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Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

Jeb Ain’t the Only One with an Announcement

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/16/politics/donald-trump-2016-announcement-elections/

From Fight to Fix on Obamacare

I just got a letter in my inbox the other day from someone calling on Missouri Republicans to dig in on Obamacare. But across the country, the dial is moving away from a fight to a fix. Some moderate Republicans who were against the concept of government run healthcare (and still are) are trying to tweak the law. The good news is there are lots of good ideas being floated by Republicans.  Unfortunately, we are not hearing enough about them. Instead of criticizing these pragmatic Republicans for being flip floppers, we should maybe take a look at the programs they’re proposing. I have Obamacare and I am not happy with it. I wanted patient centered catastrophic coverage connected to a health savings plan and to be able to choose my own doctors. I can’t even connect with the salesperson at my provider to try to switch.

It is interesting to me that the solution will lie somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, we have Presidential candidate Gov. Bobby Jindahl proposing a plan to cover 10 million of the 40 million Americans without insurance. On the other hand, only 8 million people have signed up. Maybe that is close to the number of people who wanted it and needed this safety net to help them get it. And maybe, if we can dial down the pre-primary partisanship, we will see there are moderate solutions in front of us. 

  • Monica Wehby, Oregon GOP Senate Candidate, Shifts Message On Obamacare Repeal
Posted: Updated: 

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WASHINGTON — Monica Wehby, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Oregon, has spent months positioning herself as the moderate, establishment candidate in the crowded GOP primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley.

She’s struck a milder tone on issues such as abortion, immigration, and gay marriage, mindful of voters who have not elected a Republican to statewide office since 2002. But as the GOP moves to frame this year’s midterm elections around Obamacare, it’s not entirely clear where Wehby stands on the health care law.

In her first television ad, titled “It’s Not Brain Surgery,” Wehby draws upon her experience as a pediatric neurosurgeon to discuss “how devastating Obamacare is for Oregon families and patients.”

She also notes her call for a federal investigation into Cover Oregon, the state’s health care exchange. And in her approval of the message, Wehby states, “As your senator I will fight to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Watch the ad above.

Wehby released a radio ad Thursday stating she’s “the only candidate for Senate who has fought to stop” Obamacare.

Her views on Obamacare appear to have changed from a couple of months ago. During an interview with the Portland Business Journal in November, Wehby was specifically asked if she would repeal Obamacare if elected.

“That’s not politically viable at this point,” Wehby answered. “We can’t get it repealed with Obama in office. We have to focus on coming together with solutions.”

Wehby suggested creating a health care system where individuals could purchase insurance plans with pretax dollars across state lines. “Expand health savings accounts … Allow people who want it to have catastrophic policies,” she said of her proposals.

Wehby has also expressed support in the past for the Healthy Americans Act, legislation introduced years ago by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Wehby told The Oregonian in February that the bill, often referred to as “Wydencare,” was “a good plan.”

“It was a market-based approach,” Wehby said, adding that while she didn’t support every aspect of the plan, she and Wyden “think a lot alike in regards to health care.”

State Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend), Wehby’s main opponent in the GOP primary, has used such statements to attack her. “In principle, it’s 90 percent there with Obamacare,” he said of Wyden’s proposal.

Conger put out a radio ad last month tying Wehby to both the Wyden and Obama health care plans. “If it sounds like Obamacare, regulates like Obamacare, and costs like Obamacare, it is Monica Wehby’s Obamacare,” he said.

Wehby has pointed to some parts of Obamacare that she would like to keep, such as coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions and allowing parents to keep their children on their health plans until age 26.

Charlie Pearce, a spokesman for Wehby’s campaign, denied that Wehby was not in favor of repealing the health care law.

“Dr. Wehby has stated on many occasion that ideally she would vote to repeal the ACA and replace it with a patient centered, market based approach, similar to the replacement plan she outlined last November,” Pearce told The Huffington Post in an email. “Dr. Wehby has never stated she would not vote for repeal, only that it is not politically viable at this point, which is a statement of fact,” he added. “However, with a strong likelihood that Republicans take back the Senate this fall, there is a good chance that a replacement plan similar to Dr. Wehby’s will be enacted by Congress next year.”

Wehby isn’t the only Republican Senate candidate to send mixed messages on Obamacare repeal. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) has focused on fixing the law rather than repealing it, but now touts his commitment to fighting Obamacare in an ad.

Given the number of GOP primaries pitting tea party candidates against establishment contenders, moderate Republicans face a complicated task. On one hand, they have to convince conservatives they staunchly oppose Obamacare. On the other, they must grapple with surging enrollment in the health care exchanges, which the president announced Thursday has surpassed 8 million.

 

We need a Choice, not an Echo

The title for this post is the title of a book conservative author and media personality, Phyllis Schlafly, self published in her battle over the Equal Rights Amendment. Back then, she was worried that government regulation would rob women of their choice to stay home as housewives and mothers. It is an equally forceful title today. But one that has taken on new meaning. 

I just got back from Lincoln Days, the Republican Party’s convention here in Missouri. And one of the more memorable moments for me this weekend was when a woman raised her hand and said, “Republicans need to be proud to be Republicans again.” “Like Phyllis Schlafly said, we need a choice, not an echo.” The guest speaker at this luncheon was Sharon Day, who is co-chair of the Republican National Party. She talked at length about what the party is doing to recruit candidates and to open up the Party to women and minorities. Seated just down the dais from her was the Hon. Catherine Hanaway, a former U.S. Attorney and the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. If elected, she will be Missouri’s first female Governor.

It’s shaping up to be an interesting battle. Her likely opponent is a Democrat who used to be a Republican. He left over the party’s litmus tests and hard lines. Hanaway has opened up her coalition to include suburban Republicans as well as conservatives outstate.  A moderate in temperament and approach, Hanaway has consistently been a team player for the Republicans. And as a prosecutor, she has put child pornographers away and shed a spotlight on Missouri’s newest black eye, human trafficking. 

I drove down to Springfield on I-44, on a stretch of highway named after Gov. Mel Carnahan, a Democrat who died in a tragic plane crash in the midst of a heated Senate race against Republican John Ashcroft. I took note of that sign as I drove on while the audio version of the book, Faith and Politics, by retired Republican Sen. John C. Danforth, played on the cd player in my car. I was listening for inspiration because I wasn’t sure what I would find in Springfield. I tried to commit certain phrases to memory like, “faith is not politics,” and “reconciliation”.

After blogging as a relatively radical moderate Republican woman for the last two and half years, I needed to psych myself up because I wasn’t sure what kind of reception I might get or what reconciliation might look like. I needed to know it would be okay to say I am pro-choice, pro-gay and pro-stem cell in a state that saw some of its top scientists leave over laws that restricted medical research or that is currently debating whether to recognize the marriages of gay couples who were legally wed in other states. 

The wheel is just beginning to turn, even if Missouri Republicans are only in the most initial stages of change, at least in terms of their messaging. Sure, there is still the occasional recalcitrant who gets up and declares the Republican Party, “The Pro-Life Party.” My goodness. But overall, if there was an echo, it is that the national GOP is in the midst of some earnest, and some might say overdue, self-improvement. Yes, there are many women who are pro-life in that party, including Hanaway. But, there seems to be a growing acknowledgement that it may be time to acknowledge there are lots of other kinds of Republicans out there. Continuing to draw battle lines over women’s issues is just slowing the party down from its’ other work.

Voters will have a choice that they haven’t had in the past. Do they take the long view and get on board with the party that shut down the federal government over its’ opposition to Obamacare? Do they help usher in more female candidates and hope that these women can be more willing and flexible negotiators in reconciling the thorniest issues of our day? Will Republicans on the fringes put their differences aside over single issues, especially social issues, so they can focus on job creation?  If there was a message echoing from Springfield this weeked, it is that the Missouri Republicans have realized choosing to be more inclusive is the right choice. 

Time Lapse Politics / Christine Doyle

If you’re a fan of photography, you know the time lapse technique involves setting up a camera, often to record something like a sunset, minute by minute.  Once edited, these shots show a magical progression of light and color but shooting one is excruciating. That nuanced change can only be seen when sped up. It isn’t perceptible to the naked eye as it us unfolding.

There is a wave of post-1970’s feminism percolating in this country right now.  From the “Lean In” movement to the fact that Hillary Clinton will likely run for President, a modern woman’s movement is impacting the workplace, our social mores and if the Democrats get lucky, our politics.

In terms of public opinion, there is no doubt that the dial has moved on gay marriage and assault weapons. I think most Americans would prefer to keep abortion personal and not political. But, when you look at who is running and who is serving, and the issues that still divide us, it’s clear we are only at the very beginning of an excruciatingly slow time lapse in women’s politics.

What you can’t see in this time lapse moment in politics is the Republican women doing their part behind the scenes to “Lean In in their own communities. They’re starting PACs, websites and schools as a way to impact their communities in positive ways. But these Republican women are waiting for their party and the system to catch up with them. Until that happens, Moderate and Independent women who vote for Republican men, will continue to be accused of  supporting a party that doesn’t get them. 

Do the Democrats still have a lock on women’s votes? And is it because of social issues? According to the Center for American Women and Politics, of the 20 women in the U.S. Senate, only 4 are Republicans. Of the 78 women in the House of Representatives, only 19 are Republicans. The prospects of getting elected a Governor are better for female Republican candidates. Right now 4 out of five female Governors are Republican. Of the state legislatures, of the 1,788 women serving, female Democrat legislators outnumber Republican women legislators nearly 2 to 1.

I am not going to criticize Hillary Clinton or Claire McCaskill who is her front woman, not only here in Missouri, but in key states like Iowa where the Clintons have never been very popular. According to the New York Times, a battalion of women is now forming in Iowa and encouraging Hillary to run. Senator Claire McCaskill, who I voted for once because of her support of stem cell research but couldn’t vote for a second time because I disagreed with her on Obamacare, is Hillary Clinton’s biggest supporter. Again, I am not going to criticize her. Because McCaskill can see women are engaging.

The question I would ask is what is the most effective way to speed up this painfully slow moment in politics? Is it for more Republican women to run as Non-Partisans? Only 10 of the 1,788 state legislators currently serving are NPs. Is it too late or too early in this progression to build up a moderate Republican female voice? It might have been too late for Olympia Snowe to run for President and unfortunately, it might be too soon for the Republicans to fast track the other moderate from Maine, Susan Collins, who is in favor of universal access on healthcare, but is also green, for school choice, pro-choice on abortion and pro-gay?

One thing I have to agree with Sen. McCaskill on is that she is right that this is a historic moment. Or at least the beginning of one.

 

A Summer Education

This year’s Summer vacation has been spent working my way around my old stomping grounds visiting family and friends in Florida, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Connecticut and New York.  And it hasn’t just been a vacation, it has been an education.

Last week, I was on the New Jersey Shore watching dolphins play in the surf at dusk, a scene at stark odds with the images of destruction post-Hurricane Sandy.  Yesterday, I was told that the lazy Summer rain I watched from inside a quiet New England house had actually spawned tornadoes that led to power outages and flooding. Tornadoes? I am fairly certain my only exposure to a tornado as a kid was the one in the Wizard of Oz.  For our generation, it seems, tornadoes have become a regular occurrence. So too, drought. Right now, it’s 130 degrees in Death Valley. I guess Mother Nature is like all mothers, a repository of gifts and nurturing but when she has a lesson to teach, capable of being swift and harsh. 

As we sat on the beach, we had to acknowledge that something is happening with the climate. Yes, it could be part of a natural warming cycle but whether you attribute the wild swings in weather to a naturally occurring phenomenom or neglect, the evidence of climate change is hard to ignore. 

A highlight of my travels was a conversation I had with a volunteer for a climate change organization in which she essentially said, “What part of you is a Republican?”  The answer is my core belief that once people are doing well, the chances of them having the time and interest in doing good are that much greater. We just have to do a better job encouraging people, who are dialing out because they’re so turned off by the fight, to dial back in. To take a piece of it and effect change. 

The challenge for our generation is to effect change from the outside in. To remind Washington that these goals do not have to be mutually exclusive or more relevantly, party exclusive. With the exception of President Obama’s press conference on reducing carbon emissions last week, the conversations around environmental change are winding down to a slow din.  Why do Republicans cede progress on the environment to the other side? It just makes us look like we have our heads buried in the sand. And by the way, those sandy beaches may be eroding. 

Doesn’t it seem like one of the solutions to bridging the gap between the parties is to include big business, not alienate them, when addressing concerns like healthcare reform and now climate change? Our future as Americans lies in solutions where we all have a seat at the table. Demonizing the successful, saddling them with unfunded federal mandates and stifling job creation will only stifle our progress as a nation. The answer lies in our shared concerns. 

According to the New York Times, 

“Nearly two-thirds think the EPA should cap emissions in existing power plants, including 86 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of Republicans.”

These concerns are not party driven. They are observations from a generation that embraces fitness and the outdoor life. Our earth isn’t the domain of one party or the other. Lots of successful businessman escape the office by throwing a line and fishing in pristine waters. So do many of our legislators who may need to escape the choke hold that special interests have on them.  

ModerateMoms needs to create a safe haven to do what’s right. And to create a safe place in the center where reasonable conversations can be held on difficult topics that concern us all. 

The Third Wave Revolutionaries

David Brooks of the New York Times has written an interesting article questioning whether recent bi-partisan progress on background checks and immigration is more of an illusion than a reality. He describes the current Republican Congressional leadership and the radio shock jobs as  “first wave revolutionaries” and “second wave revolutionaries,”  respectively. I would say the third wave of revolutionaries will be the moderates.  

Read and see what you think! 

David Brooks/ New York Times 
Liberals are furious, but the gun issue will not significantly damage the Republican Party. Sure, it looks bad to oppose background checks, which have overwhelming popular support. Sure, the Republican position will further taint the party’s image in places like the suburbs of Philadelphia and Northern Virginia. Sure, the party looks extreme when it can’t accept a bill sponsored by the conservative Senator Joe Manchin and the very conservative Senator Pat Toomey.
But, let’s face it, the gun issue has its own unique dynamic, which is that the people who oppose gun limits vote on this issue while the people who support them do not.

Moreover, Democrats never made a compelling case that the bill would have been effective, that it would have directly prevented future Sandy Hooks or lowered the murder rate nationwide. Even many of the bill’s supporters were lukewarm about its contents.

The main reason the gun issue won’t significantly harm Republicans is that it doesn’t play into the core debate that will shape the future of the party. The issue that does that is immigration. The near-term future of American politics will be determined by who wins the immigration debate.

In the months since the election, a rift has opened between the Republicans you might call first-wave revolutionaries and those you might call second-wave revolutionaries. The first-wave revolutionaries (the party’s Congressional leaders) think of themselves as very conservative. They ejected the remaining moderates from their ranks. They sympathize with the Tea Party. They are loyal to Fox News and support a radical restructuring of the government.

These first-wave revolutionaries haven’t softened their conservatism, but they are trying to adjust it to win majority support. They are trying to find policies to boost social mobility, so Republicans look less like the party of the rich. They are swinging behind immigration reform, believing that Hispanics won’t even listen to Republicans until they put that issue in the rearview mirror.

The second-wave revolutionaries — like Rand Paul (on some issues), Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz and some of the cutting-edge talk radio jocks — see the first-wave revolutionaries as a bunch of incompetent establishmentarians. They speak of the Bush-Cheney administration as if it were some sort of liberal Republican regime run by Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits. They argue that Republicans have lost elections recently because the party has been led by big-spending, mushy moderates like John McCain and Mitt Romney and managed by out-of-touch elitists like Karl Rove and Reince Priebus.

The second wavers are much more tactically aggressive, favoring filibusters and such when possible. What the party needs now, they argue, is an ultra-Goldwaterite insurgency that topples the “establishment,” ditches immigration reform and wins Hispanic votes by appealing to the evangelicals among them and offering them economic liberty.

The first and second wavers are just beginning their immigration clash. A few weeks ago, I would have thought the pro-immigration forces had gigantic advantages, but now it is hard to be sure.

The immigration fight will be pitting a cohesive insurgent opposition force against a fragile coalition of bipartisan proponents who have to ambivalently defend a sprawling piece of compromise legislation. We’ve seen this kind of fight before. Things usually don’t end up well for the proponents.

Whether it’s guns or immigration, it is easy to imagine that the underlying political landscape, which prevented progress in the past, has changed. But when you actually try to pass something, you often discover the underlying landscape has not changed. The immigration fight of 2013 might bear an eerie similarity to the fight of 2007.

The arguments that might persuade Republicans to support immigration reform are all on the table. They came on election night 2012. The arguments against are only just now unfolding.

It is just a fact that the big short-term beneficiaries of this law are not generally Republicans: the 11 million who are living in the shadows; the high-tech entrepreneurs who will get more skilled labor. The short-term losers, meanwhile, are often Republicans: the white working-class people who will face a new group of labor-market competition when they try to get jobs in retail; the taxpayers who, at least in the short term, will have to pay some additional costs.

In the past, Republican politicians have had trouble saying no to the latest and most radical insurgency. Even if they know immigration reform is eventually good for their party, lawmakers may figure that opposing it is immediately necessary for themselves.

It would be great if Republicans can hash out their differences over a concrete policy matter, especially immigration, which touches conservatism’s competing values. But if the insurgent right defeats immigration reform, that will be a sign that the party’s self-marginalization will continue. The revolution devours its own.

The Next Frontier in Gun Control is Mental Health

Moms are very resilient. And that’s a good thing given the huge whiff of air being let out of the balloon around gun control. It isn’t just President Barack Obama feeling like he got sucker punched by the U.S. Senate’s vote to consider expanded background checks. Which, according to this article in the New York Times, was just a gesture to begin with.  Click here for the full article http://nyti.ms/13jPSCx. It’s the general sense that something needed to happen but didn’t.  A sense that Moms were fed up and ready to engage to keep their kids safe. And who can blame them for feeling defeated when close to 90% of Americans support expanded background checks for gun shows and online sales and yet, at the end of the day, special interests and lobbyists held more sway than they did. Not even Gabbie Giffords, a gun owner, a second amendment advocate, a public servant who was shot in the head by a deranged voter, could sway the conversation. 

But I would like to say to all of you resilient Moms out there, don’t give up just yet. There is an effort underway that was crafted by a Republican and a Democrat working together. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are pushing for better intervention for the mentally ill as a way to curb school shootings and other senseless gun slayings. The two have been looking into access and funding with an eye to identifying the shooters before they explode. The lone wolf who is in pain and whose actions seem to be the result of some sick and twisted – and tragically delayed – cry for help. Their ideas are not without controversy. A sure sticking point will be how to protect patient privacy laws around mental health while identifying and intervening to help the Adam Lanzas and James Holmes’ before they strike.  

Here’s an article worth reading, http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/293941-stabenow-urges-colleagues-to-support-mental-health-amendment

Also worth looking at today are both the President and Sen. Blunt’s recent press announces on gun reform. 

President Obama calls defeat on background checks shameful 

Sen. Blunt pushes better mental health intervention 

 

 

It's Muddy in the Middle! / Christine Doyle

It’s Muddy in the Middle! / Christine Doyle

Moderate Moms’ business cards are purple which is the color of compromise. Neither all Blue nor all Red, the message is we are defining ourselves as true Moderates. Yes, each of us may tend to vote mostly Republican or mostly Democrat but even that is up for grabs. Over the last year, here in Missouri, moderate Republicans, like myself, often felt like we embraced our party but our party didn’t acknowledge us. I was repeatedly told I was either a “self-hating Democrat” or an “Independent.” During a phone survey, I was asked if I identify as a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent. I said, “Republican” but I realized after I hung up, I should have said, “Independent Republican.”

If you are someone who cares about the bottom line and is concerned about how we are going to pay for government services going forward, we like you. Because all of the compassion in the world doesn’t matter if we can’t figure out how to pay for it. If you are someone who is tired of the fight around social issues and would like to “agree to disagree” on abortion, we like you. Personally, I agree with Massachusetts Republican Senatorial Candidate Scott Brown who said, “abortion should be safe and rare.”  But, I would never presume to tell someone else what would be right for them on as delicate an issue as abortion.

We applaud that Congressional Republicans are coming around or shall we say, “coming out,” on gay rights. Because, just like abortion, no one is telling you you have to be gay or have an abortion just because you can tolerate someone else’s right to do so.

I read recently that it is impossible to hold to two opposing thoughts. Says who? Why can’t it be okay to have federal standards but local control of our schools, to be pro-choice but respectful of people’s individual religious beliefs, to agree states have the right to opt out of medicaid expansion if the money isn’t there and to provide business with the incentives to fill in the gap by creating bigger pools with greater purchasing power.  While at the same time saying we cannot be a country that turns its back on its sickest citizens by denying them access because of pre-existing conditions. Why can’t you agree Planned Parenthood plays an important role in educating inner-city teens about safe sex without worrying you will be labeled pro-abortion. You can’t because you’ve been told you can’t by Congress and the media. But if ModerateMoms plays one important role, it is to say, you can. We can give the politicians political cover until it is safe for them to say what they really think.

We are also debunking the myth of what Republicans and Democrats can and cannot talk about. Moderate Republicans can talk about guns. But, in a way that leaves both pro-gun and anti-gun reform groups feeling safe. It sounds really touchy-feely but the truth with guns is that it isn’t the gun itself but the feeling attached to it that can be so dangerous. A socially marginalized troubled youth feels powerful when he opens fire in a movie theatre. A law abiding citizen feels safe when he keeps a gun in his house to protect his family. A gang member feels he has to shoot or be shot. A recreational hunter feels relaxed when he spends a day shooting duck. School shootings, rapid fire magazines and assault weapons make many Moms feel very unsafe. But so does the idea of a one Connecticut paper wanting to publish the addresses of the homeowners who own guns after Sandy Hook. What?

I really believe the only path to progress for our country is going to be to let people decide what works for them, whether that is a town, a county or a state. And for us to acknowledge that the recovery is going to come by rebuilding our local economies. It’s important, too, that we start to be able to work with the other side. A Democrat asked me the other day who a moderate Republican’s opposition is and my initial response was, “The Tea Party.” But the truth is the Tea Party deserves a lot of credit for bringing the current embrace of fiscal reform to light. Democrats are rightly suspicious of the far Right and view the Republicans’ attempt to be more inclusive of minorities with great suspicion. But that isn’t really fair either. While moderate Republicans like me really like how inclusive of gays and minorities the Democrats are, I don’t like the suspicion with which all Republicans are viewed.

Jon Huntsman’s departure from the 2012 elections … or not?

NPR’s Jon Elving has raised the question of whether the recent news about Jon Huntsman’s departure from the race for the Republican nomination is really the last we’ll see of him. He wonders whether Huntsman could emerge as the nominee for the Americanselect.org. Americans have spent the last year asking themselves, “who is Jon Huntsman?” Now the question is, “what is Americanselect?” And could Jon Huntsman be on the ballot this November if he is nominated at Americanselect’s convention? That convention is an online effort to get an alternate candidate elected whose nomination will come from real people and not through either of the major parties, Republican or Democrat. Check out the following link: http://youtu.be/Tp3Hn6BSy5s to learn more.

Americanselect is a secure process that will allow voters to use the internet to nominate candidates. It was started by one wealthy investor and has been supported by others whose names have so far not been disclosed. With 40% of voters identifying as Independents this year, this is already shaping up to be an interesting year. But this concept of a digital revolution that circumvents the media and traditional nominating process, could make it a radical one.

NPR on Huntsman’s departure from the race for the Republican nod

40% of voters identify as Independents

 

Is Newt the Grinch who stole Mitt's Christmas?

Is Newt the Grinch who stole Mitt’s Christmas?

He is definitely trying to steal New Hampshire, where Mitt Romney is well liked because he governed the state next door and has a house there. Ann Romney may not like politics but she likes the guy she married at 20 an awful lot.  And she’d like to let us know he is not a one dimensional cut out of a Presidential candidate but a goofy, sweet, fun date after all these years.  He sings to her on horseback, was a doting caregiver when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and laps up peanut butter like a 12 year old boy.  The timing of Ann Romney’s appearance on the campaign trail is no accident.  It’s an effort to counteract Newt Gingrich’s sudden rise in the polls.  Because while Newt Gingrich is funny, creative and very smart, he isn’t a role model for marriage.  And women voters care about those things.  So do evangelicals. 

I have pulled together a bunch of recent articles that you might want to read to learn more about Gingrich. Romney and the race for the front of the Republican field.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/us/politics/ann-romney-campaigning-more-actively.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/13/gingrich-huntsmans-friendly-foreign-policy-debate/

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/us/politics/iowa-evangelicals-divided-over-caucus-endorsement

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/romneys-run-puts-spotlight-on-past-job-and-peers/