The former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum has announced plans to form what he described as a “testing-the-waters committee” during an interview with Greta van Susteren on Fox News Channel Wednesday night. In forming a presidential exploratory committee, the former two term Senator most noted for his homophobic remarks can raise money for a presidential bid without formally declaring a candidacy.
Santorum followed up his appearance with nan email to supporters, in which he wrote, “Tonight during an appearance on the Fox News Channel, I announced that I established a Presidential Testing-the-Waters effort, which will allow me to begin the process of raising the funds necessary to consider a formal candidacy.”
Santorum sits near the bottom of most early polls in single digits territory, but his regressive social conservatism marked by staunch opposition to abortion and gay marriage makes him attractive to the religious conservatives who hold sway in the Iowa and South Carolina. His campaign slogan is "To Make America, America Again." Yes, he italicized the second America. We can only infer that he aims to drag the country back to some bigoted, god-fearing past.
Just this past weekend, Santorum scored a decisive victory in a straw poll held among Republicans in Greenville county, South Carolina's largest county. Santorum took 31 percent of the vote from a group of 413 activists coming in ahead of Newt Gingrich who won 14 percent and ahead of both Michelle Bachmann and Donald Trump who each won 7 percent of the vote. It really is quite the bumper crop of regressive misanthropes.
Long expected, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney announced that he was forming an exploratory committee in anticipation of this his second run for the presidency. In 2008, he finished third behind Senator John McCain and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee or as Mittens prefer to think of it, he got the bronze.
Romney announced his move on Twitter and put up the above video on YouTube. In the video, he extolled his private sector experience and lambasted President Obama's policies.
“He and virtually all the people around him have never worked in the real economy,” Romney said in the message. “They just don’t know how jobs are created in the private sector. That’s where I spent my entire career.”
Among Republican primary voters, polls frequently show Romney in the number one or number two spot. A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last week gave Romney the lead with 21 percent support, followed by the ever weirder Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee, who each garnered 17 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich got 11 percent and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin received 10 percent.
I think (Minnesota Congresswoman and Tea Party darling Michelle) Bachmann is a legitimate dark-horse possibility to win the nomination.
In no known universe does the fact-averse, conspiracy-laden, gaffe-prone Bachmann have a shot at winning the GOP nomination. Yes, the media adores her, as they do Palin, because she says nutty things but at some point her inconsistencies will doom her. For now, Bachmann performs like some demonic seal in front of adoring crowds of the similarly insane and the utterly delusional but if she is seriously to contend for the nomination she will have to, you know, at some point speak to the reality-based community.
Much is being written about how Bachmann outraised Mitt Romney in the quarter just ended but all the analysis I've seen omits the fact that Bachmann has been actively fundraising and Romney has yet to fully engage. I have no doubt that Michelle Bachmann could do well if not win the Iowa caucuses next year but then again that's hardly a guarantor of the nomination. Just ask Mike Huckabee. The reality is also that Bachmann appeals to a narrow far-right evangelical base and she will face competition for those votes from likes of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to name just two.
Even more egregious than Chait holding out hope that Michelle Bachmann has some sort of path to the Republican nomination is this tidbit:
The best parallel I think consider is Howard Dean. No, Dean is not anywhere near as crazy as Bachmann. That's not the point. Both tap deeply into a well of activist anger against a sitting president that is not being fully satisfied by other candidates. Both inspire passionate activist volunteers, and make their rivals look phony by comparison. And both inspire terror among the party leadership -- Democrats in 2003 considered Dean just as unelectable as Republicans now consider Bachmann.
The bold is mine. How the normally erudite Jonathan Chait can compare Howard Dean to Michelle Bachmann in terms of sanity is beyond me. It is frankly reprehensible.
"Today the American Dream is threatened by out of control politicians in Washington, who think that more government deficit spending is what it takes to grow our economy. That has never worked anywhere it’s been tried and it won’t work now. Now for some it may be hard to imagine that the American Dream could actually be at risk, but as the son of exiles I know firsthand that it is possible to lose your country because my parents lost theirs."
This should concern you. This guy harbors presidential ambitions and for a party that's been looking for the next Ronald Reagan for the last 30 years, they have found him. If Rubio is elected to the Senate from Florida this November, not only does that catapult Jim DeMint into a leadership position of their side of the aisle, it all but secures that Marco Rubio will be on everybody's shortlist come 2012 for the VP slot on the GOP ticket.
Unlike the other first-time GOP candidates running for the Senate, Rubio is infinitely more polished but every bit as dangerous. The narrative they are spinning that this economy is Obama's fault is laughable when Sarah Palin opens her mouth but when it is Rubio speaking, it is a whole different matter. Whether we like it or not, we have to admit that the Democrats are losing the messaging on the economy.
Marco Rubio is a unique blend that combines red-meat starve the beast fiscal conservatism with dashes of let's bomb Iran neo-conservatism and flavored just enough with the religious-based bigotry to appeal to social conservatives. Not only can he appeal to Hispanics but he can appeal to independents because he sounds sane even though he is a Jim DeMint clone. Defeating Marco Rubio is priority one.