Tag Archives: Rick Perry

Bachmann gone. Perry (soon) gone. What does that leave us?

Michelle Bachmann announced that she is leaving the race. Rick Perry announced that he is returning to Texas to assess his candidacy. Translation: he’s out. And then there were five.
Mitt Romney, the winner of the Iowa caucuses, is not the not-Romney, although he has every advantage right now: support, organization, money, and a win in Iowa.

Ron Paul is not the not-Romney because his beliefs in foreign policy frighten everyone except for his 19-year-old supporters and retired anarchists. It is almost impossible for him to get the nomination.

Rick Santorum is the second-place finisher in Iowa by only eight votes, the closest finish ever. He is the new not-Romney. But for how long?

Newt Gingrich did poorly in Iowa, and I suspect he will not do well in New Hampshire or South Carolina. His momentum is gone, and good.

Jon Huntsman, who of all the candidates would make the best president and the most formidable opponent against Obama, never campaigned in Iowa. He put all of his eggs in the New Hampshire basket, but has only a 10.8% support there according to the Real Clear Politics average as of this morning, compared to Romney’s 41%. If he loses there, his race is done.

So is Romney the inevitable candidate? To answer that we need to know what will happen to Perry and Bachmann’s supporters. Also, as Gingrich fades, where will his supporters go? Romney has the support to win in New Hampshire, but watch South Carolina. Gingrich is dropping, and Bachmann and Perry both had 6 or 7% support in polls. With Romney at 21%, those number matter a lot. The only way Romney can lose the nomination at this point is if (A) Gingrich drops, and his supporters join all Bachmann and Perry supporters (much of the evangelical vote) behind Santorum; and (B) Santorum develops a support organization at record speed. The former is impossible if Romney is seen as the inevitable nominee. The latter is just plain difficult.
Besides, Iowa and NH? Not bad. Ron Fournier writes this morning in National Journal.

If Romney wins New Hampshire, he would be the first non-incumbent Republican to sweep Iowa and the Granite State since the modern caucuses were formed. There is a reason why that’s never been done: Republican coalitions in Iowa and New Hampshire are mirror images of one another and, taken together, reflect the broad GOP electorate. In other words, a candidate who can win older, more conservative GOP voters in Iowa as well as white-collar, independent-minded Republicans in New Hampshire should be able to win everywhere.

Therefore, it remains: Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee.

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Time for Rick Perry to Leave the Race

After a disastrous debate performance, Rick Perry decided to go on Letterman and laugh it off.

Perry can be given a bit of slack for drawing a blank on stage. Public speakers of all varieties frequently lose their trains of thought, and in such a high profile debate there is a lot on the line. He felt the pressure, and his mind drew a blank. Oops.

Unfortunately for Perry, an “oops” moment such as that is not tolerable, especially since it was yet another dismal debate performance. His ability to laugh it off, then and last night on Letterman, shows a softer but less serious side of the Texas governor. But America needs a leader who is mature and serious, and who shows up on the debate stage prepared.

Intrade, a prediction market, now lists his chance of winning the Republican nomination at 4.3%. The chart below shows Perry’s chances for the last year.

Perry enjoyed a fast rise as the then latest not-Romney, and earned himself an equally fast demise due to his lack of preparation and un-presidential tone.

What is left for Perry? He won’t win the nomination, and I doubt his fundraising will continue for much longer. What he can do is continue to attack Mitt Romney as a RINO. Nothing will come of it but a weakened opponent for President Obama in 2012. Is that what Perry wants?

It is time for Rick Perry to drop out of the race. The voters deserve better than oopses and top ten lists.

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Meltdown

Offered without comment .

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Was Rick Perry Drunk?

During the speech he looked very similar to one of his earlier campaign ads.

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Rick Perry’s Sample Flat Tax Return Form

As posted on his website.

 

Say what you like about Rick Perry or a flat tax, but one advantage is the simplicity of the form. Gone will be the parasitic tax lawyers. Gone will be the special interest deductions muscled into the tax code to aid the wealthy and powerful. Gone will be significant corruption and cronyism within our government.

But good luck selling it politically, Rick.

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Filed under Domestic Politics, Election 2012

They Should Know Better

I wish there were a class called China 101 that every member of Congress had to attend. This would be the first lesson: If you really want the Chinese to do something, never pressure them about it in public. Loss of face is anathema in the Middle Kingdom. Which is why when the U.S. Senate passed a bill hinting at tariffs on Chinese goods if Beijing doesn’t let the value of its currency rise, the People’s Bank of China promptly and defiantly responded by pushing the value of the renminbi lower.

It’s ironic, because Beijing had been doing just the opposite until politicians like Chuck Schumer decided to start posturing and make China’s currency a proxy for a highly politicized discussion about globalization and unemployment in the U.S. The idea is that if Chinese money were worth more, American firms wouldn’t export so many jobs to China (because labor there would be more expensive) and the Chinese would be able to buy more U.S. goods and services, thus cutting trade imbalances between the two nations and helping put the global economy back on track.

It is a good diplomatic lesson to be remembered during future dealings with China: praise in public, reprimand in private. But it’s also unfortunate in that the lesson need not have been learned. China had already allowed the value of its currency to rise.

Many of the changes the Schumer bill argues for are already in the works. The Chinese, who know they desperately need to rebalance their economy in order to maintain longer-term growth, have already let their currency appreciate 30% against the dollar since 2005 and a full 10% last year. Wages are rising; in fact, that’s the reason there’s a nascent trickle of higher-level manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., as Chinese pay hikes (coupled with higher energy and transport costs) make it less profitable to do business in China relative to the U.S. What’s more, American exports to China are actually increasing. Andy Rothman, a China expert at CLSA investment bank in Shanghai, recently pointed out to me that despite all the rhetoric about currency, U.S. exports to China rose 468% in the past decade. The next fastest growth rate to a major market was 64%, to Germany.

Which of the presidential candidates know this? Probably only Huntsman. Which are willing to say it? Probably only Huntsman. Romney may know it, but he’s gone the opposite direction by confronting China and campaigning to wage a trade war. Obama has been too soft, he argues. Does Obama know this? I assume he does, but also assume he’ll ignore the reality. His campaign will be based on two arguments. (It can’t be based on his record.) First, that things would have been much worse without him. Yes, there is 9% unemployment, but had we done nothing like the Republicans wanted we would now be looking at 13 or 14% unemployment. Second, he needs to spread more of the blame. He’s already blamed Bush, the Tea Party and Republicans in Congress, the EU, the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring… Blaming China is easy, especially since neither Romney, Perry, or Cain would care to challenge him on this. They will only up the blame placed on China and escape discussing our own faults for our ailing economy.

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Troops Are Not Needed

The legalization of drugs is.
Rick Perry has decided that American troops may be required to end the drug war raging in Mexico.

Mr Perry was speaking during a campaign appearance in New Hampshire.
“It may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and keep them off our border,” he said.
Such a move would go far beyond current US involvement in Mexico’s drugs war.
The suggestion is also likely to irritate Mexico’s government over the sensitive issue, correspondents say.
Governor Perry gave no further details of what sort of possible military intervention he would consider.
“I don’t know all the different scenarios that would be out there,” he said.
“But I think it is very important for us to work with them to keep that country from failing”.

Let us hope that he didn’t clear this idea with his campaign advisers. First, the Mexican government would most likely not approve such support. (Without their support, it is no longer assistance, but rather an invasion.) So perhaps it’s a moot point. Second, the move is entirely unnecessary for a nation with a broken army, deficits as far as the eye can see, and overflowing prisons. If Perry, or any leader, truly wanted to win the drug war, they would defund the violence by legalizing the drugs the cartels are fighting to traffic. It is sad that no serious political leaders – except for and – are willing to state the obvious: we Americans like our marijuana and cocaine, and Mexicans are dying to get it to us.

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Filed under Domestic Politics, Drug Wars, Election 2012, Foreign Policy, Mexico