Tales from the Trail

Are Republicans also losing the Asian vote?

Republican struggles winning over Hispanic-American voters have been well documented this campaign season, but there is some concern about another fast-growing ethnic group – Asian Americans.

Tom Davis, a former congressman from Virginia, discussed the Republican Party’s difficulties connecting with Hispanic voters, but said it could change that. ”They are a group that is certainly gettable,” the moderate Republican said.

However, Davis said his party should also seek to win over Asian voters.

“More troubling for Republicans is the fact they’re not winning Asians. Asians are culturally much more like Republicans. They tend to be entrepreneurial, they tend to be very upwardly mobile groups and they ought to be winning those groups in spades,” Davis said at the Reuters Washington Summit.

He said Republican messaging was part of its problem. “The rhetoric plays across a lot of different lines. You want to be a welcoming party,” Davis said. 

“I think sometimes we have elements who are more interested in purifying the party and that’s not the way you build coalitions. It might be a nice comfortable party, but you’ve turned the big tent into a pup tent,” he said.

Economy should be focus of 2012 election, GOP governors say

By Samson Reiny

As the battle for the Republican presidential nomination rages on between front-runner Mitt Romney and a resurgent Rick Santorum, governors from their party today said that economic recovery – not social issues – would be the main concern among voters heading to the ballot box in November.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, speaking after the National Governor’s Association’s annual meeting at the White House, said the divergent fiscal beliefs between Republicans and Democrats would be decisive for voters this election season.

“This president, President Obama, believes in a larger centralized government,” Jindal said, underscoring three straight years of trillion-plus dollar deficits undertaken under the current administration. “You’re going to contrast that with the Republican philosophy of limited government, of lower spending, of balancing our budgets, of growing the private sector economy.”

Jindal’s not running for president, but…

LOUISIANA GOVERNORS ELECTIONFirst, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says he isn’t running for president. Then out comes his prescription for righting the national economy. 

“What I’m saying is, if we actually focus on the real challenges facing our country, not get diverted into taking over car companies and healthcare (but) cut taxes, create jobs, our country can get back on the right path, right direction,” the rising Republican conservative star of the South tells NBC in an interview.

Political oracle Karl Rove has anointed Jindal as one of 10 potential GOP presidential candidates for 2012.  Seven others on the list are also current or former state governors. But the 39-year-old son of Indian immigrants is the only one who is his state’s first nonwhite governor since the Civil War era, whose popularity among voters that has scored one decisive election victory after another.  

Obama walks the blue carpet

Hollywood had its red carpet Oscar night for stars on Sunday. Washington followed two days later with President Barack Obama’s walk down the peacock blue and gold carpet of the House chamber for a speech to a joint session of Congress.

OBAMA/Candycane was the power fashion statement. Obama wore an eye-catching red tie with diagonal white stripes, Gov. Bobby Jindal giving the Republican response wore a red and white tie but his stripes were bigger. (The designers could not be determined by the untrained eye).

But the standing ovations preceded Obama’s entrance into the congressional chamber. First for US Airways Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who has become a national hero for safely landing a plane in New York’s Hudson River with no fatalities. The simple jewelry of his pilot wings adorned his uniformed breast.

New York, California want rejected stimulus dough

Watch out Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, New York and California would love those dollars you turn down from the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.
A few governors, namely Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, South Carolina’s Mark Sanford and Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, have all said that they may turn down some of the stimulus money for their states, particularly aid aimed at bolstering unemployment benefit programs.
“We can’t pay for the benefits already in the program, but to get the stimulus money, we’ve got to increase the program’s size and scale,” Sanford said on “Fox News Sunday”.
That has some other states hard hit by the deepening recession calling for the money to be sent their way, especially New York where Wall Street has been laying off workers by the thousands.MARKETS-STOCKS/
“If any governor — Democrat or Republican — leaves stimulus money on the table, then we respectfully request that funds be distributed to New York,” the state’s two Democratic senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, said in a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday.
Another New York lawmaker, Representative Anthony Weiner, plans to offer legislation that would redirect rejected stimulus funds to other states. 
“If some governors decide to reject the money, 45 other states should be able to use it to create thousands of jobs. We have plenty of projects across the country that will put people to work and help achieve long term economic growth and stability,” Weiner said in a statement.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Mike Segar (Wall Street in New York City.)

Bobby Jindal to the Republican Party’s Rescue


Republicans have chosen Louisiana’s young governor, Bobby Jindal, to deliver a high-profile national address that will follow on the heels of President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union Address to the U.S. Congress on Feb. 24.

The choice of Jindal,  37 years old and of Indian heritage, points to a search for new leaders for the Republican Party, which is still reeling from the loss of its majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate to Democrats and the White House to Obama.

Jindal – who proved his mettle as an able administrator and communicator after Hurricane Gustav tore across Louisiana in September – has been tapped as a rising star in the Republican Party.
A darling to conservatives like talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who has dubbed him as “the next Ronald Reagan,” Jindal will have a chance to polish his credentials before a national television audience later this month.

McCain praises Pawlenty, Jindal as VP talk sizzles

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – And the speculation continues. 
Republican John McCain praised two potential vice presidential picks on Wednesday but gave no clues about who he would add to his ticket or when he would decide.
The Arizona senator’s campaign has not quashed speculation this week that a choice was imminent, but McCain said in a television interview that he has yet to decide who would be his number two.
Earlier at a stop at a grocery store, where the presumptive Republican presidential nominee got a look at the high price of milk and other staples, he spoke highly of two people said to be on his short list: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
“We can’t mention any names, we have the process going on,” McCain started by saying.

Can’t you say anything positive about Pawlenty, a reporter prodded.
“Oh, Tim … He’s a great, fine person,” McCain said.
“I think he is, he, Bobby Jindal and a number of governors, I think are the future of the Republican Party.”

But Jindal told Fox News on Wednesday he wasn’t interested in being vice president.