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Primary Colors

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By Korso

There’s an old Rush song that says, “If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.” Unfortunately, that’s not going to cut it for Republicans as we enter this, the winter of our discontent. It seems that we have finally reached the point where the battle lines have been drawn: Herman Cain is out, Rick Perry burned his sizzle even faster than his steak, and pretty much everyone else has settled to the bottom of the basket with the rest of the small fries–except for the two front runners, who are now preparing to duke it out for that most coveted prize, the GOP nomination for President of the United States.

Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed? Ah, if only.

Whoda thought when all of this started that the contest would come down to Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich? While the Romney part is no surprise (it seems like he’s been running for president since the Truman administration), I had sort of gotten used to the idea of Gingrich being the color commentator, keeping things interesting with his debate flair and historical acumen but not standing a chance at getting the actual nomination. Now, at this late hour, it seems as if the Newtster’s strategy of keeping his power dry (at least when it comes to attacking his fellow candidates) and going slow and steady has paid off with a serious surge, denting Romney’s inevitability and throwing the party establishment into a bit of a tizzy. I have to admit, for a party that has a history of nominating the next guy in line, this makes things pretty damn interesting; however, with all the polls saying this and the pundits saying that, and the endless debates over who has the best chance of beating Barry the Most Magnificent next year, we are left to ask ourselves the most basic question: Why?

There are actually a couple of reasons. First off, the GOP rank and file are simply not that enamored of Romney. It’s not that he’s a bad guy–Lord knows, he’d be hands-down better than Obama–but after running McCain in 2008, the poster child for moderates, Republicans are ready for someone who stirs the blood a little bit. Hence all the flirtation with Perry, Cain, Bachmann–flavors of the month to be sure, but again you have to ask yourself why voters so desperately sought them out. It isn’t just because they’re looking for something new. It’s because they want something to get excited about. Romney feels too much like an arranged marriage. Sure, he’s a solid guy and all that. It’s just a little tough to get all hot and bothered over him–and hot and bothered is what gets people to the polls.

Enter Newt. A flawed prospect, to be sure. That unfortunate first name. No such thing as an unexpressed thought. He may not even be that conservative. But passionate? That he is–and he inspires passion in others as well. Love him or hate him, he doesn’t leave you wanting. In fact, he leaves you wanting more. As so much of politics is show biz, that last part is critical–and it’s also why I think he’s not just the latest Johnny Come Lately.

There’s also another Newt X-Factor, related to the first, and that’s his willingness to engage in political combat. We’re all being warned in advance that this is going to be the low-down dirtiest, nastiest election this side of a Jersey Shore beauty pageant, and already the national GOP leadership has telegraphed its reluctance to go after Obama personally. Gingrich, meanwhile, tantalizes us with his direct challenge to the president to meet him on the battlefield for some Lincoln-Douglas style debate action–a prospect that no doubt terrifies Obama, given his record and aversion to all public speaking that doesn’t involve a TelePrompTer. Conversely, the very prospect has Republicans licking their chops in anticipation. Hell, I think most of them would pay real money to see something like that. Mitt Romney, however, just doesn’t conjure up the same image. He seems more like a retirement community production of West Side Story, with the Jets and the Sharks throwing down over who cut in front of whom in the buffet line at Ponderosa. The stuff of dreams it ain’t.

So who’s ultimately better against Barry? Who knows? If Hollywood could figure that out they’d never have a flop. Ultimately, though, I’ll always bet on passion over indifference. Win or lose, at least you come away thinking it was worth the fight.


Written by Korso

December 9, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Anita Perry: The Next First Lady?

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By Allah Palooza

Anita Perry, wife of Texas Governor Rick Perry

Some of us have already started wondering (and even hoping) about who the next First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) will be. Most of us are thinking that Michelle Obama won’t be getting another four years, and that just about anyone else would be an immense improvement.

With the critical 2012 election still more than a year away and Texas Governor Rick Perry surging in popularity among Republicans, Governor Perry’s wife, Anita Thigpen Perry, came to Pinellas County Saturday night, September 17th, to be the keynote speaker at the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC) Reagan Day Dinner.

According to her official biography, Anita Perry is a native Texan from Haskell. Mrs. Perry earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from West Texas State University, now West Texas A&M University, and a master’s degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She worked as a nurse for 17 years in surgery, pediatrics, intensive care, administration and teaching. She and Gov. Perry have been married for almost 30 years and have two grown children. She has been a strong partner with her husband, who presently is the longest-serving governor in the history of Texas, and she has been actively involved in supporting a variety of economic initiatives and innovations in her home state.

So, is Anita Perry ready for prime-time, in the sense of filling her place on the national and international stage, should her husband become the next President of the United States?

If her Reagan Day speech is an accurate measure of her talents and abilities, she has great promise but still has some work to do.

Anita Perry is a good person, and goes out of her way to make those around her feel comfortable. She is sincere, down-to earth (unlike the current FLOTUS), and very family-oriented. She devoutly believes in her husband and shares traditional American values. She is smart, and did an excellent job setting out her husband’s record as a jobs creator. She was, however, a bit too folksy, spoke about five minutes longer than she should have, told the audience too little about her husband, and had some difficulty wrapping up her speech. Yet, it was refreshing to listen to a  person speaking from the heart who connects with ordinary people, and who shows neither aloofness nor a desire to take on the trappings of elitist condescension. I, like many others in the room, went away from her speech hoping that she will be the one measuring the drapes in the White House in January 2013.

Mrs. Perry’s speech in its entirety may be viewed in the following video [Courtesy PCREC]:

Congressman Bill Young to Run Again in 2012

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By Spartacus Thrace

(September 18, 2011) It looks like United States Congressman C.W. “Bill” Young (R-Fla.) will be running for re-election in 2012.

State Senator Jack Latvala (R-St. Petersburg) made the announcement as he was introducing Congressman Young before a crowd of hundreds of wildly enthusiastic Republican activists at last night’s Reagan Day Dinner at the Marriott St. Petersburg.  The dinner is an annual fundraising event put on by the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC).

The money quote came at about the 4:23 mark in Latvala’s six-minute introduction of Young, when he made the somewhat oddly-worded statement:

And you know some of the best news that I’ve had in the past few weeks is when it became apparent to me that [Young is] preparing to run again.

Sen. Latvala’s remarks in their entirety can be seen in the following video [Courtesy PCREC]:

Young, for his part, appeared aged but unbowed and looked to be in remarkably better health than he did when he last addressed the PCREC at its Lincoln Day Dinner in February (another annual fundraiser put on by the PCREC).  Among other remarks, Young told his audience that he had undergone back surgery, spent almost three months in the hospital, and had lost 50 pounds in weight and four inches in height (he used to be about as tall as Ronald Reagan) as a result of parts of his spine being fused.  Although he walked slowly and with a thick cane, his mind appeared to be as sharp as ever.  His remarks, which perhaps comprise his first campaign speech of the 2012 election season, can be viewed in their entirety in the following video [Courtesy PCREC]:

Rep. Young has been in public service as an elected official for more than half a century.  He is considered by the pundits to be unbeatable in 2012, even at this early stage in the election season, barring a sudden decline in his health.  The backstory of this announcement of his plans to run for his twenty-second term in Congress is that the throng of those who have long hoped and planned to take Young’s place when he leaves the political scene (Sen. Latvala is among these) did not get the news they had hoped for and will have to bide their time a bit longer.  Some predict that if Young’s exit is not a “controlled crash” guided by political insiders, it will trigger one of the biggest political brawls in the history of Pinellas County politics.

Everett Rice and Bob Gualtieri Vying for Republican Nomination for Pinellas County Sheriff

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By Spartacus Thrace

With the coming retirement of Sheriff Jim Coats the office of Pinellas County Sheriff will be on the 2012 ballot. The five announced candidates to date are Bob Gualtieri, a Republican; Randy Heine, a Democrat; Stephen W. Reilly, another Democrat;  Greg Pound of the Constitutional Party of Florida; and former Pinellas County Sheriff Everett S. Rice, another Republican.

More information about Gualtieri can be found on his campaign website. Candidates Heine, Reilly, Pound, and Rice did not have identifiable campaign websites as of June 13, 2011.

On June 13, 2011 Gualtieri made the following statement about his candidacy to the members of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC):

(Video Courtesy PCREC)

On June 13, 2011, Rice made the following statement about his candidacy to the members of the PCREC:

(Video Courtesy PCREC)

Leslie Waters and Jim Frishe Vying for Republican Nomination for State Senate District 13

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By Spartacus Thrace

Florida State Senate District 13, comprising parts of Pinellas County, will be up for grabs in 2012 due to term limits precluding incumbent Republican Dennis Jones from running again. There presently are two announced candidates, and both are Republicans.

The first announced candidate is James C. “Jim” Frishe, currrently State Representative for District 54 in Pinellas County and Majority Whip in the House of Representatives. More information about Frishe can be found on his campaign website. On June 13, 2011 Frishe made the following statement about his candidacy to the members of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC):

(Video Courtesy PCREC)

The other announced candidate is former state representative Leslie Waters. More information about Waters can be found on her campaign website. On June 13, 2011, Waters made the following statement about her candidacy to the members of the PCREC:

(Video Courtesy PCREC)

George LeMeiux Campaign Speech at the PCREC

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(June 13, 2011) Candidate for United States Senator from Florida George LeMeiux brought his campaign to the June meeting of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC). LeMeiux, who briefly served in the Senate after being appointed by then-Governor Charlie Crist to complete the term of Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Florida) after Martinez vacated the seat, laid out for his audience why he thinks he is the best qualified candidate to defeat Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) in 2012. This is what he said:

(Video courtesy PCREC)

More information about George LeMeiux and his candidacy can be found at his campaign website, linked to here.

Leslie Waters Kicks Off State Senate Campaign

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Leslie Waters kicks off her campaign for State Senate.

(June 11, 2011) Leslie Waters, Republican candidate for State Senate District 13 in the 2012 elections went back to her roots and kicked off her campaign today before a crowd of about 100 enthusiastic supporters at Gulfport’s Habana Cafe, the same location where in 1997 she kicked off her successful campaign for the Florida House of Representatives. She is running against State Representative James C. “Jim” Frishe, who is also a Republican. Waters is considered a political moderate, is well-connected with the political establishment in Pinellas County, and is running on a “good government” platform that stresses her extensive experience in public service. More information about her campaign can be found at the Waters campaign website, located here.

Leslie Waters among her supporters.

Written by Le Corbeaunoir

June 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm

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