John Thune

Could Chris Christie Really Beat Obama?

Andrew Romano – The Daily Beast

The New Jersey governor claims he knows he “could win” the White House in 2012, but he’s not “ready to be president.” Andrew Romano on why Christie isn’t insane—though he shouldn’t read much into early polls.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t known for being demure. Since defeating incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine in 2009, he’s blustered, bellowed, and bullied his way into the hearts of conservatives nationwide, berating every schoolteacher or union boss who has had the temerity to cross him—especially if his staff is filming the encounter for YouTube.

So when National Review’s Rich Lowry asked Christie whether “he knew that, given the moment, there is a serious chance he could win the Republican nomination if he ran,” the governor responded in typically bombastic fashion.

“I see the opportunity,” said the New Jersey governor, who at this point has been pestered about his (allegedly nonexistent) 2012 presidential ambitions so many times that he’s taken to saying he’ll have to commit “suicide” to get reporters off his back. “I have people calling me and saying to me, ‘Let me explain to you how you could win.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re barking up the wrong tree. I already know I could win.’ That’s not the issue.

An expression of complete electoral confidence from a sworn, Shermanesque non-candidate is a rare thing in American politics. Usually, when a politician is blabbering about how he can win a particular contest, it means he’s planning to give it a go. So does Christie really think he could clobber President Obama in 2012? And if so, is he correct?

Let’s start with the evidence in Christie’s favor. Last month, Zogby Interactive released a poll that showed the governor leading a hypothetical field of Republican hopefuls by a solid 10 percentage points; the silver medalist, Mitt Romney, scored a paltry 17 percent to Christie’s commanding 27 percent. Even more impressive, Christie was the only Republican who bested Obama among all respondents (43 percent to 40 percent), with much of his strength coming from independents, who preferred the New Jerseyan by a wide, 13-point margin (42 percent to 29 percent).              Continue reading here…

 

GOP reality check: Obama looking tougher to beat in 2012

Politico

Just four months after posting historic election gains, Republicans are experiencing a reality check about 2012: President Barack Obama is going to be a lot tougher to defeat than he looked late last year.

Having gone from despondency in 2008 to euphoria last November, a more sober GOP is wincing in the light of day as they consider just how difficult unseating an incumbent president with a massive warchest is going to be, even with a still-dismal economy.

“I consider him a favorite, albeit a slight favorite,” said former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove. “Republicans underestimate President Obama at their own peril.”

Much of the GOP realism is rooted in a long-standing truism of American politics – that absent a major crisis of confidence, it’s highly difficult to defeat a sitting president.

But aside from the traditional advantages of incumbency, Republicans are also fretting about the strength of Obama’s campaign infrastructure, the potential limitations of their own field and, particularly, the same demographic weaknesses that haunted them in 2008.

The best indicator of the GOP outlook on 2012 may be the shape of the party’s prospective field. Many of the contenders who can afford to sit out a presidential election cycle and wait for an open-seat race – Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush come to mind – seem intent on doing so.   More here…

Monday Morning Blog Round up

  

Despite talk of concessions, Egyptian military cracking down

AOL Agrees To Acquire The Huffington Post   

Bush Cancels Swiss Trip Due To Fear Of Torture Prosecution, Mass Prote..

The Rapeublican Party

John Thune cheerfully creates an alternate reality

Al Jazeera English website traffic up 2500%

Bill O’Reilly’s Network Interview with President Obama

Egypt’s vice president agrees to new reforms

Cheney calls Mubarak a good friend, U.S. ally

Poll: Americans like bipartisan State of the Union seating

It looks like Democratic Senator Mark Udall’s(Colo.) suggestion has taken hold…

Politico

Americans are sold on the idea of bipartisan seating at the State of the Union address, a new poll finds.

Of those surveyed, 72 percent say that Democrats and Republicans should sit together during the president’s annual address Jan. 25, rather than in the traditional partisan arrangement, according to the new poll from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation released Friday.

Another 22 percent said they would prefer the partisan seating, according to the survey, which included 1,014 adults between Jan. 14 to 16.

Members of Congress have called for decorum and civility since President Barack Obama’s speech in Tucson commemorating the dead and wounded in the shooting earlier this month. The bipartisan seating has cropped up as one way for members to demonstrate their commitment to the new mood on Capitol Hill.

The idea is catching on. Since Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) circulated a letter last week calling for bipartisan seating arrangements, his office reports 59 members of congress have signed on to the effort.

The initiative is undoubtedly more popular in the Senate, where 33 members have officially signed on to sit with members of the opposing party.

Today Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced that she will sit with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). Gillibrand, who represents one of the most liberal states in the country, and Thune, a potential candidate for president, are also known for being two of the most telegenic senators in the chamber.

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, also announced Friday that he will sit with his home state colleague, newly elected Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, during the president’s address.

George Will Definitively Declares Sarah Palin “Cannot Be Elected President”

Sarah Palin addressing the Republican National...

Image via Wikipedia

Well, I suppose if George Will says it, then it must be true! (snark)

Even before Mr. Will made the above statement, other Americans already knew that Sarah Palin was not electable to the highest office in the land.

Mediaite

We’re now less than two years away from the next presidential election, which means it’s time for 2012 presidential speculation to begin! The first This Week of the year kicked off the talk with some of the biggest names on the Republican side, and George Will seems to have found through the litany of names what he called “the President’s secret weapon”: Sarah Palin’s inability to be elected.

Asked by Jake Tapper (filling in for Christiane Amanpour) to evaluate the Republican landscape for November 2012, Will began by addressing the fact that Mike Huckabee had performed particularly well in the primaries in 2008– better than Mitt Romney– and then added this salacious tidbit of speculation:

“The President’s secret weapon may be the Republican nominating electorate… There is one person, high in the polls, Sarah Palin, who cannot be elected president because she cannot compete where elections are decided. In the collar counties outside Chicago, Montgomery County outside of Philadelphia– just can’t compete there.”

He went on give some predictions based on the fact that nominees, he explained, tend to win the majority of electoral votes in the Mississippi Valley– giving Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. John Thune, and the suddenly-popular Gov. Mitch Daniels a leg up in that area.

It will be interesting to see if and when Palin confronts such derision, especially if this will set the tone for how pundits will discuss her chances for the rest of the year. While in 2010– two years removed– she could afford to be glib about it over Twitter, her chances as she races the clock will increasingly depend on how presidential she can come across, that trait one that, using her behavior last year alone, may be easy to “refudiate.”