When the curtain went up on Obama Theatre’s latest presentation, staged at a town hall meeting sponsored by LinkedIn.com, the performance was the same as it has always been. A theatre critic would describe Obama’s act as tired, tedious, and repetitive. The President delivered the same stale routines and predictable themes upon which he’s long relied. There was nothing new, nothing creative. His message was inescapably vacant and laughably sophomoric. 

Yet one scene stood out, wherein an obvious cast member sheepishly asked Obama, “Will you raise my taxes?” Read more

Mitt Romney’s newest ad against Rick Perry.

President Obama goes around telling lies like this one:

Well you know what? If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or teacher makes me a warrior for the working class, I’ll wear that charge as a badge of honor. Because the only class warfare I’ve seen is the battle that’s been waged against the middle class in this country for a decade.

When in reality the middle class, or middle quintile, of earners under current law pay an effective (“effective means actual percentage of income paid in taxes, after all deductions) federal tax rate of 14.1% compared with the top 20% of earners paying 25.5% of income in taxes and the Warren Buffets of the world, or top 0.1% of earners, pay 30.4%

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has paid the state of Oregon a $5 million bonus for signing up so many of its citizens on food stamps!

While to President rails on the rich, he is also working to increase dependency on the government. Although both parties have long championed the purchase of votes through social programs, Obama seems to be taking class warfare to a new extreme as his method to keep himself and further bring his party into power.

Considering that a majority of American pay no federal income taxes, it is not hard to see where this is going. Maybe we should review how similar tactics worked out when another world leader referred to one class of his people as “bloodsuckers, vampires, and plunderers of the people and profiteers, who fatten on famine.”

Paul says al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki should have been tried in a U.S. court:

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul criticized President Obama Friday for “assassinating” al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki, saying that the American-born Muslim cleric should have been tried in a U.S. court.

Al-Awlaki, who preached terror as the public face of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed in Yemen Friday when an airstrike hit his motorcade, a Yemeni government official said. A “successful joint intelligence-sharing operation” between Yemen and the United States led to the attack that killed al-Awlaki, a Yemeni government official said Friday.

This position will appeal to the 6% of GOP voters who support him, and no one else.

This will, of course, turn into a discussion about why Paul is right and anyone who disagrees is an idiot who doesn’t understand the constitution. My point, however, has nothing to do with the right or wrong. The point is that you can’t win with positions outside the mainstream.

Brainwashed? Really Cain? This video might as well be called, “Not ready for prime time.”

It’s the Republican Armageddon! Everybody panic; Rick Perry stumbled over his words and now he can’t possibly be our candidate! Romney is not conservative enough. Paul is unelectable. Bachmann is a walking blooper reel. Cain is funny but not a serious candidate. Santorum has clearly missed the last four years and is still talking about social issues instead of the economy. Gingrich believes his new opponent for the nomination is the media. Huntsman just realized he accidentally is running for the Republican nomination instead of the Democratic primary he should be in. Where do we go from here? Who can we find to save our party?
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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

Rick
Perry

Perry's lead in the polls shrinks with every sleepy-eyed debate performance. In the most recent, Perry gave a few odd answers between stifled yawns, especially on college tuition for illegal immigrants. PD wonders if Rick Perry's advisors on immigration are Cheech and Chong, because if he keeps this approach, his campaign will go up in smoke.

Mitt
Romney

Romney's numbers are recovering slowly as he continues to run with the strategy that as long as he doesn't trip, he'll win. It’s a questionable approach, one that hearkens to Thomas Dewey’s “just don’t make a mistake” campaign of 1948. You know, “Dewey defeats Truman.” We aren’t entirely sure, but maybe Romney thinks if he runs his campaign conservatively, he’ll convince voters he is actually is one.

Ron
Paul

Paul just cracked double digits in a legitimate national poll (Gallup) for the first time in recent memory. Ron Paul also just lost a straw poll (Florida) for the first time in recent memory. His supports continue to insist he’s the only candidate that can fix our problems, and we agree that until now, he’s been about the only consistent candidate in the GOP race. Paul is consistent in his message, consistent in his views, consistently cranky and consistent in polling 7 to 8% on average in national polls.

4 Herman
Cain
Cain is surging and building buzz the way Trump and Bachmann did before him. Cain needs to do what neither of them could and build on the momentum of the Florida Straw Poll victory. To do this, Cain has to prove he’s not a thin crust on the issues, rather that he can get deep dish with his ideas on solving problems.

Newt
Gingrich

Gingrich hit third in a recent poll (CNN) for the first time and PD thinks his performance in the debates have been the key. But while Gingrich shows in debates he's a political savant, it only magnifies the fact that his personal life is an extended episode of Benny Hill. Still, as one PD editor pointed out, Gingrich would look real good flambéing Joe Biden in a VP debate as the GOP's number two candidate.

Michele
Bachmann

The congresswoman's fast and furious decent from her Ames win has her polling just 4% in the new CNN poll. Despite a promising start to her campaign, and her attempt to portray herself as having more gravitas than Tea Party twin Sarah Palin, Bachmann has become Palin redux. It’s so bad, PD is waiting for her to say she can stand on the shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota and see China.
Rick
Santorum
The tale of The Strange Candidacy of Rick Santorum continues, with some fascinating developments in recent weeks. It turns out that like Gingrich, Santorum is also a pretty darned good debater. He's turned in strong performances, including the last, after which some pundits said he came in a close second to Romney. What does all this mean? Two measly points in most national polls, and, given Santorum’s social issue emphasis, not much of a chance to get any stronger. Rick can’t fix the economy if he doesn’t realize it is the problem.
Jon
Huntsman
With all due respect to the former Utah governor, he needs to hear this: "Viability has now left the building." Huntsman is polling last among the candidates that have appeared in the majority of the debates -- no, Gary Johnson doesn’t count -- and Huntsman hasn’t made much of an effort to run as a conservative. His mantra has been his appeal to independents, but that does him no good when he's likely to be on a Harley tour next fall when independents actually matter.

The latest edition of the Political Derby Power Rankings will be unfurled nearly simultaneously on Fox and Friends at 6:15 am EST and here on the site.

PD Editor extraordinaire Jason Wright is taking time out of a nation-wide tour in support of his new book to talk about the latest in what’s shaping up to be one of the most fluid primary seasons in memory.

Please note: If you missed Jason’s important PSA, click here.

The Obama administration decided to forgo its last lower-court appeal on Obamacare, leading to the next step in the judicial process. The Supreme Court will now have the opportunity to rule on the law. We all knew this we inevitable. However, I am surprised the administration/marketing firm has not tried to delay the Supreme Court taking up this case until after the 2012 election. For once they will make a stand and Americans will have clear choices. That is, unless Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination and you don’t buy his recent love for the 10th Amendment, but that might be just what the Pennsylvania administration/marketing firm is banking on.

Additional analysis from Politico:
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Most of you already know I wear two hats. When I’m not debating politics with anyone who will listen (and many who won’t), I’m hiding in my office writing fiction in my Dennis Kucinich 2008 bathrobe.

Beginning today, I’ll spend much of the next six weeks on tour promoting my brand new novel, The Wedding Letters.

Now listen, I’m not going to beg you to buy a copy. But, if you don’t, I’m likely to slip into a paralyzing depression that could end with me supporting Huntsman for president. No one wants that, right?

My personal preference for online book buying is Amazon, but the book is also available at BN, BAM and at many traditional retailers.

What are people saying about it?

Whodat: “Let it be said, The Wedding Letters is the best book I’ve ever read. Don’t make me smack you in the head.”

Kaiser: “Eh, I’ve read better.”

Fountain: “You’re a writer?”

Robinson: “The Wedding Letters is the best book I’ve ever had to have my wife read to me.”

Promise Kept:: “The Wedding Letters would only have been better if Ron Paul wrote it.”

Gary: “Jason who?”

Brian: “Jason’s a kook, but the book is decent.”

Still need convincing? Watch this trailer.

Over the weekend, Hermain Cain had a decisive victory in the Florida Straw Poll, garnering more votes than Perry and Romney combined.  So what does this mean?

Before you say nothing, here’s a little food for thought…

  • The Florida Straw Poll has predicted the Republican Nominee every year since 1979
  • The Florida GOP has a more extensive screening process, unlike Iowa’s Ames Straw Poll that is generally won by the candidate that can bus in the most supporters
  • Cain also won Colorado’s Western Conservative Summit with 48% of the vote

With Perry floundering, will this have an impact on the rankings or will it break Florida’s 32 year streak of predicting the nominee?

Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) might think twice before agreeing to another appearance on MSNBC. What’s to be gained from discussing issues with an interviewer whose mind is the political equivalent of a black hole? Credit Fleming for trying, but he must realize that MSNBC is nothing more than an outlet for left-wing activism.

MSNBC’s Chris Jansing scolded Rep. Fleming for opposing Democrat tax policy. Jansing asked Fleming to explain his own high income — his business interests gross $6 million annually — but paid no attention to his answer. Fleming took more than his “fair share” and that’s all that mattered. The condescending Jansing continued to prod Rep. Fleming:

You do understand, congressman, that the average person out there who’s making maybe 40, 50, $60,000 out there, when they hear you only have $400,000 left over, it’s not exactly a sympathetic position. You understand that? Read more

Could Chris Christie fill the void felt left by the current slew of candidates? From Newsmax:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reconsidering his decision not to enter the 2012 presidential race — and he says he will let top Republican donors know within days about his plans, Newsmax has learned.

During the past few weeks, several leading Republican donors and fundraisers have been urging the popular Republican governor to reconsider his decision not to run and to enter the GOP primary….

“I think what the country is thirsting for, more than anything else right now, is someone of stature and credibility to tell them that and say, ‘Here’s where I want us to go to deal with this crisis,’” Christie said.

Christie continued: “The fact that nobody yet who’s running for president, in my view, has done that effectively is why you continue to hear people ask Daniels if he’ll reconsider and ask me if I’ll reconsider.”

With another debate in the books and some recent polls to chew over, it’s time again to look at the rankings. (Watch for me on Fox & Friends, Monday at 7:15 AM EST.)

Where are the horses today? Rank as many as you like, but do not include anyone unannounced or named Gary Johnson. If you do, you’ll be mocked both in public and private.

Without pausing to think about the debate, my instant thoughts are that Herman Cain was the most likeable guy in the debate. His cancer survivor moment was unbeatable. Newt is still by far the best debater. If he didn’t have so much baggage, he would be a serious candidate. Bachmann disappeared again. She is done. Romney and Perry continued to beat each other up, but will continue as the leading candidates. They will certainly be fact-checked. Perry’s immigration stance may be a big turn-off for many. He clearly ran out of steam late in the debate again. Romney continues to defend Romneycare while saying how bad Obamacare is, which likely will not play well with voters. But Romney was smooth and strong overall.

All of this said, Cain wins, Newt makes everyone smile, and Perry/Romney hold as the leaders.

Pre-debate thoughts: Thaddeus McCotter Gary Johnson (same difference) finally gets into a debate. It will be his first and last. However, a ninth debater was the last thing we needed when some candidates get one question and others another, giving the moderators too much control over who the candidates come across. I, for one, cannot wait until Huntsman, Newt, Cain, and Santorum follow the lead of Pawlenty and disappear into the sunset, joining forces with either Romney or Perry.

Live blogging after the jump! Refresh early and often.

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Let me ask you something. How well would a construction worker do his job if he was handed a scalpel for his daily responsibilities? Obviously not very well. This morning I was watching the construction going on across the street from my Foggy Bottom apartment and it reminded me of all the times I have heard we need to use a scalpel instead of a wrecking ball when it comes to our budget.
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There has been some buzz in the last few days that President Obama, in the face of rapidly-deteriorating re-election prospects and a stubbornly bad economy that refuses (predictably, sadly) to respond favorably to any of his frantic, herky-jerky Keynesian bandaids, might withdraw from the 2012 Presidential race and let another Democratic candidate go in his stead.
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This is a fantastic article that a good friend of mine sent to me yesterday. I love the side by side comparisons of these two very controversial figures. Ironically, my very first article was something very similar.

Click here to read the article by Joe Scarborough.

If you would like to read the article I wrote comparing Anthony Weiner to Lebron James, click the “Read More” link.

Enjoy your Wednesdays PD family!

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