Someone forwarded me the results of this shocking poll from Ron Paul’s official website this morning:

Should Ron Paul run for President in 2012?

* Yes. (94%, 12,878 Votes)
* No. (3%, 451 Votes)
* I don’t know. (1%, 127 Votes)
* It depends. (explain below) (2%, 213 Votes)

Total Voters: 13,669

Come on people, that’s like asking Cleveland Cavalier fans if they think LeBron should return to Cavs.

Or asking Whodat fans if they think he should publish an anthology of his best poems.

Am I the only one who thinks Iowa plays too great a role in determining nominees? I understand the winner in Iowa doesn’t always win the big prize (see Huck 2008) but it’s understood you need a very strong presence and result. But in the tech and instant-news era, haven’t we moved on from having states like Iowa and New Hampshire determine in large part who represents the parties?

Call me nuts, but the idea what Iowans “expect face time” rubs me the wrong way.

As compelling a case as any. Agree?

Contemplating President Mitch Daniels
Russ Smith

The popular Indiana governor, with a zero charisma meter, might emerge as Barack Obama’s toughest opponent

Back in January I wrote an essay lamenting the lack of a credible Republican national leader, a man or woman who’d take the initiative to barnstorm across the country for GOP Congressional candidates, and not incidentally collect I.O.U’s for a 2012 challenge to President Obama. Newt Gingrich was brilliant in this capacity in 1994, and had his alternating bouts of bluster and timidity not done him in, it’s possible he could’ve displaced the tired Bob Dole in the ’96 election. Richard Nixon, ignoring his press obits, and public image as a political laughing-stock, virtually guaranteed his ’68 nomination by successfully traversing the country in ‘66, pressing flesh before audiences tiny and large, and emerged as the main beneficiary of the GOP’s comeback just two years after LBJ’s landslide.

Read the rest.

Peggy West, a Milwaukee County Supervisor, was under the impression that Arizona was not a border state — like you know, um, Texas. See the video here, (but it might disappear again).

Arizona Senator John Kyl set her straight with this letter.

Life is so good in these 57 states today! Have a good weekend all!

That’s certainly the impression this Politico article gives you.

Politico reports that Barbour has “socked away hundreds of thousands of dollars this year alone” in several political action committees. It also reports that Barbour had a DC fundraiser for his PAC last night “boasting a host committee that reads like a next-generation GOP bundling and campaign dream.”

While the article is very positive it also points out that Haley’s strength is also his weakness:

Read more

Rory for Congress…Rory who? I guess the Reid name isn’t all it used to be around Nevada.

I have to admit, as I watch clips of Mr. Greene, democratic nominee for senate from SC, I actually feel for him. Not sure I could explain it, but there is something that just doesn’t seem quite right. With all due respect, I’ve seen high schoolers answer questions like this more convincingly. Is it just me, or does anyone else have a soft spot for this man who seems in over his head?

Gen. McChrystal is out, and Gen Petraeus is in.

There has been a lot of buzz and chatter on this story since it broke. I find all of the opinions as to what should have been done, what will be done and so on very fascinating.

However, the question I have is this: is McChrystal’s resignation/firing because of what he said (Obama is not doing that great of a job at commander in chief) or that he said it, breaking the tradition of keeping your mouth shut in the military? Is this resignation/firing enough? I’ve heard some suggest that he should be charged with some sort of treason as well, or should he be allowed to ride peacefully off into the sunset?

What say you Derby fans?

Welcome to the latest edition of'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

The GOP Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet


For the first time in over year, we have a new horse at the top. Palin-backed candidates have cleaned up in the spring primary season and her appearances at Tea Party rallies generate more buzz and pop than Justin Beiber on a Red Bull binge. The criticism of her resigning as Alaska's governor has faded and she skillfully turned stalkerneighborgate into a positive. Perhaps this quote from her keynote address at the Tea Party Convention earlier this year best sums up her rise to the top of the PD rankings: "How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?"


Mitt's fall from the top spot isn't just about Palin, it's also tied to passage of Obama's health care plan. Mitt's own version, RomneyCare(tm), signed, sealed and delivered during his watch in Massachusetts, bears a striking resemblance to the new federal law of the land. While only true political junkies know that now, expect his opponents for the 2012 nod to spend millions educating the rest of us. Ironic that his most significant achievement during his last job could be the one that prevents him from getting the job he really wants.

3 Mike

Yes we know, Huckabee has said he isn't planning on running. But one day he's not running, the next he's asking to be included in favorability polls in Iowa. Somehow he makes Brett Favre look decisive. Still, the fact remains that Huck fared the best among the potential candidates in a June 12 poll that pitted him against Obama and he topped a May 12 Fox News poll as the top GOP candidate in 2012. PD still isn't convinced he'll run, but in the current snapshot, he's our show horse.

Newt is the guy/girl in college you had a secret crush on. Sure, you've heard rumors about a salacious past and you doubt they're marriage material. But you're willing to look past that because they flirt so well. Admit it, you know it's a long shot, but if you're a conservative, something about Newt sends a thrill up your leg. You love how he thinks, what he says, and how he operates, politically speaking. But Newt's private life makes some shudder, and his personal history won't play well in the conservative heartland. Then again, this country elected Bill Clinton - twice.


That is not a misprint, Paulites. Lay down your weapons; your guy is finally ranked for 2012. We still don't see him winning the nomination, but PD and other pundits cannot deny that as one of the inspirations of the Tea Party movement, Paul still carries a lot of clout. He'll surely be visible during his son's campaign for senate, and if Rand wins, the Paul family will have a mini-dynasty in the making and a seat at the Iowa/New Hampshire table… If they want it.

A few weeks ago, Alaina commented on the “YouCut” program here.

To recap: the GOP introduces one of five spending cuts each week. The American people vote on which of the five options should be introduced.

Like a good little citizen I have dutifully placed my vote each week. Since votes are placed by email, I get a neat little form letter from Eric Cantor’s office regarding the vote. The past few weeks I have been disgusted as proposal after proposal has been defeated along party lines. This week, however, I have hope! No, the proposed spending cut to sell excess Federal lands did not pass. However, a smaller proposal was introduced by the President.

According to House Whip Eric Cantor “after this week’s YouCut proposal was unveiled to save $15 billion by selling excess federal property, President Obama announced his own version that would save $3 billion. The Majority recently called all of their committee chairmen together and told them they had to start finding ways to save money. A Capitol Hill newspaper cited YouCut as prompting the request!”

With enough pressure will members of Congress start listening to their constituency? Hope springs eternal!

Read Eric Cantor’s full letter.

I sense a new regular feature coming here to PD. Watch this clip of Huckabee’s stab at humor (I hope) in reference to Palin doing drugs.

Funny or awkwaaard?

It’s always fascinating when an event in so-called “real life” illustrates a long-held philosophy or point of view. Your first reaction is one of surprised, almost startled, amazement: Did that just happen? Did that person actually say that? Do they actually mean what they just said?

We were witness to such an occurrence a short time ago at a college graduation ceremony. An adult friend of ours went back for her Masters in Education after many years on the job. She deserves all the credit in the world, as not many of us could immerse ourselves back in the classroom routine—assigned reading, homework, projects, papers, deadlines, exams—once we became accustomed to being full-time working adults, answerable, mostly, only to ourselves.

Read more

We are feverishly… scratch that, we are diligently… uh, we are… currently… working on new Power Rankings for the Republicans for 2012.

Questions abound!

Can Mitt Romney Hold onto the top spot?

Will Sarah Palin ride the wave of Tea Party support to lead the pack?

Is Mike Huckabee going to run?

Has Jason Wright been kidnapped by aliens and replaced by a pod person?

All these questions and more to be answered in the soon-to-arrive Power Rankings!

From Rick Barber for Congress:

In July of 1979, President Jimmy Carter gave what was arguably the most important speech of his presidency, one in which he expressed the notion that the United States was facing a crisis in confidence and, though he never used the word itself, it became widely know as the “malaise” speech.

At first, the speech was hailed, and Carter received a bump in his approval ratings. However, the lack of effort in fixing what ailed the nation, perceived or real, saw public opinion sour further on the Carter administration. A little more than a year later, he was soundly beaten by Ronald Reagan.

The malaise speech hung around Carter’s neck like an anchor, and here’s where comparisons to Obama’s speech last night come to light.

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Filed Under Races 2010 on Jun 15 

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Let’s see how many newsworthy items you can combine with this photo: (All references between BP, the World Cup, and Barack Obama are purely intentional)

> “Soccer balls and oil spills: Two things the Brits can’t contain.”

> “We know who’s butt is going to get kicked tonight.”

> “BP’s environmental safety plan – as trustworthy as a British goalkeeper.”

> “Hey ma, look – no hands.”

> “I wish I could get the first half of this game back.”

> What’s big, green, and really makes a mess of things?
a) BP
b) Incredible Hulk reruns on TVLand
c) British keepers

The Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels, has enjoyed some 2012 love here at PD. Could this position put him on thin ice in places like Iowa?

Pence rejects Daniels’ proposal for truce on social issues
Posted: June 13th, 2010 02:50 PM ET
From CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

(CNN) – A leading congressional conservative disagreed Sunday with a suggestion by his state’s governor that social issues be put on the back burner in order to allow policymakers to focus on turning the economy around and bringing the federal government’s finances into balance.

Speaking to The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication, Indiana’s Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, said the next president “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues” so he or she could focus on the fiscal problems facing the country.

Read more

One can only imagine how much elephant dung would have hit the fan if Bush had skipped a memorial like this to attend a fundraiser.

President headed to fundraiser during Gulf memorial service
Posted: June 11th, 2010 05:45 AM ET

President Obama was en route to a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer in California during a May 25 memorial service for the workers who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, according to his official schedule.

Read more

A Politico article is titled, “Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney win big in kingmaking states.” The article points out that Palin and Romney both endorsed Nikki Haley in South Carolina and former Governor Terry Branstad in Iowa, while Mike Huckabee endorsed other candidates.

“If Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney decide to run for president in 2012, they’ll have some powerful friends in the early states that are key to winning the GOP nomination.

“Mike Huckabee? Not so much.”
Read more