Friday, January 27, 2012

Obamaville - January 26 - The Last Florida GOP Debate Recap


Thursday President Obama took off on a five state junket stretching from coast to coast.  It was his government financed non-campaign trip to critical campaign swing states in an effort to sell his non-campaign State of the Union message where he laid out his election campaign platform.  Duh???

Anyway, he's out of town so the Republicans held their 18th debate of this early primary season.  Don't forget, there are still 46 more states to decide.  I, for one, think we have reached the point of intellectual saturation and constipation from this many debates.  Doesn't the media have anything else to do?  Why aren't they covering some hard news instead of trying to manufacture political news?

Maybe half a dozen would have been tolerable by this point, but one and a half dozen seems like gross over-kill.  They may serve a psychological purpose in giving that good old liberal lame street media a chance to dig deeper and deeper in trying to find weaknesses in the GOP field, and they burn up GOP financial resources thus saving Obama campaign money.

But Obama is going to have a billion campaign dollars to spend!  That is like a federal stimulus program.  Only two presidential campaigns in history have cost more than $270 million and they were both his, which just proves the point we are getting the best politician money can buy.  He will spend $1.8 billion in two elections to win a job that only pays $400,000 a year, or $3.2 million over 8 years.

As for the Republican debate that took place.

There were two winners in  the last Republican debate before the Florida primary Thursday night.  First was Marco Rubio, the rising Republican star Senator from Florida as both front runners, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, said they are considering him a leading candidate for a higher position than cabinet if they win the nomination.

Now the only job higher than the president's cabinet is vice president, so there is a very good chance the Republicans will be the first political party in American history to nominate a Hispanic for vice president.  A background story I did on Marco Rubio a couple of years ago follows this story.

The second winner was Romney who clearly won the debate even though Gingrich and Santorum gave him plenty of jabs.  He countered their attacks, stood his ground, and firmly and decisively controlled the outcome.

Of course he has a few more answers and positions he needs to fine tune before he takes on Obama in September but he made a giant step forward in fulfilling the uncomfortable role of aggressor in the debate.

More important, he began drawing sharp contrasts with Obama on the issues Obama cannot defend like his handling of the economy, jobs, health care, housing and energy.  After three years in office the president has little to show and a lot to promise.

Ron Paul was much sharper this debate although the moderators continue to ignore him much of the time, especially when follow up comments are given.  Still, his jokes kept thing from getting too intense and when Wolf Blitzer, the CNN moderator, pressed him about the problem if he was elected that he would be the oldest president in history, Paul shot back, be careful with your question, we passed an age discrimination law in America and you are close to it, to the laughter of the crowd.

When asked about his medical condition he replied he was healthy enough to challenge anyone on stage to a 25 mile bike ride across the Texas desert.  There was much more laughter.

Rick Santorum gave his best and most passionate but his responses were too complicated for viewers, at least me, to understand while others flat out disagreed with the typical person watching the debate.  Though it was his best effort, one could sense that his hopes for winning this time are rapidly fading and he is turning his attention to laying the groundwork for a 2016 campaign.

Ron Paul has clearly won the admiration and respect of Romney and Gingrich.  As Paul continues to attract youth and Independents, he becomes a potential crucial ally to the GOP winner because Paul can keep votes away from Obama.

Since Ron Paul really has no illusion about winning the presidency and is committed to building popular support for his agenda for America, he will be a winner.  People are hearing and believing in his message of eliminating debts, deficits, wars and foreign aid.  His individual freedom and fear of a massive central government bureaucracy, which is pretty much what we've got, are resonating with about 20% of the voters across both party lines and with Independent.

Newt Gingrich seemed almost asleep on stage.  Gone were the rapier slashes and sharp barbs.  Last debate NBC silenced the crowd and Gingrich just doesn't make it with his one liners when there is no response from the crowd.  There were no excuses in this last debate, CNN allowed the crowd to respond.  It was far more entertaining, interesting and informative than the clinical and sterile exercise NBC gave us last week.

Yet the master debater and historian seemed stunned by Romney's attacks and counter attacks and never got into a grove with the audience.  If he was slipping in the polls before the debate he stumbled in this chance to recover.

All four candidates managed to get in some good discussion about President Obama and his failed policies and to identify a far different approach to government they supported.

Mitt Romney was far more at ease in this debate than previous ones and this time the attacks inspired him as his responses and counter attacks were pretty much effective.  In the end he was the clear winner no manner what those radical socialist liberal and radical right wing conservative commentators on network and cable news say.

Now it is a long ways to the Republican National Convention in August and to the 1,144 delegates the winner needs at the convention so a lot could happen.  The news media also seems to forget that by the end of the Florida primary next Tuesday we will have only heard from 4 out of 50 states.

The following is a reprint of my earlier story introducing Marco Rubio to my readers.  You should learn about this young man and his family because he may play a big role in the future of the nation.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Rising GOP Stars - Marco Rubio, Cuban American Tea Party Patriot


Highly regarded for his principled, energetic and idea-driven leadership, Marco Rubio won a three way battle for U.S. Senate fighting off numerous trips by Obama and leading Democrats and efforts to split the GOP vote in 2010. His humble and honest acceptance speech after the victory was one of the highlights of all speeches by candidates. Take a moment to listen to this 39 year old rising star.
In 1971, Marco was born in Miami to Cuban-born parents who came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover. When he was eight years old, Rubio and his family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where his father worked as a bartender at the Sams Town Hotel and his mother as a housekeeper at the Imperial Palace Hotel. In 1985, the family returned to Miami where his father continued working as a bartender at the Mayfair House Hotel until 1997. Thereafter he worked as a school crossing guard until his retirement in 2005. His mother worked as a Kmart stock clerk until she retired in 1995.

Rubio attended South Miami Senior High School, graduating in 1989. He attended Tarkio College in Missouri for one year on a football scholarship before transferring to Santa Fe Community College and then graduating in 1993 with a bachelor of science from the University of Florida. He continued his studies at the University of Miami where he earned his juris doctor, cum laude, in 1996.

From 2000-2008, Rubio served in the Florida House of Representatives. During this period, he served as Majority Whip, Majority Leader and Speaker of the House, effectively promoting an agenda of lower taxes, better schools, a leaner and more efficient government and free market empowerment. Rubio also helped spearhead Florida’s congressional and legislative redistricting effort. He chaired the House Select Committee on Property Rights, which crafted national model legislation to protect private property rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo v. City of New London decision that opened the door for eminent domain abuse.

During the two years prior to assuming the speakership, Rubio traveled around the state hosting “Idearaisers” to solicit Floridians’ input on ways to strengthen Florida. The 100 best ideas were compiled into a book entitled “100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future” which served as the basis for his term. All 100 ideas were passed by the Florida House. Fifty-seven of these ideas ultimately became law, including measures to crack down on gangs and sexual predators, promote energy efficient buildings, appliances and vehicles, and help small businesses obtain affordable health coverage. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich hailed the effort as “a work of genius.”

In addition to these ideas, Rubio championed a major overhaul of the Florida tax system that would have eliminated all property taxes on primary residences in favor of a flat consumption tax. The effort garnered national attention, with Grover Norquist, president of the fiscally conservative Americans for Tax Reform, praising Rubio as “the most pro-taxpayer legislative leader in the country.”

During his legislative career, Rubio also promoted efforts to develop a world-class public school curriculum, increase performance-based accountability, enhance school choice and target the socio-economic factors affecting chronic academic underperformance. He is also widely credited for blocking the expansion of gambling in Florida and shepherding the passage of historic energy legislation based on market incentives rather than government-imposed mandates.

Since the end of his tenure as Speaker, Rubio has resumed his law practice as a sole practitioner. He has also served as a visiting professor at Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center, worked as Florida Chairman of GOPAC and as a political analyst for Univision during the 2008 election cycle.

He has also continued his community and civic involvement, serving on the boards of the Latin Builders Association and Alafit International, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting global literacy. He also remains engaged in the West Miami community where he served as a city commissioner prior to being elected to the state house.

Rubio and his wife, Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio, have been married since 1998. They are the parents of four children: Amanda, Daniella, Anthony, and Dominic. They currently live in the working class city of West Miami, just four blocks from the home his parents moved the family to in 1985.

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