Ellen Carmichael: 2012 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Ellen Carmichael, 26, is Press Secretary for the House Republican Policy Committee, but is best known for the 13 months she spent as the chief spokeswoman and communications director for the Herman Cain presidential campaign.
Carmichael did not come up with the famous 9 – 9 – 9 plan, but she did ghost write his book, “Common Sense Solutions.”
When she started working for Cain few reporters had an interest in interviewing him. That all changed after his outstanding performance in the May 2011 debates. After that Cain was receiving over 100 media inquiries every day.
Matt Lewis of  the Daily Caller said “She helped shepherd that campaign from an afterthought to a prominent, respected, front-running campaign.”
Her departure before the sex scandal broke was a strong signal Cain’s race was over.
She also ran press for Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) and Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne (R-LA). In addition, she has worked at Americans for Tax Reform and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
Carmichael is a native of Baton Rouge, attended an all-girls Catholic high school, and graduated from Louisiana State University.
What advice does she give to new press secretaries? Carmichael says “Always remember people are not voting for you. They are voting for your boss. He should be in the news, not you.
“Some people view this work as Hollywood for ugly people, which is what they call D.C. If you are seeking attention for yourself, then you are in the wrong line of work.
“This is not glamorous. It’s hard. You do it because you love your country and your craft.”
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

BOOK REVIEW: "The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968" by Kari Frederickson, 336 pages, UNC Press

Reviewed by Gregg Hilton
This is an important and thought provoking book. The author is a professor of history at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and her effort resulted in the Harry Truman Book Award from the Truman Presidential Library. She is a liberal but there is no bias in her account of this period.
The Dixiecrats (or southern Democrats) were predominantly conservative, but the movement also included many racists. She accurately quotes them and that was enough to prove her point. Her account begins with Franklin Roosevelt’s election in 1932, but as she readily acknowledges, the Democratic Party’s Solid South really began with the end of Reconstruction in 1877. Continue reading

Welcome Aboard Walker, We Are Pleased to Have You

The election was over two months ago but the change continues. Since November 2nd, 22 state legislators have switched parties. Probably the most important was State Rep. Walker Hines of New Orleans. He is only 26, but has been a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for the past three years.
He represents an urban district which is home to rapper Lil Wayne. Continue reading

Several Key Senate Democrats Probably Want the GOP's Scott Brown to Win the Massachusetts Special Election

If State Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) wins the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy on January 19th, several Democrats might be relieved. The Senate balance would become 59 to 41, and a few moderates would no longer be on the hot seat. They would not be pressured to provide the crucial 60th vote necessary to pass the health care reform bill and other legislation.
Among lawmakers who might breath a sign of relief if the GOP’s Brown wins are Senators Blanche Lincoln (AR), Ben Nelson (NE), Joe Lieberman (CT), Kent Conrad (ND), Mary Landrieu (LA) and Evan Bayh (IN).
These lawmakers worked as a team to stop the House passed version of the public option.
Lieberman spoke for many of them, “If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote because I believe debt can break America and send us into a recession that’s worse than the one we’re fighting our way out of today.” The Senators won on the public option, Nelson and Landrieu cut lucrative side deals with Majority Leader Reid, but since then the lawmakers have had to cope with outraged voters back home.
Nelson is running 30% behind Gov. Dave Heineman (R-NE) in a hypothetical 2012 matchup, and has said it was a mistake to take up health care this year. Lincoln is 10 points behind her GOP challengers, and Lieberman has seen a 25% drop in his approval rating. It is no wonder all of these Senators are far from happy with the health care bill which passed the Senate.
The pressure on them to once again vote in favor of health care reform is enormous. Every one of these Senators has already made statements questioning the fiscal soundness of the bill. The lawmakers are also well aware of the gimmicks used to get the bill through the Senate. The increased taxes go into effect immediately but people will have to wait until 2014 for benefits. They also realize the bill is not deficit neutral, nor will it save money in the long run.
Finally, if Brown does win on Tuesday he should thank Senator John Kerry (D-MA). Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) was in office when Kerry began his 2004 presidential campaign. Democrats thought Kerry could win the presidential election, and they did not want Romney to have the power to appoint a Republican to fill a Senate vacancy until 2006. They changed the law to require a special election rather than a gubernatorial appointment in the event of a vacancy. If the law had not been changed Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) could have immediately appointed a Democrat to fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy.