Tags: Chris | Christie | Dark | Horse | General Petraeus | CIA | Leon Panetta

Chris Christie, Petraeus for 2012?

By    |   Sunday, 02 May 2010 06:18 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Gov. Chris Christie Cited as Presidential Dark Horse
2. Gen. Petraeus Could Be the Next Eisenhower
3. CIA’s Panetta Promises ‘New Cover’ for Spies
4. Newsmax Now on Twitter, Facebook
5. We Heard: Michael Steele, Charlie Crist, Jan Brewer
 

1. Gov. Chris Christie Cited as Presidential Dark Horse

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been in office for just 13 weeks, but he is already being mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for president.

Christie defeated incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine in November, becoming the first Republican to win a statewide election in 12 years.

Since then, he has put forward a plan to shave $10.7 billion from the cash-starved state’s $38 billion budget for 2011, in part by demanding that teachers accept a one-year pay freeze and start contributing to their pensions and health benefits.

When the 200,000-member teachers’ union protested, Christie urged voters to reject local school budgets in districts where teachers had not agreed to his plan. Voters defeated 58 percent of the 541 proposed budgets — the highest rejection rate since school boards began keeping track in 1976, The New York Times reported.

He has also cut property tax rebates and town and college aid.

Calling New Jersey a “failed state,” the governor has vowed to end “Trenton’s addiction to spending” and deliver “smaller government that lives within its means” — without increasing taxes.

"You can disagree, but you're never going to be able to say, 'The guy wasn't willing to take a risk. The guy wasn't willing to take a chance on how to fix something,’” Christie said recently. “If people don't like it after four years, they can send me home."

Christie’s moves have been closely watched by conservatives, the Washington Post observed. Wall Street Journal columnist Bill McGurn has credited Christie with reviving “Reagan Republicanism — Jersey style.” The Weekly Standard calls Christie “the unlikely conservative rock star.” Columnist George Will hails Christie as “the nation’s most interesting governor.”

The focus on Christie “shows there is a desire among conservatives to look beyond the current pack of presidential contenders for new leadership,” according to the Post.

Furthermore, Republican voters appear to be in an anti-establishment mood. If this continues, “a dark horse outsider could emerge to win the nomination,” the Post notes, and that dark horse “could be Christie — if he is able to deliver the goods in New Jersey.

“He could emerge as the conservative favorite in 2012 or beyond.”

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2. Gen. Petraeus Could Be the Next Eisenhower

Speculation is growing that Republicans seeking a presidential candidate could turn to an even darker horse than Gov. Christie — Gen. David Petraeus.

Petraeus is highly regarded as chief architect of the “surge” of American troops that has successfully quelled much of the violence in Iraq, allowing the United States to begin withdrawing forces.

He now heads U.S. Central Command and its more than 210,000 military personnel.

“At a time when the U.S. is facing multiple crises at home and abroad and Americans are increasingly disenchanted with Washington, Petraeus’ record of accomplishments — most prominently helping to turn around the Iraq war that many had written off as lost — has set him apart from other national leaders,” Philip Klein writes in The American Spectator.

“And as the Republican Party struggles to repair the image for incompetence it gained during the Bush era, Petraeus finds himself the subject of continued speculation as to whether he may seek the presidency, no matter how many times he tries to put the issue to rest.”

Petraeus has in fact strenuously denied that he is interested in running for political office, saying “I will not, ever, run.”

But another prominent military figure, Dwight Eisenhower, just as strenuously insisted he was not interested in political office, declaring point-blank in 1948: “I am not available for and could not accept nomination to high political office.”

Petraeus — who has a Ph.D. from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs — fueled talk of a possible run, if not in 2012 then in 2016, when he scheduled an appearance at the home of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, the site of presidential debates.

Several factors are likely to ensure that Petraeus’ name keeps coming up as a potential dark horse candidate, according to Klein, The American Spectator’s Washington correspondent.

“One reason is that there’s no clear standout among the politicians frequently cited as potential Republican nominees. Another is that history is filled with examples of people who say that they’ll never run but then change their mind — Dwight Eisenhower being the most relevant one in this case.”

Editor's Note:



3. CIA’s Panetta Promises ‘New Cover’ for Spies

CIA Director Leon Panetta said the agency will provide overseas operatives with new ways to remain under cover.

“The CIA will enhance its use of more flexible and innovative deployments overseas — including new approaches to cover — paving the way for even better intelligence collection,” Panetta told a gathering of CIA employees on Monday.

But Panetta did not specify what he meant by “new approaches to cover.”

And agency spokesman George Little said only: “Operational cover is an essential shield for intelligence activities. For that very compelling reason, we do not discuss publicly the specifics of how the agency employs this vital tool.”

The CIA uses two kinds of cover to shield agents overseas, the Washington Post’s Jeff Stein notes in his “Spy Talk” column.

The most common is official CIA cover, provided by the State Department, which allows agents to carry out diplomatic duties in an American embassy while working secretly for the CIA.

Non-official cover is provided by American multinational companies, including banks and airlines, where agents appear to have legitimate jobs but are in fact working under cover for the agency.

The CIA also may create a company out of whole cloth to carry out secret operations under the cover of conducting legitimate business, Stein reports.

Two intelligence insiders are skeptical about Panetta’s vow to offer “new approaches to cover,” however.

A former operative told Stein: “In response to criticism that more than 90 percent of its officers live and work entirely within the United States, and that the remainder work within American embassies, the CIA periodically promises to get more officers under cover, on the street, in foreign countries.”

And a counterterrorism expert said: “They are just admitting indirectly that, despite all the hype, they still have done next to nothing on getting out of embassies.”

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4. Newsmax Now on Twitter, Facebook

Visitors to Newsmax’s website can now find links to the social networking services Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter enables its users to send and read messages known as “tweets,” text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to subscribers known as “followers.”

On Twitter, Newsmax posts links to stories on politics, health, money and other topics, to be shared by followers and spread to other Twitter users.

Newsmax’s Twitter account has more than 1,400 followers, and Twitter has over 100 million users worldwide.

Facebook is a social networking website that can be accessed by anyone over the age of 13 with a valid e-mail address. Newsmax allows its Facebook “fans” to link to stories and offers them a chance to comment.

The Newsmax Facebook account has more than 1,000 fans, and Facebook has over 400 million users worldwide.

Newsmax also recently opened an account with Digg, a website where visitors can read written content and indicate their approval or disapproval of the stories.

Editor's Note:



5. We Heard . . .

THAT Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele acknowledges that the GOP has not fostered a good relationship with immigrants in the U.S.

In his first TV appearance following Arizona’s passage of a tough immigration law, Steele said on CNN’s “The Situation Room” that Republicans’ “prior actions in this area and certainly our rhetoric in this area has not been the most welcoming and the most supportive of helping those who want to assimilate into our way of life” and who are “coming through the process in a legitimate way.”

Steele did not express support or opposition to the Arizona law, Mediaite.com reported, but he did say “the governor of Arizona acted in the best interests of the people of Arizona.”

THAT as Charlie Crist was poised to announce that he was leaving the Republican Party and running for the Senate seat from Florida as an independent, he tried to reach White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel through intermediaries.

But the White House refused to take the call, The Atlantic reports, adding that Democrats are planning a “big talent/money blitz” for Kendrick Meek, who is running for the seat against Crist and Republican candidate Marco Rubio.

THAT Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s approval rating soared by 16 percentage points after she signed a tough new immigration law.

Two weeks ago, Republican Brewer’s approval ratings hovered around 40 percent. A new poll by Rasmussen Reports found her rating had risen to 56 percent after signing the law on April 23. Her rating among Republicans is a lofty 81 percent, up from 52 percent before signing the law.

The Arizona law makes it a crime to be in the country illegally, and authorizes police to verify the status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal alien.

Rasmussen also found that Brewer, who is up for re-election this year, leads her likely Democratic opponent, State Attorney General Terry Goddard, by 8 percentage points. In March, she trailed Goddard by nine points.

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Insider Report Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Gov. Chris Christie Cited as Presidential Dark Horse2. Gen. Petraeus Could Be the Next Eisenhower3. CIA s Panetta Promises New Cover for Spies4. Newsmax Now on Twitter, Facebook5. We Heard: Michael Steele,...
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2010-18-02
Sunday, 02 May 2010 06:18 PM
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