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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 9th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)

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www.readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/9250-gop-ticket-2012-romney-rubio

GOP Ticket 2012: Romney-Rubio

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Blog

03 January 12

ince my New Year’s prediction that Obama would select Hillary Clinton for his running mate in 2012 (and Joe Biden would become Secretary of State), I’ve been swamped by requests for my GOP prediction. Here goes.

You can forget the caucuses and early primaries. Mitt Romney will be the nominee. Republicans may be stupid but the GOP isn’t about to commit suicide. The other candidates are all weighed down by enough baggage to keep a 747 on the tarmac indefinitely.

For his running mate, Romney will choose Marco Rubio, the junior senator from Florida. Why do I say this?

First, Romney will need a right-winger to calm and woo the Republican right. Tea Partiers are attracted to Rubio – an evangelical Christian committed to reducing taxes and shrinking government. Rubio’s meteoric rise in the Florida House before coming to Congress was based on a string of conservative stances on state issues.

Rubio is also a proven campaigner, handily winning four House elections starting in 2002, and then beating popular incumbent Republican governor Charlie Crist in the 2010 Republican primary – with the help of Tea Partiers.

Moreover, he’s only 40, thereby giving the GOP ticket some youthful vigor.

And he’s Hispanic – a Cuban-American – at a time when the GOP needs to court the Hispanic vote.

Rubio’s only baggage is the “son of exiles” controversy – his suggestion that his parents were refugees forced out of Cuba by Castro when in fact they moved to the United States before the Cuban revolution.

But this isn’t the sort of slip that would keep him off the ticket. In fact, Romney has defended Rubio, saying “I think the world of Marco Rubio, support him entirely and think that the effort to try to smear him was unfortunate and bogus.”

Finally, and most critically, Florida is a crucial swing state. Rubio would help deliver it.

So it will be Obama-Clinton versus Romney-Rubio.

And what’s my prediction for Election Day? Obama-Clinton hands down.

I warn you, though. Political predictions, economic forecasts, and astrology differ in only one respect. Astrology has a fairly good record of being correct.

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Our added comment is that a Ron Paul run on the Libertarian line is not yet excluded and can not be analyzed as disaffected Obama-youth are not predictable. The placement of Rubio on the ticket will though placate the Tea-people and Clinton might bring back some Right of Center Democrats. In summary – the Robert Reich predictions seem to us best choices for the two parties. January 31 is the date for the Florida primaries with the possibility of an indication of the probability for the suggested ticket.

Further – at this time above R-R ticket is the best money can buy for the Republicans. Bringing in Hillary Clinton would be a sign of  conventional political maturity for an Obama II presidency and less risky then bringing in to the party a young new star for Democratic continuity. Hillary Clinton appeases some, and leaves open the door for her running for President in 2016.  On the other hand it is the kind of choice that might encourage Ron Paul even if he were rather pleased with the choice of Rubio on the Republican ticket.

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Robert Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including “The Work of Nations,” “Locked in the Cabinet,” “Supercapitalism” and his latest book, “AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America’s Future.” His ‘Marketplace’ commentaries can be found on publicradio.com and iTunes.
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Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul, 01/06/12. (photo: Jamie Turner/Guardian UK)
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul, 01/06/12. (photo: Jamie Turner/Guardian UK)

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Ron Paul’s Useful Idiots on the Left

By Megan Carpentier, Guardian UK

07 January 2012

f you told a liberal in 2008 that progressives ought to give Republican Texas Congressman Ron Paula chance because he was the most anti-war candidate on the ballot, you would have been laughed out of the room – or, more likely, the bar. But in 2012, some prominent (and white, male) progressives arearguing exactly that. What’s changed? Not Ron Paul, that’s for certain.

He’s still the same guy who thinks the US should withdraw from the WTO and the United Nations, and who wants to eliminate foreign aid and the Department of Commerce and all its trade regulation and promotion activities. But, we are told, since he advocates for a complete, immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan (which military intervention, notably, he voted for), he’s a better foreign policy candidate than President Obama.

And, if his newest converts are to be believed, his support for the withdrawal from Afghanistan, his impassioned pleas for a return of Americans’ civil liberties from an overreaching government and his opposition to the drug war are reason enough to give the man a chance. After all, they say, President Obama has not delivered on his promises and supporters’ expectations in those areas, either. But to the women, minorities and LGBT people (and their supporters) who have paid attention to Paul’s record, it comes as little surprise that his most vociferous supporters on the left are pale and male … and their arguments stale.

This is the man who, to trumpet his pro-life agenda in Iowa to social conservatives, released an ad that questions whether repealing Roe v Wade would eliminate women’s abortion rights in enough states, since it would create “abortion tourism” (a situation with which the Irish and the British are already familiar). He opposed the Obama administration’s decision to declare birth control a preventative medicine, which pressures insurance companies to cover it without co-pays. He has said he would allow states to decide same-sex marriage rights for their citizens but keep the Defense of Marriage Act intact – which restricts federal rights, including immigration and social security survivor benefits (among others) to opposite-sex married couples.

He also opposes the US supreme court decision in Lawrence v Texas that decriminalised consensual sodomy in the United States. He opposes the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He wants to restrict birthright citizenship, denying the children of immigrants legal status in the United States if they are born here, voted to force doctors and hospitals to report undocumented immigrants who seek medical treatment, and sponsored bills to declare English the official language of the United States and restrict government communications to English. And that’s just for starters.

Nonetheless, there have been calls by progressives, most notably Glenn Greenwald, to ignore all of that and more, and focus instead on Obama’s policy failings to have “an actual debate on issues of America’s imperialism”. He went on to argue that there are no policy priorities more imperative than those – certainly not abortion, immigration rights, LGBT equality, racial justice or any other aspect of the US’s extensive foreign policy. (Greenwald, who is gay, was in the relatively privileged position of being able to travel to Brazil to circumvent Doma.) And so people whose lives, safety, livelihoods and health depend on them should accept that they are trading their concerns for, say, the lives of Muslim children killed by bombs in Afghanistan.

In fact, many of Ron Paul’s newest supporters on the left look strikingly like the majority of the ones on the right who have been following him for years: the kinds of people whose lives won’t be directly affected by all those pesky social conservative policies Paul would seek to enact as president, either due to their race, class, gender or sexual orientation.

And so, to the women who worry they’d be left without access to reproductive healthcare, immigrants who need to see a doctor or understand a government form (like an immigration form), African Americans who rightly wonder what this country would look like in the absence of a civil rights act, and LGBT people who would like to get married and get access to the rights straight Americans take for granted on a daily basis, all are told, again, to wait: there are more important issues to talk about, more important problems to be solved, more life-or-death situations that we’re simply ignoring out of selfishness.

Seems like there’s a lot of that going around.

• Guardian UK Editor’s Note: Glenn Greenwald has responded in this discussion thread to the specific criticism directed at him in this article

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Gary Bauer to endorse GOP presidential candidate Santorum

Gary Bauer, a leader in the social conservative movement, will endorse Rick Santorum’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Sunday in South Carolina, according to a person close to Bauer.

Bauer, who chairs the Campaign for Working Families, concluded that, of all the candidates, the former Pennsylvania senator comes closest to following the conservative principles of former President Ronald Reagan.

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The Myth of New Hampshire’s Maverick Voters
Read the article at Mother Jones

The Myth of New Hampshire’s Maverick Voters

Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul hope to win the state’s much-hyped bloc of independents. Too bad it doesn’t exist.

—By Andy Kroll

| Fri Jan. 6, 2012
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and for the Democrats a helpful suggestion from Bill Keller, Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times/ IHT newspapers and internet.
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“A political scientist I know proposes the following choreography: In the late winter or early spring, Hillary steps down as secretary of state to rest and write that book. The president assigns Biden — the former chairman of Senate Foreign Relations — to add State to his portfolio, making him the most powerful vice president in history. Come the party convention in September, Obama swallows his considerable pride and invites a refreshed Hillary to join the ticket. Biden keeps State. The musicians play “Happy Days Are Here Again” as if they really mean it.”

“Of course, this is more exciting if it’s a surprise, and now I’ve spoiled it. Sorry. But not as sorry as I’ll be if — as I fear — it’s just a fantasy.”

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