Political Headlines June 9, 2011: Majority of Newt Gingrich’s Presidential Staff Resigns – Gingrich Remains “Committed” to Running

POLITICAL HEADLINES

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

ELECTIONS — PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2012….

Gingrich’s senior campaign staff reportedly resigns en masse: Virtually the entire staff to Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich resigned en masse Thursday afternoon following a staff meeting, individuals close to the campaign said Thursday. Those resigning included campaign manager Rob Johnson, and campaign advisers Dave Carney and Katon Dawson.

  • Gingrich presidential campaign implodes: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign imploded Thursday afternoon with his entire senior staff resigning en masse, according to multiple sources familiar with the moves.
    “When the campaign and the candidate disagree on the path, they’ve got to part ways,” said Rick Tyler, a longtime Gingrich spokesman who was among those who left the campaign.
    Tyler as well as Rob Johnson, Gingrich’s campaign manager, Dave Carney and Katon Dawson, senior strategists to the effort, media consultant Sam Dawson, Iowa strategist Craig Schoenfeld, South Carolina operative Walter Whetsell and Georgia-based adviser Scott Rials have all stepped aside. Much of Gingrich’s early state operation was also headed for the exits, according to a one senior campaign source.
    In the immediate aftermath of the departures, which several sources said came at a meeting Thursday in Gingrich’s Washington office, Gingrich released a statement via Facebook pledging to continue in the race.
    “I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring,” Gingrich wrote. “The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”… – WaPo, 6-9-11
  • Gingrich campaign in tatters as top aides resign: The entire top echelon of Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign resigned on Thursday, a stunning mass exodus that left his bid for the Republican nomination in tatters. But the former House speaker vowed defiantly to remain a candidate.
    “I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring,” the Gingrich said in a posting to his Facebook page. “The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”
    Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s spokesman, said that he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had all quit, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
    Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting at his headquarters in Washington. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign.
    “We had a different vision for victory,” Tyler told The Associated Press. “And since we couldn’t resolve that difference, I didn’t feel I could be useful in serving him.”… – AP, 6-9-11
  • Gingrich’s top campaign staff resigns; he vows to continue: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s already shaky presidential campaign suffered a stunning and perhaps irreparable setback Thursday as all his top staffers quit.
    “I think our path to victory was at odds with the candidate’s,” said Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s spokesman. He resigned along with campaign manager Rob Johnson and campaign officials in the key early caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
    Among the disagreements, Tyler said, was “the amount of time the candidate would have to spend in different states.”
    Gingrich vowed to stay in the race, saying on Facebook, “I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”
    The departures could be a lethal blow, said Craig Robinson, the editor and founder of The Iowa Republican.com website, which follows GOP news in the state that traditionally holds the nation’s first presidential nomination voting.
    “Gingrich is virtually done,” Robinson said. “His campaign has been a calamity of errors.”… – McClatchy Newspapers, 6-9-11
  • High command quits Gingrich campaign: Less than a month after one of the most calamitous political launches in recent memory, former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination imploded Thursday, when its top officials quit en masse.
    At least 16 of the former lawmaker’s advisers, including all of his senior campaign aides, departed the fledgling operation in a major and potentially devastating shake-up. Those who left included Gingrich’s campaign manager, his spokesman, top political strategists and key operatives from crucial GOP primary states. Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue (R), who was Gingrich’s national campaign co-chairman, also defected, to the presidential campaign of former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R), where a close political aide to the ex-governor is the campaign manager.
    Despite losing his senior campaign staff, Newt Gingrich is pledging to continue his presidential run. Can he resurrect his bid, or is he already dead in the water?
    Despite losing his senior campaign staff, Newt Gingrich is pledging to continue his presidential run. Can he resurrect his bid, or is he already dead in the water?
    “When the campaign and the candidate disagree on the path, they’ve got to part ways,” said Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s longtime spokesman, who submitted his resignation Thursday.
    In the immediate aftermath of the exodus, Gingrich pledged via a statement on Facebook to forge ahead with his candidacy.
    “I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring,” Gingrich wrote. “The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles,” where he is scheduled to give a foreign policy speech…. – WaPo, 6-9-11
  • Newt Gingrich loses key members of his campaign: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign imploded Thursday with the resignation of his senior campaign strategists and top supporters in key states.
    Gingrich vowed in a Facebook post to continue “the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring,” saying it would begin “anew” with an appearance before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Los Angeles on Sunday.
    The mass exodus of his campaign staff, first reported by the Associated Press, raises questions about Gingrich’s ability to raise money, attract grass-roots support and devise a credible path to the Republican nomination in 2012.
    “The campaign manager met with the senior advisers and Newt, and they couldn’t find a mutually agreeable path forward,” spokesman Rick Tyler told USA TODAY. “They decided to leave and at that point I decided that I had a disagreement with the path forward, and when that happens the candidate’s path forward is the path forward. It’s not the staff’s.”
    Tyler, who worked for Gingrich for 12 years, said he still believed he would make a “great president.”… – USA Today, 6-9-11
  • End of the line for Newt Gingrich?Politico Arena, 6-9-11
  • Top Newt Gingrich aides quit. Is his campaign over?: Anything can happen in politics, so you can’t say with surety that Newt Gingrich is toast. But for him to win the GOP nomination now would be quite a feat…. – CS Monitor, 6-10-11

Political Headlines June 6, 2011: Former Republican Senator Rick Santorum (PA) Announces 2012 Presidential Bid – ‘In It to Win’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

Rick Santorum announces 2012 presidential bid: Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) announced his candidacy for president Monday during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

  • Santorum enters White House race warning of Obama: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a blunt talker who is popular among social conservatives, plunged into the 2012 Republican presidential sweepstakes Monday, saying he wants to protect American freedoms under threat from President Barack Obama.
    Once the No. 3 Republican in the ranks of the Senate GOP leadership, Santorum charged that Obama has worked to undermine Americans’ liberties and has imposed a national health care plan that saps individual choice. He accused Obama of spending billions of dollars that will add to the debt of future generations and said the president lacks faith in the nation’s potential.
    “I’m ready to lead. I’m ready to do what has to be done for the next generation, with the courage to fight for freedom, with the courage to fight for America,” Santorum said, speaking the sun-splashed steps of a county courthouse in western Pennsylvania. “That’s why I’m announcing today that I’m running for president of the United States of America.”… – AP, 6-6-11
  • FACT CHECK: Santorum omits key details on deficit: In announcing his Republican presidential bid, former Sen. Rick Santorum blamed President Barack Obama for a federal deficit that has many contributors, and he omitted important details about Obama’s comments on America’s past. A look at some of Santorum’s statements made Monday and how they compare with the facts…. – AP, 6-7-11
  • Pawlenty’s economic plan seeks 5 pct annual growth: Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty pitched an economic plan Tuesday that includes deep cuts in personal and business taxes to spur the struggling U.S. economy but would add to deficits in the short term in the hope that badly needed jobs would follow…. – AP, 6-7-11

Political Headlines June 3, 2011: John Edwards Indicted by Grand Jury for Misappropriating Campaign Funds

POLITICAL HEADLINES

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

IN FOCUS: JOHN EDWARDS INDICTED

Jennifer Rotenizer/Winston-Salem Journal, via Associated Press

John Edwards enters the Federal Building in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C. on Friday. A grand jury indicted the two-time presidential candidate, accusing him of trying to protect his political ambitions by soliciting and secretly spending more than $925,000 to hide his mistress and their baby from the public.

Grand jury indicts former presidential candidate John Edwards: A federal grand jury has indicted two-time presidential candidate John Edwards over massive sums of money spent to keep his mistress in hiding during the peak of his 2008 campaign for the White House. The case of USA v. Johnny Reid Edwards contains six counts, including conspiracy, four counts of illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements. The indictment was returned in the Middle District of North Carolina on Friday.

  • U.S. v. Johnny Reid Edwards indictment: The charges Conspiracy: John Edwards faces one conspiracy count, with prosecutors arguing that he participated in a scheme to violate federal campaign-finance laws by using $925,000 in private money from two wealthy benefactors to help keep his pregnant mistress and love child a secret.
    Illegal campaign contributions: Prosecutors filed four charges of illegal campaign contributions against Edwards, saying he was part of a conspiracy that willfully and knowingly accepted contributions that exceeded federal limits. The four charges are nearly identical, referencing contributions Edwards received in 2007 and 2008 from his former campaign-finance chairman, Fred Baron, and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, the widow of banking heir Paul Mellon.
    False statements: The indictment includes one count of false statements, saying that the conspiracy Edwards participated in knowingly allowed the filing of false and deceptive campaign-finance reports that failed to disclose the illegal contributions from Baron and Mellon. Document: The full indictment against John Edwards
  • Public vs. private: Long an issue for John Edwards: The legal case against two-time presidential candidate John Edwards focuses on where to draw the line between the public and private in a politician’s life, a divide he riskily straddled throughout his entire career and family life.
    Edwards isn’t alone. The private activities and concerns of public officials increasingly seem to be pulled or pushed into the public arena. Is that Rep. Anthony Weiner modeling his underwear? Donald Trump and Sarah Palin use a knife and fork to eat pizza! Which school did President Barack Obama pick to go all the way in college hoops?
    These things don’t reveal much about their qualifications to lead, yet they fascinate Americans…. – AP, 6-5-11
  • Feds say Edwards hid mistress to aid campaign: In May 2007, as John Edwards endured ridicule for his $400 haircut, a wealthy supporter fired off a note to a campaign aide, vowing to privately pay for his hair care and other expenses important to his candidacy.
    “It is a way to help our friend without government restrictions,” Bunny Mellon wrote in a letter cited by federal prosecutors.
    Investigators believe there should have been restrictions on the $925,000 in under-the-table money that Mellon and another benefactor ended up providing to support Edwards. It’s key to the government’s contention that the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee broke the law in hiding his pregnant mistress during the final months of his 2008 campaign for the White House. Prosecutors contend that plan was an illegal conspiracy to evade campaign finance laws…. – AP, 6-4-11
  • Edwards Indicted in Campaign Fund Case: John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina and presidential candidate, was indicted Friday morning by a grand jury in Raleigh on charges that he violated campaign finance law during his 2008 presidential campaign.
    Mr. Edwards is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in Winston-Salem, N.C., at 2:30 p.m. before Magistrate Judge Patrick Auld.
    The grand jury, which has been investigating the case for two years, indicted Mr. Edwards on six counts — four involving illegal payments, one involving conspiracy and one involving false statements. “Mr. Edwards is alleged to have accepted more than $900,000 in an effort to conceal from the public facts that he believed would harm his candidacy,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said in a statement. “As this indictment shows, we will not permit candidates for high office to abuse their special ability to access the coffers of their political supporters to circumvent our election laws.”
    At issue are financial contributions that prosecutors say Mr. Edwards received in excess of federal limits, did not report properly and then misused for the political purpose of hiding his extramarital affair to save his candidacy. Mr. Edwards, 57, has maintained that he used the money to hide the affair, but for private purposes — to conceal it from his wife.
    Mr. Edwards had a chance to reach a plea agreement and avoid the indictment, but he chose not to do so and will fight the charges, his lawyers said.
    The decision to fight could lead to a long, messy, public trial and possible jail sentence for Mr. Edwards, or it could lead to his acquittal.
    The decision to risk a trial reflects confidence by some on the Edwards legal team that the government’s case would not hold up in court…. – NYT, 6-3-11
  • Edwards Pleads Not Guilty in Campaign Fund Case: John Edwards, the former Democratic senator from North Carolina, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he conspired to cover up an extramarital affair while running for president in 2008 by “secretly obtaining,” misusing and misreporting certain campaign contributions in violation of federal law.
    He entered his plea at the federal courthouse in Winston-Salem on Friday afternoon, setting the stage for a trial to begin July 11. When the judge read him his list of rights, including the right to remain silent, Mr. Edwards, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004 and twice a candidate for president, said: “Your honor, I’m an attorney. I’m aware of that.”
    Later, outside the courthouse, Mr. Edwards told reporters he had behaved badly but insisted he had not committed a crime.
    “I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I’ve caused to others,” he said. “But I did not break the law. And I never, ever thought that I was breaking the law.”
    The indictment handed up earlier Friday in Greensboro charged that Mr. Edwards, 57, conspired to use illegal campaign contributions to conceal his affair with his mistress for political reasons…. – NYT, 6-3-11
  • Edwards pleads not guilty to finance charges in NC: Former presidential hopeful John Edwards pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges that he solicited and secretly spent more than $925,000 to hide his mistress and their baby from the public at the height of his 2008 White House campaign.
    In a 30-second statement to dozens of reporters and television news cameras that surrounded him outside the courthouse, he said he never thought he was breaking the law.
    “There is no question that I have done wrong,” he said. “And I take full responsibility for having done wrong. And I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I have caused to others. But I did not break the law.”
    Edwards did not have to post bond, but he had to surrender his passport and is not allowed to leave the continental U.S. He also can’t have contact with one of the wealthy benefactors who gave him money that prosecutors say was used to hide the affair.
    The indictment contained six felony counts, including conspiracy, four counts of receiving illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements for keeping the spending off the campaign’s public finance reports.
    It said the payments made with money from two wealthy supporters were a scheme to protect Edwards’ presidential ambitions.
    “A centerpiece of Edwards’ candidacy was his public image as a devoted family man,” the indictment said. “Edwards knew that public revelation of the affair and the pregnancy would destroy his candidacy.
    Prosecutors said the spending was illegal because the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee should have reported it on public campaign finance filings and because it exceeded the $2,300 limit per person for campaign contributions.
    Edwards’ lawyer, Gregory Craig, said there’s no way that anyone, including Edwards, would have known that the payments should be treated as campaign contributions.
    “This is an unprecedented prosecution,” he said at the courthouse. “He has broken no law and we will defend this case vigorously.”… – AP, 6-3-11
  • John Edwards indicted in $925K mistress cover-up: John Edwards acknowledged he has “done wrong” and hurt others but denied breaking the law after federal prosecutors charged him Friday with using $925,000 to hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 run for president.
    The former U.S. senator and two-time Democratic presidential hopeful was indicted on six felony charges that he violated campaign-finance laws in a desperate bid to protect his White House hopes and his image as a devoted family man.
    Edwards, 57, pleaded not guilty and was released without bail on the condition he surrender his passport and not leave the continental U.S.
    A former trial lawyer who won multimillion-dollar verdicts with the same formidable powers of persuasion that propelled his political career, he faces the prospect of a lurid trial and the possibility of prison time and the loss of his license to practice law.
    “There’s no question that I’ve done wrong. And I take full responsibility for having done wrong. And I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I’ve caused to others,” Edwards said outside the courthouse, accompanied by his oldest daughter, Cate, 29. “But I did not break the law.”… – AP, 6-3-11
  • John Edwards denies federal charges: The former Democratic presidential candidate says he didn’t break the law when he used funds from two supporters to hide his mistress and their daughter.
    Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has insisted that he broke no laws when he hid his pregnant mistress while seeking the nomination in 2008. Now, he’s made that position official, pleading not guilty to federal criminal charges that he accepted nearly $1 million from two supporters to fund the deception.
    On Friday, a federal grand jury indicted Edwards, 57, on six counts of violating campaign finance laws, lying to the government and conspiring to protect his candidacy by breaking the law.
    The case against Edwards could rise or fall on whether the government is reaching too far and trying to hold Edwards to a higher election law standard than usual. Notably, the first paragraph of the 19-page indictment said that a “centerpiece” of Edwards candidacy in 2008 was “his public image as a devoted family man” and that he often stressed to voters that “family comes first.”
    The government maintains that by accepting money to keep his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and eventually their daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, out of sight, he was trying to maintain the viability of his candidacy. Therefore, the government said, the money constituted undeclared campaign contributions. LAT, 6-3-11
  • John Edwards: ‘I did not break the law’: Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said he takes “full responsibility for having done wrong” but insisted he “did not break the law” to cover up his extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter.
    Edwards was indicted earlier today by a federal grand jury. He pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, making false statements and four counts of illegal campaign contributions.
    In a brief statement to reporters outside the courthouse in Winston-Salem, N.C., Edwards declared his innocence on the criminal allegations.
    “There’s no question I’ve done wrong,” Edwards said, adding he’ll “regret the pain and the harm” that he caused for the rest of his life. But he was adamant: “I did not break the law and I never, ever thought I was breaking the law.”… – USA Today, 6-3-11
  • John Edwards: ‘I’ve Done Wrong, but I Did Not Break the Law’: Two-time presidential candidate John Edwards pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he spent more than $900,000 in campaign donations to cover up his extramarital affair as he was running for the White House in 2008.
    “There’s no question that I’ve done wrong, and I take full responsibility for having done wrong. I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and harm that I’ve caused to others,” he said in a brief statement outside a federal courthouse in Winston-Salem, N.C. after being arraigned.”But I did not break the law, and I never ever thought I was breaking the law.”
    A federal grand jury indicted Edwards on six counts: conspiracy, four counts of illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count if convicted…. – Fox News, 6-3-11
  • John Edwards: I Did “Wrong,” But Broke No Law: Disgraced ex-senator John Edwards admitted today he has “done wrong” – but insisted he broke no laws. The onetime presidential hopeful made his 20-second statement shortly after he was indicted for allegedly using more than $900,000 in campaign funds to cover up an extramarital affair during his failed 2008 presidential campaign.
    “There’s no question that I’ve done wrong and I take full responsibility for having done wrong,” Edwards said after he pleaded not guilty – and endured the humiliation of having to surrender his passport.
    “And I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I’ve caused to others. But I did not break the law and I never, ever thought that I was breaking the law.”
    Then Edwards, flanked by his daughter Kate, left without another word…. – NY Daily News, 6-3-11
  • John Edwards indictment: A North Carolina grand jury has indicted former Sen. John Edwards on criminal campaign finance violations in connection with a sex scandal.
    Edwards, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004 and a candidate for president in 2004 and 2008, was charged with four counts of illegal campaign contributions, one count of conspiracy and one count of false statements. The charges stem from a years-long investigation into whether Edwards used money from two supporters to cover up an affair with Rielle Hunter, a former campaign videographer with whom he had a child….. – LAT, 6-3-11
  • John Edwards in a brief statement outside a federal courthouse in Winston-Salem, N.C. after being arraigned: “There’s no question that I’ve done wrong, and I take full responsibility for having done wrong. I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and harm that I’ve caused to others. But I did not break the law, and I never ever thought I was breaking the law.”
  • Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer denounced Edwards’ “scheme”: “We will not permit candidates for high office to abuse their special ability to access the coffers of their political supporters to circumvent our election laws. Our campaign finance system is designed to preserve the integrity of democratic elections – for the presidency and all other elected offices – and we will vigorously pursue abuses of the kind alleged today.”
  • Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said in a statement: “As this indictment shows, we will not permit candidates for high office to abuse their special ability to access the coffers of their political supporters to circumvent our election laws.”
  • Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Scott Thomas, who is serving as an expert witness for Edwards’ legal team: “I believe that the theory on which the government intends to base its prosecution is without precedent in federal election law, and that the Federal Election Commission would not support a finding that the conduct at issue constituted a civil violation, much less warranted a criminal prosecution.”
  • John Edwards’ lawyer, Gregory Craig: “This is an unprecedented prosecution. He has broken no law and we will defend this case vigorously.”… -
  • Plus, John Edwards indicted: Can his legacy be rehabbed?Politico Arena, 6-3-11
  • Edwards emails acknowledge payments: Prosecutors have obtained emails between John Edwards and a former aide to use as evidence at trial that he knew about payments to his pregnant mistress even while he was publicly denying it, people familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Monday.
    Dozens of emails were exchanged between Edwards and his former speechwriter Wendy Button as they worked on a never-released draft statement to acknowledge paternity of his out-of-wedlock child, according to people who have seen the messages and requested anonymity because they have not been made public yet.
    The messages, draft statements and notes of their related phone conversations are key evidence prosecutors are using against Edwards, indicted on charges he failed to report nearly $1 million allegedly spent to keep his mistress out of the public eye as he pursued the White House. The former senator was still denying he was the baby’s father and publicly maintained he knew nothing about any money that may have been spent when the emails were sent in summer 2009…. – AP, 6-6-11
  • Criminal charges likely Fri. against John Edwards: Criminal charges were likely to be filed Friday against John Edwards, the culmination of a two-year federal investigation into money used to cover up an extramarital affair during the 2008 presidential election.
    Edwards’ attorney Greg Craig was traveling to meet with prosecutors in North Carolina, an indication that the former presidential candidate will likely be charged, either in a grand jury indictment or in a negotiated charge to which he would plead guilty…. – AP, 6-3-11
  • John Edwards indicted in $925K mistress cover-up: John Edwards acknowledged he has “done wrong” and hurt others but strongly denied breaking the law after federal prosecutors charged him Friday with using $925,000 in under-the-table campaign contributions to hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 run for president.
    The former U.S. senator and two-time Democratic presidential hopeful was indicted on six felony charges that he violated campaign finance laws in a desperate bid to protect both his White House hopes and his image as a devoted family man…. – AP, 6-2-11

Political Buzz: Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” Tour or Launching 2012 Presidential Campaign Tour

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

ELECTIONS — PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2012….

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Sarah and Todd Palin after a family visit on Monday to the National Archives in Washington.

This past week Sarah Palin has embarked on a tour of the Northeastern US with her family starting in Washington and ending in New Hampshire. Dubbed the “One Nation” Bus Tour, the modern whistle stop trip included stops at historical locations, meeting with the people and the press. The media has been closely monitoring Palin’s tour, speculating the true intention; a trip or a Presidential campaign exploration. Either way, the tour has captured the attention of the press and country, especially with Palin stopping in New Hampshire, the early primary state on the same day at fellow Republican Mitt Romney launched his Presidential campaign also in New Hampshire.

  • Palin Watch – Sarah Palin News Blog Alaska Dispath
  • Photos: Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” Bus Tour: Sarah Palin has been willing to offer but a scrap of information of upcoming destinations, Palin set off from Washington for an East Coast bus tour, telling reporters that her tour might “at some point” go to Iowa, where the 2012 voting begins….. – Denver Post
  • Sarah Palin to collide with Mitt Romney rollout in New Hampshire: Sarah Palin will be casting a long shadow over Mitt Romney’s day in the sun in New Hampshire on Thursday.
    She’s bringing her I-haven’t-made-up-my-mind-yet bus tour across America to the Granite State even as Romney formally declares he’s in the 2012 race.
    Palin will attend a coastal clambake Thursday evening with some key New Hampshire Republicans. According to Politico, she called the timing “coincidental.”
    Palin is spending much of the day in Boston. She visited the Old North Church early Thursday.
    The ex-Alaska governor, who is winding up her weeklong tour, told the assembled media throng that has doggedly followed her every move from the Pentagon parking lot to the Freedom Trail that she still doesn’t know if she’s running for president in 2012.
    “Still looking at the field, knowing there’s going to be a lot of shakeup in that lineup,” Palin said
    Romney will be delivering a speech in Stratham, N.H. Palin said, “Maybe we’ll run into him.”
    Palin hasn’t been going out of her way to make friends in the early primary state. Earlier this week in an interview with CNN, she said that New Hampshire voters aren’t particularly special.
    “I guess that’s that nonpolitician in me not looking at a New Hampshire voter any differently just because they have, you know, an earlier primary than somebody else,” she said…. – LAT, 6-2-11
  • Palin tours Boston, says Romney timing coincidence: Sarah Palin took her tour of the United States, seen by some as a possible warm-up to a run at the Republican presidential nomination, to the Democratic stronghold of Massachusetts on Thursday.
    On a tour through the city’s Revolutionary War-era historic sites, Palin said her trip was not timed to distract attention from Massachusetts ex-governor Mitt Romney’s formal announcement in neighboring New Hampshire of the start of his presidential campaign .
    Palin, a former governor of Alaska, told reporters in the morning that the timing of the trip was “coincidental.”
    She herself was expected to travel next to New Hampshire, traditionally the state with the nation’s first nominating primary, making it a key destination for all potential candidates.
    After visiting sites including the Old North Church and the house of Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere, Palin stopped to talk with onlookers on the cobblestoned streets of the city’s North End…. – Reuters, 6-2-11
  • Sarah Palin Remembers Ronald Reagan At Liberty State Park: Sarah Palin, a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and former Governor of Alaska, visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island today on her “One Nation” bus tour. Last night, Palin went to dinner in Manhattan with real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump.
    Palin’s “One Nation” tour continues to be defined by themes of freedom, liberty and patriotism. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French and is an internationally recognized symbol of both freedom and democracy. Ellis Island served as the inspection station for the millions of immigrants who came to the United States between 1892 and 1954.
    “What a wonderful day to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!” said Palin. In what seemed like a veiled reference to her own presidential aspirations, Palin talked about former President Ronald Reagan’s visit to Liberty State Park in 1980. “He spoke of the Americans who passed through Ellis Island and whose first glimpse of their adopted country was the grand statue in New York’s harbor. He talked about our shared values and the common thread of the American dream across an endless mix of backgrounds,” said Palin…. – The State Column, 6-2-11
  • On the Media: News flash — Sarah Palin rides a bus What it means, though, nobody outside of Team Palin knows for sure. But reporters still give chase, just in case: It’s not exactly blockbuster news when Sarah Palin calls the U.S. Constitution an important document, tries to one-up President Obama in praise of the U.S. military or heaps another load of condescension on the media.
    But it is news when Palin does all these things within a few days of one another as part of a tour that has her dancing around a possible run for president of the United States. It’s news, less because Palin might actually run than because this is what politicians do. And the media cover what they do, good bad and indifferent, especially when they are as fascinating and polarizing as Sarah Palin.
    Ever since Palin announced her “One Nation” tour, multiple media outlets have scrambled to follow her bus, with no itinerary or real help from the principal and her team. And plenty of other people have taken to the Internet to denounce the whole spectacle as a publicity stunt and brand-booster for a brand badly in need of a lift.
    Far from the daily schedules and constant updates they are accustomed to on campaign tours, reporters have had to beg sources close to Palin for hints about what will happen next. A reporter for the Times of London incorrectly guessed at a Memorial Day trip to Gettysburg (it came a day later) and only happened on her as he later staked out the road to Mount Vernon.
    Team Palin threw the trailing scribes off the scent again Tuesday, leaving her bus idling outside her Gettysburg hotel while she slipped out to take a tour of the Civil War battlefield in an SUV. Palin is believed to be arriving in New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary, by week’s end. But no one outside the Palin bubble knows for sure…. – LAT, 6-1-11
  • The Influence Industry: The fine lines between a Palin vacation and Palin tour: When most families go on a summer vacation, they don’t have a political-action committee to pay the bills.
    Not so for Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, who has joined her husband, children and parents in a widely publicized bus tour of East Coast historic sites this week.
    The trip appears to be part vacation, part political rally and part reality show. Fuel, lodging and other expenses are being paid for by SarahPAC, Palin’s political committee, which is also soliciting donations online in connection with the journey.
    “You can show your support for the Fundamental Restoration of America and the ‘One Nation Tour’ by making a generous donation to SarahPAC today,” reads a message on the SarahPAC Web site.
    The arrangement is perfectly legal, campaign-finance experts say. SarahPAC is set up as an unconnected PAC, meaning that the usual restrictions on candidate committees don’t apply. Regular candidate committees, for example, are barred from converting campaign money to personal use.
    As a result, unless Palin decides to formally explore a possible presidential run, she is free to spend the money raised by SarahPAC for “any lawful purpose” under federal law, experts said. That means it doesn’t matter whether the trip is a holiday, a political event or something in between…. – WaPo, 6-1-11
  • Palin tour: campaign prelude or publicity stunt?: Sarah Palin is going rogue again, confounding the press and delighting fans on a family bus tour that could be a prelude to an unconventional White House campaign — or a branding exercise for Palin Inc.
    The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has kept reporters scrambling across three states for three days, refusing to publish her schedule while traveling the countryside in a flashy, painted campaign-style bus.
    After announcing the tour of East Coast historic sites last week, Team Palin went silent on the itinerary and refused to accommodate press coverage. It was an unusual strategy for any politician, particularly one considering a White House run in 2012.
    It was hardly surprising for Palin, however, who denounces the “lamestream media” and built her political image around her unconventional style. And it paid immediate dividends with coverage from reporters who chased her like paparazzi after Angelina Jolie…. – Reuters, 5-31-11
  • Palin confirms she’s in LLC that bought Ariz. home: Sarah Palin has confirmed that she is part of a company that purchased a home north of Phoenix, but she said she hasn’t moved from Alaska.
    Safari Investments LLC paid nearly $1.7 million cash for the five-bedroom, 7,900-square-foot home in rural north Scottsdale in May.
    In an interview aired Tuesday night, the former Alaska governor told Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren that she is part of Safari Investments and it “has some property in Arizona now.”
    “You know, many, many Alaskans purchase property in Arizona, Nevada and Texas,” Palin said from her bus that has been touring the East Coast. “I think we do that because not only are we good investors, and it’s a buyer’s market, but we like to thaw out once in a while.”… – AP, 5-31-11
  • Sarah Palin’s bus tour stops at National Archives, Mount Vernon and Baltimore: The former Alaska governor is believed to be headed to Philadelphia next. She continues to insist her patriotic-themed bus is not a campaign bus.
    It’s still unclear whether Sarah Palin’s road trip is an educational family tour of historical America or a dry run for her potential Republican presidential bid.
    But Monday, two things became clear: She will not shy away from unscripted encounters, and she isn’t going let anyone know in advance where she’s going as she wends her way across the country this summer.
    In an impromptu news conference Monday evening in the parking lot of her Gettysburg hotel shortly after taking a four-mile run in steaming heat, Palin said she thought the current crop of Republican presidential contenders is “strong” and that any campaign she might wage “would definitely be unconventional and nontraditional, yes, knowing us, yeah, it would have to be.”
    And that was as far as she would go, leaving the former Alaska governor’s intentions, like much of her bus tour, a mystery. Although she announced her “One Nation” tour with great fanfare on her website, Palin has refused to post information about her schedule, leaving reporters scrambling across the Eastern Seaboard to figure out her stops.
    Her bus tour began for real on Monday after she spent Sunday, the ostensible start day, riding in a motorcycle procession for veterans and surreptitiously visiting Washington monuments. Her patriotic-themed bus, decorated with a blown-up image of the U.S. Constitution, pulled up to the National Archives in Washington at 9:30 a.m. on Memorial Day, half an hour before opening.
    Her party — which included her husband, three daughters and her parents, as well as Greta Van Susteren, a host on Fox News, with whom Palin has an exclusive contract — was ushered into the building for a private look at the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, cloistered in a darkened rotunda under glass.
    By the time she exited the archives half an hour later, a small crowd of reporters and well-wishers had gathered outside.
    “I wish every student in America could get here,” she afterward. “It is heartwarming, and it means so much to so many of us to be able to physically be here and see the foundation of America.”… – LAT, 5-31-11
  • SARAH PALIN: Memorial Day brings out presidential hopefuls: Politicians were in plentiful supply this Memorial Day as the ramp-up to the 2012 presidential election began in earnest.
    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who began a nationwide bus tour Sunday, generated plenty of buzz, visiting Fort McHenry in Baltimore and Mount Vernon in Virginia on Monday.
    She told CNN on Monday that she plans to take her “One Nation” bus tour to Iowa, the state that votes first in the race for the Republican presidential nomination…. – CNN, 5-31-11
  • Palin Family Hits Road, if Not 2012 Trail: Sarah Palin dropped a fresh hint Monday about her presidential ambitions, telling reporters that her “One Nation” bus tour might “at some point” go to Iowa, where the 2012 voting begins.
    But that scrap of information was about all Ms. Palin was willing to offer to reporters as she spent Memorial Day bouncing among historic locations in Washington, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
    Day 2 of the tour started Monday morning with a visit to the National Archives in Washington, where she and her family took a private moment to look at the Constitution. The family went from there to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington, and to Fort McHenry in Baltimore. A stop at the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania was also on the itinerary.
    Throughout the day, Ms. Palin continued to play coy with reporters eager to know her itinerary. After the National Archives stop, a reporter yelled out, “Sarah, where are you going next?” She quickly answered, “Mount Vernon,” then added, “Oh — you are a reporter, darn you!”
    Ms. Palin announced her bus tour with great fanfare last week and is using it on her Web site to raise money for her political action committee. Despite that, she is acting as though her family is just like any other on vacation…. – NYT, 5-30-11
  • In Gettysburg, post-jog Palin greets supporters: It’s too hot in central Pennsylvania, according to Sarah Palin, but while it wore out those on her bus tour, she snuck in a jog as reporters and supporters searched for her whereabouts.
    The Palin-crazed media and faithful fans found her late Monday afternoon, as she and her family paused their northbound road trip to rest up at a hotel on the outskirts of Gettysburg.
    National reporters trailed the Palins throughout the day, during their stops at the National Archives, Mount Vernon and Fort McHenry. When her bus was spotted at a hotel minutes from the historic battlefield that she was expected to visit today, reporters flocked and fans posed for pictures next to the Constitution-emblazoned motorcoach.
    Rumors swirled that she would be heading back out later that evening, and with a group gathered watching one hotel exit, she drew stunned looks as she and her daughter Piper walked up from behind the crowd and said hello…. – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5-30-11
  • Palin Appearance at ‘Rolling Thunder’ Feeds Election Speculation Fury: Sarah Palin arrives at the beginning of Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon during the Memorial Day weekend in Washington.
    Sarah Palin could win the Republican nomination and defeat President Obama, Sen. John McCain said Sunday as his former vice presidential running mate fueled 2012 speculation by appearing at the annual Memorial Day rally on the National Mall.
    “Of course she can, she can. Whether she will or not, whether she’ll even run, I don’t know,” McCain, R-Ariz., told “Fox News Sunday.” “She certainly is a major factor. And I believe that she can be very competitive.”
    Palin’s participation in the annual Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C., has fueled as much noise about a potential presidential candidacy as the thousands of motorcycle-riding veterans participating in the Rolling Thunder ride-along Sunday.
    At the Pentagon parking lot where the mob of veterans and their families pre-positioned for the thunderous two-wheeler march down Constitution Ave, Palin, who did not address the Memorial Day crowd, said she was thrilled to participate.
    “I love that smell of the emissions,” she said, donning sunglasses and a Harley Davidson skullcap-style, black helmet…. – Fox News, 5-29-11
  • Palin swarmed at first bus tour stop: Amid the chaos, there was Sarah Palin. Only one advance staffer was on hand to wrangle the fans and reporters hoping to get close to the former vice presidential nominee, who arrived at Sunday’s Rolling Thunder rally driving her own motorcycle.
    At the first stop on Palin’s bus tour – which so far has a vague itinerary but no other formally announced stops – security and press relations were left to a small group of disgruntled bikers.
    When asked about the tour, Palin offered only, “This is our first stop, we’re very thankful to be here.” A map of the tour’s stops on her PAC’s website remains blank.
    Palin arrived with her daughter Willow on the front of the motorcycle she was driving and her husband Todd and oldest daughter Bristol each on separate bikes. Still, their presence was very small in comparison to the rest of the rally, drawing about 200 people in a swarm around her at an event that drew thousands of veterans. Her husband, wearing a navy blue T-shirt with “Washington, D.C.” printed on the front, worked the crowd with ease – offering fast and short responses to a few reporters and glad-handing the many fans of his wife. They talked happily with those within shouting distance, and they joined the former vice presidential nominee in signing leather vests, posing for the cameras and answering questions to the few reporters who got close enough. She even held a brief availability with reporters in the corner of the parking lot away from the main group.
    Organizers of the annual veterans motorcycle ride were clearly frustrated by the media attention and fuss brought by Palin, and the bikers weren’t as encouraging as the Palins. Yelling, and in a few instances, shoving, they tried to keep away press trying to snap photographs or capture a rare quote…. – Politico, 5-29-11
  • Sarah Palin’s ‘One Nation’ bus tour shrouded in secrecy: 2012 run for President or publicity stunt?: Sarah Palin is hopping aboard a national bus tour this weekend and now the big mystery is whether she’s also switching gears for a White House run.
    The former Alaska governor’s One Nation road trip is shrouded in secrecy, with her political action committee only revealing that she’ll start in Washington and go up through New England to “educate and energize Americans about our nation’s founding principles.”
    Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty shrugged off Palin’s bus tour Friday when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” if the trip indicated a run for the Oval Office…. – NY Daily News, 5-27-11
  • Palin to Begin Public Tour This Weekend: Sarah Palin will begin a bus tour of the East Coast on Memorial Day weekend, the latest and most significant evidence that the former governor of Alaska is still seriously considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination this year.
    Ms. Palin will begin the series of high-profile public events in the Washington area, starting with the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally and continuing on through the Northeast, according to a statement on her Web site.
    Her purchase of a house in Arizona and recent additions to her staff have prompted renewed speculation about her political intentions even as the field of Republicans who are vying to challenge President Obama has dwindled in recent weeks.
    The bus tour, which will extend beyond the weekend, will take Ms. Palin and her family through the Northeast in a decorated, red-white-and-blue charter bus, heightening comparisons to a campaign whistle-stop tour…. – NYT, 5-26-11
  • Sarah Palin and her ‘One Nation’ bus tour, coming to a town near voters soon: Sarah Palin, who admitted recently that she had the fire in the belly to run for president, now has a bus tour to go with it.
    The Republican former governor, who wandered all over Alaska in a motorhome last year for her Discovery Channel reality series, will do the same starting Sunday at a biker rally in Washington.
    According to Scott Conroy at RealClearPolitics.com, an essential daily read for politics fans, the tour will, of course, involve members of the Palin family and first focus on the Northeast. That’s a seemingly unlikely place for RepSarah palin one nation Busublican political kickoffs, unless you can say ‘the first primary state of New Hampshire is a whole lot nicer in June than January.’
    The trips could last for weeks and are guaranteed to attract many media trailing along in the bus exhaust fumes. Like the NASCAR race she attended last year, Sunday’s annual … … Memorial Day Rolling Thunder biker rally at the Pentagon and down the National Mall offers an ideal opportunity for the kind of handshaking, picture-posing, you-betcha retail politicking that Palin loves and is so good at. Among folks who like her…. – LAT, 5-26-11

Sunday: Sarah Palin arrives at the beginning of Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon during the Memorial Day weekend in Washington.

AP2011

Sunday: Sarah Palin arrives at the beginning of Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon during the Memorial Day weekend in Washington.

Sarah Palin: ‘I’m Not the Conventional, Status Quo Politician … the Last Thing I Worry About Is the Mainstream Media’: GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Here’s Governor Palin on her “One Nation” bus tour.
VAN SUSTEREN: So Governor, we’re on the bus. Whose idea was this bus?
SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: You know, Todd had this idea. He was reading on an airplane some months ago an article by Thomas Sowell, and in this article, Thomas Sowell was talking about our economy and how to get it back on the right track and how much of the solution has to do with the foundation of America.
And Todd — he texted me when he landed at the airport and said, You know, we need to remind America about our charters of liberty, about our Constitution, about our Declaration of Independence and how America was built on this idea of individual power within us, and then collectively, how we all work together to create this great union. We need to remind America how important it is to protect all that’s good about America as written out in our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. Go around the country and start talking about it.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you…
PALIN: Right on!
VAN SUSTEREN: You’ve obviously driven the media nuts. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that. But I mean, everybody’s talking about it. Everyone’s trying to find out where you’re going, what are you doing. What do you say about that because it’s — it — everybody’s been talking about it.
PALIN: Well, you know, I know that many in the mainstream media are looking for kind of a conventional — a campaign-type tour. And I’ve said from the beginning this isn’t a campaign tour, except to campaign on our Constitution, our charters of liberty. And they want kind of a conventional idea of, We want a schedule. We want to follow you. We want you to bring us along with you.
I’m, like, (A) I don’t think I owe anything to the mainstream media. I think that it would be a mistake for me to become some kind of conventional politician and doing things the way that it’s always been done with the media in terms of relationship with them. Tell them to come on along and then we’ll orchestrate this, we’ll script this, and we’ll basically write a story for you, media, about what we’re doing every day.
No, I want them to have to do a bit of work on a tour like this, and that would include not necessarily telling them beforehand where every stop is going to be. You know, if they — we’ll do a stop. We’ll do a lot of OTRs, off the records. We’ll meet a lot of great Americans. And then I’ll write about that at the end of the day.
And it’s not about me. It’s not a publicity-seeking tour. It’s about highlighting the great things about America. And the media can figure out where we’re going if they do their investigative or they are going to keep kind of , as you put it, going crazy trying to figure out what we’re doing…. – Fox News, 5-31-11

April 4, 2011: President Obama Formally Launches 2012 Re-election Bid

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

ELECTIONS — PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2012….

President Barack Obama announces 2012 re-election bid: President Barack Obama announced his 2012 re-election bid in a YouTube video.

With short video, Obama launches bid for re-election

Source: CNN, 4-4-11
President Obama  announced his re-election campaign early Monday via an online video.
With a short video on BarackObama.com, the sitting president of the United States has launched his bid for re-election.
Using what apparently will be one of his campaign slogans, “It begins with us,” the campaign has told supporters that the kickoff of the campaign has started and that means the race for contributions is on.
The familiar looking blue “O” over red and white stripes is back again for 2012. And at the bottom of the website, the candidates’ names are clearly identified: OBAMA-BIDEN — for Vice President Joe Biden.
Shortly afterward, Obama sent an e-mail to supporters to say he will also file papers Monday with the Federal Election Commission.
“We’ve always known that lasting change wouldn’t come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we’ve made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest,” Obama said in his e-mail message….READ MORE

Obama launches reelection campaign with e-mail, web video: The president pledges to focus on his job, but will pick up the tempo of campaigning this month with several fundraisers. The campaign is hoping to raise a record $1 billion…. – LAT, 4-4-11

Obama re-election launches with e-mail, website: President Barack Obama formally launched his re-election campaign Monday, urging grass-roots supporters central to his first White House run to mobilize again to protect the change he’s brought over the past two years. The official start of his second White House bid comes 20 months before the November 2012 election.
“We’ve always known that lasting change wouldn’t come quickly or easily. It never does,” the Democrat said in an e-mail to supporters announcing his candidacy. “But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we’ve made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.” – AP, 4-4-11

QUOTES

Obama 2012 Email Announcement: Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.

We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.
So even though I’m focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.
We’ve always known that lasting change wouldn’t come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we’ve made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.
As we take this step, I’d like to share a video that features some folks like you who are helping to lead the way on this journey. Please take a moment to watch:

Watch the video

In the coming days, supporters like you will begin forging a new organization that we’ll build together in cities and towns across the country. And I’ll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that’s farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we’ve built before.
We’ll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year’s fight.
This will be my final campaign, at least as a candidate. But the cause of making a lasting difference for our families, our communities, and our country has never been about one person. And it will succeed only if we work together.
There will be much more to come as the race unfolds. Today, simply let us know you’re in to help us begin, and then spread the word:
http://my.barackobama.com/2012
Thank you,
Barack

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