Today’s Right - Republican voters, Tea Party voters and conservative voters – together these voting groups constitute probably more than 40% of the nation today – are teeming with so much emotion that they want to explode in November 2012.

Anger, fear, resentment, disgust and disillusionment – over the economy, the direction of the nation, the occupant of the White House, the media’s kid-gloves treatment of him, and the entire political culture of the country – are churning inside the Right.

Understand this: today’s Right is not the same Right of the last twenty years.

This Right is the most emotional it has been since the 1980 election.

Only this time, the Right is in part in revolt against its own leadership.

That is exactlywhy in the past year or so boomlets for Palin, Bachman, Trump and Cain all caught fire, despite these candidates’ baggage. Each of these candidates has political and personal shortcomings that subsequently caused them to fade. (Cain hasn’t faded yet, but he will.) But the fact remains: for a moment each connected to this bubbling cauldron of the Right. And during that period of “connection,” they soared in the polls – or in the case of Cain, he zoomed one night on Frank Luntz’ Fox News focus group.

Now we are told by the so-called Main Stream Media – who do not understand the Right at all and, in fact, hate the Right – that the GOP primary field as we see it today is “it”; no one else will enter the race; and these so-called experts say that the eventual nominee will come from the three-man group of Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty or Jon Huntsman.

I do not believe this.

How can Romney lead a party and a movement that was galvanized in opposition to ObamaCare – something he pioneered with his disastrous RomneyCare?

How can Jon Huntzman lead a party and a movement that disdains Barack Obama when he not only worked for the President but also repeatedly praised his “leadership” in letters?

And how can Tim Pawlenty “connect” with this teeming cauldron when he cannot “connect” with anyone at any event because he is – sadly – a total snore?

No, what the Right is waiting for is a candidate who matches their emotional condition today – a candidate who articulates the anger, fear and frustration that we on the Right feel – even when some of that emotion is aimed at our own GOP leaders.

That candidate cannot be dragged down by his/her baggage. Instead, his/her story has to fit together with the mood of the Right.

There remains plenty of time for this still-unknown candidate to appear and get into this race.

In fact, it is to his advantage to wait until the fall – when the Right is even more unhappy over the current field – and then jump into the race, catch fire and sweep to victory.

This can still happen. If it does, we will re-take the White House in 2012.

If not, we will – yet again – pick a dud for a candidate – can anyone spell Dole and McCain – and allow Obama another four years in the Oval Office.

A lot is at stake.


The past week has seen: Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul enter the race, Mike Huckabee withdraw, Mitt Romney dig himself deeper into his self-created healthcare hole, and the vaunted Bush Machine start to declare for Mitch Daniels.

The Indiana Governor, George W. Bush’s first OMB Director, has said – only half-jokingly - that he’d pick former Bush National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condi Rice as his Vice Presidential running mate. And then former First Lady Laura Bush called Mrs. Daniels – more on her below – to urge her to allow her hubby to run.

So it is clear: the Bush Machine has cast its lot in this field with Mitch Daniels. Why? Is it because he’ll actually end up picking Jeb as his running mate? Or is it because he’ll lose and that will set up Jeb for 2016?

One thing to keep in mind: the Bushes care only about the Bushes. Every move is to help themselves – not to help anyone else.

So if the Bushes are going for Mitch, then there is an ulterior pro-Bush motive.

The facts surrounding Mitch Daniels’ wife, Cherie, are disconcerting and certain to be a major factor in his campaign, if he runs. In short, she left him a few years ago for a married doctor and moved to California, divorcing Mitch and leaving their daughters behind. Then, years later, she came back and they re-married.

She appears to be a political detriment. The Right will not dig her amoral behavior. The media will have a field day with not only her infidelity, but Governor Daniels’ reaction to it.

Of course none of this has anything to do with what kind of president Mitch Daniels would make. But that is – sadly – beside the point. Campaigns automatically find a weak spot and then exploit it. For example, the media and the Right are already focusing on Newt’s sordid and hypocritical marital history. And they love to point out Mitt Romney’s chronic flip-flopping on every issue – and his refusal to flip-flop on the one issue he ought to flip-flop on: his authorship of RomneyCare.

If Mitch Daniels runs, they’ll go after not only his personal marital baggage, but also on his idiotic statement that the GOP ought to downplay social issues. And, of course, if he wins the GOP nomination Team Obama will try to saddle him with his Bush connections. “You were OMB Director and took a surplus and turned it into massive deficits.”

With Huckabee out of the race, where do his values voters go? Not to Daniels. Not after he told them to cool it on abortion and gay marriage and instead focus on fiscal affairs. There is no way they will embrace him. So Iowa and South Carolina and Nevada – three of the first four states – will be Big Trouble for the Indiana Governor, should he run.

Conclusion: we do not - yet - have The Candidate. To the contrary, we do not have even one good candidate.

There is a huge vacuum – awaiting a new, exciting, charismatic candidate who can unite the Right and win over the independents.

If such a candidate does not surface, then we’re probably in for four more years of Obama.


Make no mistake about it: the Republican Party is in a total shambles right now.

Two recent examples:

1) The GOP House Leadership’s sudden decision to abandon the Paul Ryan Medicare Plan – which all but 4 GOP Congressmen voted for a few weeks ago – and which GOP Members had gone out on a limb for when they went home for their Easter Recess and heard an earful about at Town Halls - has shattered the alliance in the House between the Tea Party freshmen and the more traditional GOP members.

The MSM does not – yet – get the staggering effect this back-tracking will have inside the GOP.

To go out and vote for something so controversial - and then get nothing for it – is devastating to the Republicans. Already we see in upstate New York where a special congressional election is approaching that the once-certain GOP winner is now on the defensive precisely because of this House Medicare vote.

Lesson: Do not mess around with entitlement programs until and unless the American people have been overwhelmingly convinced that that program is in dire financial straits and thus changes are absolutely necessary.

The House GOP leadership – Boehner, Cantor and Ryan in particular – are political lightweights.

They did not realize that the precarious state of Medicare needs to be taught to the American people before any plan to fix it is proposed.

Instead, they have performed political malpractice by handing Obama and the Democrats an issue to club the GOP with next year.

2) Thursday night’s South Carolina GOP debate was yet another peek into the so-far dysfunctional, pathetic and demoralizing GOP race for the 2012 presidential nomination.

Of the five candidates there, the Big Loser has to be Tim Pawlenty. He was the only one lumped into the Top Tier (along with Romney, Huckabee and perhaps a non-candidate like Mitch Daniels) – and he got creamed by a pizza executive!!!

Yes, Herman Cain – like Donald Trump – spoke simply and like a non-politician. The Frank Luntz focus group loved Cain! And they did not even like the others much. Why? Because they are bland, boring politicians. And the GOP and the Right are sick of bland, boring politicians. Thus the (momentary) soaring candidacies of decidedly non-boring celebrity candidates like Palin, Bachman and Trump.

Each subsequently faded. Trump is about to disappear as a candidate.

But the lesson is clear: the GOP – because of Tea Party energy and a grass-roots fury over the long-term deterioration of our economy - is ready to nominate a non-traditional candidate.

The only question is: who?

LeBoutillier with Charles McCord

John LeBoutillier with Charles McCord, who is retiring after
40 years as Don Imus’ sidekick.

John LeBoutillier on Imus 6:30 AM Tomorrow

Watch/listen to John LeBoutillier tomorrow, Wednesday, May 4th, at 6:35 AM on “Imus in the Morning.”


Osama, Obama and 2012

In the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, self-elected political experts are rushing to proclaim, “President Obama is now guaranteed to win again in 2012!”

A word of caution: not so fast.

In 1945, less than six months after he led Great Britain out of the darkest days in her history to defeat Nazi Germany, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was himself defeated at the polls.

More recently, in 1991 President George H.W. Bush defeated Sadaam Hussein’s forces in Kuwait and drove them back into Iraq. By May of 1991 President Bush had a record-high 91% approval rating. Yet 18 months later, Mr. Bush received a mere 37% of the vote in losing to Bill Clinton (and Ross Perot).

So anyone who thinks this wonderful, long-awaited killing of Osama bin Laden guarantees President Obama’s re-election 18 months from now is just plain mistaken and short-sighted.

However, here is a simple, two-point plan that would almost guarantee Obama’s re-election:

1) Use this long-awaited killing of Osama bin Laden as the point of demarcation for the U.S. to end its occupation of Afghanistan. The President could announce, in effect, “We have succeeded in our first mission–to capture or kill Osama bin Laden–and we will leave behind a skeleton force to guarantee our second mission–that Afghanistan will not become the launching pad for more attacks on the United States.”

The President could then order a drawdown of 90,000 troops and leave 5,000-10,000 either in Afghanistan or in the theater to monitor future terrorist activities in Afghanistan.

As for the effect of this withdrawal on the future of Pakistan, their obvious complicity in hiding Bin Laden disqualifies them as an American ally worthy of our help and protection.

In other words, to Hell with them.

2) Obama’s other action which would virtually guarantee his re-election is to make The Grand Bargain–the deal with the Republicans and Tea party Congressmen to cut the National Debt and deficits by changing Pentagon, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending in a fundamental way.

If he did this, the financial markets would rejoice and foreign investors would flock to the US. The reaction would be positive–that the US has finally addressed its long-term budget problems.

Declaring victory in Afghanistan and withdrawing most of our forces and seriously implementing a debt reduction program would leave the GOP almost nowhere to run in 2012. The key voting bloc–independents–would go for Obama in a big, big way.

Only one caveat: if the economy goes back in the tank, then Obama would still have trouble in 2012. Barring that, he’d be heavily favored.

Let’s hope he doesn’t read this column.