It was a mistake for Romney and Pawlenty to skip the Republican Leadership Conference. I saw a clip of Pawlenty speaking to another conference held last weekend in Minneapolis - which I had to skip due to the previous commitment to RLC 11 - so it is unfortunate he didn't come to New Orleans the day before as the other top contenders did. For instance, Michele Bachmann, also from Minnesota, spoke in New Orleans Friday and was able to then go to Minneapolis to speak to the other group on Saturday. So, it made Romney and Pawlenty appear uninterested in an active and strong section of the GOP.
It was interesting to note which politicians exited the stage into the crowd to shake hands and pose for pictures. Bobby Jindal (who was the only one to enter from the back of the room and walk up to the stage through the crowd) and Rick Perry did it. So did Michele Bachmann. It is so important for politicians to give the vibe that they are approachable.
Newt Gingrich likes to enter the stage to "Eye of the Tiger".
Straw polls are meaningless. The real contender to watch is the one who comes in second. In today's world of conservative conferences, it is well-known that the Ron Paul campaign buses in supporters, gives reduced rates on admission and then has them muck up the polling results. They arrive for Paul's speech, hold up signs provided by the campaign, chant, yell out, and leave as soon as the speech is over and they vote. When confronted by a friend of mine about their tactics, Paul's campaign justified it by saying "the Romney campaign buses in supporters" but is that justification? Is that justification for gaming the straw polls? The media loves to report that Ron Paul won a straw poll. This time around it was reported as "a landslide". Doesn't matter. What mattered is that Jon Huntsman came in as the second favorite and he wasn't even there. He was unable to attend due to illness. So that was really interesting.
And, about "the Romney campaign buses in supporters" - then why didn't they do that for his announce in New Hampshire? His crowd was small and reported as such. Sarah Palin was there that day and got all the crowds and press coverage. The Ron Paul campaign cheats.
The Obama impersonator,Reggie Brown,is really getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media. They would have you believe he was booted off the stage for telling jokes about Republicans. He wasn't. It was a time thing. He had been on stage for a while and he was a time filler. The LA GOP ran a video of him talking about how great Obama has been for the GOP, as Obama. Then he was introduced and came on to do his act. He was very well received and is spot on with his Obama posture and gestures. A couple of the jokes were not in the best of taste and yes, they were directed at Republicans - the ones that made the national media in the back of the room smile and chuckle - but it was at the end of his time. Whatever. Just don't believe everything the media wants you to believe as they continue to campaign for their guy, Barack Obama.
Republicans have a big, diverse roster of candidates from which to chose a Presidential candidate. If the economy continues as it is now and Obama continues on his path to nowhere, there is a real possibility that the GOP can take back the White House in 2012, with a strong, articulate candidate. It will take a united front from the GOP and Independents and disaffected Democrats. Obama's $1 billion campaign will be down and dirty, no matter who runs against him.