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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Pence’

CPAC 2010 Straw Poll RESULTS: Ron Paul Wins Big

Huff Po– Sam Stein

First Posted: 02-20-10 05:40 PM   |   Updated: 02-20-10 06:00 PM

In a strong reflection of just how strong his standing remains within the die-hard conservative community, Texas Republican and 2008 presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, earning nearly one-third (31 percent) of the entire vote. The crowd, however, booed heavily when the results were announced.

Paul was far and away the most widely anticipated speaker at the three-day conference, with his base of “Paulites” streaming into the main auditorium to hear him rail against government overreach and neoconservativism on Friday afternoon. In many respects, his win in the CPAC poll seemed pre-ordained — his band of followers having a well-earned reputation for flooding polls and forums like these.

What it portends for a possible 2012 presidential run is anyone’s guess. Paul had a similar cult-like following during the 2008 election, only to garner a relatively small chunk of the actual vote.

The other potential candidates who scored well and are more “mainstream” picks for the Republican nomination include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who earned 22 percent of the vote, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who came in third with seven percent. Romney had won the last three CPAC polls. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, another talked about 2012 aspirant, tied “undecided” for fourth place at six percent.

The results provide an interesting reflection as to where conservative hearts lie nearly three years before the next presidential elections take place. But with so much time before formal campaigning begins – and with no White House aspirant even officially announcing a bid- its best to resist the temptation to read too deeply into the numbers. For example, last year, disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford polled at four percent, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — no longer even on the straw poll — came in second at 14 percent.

Nevertheless, the CPAC poll can provide a nice boost (or, at the very least, attention) to prospective candidates. In 2007, Romney etched out a win over former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani by a margin of 21 percent to 17 percent. Sen. John McCain, who wound up winning the nomination, came in fifth with 12 percent of the vote.

Several of the candidates polled attended CPAC in the days, and even hours, ahead of the results being released. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was a keynote speaker on Saturday, preceded by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (Penn.). Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke on Friday followed by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Paul. Romney addressed the audience on Thursday. All others were not in attendance during the three-day affair.

Here are the official results:

Texas Rep. Ron Paul – 31 percent
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — 22 percent
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — 7 percent
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty – 6 percent
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – 4 percent
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — 4 percent
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence – 5 percent
South Dakota Sen. John Thune — 2 percent
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — 2 percent
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — 2 percent
Mississippi Gov. Hailey Barbour – 1 percent
Other – 5 percent
Undecided – 6 percent

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Overshadowed by Tea Party Movement, the Christian Right Scrambles to Claim It Isn’t Racist

By Adele M. Stan, AlterNet. Posted September 22, 2009.

The Tea Party movement has the juice as the religious right is on the wane. Survival may mean joining up, but that presents an image problem for Christians.

At the religious right’s Values Voter Summit this weekend, some of the air seemed to have gone out of the balloon.

Gathering at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, 1,800 activists and their leaders seemed resigned to being subsumed by the broader Tea Party movement, or rendered irrelevant by it.

This year’s conference, sponsored by the political affiliate of the Family Research Council, emphasized matters important to Tea Party leaders: freedom was linked with free enterprise; ominous were warnings offered about a march to socialism; global warming was said to be a good thing; and taxes were deemed to be too high and largely misappropriated.

But these messages did not receive nearly the degree of enthusiasm from attendees as the traditional religious right decrees against abortion and same-sex marriage. And despite efforts to tread carefully on issues of race, one of the biggest laugh lines of the conference was the racially charged parable told by Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., about the circumstances faced by Republicans in Congress, which he compared to having to play a ball thrown by a monkey.

Yet religious right leaders, who have long played to racial resentment, seem alarmed at how the overt racism of some of the Tea Partiers could harm their own movement — decades in the making — of politicized Christian evangelicals and conservative Catholics.

Even as some conference speakers sent coded racial messages, others cautioned the troops to extreme discipline on matters of race in their messaging, “lest we cast our movement,” in the words of conference closer, the Rev. Harry Jackson, “… in a way that will cause people to think that we’re something that we’re not.”

Make no mistake: The religious right is not going away. Evangelical churches still offer an unparalleled organizing tool for right-wing political operatives. But in the wake of the September 12 march on Washington, it’s clear there’s a new, big beefy kid in town: the Tea Party movement.

In many ways, the greater American culture has moved beyond the religious right. During its 30 years of existence, the religious right has failed to significantly move public opinion on legalized abortion, and it is losing its war on gay rights, even if it enjoys occasional, even major, victories on that front (as it did with Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot measure that struck down same-sex marriage, which had been legalized by the courts).

MORE HERE

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The “leader of the Republican Party” question has been thoroughly analyzed and debated. And after many days and many cable news roundelays, I think we can all agree that, yes, the GOP has been inextricably grasped within the meaty, sweaty mitts of that familiar planetoid of addiction, racism and self-indulgence known as Rush Limbaugh.

And that’s just fine and dandy.

But contrary to what Drudge and Politico are reporting today, this isn’t some sort of wicked conspiracy cooked up by Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs from within the same underground war room where they keep the president’s madrassa diploma and his secret Kenyan birth certificate.

This Limbaugh situation is entirely the fault of the Republican Party. The White House is merely exploiting it — and rightly so.

Throughout the last several decades, the Republican Party has been careening willingly towards this destiny. Year after year, the Republicans have been magnetically drawn ever closer to the simplistic worldview espoused by far-right talk radio: a segment of American society that’s perhaps a little too comfy with laughing at a racial or sexist joke, or repeating nearsighted bumper sticker slogans like, “Your mortgage is not my problem.”

The Republican Party has become the purview of The Dittohead: the thoughtless undead automaton who lazily yet proudly announces on the radio that he or she doesn’t simply “ditto” but, in fact, “mega-dittos” everything spoken by Rush Limbaugh. “Mega” as in millions of times over.

Michael Steele has proved himself to be a Dittohead. Mike Pence and Rick Santorum and Tom DeLay? All dittoheads. You’d be hard pressed to find a Republican politician who hasn’t in some way expressed his or her Dittohead status while also genuflecting at the bloated cankles of their radio warlord.

So it should come as no surprise that the leader of the dittoheads has become the leader of the Republicans.

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There’s a killer web graphic that was created back in the post-Republican Convention days while everyone was writing spasmodic, breathless “Obama should [fill in the blank]” blog entries and “Oh crap! We’re gonna lose!” newspaper columns. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, really. The Obama campaign slipped in the polls during Sarah Palin’s very brief golden age — an era of roughly two weeks following the Alaska governor’s successful recitation of a convention speech without, you know, choking on her own vomit.

Very few of us were confident of an Obama victory at the time. After all, previous Democratic nominees had been riding bullet trains to victory in the polls, only to gradually and utterly bonk as the summer segued into autumn. Even candidate Obama was warning us about the Democratic habit of “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” Yeah. Anyone who claims to have been absolutely 100 confident of a Barack Obama victory in the first week of September 2008 is either lying or lying.

However, some people were more confident (hopeful, perhaps) than others.

The web graphic is actually a photograph of Barack Obama from his Invesco Field acceptance speech. In it, he’s looking directly into the camera with an expression of fierce determination on his face — his teeth gnashed in an Eastwood snarl, his left hand gesturing as though he’s kung fu fighting his way through an oversized cinderblock made of SlapChop-minced Republican skulls.

The large, white text superimposed at the top reads: “Everyone chill the fuck out.” The text at the bottom exclaims: “I got this!”

Sure enough, two months later, we watched as this liberal African American man with the noble yet politically unusual name “Barack Hussein Obama” defied the odds and won red states like Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana and the commonwealth of Virginia.

Fade out the roaring crowds at Grant Park. Dissolve to late January.

The economy continues to creep nearer to the crumbling ledge of yet another Depression — if it isn’t there already. And yet the Republicans who very nearly shoved us over the ledge are prancing around as if their collective Reaganomics don’t stink.

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