April 16, 2012

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Jennifer Rubin interviews Ed Gillespie who recently signed on with the Romney team.

I caught up with the newest addition to the Mitt Romney campaign, former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie. He was on the road, but in a series of e-mail exchanges he gave Right Turn his take on the race. He is joining the campaign as a senior adviser, although he’s volunteering his time.

His experience in helping Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell win in a landslide may be more useful than he ever imagined. He tells me, “Bob McDonnell showed that a principled conservative can win big in a swing state, and he did it by talking about not only the features of conservative policies but the benefits. In other words, he didn’t just talk about keeping taxes low, he said that would help create jobs and enable people to decide for themselves how best to spend their hard earned money. We called it ‘finishing the sentence,’ and there is a valuable lesson in Gov. McDonnell’s success.”

Although Gillespie didn’t mention it, McDonnell also avoided getting bogged down in social issues in a race in which Democrats strained to raise wedge issues. That’s a wise pattern for Romney to follow as well.

Unlike President Obama, who seems determined to veer left, Gillespie has his eye on critical independent voters. …


Weekly Standard’s Jay Cost looks carefully at polls and sees Obama on thin ice.

Yesterday, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll seemed to confirm the meme that Barack Obama is pummeling Mitt Romney among women, helping the former open up a 7-point lead in the general election horse race.

What to make of this?

Well, for starters, the poll has an inexplicably large Democratic advantage – the party breakdown in the poll is 34 percent Democratic, 23 percent Republican, and 34 percent independent. As a point of historical comparison, the party spread in four of the last five elections since 2002 has basically been an even split between the two sides. In 2008, a “perfect storm” of bad news for the GOP, the party ID advantage was “only” +7. So, a Democratic advantage of +11 is an unjustifiable number, at least in terms of what the electorate is thinking.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey did a solid job of dressing down the pollsters for such an absurd Democratic skew, and I encourage you to read his response carefully. I’ll just add that I am always amused when pollsters find an advantage for Democratic candidates that is less than their Democratic oversample. In this case, ABC News/WaPo finds Obama’s job approval at +5 (50 percent approve to 45 percent disapprove), but that is not nearly so impressive in a D+11 sample!

Polls like this are useful, however, in a kind of “Nixon goes to China” sense. Put another way, if Democrats look weak in polls that are so ridiculously pro-Democratic, you know they are in trouble. …


How’s things in Wisconsin? This vote will be in a few months and might be a harbinger of things to come in November. Neal Boortz says Scott Walker can relax.  

Well, I think he can relax.  Pretty sure, actually.  

Governor Scott Walker is facing a recall election in Wisconsin as a result of a pretty impressive union petition drive.  Unions aren’t happy about losing some of their collective bargaining rights and actually having to pony up almost as much as private sector workers for their health insurance.  Oh! The humanity!  But I’m going on record here (oh yeah, Boortz on the record; now THAT’S news) saying that Scott Walker will win, as will the people of Wisconsin.

You’re right in wanting a little analysis here to go along with my prediction, and I’m only happy to oblige.  The problem the Wisconsin unions have in bringing about a successful recall election is rooted in the very way they managed to get enough petitions signed to bring about the election in the first place.  It’s also the reason unions want their unionization-by-intimidation (card check) law so badly.  Fact is, the union activists collected a good number of those signatures on those petitions through intimidation — and those who were intimidated can’t wait to express their true feelings on election day. 

To expand on the reason Walker has nothing to worry about, let’s focus on the methodology behind union elections and labor leaders’ dreams of card check …


Pickerhead was hoping Santorum would hang around long enough to get beat in Pennsylvania. Then we would be spared anymore of him. Toby Harnden notes his graceless departure.

Rick Santorum has bowed to reality by suspending his long-shot presidential bid. He had no hope of overhauling Mitt Romney’s delegate lead and the general election campaign against President Barack Obama had effectively already begun.

In dropping out, Santorum avoided the very real prospect of losing his home state of Pennsylvania, a loss which, combined with his 18-point Senate re-election loss there in 2006, would have been devastating to his future national prospects. Having won 11 states, Santorum had the opportunity to withdraw graciously, congratulate Mitt Romney – now his party’s presumptive nominee – and call for Republican unity in working to defeat President Barack Obama in November. A full endorsement was not necessary – Hillary Clinton did not immediately back Obama in 2008 – but an acknowledgement that Romney was the victor would have been an important first step towards party healing after a bruising primary battle.

Instead, Santorum blew it. His rambling 14-minute speech in Gettysburg, site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, barely mentioned Obama or the economy. …


We are not used to sensible items coming out of the World Bank, but City Journal has found a Bank report showing how free markets have created wealth in the poorest parts of the world.

The most significant events often escape media attention. How many would know from reading their daily newspaper or watching television that we live in an unprecedented economic period when the number of people living in extreme poverty is declining fast? According to a just-published World Bank report, the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 per day—or its local equivalent—has plummeted from 52 percent of the global population in 1981 to 22 percent in 2008. The World Bank doesn’t provide more recent data, but other indices show that the 2008 financial crisis did not interrupt this trend. For millions of households, crossing the symbolic $1.25 threshold means leaving destitution behind and moving toward a more dignified life—no trivial achievement. Moreover, this escape from poverty happens while the global population continues to grow. Doomsday prophets who warned about a ticking “population bomb” have not been vindicated, to say the least. Global warming messiahs, beware: human ingenuity proves able to cope with the predicaments of Mother Nature.

Thirty years ago, half of the planet lived in utter misery, and many commentators argued that poverty was destiny. At best, most pundits conceded that pockets of poverty could be alleviated through international aid. Only a handful of economists begged to differ: Theodor Schultz, Milton Friedman, and Peter Bauer were the mavericks advocating free-market policies for every nation as the way out of poverty. They have been proven right. China’s economy has been growing since the mid-1980s—when Deng Xiaoping, its de facto leader, abandoned central planning, opened the borders for foreign investment, and promoted entrepreneurship at home.

In 1991, after the Soviet economic model proved bankrupt, India left behind its socialist ideology, opened its borders to foreign competition, and deregulated its economy. The economies of the two most populous countries on earth have grown without interruption ever since. Remember, too, that South Korea and Taiwan understood the virtues of free markets long before China or India discovered them. Many smaller countries, across a huge range of cultures, soon followed suit. African governments, too, converted to free-market economics with significant results— Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, among others. …


Christopher Booker says the magazine Nature is one of the chief propagandists for the fading global warming theories.

Since the fading belief that the world is in the grip of runaway man-made global warming still threatens us with the biggest bill in history, it is rather important to know how far we can trust the science which is said to support that belief. One of the most vociferous cheerleaders in the cause has been the Nature, which calls itself “the world’s most prestigious weekly journal of science”.

Whenever some landmark event in the story is approaching – such as a world climate conference or a new report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – Nature can be relied on to come up with a new paper purporting to refute one of the more embarrassing objections to the orthodox theory. However thoroughly such a paper is then dismantled by expert critics, it will remain established as a pillar of the orthodoxy.

In 1996, as the Kyoto treaty approached, it was a paper claiming to show how the “fingerprint” of warming – the part of the atmosphere where it was most obvious – confirmed that it must be due to human activity. Two scientists promptly explained how the data showed precisely the opposite – warming that was man-made should be greatest in the upper troposphere and not, as it actually is, on the earth’s surface. The chief author of that bid to defend the orthodoxy was Ben Santer. It was his last-minute rewriting of a key passage in the IPCC’s second report – contradicting the text agreed by all the scientists responsible – that provoked the IPCC’s first real scandal. Frederick Seitz, the eminent US physicist who exposed this flagrant breach of the rules, described it as the most “disturbing corruption of the peer-review process” he had come across in all his 60 years as a scientist. …

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