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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 301 DAYS TO THE 2012 ELECTIONS
I know how the competitive juices flow when you are in a political battle. But many GOP presidential contenders need to take a deep breath and remember that the ultimate prize is not the nomination -- it is the November election and winning the White House.
At a breakfast in Nashua, New Hampshire, yesterday, Mitt Romney, speaking about health insurers who don't provide adequate coverage, said consumers should change insurers. He put it this way: "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." Romney was making a classic conservative point about the value of competition and the need to bring it to health care and other areas.
Unfortunately, some of his opponents, particularly Jon Huntsman, jumped on the quote, took it completely out of context and suggested that Romney likes to fire average workers. That is a cheap shot. My candidate, Senator Rick Santorum, did not pile on, but others did and they should be embarrassed.
Whoever gets the nomination will face a billion-dollar Obama attack machine that will use raw class warfare to smear him. The last thing we need is GOP candidates who are using the same tactics against each other. Fortunately, Senator Santorum is aiming his fire at Obama. His competitors should do the same.
Speaking Of Santorum…
The Wall Street Journal has examined Senator Santorum's economic agenda. You can read its analysis here.
There was a stunning announcement in Washington yesterday: White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley has submitted his resignation after just one year on the job and will be gone by the end of the month -- a year earlier than planned. It is difficult to imagine the political atmosphere in Washington getting worse, but Daley's departure does not bode well.
Daley was Bill Clinton's Commerce Secretary and a corporate executive. He was brought into the White House to replace the hyper-partisan Rahm Emanuel and to smooth over relations with Wall Street, the business community and Capitol Hill. When his appointment was announced last January, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said:
"I frankly think it's kind of a hopeful sign. He has the business background. …This is a guy who's actually been out in the private sector, been a part of business. Frankly, my first reaction is that it sounds like a good idea."
According to various reports, Daley had promised to stay through the election. He told NBC's Chicago affiliate, "I made a commitment to the president through his reelection…and then my wife and I will return to Chicago." Perhaps Daley was uncomfortable with Obama's class warfare rhetoric and the Democrats' embrace of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Perhaps he never fit in with the Obama White House at all. (See next item.)
A new book about Barack and Michelle Obama is causing heartburn at the White House. The book was not written by Ann Coulter or some other conservative "attack dog," but by Jodi Kantor, a New York Times reporter who has extensively covered the Obamas since 2007. Two passages in particular have made headlines in recent days.
The first involved an extravagant Halloween party in the midst of the Great Recession. As unemployment was surging to double digits, the Obamas hosted an "Alice in Wonderland" themed party featuring actor Johnny Depp -- in full costume and character as the Mad Hatter. It appears as though the White House tried to keep the party a secret, worried about how the lavish event would seem to the public.
I don't know why the White House is so defensive -- I thought "Alice in Wonderland" was the theme at the Obama White House every day!
The second passage is more disconcerting. Michelle Obama worked in the administration of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley from September 1991 to April 1993. But according to Kantor, "[Michelle Obama] particularly resented the way power in Illinois was locked up generation after generation by a small group of families, all white Irish Catholic -- the Daleys in Chicago, the Hynes and Madigans statewide."
Why would the first lady be so upset by "white Irish Catholics"? The Obamas were supposed to transcend race and move America into a new era of post-racial harmony. I wish it were so. But knowing that the Obamas attended a racist church for so many years -- where the pastor gave an award to Louis Farrakhan -- might provide some context for the first lady's alleged resentment.