Full Text September 3, 2011: Sarah Palin’s Speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa

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Governor Palin’s Speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa (Video and Transcript)

Source: Sarah PAC, 9-3-11

The following is the video and text of Governor Palin’s speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa, on September 3, 2011.

Sarah Palin spoke before a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday.
Jim Young/Reuters Sarah Palin spoke at a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday.

Thank you, Iowa. Thank you so much. The sign that says, “Thank you, Sarah,” no, I thank you. You are what keeps me going, keeps so many of us going. Your love of country keeps us going. Thank you so much. Iowa, you are good people. You are all good people who are here. Thank you.

It is an honor to be in the Heartland sharing this Labor Day weekend with you. And I thank you so much for the invitation, to these organizers who put so much work into all this. It’s so good to see the O4P and C4P people here today. Last night was fun – getting to run into some of you at that restaurant and to see so many different demographics represented and so many different states all across our great nation. We got to gather together last night – different demographics, different political parties even represented – and Todd reminded me as we walked out of that room, he said, “See, we’re not celebrating ‘red America’ or ‘blue America.’ We’re celebrating red, white, and blue America.”

So, what brought us here today out in this field? Why aren’t we catching a Cyclones game, or watching the Hawkeyes perhaps, or grilling up some venison and corn-on-the-cob, maybe some caribou with some friends on this Labor Day weekend? What brought us together is a love of country. And we see that America is hurting. We’re not willing to just sit back and watch her demise through some “fundamental transformation” of the greatest country on earth. We’re here to stop that transformation and to begin the restoration of the country that we love.

We’re here because America is at a tipping point. America faces a crisis. And it’s not a crisis like perhaps a Midwest summer storm – the kind that moves in and hits hard, but then it moves on.  No, this kind will relentlessly rage until we do restore all that is free and good and right about America. It’s not just fear of a double dip recession. And it’s not even the shame of a credit downgrade for the first time in U.S. history. It’s deeper than that. This is a systemic crisis due to failed policies and incompetent leadership. And we’re going to speak truth today. It may be hard-hitting, but we’re going to speak truth today because we need to start talking about what hasn’t worked, and we’re going to start talking about what will work for America. We will talk truth.

Now, some of us saw this day coming. It was three years ago on this very day that I spoke at the GOP Convention where I was honored to be able to accept the nomination for vice president that night. And in my speech I asked America: “When the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away….what exactly is [Barack Obama’s] plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger, and take more of your money, and give you more orders from Washington, and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.” I spoke of this, but back then it was only my words that you had to go by. Now you have seen the proof yourself. Candidate Obama didn’t have a record while he was in office, but President Obama sure does, and that’s why we’re here today.

Candidate Obama pledged to fundamentally transform America. And for all the failures and the broken promises, that’s the one thing he has delivered on. We’ve transformed from a country of hope to one of anxiety. Today, one in five working-age men are out of work. One in seven Americans are on food stamps. Thirty percent of our mortgages are underwater. In parts of Michigan and California, they’re suffering from unemployment numbers that are greater than during the depths of the Great Depression. Barack Obama promised to cut the deficit in half, and instead he turned around and he tripled it. And now our national debt is growing at $3 million a minute. That’s $4.25 billion a day.

President Obama, is this what you call “winning the future”? I call it losing – losing our country and with it the American dream. President Obama, these people – these Americans – feel that “fierce urgency of now.” But do you feel it, sir?

The Tea Party was borne of this urgency. It’s the same sense of urgency that propelled the Sons of Liberty during the Revolution. It’s the same sense of urgency that propelled the Abolitionists before the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement during the 20th Century. The Tea Party Movement is part of this noble American tradition. This movement isn’t simply a political awakening; it’s an American awakening. And it’s coming from ordinary Americans, not the politicos in the Beltway. No, it’s you who grow our food; you run our small businesses; you teach our children; you fight our wars. We are always proud of America. We love our country in good times and in bad, and we never apologize for America.

That is why the far left’s irresponsible and radical policies awakened a sleeping America so that we finally understood what it was that we were about to lose. We were about to lose the blessings of liberty and prosperity. So, the working men and women of this country, you got up off your couch, you came down from the deer stand, you came out of the duck blind, you got off the John Deere, and we took to the streets, and we took to the town halls, and we ended up at the ballot box. And as much as the media wants you to forget this, Tea Party Americans won an electoral victory of historic proportions in November. We the people, we rose up and we rejected the left’s big government agenda. We don’t want it. We can’t afford it. And we are unwilling to pay for it.

That victory, remember friends, was only one step in a long march towards saving our country.

We sent a new class of leaders to D.C., but immediately the permanent political class tried to co-opt them – because the reality is we are governed by a permanent political class, until we change that. They talk endlessly about cutting government spending, and yet they keep spending more. They talk about massive unsustainable debt, and yet they keep incurring more. They spend, they print, they borrow, they spend more, and then they stick us with the bill. Then they pat their own backs, and they claim that they faced and “solved” the debt crisis that they got us in, but when we were humiliated in front of the world with our country’s first credit downgrade, they promptly went on vacation.

No, they don’t feel the same urgency that we do. But why should they? For them business is good; business is very good.  Seven of the ten wealthiest counties are suburbs of Washington, D.C. Polls there actually – and usually I say polls, eh, they’re for strippers and cross country skiers – but polls in those parts show that some people there believe that the economy has actually improved. See, there may not be a recession in Georgetown, but there is in the rest of America.

Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars.  They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.

So, do you want to know why the permanent political class doesn’t really want to cut any spending? Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done? It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed – a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.

It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve seen this kind of crony capitalism before. It’s is the same good old boy politics-as-usual that I fought and we defeated in my home state. I took on a corrupt and compromised political class and their backroom dealings with Big Oil. And I can tell you from experience that sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power-brokers. So, please you must vet a candidate’s record. You must know their ability to successfully reform and actually fix problems that they’re going to claim that they inherited.

Real reform never sits well with the entrenched special interests, and that’s why the true voices of reform are so quickly demonized. Look what they say about you. You are concerned civilized citizens and look what they say about you. And just look what happened during the debt-ceiling debate. We’d been given warning after warning that our credit rating would be downgraded if politicians didn’t get serious about tackling the debt and deficit problem. But instead of making the real cuts that are necessary, they used Enron-like accounting gimmicks, and they promised that if they were just allowed to spend trillions more today, they’d cut billions ten years from now. By some magical thinking, they figured they could run up trillion dollar deficits year after year, yet still somehow avoid the unforgiving mathematics that led to the downgrade. Well, they got a rude awakening from the rest of the world, and that’s that even America isn’t “too big to fail.”

When we finally did get slapped with that inevitable downgraded, the politicians and the pundits turned around and blamed us – independent commonsense conservatives. We got blamed! They called us un-American and terrorists and suicide bombers and…hobbits…couldn’t understand that one.

And what is the President’s answer to this enormous debt problem? It’s just spend more money. Only you can’t call it “spending” now. Now you got to call it “investing.” Don’t call it “spending.” Call it “investing.” It’s kind of like what happens with FEMA and some of these other bureaucratic agencies that don’t really want to refer to our centralized federal government as “government.” Now it’s called the “federal family.” Am I too old to ask to be emancipated? Never thought I’d say it, but I want a divorce.

No, the President’s answer to our debt problem is: Incur more debt. Spend more money (only call it “investing”). Make more folks even more reliant on government to supply their every need. This is the antithesis of the pioneering American spirit that empowered the individual to work, to produce, to be able to thrive and succeed with fulfillment and with pride; and that in turn built our free and hope-filled and proud country.

He wants to “Win The Future” by “investing” more of your hard-earned money in some harebrained ideas like more solar panels and really fast trains. These are things that venture capitalists will tell you are non-starters, yet he wants to do more of them. We’re flat broke, but he thinks these solar panels and really fast trains are going to magically save us. He’s shouting “all aboard Obama’s bullet train to bankruptcy.”

The only future that Barack Obama is trying to win is his own re-election, and he has shown that he’s perfectly willing to mortgage our children’s future to pay for it. And there is proof of this. Just look closely at where all that “green energy” stimulus money is “invested.” See a pattern. The President’s big campaign donors got nice returns for their “investments” in him to the tune of billions of your tax dollars in the form of “green energy” stimulus funds. The technical term for this is “pay-to-play.” Between bailouts for Wall Street cronies and stimulus projects for union bosses’ security and “green energy” giveaways, he took care of his friends. And now they’re on course to raise a billion dollars for his re-election bid so that they can do it all over again. Are you going to let them do it all over again? Are you willing to unite to do all we can to not let them do it again so we can save our country?

Now to be fair, some GOP candidates also raised mammoth amounts of cash, and we need to ask them, too: What, if anything, do their donors expect in return for their “investments”? We need to know this because our country can’t afford more trillion-dollar “thank you” notes to campaign backers. It is an important question, and it cuts to the heart of our problem. And I speak from experience in confronting the corruption and the crony capitalism since starting out in public office 20 years ago. I’ve been out-spent in my campaigns two to one, three to one, five to one. (And, by the way, I don’t play that game either of hiring expert political advisors just so they’ll say something nice about me on TV – if you ever wonder. You know how that game’s played too I’m sure.) But the reason is simple: It’s because like you, I’m not for sale. It’s because we believe in the free market. I believe in the free market, and that is why I detest crony capitalism. And Barack Obama has shown us cronyism on steroids. It will lead to our downfall if we don’t stop it now. It’s a root that grows our economic problems. Our unsustainable debt and our high unemployment numbers and a housing market that’s in the tank and a stagnant economy – these are all symptoms. Politicians are so focused on the symptoms and not the disease. We will not solve our economic problems until we confront the cronyism of our President and our permanent political class.

So, this is why we must remember that the challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012. The real challenge is who and what we will replace him with. It’s not enough to just change up the uniform. If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country.

Yes, we need sudden and relentless reform, and that will return power to “We the People.” This, of course, requires deeds, not just words. It’s not good enough for politicians to just be throwing our way some vague generalities, talking about some promises here and there. It’s time that we hold them accountable. It is amazing to me that even some good conservatives run away from being honest and straight up with us about what needs to be done. They don’t want to rock the boat. They can’t hurt future election prospects evidently. They just talk vaguely about cuts and then they move on. They’re too busy saying what they think we want to hear, but instead they should be telling us what needs to be said and what needs to be done. So, let us today in this field have that adult conversation about what needs to be done to restore America. Let’s do that now.

In five days time, our President will gift us with yet another speech. In his next speech he’ll reveal his latest new super-duper “jobs plan.” It will have more lofty goals and flowery rhetoric, more illogical economic fantasies and more continued blame and finger-pointing. But listen closely to what he says. All of his “solutions” will revolve around more of the same – more payoffs for his friends and supporters. His “plan” is the same as it’s always been, and that’s grow more government, increase more debt, take and give more of your hard-earned money to special interests. And this is such a problem. But you know what the problems are. We could go on all day about the problems caused by the status quo in Washington. Status quo I think is Latin for “more of the same mess that we’re in.” That status quo won’t work any more. We could go on all day about the problems, but you know them because you live them everyday. So, let’s talk about real solutions. I want to tell you what my plan is. My plan is a bona-fide pro-working man’s plan, and it deals in reality. It deals in the way that the world really works because we must talk about what really works in order to get America back to work.

My plan is about empowerment: empowerment of our states, empowerment of our entrepreneurs, most importantly empowerment of you – our hardworking individuals – because I have faith, I have trust, I have respect for you.

The way forward is no more politics as usual. We must stop expanding an out-of-control and out-of-touch federal government. This is first: All power not specifically delegated to the federal government by our Constitution is reserved for the states and for we the people. So, let’s enforce the 10th Amendment and devolve powers back locally where the Founders intended them to be.

Second, what happened to all those promises about staying committed to repealing the mother of all big government unfunded mandates? We must repeal Obamacare! And rein in burdensome regulations that are a boot on our neck. Get government out of the way. Let the private sector breathe and grow. This will allow the confidence that businesses need in order to expand and hire more people.

Third, no more run away debt. We must prioritize and cut. Cancel unused stimulus funds, and have that come to Jesus moment where we own up to the debt challenge that is entitlement reform. See, the reality is we will have entitlement reform; it’s just a matter of how we’re going to get there. We either do it ourselves or the world’s capital markets are going to shove it down our throats, and we’ll have no choice but to reform our entitlement programs. The status quo is no longer an option. Entitlement reform is our duty now, and it must be done in a way that honors our commitment to our esteemed elders today, while keeping faith with future generations. I don’t think anything has irked me more than this nonsense coming from the White House about maybe not sending our seniors their checks. It’s their money! They have paid into Social Security all of their working lives; and for the President to say, “ah, we may not be able to cut their checks,” ah, well, where did all their money go, politicians? It’s like the Commander-in-Chief being willing to throw our military under the bus by threatening that their paychecks may not arrive. But the politicians will still get their checks and their secure retirements, and he’ll still get his posh vacations. Aren’t you just sick to death of those skewed priorities? It’s all backwards. Our seniors and our brave men and women in uniform being used as pawns – I say it’s shameful, and enough is enough. No more.

Fourth, it is time for America to become the energy superpower. The real stimulus that we’ve been waiting for is robust and responsible domestic energy production. We have the resources. Affordable and secure energy is the key to any thriving economy, and it must be our foundation. So, I would do the opposite of Obama’s manipulation of U.S. supplies of energy. Drill here, drill now. Let the refineries and the pipelines be built. Stop kowtowing to foreign countries and dictators asking them to ramp up production and industry for us, promising them that we’ll be their greatest customer. No, not when we have the resources here. We need to move on tapping our own God-given natural resources. I promise you that this will bring real job growth, not the politicians’ phony “green jobs” fairy dust sprinkled with wishes and glitter… No, a hardcore all-of-the-above energy policy that builds this indestructible link between made-in-America energy and our prosperity and our security. You know, there are enough large conventional natural resource development projects waiting for government approval that could potentially create more than a million high-paying jobs all across the country. And this is true stimulus. It wouldn’t cost government a dime to allow the private sector to do these. In fact, these projects will generate billions of dollars in revenue. Can you imagine that: a stimulus project that actually helps dig us out of debt instead of digging us further into it! And these are good-paying jobs, and I know that from experience. For years my own family was supported (as Todd worked up on the North Slope) by a good energy sector job. America’s economic revival starts with America’s energy revival.

Fifth, we can and we will make America the most attractive country on earth to do business in. Here’s how we’re going to do this. Right now, we have the highest federal corporate income tax rate in the industrialized world. Did you know our rates are higher than China and communist Cuba? This doesn’t generate as much revenue as you would think, though, because many big corporations skirt federal taxes because they have the friends in D.C. who right the rules for the rest of us. This makes us less competitive and restrains our engine of prosperity. Heck, some businesses spend more time trying to figure out how to hide their profits than they do in generating more profits so that they can expand and hire more of us. So, to make America the most attractive and competitive place to do business, to set up shop here and hire people here, to attract capital from all over the globe that will lead to an explosion of growth, instead of chasing industry offshore, I propose to eliminate all federal corporate income tax. And hear me out on this. This is how we create millions of high-paying jobs. This is how we increase opportunity and prosperity for all.

But here’s the best part: To balance out any loss of federal revenue from this tax cut, we eliminate corporate welfare and all the loopholes and we eliminate bailouts. This is how we break the back of crony capitalism because it feeds off corporate welfare, which is just socialism for the very rich. We can change all of that. The message then to job-creating corporations is: We’ll unshackle you from the world’s highest federal corporate income tax rate, but you will stand or fall on your own, just like all the rest of us out on main street.

See, when we empower the job-creators, our economy will soar; Americans will get back to work.

This plan is a first step in a long march towards fundamental restoration of a strong and free market economy. And it represents the kind of real reform that we need. And, folks, it must come from you. It must come from the American people. Real hope is in you. It’s not that hopey-changey “stuff” that we heard about back in 2008. We’ve all learned that. And real hope isn’t in an individual. It’s not in a politician certainly. And that hopey-changey stuff that was put in an individual back when Barack Obama was a candidate – that hopey-changey stuff didn’t create one job in August, did it? That’s the first time that’s happened in the United States since World War II. Real hope comes from you. Real hope comes from realizing that we the people can make the difference. And you don’t need a title to make a difference. We can get this country back on the right track. We can do it by empowering the people and realizing that God has richly blessed this most exceptional nation, and then we do something about that realization.

Don’t wait for the permanent political class to reform anything for you. They won’t. They can’t. They can’t even take responsibility for their own actions. Our credit is downgraded, but it’s not their fault. Our economy’s in turmoil, but it’s not his fault. It’s the tsunami in Japan or the Middle East uprising. It’s Irene. It’s those doggone ATM machines.

Folks, the truth is Barack Obama is adrift with no plan because his “fundamental transformation” is at odds with everything that made this country great. It doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t make sense. Unbelievably our President declares that he “believes in American Exceptionalism… just as the Greeks believe in Greek Exceptionalism.” Well, the path he has us on will make us just as “exceptional” as Greece, alright – with the debt crisis and the stagnation and the unemployment and uprisings and all.

Friends, you are better than that. Our country is better than that. We’ve got to unite. We’ve got to stand together. We can confront the problem and we can achieve lasting reform. And I can tell you from hard-earned experience with bumps and bruises along the way, that the road ahead is not easy. You will be demonized. They’ll mock you. They’ll make things up. They’ll tell you to “go to hell.” But we’ll bite our tongue, we’ll keep it classy, and we won’t respond—as tempting as it is—to anyone who just has such disdain for our free market economy and for individual initiative and responsibility. We won’t say, “No, you go to hell.” No, we won’t say that. You know why we don’t have to say that? Because when we have time-tested truth and logic on our side, we win. And when we refuse to retreat because we know that our children’s future is at stake, we win.

No, the road isn’t easy, but it’s nothing compared to the suffering and sacrifice of those who came before us.

A few weeks ago, after my visit to the Iowa State Fair, I took my daughter Piper and my niece McKinley with us to the World War I Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. And standing in the rain, reading the inscriptions on the Memorial about the honor in one’s dedication to God and country, I thought of all those young patriots who suffered and died so far from home. And revering our vets there with the next generation by my side, there was such clarity – clarity in our calling, patriotic Constitutionalists. We have a duty not just to the living, but also to those who came and died before us and to the generations yet to be born. Our freedom was purchased by millions of men now long-forgotten throughout history who charged the bayonets, and they charged the cannons; they knew they were going to die, but it was worth it for them sacrificing for future generations’ freedom. They’re the ones who prayed in the trenches and suffered in the P.O.W. camps. They gave their lives so that we could be here today.

You and I are blessed to be “born the heirs of freedom.” As President John F. Kennedy said, “We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.” We are the heirs of those who froze with Washington at Valley Forge and who held the line at Gettysburg, who freed the slaves to close a shameful chapter, and who carved a nation out of the wilderness. We are the sons and daughters of those who stormed the beaches of Normandy and raised the flag at Iwo Jima and made America the strongest, the most prosperous, the greatest nation on earth forever in mankind’s history – the greatest, most exceptional nation.

America, we will always endure. We will always come through. We will never give up. We shall endure because we live by that moral strength that we call grace. Because though we’ve often skirted a precipice, a Providential Hand has always guided us to a better future. So, let us seek that Hand once more. Our Ronald Reagan said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, we will be a nation gone under.” Yes, He shed his grace on thee, America! We will not squander what we have been given! We will fight for freedom. We will fight for America. We are at the tipping point. United we must stand. And we shall nobly save, not meanly lose, this last best hope on earth.

So, God bless you, Iowa! God bless the United States of America!

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Full Text September 3, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Urges Congress to Extend Transportation Bill

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address
White House Photo, Samantha Appleton, 9/1/11

Weekly Address: Time to Act on the Transportation Bill

Source: WH, 9-3-11

President Obama calls on Congress to pass a clean extension of the transportation bill to keep America moving and avoid costing nearly one million workers their jobs.

 

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Extending the Transportation Bill to Keep America Moving

WASHINGTON – In this week’s address, President Obama called on Congress to do what it has done seven times over the past two years and pass a clean extension of the transportation bill.  Failure of Congress to act would be disastrous for the economy, costing nearly one million workers their jobs over the next year and almost $1 billion in highway funding after the first ten days alone.

Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address The White House September 3, 2011

At the end of September, if Congress doesn’t act, funding for our roads and bridges will expire.  This would put a stop to highway construction, bridge repair, mass transit systems and other important projects that keep our country moving quickly and safely.  And it would affect thousands of construction workers and their families who depend on the jobs created by these projects to make ends meet.

Usually, renewing this transportation bill is a no-brainer.  In fact, Congress has renewed it seven times over the last two years.  But thanks to political posturing in Washington, they haven’t been able to extend it this time – and the clock is running out.

Allowing this bill to expire would be a disaster for our infrastructure and our economy.  Right away, over 4,000 workers would be furloughed without pay.  If it’s delayed for just 10 days, we will lose nearly $1 billion in highway funding that we can never get back.  And if we wait even longer, almost 1 million workers could be in danger of losing their jobs over the next year.

Those are serious consequences, and the pain will be felt all across the country.  In Virginia, 19,000 jobs are at risk.  In Minnesota, more than 12,000.  And in Florida, over 35,000 people could be out of work if Congress doesn’t act.

That makes no sense – and it’s completely avoidable.  There’s no reason to put more jobs at risk in an industry that has been one of the hardest-hit in this recession. There’s no reason to cut off funding for transportation projects at a time when so many of our roads are congested; so many of our bridges are in need of repair; and so many businesses are feeling the cost of delays.

This isn’t a Democratic or a Republican issue – it’s an American issue.  That’s why, last week, I was joined at the White House by representatives from the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce – two groups who don’t always see eye-to-eye, but who agree that it’s critically important for our economy that Congress act now.

That’s also why 128 mayors from both parties wrote to Congress asking them to come together and pass a clean extension.  These are the local leaders who are on the ground every day, and who know what would happen to their communities if Congress fails to act.

So I’m calling on Congress, as soon as they come back, to pass a clean extension of the transportation bill to keep workers on the job, keep critical projects moving forward, and to give folks a sense of security.

There’s a lot of talk in Washington these days about creating jobs.  But it doesn’t help when those same folks turn around and risk losing hundreds of thousands of jobs just because of political gamesmanship.  We need to pass this transportation bill and put people to work rebuilding America.  We need to put our differences aside and do the right thing for our economy.  And now is the time to act.

White House Recap August 27-September 2, 2011: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — President Obama Focuses on the Aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Jobs Plan & Economic Growth — Urges Extension of Transportation Act

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

WHITE HOUSE RECAP: AUGUST 20-26, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: We the People

Source: WH, 9-2-11
Weekly Address September 1st 2011

President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address in the Blue Room of the White House, Sept. 1, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Here’s what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov

Hurricane Irene: The storm may have passed, but the recovery is just beginning. Irene caused severe flooding throughout the Northeast.  As cities and towns along the East coast continue assessing damage, President Obama also reflected on the six year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

We the People:  This week Whitehouse.gov announced our most recent initiative:  We the People will bring significant change to how the public can engage with the White House online. This new tool enables people to easily start a petition; once a petition garners enough support, it will be reviewed by White House policy officials.

Council of Economic Advisers: On Monday in the Rose Garden, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Alan B. Krueger to lead the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). As one of the nation’s leading economists, Dr. Krueger will bring decades of experience, including a stint as chief economist at the Treasury Department, and a wealth of knowledge to the challenge of creating jobs and promoting economic growth.

American Legion Conference: Speaking before the American Legion National Convention in Minneapolis on Tuesday, President Obama said that America’s military is the best it’s ever been, and celebrated the contributions of the post 9/11 generation, who have changed the way America fights and wins our wars.

Surface Transportation Act:  On Wednesday, President Obama spoke on the South Lawn urging Congress to pass a clean extension of key transportation programs as soon as possible. If Congress doesn’t act, the nation’s surface transportation program will expire at the end of September.  This provides funding for highway construction, bridge repair, mass transit systems and other essential projects that keep our people and our commerce moving quickly and safely. When the law expires, those projects will shut down, taking precious jobs with them.

Double Feature: This week on West Wing Week we follow Vice President Biden on his trip to Asia. Meanwhile, President Obama led the federal response to Hurricane Irene, made a key nomination announcement, and addressed the American Legion’s 93rd annual conference.

Campaign Recap September 3, 2011: Sarah Palin Addresses the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa — Hints at Indecision in Presidential Bid

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger to be published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Sarah Palin spoke before a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday.
Jim Young/Reuters Sarah Palin spoke at a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday.

STATS & POLLS

Republican Presidential Candidates: Primaries 2012 — NYT

Democratic Nominee 2012: President Barack Obama’s Official Reelection Campaign Website — BarackObama.com

Republican National Committee

Democratic National Committee

    • Gallup Poll: Election 2012 — Track GOP Contender’s Images Week by Week — Generic Ballot Gallup
    • Gallup: Presidential Job Approval Gallup
    • Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval: Each result is based on a three-day rolling average Gallup
    • Poll Watch: Polls and Related Articles From The New York Times NYT

“At the end of the day, the rules usually prevail. I don’t know any candidate that makes the race into the one they want. Once she gets in, she becomes like every other candidate.” — Former New Hampshire Atty. Gen. Tom Rath, a Mitt Romney advisor

“I don’t think she would burrow in in any one state. The one thing about Sarah Palin which is impressive is she does it her way. She doesn’t follow orthodoxy. I think she is a much more gifted politician than people give her credit for.” — A close advisor to a top-tier Republican candidate

“I think she’s still a star. If you look at what’s happened in this race so far, you’ve had a series of candidates show up on the stage relatively unknown outside their home states and catapult to the top, so that leads me to think there is room for somebody else.” — Sara Fagen, who was political director for President George W. Bush

  • Palin and a real presidential run: Strategists say she could be a force in the race, at least initially, but polls suggest her indecisiveness may have turned off many Republican voters… – LAT, 9-3-11

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Mitt Romney: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts mittromney.com

Rick Perry: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts rickperry.org

Ron Paul: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts ronpaul2012.com

Herman Cain: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts hermancain.com

Michele Bachmann: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts michelebachmann.com

Newt Gingrich: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts newt.org

Jon Huntsman: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts jon2012.com

Rick Santorum: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts ricksantorum.com

“Republicans have to nominate someone better than the person they want to defeat. If they get so adamant that they will only support a candidate that believes everything on their checklist, they will re-elect Obama.” — Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and a 2008 Republican presidential hopeful.

IN FOCUS: SARAH PALIN ADDRESSES IOWA TEA PARTY RALLY

Just look what happened during the debt-ceiling debate. We’d been given warning after warning that our credit rating would be downgraded if politicians didn’t get serious about tackling the debt and deficit problem. But instead of making the real cuts that are necessary, they used Enron-like accounting gimmicks, and they promised that if they were just allowed to spend trillions more today, they’d cut billions ten years from now. By some magical thinking, they figured they could run up trillion dollar deficits year after year, yet still somehow avoid the unforgiving mathematics that led to the downgrade. Well, they got a rude awakening from the rest of the world, and that’s that even America isn’t “too big to fail.”
When we finally did get slapped with that inevitable downgraded, the politicians and the pundits turned around and blamed us – independent commonsense conservatives. We got blamed! They called us un-American and terrorists and suicide bombers and…hobbits…couldn’t understand that one.
And what is the President’s answer to this enormous debt problem? It’s just spend more money. Only you can’t call it “spending” now. Now you got to call it “investing.” Don’t call it “spending.” Call it “investing.” It’s kind of like what happens with FEMA and some of these other bureaucratic agencies that don’t really want to refer to our centralized federal government as “government.” Now it’s called the “federal family.” Am I too old to ask to be emancipated? Never thought I’d say it, but I want a divorce. — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

Governor Palin’s Speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa (Video and Transcript) Sarah Pac, 9-3-11

AUDIO: Sarah Palin’s speech 40 min Download Mp3

    • Palin Rails Against ‘Crony Capitalism’ and ‘Career Politicians’: Sarah Palin did not say whether she would seek the Republican presidential nomination, but she made clear during a speech here on Saturday that she has no intentions of simply falling into line behind one of the party’s leading candidates. At times she sounded like a candidate. At times she did not.
      But in a 40-minute speech before a Tea Party rally here, which was one of her most expansive addresses since she accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination three years ago, she railed against “crony capitalism” in both parties. She suggested that the “permanent political class” — Republicans, too — needed to be rattled…. – NYT, 9-3-11
    • Palin Appearance in Iowa Leaves Supporters Exhorting Her to Run: Sarah Palin, looking and sounding like a presidential candidate at a Tea Party rally in Iowa, left chanting supporters without saying if she will make a run for the White House next year. … – Bloomberg, 9-3-11

“There is a name for this. It’s called corporate crony capitalism. It’s not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts . . . and influence peddling and corporate welfare.” — Sarah Palin

    • Sarah Palin, in Iowa, attacks Obama and ‘crony capitalism’: Sarah Palin delivered a populist broadside here Saturday against President Obama, the entire political establishment and what she called the “crony capitalism” that she said is destroying the country. But she offered no fresh clues about whether she will seek the presidency in 2012.
      Casting herself as the ultimate outsider, the former Alaska governor used a tea party rally to chastise the president and a “permanent political class” that she said has protected their powers and enriched them, their friends and their contributors at the expense of ordinary Americans and the country’s well-being….
      Palin has said she will announce by the end of this month whether she will join the race for the White House in 2012. On Friday night, she told reporters “there’s room for more” candidates in the GOP field and when she arrived to greet supporters at a local restaurant, she was greeted with chants of “Run, Sarah, run.”… – WaPo, 9-3-11
    • Sarah Palin speaks like a candidate but keeps them guessing: Appearing in Iowa, she lambastes ‘crony capitalism,’ President Obama and career politicians but insists she hasn’t decided whether to seek the Republican nomination…. – LAT, 9-3-11
    • Palin still undecided on White House run: Alaska Republican Sarah Palin is still pondering whether to seek the White House, she said in a brief interview this afternoon. Palin didn’t say anything definitive in a 40-minute speech in Iowa today.
      When The Des Moines Register caught up with her at the rope line afterward, she shrugged when asked if late September is still a good timeline for a decision one way or the other.
      “I’m still not ready to make any kind of an announcement,” Palin said as she signed a handgun for an NRA benefit with a silver paint marker. “I’m still trying to figure it out, if it’s the right thing to do.”
      In her speech, Palin said the challenge is not simply to replace President Barack Obama in 2012, “it’s who and what we will replace him with,” a feisty Sarah Palin told a crowd in Iowa this afternoon…. – USA Today, 9-3-11
    • Palin: Words against Obama, mum on her plans: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had a lot to say today about America’s future under Barack Obama, but little about her own.
      Cheers of “Run, Sarah, run” greeted Palin at a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa Saturday, but in her speech the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee didn’t give any indication whether she’s going to jump into the 2012 presidential race.
      Palin has kept Republicans guessing for months whether she would enter the race; many expect no decision from her until late September…. – CBS News, 9-4-11

“Folks, you know that it’s not enough to just change up the uniform. If we don’t change the team and the game plan we won’t save our country.” — Srah Palin

    • Over 2000 gather on rainy Saturday to see Palin: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin blasted the country’s “permanent political class” and their “crony capitalism” — and while Palin did not use this afternoon’s speech in Iowa to jump into the presidential race herself, she did warn voters to survey the rhetoric and records of the current 2012 president candidates of her own party.
      Palin spoke for 40 minutes and spent a good chunk of her address outlining what she said were her own “real solutions” to the country’s economic problems. “My plan is a bona fide pro-workin’ man’s plan and it deals in reality,” she said. “It deals in the way the world really works.”… – Radio Iowa, 9-3-11
    • Palin positions herself as populist outsider in Iowa speech: Sarah Palin took sharp aim at President Barack Obama and at least one of her potential Republican rivals Saturday at a rain-soaked tea party rally in Iowa, the state that will open the GOP nomination fight early next year. … – CNN, 9-3-11
    • Palin has harsh words for Obama to tea party crowd: Cheers of “Run Sarah, Run” greeted Sarah Palin at a tea party rally in Iowa, but the former Alaska governor still isn’t saying whether she’s going to jump into the 2012 presidential race. … – Forbes, 9-3-11
    • Sarah Palin slams Republicans, Obama in Iowa speech: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin kept political pundits guessing Saturday, delivering a fiery speech to supporters in which she took direct aim at President Obama and Capitol Hill lawmakers…. – The State Column, 9-3-11

“I’m happy with the field of candidates. I think that there’s room for more, though, because a spirited debate and more competition will allow for an even better discourse and a more rigorous discourse that the public deserves.” — Sarah Palin

  • Palin Says ‘There’s Room for More’: Sarah Palin arrived here on Friday evening to greet passionate supporters who traveled from across Iowa and the around the nation to hear her deliver a weekend speech that could offer an indication of whether she intends to join the Republican presidential race…. – NYT, 9-4-11

THE HEADLINES: WEEKLY RECAP

    • Republican Candidates Turn Attacks on One Another: The Republican field is entering a pivotal stage as candidates increasingly move beyond criticizing President Obama and start to run against each other…. – NYT, 9-4-11

“The tea party isn’t a diversion from mainstream Republican thought. It is within mainstream Republican thought…. I haven’t spent my whole life in politics,. As a matter of fact, of the people running for office, I don’t know that there are many that have less years in politics than me.” — Mitt Romney

    • Tea party forcefully shaping 2012 GOP race: The tea party is forcefully shaping the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination as candidates parrot the movement’s language and promote its agenda while jostling to win its favor.
      That’s much to the delight of Democrats who are working to paint the tea party and the eventual Republican nominee as extreme…. – AP, 9-4-11
    • Tough economic climate as Obama seeks 2nd term: President Barack Obama faces a long re-election campaign having all but given up on the economy rebounding in any meaningful way before November 2012. His own budget office predicts unemployment will stay at about 9 percent…. – AP, 9-4-11

Politicians “typically don’t take strong positions. They are largely biographical and usually not specific at all. It is unusual”but we are in an unusual moment.” — Adam Bellow, editorial director of Broadside Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, who edited Sarah Palin’s two books

“No one can argue that Social Security isn’t broken. The goal was to put these issues on the table and ensure they’re addressed.” — Campaign spokesman Mark Miner

“Like a bad disease. By far the best example of this is Social Security.” The program “is something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now.” — Rick Perry in “Fed Up!” on how New Deal-era initiatives have spread

    • Perry’s fiery ‘Fed Up!’ may come back to haunt him: Maybe Rick Perry’s not so “Fed Up!” after all. Just nine months ago, the Texas governor released a rhetorical bomb-throwing book under that title. He dismissed Social Security as a New Deal relic that smacked of socialism. He said states’ rights trump all else. He suggested that the Supreme Court’s nine unelected “oligarchs in robes” could have their rulings overturned by two-thirds votes in both houses of Congress.
      Now that the Republican is running for president, his campaign has begun distancing itself from some of the candidate’s own words on issues such as Social Security and states’ rights.
      Pulling back won’t be easy because “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington” is anything but the nuanced list of general positions that fills the pages of most presidential candidates’ books…. – AP, 9-3-11
    • Perry’s fiery ‘Fed Up!’ may come back to haunt him: A vote for such a candidate in a primary would be seen as a vote for Obama in the general.” Already, Perry has pulled back from his unequivocal position on states’ rights. In “Fed Up!” he writes, “If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens … – AP, 9-3-11
    • Perry’s Book Gives Rivals Ammunition: In a book he wrote less than a year ago, Rick Perry calls Social Security a “failure” that should never have been enacted…. – NYT, 9-3-11
    • On the Trail in New Hampshire, Perry Focuses on Jobs: In a speech at a campaign stop Saturday afternoon, Mr. Perry said he personally would save the country by limiting the role of the federal government and by creating jobs…. – NYT, 9-3-11
    • Palin Rails Against ‘Crony Capitalism’ and ‘Career Politicians’: On Saturday, Sarah Palin did not say whether she would seek the Republican presidential nomination, but she made clear that she has no intentions of simply falling into line behind one of the party’s leading candidates…. – NYT, 9-3-11
    • Sarah Palin wows a tea party crowd in Iowa. But will she run?: In a rain-dampened Iowa field Saturday, Sarah Palin titillated the tea party faithful who chanted “Run, Sarah, Run.” She gave a full-throated presidential stump speech, even if there is as yet no official stump…. – CS Monitor, 9-3-11
    • Perry’s Blunt Views in Books Get New Scrutiny as He Joins Race: When Rick Perry, the governor of Texas and a presidential hopeful, debates his rivals, his assertions on climate change, Social Security and health care could put him to the test…. – NYT, 9-3-11
    • As race ramps up, GOP asks if Perry can stay atop: The Republican race for the White House is about to accelerate dramatically, with a series of debates and events testing whether Rick Perry has staying power and Mitt Romney can keep focusing on the president instead of his GOP rivals.
      September also may settle the field for good, with Sarah Palin perhaps deciding at last whether to run…. – AP, 9-3-11

“For the Democratic party to be defined by race means that it’s politically marginalized.” — Merle Black, an Emory University political science professor and author of “The Rise of Southern Republicans.”

    • Is Election 2012 the GOP’s to lose? What Obama could do: President Obama could face reelection at a time of 9 percent unemployment. But Election 2012 is not a slam dunk for the GOP, analysts say. Obama has ways to counter the bad news…. – CS Monitor, 9-3-11
    • New district puts Southern white Dem in tough spot: Can white Democrats chart a course back in the Deep South — Georgia, Mississippi. Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina — where they were once as plentiful as sweet tea on a hot summer day? Or will the party that once dominated the Bible Belt become reliant almost exclusively on black urban voters, leaving the region even more racially polarized?…. – AP, 9-3-11
    • Palin Says ‘There’s Room for More’: The former Alaska governor is traveling in Iowa and New Hampshire this weekend, but is not expected to make her campaign intentions clear until the month’s end…. – NYT, 9-2-11
    • Palin greets supporters at Iowa restaurant: Sarah Palin made a surprise appearance at a suburban Des Moines restaurant Friday evening on the eve of a speech in the leadoff caucus state that is being closely watched for signals of whether she plans to run for president.
      The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican nominee for vice president was greeted at the Iowa Machine Shed restaurant Friday night with chants of “Run, Sarah, run!” as she made her way through hundreds of fans…. – AP, 9-2-11
    • Facing voter discontent, lawmakers skip town halls: According to CQ-Roll Call, which kept a count, lawmakers held just over 500 town halls this summer compared to more than 650 in 2009 when the rancor over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul turned some events into shouting matches. … – AP, 9- 2-11

“He’s the anti-circus, anti-carnival candidate.” — John Weaver, Huntsman’s senior strategist, said of the newfound strategy.

    • Struggling Huntsman tries to turn around bid: Meet Jon Huntsman — Mr. Mainstream. It’s been downhill since the day he announced his White House candidacy. His official presidential coming-out tour was riddled with mistakes, and he’s faced campaign staff turnover. With some moderate views, he has struggled to gain traction with a GOP primary electorate pushed to the right by the tea party. And he’s lost ground in some national polls, eclipsed by Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. Now Huntsman’s trying to turn it all around — by painting his opponents as extreme…. – AP, 9-2-11

“What America needs and what I know have come together. I spent my life in business — 25 years in business.” — Mitt Romney

“My actions as governor are helping create jobs in this country.” — Gov. Rick Perry, who spent the last decade as Texas’ chief executive.

    • Romney, Perry wage GOP fight over business records: This intensifying debate between the two over public- and private-sector credentials will help define a GOP nomination fight focused squarely on the economy. The next president — whether it’s President Barack Obama or any number of Republicans trying to unseat him — will be saddled with high unemployment and asked to draw upon his or her job-creation skills on Day One…. – AP, 9-2-11
    • Arizona’s G.O.P. Primary Stays Put, for Now: Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona decided not to move up her state’s Republican primary, which would have set up a flurry of other changes in the nominating calendar…. – NYT, 9-2-11
    • What’s Sarah Palin going to say in her big speech on Saturday?: Indications are that Sarah Palin will sound increasingly like a presidential candidate at the Iowa tea party rally, with barbs aimed at both GOP rivals and Obama. But a formal declaration is apparently not in the offing…. – CS Monitor, 9-2-11
    • Perry hopes polling surge spurs donors nationally: The test will be whether Perry can transform his lead in some opinion polls into cash — and whether his fundraising skills can compete with Romney, who raised $10 million in one day earlier in the year, or ultimately President Barack Obama…. – AP, 9-2-11

“The president will come forward with a specific proposal that by any objective measure would add to growth and job creation in the short term.” — White House spokesman Jay Carney

    • $1.3T deficit projected as economy cools: The White House on Thursday predicted that unemployment will remain at 9 percent next year, a gloomy scenario for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign….
      The economy promises to be the leading-edge issue of the 2012 White House sweepstakes, and Obama already is facing a host of Republican rivals challenging his financial policies. No president in modern times has won re-election with unemployment as high as 9 percent, and Obama’s poll numbers have suffered in recent weeks amid a steady drumbeat of bad economic news. – AP, 9-1-11

“I am not going to become an obstacle for this party. I am tendering my resignation.” — Jack Kimball

    • New Hampshire’s Republican state chairman resigns: The chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party has resigned. Just minutes before the state’s GOP leaders were expected to remove him, Jack Kimball told a packed room of opponents and sign-waving supporters that he was stepping down after just seven months on the job…. – AP, 9-1-11
    • Huntsman Urges Stripping Deductions From Tax Code: Seeking to gain traction in the Republican presidential race, Jon M. Huntsman Jr. called for the tax code to be stripped of all loopholes and deductions…. – NYT, 9-1-11

“I want to put you on notice. We’re going to win this state. We’re going to win this primary.” — Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman at the popular Politics and Eggs discussion series

    • Huntsman sets high expectations amid turbulence: Brushing off bad poll numbers, presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman on Thursday predicted that he’ll win New Hampshire’s Republican primary — even as he acknowledged that his campaign manager for the state had been fired…. – AP, 9-1-11
    • Bachmann draws Thatcher foreign policy comparison: Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is harkening back to a past woman world leader with firm resolve — former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — as she tries to convince American veterans that she would make a strong commander in chief. Bachmann shed led light Thursday on her foreign policy views in a speech to the American Legion’s national convention, in her home state of Minnesota. President Barack Obama addressed the convention earlier in the week.
      Bachmann says the world needs to know America has a “strong leader” like Thatcher and her contemporary President Ronald Reagan. She says it would show that the United States won’t “conduct our foreign policy apologetically, such as leading from behind.”… – AP, 9-1-11
    • A Deep Faith in What’s Been Proved: As the presidential campaign begins to heat up, the empirical worldview that Barack Obama embodies is taking a beating…. – NYT, 9-1-11

“America is waiting for the president to make good on this promise,” the former Alaska governor recently posted on Twitter, linking to a video of President Barack Obama pledging to run a transparent government. She set up Saturday’s scheduled visit to Iowa with, “I’ll be talking about this and more.”

    • Palin fuels presidential fire, but at what cost?: Sarah Palin soon will end the will-she-or-won’t-she presidential speculation that has trailed her for two years — and that she has fueled with abandon, perhaps to the detriment of her potential candidacy…. – AP, 9-1-11

“They want to bring it back into the United States and create jobs here in Iowa, all across the country,” . “Wouldn’t the smartest thing to do be to say to all of these companies, ‘Zero repatriation tax?’ ” — Rep. Michele Bachmann while appearing at a tea party rally in Des Moines

    • GOP’s Bachmann touts jobs policy on return to Iowa: Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann pivoted her focus to jobs and the economy Wednesday during her first campaign appearance in Iowa since winning the leadoff caucus state’s Republican straw poll earlier this month…. – AP, 8-31-11
    • Tea Party Groups to Protest Romney in N.H.: Mitt Romney’s candidacy has exposed divisions within the Tea Party, especially in New Hampshire, where some groups plan to protest his speech in Concord on Sunday…. – NYT, 8-31-11
    • Mitt Romney’s tough call: Court the tea party to counter Perry surge?: With presidential hopeful Rick Perry now leading polls of GOP voters by double digits, Mitt Romney is having to pivot toward the tea party, which is not his natural constituency…. – CS Monitor, 8-31-11
    • Will Arizona Scramble the Republican Primary Calendar?: One of the looming questions for the Republican presidential candidates is this: When will the voting actually begin?…. – NYT, 8-31-11
    • Caucus Video: Job Plans Aplenty From 2012 Candidates; the Debt Committee Begins Work: Looking ahead as President Obama and Republican candidates are set to release their job plans. Also, a visit to Capitol Hill as the committee charged with taming the deficit begins work…. – NYT, 8-31-11
    • Despite Risks, Romney Presses Grim Picture of Obama: Mitt Romney has warned that America is on the brink of “profound economic misery,” under Obama’s leadership…. – NYT, 8-31-11
    • Despite Keys, Obama Is No Lock: A set of data points that help predict presidential election winners may have a good track record, but 2012 could upset the equation…. – NYT, 8-31-11
    • Political parties see uptick in money this year: The country’s two political parties saw an uptick in donations this election cycle, with Democrats enjoying a 22 percent fundraising edge over Republicans ahead of next year’s election, new federal data show.
      Democratic committees, including the party’s national, congressional and Senate panels, raised more than $128 million during the first seven months of this year. That compares with Republicans’ $105 million in contributions as GOP leaders try to counter the cash flow supporting President Barack Obama’s bid for a second term…. – AP, 8-31-11

“The radical environmentalists have demanded that we lock up all our energy resources. President Bachmann will take that key out of the door. I will unlock it.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

    • FACT CHECK: Bachmann energy claims oversimplified: America’s energy future can’t be unlocked as simply as Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann makes it sound when she depicts the nation as the “king daddy dogs” of energy. Even if environmentalists folded and Washington regulators got out of the way, much of the energy is too expensive for companies to develop…. – AP, 8-30-11
    • Irene was ‘act of God.’ What quip says about Michele Bachmann campaign: The Michele Bachmann campaign is calling her quip about God and natural disasters an obvious joke. But the incident sheds some light on her style and resilience as a campaigner…. – CS Monitor, 8-29-11
    • As Republican Candidates Bash Science, Another Call to George Will: Another call for a onetime champion of science to rise to its defense again…. – NYT, 8-29-11

“People are the most important ingredient in life. I love people, and I care deeply that our nation’s economy turns around so they can realize their American dream. This book will help to share my enthusiasm for an energized, pro-growth economy, and the life experiences that inform my optimism for the American people and for American greatness.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann in a statement issued through Sentinel

  • Bachmann memoir coming in November: Michele Bachmann has a book deal. Sentinel, a conservative imprint of Penguin Group (USA), announced Monday that the Republican presidential candidate’s memoir will arrive in November and already has been completed. The book, reports of which first circulated in June, is currently untitled…. – AP, 8-29-11

CAMPAIGN 2012: ANALYSTS &S HISTORIANS COMMENTS

    • Politico Arena: Daily Debate with Policymakers, Opinionshapers & Academics Politico
    • Julian Zelizer: What Bill Clinton could teach GOP: Former President Bill Clinton could teach the Republican Party a thing or two about effective campaign strategy…. – CNN, 9-2-11

“Candidates often have to make tough choices about their religion — whether to talk about it, what to say about it and even what to do about it — such as leaving a church. These tensions are quite strong among Republicans as the presidential nomination contest heats up, partly because of religious disagreements among key constituencies, but partly because of differences in issue priorities — economic versus social issues.” — John Green, director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, Ohio

“These folks are not professional theologians and, except in a few cases like Huckabee, they haven’t been to seminary. Most of them haven’t had more education about the relationship between Christianity and politics than the average person on the street. While they have their own personal faith, it isn’t usually well informed by history and theology.” — Gary Smith, author of “Faith & the Presidency” and a historian at Grove City College, a Christian school in Pennsylvania

“The voting public no longer believes, as they did as late as the 1950s, that religion was about what you thought and not what you did….
For the first time, we’re not only interested in whether someone is religious, which is essentially a question of, ‘Do you have a morality that the voter can identify with?’ It appears that there’s a significant portion of the electorate that’s interested in what the particular theology of the candidate is. Do they believe in Jesus? If so, what kind of Jesus do you believe in?” — Kathleen Flake, who specializes in American religious history at Vanderbilt University

  • Theology a hot issue in 2012 GOP campaign: It used to be simpler. Protestants were the majority, and candidates could show their piety just by attending church.
    Now, politicians are navigating a landscape in which rifts over faith and policy have become chasms. An outlook that appeals to one group enrages another. Campaigns are desperate to find language generic enough for a broad constituency that also conveys an unshakable faith.
    There is no avoiding the minefield, especially with early primaries in Iowa and South Carolina, where evangelical voters are so influential.
    Nationally, more than 70 percent of Republicans and more than half of Democrats say it’s somewhat or very important that a presidential candidate have very strong religious beliefs, according to the Public Religion Research Institute…. – AP, 9-3-11
  • Allan Lichtman: “Never-Wrong” Pundit Predicts 2012 Win for Obama: History is on President Obama’s side as the 2012 elections approach. And by “history” we mean Allan Lichtman, an American University professor who has gone 7-for-7 at predicting presidential elections since he developed his candidate-picking system roughly two decades ago.
    Lichtman says that based on the 13 criteria he has used to correctly forecast every presidential election since Ronald Reagan’s re-election victory in 1984, Team Obama can rest easy. “Even if I am being conservative, I don’t see how Obama can lose,” Lichtman told US News…. – Slate, 8-31-11
  • Michael Beschloss talks at secret Obama election retreat: Aides to President Barack Obama held a secret strategy retreat where they listened to a history lesson from a presidential scholar about past presidents who could serve as models for Obama’s re-election effort, Time magazine reported.
    Historian Michael Beschloss reportedly gave the team hope with his June presentation about Democrat Franklin Roosevelt and Republican Ronald Reagan, who both won re-election in tough economic times.
    According to Time, Beschloss said the strategies the two presidents used were similar: they both made the case that the economy was improving and that their opponents would make things worse…. – Reuters, 9-1-11
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