Thursday, February 7, 2008

Still the Real Deal!

Governor Mitt Romney has suspended his campaign. Actually, he and his advisors had identified a workable route to a possible victory yesterday, and his advisors gave him overwhelming encouragement to go through with it. But Mitt thought it over yesterday evening and decided that the result could leave an irreparable split in the Republican party and deprive the party of the opportunity to unify for the general election, so he went against his advisors’ advice and chose to suspend his campaign.

This is Mitt the CEO. He knows the final decision is his and his alone, despite the importuning of his advisors. He will always make that final decision based on his incontestable character and conscience.

Mitt understands political strategy only too well. In his address today to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), he said: “If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

It was clear after Super Tuesday that a strategic shift was in order. If anyone could have pulled it off, it was Mitt Romney. But to what effect? The risk was not that Mitt could not have done it, but in all strategic endeavors uncertainty must hold sway. If John McCain nevertheless secured the nomination (e.g., by teaming up with Mike Huckabee), then the intense heat of the political conflict among the candidates during the intervening months could have created a rift in the party that would have invited a Democratic victory.

Mitt knows that the party must regroup for a November victory, but an unusually close race for the nomination could leave intraparty contentions too strong too late to permit that regrouping. It is clear that these words of his are quite genuine: “If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.”

What are we therefore to do? The answer is self-evident. Mitt placed his party before his own political aspirations. It did not matter that he was in fact the best man for the job, even the most effective President we ever would have had. If getting the job meant the possibility of crippling the party by November, he would have nothing to do with it. This is not because he is simply a fan of the Republican Party; it is because there is a critical, life-or-death difference between the two parties today. A Democratic victory in November would endanger our survival as a nation. Mitt said: “I will continue to stand for conservative principles. I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism.”

But if the Republican Party ends up nominating someone without strong conservative credentials, where does that leave us? The answer is that Mitt wants us to strengthen the conservative principles of the Republican Party platform, not abandon it to contrary forces. We will vote Republican in the fall. And accepting that fact places a profound burden on us: We must make sure that, whoever is the nominee, we lay the heavy cloak of conservatism on his shoulders, whether he has the strength to stand beneath it or not. And we must make him wear that cloak perpetually.

To do this, we have one imperative: Energetically promote the three-legged stool of fiscal conservatism, defense conservatism, and social conservatism in the Republican Party platform. Strategically, this means that we must promote a pattern in the remaining political races that goes furthest toward keeping the pressure of the tripartite conservative agenda strong. This entails three main directions of activity: (1) Minimize McCain’s votes in the remaining states, in order to maximize his need to negotiate over the party platform; (2) enthusiastically promote the campaigns of all conservatives who are running for congressional seats; and (3) energetically promote our tripartite conservative platform among those congressional candidates. We do not want another Mark Foley to crop up because we cared more about a Republican victory than about conservatism itself.

In the meantime, we must also promote a strong economy, both as a news item and as a matter of the public choices that our current representatives make, for this will ensure a Republican victory in November. The media will try hard to portray our demonstrably strong economy as being in serious trouble, depicting, for example, the temporary slowing of growth that we are currently experiencing as though it were actually a decline! In fact, we continue to grow, and we must not let a loose media distort the truth in this regard. Nevertheless, without our guidance, desperate people in Washington may be tempted to resort to desperate measures, to fix what is not broken. Keep on the lookout for any tax increase or other Keynesian fix that your senators or congressmen might contemplate, and oppose it as vigorously as you can!

Thanks to Mitt Romney’s powerful campaign, whoever wins the Republican nomination will now be under great pressure to work with Mitt to make sure conservatism stays strong, and that our economy flourishes over the next four years. Meanwhile, we are also under great pressure to encourage Mitt to stick around and lend his expertise where it counts, and to make sure our representatives open their ears when he speaks. The US economy over the next four years will not be smooth sailing. Only the genius of geniuses can keep it strong enough to support a Republican victory in 2012. It is no exaggeration to say that, left to his own devices, McCain would doom our party by failing to safeguard the economy. Folks, Mitt will still be the Real Deal after November. We will need him! Let’s not forget it.

Richard Voss

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Romney is STILL the Real Deal!

Ronald Kessler’s Newsmax article of Dec. 26 is still very relevant today. Kessler refers back to an article previously published in the print edition of Newsmax, entitled “Romney to the Rescue: Romney’s Got the Right Stuff for 2008.”

Contrasting Romney to his major opponents, Kessler cites Huckabee’s commuting or pardoning 1,033 criminals, including twelve murderers. Unlike Romney. He cites Huckabee’s raising taxes, including a 37% increase in the state sales tax. Unlike Romney. He cites Huckabee’s “serial ethics violations and misuse of funds” in running the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. Unlike Romney.

Kessler also cites McCain’s volatile temper and outbursts, which observers have described as the consequence of simply disagreeing with McCain! Unlike Romney. And McCain’s opposing President Bush’s tax cuts, twice! Unlike Romney. Need we revisit McCain-Feingold, McCain-Edwards, and McCain-Kennedy? As Mark Levin (the Great One) asked, we have plenty of McCain-Liberal; where is McCain-Conservative?

Kessler concludes his review with the following true story, which demonstrates Romney’s character:

“[W]hen told in July 1996 that the 14-year-old daughter of one of his partners had been missing in New York for three days, Romney closed down Bain Capital and asked its 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to try to find her. The girl had gone to a rave party and taken ecstasy. ‘I don’t care how long it takes, we’re going to find her,’ Romney told the girl’s father Robert Gay. As a result of a massive campaign orchestrated by Romney, he was able to locate and rescue the girl when she was within a day of dying from the effects of an overdose.”

Mitt Romney is an incredibly rare find in politics. Anyone who decides to read his unofficial biography by Hugh Hewitt or any other reference about him is invariably impressed beyond his wildest expectations at what kind of man Romney really is. Once we’ve read about him and then subsequently hear him describe one of his accomplishments, it doesn’t sound nearly as monumental as the reality with which we’ve become familiar. Are Romney’s successes so wondrous as even defying adequate expression itself? Yes, they really are. Romney’s successes are literally unbelievable (i.e., you really will have trouble believing that anyone can produce the miraculous achievements that he has indeed chalked up, without ever failing!). Maybe Romney is too good to be true, by definition: Because it’s so hard to believe what we see, his amazing success may be his only defect. “He can’t be real,” you are tempted to exclaim. No one can do all that! Correction: No one except Romney. Romney is still the real deal.

Richard Voss

Friday, February 1, 2008

Delegate Perspective

WATCH OUT! Some sources are giving you an incorrect delegate count! Here's the real deal:

Delegates allocated so far: 1,135 (47.7% of total)
Delegates remaining: 1,245 (52.3% of total—more than half!)
Mitt Romney's committed delegates so far: 268 (22.5% of goal)
John McCain's committed delegates so far: 675 (56.7% of goal)
Delegates needed to win the nomination: 1,191

Now for the hard part! The conservative message must get out to Louisiana, Washington, and Kansas by Feb. 9, and to Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia by Feb. 12. Assuming Mack gets the three upcoming winner-take-all states (VA, DC, VT), which will be his major effort, Mitt needs to average 30% of the vote in all others to have a chance of depriving Mack of a clear victory and forcing a negotiated outcome. However, given the collusion evident between Mack & Huck (witness the West Virginia manipulation), conservatives must push to convince their compatriots to abandon Huck to deprive Mack of Huck's delegates.

The race is not over! Liberalism is currently infecting the Republican base, and Mack has so far secured clearly only a minority of conservative voters! What will happen in November if Mack rides this wave to the general election, with most conservatives against him?

Mitt needs your support more than ever! Winning the nomination now requires a fundamental change in our mindset. Expand your focus, find out who's running for Congress in your area, and secure their support for Mitt's conservative agenda. When this is all over, we'll need not only a conservative force in the White House, but a conservative force in the Congress. If Mack is in one of these places, we must lay the heavy mantle of conservatism upon him, even if he collapses under the pressure!

Cheers - Richard Voss

It Takes a Governor—not a Senator!

Does a senator have what it takes to be President? What about a governor? Surely, the country will survive with a senator as President. But the truth is that it will fare significantly worse than under a President with the executive experience that only comes from being a governor. A governor is a president, after all, of a sovereign state. Thus, a governor has already practiced the Presidency, and no governor can get away with running for President unless he was a success.

But what proof do we have that being a governor makes a difference? Easy: Just list all past Presidents in our country’s history, note whether they were previously governors, and calculate how much we were better off by the end of their presidencies on a couple of telling measures. I’ve actually done this, using real gross domestic product (real GDP) and the unemployment rate. Good Presidents should increase real GDP and decrease unemployment, on average, despite the ups and downs of wars and recessions, as long as we try to get a long-term average to wash out the specific effects of such anomalies in our analysis.

Real GDP refers to the total productivity of the country for one year, not including the effects of inflation (hence “real” instead of “nominal”). Historically, through all of its ups and downs, the US real GDP has grown at an average of 3.7988% per year (from $3.6 billion in 1790 to $11.3194 trillion in 2006, in year-2000 dollars). However, the average rate of growth under governor-Presidents was higher than under non-governor-Presidents: 4.1% per year versus 3.6% per year. For Republican governor-Presidents, in fact, it was 4.2% per year, versus 3.9% per year for Democratic governor-Presidents. Obviously, our best bet is to elect a Republican who has been a governor.

The unemployment rate refers to the proportion of people who should be working but who are not. Annual unemployment data are more limited historically than GDP data, but we can at least go back to Harry Truman’s administration. Since then, unemployment has dropped an average of 3.6% per year under governor-Presidents, but it has increased by an average of 4.3% per year under non-governor-Presidents! Once again, Republican governor-Presidents fared better than Democratic governor-Presidents: 4.0% average annual decline in unemployment versus 3.3% average annual decline. Again, our best bet is to elect a Republican who has been a governor.

But what about experience as Vice President? It helps, but only for GDP (they do a lot worse in unemployment), and governor-Presidents still do better. What about experience as a Senator? Worthless. Senators don’t manage anything! They just argue about what new laws to write (and then make their clerks write them for them). How about First Lady? Take a guess...

Now that you know that it takes a governor, take your pick (we have two governors in the race): The Arkansas economy is about as big as that of Slovakia. Not too bad, but it’s only one-fourth the size of Massachusetts. Massachusetts is bigger than Switzerland! (Care to try your hand at managing Switzerland?) Which one is a tougher state to run? Now remember this: Mitt Romney turned his “Switzerland’s” $3 billion deficit into a $700 million surplus in just four years, while balancing the budget every year he was in office!

It takes a governor. But in Mitt Romney, we have a lot more than that. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For Mitt, Massachusetts was just one amazing success in a flawless track record of the strongest executive experience you will ever witness.

With the economy as it is today, this is no time to put a Senator in the White House. It takes a governor! And Mitt Romney is the governor that it takes.

Vote for Mitt Romney on Tuesday. Then prepare to be amazed.

Cheers - Richard Voss

Competence, Ethics, Conservatism

Several of you have asked me about my preference in the Georgia presidential primary, to be held next Tuesday, February 5 with early voting continuing through this Friday. As you surely know, the remaining GOP candidates are Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul.

When you get to the polls, I respectfully urge you to cast your vote for Mitt Romney.

We need a president who can run our huge nation competently. Our nominee must not only understand the economy and how it works, but must be someone who has governed, balanced a budget, fought for lower taxes and pushed their legislature in a conservative direction. The viable nominee needs diverse experience running things, rather than strictly serving as a lawmaker.

Our nominee must be perfectly clean ethically, considering the difficulties of our party in the past few years.

Our nominee must share our conservative ideals, such as lower taxes, reducing abortions and illegal immigration. Should the GOP stay in the congressional minority, our republican president must continue to press the conservative agenda and not be a rubber stamp for a left-leaning compromise. For instance, we cannot have a nominee that would provide tax rebates for illegal immigrants.

Please join me in keeping the Republican party conservative, and vote Mitt Romney for president.

As an extremely successful businessman in founding and running Bain Capital, which helped start up and turnaround companies such as Staples and Dominos, he knows how to create jobs and can deal with the landscape should we have a recession.

He has experience dealing in international affairs from running the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and turning it from scandal to great success.

Serving as the Governor of Massachusetts, he proved that he can deal with a Democratic congress while still holding his own conservative values and not caving to the other party.

He possesses all the qualities we need and more. You can read more about Mitt Romney here and here.

David R. Helmick