Today I received an email from our good friend Mitch Stewart, Director for Organizing for America in which he wanted me to write to all my local newspapers telling them that I support the Obamanation. Obviously, that just wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I once more used their own machine against them.

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Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com's 2012 Power Rankings, the original tracking service of the race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips. The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

The GOP Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet

Mitt
Romney

Forget what you’ve read, Mittens is the real winner in the Scott Brown Cinderella Story. Romney and Romney’s operatives played a major role in Brown’s campaign, and what could look better for Romney than the hottest young Republican in the party standing up a year from now and saying “I support Mitt Romney for President”. Right now, only the endorsements of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater’s creepy Avatars would be a bigger coup for Willard.

2 Sarah
Palin

The good news for Palin is that she now has a major platform on Fox News and hours and hours of face time with voters between now and 2012. The bad news is that she now has a major platform on FoxNews and hours and hours of face time with voters between now and 2012 — and every single minute of every single hour will be on video. What are the chances she doesn’t say something bizarro that will sink her campaign before it starts?

3 Tim
Pawlenty

What can you say about Paw? He’s still a guy people seem to like, but he really isn’t doing much to shake the perception that he’s just too – uh – vanilla. Not that there’s anything wrong with vanilla. But half-a-bottle of chocolate sauce and some crushed nuts really livens up a scoop of the stuff. Pawlenty needs to find his chocolate sauce and nuts before a candidate like Butter Pecan or Rocky Road make him an afterthought in the back of the freezer.

4 Mike
Huckabee
Huck’s no longer got the market cornered as candidate-turned-Fox-News-Host-turned-potential-candidate, not with Palin’s new contract and incredible visibility with Fox. True, Huck is leading the way in a lot of the early polls, but there appears to be an enthusiasm gap. Need proof? Google ‘Huckabee 2012? and you’ll find 809K results. But Google ‘Pants on the Ground’ and you’ll find over 40 million. That’s the kind of analysis you just don’t get from Rove or Sabato.
5t

Scott
Brown
and
Rick
Santorum

The once and future senators seem to be opposite ends of the spectrum. Santorum was a leader in the GOP during much of Dubbya’s administration, but was cast aside in the backlash of 2006. Brown is the current darling of the Republican party, winning a seat that just two months ago seemed un-winnable for any Republican. Ricky has baggage, but at least has actually admitted to considering a run. Scotty has no experience on the national stage and no apparent interest, but more buzz than a Kennedy Boys Night Out and the look of a GOP centerfold. Nevertheless, if forced to split horse hairs, Ricky gets a slight edge because one would surmise that Brown won’t bite the hand that helped feed him a seat in the Senate. At least not in 2012.

We’ve heard an endless number of opinions on Obama’s performance while giving the State of the Union Address and the scrunity will go on for days, as it should given the garbage that spewed out of my hotel television.

It’s certainly no suprise that our regular PD readers are less than enthusiastic about our government’s “focus” for the coming year, but what I really want to know is how you felt about Bob McDonnell’s performance giving the GOP response.   Was he a Jindal repeat or a breath of fresh air for the GOP?

I didn’t watch the State of the Union (SOTU) last night. Instead I followed what people were saying on twitter. Because let’s face it, twitter was more entertaining than the speech. Here are some of my favorite lines from the #SOTU feed:

• Barry: Reading a teleprompter and trying to not appear as an out of touch, stubborn elitist is a “complex” issue
• Obama Declares “I Don’t Quit” in #SOTU (but he should)
• The Nation Demands More Obama: At least that’s what Obama thinks
• I’m unable to make HCR [healthcare reform] happen while presiding over the largest Congressional majority in 35 years. But I sure do talk pretty
• I didn’t need as much whisky as I thought I would to get through the #SOTU last night.
• And how can Obama act like he’s a Washington outsider? He’s been in Washington since 2005!!!!
• “He gives a great speech doesn’t he, but do you believe it?”
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From Larry Sabato’s crystal ball where the current projections stand at +7 GOP for the Senate, +27 GOP for the House and +4 GOP for Governorships:

For Democrats, it is officially time to worry. The party’s gubernatorial losses in Virginia and New Jersey last fall could be partially explained away as the states’ usual off-year swing to the “out” party.

But Republican Scott Brown’s come-from-behind victory last week in the special Massachusetts Senate election for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat is something else – a harshly delivered slap in the face from voters in one of the most loyally Democratic states in the country.

In short, what we have right now is not an aberration, but a trend – and a very negative one for the Democrats. The enthusiasm gap that favored Barack Obama and the Democrats in 2008 has shifted to his opponents. The independents that buttressed Democrats in the last two election cycles have moved in large numbers to the other side. And President Obama has been unable to stem the tide, even with the investment of his political capital into each losing campaign.

Read the full analysis.

So what did you think about the President’s first SOTU address? Was it as pleasurable as root canal?

Weigh in, PD gang, with what you heard and saw. We know he gives good speeches; but did he “ring the bell” yet again?

Jason is still in book-writing mode and deputized me to pick a winner for this little contest.

Therefore, I pick… ME!

I guess I can’t do that, even though my caption sparked a debate over communism.

TOP THAT!

Anyway, after several seconds of deliberation, I’ve decided that the winning caption comes from Red State Eddio: “Billy, if you don’t stop interrupting the president, you will have to clean the teleprompters after class.”

RSE, just send me your address and your book choice in an email and I’ll make sure the slacke… er… Jason sends it to you.

Feel free to heckle him on here to get the Power Rankings posted too!

Previewing the SOTU

By

Filed Under General, Humor on Jan 26 

The Daily Beast’s Chris Buckley has an alleged “early draft” of The One’s “State of the Union” speech scheduled to be delivered tomorrow at 9:00 PM Eastern. Due to the ever increasing size of the deficit and the newly loosened restrictions on corporate contributions to political candidates, Team Obama has been searching for a corporate sponsor for the prime time address. Finalists are rumored to include the newly independent Southern California ACORN chapter and the SEIU’s gentle persuasion division.

But I digress. Some key graphs from Buckley’s copy of The One’s SOTU draft:

A year ago, I inspired the nation to have the audacity to hope that I would change the political culture in Washington. Now, a year later, it turns out I’m another hack politician—from Chicago, where, believe you me, we know a thing or two about hack politics.

I was going to set a new standard. Now I’m just a complicit bystander as Harry bribes, among others, a senator from Nebraska who wants his state to get a free pass on Medicare—in return for his vote on a health-care reform bill that would make the Founders weep, or throw up. Or both.

[snip]

I can further report that Secretary Napolitano has come up with an ingenious plan to prevent a recurrence of the Christmas bombing attempt. From now on, all planes flying into the United States will carry not air marshals but Dutch artists. For we now know that when it comes to disabling well-born Nigerians attempting to detonate their underpants, Dutch artists are proven first-responders.

Read the whole thing.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger suggested California could ease its crowded prison system by sending thousands of undocumented inmates to specially built jails in Mexico.

“I think that we can do so much better in the prison system alone if we can go and take, inmates for instance, the 20,000 inmates that are illegal immigrants that are here and get them to Mexico,”

Sounds like a great idea. While I don’t like paying Mexico to build a prison and hold their citizens who shouldn’t even be here, I do like the idea that if they escape they are in Mexico and not here.
Read More Here

In a surprisingly display of legislative chutzpah, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi introduced legislation today that could potentially crack the logjam on health care and finalize its completion. Speaker Pelosi unveiled HR2345, which basically states that Massachusetts would no longer be viewed as a whole or complete state, but instead be reduced to a “dwarf state” categorization.

Massachusetts would no longer receive full states rights, but instead be proportioned according to a 3/5th measure, making it unable to maintain both US senators. This move would effectively nullify the recent election of Scott Brown, the first republican senator from Massachusetts since the model-T was offered in black.

“I can do anything I want. I am Speaker, you know. I honestly should have thought of this back in December. But the drama was too good to pass up,” said Speaker Pelosi. “I knew I was a history making speaker, but this is just incredible, even for me.”

“As a side benefit, this will allow me to finally relax my facial muscles and let my plastic surgery settle into place.”

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An ill wind blows?

By

Filed Under Races 2010 on Jan 25 

I’m not one to make idle prognostications about the November elections just yet. I’ll leave that to those who pay more attention to the inner workings of individual campaigns than I do. From what I read of NRO’s Jim Geraghty and the Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone, the tea leaves do not bode well for Team Obama. Just today came the news that the heir-apparent (at least according to the MSM) to the SlowJoe senate seat in Delaware has decided not to seek the job after all.

The Cook Political Report now has SlowJoe’s seat as a “Solid R”. The One’s former senate seat – though he can hardly lay claim to it as it wasn’t his for very long – is listed as a “Toss Up”. No matter how one tries to spin this data, none of it foretells a reason for Team Obama to make mid-term victory party plans.

Evidently, The One has not gotten the memo regarding the possibility that 2010 might look a lot like 1994. The hubris shield currently enveloping the Oval Office has rendered the current occupant oblivious to any such prognostications. How is this possible? Well, according to retiring blue dog Congressman Marion Berry (D-AR), The One believes his very presence in the Oval Office will prevent history from doing what it so often does – repeating itself. According to Berry, thus saith The One:

Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.

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I just couldn’t resist resurrecting a feature from the good ol’ days. (Thanks, Neil, for the tip.)

Did no one in the White House PR or political offices stop to think how completely ridiculous this would look? Can you imagine how the dems and the MSM would have roasted GWB if he’d shown up to speak at an elementary school with a teleprompter? I’ve used one myself and I understand sometimes they are absolutely necessary, and perhaps today’s speech is important enough to merit its use. But why then give the speech at an elementary school?

Let the captions fly. Best caption by this time tomorrow gets a free book of their choice.

Scott Brown’s election victory last Tuesday night was that very rarest of occurrences—the triumph of substance over style.
 
Unlike most political contests where the attention-challenged electorate makes their decisions based on amorphous soundbites and half-truths delivered in slickly-produced television spots, Scott Brown took the real issues head-on—National Healthcare, taxes, National Security—and confidently staked out well-articulated, unambiguous, unequivocal stances on all of them. People were free to agree or disagree with his positions, but no one could accuse Brown of trying to play both sides of the fence and be all things to all people.

How refreshing. A political candidate with the courage of his convictions. None of that “I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it” stuff. And people instinctively responded.

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I wish I could say I didn’t smile watching every single second of this. But I did. In fact, my face still hurts.

Thirty-nine years ago today, little Stephen Fountain was born wearing a Richard Nixon pin and reciting the Declaration of Independence. Today Stephen proudly wears a Scott Brown pin and recites his famous debate line, “With all due respect, this isn’t the Kennedy seat, it’s the people’s seat.”

Happy Birthday, Mr. Esteemed Editor Extraordinaire!

Stephen

A few things have happened today in the realm of campaign finance issues.

First the SCOTUS knocked the wind out of McCain-Feingold today. The President says it’s a victory for Wall Street banks, Big Business fat cats, who are all special interests. I’d like to remind Mr O, his unions are just as special and interesting. I’m just sayin’

The second bit of news deals with an older law that puts limits on campaign contributions. Unions and business can now contribute to campagins out of their general funds among other things without limits.

I’m not sure what to think about this. I think you should be able to give as much as you want to whatever cause you choose to align yourself with. Of course, I’m saying that as a responsible person not out to get anything or to cause any trouble. However, I am worried about more corruption and buying of votes, which we know already happens.

What say you Derby fans? Is this good or bad and will this years’ elections be uglier for it?

It’s usually considered bad form to kick a man when he’s down. Personally, I’ve done my fair share of celebrating what is most likely the biggest electoral upset (non-Presidential) in the past half century or so.

Turns out, I don’t have to throw any rocks at The One. He’s in personally uncharted waters when it comes to being on the receiving end of an electoral smackdown. One thing he’ll soon learn is that not all of fire he’s receiving comes from his political adversaries. Take this quote for example:

I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.

Conventional wisdom would dictate that such a quote came from somebody at National Review, maybe an Op-Ed at the Washington Times. No, dear reader. The usual suspects aren’t in the line-up this time. Take your best guess – no Googling allowed.

Give up? Ok, here’s the culprit:
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He’s lied, cheated, treated people around him with sheer contempt, manipulated the media and blamed others for his own flaws. Rinse and repeat.

Now he’s finally admitting, after a year of denials, what PD first reported conclusively last fall. He is the father of Rielle Hunter’s baby.

I didn’t think it possible, but Edwards is starting to make Bill Clinton look like a man of high moral character.

This evening I received an email from Mitch Stewart, Director of Organizing for America.

Yesterday’s disappointing election results show deep discontent with the pace of change. I know the OFA community and the President share that frustration.

We also saw what we knew to be true all along: Any change worth making is hard and will be fought at every turn. While it doesn’t take away the sting of this loss, there is no road to real change without setbacks along the way.

We could have simply sought to do things that were easy, that wouldn’t stir up controversy. But changes that aren’t controversial rarely solve the problem.

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Long before Drudge had the headline: “NOW… WILL HE RUN FOR PRESIDENT?” I’d been wondering the same thing. More importantly, I’d been wondering ‘why not?’

For better or worse, Obama completely changed the rules by which we nominate and elect presidents. Previous generations wouldn’t have allowed Obama to even climb on the debate stage, not with so little experience under his belt and none of it executive.

In November of 2012, Brown will have 20 years of elected political experience at the local, state and federal level. Not to mention his military experience, of which Obama has none.

Brown is good looking, bright, a savvy debater, an electable moderate, and so on. He is Romney without the wishy-washy reputation.

So why not Brown next time? At the very least, shouldn’t he be ranked in the 2012 Power Rankings?