718 Days until Election Day

November 14, 2008

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"A former tech wizard who Twitters, Facebooks, and blogs on his website "That’s Saul, Folks!" the Michigan Republican hopes to run as an ideological and tactical innovator who can bring the Republican Party into the 21st century. He announced his intention to run this afternoon via Twitter, Youtube, and emails to the RNC – all before a formal release to mainstream media sources."

-MSNBC’s First Read about my announcement for RNC Chair.

MORNING UPDATE:

ELSENHEIMER ELECTED LEADER…Representative Kevin Elsenheimer was elected House Republican Leader of the 43 members of the Republican Caucus.  Kevin is an aggressive, politically savvy leader who will help rebuild our party’s brand and lead the House Republicans back to gaining seats in 2010.

RGA…yesterday was the last day of the Republican Governor’s Association meeting. I have to say I was very excited having had a chance to both speak with and listen to the various Republican governors from around the country.  Clearly, this will be the group of Republican leaders who will lead our party back over the coming years.  These governors are creative, effective, and have their own political power base in their various states that can serve as an incubator for ideas and policies that will make us a majority party again.  With 36 Governorships up in 2010, these races provide us with a unique opportunity to help move our country forward.

RNC CHAIRS RACE…GOPAC Chairman Michael Steele was the second candidate to formally announce his intentions to seek the Chairmanship of the RNC.  Michael is a good friend and respected spokesperson for Republicans and a regular on many Washington political talk shows.  There are several others exploring the possibility of running, but as of today it’s Steele and myself.

 

 

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TODAY’S TOP STORIES

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History Favors Republicans in 2010

The 2008 election numbers are not as stark as the results.

By KARL ROVE

Political races are about candidates and issues. But election results, in the end, are about numbers. So now that the dust is settling on the 2008 presidential race, what do the numbers tell us?

First, the predicted huge turnout surge didn’t happen. The final tally is likely to show that fewer than 128.5 million people voted. That’s up marginally from 122 million in 2004. But 17 million more people voted in 2004 than in 2000 (three times the change from 2004 to 2008).

Second, a substantial victory was won by modest improvement in the Democratic share of the vote. Barack Obama received 2.1 points more in the popular vote than President Bush received in 2004, 3.1 points more than Vice President Al Gore in 2000, and 4.6 points more than John Kerry in 2004. In raw numbers, the latest tally shows that Mr. Obama received 66.1 million votes, about 7.1 million more than Mr. Kerry.

Nancy Pelosi’s Motown Juggling Act

NOVEMBER 14, 2008

What do bleeding Detroit auto makers, Colombia and green groups have in common? Not a lot, unless you are Nancy Pelosi.

If there was a moment that highlights to what extent the Democratic Party has become captive to its special interests, this might be it. Mrs. Pelosi and Harry Reid have spent this week demanding that Washington stave off a car-maker collapse. What makes this a little weird is that Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are Washington. If they so desperately want a Detroit bailout they could always, you know, pass one.

U.S. automakers bailout outlook in doubt-senator

Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:18pm EST

By John Crawley and Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – A senior Democratic senator raised doubts on Thursday that an attempt to bail out U.S. automakers had enough support to clear Congress this year.

As Republicans amplified their concerns about a bailout, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd raised the biggest red flag for fellow Democrats trying to craft a $25 billion rescue and pass it during a post-election session set to start next week.

"Right now, I don’t think there are the votes," Dodd of Connecticut told reporters about prospects in the Senate. "I want to be careful of bringing up a proposition that might fail," he said.

Big 3 must prove they are worth it

Gentlemen:

You’re the bosses (for now) of the Big Three automakers, not Big Tobacco, but the prospect of being grilled next week by New England’s dynamic duo — Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. — likely could make you feel as if you are. There should be no doubt, considering the posturing issuing from Democrats in Congress, that any bailout for your companies will come with enough strings to embarrass even the most ardent European statist.

Whether you can show how your post-bailout future will be different than the present and the past could determine how tight those strings end up being. The truth: I’m guessing I speak for more than a few folks when I say we hear loud and clear, from you and your surrogates, the worst-case scenarios of what could happen to families, local communities, American manufacturing and the national economy if one or more of you fails.

U.S. security debate lurks in Big 3 woes

Gordon Trowbridge / Detroit News Washington Bureau

When defense analyst Loren Thompson recently visited the factory in Marietta, Ga., where defense giant Lockheed-Martin builds the Air Force’s F-22 fighter plane, he was introduced to the just-hired executive overseeing the plant’s manufacturing processes.

The exec’s previous employer: General Motors Corp. It’s an example, Thompson says, of the close ties between the defense industry and the auto companies — and, he says, of the need to save the car companies and the rest of the U.S. manufacturing base.

While politicians from Gov. Jennifer Granholm to former presidential candidate John McCain paint images of the "arsenal of democracy" and World War II bombers rolling off converted auto assembly lines, the real links between Detroit’s Big Three automakers and national security are more subtle, and more debatable. Analysts such as Thompson point to the economic damage from a Big Three bankruptcy, and the need to maintain a strong manufacturing base capable of making planes, tanks and sophisticated electronics.

Minority Republicans name Elsenheimer as leader

11/13/2008, 9:15 p.m. EST

The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The shrunken Republican minority in the Michigan House has chosen Kevin Elsenheimer of Kewadin as its leader to replace Craig DeRoche of Novi.

Democrats extended their majority in the House to 67-43 from 58-52 in the November election. Republicans retain control of the state Senate, which wasn’t up for election.

Elsenheimer was assistant minority leader, a job now taken by Arlan Meekhof of Olive Township.

Palin blasts bailout expansion before GOP governors

Thu November 13, 2008

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Former Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin sharply questioned expanding the federal economic bailout plan Thursday during her first extended remarks since the end of the presidential campaign.

Addressing fellow GOP governors and party leaders at the Republican Governors Association convention in Miami, Florida, Palin criticized the growing list of industries and others seeking federal assistance.

"We’re hearing now more talk of additional taxpayer bailouts … for companies, for corporations, perhaps even states now who may be standing in line with their hands out despite, perhaps, some poor management decisions on their part that helped tank our economy," she said.

Steele’s in for RNC chair: ‘I want the gig’

By ALEXANDER BURNS | 11/13/08 10:56 PM EST 

Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele shook up the emerging race for chair of the Republican National Committee Thursday, announcing that he would join the contest in an appearance on Fox News’s "Hannity and Colmes."

"I want the gig. I’m ready to lead this party," Steele said. "I think we have been kind of wandering and doubting ourselves for far too long. I think this past election was the culmination of that self-doubt which has to end. We have a message, I think, of empowerment and ownership and opportunity that resonates with Americans. We just need to get back to that."

With Republicans out of power in Congress and a Democrat in the White House, the next RNC chairman could prove to be an unusually high-profile leader for his party, with the opportunity to shape and articulate a new vision for the GOP on a national stage.

OBAMA CONSIDERING HILLARY FOR SECRETARY OF STATE

By CHARLES HURT, Bureau Chief

November 13, 2008

WASHINGTON – We may soon be calling Hillary Rodham Clinton "Madame Secretary."

The New York senator and former first lady is being considered for secretary of state by President-elect Barack Obama – an appointment that would go a long way toward healing the wounds left by their bruising Democratic primary battle.

Two Obama advisers confirmed Clinton is under serious consideration, according to NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell.

U.S. critical of Russia’s Baltic missile threats

Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:51am EST

TALLINN (Reuters) – The United States views Russian threats to place tactical missiles in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad as provocative and misguided, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday.

Russia made the move in response to U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Europe, which Moscow sees as a threat to its security. Washington says the system is needed against missile strikes from what it terms rogue states, notably Iran.

Gates, speaking after a NATO meeting with Ukraine, said the Russian threats were "hardly the welcome a new American administration deserved," referring to the fact they were made immediately after Barack Obama won the presidential election.