Archive for the ‘Moderate’ Category

Chuck Hagel: The “Perfect Fit” for Secretary of Defense

December 31, 2012

One of the first ways I got involved with politics was being part of the Internet movement that supported former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) for President back in 2008.  Back then I ran the Michigan for Hagel 2008 blog and co-ran the Students for Hagel blog.  Once Hagel announced he wasn’t running, the group disbanded, but a few of the leaders of the movement have stayed in touch.  When rumors came out that President Obama was considering Hagel for Defense Secretary, we decided to come together and ensure that the smear campaign against Hagel wasn’t successful.

He has combat experience—having served in the Vietnam War as an infantry squad leader, he achieved the rank of Sergeant and was awarded multiple medals including two Purple Hearts.  After leaving the military, Hagel was dedicated to helping American troops and veterans.  He was appointed Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration, where he fought for funding for VA programs, and he served as president and CEO of the USO.

Hagel also had a successful career in the private sector, co-founding a cell phone manufacturing company and serving as CEO of American Information Systems.

In short, Hagel has the military and administrative experience needed to be America’s next Secretary of Defense.

And despite the arguments made by some, Hagel’s positions do generally fit with the Republican Party.

Yes, it is true that Hagel was critical of many of President George W. Bush’s policies, including the Iraq War, but much of his disagreement with the Bush Administration dealt with the lack of transparency.  Throughout his Senate career, Hagel fought for transparency in the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and encouraged open Congressional debate, rather than quick votes on such important issues.  Isn’t that at the heart of the Republican Party—encouraging open public debate instead of shady, quick votes to ram legislation through? Hagel captured this principle in saying, “To question your government is not unpatriotic—to not question your government is unpatriotic.” Considering that right now, the GOP is fighting for transparency on the issues of the conflict in Libya and Benghazi, doesn’t it make sense to support someone who fought for DoD transparency, from both a Republican President and a Democratic Senate?  The fact that Hagel’s fight for transparency transcended political boundaries is exactly the reason he’s perfect for the Department of Defense.  The Defense Secretary shouldn’t be loyal to a party; he should be loyal to American and her national security.  And Hagel has agreed with this, saying, “I took an oath of office to the Constitution, I didn’t take an oath of office to my party or my president.”

And labeling Hagel a liberal based on his Iraq policy is absurd.  Hagel’s plan for Iraq was different than both the mainstream Republican and Democratic plans at the time. Rather than withdraw as soon as possible or stay indefinitely, Hagel advocated for moving our troops out of the areas of civil war and to the borders. This would ensure that terrorists did not flee or enter the country, while leaving the Iraqis to resolve the inner conflicts, a job that they, not the U.S., were best suited for.

On the issue of Israel, he has defended “our continued commitment to Israel’s defense” and acknowledged the “special and historic bond” between the U.S. and Israel. At the same time, he realizes that peace with its neighbors is the best thing for Israel.

While acknowledging that the defense budget needs to be cut, Hagel has never come out in support of across-the-board sequestration cuts.  In fact, it was because of reckless Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives that we are facing such drastic across-the-board cuts.  The defense sequestration cuts would come about as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was supported by 174 House Republicans and 28 Senate Republicans.  Passing such a bill to allow across-the-board cuts was reckless, and Hagel has never come out in support of sequestration; however, like many Republicans, he agrees that the Defense budget is bloated and should be cut where possible.

And Hagel supports continued sanctions against Iran and has never ruled out military action against Iran to prevent them from achieving nuclear capabilities.  But as a result of his experience in Vietnam, he realizes that we shouldn’t be putting our servicemen and women in harm’s way unless combat is absolutely necessary.  And that’s a good principle that the GOP should agree with.

Does Hagel agree with every single word in the Republican platform? No; but then again, who does? In fact, he had an 84% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. Republicans could not ask for a better nominee for Secretary of Defense from a Democratic President, and instead of hounding Hagel for disagreements in the past, Republicans should rally around him as a defender of many conservative principles and causes.

Republicans can’t just oppose Hagel because they want to oppose the President.  It’s time to stop being the party of “No”.  Hagel is one of our own, and while he may lean more moderate, he’d make an excellent Secretary of Defense.  It would be a shame if his nomination or confirmation was destroyed because the GOP wants to oppose Obama.  There is no good reason the GOP should oppose someone like Hagel.

For those who would like to show their support for Chuck Hagel, I would encourage you to like the Facebook page that was started, and if you’re on Twitter, I would encourage you to use the hashtag #SupportHagel in your tweets on the subject.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

New York 23rd District Election Prediction: Hoffman Wins

November 2, 2009

I already put out my predictions for the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races.  The other major race going on tomorrow is the special election for the New York 23rd Congressional District.  Originally, there were 3 main candidates running: Republican Dede Scozzafava, Democrat Bill Owens, and Conservative Doug Hoffman.  Hoffman entered the race because people had criticized Scozzafava as being too moderate, some saying she was even more liberal than the Democrat.  Top Republicans were split in who they supported, with some Republicans like Newt Gingrich supporting Scozafava, and Sarah Palin supporting Doug Hoffman.

Last week, Scozzafava dropped out of the race and endorsed Owens.  At that point, Scozzafava was trailing in the polls by over 10%, and the race between Owens and Hoffman was close.  Since Scozzafava dropped out, Hoffman has skyrocketed in the polls, and I now expect him to win.

Even though Scozzafava dropped out, it’s too late to change the ballots, so she will remain on the ballot.  Here’s my prediction:

  1. Doug Hoffman (C) – 53%
  2. Bill Owens – 42%
  3. Dede Scozzafava – 5%

I really don’t see Hoffman having any problems now that Scozzafava has dropped out – the district leans Republican and hasn’t gone for a Democrat running for the District since 1992.  I see Hoffman winning pretty easily tomorrow, but we’ll see – it’s been an interesting race so far – there could always be another surprise.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican

Analysis of Senator Joe Lieberman’s Speech at the RNC

September 3, 2008

Whoa – apparenlty I typed Joe Biden all over the place in this instead of Lieberman (that’s what happens at this time of night – you go a little crazy) – so it’s all fixed now:

Again, like Bush’s speech, I was in a meeting when Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) spoke, so here’s my late analysis:

Lieberman is now talking about Hurricane Gustav, and saying that it hurts all of us, because we’re one family.  “The last thing we think about is whether one of the victims was a Democrat, or a Republican, because we’re  all Americans.”  Good quote.

“You know, the sad truth is–it shouldn’t take a hurricane to bring us together like this.”  I’m guessing that his moderate speech may not make a lot of Republicans happy.

He’s now talking about gas prices and  threats from abroad.  He’s talking about Americans seeing politicians “fighting each other rather than fighting for the American people.”  Good quote, and he’s playing up unity a LOT, something that may not go over well with the Republicans, but something that’s definitely going to help McCain with the moderates.  Now he’s going on to talk about George Washington warning future Americans about getting caught up in partisan fights.

“And that brings me directly to why I’m here to night.  What after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this?”  And that one got a huge roar from the crowd – they really like him.  “Well, I’ll tell you what, I’m here to support John McCain because country matters more than party.”  A GREAT quote, and the crowd really liked that one.  And he’s now swaying his message a little more to the conservative side, something that’ll please the Republicans, but also still attract a lot of moderate voters who are watching his speech now.

“I am here tonight for a simple reason.  John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead America forward.  And dear friends, I am here tonight because John McCain’s whole life testifies to a great truth: Being a Democrat or a Republican is important, but it is nowhere near as important as being an American.”  Again, a great unity quote, but one that still doesn’t anger the Republican base.

Now he’s talking about both candidates ending partisan gridlock in Washington, and saying that only John McCain has actually shown that he will do this.

He’s saying that John McCain thinks that it shouldn’t take a natural disaster to teach politicians that people don’t care about what party you’re from, but that people just want their every-day problems solved.

John McCain will “put our country first” – and he said that that’s something that John McCain has done every day.

He’s talking about McCain doing campaign finance laws, and the 9/11 Commission, and national security reforms, all of these working across the aisle, as well as working across the aisle to get support for nominations of Supreme Court justices as well as other federal judges.

“My Democratic friends know all about John’s record of independence and accomplishment.  And you see, that’s why I think some of them are spending so much time and so much money trying to convince the American people that John McCain is someone else.  I am here to tell you what I think you know.  But I want to speak to the people out there–don’t be fooled by some of these political statements and advertisements.  God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man.”  And that got a HUGE response from the crowd.  And like I’ve been saying all throughout his speech, this  is  Lieberman trying to make John McCain look appealing to independents and undecideds.  Lieberman isn’t at this convention to speak to Republicans.  He’s at this convention to get media attention hoping that it’ll catch the eyes and ears of people OUTSIDE of the convention hall.

“If John McCain was just another go-along partisan politician, he never would’ve taken on corrupt Republican lobyists, or big corporations that were cheating the American people or powerful colleagues in Congress who were wasting taxpayer money, but he did.  If John McCain was another go-along politician, he never would’ve led the fight to fix our broken immigration system or acutally do something about global warming, but he did.  As a matter of fact friends, if John McCain is just another partisan Republican, then I’m Michael Moore’s favorite Democrat, and I’m not!”  That was a pretty good quote at the end.  And overall, it was good to consistently push McCain as a moderate and a reformer, although that point is getting a little old now.  The speech is seeming very redundant to me.

“And I think you know that I’m not.  Senator Barack Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man” who can do great things for us in the future, but eloquence isn’t a substitute for a good record, especially not during these tough times for America.  It was good for a Democratic caucuser to say that Obama is not experienced, especially since it came from one of his Senat colleagues.

“In the Senate [Obama] has not reached across party lines to accomplish anything significant, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic party to get something done.”  That’s good.  Not only is he showing what McCain has done to be a moderate, he’s showing how Obama has NOT been a moderate.

Talking about contrasting Obam with Bill Clinton.  Saying at least Clinton accomplished welfare reform (I bet that wasn’t too popular at the convention) and a balanced budget.

Now he’s on to talking about Governor Palin, talking about her being a reformer and taking on special interest groups and reaching across party lines.  “She is a leader we can count on to help John shake up Washingotn.”

“I sincerely believe that the real ticket for change this year is the McCain/Palin ticket.”  And that’s great – he’s taking Obama’s main point and saying that it shouldn’t be Obama’s point, but McCain’s.

“The Washington beaurocrats and the power brokers are not going to be able to build a pen that will hold in these 2 mavericks.  It’s just not possible.  Together, I think we can count on John and Sarah to fight for American and to fight for you, the American people, and that’s what our country needs most right now.”  It’s good for him to use the maverick description, especially after so many people have said that McCain isn’t really a maverick.

Talking about dangerous enemies in the world.  “What America needs now … is not more party unity [but] more national unity.”  A good quote that again appeals to the moderates.

He’s talking about this being true because we’re a country at war.  He’s talking about McCain having “the guts and the judgment to sound the alarm about the mistakes we were making in Iraq” and about Obama wanting to cut funding from troops on the battlefield.  He’s talking about McCain supporting the surge, and the surge was successful.  He’s talking about troops coming home and coming home in honor, all because of the surge, and attributing a lot of that to McCain.  And that’s someting that appeals to everybody.  Nobody (well almost nobody) dislikes the troops.

He’s talking about McCain being liked and respected by leaders across the globe.  “John McCain will be a President our allies will trust and our enemies will fear, and that’s the kind of President we need in today’s world.”  A great quote, again one that will appeal to everybod, since we’ve been seen as a country who’s hurt our relationships with our allies.

“I want to speak directly to my fellow Democrats and independents … I know many of you are angry and frustrated by our government and our politics today, and for good reason.  You may be thinking about voting for John McCain but you’re not sure yet.  Some of you may never have voted for a Republican before, and frankly in an ordinary election, you probably never would.  But I want you to believe with me that this is no ordinary election … because these are not ordinary times.  And trust me, John McCain is no ordinary candidate.”  Good.  He’s appealing to (and talking directly to) independents and Democrats, and doing a good job of trying to sway them over.

“You may not agree with John McCain on every issue, but you can always count on him to be straight with you on where he stands, and to stand for what he thinks is right for our country regardless of the politics. … You can count on John McCain to be what he is naturally–a restless reformer who will clean up Washington and get our government working again for all of the American people.”  Appealing to everybody as a whole, which in itself appeals to moderates – he’s doing a good job, a bit redundant, but a good job.

“So tonight, I want to ask you, whether you are an independent, a Reagan Democrat, a Clinton Democrat, or just a plain old Democrat, this year, when you vote for President, vote for the person you believe is best for our country, not for the party you happen to belong to.”  A great quote again – and that appeals to almost every Lieberman fan out there.  And that’s something that EVERYBODY should do in EVERY election – dont’ vote for the party!  Vote for the PERSON!

He’s saying, vote for McCain, because he’s always put America first.  “My friends, I appeal to Democrats, independents, and Republicans.  Let’s come together this November to make a great Ameraican patriot, John McCain, our next great President.  Thank you.  God bless you, and God bless America.”

And there you have it.  Joe Lieberman’s speech, mainly targetted at Democrats and Independents, since, obviously, he’s not going to sway many Republicans who haven’t already been swayed.

Overall, I liked it, but it was kinda redundant.  Like President Bush’s, I’ll give this one an 8/10.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Rasmussen Poll: Like Joe Biden, Sarah Palin Hurts Her Ticket as Much as She Helps

September 2, 2008

This is kinda like a follow-up of my first post, regarding Rasmussen’s poll about Joe Biden (D-DE).

1* John McCain named Sarah Palin to be his Vice Presidential running mate. Was this the right choice for McCain to make?

 

39% Yes

39% No

22% Not sure

Well, that’s not too good for Palin or McCain.  They’d better hope that those 22% start swinging toward Yes, otherwise McCain could be in trouble.

2* With Sarah Palin as his running mate, are you more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain?

 

37% More likely

38% Less likely

23% No impact

2% Not sure

That’s essentially the same thing as Joe Biden, except that Biden was at 32% for each (so more people saying no impact/undecideds), and Palin had 1% more saying that they are less likely to vote for the ticket because of her.

3* If necessary, is Sarah Palin ready to be President?

 

29% Yes

48% No

23% Not sure

And this is the question that’s REALLY going to hurt Palin. Nearly half of the people surveyed say she’s not ready. Personally, I disagree. I think, due to her experience as an executive, she has more experience than Obama, who spent a large chunk of his time in the Illinois Senate voting “Present” and has spent nearly half of his time as a U.S. Senator campaigning for President, but still, this is going to hurt McCain/Palin.

4* Inpolitical terms, is Sarah Palin very conservative, somewhat conservative, moderate, somewhat liberal, or very liberal?

 

45% Very conservative

30% Somewhat conservative

11% Moderate

2% Somewhat liberal

0% Very liberal

11% Not sure

Wow – most people saying that she’s very conservative is going to hurt.  Like I saidwhen the poll came out for Michelle Obama, you really want Very Conservative and Somewhat Conservative to be switched.  You want something similar to a bell curve (although with politics, unless you’re actually a moderate, this won’t happen).  This isn’t going to win over many moderate voters, but it will energize the base.

5*Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression of Sarah Palin?

 

31% Very favorable

21% Somewhat favorable

20% Somewhat unfavorable

16% Very unfavorable

10% Not familiar with Sarah Palin

2% Not sure

And this is where Palin does better than Biden.  She has a favorability rating of 52%, while Biden only had 48% (and that’s a difference larger than the margin of error).  She has an unfavorability rating of 36%, while Biden had one of 38%, so they were pretty close there.  Having 52% like you is a VERY good thing to have, so this is going to help Palin out quite a bit, now the McCain campaign just needs to show people that she’s ready to lead.

Here’s a few results broken up by party and gender (I don’t have a premium account, so what’s posted below is all I can get):

  • “69% of GOP voters believe the choice was a good one, while nearly as many Democrats (63%) disagree. Unaffiliated voters are evenly divided as well.”
  • “The night after the announcement, slightly more women voters viewed Palin as the right choice for McCain’s running mate, but now 41% say she was not, versus 36% who still believe she was a good choice. Forty-one percent (41%) of women say they are less likely now to vote for McCain because of Palin, as opposed to 31% who say they are more likely to support him. Women voters were essentially even on this question in the earlier survey.”
  • “Men still back McCain’s decision. Forty-one percent (41%) say she was the right choice, while 37% disagree. Earlier, men favored the decision by a 43% to 31% margin. Forty-three percent (43%) of men voters say they are more likely to vote for McCain because of his choosing of Palin as a running mate, but 34% say they are less likely to do so. This is a jump in support from the earlier survey.”
  • “But even a plurality of men (47%) say Palin is not ready to be president in the event of the 72-year-old McCain being incapacitated while in the White House, although 32% believe she is ready. Women voters by a nearly two-to-one margin believe Palin is not ready.”

So, there you have it.  Palin is starting off I think worse than Biden did, but she has a lot more potential to improve than Biden does.  We’ll see what happens on Election Day!

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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39% of Likely Voters Think Michelle Obama Is Very Liberal

August 25, 2008

Here’s a new poll from Rasmussen Reports:

4* In political terms, is Michelle Obama very liberal, somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat conservative, or very conservative?

39% Very liberal

25% Somewhat liberal

20% Moderate

4% Somewhat conservative

1% Very conservative

11% Not sure

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to all the demographics (with party breakdowns), but Rasmussen does say in the article that “Only 12% of likely Obama voters say Mrs. Obama is Very Liberal versus 69% of those who plan to vote for McCain. … Interestingly, while 63% of conservatives view her as Very Liberal, only 20% of liberals – and 28% of self-designated moderates — feel that way.”

This actually surprised me.  Of course, I think she’s very liberal, but 39% is a high number.  Normally the percentages for Very and Somewhat Liberal would be switched.  And having 20% of liberals say she’s very liberal is high too.  28% of moderates isn’t bad, but it’s on the higher side.  And with moderates, you want them to think that you’re a moderate too.

But, we’re not electing Michelle Obama, we’re voting for (or against) Barack.  What could make a difference is how much she affects her husband’s decision making.  Rasmussen asked that as well:

5* If Barack Obama is elected President, how involved will Michelle Obama be when it comes to making important policy decisions?

26% Very involved

31% Somewhat involved

25% Not very involved

4% Not at all involved

14% Not sure

And again, we have some demographics from the article: “Forty-six percent (46%) of likely Obama voters say Mrs. Obama will be at least somewhat involved in making important policy decisions, and only 12% think she will be Very Involved. But 41% of potential McCain voters expect her to be Very Involved in major policy decisions, and an additional 30% say they expect her to be somewhat involved. … Similarly, 24% of male voters and 27% of female voters expect her to be Very Involved in major policy decisions.”

And that seems pretty average to me, I just wish they’d have broken it down by ideology/party.  If anybody has a Premium account and can tell me the numbers (only if it’s legal), that’d be great!

So, Michelle Obama comes across as too liberal to too many people, and I think that that is going to hurt Barack, especially as he’s running against a semi-moderate conservative.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Rasmussen Poll: Joe Biden Helps Obama as Much as He Hurts Him

August 24, 2008

A new Rasmussen Reports poll came out yesterday asking questions about Barack Obama’s VP pick, Joe Biden:

Probably most important was question number 2:

2* With Joe Biden as his running mate, are you more likely or less likely to vote for Barack Obama?

32% More likely
32% Less likely

30% No impact
5% Not sure

So, Biden hurts as much as he helps.  That’s really not what you want to see your running mate do to your campaign.  I’m guessing a big chunk of the “Less Likely” category is Hillary supporters.

Here are some other questions:

1*Earlier today, Barack Obama named Joe Biden to be his Vice Presidential running mate. Was this the right choice for Obama to make?

39% Yes
25% No
35% Not sure

Most of the Clinton supporters said, “No,” I’m guessing.

3* If necessary, is Joe Biden ready to be President?

39% Yes
35% No
26% Not sure

Again, having only 4% more people think your running mate is ready to serve than people who think he’s not, is NOT a good margin.  So the same 39% in number 1 probably said yes here, but around another 10% don’t think he’s ready to lead.  Biden was NOT a good pick, simply because 1) He brings pretty much nothing to the table, and 2) Apparently, he’s not too popular as a VP/possible Presidential candidate (that’s obvious considering he got smashed in the primary).

4* In political terms, is Joe Biden very conservative, somewhat conservative, moderate, somewhat liberal, or very liberal?

3% Very conservative
7% Somewhat conservative

33% Moderate
25% Somewhat liberal
18% Very liberal

15% Not sure

OK, so 10% of the people poll are idiots and clearly should’ve said “Not sure”.  If Biden is a conservative, then I’m – I don’t know what I’d be if Biden is a conservative.  But this is probably the best question that Biden performed in.  A 33% moderate description is pretty good, and a 25% liberal description isn’t bad.  Since most of America leans left, he ideologically appeals to around 58% of America, but that’s just in general, not anything specific.

62-29*Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression of Joe Biden?

20% Very favorable
28% Somewhat favorable
19% Somewhat unfavorable
19% Very unfavorable
15% Not familiar with Joe Biden
3% Not sure

48% like him.  38% don’t like him.  18% know pretty much nothing.

Overall, if 48% say they like him, but only 32% say he makes them lean toward Obama, that means that around 16% weren’t impacted by his pick.  If 48% like him, but 39% say he was the right pick, that means that some Biden supporters think that, although they like him, he’ll overall not help the ticket.

So, who do I think Obama should’ve picked?  It should’ve been Senator Evan Bayh, from Indiana – at least he’s from a swing state.

Well, now I just have to wait for my text message from John McCain at 4:13 A.M. EDT next Saturday (why Obama sent it out that late/early seems odd to me – I was one of the few people in the Eastern time zone still awake.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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