Romney Given Secret Service Protection

Feb 3, 2012, 9:29 am EST

In the aftermath of his decisive Florida victory, Mitt Romney picked up some new followers. These followers aren’t fervent fans of the former Massachusetts governor, though. They are Secret Service agents.

The Secret Service, in addition to providing protection for the President, Vice President, their immediate families, former presidents, and heads of state from foreign nations, also provide protection for major presidential and vice presidential candidates. The Secretary of Homeland Security determines, with the assistance of an advisory committee primarily made up of House and Senate leaders, who is a major candidate.

Romney’s status as a “major candidate” in the eyes of this committee and the Secret Service comes with advantages and disadvantages. The Secret Service cut a distinctive figure, one that can’t help but make the protected look presidential, but it also greatly limits Romney’s access to the voters. Getting into events takes more security, roads get closed and traffic jams ensue, and the Secret Service will do their best to keep a good, safe distance between him and the attendees at his events. Read 

Can Super Bowl Results Pick the President?

Feb 2, 2012, 10:17 am EST

Among many other fascinating Super Bowl side effects, there is one with significant political implications. The score of the game — more specifically, if the game is a close one or a blowout — seems to indicate which party will win the presidency.

Thus far, there have been 11 election-year Super Bowls. When the games have been decided by 14 points or less, the Democrats have gone 4-3 in the election. The 1976, 1992, 1996, and 2008 elections went to Democrats, while 1980, 2000, and 2004 went to Republicans. However, the four occasions when election-year Super Bowls were decided by more than 14 points, the Republican candidate won each election — 1968, 1972, 1984, and 1988.

A Super Bowl blowout frequently preceded an election-year blowout. Richard Nixon won 520 electoral votes in 1972, Ronald Reagan won 525 electoral votes in 1984, and George H.W. Bush won 426 electoral votes in 1988. Read 

Letter: Florida Food Stamp Bill Unenforceable

Feb 2, 2012, 9:34 am EST

This is a futile effort because it is unenforceable. Who is going to be the enforcer, the teenage cashier at the grocery store checkout? This is basic stuff and common sense. Anytime a rule, regulation, or policy is established, it must contain three components: the standard (what the law is), the conditions (circumstances surrounding the need for the law, mitigating and extenuating), and the method of enforcement as measured against the standards. If an action cannot clearly and completely fulfill all three of these components, then quit wasting time and energy and move on to something else. Of course, in this case, the better effort would be to strive to establish conditions and an environment where these people do not require food stamps.

— Don Hanson, Smithfield, Va.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer. Read 

UPDATE: Trump May Endorse Romney

Feb 2, 2012, 9:09 am EST
UPDATE: Trump May Endorse Romney

An already volatile and unpredictable GOP primary season just became more volatile today. Donald Trump’s endorsement, originally thought to be going to Newt Gingrich, is now apparently going to be given to Mitt Romney.

The endorsement will be given officially at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time today, at a luxury hotel in Las Vegas that bears Trump’s name.  The Nevada caucuses will be held Saturday.

Trump, who flirted with a presidential run as a Republican or a third-party candidate, also tried to host a debate in Iowa in December. Only Gingrich and Rick Santorum said they would attend, and the debate was eventually cancelled. Read 

Romney: ‘I’m Not Concerned About the Very Poor’

Feb 1, 2012, 1:37 pm EST

For those who see the former private-equity investor as hopeless out of touch with Americans in need, Mitt Romney’s latest comments will only add fuel to that fire.

In an interview with CNN‘s Soledad O’Brien, he had the following to say about the very poor:

“I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.” Read 

Barack’s ‘Bundlers’ Bring In Big Bucks

Feb 1, 2012, 12:48 pm EST

While the Super PAC supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign hasn’t quite hit the heights of Romney’s Super PAC yet, that doesn’t mean Obama is hurting for money. Obama has his own ace up his sleeve, in the former of “bundlers.”

What’s a bundler? Simply put, a bundler is someone who seeks out individuals to donate to a campaign. Because individuals are limited to donating a maximum of $2,500 per election to a federal candidate or his campaign commitee, bundlers work by taking advantage of community or personal connections to “bundle” up many individuals’ contributions to a campaign.

In documents released yesterday, the Obama campaign revealed it had increased the number of bundlers who had collected $50,000 or more over the last three months of 2011 from 351 to 445. Overall, bundlers brought in $74.4 million last year, over 30% of the campaign’s overall haul. Read 

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