Tales from the Trail

Palin asks whether ‘title’ worth joining 2012 race

Sarah Palin says the biggest thing she’s thinking about  as she decides whether or not to run for president  is whether a title would be a shackle and stifle her message.

“Through my process of decision-making with my family and my close friends as to whether I should throw my name in the hat for the GOP nomination for 2012 – Is a title worth it?  Does a title shackle a person?” Palin said Tuesday night on the  Fox News show “On the Record.”

“Someone like me who’s a maverick? I do go rogue and I call it like I see it and I don’t mind stirring it up in order to get people to think and debate aggressively to find solutions to the problems that our country is facing,” Palin continued.

“Somebody like me, is a title and a campaign too shackling? Does that prohibit me from being out there and out of a box, not allowing handlers to shape me and to force my message to be what’s going on, or what contributors or political pundits want it to be?” Palin said.

“Does a title take away my freedom to call it like I see  it and to affect positive change that we need in this country?” Palin said, explaining:  “That’s the biggest contemplation piece in my process.”

Perry still leads Republican pack – CNN/ORC poll

Rick Perry is still the front-runner in the field of 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls, according to a new CNN/ORC International Poll released on Monday.

The Texas governor’s latest debate performance — rated shaky by some political analysts — apparently did not disappoint actual potential voters who support him.

Perry leads his nearest opponent, Mitt Romney 28 percent to 21 percent among Republican voters, according to the poll taken over the weekend — after last Thursday’s Republican debate in Orlando, Florida.

Netanyahu on Obama ties: Under the bus? What bus?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to take the bait on Sunday when asked if he agreed with Republican presidential candidates that President Barack Obama is not pro-Israel enough.

He was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s recent comment that the Democratic president “threw Israel under the bus.”

“You are trying to throw me under the bus of American politics and, guess what, I’m not going to be thrown there,” Netanyahu joked.

Ron Paul vs. the “pretty boys” – Corrected

The race for the 2012 presidential nomination comes down to this: Ron Paul against the “pretty boys” — at least that’s what some of the most ardent supporters of the Texas congressman think.

The political action committee Revolution Pac , dedicated to Paul’s candidacy, compares their man to “media darlings” Mitt Romney (“this pretty boy”) and Texas Governor Rick Perry (“that pretty boy”) in a new ad branding the congressman  “a  statesman not a plastic man.”

“Wait a minute, can’t we do better?” the announcer asks, referring to Paul’s more popular opponents (who appear in animation) in the polls.

Meet John Boehner – powerful politician, ‘simple guy’

The most powerful Republican in America mows his own lawn, had youthful aspirations of becoming a salesman and quietly convinced two know-it-all lawmakers to vote “yes.”

House Speaker John Boehner revealed these and other aspects about himself during a question-and-answer session after a high-profile speech Thursday to the Economic Club of Washington.

Drawing laughter from the crowd, Boehner also made it clear he has no interest in running for vice president, a job that requires attending plenty of foreign funerals.

Perry speaks about his faith and failings

The subject was faith not policy in Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Perry’s  speech at Liberty University.

In the 20-minute speech described as “perhaps his most reflective and personal,” the Texas governor made no mention of the biggest issue thus far in the 2012 presidential race – jobs -  or his views on President Barack Obama, The Washington Post reported.

“Instead, the evangelical Christian governor spoke the language of the movement with ease,” the newspaper said.

Obama campaign goes on the attack against “attacks”

The website is dark and ominous-looking.

Pictures of conservative commentator Glenn Beck and leading Republican presidential candidates fade in and out.

Headlines such as “Rick Perry’s massive jobs lie” and “Romney’s job chart shows flawed understanding of the facts” scroll across the top.

Is it a left-leaning blog meant to criticize a “right wing conspiracy”?

Perry says stimulus didn’t create jobs; CBO says it did

Texas Governor Rick Perry, front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, said on Monday President Barack Obama’s  economic stimulus program  created “zero” jobs.

Not so, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan budget arbiter for lawmakers.

Congress in 2009 passed the $830 billion economic stimulus, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included both spending measures and tax cuts.

Perry vs. rivals in Republican debate

There were eight candidates in the first big Republican debate of the 2012 campaign season.

Two of them dominated the stage from the start in a contest over who has created more jobs.

And the winner is…..  Mitt Romney, according to his campaign.

“Mitt Romney won tonight’s debate because he demonstrated that he is the only candidate in the race who can return the country to economic prosperity. Career politicians got us into the mess and it will take someone with experience in the real economy to get us out,” the campaign’s communication director Gail Gitcho said in a statement released after Wednesday’s debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley,  California.

Obama focus on policy, not polls – White House

The White House is downplaying several new polls showing President Obama’s job approval ratings plunging to new lows along with rising public concern over high unemployment and the sluggish economy.

“The president is focused on the measures he can take…  to address the urgent need to grow our economy and create jobs; to deal with the fact that economic growth is not fast enough and that job creation is not substantial enough,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at Tuesday’s press briefing when asked how concerned Obama is about the poll numbers.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Obama’s overall job approval rating at a low of 44 percent, down 3 percentage points since July.  More than half of Americans  now disapprove of Obama’s job performance and one in three say they’re worse off financially since he’s been in the White House, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. And a poll by Politico and George Washington University shows 72 percent of voters believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.