“There will be a time when loudmouthed, incompetent people seem to be getting the better of you. When that happens, you only have to be patient and wait for them to self-destruct. It never fails.” – Margaret Thatcher
Maybe Governor Palin really is Alley-Cat smart. But then I never was in doubt. Just look at her improving poll numbers while her future opponents and longtime-foes implode. If this keeps up, people will be BEGGING for Sarah Palin to get in the race.
In fact, they already are, if only by their lack of enthusiasm and growing doubts about the current crop of contenders.
Washington Times writer Eric Golub described the sorry state of the 2011 GOP debates so far …
With Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin not (as of now) in the race and John Bolton declining to run, the nine candidates on stage fell into two categories.
Two of them are insane.
One of the other candidates is a smarmy, smug, substanceless billionaire’s son who has virtually no support in the GOP polls but is the darling of the national liberal media. Republicans don’t want a liberal media darling.
These debates will never become serious until only the serious candidates remain on stage. Serious does not necessarily have to be about polls, though they matter. It means having something of value to say.
Get the gadflies off the stage. They suck up oxygen from the real candidates. With time being the most precious and finite resource, useful questions don’t get asked, depriving Americans of meaningful answers.
The stock market crashed 500 points the day of the debate, finishing down almost 400 points. The crashing market of the past few weeks was ignored in the debate.
Solyndra was briefly alluded to, but beyond that, questions about fraud in the environmental industry were absent. The “Fast and Furious” scandal, which involved American guns being given to Mexican drug lords and used to kill American law enforcement agents, was completely ignored.
Bashar Assad in Syria is murdering his own citizens in the street. That was untouched.
The situation in Libya and the new leaders in Egypt were untouched.
Is it any wonder Governor Palin has chosen wisely to remain on the sideline and let the circus thin out a bit before wading in as a serious candidate with serious ideas about reforming this country? Does she want to be the 10th candidate on the podium, trading jabs and meaningless talking points with all the also-rans? I don’t know how long the thick herd of other candidates will remain in the race. But I take Governor Palin at her word when she said recently that she believes there will be candidates “coming and going” in both major party nominating races as she weighs her announcement to jump in.
Moreover, each day she waits, we are able to learn more and more about the “frontrunners” for the Republican nomination. The American Thinker this week published an excellent piece by Brian Carter that, similar to Whitney’s recent article, described Perry’s Solyndra.
In Texas, bio-tech firm Convergen LifeSciences looks a lot like Governor Rick Perry’s Solyndra.
Governor Perry manages the Emerging Technology Fund (ETF), providing financial support to companies developing new technology in the hope of creating high-tech jobs. First created in 2005, ETF is made up of regional panels that screen proposals for a statewide advisory panel (all appointed by Perry). ETF dispersed $342 million through August 2010.
Like Solyndra, Convergen’s project to develop a lung cancer treatment was easily identified as a speculative endeavor. Convergen’s proposal was rejected at the regional review board, part of the normal ETF evaluation process designed to insulate the program from politics.
Solyndra had George Kaiser, mega-fund-raiser for Obama. Convergen had David Nance, mega-donor for Perry. Nance is the founder of Convergen. Despite several business and personal bankruptcies — including previously failed companies partially funded by the state — Nance managed to donate $335,000 to Perry’s campaigns, association fundraisers, and foundation.
As in the case of Solyndra, Convergen received help in circumventing the normal process. This part is very murky. Somehow, the proposal that failed the regional review was presented at the closed-door session of the state advisory panel (which previously included Nance), where it was approved. While the governor’s office claimed that an appeal was filed, there is no appeals process in ETF’s charter. The process by which Convergen received $4.5 million — the highest amount ever awarded — was “extraordinary.”
Where Solyndra received a below-inflation interest rate, Convergen gave Texas an 8% annual interest promissory note with no due date.
Just like Solyndra, the principal investors unloaded risks on taxpayers. According to the previously secret state grant application, Convergen founders put up only $1,000 each, while Texas taxpayers put up $4.5 million. They were entering phase II clinical trials in late 2010, but only 33% of successful phase II drugs make it to market, and the success rate for cancer drugs is only 4.7%.
The big difference between Solyndra and Convergen is that Convergen hasn’t failed. Not yet, at least. The odds of success might be better than a roulette wheel, but this is taxpayer money.
Convergen is not an isolated case, either. In fact, Nance previously received state money “at the direction of the Governor’s budget office” for a now-bankrupt company which still owes Texas $50,000. Max Talbott served on Perry’s ETF panel and simultaneously was a paid consultant for several firms that sought and received money from the ETF. While he claims that he recused himself for some conflicts (in closed-door sessions), conflict of interest questions remain for other clients; $16 million of ETF funds went to the firms of major Perry donors, and $27 million of ETF funds went to firms of former ETF advisory board members.
There are also questions about unusual access by lobbyists who went to work for Perry and then returned to lobbying for firms doing business with the state. Still more questions exist about major donors influencing decisions, approvals, and the reorganization of state agencies. Much of this will almost certainly be revealed in the course of the campaign.
Indeed. Had Governor Palin jumped in the race, few would be talking about Convergen. They would all be converging on her!
I also think it’s wise for her to let Perry and Romney, in the words of Chris Wallace: “Bicker at one another like an unhappily married couple.” Their act is already getting tired, and Perry is proving not up to the task of landing any rhetorical hard punches on his chief rival. (Apparently he only excels at finger-jabbing college students and septuagenarians.)
Romney is proving to be the slickest candidate in the race. Not only has he found a way to slither around his record of flip-flopping (Now he claims if it wasn’t in his 2010 book, it doesn’t count) but he’s also given us a new rationale for why he inflicted a massively expensive health insurance mandate on his state. After all, he told us all quite clearly Thursday night that 92% of Massachussetts residents had health insurance coverage when he took office. What?! Yes, you heard that right. Romney, the world’s most competent corporate manager evah revealed that his state didn’t have a market failure with regard to health insurance prior to Romneycare.
So one of his first orders of business as governor was to push a mandate on everyone in his state that managed to kill thousands of jobs, raise insurance premiums, and only boost the number of insured by 3-4 percentage points.
We learned in Investor’s Business Daily today that there are chronically about 8% of Americans who are uninsured or uncovered by the existing government safety net. That’s a manageable problem that doesn’t require trillion-dollar takeovers of 17% of the economy. What’s next for Mandate Mitt? Upon learning that only 92% of Americans own cell phones will he push for universal cell phone purchase?
Bottomline: Governor Palin waits with the patience that most of us can only imagine. And the longer she waits, the better she looks in absentia. Just like Lady Thatcher suggested.
Here’s a list of the upcoming debates:
|October 11th, 2011
||8pm ET on Bloomberg Television – Pre-debate coverage begins at 7pm ET
Location: Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH
Sponsor: Bloomberg, The Washington Post and WBIN-TV
|October 18th, 2011
||Air time TBD on CNN
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Sponsor: CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference
|November 9th, 2011
||8pm ET on CNBC
Location: Oakland University in Rochester, MI
Sponsor: CNBC and the Michigan Republican Party
|December 10th, 2011
||Air time TBD on ABC
Location: Des Moines, IA
Sponsor: ABC News and Republican Party of Iowa
|January 12th, 2012
||Air time TBD on PBS
Location: Iowa Public Television in Johnston, IA
Sponsor: Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television
|January 30th, 2012
||Air time TBD on Fox News
Location: Des Moines, IA
Sponsor: Fox News and Republican Party of Iowa
||Air time TBD on ABC – Likely between February 7th and 13th
Sponsor: ABC News and WMUR
||Air time TBD on Fox News – Likely between the 19th and 27th
Sponsor: Fox News and South Carolina Republican Party
|March 5th, 2012
||Air time TBD on NBC
Location: Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA
Sponsor: Reagan Library, NBC News and Politico
And the state filing deadlines, according to Jim Geraghty at NRO:
Iowa caucus: No “filing” per se for candidates.
New Hampshire: November 21.
South Carolina: November 1.
Nevada caucus: No formal “filing” of candidates.
Florida: October 31
Michigan: October 23
* The Utah filing deadline is actualy January 15th, according to the state website. Thanks to alert readers for pointing it out.
And Governor Palin’s announced speeches (not complete):
Oct. 7: St. Louis, Mo. – Defending the Republic with Glenn Beck
Oct. 8: Lynchburg, Va. – Extraordinary Women National Conference and broadcast
Oct. 11: Seoul, South Korea – World Knowledge Forum keynote speech
Oct. 22: Tupelo, MS – Extraordinary Women conference
Mar. 17: Greenville, SC – Extraordinary Women conference
Apr. 28: Birmingham, AL – Extraordinary Women conference