Santorum “Certified Winner” in Iowa

The “split decision” in Iowa didn’t last long.  Rick Santorum has been certified the winner of the Iowa caucus.

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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“In order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released January 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa, Chairman Matthew Strawn and the State Central Committee declared Senator Rick Santorum the winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucus,” the state GOP’s statement read.

The news is a blow to the campaign of Mitt Romney.

The news that Romney — who for two weeks celebrated what he jokingly called a ‘landslide’ eight-vote victory in Iowa, only to see it reversed this week when the state GOP certified Santorum the leader by 34 votes — officially lost the first contest muddies his narrative, especially as Newt Gingrich surges in the polls in South Carolina.

Basically instead of possibly going three for three in the early voting states, the candidate of the Republican establishment is on the verge of going one for three.  It also means that the race to become the Republican nominee for President is wide open.

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Santorum Real Debate Winner

While all the talk is about how Newt Gingrich schooled CNN moderator John King in last night’s debate, some interesting reasoning on how Rick Santorum was the real winner of the debate.

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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If I were a conservative Republican in South Carolina and Thursday night’s debate was the first I’d watched during this primary season, the choice would be easy. Rick Santorum. I know: It surprised me, too.

While he might have fewer overall followers than the other three candidates, Santorum nonetheless (or because of this) debated flawlessly. It was the single most impressive debate performance in this long series from any of the candidates.

Newt Gingrich also had his moments, pulling out whatever “go-to” trick in his arsenal the moment required. But on the issues, and for conservative Republican South Carolina voters, Santorum was the one running on all cylinders.

So why, despite trailing in the polls, did Rick Santorum win?

First, nobody was attacking him. He had a free roll. So in this case, it paid for Santorum to be last in the polls. He attacked Mitt Romney and Gingrich and was never put on his heels by his opponents. With no predators in sight, Santorum dominated the environment like an Asian carp.

Second, his criticisms were focused and covered important conservative issues. He hammered away on health care at both Romney. (At one point Romney actually made the error of calling his own plan “Romneycare.” Next thing you know he will accidentally call it “Obamneycare.”) And then Santorum laid into Gingrich on individual mandates, which the former House speaker supported for 10 years.

More than once, Santorum drove home the notion that Gingrich is a loose cannon and Republicans can’t afford that in a nominee. He flatly stated that Gingrich has “no discipline.” Gingrich had suggested earlier that Santorum should drop out of the race. “These are not cogent thoughts,” Santorum responded in the debate, reminding the audience that he is “2 and 0” against Gingrich in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and with much less money.

Finally, Santorum did a good job presenting his own ideas — zero taxes for manufacturing corporations, his anti-abortion stance — and his closing remarks were right on the mark. In them, he talked about his electability over President Barack Obama. He went point by point describing his differences with Obama on health care and bailouts — reminding the audience not so subtly that Romney and Gingrich supported the bailouts. Santorum concluded by saying he was the only Republican on stage ever to beat an incumbent Democrat.

So will it translate to votes for Rick Santorum?

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Iowa “split decision”

After the certification process of the votes in the Iowa caucus, it wasn’t a win for Mitt Romney.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum received 34 votes more than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in this month’s Iowa caucuses, state Republican officials reported Thursday.

The party officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Des Moines Register that the final caucus count would remain unresolved because the results from eight precincts were mislaid and will never be certified. Any of those missing results could hold an advantage for Romney.

The totals reported just after the Jan. 3 ballots had given Romney a narrow, eight-vote win over Santorum. It gave an early boost to Romney’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

“It’s a split decision,” the executive director of the Iowa GOP Chad Olsen said.

How did the two candidates respond to the news.

“The results from Iowa caucus night revealed a virtual tie. I would like to thank the Iowa Republican Party for their careful attention to the caucus process, and we once again recognize Rick Santorum for his strong performance in the state,” Romney said. “The Iowa caucuses, with record turnout, were a great start to defeating President Obama in Iowa and elsewhere in the general election.”

Santorum previously told Fox News that he was unfazed by possible errors. “That doesn’t really matter to me. I mean, this was a tie,” Santorum said.

Does it have an impact on the belief that Romney is all but assured the Republican nomination?

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Time For Real Leadership

And it’s needed in the House of Representatives.

It’s time for a change. A leadership change. Yes, I know there are still 10 months to go before the election of 2012 but seriously…Do we have any time to waste? Can we afford to just ride it out?

No.

We must act and act now.

We have a true leadership vacuum and we need to make things right.

I am NOT talking about Obama or the White House here – though there is a pronounced lack of leadership there, too.

I’m talking about something more immediate.

John Boehner must be replaced and soon.

Very soon.

After the House Members went their way just days before Christmas, John Boehner initiated a conference call to inform the Members that the House would approve, unanimously, a 2-month extension of the payroll tax breaks.

In other words Speaker Boehner instead of standing on principle surrendered.

By unanimous, Boehner essentially agreed to Senate terms without putting it to a vote of the House. In fact, Boehner took a dive. He spoke TO the House Members not WITH them and clearly he did not speak FOR the people whom the House represents.

That is not leadership.

What it is…  surrender.

So what does the GOP-led House need in a leader?

What the people need in the people’s House is a true leader. We need a leader unafraid to stand the people’s ground. Unwilling to back down. Eager to be tough. A leader who knows the issues. A leader who who speaks clearly, frankly, and cannot be intimidated.

We no longer need Boehner.

We need to find a real leader for the rest of this year and one who can turn our ship around. We must find a leader cool under fire, willing to make tough decisions and one who can and will start the reversal of the Washington way of doing things.

So who should Republicans replace Boehner with as Speaker?  That would be Florida Republican Allen West. Here’s why:

Allen West has been a Member of the House for just one single year and he has emerged as the liberal’s NUMBER ONE TARGET. Allen West, more than any other Member of the House is the ONE that liberals want GONE.

Because he stands on PRINCIPLE and he doesn’t back down.

Liberals KNOW West is a danger to THEIR ideology and THEIR agenda and they know he won’t compromise.

Rep. West is an interesting choice as many have said he should be running for President or be asked by the eventual GOP nominee to join the ticket as VP.  However he could be more effective in a leadership role in the House.  But would he run for the position is the question.

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