Fighting Mr. (Brain) Freeze

Ragan recently featured a useful article on how to handle a brain freeze when you’re speaking in public. Whether you’re a CEO, manager or in the cases they presented, a political candidate, handling such an instance with grace could go a long way toward disaster control.

They use the following two video examples of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as the right and wrong ways to handle this. Although, in fairness, one wonders how Sen. Rubio would have handled the last part of his speech if he was unable to eventually find the final page.

Republicans Slow to Endorse This Year

I’m sure you’re as baffled as I am as to why GOP Congressmen aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to endorse the likes of Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann or Rick Santorum (sarcasm intended). But here’s an interesting article from The Washington Post about how things are unfolding a little more slowly on that front for 2012:

Across the country, most Republicans haven’t committed fully to any of the party’s presidential candidates. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 69 percent on the GOP side said there was still a chance they could change their minds about their choice.

In Washington, an elite focus group of 289 Republicans was even more indecisive.

That group consists of the GOP members of the House and Senate, of whom just 60 — or 21 percent — have publicly endorsed a presidential candidate, according to a list maintained by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.

The lawns of Iowa and New Hampshire are still covered mostly with leaves, not snow, so lawmakers have some time left to choose a side. But the endorsement pace has been much slower than it was during the last election cycle.

Across the country, most Republicans haven’t committed fully to any of the party’s presidential candidates. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 69 percent on the GOP side said there was still a chance they could change their minds about their choice.

In Washington, an elite focus group of 289 Republicans was even more indecisive.

As of Nov. 9, 2007, 107 Hill Republicans — 43 percent of the total then serving — had offered their endorsements to a White House contender, according to a Roll Call tally at the time.

The current list includes 36 endorsements for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, 14 for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, six for ex-House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), three for Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) and one for businessman Herman Cain. That total does not include Paul himself, although his preference appears clear. The same is true for Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.).

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. and ex-senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) have yet to receive any Capitol Hill endorsements.

Four years ago, Romney led the way with a similar number, 33, followed by Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) with 29, ex-New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani with 24 and former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) with 21.

New Hampshire Gearing Up for GOP Primary Fight

It’s getting to be that time when politicos all around the country start living on Red Bull as primaries begin heating up — and circus-like cable news debates dominate Twitter conversation. This time around, it’s Republicans working to find a candidate who can defeat a rather unpopular incumbent president. But, of course, if you’ve been watching the debates and/or the latest mini-scandal surrounding Herman Cain, you can see why a GOP victory is far from a certainty. In this Real Clear Politics article, the focus is on Mitt Romney’s efforts in New Hampshire and how other candidates are hoping to stop him.

The former Massachusetts governor has not yet aired advertisements in New Hampshire, instead choosing to conserve his resources for a potentially lengthy primary fight. But Romney’s campaign is leery about being lulled to sleep here, and several other candidates seem poised to give him at least some reason for concern.

Though Michele Bachmann’s New Hampshire campaign remains on life support after the defection of her entire statewide staff, several viable GOP contenders are set to boost their efforts here.

Rick Perry remains mired in the low single digits in state polls, but his campaign has shown no signs of giving up here despite growing questions about whether he should devote most of his resources to Iowa and South Carolina — the two early-voting states that appear to be his most likely vehicles for a national comeback.

The Texas governor is launching a New Hampshire TV and radio advertising campaign on Wednesday, as he joins Ron Paul as the only candidates to air ads here thus far.

Perry’s wife, Anita, will campaign in the state on Friday and Perry himself will likely return by the end of the month, according to aides.

“He’s going to be campaigning hard in New Hampshire, and he has been campaigning hard,” said Perry’s New Hampshire strategist Paul Young.

Though the three-term governor may be able to survive a poor showing in New Hampshire if he exceeds expectations in the other early-voting states, the same cannot be said for Jon Huntsman. The former Utah governor recently moved his national campaign staff to New Hampshire and has banked his underdog candidacy on pulling off a surprise victory here.

Huntsman drew a crowd of almost 200 mostly college-age voters on Tuesday for a speech at the University of New Hampshire on energy policy. In it, he vowed to eventually eliminate all energy subsidies and called for an end to the oil “monopoly as a transportation fuel.”

Pres. Obama Losing Support of Independents

Here are some interesting — though maybe not surprising — findings from a poll following our latest government debt deal drama. It shows President Obama is losing the independent voters that were so crucial to his initial election. Although, does this mean they’ll be voting for the GOP in 2012? My gut tells me a lot of people will stay at home with a case of disgust that day, although much could change for both parties between now and then.

President Barack Obama has sought to cut deals with congressional Republicans, including the “grand bargain” to cut the deficit and raise the debt limit, partly to appeal to independent voters, aides suggest.

It appears Mr. Obama still has a long way to go, according to a CNN/ORC International poll.

In a hypothetical matchup with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP race’s front-runner, the president loses the all-important independents 53% to 41%. Among the larger survey of registered voters, Messrs Obama and Romney are running neck and neck, 49% to 48%.

In a matchup with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Mr. Obama is ahead 51% to 46%, while independents split evenly –46% –for the two men.

The survey of registered voters has a margin of error of three percentage points. The margin increases to 4.5 percentage points for responses from independents.

Mr. Obama still tops every declared Republican candidate in the poll’s hypothetical contests, but it shows voters prefer former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has not taken any serious steps toward running, over Mr. Obama, 51% to 45%) But independents generally decide elections – they sent Mr. Obama to the White House in 2008, and they gave Republicans control of the House in 2010.

  

Governors Getting Connected

State News Magazine recently identified the "most connected" governors in the United States. According to the magazine, only five governors in the country use four out of the five major social networking sites.

According to the article, none of them use Myspace, but all use Facebook, flickr, Twitter and YouTube. They are: 

  • Mike Beebe (Arkansas)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger (California)
  • Deval Patrick (Massachusetts)
  • Rick Perry (Texas)
  • Jim Doyle (Wisconsin)

Well folks, I believe I have a sixth four-out-of-fiver for you who wasn’t listed in the article — Mitch Daniels. Looks like our governor has official accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Myspace.

Other governors identified who use three of the five social tools are Bob Riley (Alabama); Bill Ritter (Colorado); Steve Beshear (Kentucky); Martin O’Malley (Maryland); Jennifer Granholm (Michigan); Haley Barbour (Mississippi); Jon Corzine (New Jersey); Bev Perdue (North Carolina); and Christine Gregoire (Washington).

Regarding the reasons for getting involved in social media, Florida Sen. Dave Aronberg says it’s an easy decision:

It’s a no brainer for a politician to use the new media. You’re not going to be misquoted if you are the one sending out your own communication. It’s also a great way to engage the voters in a two-way conversation.