The So Called Presidential Debates are a Waste of Time

October 10, 2012

Like most Americans, I didn’t watch the staged media spectacle better known as the Presidential Debate.  It is not just because I didn’t have a dog in that fight; it is because to me the quadrennial political mini-series is nothing more than a rigged, wasteful use of an hour and a half of prime time television.

First of all, it is not really a debate but a glorified press conference.  Journalists hurl softball questions at the candidates giving each the opportunity to regurgitate their perfectly rehearsed sound bites.  Wouldn’t it be more worthwhile if Obama and Romney were allowed to go toe to toe by stating their positions, asking each other questions, and arguing the merits of their positions without any filtering from an aloof journalist moderator?  Better yet, wouldn’t it be more worthwhile if other candidates were allowed to participate and give Americans a chance to hear views other than the sanctioned Establishment line.

Then there is the fact that once again the major parties have nominated two candidates for president who are quite similar.  Whether it’s Social Security, corporate bailouts, endless wars, or government spending, Obama and Romney agree more than disagree on most issues.  Isn’t it time that other views besides the one that has gotten us into our economic mess, endless wars, and erosion of constitutional liberties be allowed to be heard?

Lastly, as is always the case in the debates, several important issues were totally avoided.  What about our military’s continued drone war that has left hundreds of civilians dead in Pakistan?  What about the failed War on Drugs that has made America the number one jailor in the world?  Okay, the first debate’s focus was domestic policy, so killing innocent foreigners was outside that realm, but the violence engendered, the lives ruined, and the constitutional liberties destroyed by Washington’s decades’ long insane drug policy could have been broached.

Then there was the avoidance of the gravest issue currently facing our country – namely the role the Federal Reserve plays in our economy.

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.”

Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founding father of international finance (see below)

And yet, in an hour and a half debate on domestic policy, the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and quantitative easing were not mentioned a single time.  The Federal Reserve, the institution whose job it has been to protect the value of the dollar, has been responsible for the greenback losing 95 percent of its value since 1914.  Ben Bernanke, who has perhaps more influence over the economy than anyone else in Washington, doesn’t seem to have a clue about how the economy works.  He has a history of totally missing the mark with predictions.  This includes everything from, “At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained”, on March 28, 2007 to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, “…will make it through the storm” to his stating that “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession” on January 10, 2008 as the economy was spiraling into a massive downturn.  These were not little misses.

But perhaps the greatest dereliction of presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer in the debate was not asking the candidates anything about the Fed’s failed quantitative easing programs.  How can that be since Bernanke just announced that QE3 will last in perpetuity?

The Fed has already expanded the size of its balance sheet by 223 percent so far by buying financial assets from banks.  In so doing, it has injected trillions of dollars into the reserve accounts of those banks.  But, these purchases have not produced a healthy economy like Bernanke predicted.  In fact, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser expressed a negative view of Bernanke policy recently when he indicated that, “Inflation is going to occur when excess reserves of this huge balance sheet begin to flow outside into the real economy”.  For his part, Bernanke has always maintained that he possesses the know-how and tools to siphon out excess liquidity to prevent inflation when the time comes.  But, Plosser doubts the Fed will be able to act boldly enough since it has “absolutely zero experience” unwinding what has been put in place.

Given the state of continuous quantitative easing that our economy has been subject to, its utter failure to accomplish its stated goal, and the dour forecast by the Philly Fed Chairman as to what will result, how was this not an important area of inquiry for Lehrer to pursue with Obama and Romney?

At the end of the day, the so-called presidential debates are a waste of time.  Run by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, no candidates other than their own Republican and Democratic nominees are permitted to participate.  Given that both are usually quite similar in their positions, the American people are provided with little choice.  Finally, because many critically important issues are avoided, the debates contribute very little to the national dialogue on what needs to happen to turn our country around.  For that hour and a half we would be better off if the networks had aired reruns of the most popular mini-series instead.

(Quoted by Senator Robert L. Owen, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency and one of the sponsors of the Federal Reserve Act, National Economy and the Banking System, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939), p. 99. This quotation could not be verified in a primary reference work. However, when one considers the life and accomplishments of the elder Rothschild, there can be little doubt that this sentiment was, in fact, his outlook and guiding principle)

Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina


A Lack of Judgment and Hypocrisy

September 14, 2012

Mitt Romney’s behavior in the last 24 hours has been repulsive.  Faced with an attack from a crowd of angry protestors in Cairo over the release of an anti-Muhammad film in the United States, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo released the following statement in an attempt to appease the mob and prevent violence:

“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Romney apparently sensing a political opening attacked the Obama Administration over the statement claiming it was “sympathizing with those who waged the attack”.  Back on the offensive the next morning, Romney reiterated his criticism of the Administration’s handling of the attack and stated, “It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.”

That Mitt Romney would play politics while an attack on an American Embassy was in progress is more than disgusting; it is indicative of his unfitness to hold the office of the presidency.  It shows impulsiveness and a readiness to shoot first and ask questions later that we can ill afford in a president.

But, Romney’s actions frankly did not surprise this commentator.  Those advising him on his national security team are basically retreads from the George W. Bush years – renowned neoconservatives, and Zionists.  All are itching to reacquire the reins of power in order to involve America in more foreign military adventures, namely Syria and Iran.  So, when Romney went on the offensive, it became clear that the same gang that gave us the “axis of evil”, and the “you are either for us or against us” campaigns and over a decade of continuous war was at it again.  Apparently they are willing to stoop to any depth in an effort to score political points to win this election so as to recommence their murderous rampage specifically through the Islamic World.

There is no question that Governor Romney has surrounded himself with dangerous advisors on national security.  But, through his recent actions he has proven himself to be a hypocrite as well.

On Wednesday morning, he went to great lengths to claim that the Obama Administration had failed to defend our values with the Embassy’s statement.  Specifically, he accused them of “effectively apologizing for the right of free speech”.

This is outrageous coming from a man whose campaign just conducted a party gathering in Tampa described by one political commentator as a “Brownshirt Convention”.  At the Republican National Convention, Brown shirted guards and police cordoned off a large section of downtown Tampa to keep protestors out of sight.  Anything not specifically approved by the Romney people, including signs of rival factions within the party, were confiscated on the streets inside the cordoned off area and on the floor of the RNC.  Lastly, leaving nothing to chance, all speakers were censored by the Romney campaign and those that refused were denied a platform to speak.  This all makes Romney’s criticism that the Administration did not defend the right to free speech hypocritical given his personal squashing of the same in Tampa.

At the end of the day, Governor Romney’s political attack on the Obama Administration while Americans were in harm’s way shows a lack of judgment on his part.  His criticism of the Administration that it did not defend the right of Americans to freedom of speech was pure hypocrisy in light of his campaign’s abuses at the RNC.   It is these traits that make him unfit to be our president.

Article first published as A Lack of Judgment and Hypocrisy on Blogcritics.

Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina

Romney Foreign Policy Would Make Americans Unsafe

July 16, 2012

It is no surprise that the main issues of this election cycle are chronic high unemployment, massive budget deficits, and rising health care costs.  Mired in an economic downturn for close to five years now, many commentators agree that the outcome of the presidential election hinges on who voters believe can best manage the economy.  Unfortunately, neither of the major party candidates are capable of managing the economy effectively (by essentially getting the government out of it) as the American electorate once again has a choice between Establishment Front Man #1 and Establishment Front Man #2 for president.

Also unfortunate is that economic issues are overshadowing foreign policy this election cycle.  Obama’s record is in this area is horrendous.  Unprovoked invasions of sovereign countries, threats and intimidation toward others, illegal detentions, the killing of innocence, and the murder of American citizens without due process of law are hallmarks of the Obama Regime.

But, from the looks of things, a potential Romney Administration would be even worse foreign policy wise.  Not only has he surrounded himself with a bunch of warmongering advisors from the Bush years, he has through other appointments and actions indicated that he will be the most pro-Israel American president ever.  Why is that bad?  Because molding American foreign policy around the needs of Israel is contrary to American interests – more about that in a bit.

Recently Mitt Romney announced he would travel to Israel to meet with government officials there.  He will also hold a $60,000 a plate fundraising dinner while in Jerusalem.  This all comes on the heels of his super PAC receiving a $10 million contribution from casino magnet Sheldon Adelson.  This is the same Sheldon Adelson who is vehemently against a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian mess, who called the Palestinian prime minister a terrorist, and who expressed regrets that his own military service was done in an American uniform and not an Israeli.

Now, on the surface, this all seems so political.  After all, there are a lot of Jewish and Evangelical Christian voters in several swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida.  Romney’s trip to Israel will be a positive for these groups.  But, aren’t there a lot of Italian, Irish, and Polish voters in those states as well.  Why not pay a visit to the ancestral homelands of those groups in an effort to endear yourself to them?  It is because Mitt Romney knows the political payoff wouldn’t be as great in terms of fundraising and political activism.  And because it is so great with the advocates for Israel, they will expect a lot from a Romney Administration.

If Romney’s junket to Jerusalem and his acceptance of Adelson’s largess aren’t bad enough, at an elite gathering of Romney supporters in Utah recently he boasted that he receives briefings from Israeli officials on Middle East developments.  And then there is Romney’s extremely pro-Israel national security team.  It includes hardliners like Walid Phares and Dov Zakheim.  Even as more drone attacks in Pakistan have been launched and been deadlier under Obama than Bush, Zakheim recently penned an article entitled, “Obama’s Drone War has Actually Not Gone Far Enough.”  Make no mistake about it, Romney getting briefings from the likes of Zakheim and Israeli officials does not guarantee that he will be getting unbiased, balanced intelligence.  How can we expect him to make good decisions?  Let’s not forget the last time a president got bad intelligence from biased advisors – we went to war for a decade looking for the allusive weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

So, returning to the question, why is it bad for America if Mitt Romney gets elected president and is the most pro-Israel leader in our history?  It is because it makes us less safe as a people.  Whether Israel carries out a military mission with our blessing or even worse we carry it out on Israel’s behalf in the Middle East, our public image is damaged and groups like al Qaeda use the event to fanaticize young Muslims to commit Jihad.

Additionally, Israel and the United States have different priorities in the Middle East.  Israel thrives on Arab disunity and instability for her own security.  If Arabs are quibbling with each other than they are distracted from harming Israel.

On the other hand, the United States is better off with peace and stability in the Middle East due to our continued dependence on the region’s oil supplies.

This is by no means an endorsement of Obama for reelection.  He has proven himself incapable of doing the right things with regards to the economy and foreign affairs.  Instead it is calling attention to the disastrous foreign policy that Mitt Romney will bring with him to the White House if he is elected president.  This all leaves Americans with no real choice when it comes to voting in November.  But we should be used to that by now, given that our choices are always Establishment Front Man #1 and Establishment Front Man #2.

Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina

The GOP is Imploding

February 18, 2012

The 2012 Republican presidential race has been, so far, one of the most intriguing contests in recent memory. It has consisted of multiple frontrunners, a sex scandal, one state and potentially a second state changing who it declared the winner of its caucus weeks after voting, the resignation of two state party chairman, and a candidate who is less interested in winning elections than he is in accumulating delegates to win the nomination. Put together, this has not been your typical Republican primary where a frontrunner is declared early and is swept through the primaries with little challenge all the way to their coronation moment at the party’s convention. Instead, this year we are witnessing the implosion of the Republican Party.

By implosion I am not saying the Republican Party is going to disintegrate into nothing. What I am saying is that by the time the party crowns its nominee this summer it may look a lot different than it does today.

As most Ron Paul supporters know, the Good Doctor kept much of his campaign apparatus in place from 2008. This included his allies in the various states being elected or appointed to party positions. This seems to have paid off since his former state campaign co-chair A.J. Spiker was just elected as the new chairman of the Iowa Republican Party in the aftermath of the previous chair’s demise for voting irregularities in this year’s Iowa Caucuses. Additionally, Nevada’s Republican state chair also resigned due to allegations of irregularities during that state’s caucus. It’s been reported that several Ron Paul backers are poised to step up to fill the void.

Then there is the turmoil surrounding Maine state chair, Charlie Webster. He is being censured by that state’s Republican Party and forced to recount votes from the caucuses statewide as well as include Washington County’s in the final vote tally. The new result could force the Maine GOP to change its declared winner of the caucus from Mitt Romney to Ron Paul. In all three instances, Ron Paul loyalists called out the Establishment and will potentially overthrow the old regime by supporters of sound money, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and support for civil liberties.

But, perhaps the biggest reason why the GOP is imploding is because it’s chosen one has faltered. 2012 was supposed to be Mitt Romney’s turn and he was expected to cruise to the nomination. The rules were even fixed in his favor. With strong support in the Florida, Nevada, and Arizona contests, they were moved up in the calendar to benefit Romney. Realizing he would win very few contests in the Bible Belt those contests were changed from winner take all to proportional allocation.

Yet Romney has struggled losing 6 of 9 contests and 4 in a row (yes, I am counting Maine because with potential widespread corruption he still could only out poll Ron Paul by 194 votes). Current polls in his boyhood state of Michigan have him trailing Rich Santorum. And let’s face it, there are still many southern primaries to come and your typical Evangelical voter is not going to vote for a Mormon. Things are looking grim for the Romney campaign.

As all 4 Republican candidates have vowed to stay in the race all the way to the convention, it is looking more and more like a brokered convention in Tampa. If none of the candidates has enough delegates to win the nomination, intense horse trading would ensue. However, I can’t see any of the current combatants for the nomination cutting a deal and dropping out. They all represent vastly different wings of the party and after spending so much time, energy, and money to win the thing through a grueling primary season it seems unlikely that enough could be given to make that happen.

At that point, other party candidates would be offered as a compromise. Delegate totals for each candidate would be diluted with the exception of Congressman Paul. Because of his strategy of winning delegates by out hustling his opponents and because his supporters would never switch allegiance he could become a kingmaker. He may not get the nomination himself, but the party would be changed. His delegates could influence the eventual nominee, change the platform, and return to their states and become the party’s leaders.

The consequences of such a scenario would lead to a future run by a Ron Paul heir. As the Barry Goldwater campaign paved the way for the Conservative “Revolution” of 1980, what could transpire this year could pave the way for a Libertarian Revolution in the future.

Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina

Romney Does Dislike the Working Poor

February 9, 2012

Many on the Republican right do not trust Mitt Romney.  That’s a foregone conclusion.  Recently he made a policy statement which will only increase that mistrust.  Last week Romney announced that his position on the federal minimum wage has not changed.  When he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 he affirmed his support for the state’s minimum wage and proposed linking automatic increases in it to inflation; as a Republican candidate for president in 2008 he affirmed his support for the federal minimum wage and you guessed it, took the position that it ought to automatically increase based on inflation.  With his latest pronouncement, it appears flip-flopping Mitt is immoveable when it comes to his stand on government wage rate fixing.  This policy of his is consistent with his distaste for the poor since it will hurt them the most.

You see, government price fixing of any variety simply doesn’t work.  Most of the time it hurts those it was intended to help the most – the working poor.  In the 1970s, Richard Nixon placed ceiling prices on beef.  The price of beef continued to rise anyway and many small plans went out of business because they found themselves selling on smaller and smaller margins.  Many of the working poor lost their jobs.

Rent controls are another form of government price fixing that always ends in disaster.  Because there is no incentive to provide decent housing at below market rates, laws mandating artificially low rent levels produce squalid units and shortages in housing for those that need it the most – again the working poor.

So it is with minimum wage laws.  Their intention is good, but they always hurt those they are meant to help – the working poor.  By fixing the minimum price for labor above market value, employers are less willing to hire workers.  Looking at a simple supply and demand graph, where the vertical axis represents price, it is easy to see that when the minimum wage is north of equilibrium the quantity of workers supplied is greater than the quantity of workers demanded.  This equals more unemployment and particularly more unemployment at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder.

Now imagine as Romney proposes, the minimum wage increasing with the rate of inflation.  It would increase every year and given how much new money has been created out of thin air by Ben Bernanke at the Fed, an increase in the minimum wage based on price inflation could be significant very soon.  As the minimum price of labor continues to rise above the market price hiring would become even more scarce at the lower socio-economic level.
At the end of the day, you have to question the commitment to the free market of any candidate that endorses the minimum wage let alone indexing it to the rate of price inflation.  Price fixing of goods and services by government is what ultimately destroys socialist states.  Besides that, it mostly hurts the working poor.  Given Romney’s recent remarks about that group, it is consistent that he would support the minimum wage.


Ron Paul is Nibbling at Romney’s Heels

January 14, 2012

To listen to Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul’s speech after placing a strong second in the New Hampshire Primary you would have thought that he had just won the contest.  Filled with his usual attacks on the Federal Reserve, Military/Industrial Complex, the bloated federal government, and an ever expanding police state, Dr. Paul’s speech was also an inspiring rallying cry for his ever growing base of fervent supporters.  In many ways he did win the New Hampshire Primary.  He tripled his vote total from four years ago.  He finished a strong, undisputed second behind a candidate with home field advantage and tons of Wall Street cash.  He also proved the naysayers wrong who have been preaching for months that he is unelectable.  Most importantly, the New Hampshire Primary results have made the race for the GOP nomination for president a two man contest between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

Look at the facts so far in this race.  Ron Paul is the only other candidate besides Mitt Romney to do well with two totally different bodies of voters.  In Iowa, both men garnered support from evangelical and socially conservative voters while in New Hampshire more socially moderate and fiscally conservative voters.  For his part, Paul got the most support of disaffected Democrats and Independents of any of the other Republicans running.  This trend bodes well for him since as many as 13 states hold open primaries and caucuses where his support outside of his own party will be a distinct advantage for him in those states.  Overall, in the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire Dr. Paul has collected 25,000 more votes than his nearest competitor Rick Santorum.

Besides broad support, financial backing also differentiates candidates from one another.  The Paul Campaign reported that it raised $13 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.  The only other Republican candidate to raise more was Mitt Romney.  The sum Paul has collected in donations has allowed him to not only purchase air time in South Carolina, but to jump ahead and spend money on direct mail in Louisiana, Nevada, Maine, Colorado, Washington, and North Dakota.  Additionally, a pro-Paul Super PAC Revolution PAC plans to spend millions more on the congressman’s quest for the presidency.  And recently the Santa Rita Super PAC which was just created on January 4 bought over $300,000 worth of ad time in South Carolina promoting Paul’s candidacy.

Then there are the recent poll results.  A CBS News poll released a day before the New Hampshire Primary found Romney and Paul to be the strongest Republican contenders against President Obama.  Romney leads the President 47 to 45 percent while Paul trails Obama by 45 to 46 percent.  But even more important to the moment, an American Research Group poll conducted over the last two days indicates that Congressman Paul is getting a massive bump from his strong showing in New Hampshire.  The good folks of the Palmetto State are now paying attention to the race because their turn to vote is coming up quickly.  In less than one week Paul’s support in SC has risen from 9 to 20 percent placing him third in that race.

To be sure, the campaign for the presidency is a long drawn out affair.  Staying power is essential.  After South Carolina, lower tier Republican candidates will begin to drop out or become irrelevant.  Two things will happen.  Their supporters’ votes and money will need a new candidate and all media attention will focus on Romney and Paul.  Given Paul’s appeal to a broad base of voters and conservatives’ mistrust of Mitt Romney, I like the Texas Congressman’s chances.  In fact, it is highly probable that he will deliver

many more inspiring, rallying cries for his ever growing base of fervent supporters.

Article first published as Ron Paul is Nibbling at Romney’s Heels on Blogcritics.

It’s a Two Man Race for the Republican Nomination for President

January 7, 2012

Last month it was announced that only two candidates for president in the Republican Party had qualified for the Virginia Presidential Primary on March 6 – Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.  At the time there was a lot of grumbling by the other candidates and they eventually filed a lawsuit against Virginia’s ballot access laws.  Regardless of how that suit turns out, the incident foretold the eventual contest for the Republican nomination for president.  After roughly 6 months of campaigning and the Iowa Caucuses, the race is clearly a battle between two men – the Establishment candidate Mitt Romney and Constitutional Populist Ron Paul.

Of course, this opinion won’t be heard anywhere on the Establishment-run media.  Instead the talking heads and so-called journalists which grace our TV screens continue to babble on about how Ron Paul is a kook, crank, nut job, etc… incapable of winning the nomination.  Their portrayals of the Good Doctor are more a result of their fears about him actually winning and ending their cushy establishment lifestyles than it is about reality.  But, I digress.  To back up the claim that the race has come down to Paul and Romney here are the facts:  both lead the field in money and organization.  Additionally, Paul has picked up steam in recent polls since Iowa and has demographics on his side.

Money – The Ron Paul Campaign is reporting that they raised $13 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.  The only other Republican candidate to raise more was Mitt Romney.  The sum Paul has collected in donations has allowed him to not only purchase air time in New Hampshire and South Carolina, but to jump ahead and spent money on direct mail in Louisiana, Nevada, Maine, Colorado, Washington, and North Dakota.  The Congressman’s base of financial support is unshakeable and as he rises in the polls it will become much broader.

Organization – As the Establishment candidate and someone who has been running for president for the last six years, Mitt Romney has a solid campaign organization.  But what the media and pundits alike have ignored is the ability of the Paul campaign to organize a first rate political operation as well.  The fact that only Romney and Paul were able to abide by Virginia’s strict ballot access laws and get on the primary ballot in that state is a testament to the quality of their organizations and the mediocrity of the other campaigns’.

The Paul campaign has gone to great lengths in building a strong presence on the Republican State Central Committees across the country.  In Iowa alone his supporters comprise one-third of the members of that state’s Republican State Central Committee.  It is from this committee that actual delegate selection for the National Convention will be done.  Besides Iowa Paul has supporters in the next ten caucus states that are virtually unopposed for delegate seats.

But besides ample war chests and strong campaign organizations, recent polling and demographics indicate that the Republican field has been winnowed down to two contenders.  The next contest on the docket is the New Hampshire Primary.  Two polls last week indicated that the race in the Granite State is between Romney and Paul.  The New Suffolk University Poll had Paul gaining 6 points on Romney in one day.  While Paul stood at 18 percent support, no other candidate garnered more than 8 percent.  At about the same time, a new Washington Times/John Zogby Analytics Poll had Romney at 38 percent, Paul at 24 percent, and no other candidate had more than 11 percent.  It is true that national polls do indicate that Romney leads the race while Paul lags behind other candidates, but two points need to be made.  The Republican nominee will be chosen from more than 50 contests not one national ballot.  And most voters in states with contests in the future have not paid enough attention to the race to make an informed choice.  Thus, given the results in Iowa and current polling in New Hampshire Romney and Paul are the two front-runners going into New Hampshire voting this week.

Lastly, demographics will play a huge role in winning the Republican nomination.  In light of his past poll numbers Romney’s support in relation to other Republican candidates has been steady.  As one after the other anti-Romney candidates rose and fell from front-runner status only one other candidate has seen steady upward poll numbers – Ron Paul.  Santorum in Iowa was just the final shooting star of the lot.  Fortunately for him his star rose at exactly the right moment.  Had there been more time to dissect his record he too would have fallen back to the pack of also-rans.

But Paul’s support has been a slow steady trajectory upward because it is solid, unwavering support.  Besides Evangelical and conservative Republicans the Congressman garners the most support from disaffected Democrats and Independents of any of the other Republicans running.  Since as many as 13 states hold open primaries and caucuses his support outside of his own party will be a distinct advantage in those states.

At the end of the day, the Establishment media and talking heads will babble on about the comeback of Newt Gingrich or the surging Rick Santorum.  They will resort to any distraction to cover the truth.  The truth is that we have a two man race for the Republican nomination.  Because of money, organization, demographics, and recent polling numbers that race is between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina