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


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.


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.


Republican Presidential Candidates: Primaries 2012 — NYT

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

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


Mitt Romney: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Rick Perry: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Ron Paul: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Herman Cain: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Michele Bachmann: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Newt Gingrich: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Jon Huntsman: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Rick Santorum: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

“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.


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


    • 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


    • 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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