Although it had little to do with his own efforts, Obama’s best chance for energizing his base and getting them rebooted for 2012 is Rick Perry. At least that is the sentiment of Politico’s Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman:

The epidemic of lefty angst isn’t just a matter of specific Perry policies though; it goes to the heart of the liberal worldview. His smashing debut on the presidential stage suggests that the victory of an urban liberal Democrat, Barack Obama, wasn’t a step toward a more progressive nation, but just a leftward swing of an increasingly wild pendulum, now poised to rocket to the right.

Or, maybe this is just some left wing activists going through the motions in order to attract some good Obama news: If you can’t vote for Obama, at least vote against Rick Perry! Then again, maybe they are just happy Sarah Palin is not in the race.

Starting on September 7 there will be three major Republican debates in the month, two in October and another two to round out the year. After those there are five more debates scheduled for 2012 that run up to March 5th.

I say, however, we don’t need that many. The stretch of presidential debates coming this month will be the most important to winning the Republican nomination. This is the time in the season where a teams capabilities become apparent. In sports we look at this time as the sort out process. Any team can start out oddly hot or cold but its at this crucial time where we find who is for real and who is not. I personally think this upcoming month will weed out all the candidates the Iowa Straw Poll should have. Every major candidate has something to prove with these debates.
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Perry’s announcement bump is showing some legs:

The survey, released Monday, indicates that 27 percent of Republicans nationwide support Perry for their party’s nomination, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who’s making his second bid for the White House, at 14 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin follows at ten percent, with Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at nine percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who’s making his third bid for the presidency, at six percent. Every one else listed on the questionnaire registered in the low single digits.

Fascinating that non-candidates Palin and Rudy continue to poll above Newt and Paul.

Perry: 27
Romney: 14
Palin: 10
Bachmann: 9
Rudy: 9
Newt: 6
Paul: 6
Everyone else? It ain’t pretty.

A guest submission from Rochelle Edvalson

A bad sign for Obama:

In a huge public blow to the electoral fortunes of both President Obama and the Democratic Party, the president of the AFL-CIO said Thursday that organized labor is preparing to ditch Democrats and go it alone in building up its own grassroots structure.

Specifically, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters that the nation’s largest labor federation will scale back their involvement with the Democratic Party in advance of the 2012 elections.

So is this the start of a Labor Party or is this simply a ploy to force the Democratic Party to fall in line?

A rodeo clown wears some of the most garish outfits imaginable. But who would expect ordinary from someone who’ll willingly tease a 2000-pound bull that’s wearing a bucking strap around his groin? While unquestionably odd, the rodeo clown’s wardrobe is functional, which is more than can be said of Rep. Frederica Wilson’s (D-FL) attire. One glimpse of her costume will send a bull scrambling for his sunglasses.

Rep. Frederica Wilson — Congress Clown — playing the race card (My apologies for using an external link rather than inserting the video. I can’t seem to make it work. AH) Read more

A guest submission from Rochelle Edvalson

Fore!

I have heard a lot of conservative talk show hosts beating President Obama up for his most recent vacation. While I agree the timing wasn’t good, I also think this type of nit-picking is unfair. More than unfair, it’s silly. There is enough to be concerned about politically. So I am going to do something I rarely do- stick up for the President. I know, I know, it’s snowing in Los Angeles today. However, let us think about this rationally.

President Obama is, at this moment, the most powerful man in the free world, and probably on earth. It is by his decision that wars are declared. It is by is decisions that economies prosper or fail. (We can discuss those things separately.) Because he has the power to make such life altering decisions, and the responsibility, he also shoulders a great deal of stress. I know he signed up for the job, but that doesn’t alleviate the stress. Add to this that the man still has a wife and young children for which he is responsible. Its a tough place to be.
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You knew it wouldn’t be long before the long knives would appear around the meteoric rise of the Rick Perry campaign, and here it starts, the form of a New York Times editorial:

The exchange of campaign contributions for government contracts, favors or positions is all too common in Washington and around the country. It has been developed to an especially high art — or more to the point, a low art — by Gov. Rick Perry in Texas. For a presidential contender who insists that big government is the country’s biggest problem, it is particularly cynical.

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Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs? The announcement of his departure is one of the biggest milestones in American business history.

Rarely has a single individual been so closely identified with and intertwined with a company’s fortunes as has Jobs. He is Apple. His vision and creativity spawned many successes (and failures!) over the years, but no one could ever say that he was unwilling to take a chance, to throw the dice.
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Perry gallops to front

By

Filed Under Polls on Aug 24 

Hard to believe we’ve been running Political Derby since 2006 and I’ve never made the “gallop” joke. (Get it? Horses? Gallup? Gallop?)

Gallup: Perry Zooms to Front of Pack for 2012 GOP Nomination

PRINCETON, NJ — Shortly after announcing his official candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as rank-and-file Republicans’ current favorite for their party’s 2012 presidential nomination. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide say they are most likely to support Perry, with Mitt Romney next, at 17%.

Several Tim Pawlenty supporters and former campaign staffers have thrown themselves in with Mitt Romney, according to a Washington Post article.

The endorsements from several former Pawlenty backers in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and Romney has added several former T-Paw folks to his own campaign, include Pawlenty’s former national election committee co-chair, Vin Weber.

“It is an honor to again work with Mitt Romney,” Weber said in a statement issued by the campaign. “At such a critical time in our nation’s history, it is important that we have someone with his background to lead the country.”

Romney said he was proud to have Weber’s support: “Vin will be a trusted adviser, and I look forward to working with him to help get our country moving in the right direction again.”

It will be interesting to see when and who Pawlenty himself endorses.

So yes, we had a little shake here on the East Coast. The folks in California are mocking us for what amounts to a nothing quake on the Left Coast, but it was a big deal here in the East.

I’ve already heard three great one-liners revolving around politics, since the quake was close to the Washington, D.C. area.

“Earthquake in D.C. Despite early promising reports, Congress is still standing.”

“Fox News reported the Washington Monument is tilting from the quake. Leave it to Fox News to complain that the Washington Monument leans left!”

“I blame Obama – there were no quakes during the Bush years.”

Have any to add?

Breaking Rasmussen poll: Obama 39%, Paul 38%

Don’t just look at the big numbers, take a moment to read the story and drill down to some of the other data. There are some fascinating nuggets.

We haven’t talked much about how Huntsman and his aides have evidently decided to ratchet up the rhetoric. It’s too early to tell whether it will give him any lift in the polls, but it sure has attracted MSM attention. It’s also attracted some love from the DNC:

Ads like this are usually very effective, nothing like using a man’s own words against him. The problem, of course, is they think we should find this unusual.

BREAKING NEWS: HUNTSMAN DOESN’T LIKE ROMNEY, PERRY, ETC.

BREAKING NEWS: HUNTSMAN THINKS HE WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT

BREAKING NEWS: HUNTSMAN CAN USE CHOPSTICKS WITHOUT THE LITTLE PLASTIC HELPER PIECE

Surely the DNC remembers the shots Obama, Hillary and Edwards took at one another four years ago, right? This is politics, people. When Huntsman drops out, which he will eventually, he’ll call the remaining horses, thank them for running noble campaigns, and then line up behind one of them with an endorsement. That’s how it’s done.

Gallop: Obama in Close Race Against Romney, Perry, Bachmann, Paul

The interesting thing about this new poll is the way Drudge is shaping the story with his headline.

Drudge

What’s the more newsworthy item? That Romney and Perry are beating Obama or that Paul and Bachmann are “closely matched”?

Interesting…

The Libya bump

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Filed Under Foreign Affairs on Aug 22 

With the rebels overtaking Gaddafi’s last stronghold in Tripoli, it seems as if the Administration’s numerous past predictions of “Gaddafi’s days are numbered” are finally coming true.

Here is another prediction that will come true: The Administration will trumpet Gaddafi’s exodus out of Libya as the ultimate example of this administration’s deft, nuanced, sophisticated handling of a sensitive foreign-affairs matter that ended up going in America’s direction.

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Might as well say bye-bye to Jon Huntsman. Previously I joked that Huntsman didn’t have the marbles to stand up to his old boss. I was right, but… I did neglect to mention that he does have the guts to trash talk and take on his fellow Republicans instead.

The Democratic National Committee just blasted out a greatest-hits reel from Huntsman’s Sunday show appearance, wherein the former Utah governor criticized Rick Perry for being anti-science, Michele Bachmann for being un-serious about the economy and Mitt Romney for being a flip-flopper.

Seriously, the DNC couldn’t have said it any better themselves, so they didn’t! This is a total bomb for Huntsman. He will be heavily scrutinized for his brash comments and he already is having trouble convincing conservatives he is the man they want. I really don’t get this move and it may be time to go for Jon. Its not like he has a large base to fall back on after all.

If Rudy jumped into the race, could he win New Hampshire? If he did, how would that shake up the race? And what happens if you have three different winners coming out of IA, NH and SC? We could be talking about going from sleepy to one of the more interesting and entertaining nomination races in history.

I’ve been very doubtful that Sarah Palin would actually take the leap into the 2012 race. She’s had the look of a horse only dipping her hoof in enough to keep the spotlight burning bright. But more and more we’re hearing things like this and seeing videos like the new one below.

Is Palin really going to jump in this mess?

Amid his rapidly-falling poll numbers and the crashing economy, there are reports every day that President Obama is losing support from this or that formerly-solid voting bloc. One of those supposedly-weakening support groups is American Jews. Jews have traditionally voted liberal-Democratic in the past; is there any reason for Obama to fear a lessening of their support now? Certainly, his personal rift with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Obama’s recent call for Israel to return to its 1967 borders haven’t helped his standing in the American Jewish community.

But will a majority of American Jews actually not support President Obama in 2012?
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