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Posts Tagged ‘Michele Bachmann’
December 28th, 2011 at 3:22 pm
Romney Win in Iowa Would Be a Surprise Too

At CFIF, we’ve spent some time arguing that Rick Santorum could produce a surprise win in next week’s Iowa caucuses.  Ron Paul continues to top the leader board in the Hawkeye State, rising to a level of support that most consider surprising.  But with news that a Super PAC is switching its support from Michele Bachmann to Mitt Romney, and spending almost $500,000 on an ad-buy for him, it looks increasingly likely that the former Massachusetts governor could be the biggest surprise winner in Iowa.  Why?  Because his campaign took a decidedly hands-off approach to Iowa for much of 2011, preferring to focus its efforts – and locate its headquarters – in New Hampshire.  Now, Romney is peaking at just the right moment.

It’s probably true that there are really three GOP contests in Iowa right now.  Ron Paul’s libertarian caucus, the establishment caucus between Newt Gingrich and Romney, and the conservative caucus between Santorum, Bachmann, and Rick Perry.  Unless Paul wins both Iowa and New Hampshire, he’s likely done after next week’s voting.  (But what if he did win both?)  A Romney win in Iowa probably knocks out Gingrich, with whomever survives to win the conservative caucus having an uphill climb against a strengthened Romney.

Because of his record and light campaigning in the state, Romney wasn’t supposed to win Iowa.  If he does, his march to the nomination may be a short one.

December 9th, 2011 at 5:00 pm
Perry, Bachmann Bow Out; Only Santorum and Newt at Debate with Trump

It is not necessary, but oh so fitting that the week ends with news that GOP presidential candidates Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann will not be attending the December 27th debate “moderated” by Donald Trump in Des Moines, IA.  After a spirited exchange with Quin and Troy, I’m glad to see my musings about a Lincoln-Douglas style debate between Gingrich and Santorum taking a turn toward reality.  With other candidates Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman already declining – and Herman Cain out of the race – that leaves Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich as the only participants in what could be a decisive event one week before Iowa Republicans caucus to pick a presidential nominee.

Perhaps the twists and turns in this wacky pre-primary season aren’t done just yet.  Next up: Santorum publicly challenging Newt to a one-on-one debate over the past, present, and future of America.  Something tells me it’s the kind of challenge a ‘world historical figure’ like Gingrich won’t pass up.

December 2nd, 2011 at 6:11 pm
Trump to Moderate GOP Debate in Iowa

Earlier today Newsmax invited the main Republican candidates to a December 27th debate in Des Moines, IA.  One catch: it will be moderated by Donald Trump.  Somehow a “moderate” Donald Trump doesn’t seem possible.

In a way it’s fitting that Trump, erstwhile Republican presidential candidate, will be preside over what may be the final GOP debate before the January 3, 2012 Iowa caucuses.  Trump started the anti-Romney conservative popularity surges that later carried Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain and now Newt Gingrich to prominence.

But for all his popularity, the choice of Trump is a bit curious since he’s recently admitted to thinking about running for president again – this time on a third party ticket.  While the venue and media exposure may preclude candidates from staying away, I would be wary of taking questions from a guy who could use his moderator’s role to pin down potential rivals.

November 8th, 2011 at 9:00 pm
Watch Newt
Posted by Troy Senik Print

As Ashton notes below, I’ve been peddling a theory for the last several weeks that Newt Gingrich is poised to end up in a one-on-one showdown with Mitt Romney for the Republican Presidential nomination. The reason is simple: despite his seeming meltdown early in the campaign, Newt has been playing the long game, eschewing attacks on the other Republican candidates, and using the debates as a cost-free method to display his intellectual mastery of the issues and his ample abilities as a communicator.

It’s a savvy strategy, though like all “great in hindsight” moves it has benefited a lot from luck. If Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, or Herman Cain had been able to to convince the primary electorate that they had presidential deliverables, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Even the leaden Tim Pawlenty campaign may have been getting a second look if the former Minnesota governor had stayed in the race. But they haven’t, and Newt (who probably enjoys a five-point premium in the polls just because of the number of Republicans who’d love to watch him debate President Obama) is now riding high: a new poll out of Iowa yesterday had him second, only four points behind Herman Cain, who is likely to start taking a serious nosedive any day now.

One note of caution: as Ashton mentions, I have my doubts on whether Newt can overtake Romney in the final tally, as two factors will come into play once the former speaker is seen as a formidable threat. First, his intemperance while leading the House of Representatives will be brought back to the fore. Newt can reasonably argue that he’s even better equipped to lead the nation having learned the lessons of those years. Fair enough, as such things go. The other issue will be his messy personal life, which is the factor most likely to torpedo the campaign. If Gingrich has learned anything from the Herman Cain debacle, hopefully it’s that he should be candid about his past — and do so as quickly as possible. That will allow him to better control the story and adequately separate fact from fiction. Expect to hear a lot about Newt’s new-found religious convictions when those issues take center stage.

As for Romney, he should hope that Newt stumbles on one of these issues, but be prepared for him not to. The front runner has had it easy thus far, with most of his major opponents taking themselves out of contention without the former Massachusetts governor having to so much as lay a finger on them. Ask any Democrat from the last few decades: Newt will not be nearly so easy a target.

November 8th, 2011 at 8:07 pm
Gingrich Has Largest Campaign Operation in South Carolina

Granted, Newt has 9 staff members in the Palmetto State while Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry each have 7, but hey, he’s still #1!

Troy wrote an insightful entry analyzing Gingrich’s somewhat discussed boomlet as perhaps not enough to overtake the unfathomable Mitt Romney.  Still, if there’s anyone in this race who knows how to galvanize a movement, it’s the author of the Contract with America.

Quin, I await another onslaught on why Gingrich would not be (to put it nicely) your choice for POTUS.

October 21st, 2011 at 2:35 pm
Bachmann in the Lion’s Den

However her presidential campaign turns out, Michele Bachmann deserves continued credit for speaking the truth no matter what the forum.  During question time after a speech in the liberal haven of San Francisco, the conservative firebrand made these distinctions between the “occupy” movement and the Tea Party:

“The tea party picks up its trash after it has a demonstration, so there’s a difference,” the Minnesota congresswoman quipped during a question-and-answer period after her speech to the Commonwealth Club of California.

On a more serious note, the two movements have “two different views of how to solve the problems” our nation faces, she said. Occupy activists believe in “government-directed solutions based on temporary gimmicks,” she said, while tea partyers believe in “permanent solutions driven from the private sector.”

Amen, sister.

H/T: San Jose Mercury-News

August 15th, 2011 at 5:05 pm
Wall Street Journal Urges More Republicans into the Presidential Race
Posted by Troy Senik Print

After months in which the shape of the Republican presidential campaign has been amorphous, the events of the past weekend have, at long last, given the GOP contest some definition. Rick Perry is in, Tim Pawlenty is out, and Michele Bachmann is walking away victorious from the Ames Straw Poll. And now, conventional wisdom is beginning to congeal around the notion that the final showdown will be a three-way race between Perry, Bachmann, and Mitt Romney.

That conventional wisdom, however, isn’t good enough for the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, as authoritative a voice as there is in the print wing of the conservative movement. In a staff editorial today analyzing the prospects of the candidates in the race, the Journal’s ed board weighs the candidates in the balance and finds them wanting. It wraps up on this brusque note:

Republicans and independents are desperate to find a candidate who can appeal across the party’s disparate factions and offer a vision of how to constrain a runaway government and revive America’s once-great private economy. If the current field isn’t up to that, perhaps someone still off the field will step in and run. Now would be the time.

There are still some major Republicans flirting with– or being courted for — a race for the White House. Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani fall into the former category, while Paul Ryan and Chris Christie are the two names most frequently cited for the latter. Will any of them get in? Those prospects probably defend on the performance of Perry, who has the chance to close down the field by filling the conservative vacuum or blow it open by becoming the second coming of Fred Thompson. To paraphrase a dictum familiar in Perry’s home state, the eyes of the party are upon him.

August 15th, 2011 at 2:23 pm
Mother Jones Thinks Rick Perry Too Radical for Tea Party

It’s always nice when liberals deign to give advice to conservatives on whom should be admitted to the next Tea Party rally.  Commenting on excerpted parts of Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry’s book Fed Up!, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones thinks Rick Perry is wrong to think that it’s unconstitutional for the federal government to regulate banks, consumer financial choices, the environment, guns, civil rights, a minimum wage, and create programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

At least Drum acknowledges that Perry makes certain exceptions for federal regulations on racial discrimination since that fulfills “the intent behind the passage of the Reconstruction Era amendments.”

What makes liberals like Drum gasp is the fact that Perry thinks that, as James Madison argued in Federalist 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.  Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

But if a secondary source won’t cut it for Drum, here’s the text of the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

If they cared to, Drum and other liberals would look in vain to find an enumerated grant of power to the federal government to regulate the items on the list above.  That’s why they rely on activist judges to read into the Constitution federal powers that do not exist.

The Tea Party – like Perry, Michele Bachmann, and other constitutional conservatives – know their Constitution and the meaning behind it.  If liberals like Drum are aghast, it’s only because a grassroots movement is forming to challenge nearly 80 years of unconstitutional jurisprudence.

July 21st, 2011 at 2:01 pm
Bachmann’s Migraines Do Not Require ‘Heavy Pill Use’

Troy’s earlier point about the media creating a false story about presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN) being a pill-popping migraine sufferer is borne out by reporting from Byron York.  Citing what amounts to a doctor’s note from the resident physician in the House of Representatives (released with Bachmann’s permission), York says:

The doctor says Bachmann has had “an extensive evaluation by both my office and by a board-certified consulting neurologist.”  That evaluation, he continues, “has entailed detailed labwork and brain scans, all of which were normal.”  Monahan says Bachmann’s migraines occur “infrequently,” and that when she does have a headache, she is “able to control it well with as-needed sumatriptan and odasentron.”  Monahan says Bachmann has not needed to take the medication daily.  The two drugs, he adds, are “commonly used therapies.”

With that behind us, let’s get news that really matters, like whether Joe Biden’s botox habit is compromising his ability to advise (or possible succeed!) the president.

July 19th, 2011 at 9:51 pm
Media Attacks on Bachmann Migraines a Sign of Growning Desperation
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Two developments have intersected in recent weeks to put Minnesota Congresswoman and 2012 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann squarely in the media’s crosshairs.

The first is the fact that Sarah Palin shows no signs of getting into the presidential race anytime soon, depriving the MSM of its pinata of choice. The second is that Bachmann’s clear conservative principles and energetic personality are translating into real results. Just today, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Bachmann rocketing into second place (behind Mitt Romney) for the Republican presidential nomination.

Bachmann, like Palin before her, lives a life remarkably free of Beltway trappings and seems to have committed a cardinal sin amongst the punditocracy: she actually believes in her conservative principles. That may be the reason that a story as desperate as this is dominating today’s political news:

Presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann confirmed Tuesday she suffers from migraine headaches, but stressed they would not get in the way of her seeking the position or serving as commander in chief.

“Like nearly 30 million other Americans, I experience migraines that are easily controlled with medication,” Bachmann, R-Minn., said in a statement. “Let me be abundantly clear — my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief.”

… Bachmann’s son, Lucas Bachmann, told The New York Times that the migraines were not incapacitating. “She is probably not going to run a mile, but in terms of being able to engage, she can comprehend and assess information — without a doubt,” said Lucas Bachmann, who is a medical resident in Connecticut specializing in psychiatry.

Good lord. A presidential candidate is revealed to have one of the most common chronic medical ailments in America and all of a sudden the media is worried that Kim Jong-Il will get the jump on her because she’ll be in a dark room with a damp washcloth on her face? John F. Kennedy spent most of his administration loopy on painkillers, steroids, and (on at least one occasion) anti-psychotics, and still manages to get royal treatment from the press to this day. There was one crucial difference, however: Kennedy and the press read from the same sheet of music.

For the anti-establishment Bachmann, this train of abuses will likely continue. At this rate, expect to see a hard-hitting expose on whether her proclivity for hangnails may prevent her from properly using the veto pen by later in the week.

July 11th, 2011 at 9:18 pm
Tea Party Presidential Candidates “On the Issues”

The Houston Chronicle (scroll to the bottom) has a helpful side-by-side chart comparing the positions of declared and presumptive GOP presidential candidates, all of whom lean in one way or another toward the Tea Party.  The line-up includes Texas Governor Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and businessman Herman Cain.

Some highlights:

  • AZ Immigration Law: Bachmann and Cain support it; Paul has “some reservations,” and Perry thinks it “would not be the right direction for Texas”
  • Middle East Foreign Policy: Bachmann and Perry support Israel; Paul wants troop withdrawals from the Middle East; Cain is unequivocal: “You mess with Israel, you’re messing with the U.S.A.”
  • Economy: Bachmann, Perry and Cain all support tax cuts; Paul wants to go even farther: abolish the Federal Reserve and reestablish the gold standard

Here’s hoping for a substantive debate featuring all these candidates and their ideas.  America needs it.

June 29th, 2011 at 5:39 pm
Meeting Bachmann, Beating a Stereotype

Add Kirsten Powers to the list of political professionals who have a deeper appreciation of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) after meeting the GOP presidential candidate in person.  According to Powers, Bachmann is a much more substantive person than her critics imagine.

In person, Bachmann seems eerily disconnected from the TV caricature. She is bright, quick, charming, and thoughtful. She will civilly and gamely debate any issue.

One might expect those qualities in a person who made a living as a tax attorney, raised more than a score of children (5 of her own, 23 through foster care), snagged Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund as a co-author, and convinced several high profile campaign operatives to sign on.

As her performance at the CNN debate showed, Bachmann is a serious campaigner willing to put in the work to win.  If she continues to get out her message in person to voters in Iowa and other early voting states, she’ll quickly move past Tim Pawlenty and make this a two-horse race with Mitt Romney.

June 27th, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Perry, Paul, and Bachmann: The Tea Party Trinity

The New York Times reports of a “completely unscientific” voice-vote poll of about 100 Tea Party activists gathering at the D.C. offices of FreedomWorks.  The top vote getter for president was Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) who announced her (formal) candidacy today.  Texas Republicans Governor Rick Perry and Rep. Ron Paul were close seconds.

Each of the three has a unique mix of conservatism to attract Tea Party and larger GOP support.  All agree on fundamental themes like American Exceptionalism, low taxes, the free market, and traditional values.  Each differs, though, in the formula for achieving those goals.

That is a good thing.  Conservatives can – and should – differ about means, but not ends.  Goals are a matter of principle.  How we get there should be the subject of vigorous debate.

The reporters conducting their poll may think the results were “completely unscientific,” but they needn’t worry.  The boos for Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Jon Huntsman (R-UT), and the indifference toward Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), show that the media’s favorites are in real trouble with the people who will decide the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

June 16th, 2011 at 4:38 pm
A Very Good Start for Michele Bachmann

Hats off to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) for putting together a string of impressive wins in her just-begun presidential campaign.  Hiring veteran campaign consultant Ed Rollins elevated her profile with the Beltway set, and announcing her candidacy live at Monday’s debate was the perfect complement to her strong performance.

Today, Bachmann’s campaign announced that Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund will be assisting with her biography set to be released in the fall.  Fund’s attachment to the project means that the book has substance, and with his addition it is guaranteed to have style.

One more bright spot for Team Bachmann: A new Rasmussen poll finds her approval ratings second only to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

And she’s only been a candidate for four days.

April 28th, 2011 at 4:37 pm
Rubio, Rand Paul: Two Sides of the Tea Party Coin

Politico has a revealing article on the different approaches of Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rand Paul (R-KY).  Each claims credibility with the Tea Party movement that propelled them past establishment candidates in their respective primaries.

Rubio is developing a reputation as a quiet Capitol Hill operator who still votes his fiscal conservatism.  (As evidenced by his opposition to the 2011 budget bill negotiated by GOP leadership.)

Paul is taking his father Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) outsider approach to the insular Senate.  Much like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Paul is scoring points for taking uncompromising stands on spending, even if it angers the Republican leadership.

Both approaches are needed; especially if the Age of Obama stretches into a second term.

April 28th, 2011 at 4:15 pm
Daniels-Bachmann?

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour’s surprise announcement that he won’t run for the GOP 2012 presidential nomination clears the way for one of his protégés: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

One problem for each is the perception that he represents the Republican establishment in an era when the Tea Party puts a premium on grassroots activism and policy.

If Daniels does run and win the nomination, the push to put a more vocal conservative on the ticket could lead to an interesting pairing: Daniels-Bachmann, anyone?

January 22nd, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Bachmann Continues Independent Streak

Other than her congressional district, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) true base of support comes from the millions of Tea Party members currently providing the grassroots dynamism of the Republican Party.  Bachmann raised so much money last cycle that some pundits think she’s running for U.S. Senate or even president.

The announcement that Bachmann is delivering an unofficial Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address will heighten that speculation.  It will also anger the House Republican leadership that continues to pass over Bachmann.  First, it voted her down in a bid to be the new chair of the House GOP Conference Chair.  Bachmann pressed ahead with her own Tea Party caucus, raising even more money.  Now, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is slated to give the official Republican response, but Bachmann will deliver her own via the Tea Party Express website.

There may not be a way for Bachmann to capitalize on her media stardom, unless she continues to go her own way.  This will widen the gap between her and House GOP leadership, but if she wins a Senate seat or the presidency in 2012, the onus will be on leadership to make nice with her.

November 19th, 2010 at 3:52 pm
Michele Bachmann’s Fate Shows Pitfalls of Being an Outsider Inside Congress

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) recent failure to win the chairmanship of the House Republican Conference Committee is an important reminder for the wave of new GOP congress members coming into office in January.  If you spend more time courting a movement outside Congress, don’t be surprised when those inside it promote from within.

Such is the case of Michele Bachmann.  Widely considered the highest profile Tea Party leader inside the federal government, Bachmann’s loss to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) for the chairmanship is linked to her cultivated outsider status.  She may be brilliant with red meat speeches and raising money, but she is presumed to be light on policy details.  Moreover, the time she spent promoting the Tea Party were moments taken away from building the kinds of relationships with fellow members that lead to endorsements and favorable chairmanship votes.  That, more than anything else, explains the reason Bachmann lost to Hensarling.

But it isn’t just Bachmann that needs to consider how to parlay her grassroots support into actual results as a member of Congress.  The GOP leadership too needs to weigh carefully how to grow her brand while enhancing its own appeal to Tea Party voters.  Perhaps the latter consideration is what led House Republicans to create a new leadership position for the incoming class.  Ironically, the Republican congress member most deserving of representing the views of this Tea Party-flavored class is Bachmann herself.  Too bad the position is only open to freshmen.

November 11th, 2010 at 9:33 pm
Re: House GOP Leadership Team Taking Shape
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Ashton makes a good point about the geographic diversity of the GOP House leadership in comparison to its Democratic predecessor. Another interesting addition may be Kristi Noem, the incoming freshman who will serve as the At-Large Representative for South Dakota and who looks to be in line to fill a new position being created to give some leadership representation to the burgeoning ranks of Tea Party-affiliated conservatives. Noem is attractive, articulate, and has a compelling biography. She looks to be a definite rising star in the party.

I think the mix of the two parties may be reflective of what caused the Democrats to go astray in the past few years. Looking at the new Republican leadership, only Texan Jeb Hensarling comes from a state where Republicans are reliably strong in both federal and state elections. Democrats, on the other hand, populated their leadership ranks with figures from the deepest of the deep blue states. They governed that way too. And in so doing, they forgot all the lessons that gave them control of the Congress.

In the 2006 and 2008 election cycles, Rahm Emanuel in the House and Chuck Schumer in the Senate gave considerable flexibility to their recruited candidates, allowing them to run with conservative positions on a host of issues that allowed them to escape being tarred as liberals in the Midwest, the South, and the Mountain West. While they succeeded in getting a large percentage of those candidates elected, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda then lurched so heavily to the left that the new members had to run for reelection in the shadow of a record that undermined all their pretensions of moderation.

The facile interpretation of this trend is that a party always has to govern from the center to keep its majority. That’s also the rationale for liberals like  E.J. Dionne, who hope that the new conservative majority’s stand on principle will alienate them from the electorate. In his most recent column, Dionne writes:

Give Republicans credit for this: They don’t chase the center, they try to move it. Democrats can play a loser’s game of scrambling after a center being pushed ever rightward. Or they can stand their ground and show how far their opponents are from moderate, problem-solving governance. Why should Democrats take Republican advice that Republicans themselves would never be foolish enough to follow?

This is what happens when a static mind attempts to comprehend a dynamic landscape. The problem with Dionne’s analysis is that he assumes the left and the right are equidistant from the center. This is false. When Gallup polled the question in June, 42 percent of Americans identified as conservative, 35 percent said they were moderate, and 20 percent said they were liberal. That means the self-identified center-right represents an astonishing 77 percent of the country. By contrast, the center-left at its theoretical apex is only a slight majority of Americans. When you then factor in that 56 percent of independents broke for Republicans this year — and that that represented a 36 point swing from 2006 — you see how steep the hill is for Democrats.

Dionne and his counterparts in Congress need to learn the lesson: in a center-right country, it’s more important for Democrats to moderate than Republicans. If you doubt that, ask Bill Clinton — he might remind you that he’s the only Democratic president to be elected twice since FDR.

November 11th, 2010 at 1:49 pm
House GOP Leadership Team Taking Shape

With Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announcing the end of her campaign to be Republican Conference Chairman, the likely top four House GOP leadership spots look like this:

(1)   Speaker – Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)

(2)   Majority Leader – Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

(3)   Majority Whip – Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

(4)   Conference Chairman – Rep. Jeb Hersarling (R-TX)

It’s always interesting to see where leadership team members are from because it indicates where the strength of the party lies.  Since leadership positions are sought and won by members with multiple terms in office, it’s intriguing to see four Republicans representing each corner of the country.

Contrast this with the locations represented by the outgoing top four House Democrat leaders:

(1)   Speaker – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

(2)   Majority Leader – Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

(3)   Majority Whip – Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)

(4)   Caucus Chairman – Rep. John Larson (D-CT)

Aside from Clyburn, all the Democrat leaders come from deep blue coastal states (e.g. California, Maryland, and Connecticut).  Counting Clyburn, the Democrats’ claim to a “southern” voice is tied to a gerrymandered district designed to elect a liberal African-American.  If Hoyer beats Clyburn for the Minority Whip post, even that fig leaf of regional diversity will blow away.

The House Democratic caucus lost 29 of 57 “blue dog” members last Tuesday, making the remaining chamber membership much more liberal.  It also wiped out the Democrats’ claims to represent regions other than the high-tax, morally bankrupt coasts.  That, combined with Nancy Pelosi’s likely retention as caucus leader, will make it substantially more difficult for the party to recruit viable candidates in 2012.

Conservatives shouldn’t count on gifts like this forever, but for now, we’ll gladly take them.