to ignore the problems that Americans are facing in healthcare. Mitt Romney is the only candidate in this race, Republican or Democrat, who has successfully introduced an effective market-driven healthcare program based on private companies, not government control.

As I watched the GOP Presidential debates throughout the course of the past year, I was continually amazed by the well-researched knowledge that Governor Romney had in foreign affairs. I believe his wisdom will keep America safe while exhausting every form of diplomacy necessary in order to avoid future conflicts abroad.

Out of the candidates left in this race, Mitt Romney is the clear viable conservative. He’s unquestionably the best candidate for President in 2008.

Other candidates:
If you’d like to know why I oppose Senator McCain, Congressman Paul, or Governor Huckabee, just click on the links provided. But for a quick note on each, I oppose McCain for a variety of reasons, but he has recently stated that he does not care about social issues. Congressman Paul has some wild votes in his career and he is unelectable. Governor Huckabee’s FairTax policy is unrealistic and he is no longer electable at this point.


Alabama for Mitt Romney

January 31, 2008

The concept of a Republican governor in a Democratic state is not lost on most Alabamians.

In 2002, Alabama elected a Republican governor despite having a Democratic legislature in hopes of bringing fiscal responsibility and lower taxes to a state government plagued by the corruption of a previous administration.

That same year, the Democratic stronghold of Massachusetts elected Republican Mitt Romney to be its governor with similar hopes of fiscal discipline for a state that faced a $3 billion deficit. In spite of such a daunting predicament, he managed to balance the budget in every year of his term without raising taxes.

For the past six years, Alabamians have been able to witness the progress that a Republican governor can achieve. This, among several reasons, is why Alabama should select Governor Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

Despite being the governor of a northern state, Mitt Romney shares the same values that Alabamians hold dear. These values can be reflected in three major areas, which comprise what Romney calls the three legs of the Republican stool: a strong military, a strong economy, and strong families.

Since 9/11, most Americans understand the need to address Islamic terrorism on a global scale. Mitt Romney believes in achieving a safer country by increasing the size of our military and by confronting radical jihadists in the Middle East. In a state that houses the likes of Redstone Arsenal and Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabamians, like Mitt Romney understand the importance of a strong military.

There’s not a single candidate in the field this year, Republican or Democrat that has more experience in the economy than Mitt Romney. From his career as CEO of Bain Capital in Boston to his tremendous success in turning around the embattled 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Romney knows the ins and outs of the American economy.

In Montgomery, we need only look to our own backyard for proof that Asian markets are becoming a force to be reckoned with on a global scale. While the Hyundai plant has had a positive presence in our state, it’s important to remember that it represents a growing influence on the global economy in competition with American goods and services. Mitt Romney understands that and as President, he will work to make sure America can continue to compete with Asian markets in the greater global economy.

If there’s one thing Alabamians crave, it’s lower taxes. This makes Governor Romney a perfect fit for us. His domestic agenda includes eliminating taxes on savings for middle class families, making the Bush tax cuts permanent, permanently eliminating the death tax, and making healthcare expenses tax deductible, all of which are initiatives that Alabamians long for.

As citizens of Alabama, we are known for our strong family values. Having been married for nearly forty years to his wife Ann, with whom he raised their five sons, Mitt Romney is also known for his family values. He supports a constitutional amendment to the United States Constitution that would define marriage as the institution of one man and one woman. He also believes that Roe v. Wade should be overturned in order to let the American people decide the issue of abortion. In his career as governor of Massachusetts, he fought to ban cloning, to ban embryo farming, and to define life as beginning at conception. The Massachusetts Citizens for Life even gave Governor Romney the leadership award for his efforts in the fight to protect human life.

In a state where our motto is “We Dare Defend Our Rights,” we firmly believe in the rights enumerated in the Second Amendment. Mitt Romney strongly supports those rights as well. As a member of the National Rifle Association, he believes in the distinction between law abiding gun owners and the individuals who use firearms to commit crimes.

Based on these reasons stated above, I believe Mitt Romney would be the ideal choice for the citizens of Alabama, as well as the United States of America. I urge all conservative Alabamians to vote for Governor Romney on February 5th.


New Hampshire: The Last Hope for Conservatism in 2008

January 5, 2008

Needless to say, I was dismayed at the results of Iowa last night. I think when it really came down to it, evangelicals felt like they had to vote for someone who shared their exact religious beliefs. After all, who wants to vote against a “pastor” who claims to be a “Christian Leader?”

Mike Huckabee is not a well-rounded conservative. Many people in Arkansas believe that as governor, he ruined the conservative movement. And now, many across the nation feel that Huckabee’s victory in Iowa has been a major step backward for conservatism nationwide. He’s a fiscal liberal. When it comes to foreign policy, he is utterly clueless. Besides social issues, there’s little difference between him and most Democrats. He must not win this nomination.

 If John McCain wins Iowa, it will help Huckabee in South Carolina and in other states. It could even help Rudy Giuliani in Florida. McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts. He wants to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. He must not be allowed take New Hampshire.

Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mike Huckabee are what I like to call fracture candidates. They are not well-rounded conservatives. Instead they have pieces of conservativism that fracture the wide conservative base of Defense Conservatives (DefCons), Social Conservatives (SoCons), Evangelicals, Fiscal Conservatives (FisCons) and Moderates. Rudy appeals to fiscal conservatives and defense conservatives. McCain appeals to moderates and independents. Mike Huckabee appeals to social conservatives and evangelicals.

 There are only two whole conservatives in this race: Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. Both appeal to the entire base, capturing what is known as the Reagan Coalition. They appeal to the variety of conservatives across the base. Keeping this base intact is the only way to win in 2008.

A stand must be made in New Hampshire for conservativism. There, voters must choose a candidate that reflects the wide range of principles the Republican party stands for. If not, I fear that we are headed towards defeat in 2008.


Embracing the Evolution of Mitt Romney

December 17, 2007

Besides his religion, what’s the number one reason people are opposed to Mitt Romney? Is it his “slick, salesman-like demeanor”? His too-perfect hair? His record as Governor of Massachusetts?

Ironically enough, the number one problem people have with Mitt Romney is his conservative positions…and how he arrived at them.

Whether it be on abortion, gay rights, gun control or signing tax pledges, many of Romney’s critics are quick to call him a “flip-flopper,” a term synonymous with John Kerry in 2004.

There’s no doubt that Romney has changed his positions. Romney himself has admitted that. But typically when I think of the term “flip-flopper,” I think of someone who changes back and forth, not simply in one direction. And in the case of Mitt Romney, his evolution has progressed in the conservative direction.

One of the first attacks I ever heard on Romney was that back in 1994, he was pro-choice as a candidate for U.S. Senator. Of course, it was true. His critics will gladly show you that infamous YouTube video where he claims that he will support the establishment of Roe v. Wade.

But in 2005, Romney claims to have changed his mind when faced with a decision on human cloning. At that point, he said he became pro-life. However, the common critique of his conversion is that it was for political gain, instead of being based on a change of heart.

Along with that, in his U.S. Senate race against Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney said he would be more of a champion for gay rights than his opponent. But now, Romney is running on a platform of supporting an amendment that would outlaw gay marriage on a federal level.

Also as a Senatorial candidate in 1994, Romney said that he didn’t “line up with the NRA,” in the area of gun control. But in August 2006, Romney became a lifetime member of the NRA.

In 2002, Romney refused to sign a “no new tax” pledge as governor of Massachussetts. But in 2007, Romney signed a similar pledge as a candidate for President. Keep in mind that one was for Massachussetts, the other is for the nation. However, some have pointed to this as a change in position.

Note the common thread in all these changes. Romney has become more conservative on all of them. He hasn’t gone back and forth as the “flip-flopper” label would indicate. Instead it was always the flip, never the flop.

As conservatives, if we don’t embrace people who are willing to share in our values, then we are declaring defeat in our attempt to change the hearts and minds of those who do not agree with us. We are surrendering to liberalism if we won’t accept those who have converted to conservativism.

And before I hear another “back in 1994,” comment, I’d like to point out some changes in myself and in America since 1994:

In early 1994, people thought that Kurt Cobain was going to be the biggest rock icon since John Lennon. And he may have been, had it not been for his death that year.

In 1994, Ace of Base was my favorite band. Needless to say, things change.

In 1994, there were less than 40 million users on the Internet. Let’s just say the amount of users has increased since then.

In 1994, a major attack on U.S. soil was over 50 years ago. In September of 2001, America changed.

In 1994, we had a Democratic president, but the Republicans won back Congress.

Folks, things change. People change. America has changed. This is something we have to understand. But in case you’re still not convinced, let me politicians who have been able to change with very little opposition.

Al Gore, Dick Gephardt, and Jesse Jackson were all once pro-life.

Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Henry Hyde were all once pro-choice.

And we know how they all turned out. Did they ever revert to their original positions? I don’t think so. Do people still criticize them for their old positions? No, unless you consider this to be criticism.

When it comes to Mitt Romney, I’m glad he has changed his positions. He has changed them so that they match mine, along with a lot of other conservatives out there. With each issue, he becomes more and more conservative, which I think is wonderful. Who am I to criticize that? Why should I feel the need to complain that he is developing the same values that I am?

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t feel the least bit alarmed by the fact that Mitt Romney has become more conservative. I invite his relatively newfound conservativism. And I will gladly embrace anyone else who is willing to share my conservative values. If you’re going to harp on Mitt Romney, find something else besides his so-called “flip-flopping.” That monacre just won’t stick with me.