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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 08/22/2011

Morning Bits

Unless the Republicans blow it. “Now more than halfway through his third year in office — with the economy flat-lining, American prestige evaporating and public anxiety spiking—Barack Obama is the most vulnerable incumbent president since Jimmy Carter.”

Until Iran fears real consequences, there will be more of the same. “Two American hikers imprisoned in Iran for more than two years have been convicted of espionage and sentenced to eight years in jail, according to a news reports.”

Unless he figures out he’s not in Austin, Rick Perry’s going to be battling it out for a limited slice of the electorate. “Presidential hopeful Rick Perry’s brash appeal to the Republican Party’s fiscally conservative base may fall flat with big donors who favor a more moderate candidate to challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. The Texas governor’s rhetoric, such as his harsh criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke ... [last] week, risks scaring off financial backers who otherwise share his passion for low taxes and less regulation.”

Until he figures out that his rhetoric is offensive to voters and donors, Perry will keep playing to the the red-meat set. “Perry didn’t back away from his statement that the Fed’s quantitative easing policy was nearly ‘treasonous,’ responding: ‘I’m passionate about the Obama administration’s monetary policy.’ The Texas governor was dismissive of Politico’s Friday report that GOP lawmakers were uneasy about his rhetoric. ‘I’m sorry if I offended a congressman but the fact of the matter is I’m representing the American people out here,’ Perry said.” Really, is this what he thinks Americans want a president to sound like?

Unless there is another superstar running, Josh Mandel, who is seeking to replace Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), may be the Marco Rubio of the 2012 Senate campaign season. “Mandel looks maybe half of his 33 years, but he’s already accomplished more in his decade-long career in public service than many politicians have in a lifetime. He’s a Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Iraq. A former city councilman in Lyndhurst, a suburb of Cleveland, he led the fight for the first property tax rollback in the county’s history. As a state legislator, he won landslide victories in a heavily liberal district. When he ran for state treasurer, he got more votes than Gov. John Kasich. . . . Mandel estimates he’s knocked on more than 25,000 doors in various elections and worn out multiple pairs of shoes doing it. He plans to knock on another 100,000 doors over the course of his Senate campaign.”

Until now the left seemed unwilling to give up the Obama myth. “Three years on, Barack Obama — overexposed, way too talkative and kind of cranky — now exists in what the Harvard Business Review calls ‘product limbo.’ It’s a byproduct of the content not aligning with the sales pitch. ‘I think the almost mythical, slightly-beyond-parity brand has been brought in line with reality,’ says Ken Wheaton, managing editor of Ad Age magazine. ‘He’s always been accused of tone-deafness by the right. Now he’s getting it from the left.’ ” In other words, the left was hoodwinked.

Unless Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gets into the race, this candidate is certainly the most adept entitlement reformer: “There is only one person in this race who’s actually worked and fought and succeeded in passing entitlement reform, welfare reform back in the mid-’90s. I was the author of it when I was in the House of Representatives on the Ways & Means Committee. And when I came to the Senate, I went toe to toe with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Ted Kennedy, the lions of the left, who were going to defend that system. . . . But we continued to work on it and were able to end the federal entitlement, require work and put time limits on welfare, something that we’re going to have to do for Medicaid, something we’re going to have to do for housing benefits, food stamps.” That’s Rick Santorum.

Until Jon Huntsman went on “This Week,” I never realized how condescending he is. On the show of hands in the last debate on requiring 10-to-1 spending cuts to tax hikes: “Jake, it was a nonsense question. And the fact that you can even ask a question that is that important with such profound implications for the United States, to answer by show of a raised hand, I mean, come on. What have — you know, what have debates gotten to, in terms of how we discuss the truly important issues of the day?” Then why’d he raise his hand?

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 08/22/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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