Santorum concedes Michigan then takes it back

29 February 2012 7:59 PM

Santorum campaign claims Romney win in Michigan was really a draw

In the annals of campaign spin, it will go down as a pretty good try. More than 12 hours after Rick Santorum telephoned Mitt Romney to offer what a senior Romney aide described as a “very gracious” concession in Michigan, Team Santorum tried to take it back.

Citing “anecdotal & empirical data that is being shared with us” but which should be checked out by reporters, Santorum’s top strategist John Brabender explained during a chaotic conference call that Michigan rules meant that delegates there would be split 15 apiece and Santorum had won in 63 out of 83 counties in Michigan.

This meant we should “move it from a win for Mitt Romney to a tie race”, Brabender argued, describing last night as “what can only be seen as a disaster for the Romney campaign”. Pressed on whether he was right about his numbers, he responded: “Accuracy, that’s sort of your job.”

Brabender also lambasted Romney for his “hyprocrisy” in slamming Santorum for initiating robocalls to Democratic voters urgiung them to turn out in the Republican primary when Romney himself had voted for Paul Tsongas, a liberal Democrat, in the Massachusetts primary in 1992. Fair enough but not especially relevant.

The call, perhaps the most memorable campaign conference call since Obama counsel Bob Bauer crashed one held by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008, was plagued by technical difficulties. For much of it, it sounded like your radio does when twiddling the dial in the early hours of the morning during a long drive through the Mid-West.

There are a few problems with Team Santorum’s contention, quite apart from the fact that we don’t yet know whether any of their numbers are accurate.

Firstly, Santorum conceded Michigan to Romney on Tuesday night. As Al Gore found out in 2000, conceding a race and then unconceding it doesn’t usually work that well and make you come across as a whiner. Remember those “Sore Loserman” campaign buttons in 2000?

Secondly, Romney won all 29 delegates in Arizona on Tuesday. No one paid much attention to that because Michigan, as Romney’s native state, was the real test. So it wasn’t about delegates – it was about winning Michigan.

If it was really about delegates then even if Michigan delegates are shared then Romney won by 44 to 15 delegates on the night. Not really a disaster. Or was it supposedly only about winning delegates in Michigan? That’s like re-inventing the rules of cricket after your team’s been bowled out to say that catches don’t count.

Thirdly, Santorum has a problem in the spin wars that if Democrats hadn’t been able to vote then Romney would have won by eight points (and presumably got some more delegates). Those were the rules – Democrats could vote – but it was a political own goal to get caught doing those robocalls.

Fourthly, today’s spin was all a bit late. To change the narrative of an election result, you need to get your spin in early. If Santorum had called Romney to say, “Well done Mittens, congratuations on fighting me to a draw” and then proclaimed the same thing on the stage then he might have had a chance of getting some reporters to pause.

But by midday today everyone had pretty much moved on from Michigan, in many cases literally.

As one Romney adviser quipped: “What’s the next call on? How Area 51 lost Arizona for Santorum?

Obama gets busted by Sheriff Joe

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz. holds press conference tomorrow on Obama eligibility

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Poll after poll in recent months has indicated that Americans have a high level of concern over Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president, with one poll showing fully half of the nation wants Congress to investigate the question.

But reporters for the traditional media – networks, major newspapers, major news corporations and conglomerates – mostly have giggled when talk turns to the serious question of just what the U.S. Constitution requires of presidents.

Nevertheless, media organizations from all political persuasions are seeking admittance to a news conference to be held by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz.

The event is tomorrow at 1 p.m. Mountain Standard Time in Phoenix, 3 p.m. Eastern, and will be live-streamed by WND.

The topic of discussion will be an investigation by Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse into concerns about Obama’s eligibility. It’s the first time an official law enforcement report has addressed many of the allegations about the presumptive 2012 Democratic nominee for president.

The issues include Obama’s eligibility under the U.S. Constitution’s requirements, questions about his use of a Connecticut Social Security number and the image of his purported birth certificate from Hawaii.

In addition to the live-streaming, WND will make available to the public, the same day by email, the official report distributed to media by Arpaio’s investigators. Those interested in receiving the report can sign up for the free service.

Top national media organizations have indicated their plans to attend, and bookings for radio and television reports are in the works. Expected are reporters from the Associated Press, Reuters, Univision, the Washington Times and NBC, CBS and ABC affiliates, as well statewide radio networks, among many others.

Because of the circumstances, a decision was made to hold the press conference at the sheriff’s training center on the outskirts of Phoenix, rather than at the downtown office.

The event is expected to draw protesters who object to the sheriff’s office review of allegations that Obama may attempt to use a fraudulent document to have his name placed on the 2012 presidential election ballot in Arizona.

Without releasing any details, Arpaio has said the findings “could be a shock.”

He constituted a special five-member law enforcement posse last year to investigate allegations brought by members of the Surprise, Ariz., Tea Party that the Obama birth certificate released to the public by the White House on April 27 might be a forgery.

The posse is made up of three former law enforcement officers and two retired attorneys with law enforcement experience. Members have been examining evidence since September concerning Obama’s eligibility to be president under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, which requires a president to be a natural-born citizen.

Among other issues, there also have been allegations of Obama’s use of a Social Security number that corresponds to a Connecticut address, even though the president apparently had no links there.

WND earlier reported a private investigation found that the Social Security number being used by Obama does not pass a check with E-Verify, the electronic system the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has created to verify whether or not someone is authorized to work legally in the country.

Arpaio’s investigation is the first official law enforcement look at the allegations surrounding Obama’s eligibility. Many of the private investigators who have examined it contend there are too many questionable circumstances to believe that everything regarding Obama is above-board.

Arpaio previously told WND that when he launched his Cold Case Posse it was with the possibility that he would clear Obama.

He said it wasn’t an issue he could ignore, after 250 members of the tea party organization “came to me and asked their sheriff to investigate Obama and the birth certificate.”


The WND TV live-streaming coverage of the news conference Thursday is possible through the support of the Western Center for Journalism.

The decisions in dozens of court cases over the last few years questioning Obama’s eligibility were typified by a recent decision in Georgia in which several individuals filed challenges to Obama’s name on the 2012 ballot and provided evidence to a hearing officer.

Even though Obama and his lawyer deliberately snubbed the case – the lawyer wrote the judge a letter in advance telling him Obama would not attend – the judge threw out the evidence presented by several attorneys and ruled in favor of Obama.

Similar ballot challenges are being filed in a long list of other states already.

The Arpaio investigators were given the case following a meeting held in the sheriff’s office Aug. 17, 2011, with tea party representatives from Surprise, Ariz., who presented a petition signed by more than 250 Maricopa County residents. The petitioners expressed concern that their voting rights could be irreparably compromised if Obama uses a forged birth certificate to be placed on the 2012 presidential ballot in Arizona or otherwise is found to be ineligible.

The tea party letter formally stated the following charge: “The Surprise Tea Party is concerned that no law enforcement agency or other duly constituted government agency has conducted an investigation into the Obama birth certificate to determine if it is in fact an authentic copy of 1961 birth records on file for Barack Obama at the Hawaii Department of Health in Honolulu, or whether it, or they are forgeries.”

The posse was constituted as a 501(c)3 organization, designed to cost the people of Maricopa County nothing, while enabling people from around the country to contribute to its mission.

Those wishing to send a tax-deductible contribution directly to the Cold Case Posse may do so by mailing a check or money order to: MCSO Cold Case Posse, P.O. Box 74374, Phoenix, AZ 85087.

WND has reported that dozens of experts with varying ranges of competency who have looked at the situation believe the birth documentation image released by Obama last year is not genuine.

A flying-banner and billboard campaign to let people know about the questions regarding eligibility that was started by WND CEO and Editor Joseph Farah also has raised the public’s awareness of the situation.

Farah wrote recently that the underlying question to be determined is whether the U.S. Constitution remains the law of the land, or whether it has become “an archaic old document that needs to be amended.”

“At its core, it’s really quite simple: Does Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution dealing with who can serve as president of the United States simply mean that any citizen age 35 or older is eligible? If so, why did the founders use a different term altogether – ‘natural born citizen’? What is a ‘natural born citizen’? Is it anyone born in the United States? If so, why have candidates born outside the United States been deemed eligible? Do we owe it to America’s future to go back in history to determine what that term actually means?

“Until now, as hard as it may be to believe, no official vetting of Obama’s credentials has been done – not by the 50 secretaries of state who oversee elections, not by the Federal Elections Commission that administers the nation’s elections laws, not by the Electoral College, not by any judge in America, not by Congress, not by anyone,” he continued.

Even before the results become public, Farah said he’s confident there will be a significant impact.

“I strongly believe it could be a game-changer,” he said.

Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees….Davy Jones Dead at 66

The Monkees lead singer Davy Jones dies at 66

By MATT SEDENSKY  Posted Feb. 29, 2012, at 3:30 p.m.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Davy Jones, the lead singer of the 1960s group The Monkees, died of a massive heart attack Wednesday in Florida, his spokeswoman said. He was 66.

His publicist, Helen Kensick, confirmed that he died in Indiantown, where he lived.

Jones rose to fame in 1965 when he joined The Monkees, a British popular rock group formed for a U.S. television show. Jones sang lead vocals on songs like “I Wanna Be Free” and “Daydream Believer.”

Jones was born Dec. 30, 1945, in Manchester, England. His long hair and British accent helped Jones achieve heartthrob status in the United States.

According to The Monkees website,, he left the band in late 1970. In the summer of 1971, he recorded a solo hit “Rainy Jane” and made a series of appearances on American variety and television shows, including “Love American Style” and “The Brady Bunch.”

Jones played himself in a widely popular Brady Bunch episode, which aired in late 1971. In the episode, Marcia Brady, president of her school’s Davy Jones fan club, promised she could get him to sing at a school dance.

By the mid-1980s, Jones teamed up with former Monkee Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and promoter David Fishof for a reunion tour. Their popularity prompted MTV to reair The Monkees series, introducing the group to a new audience.

In 1987, Jones, Tork and Micky Dolenz recorded a new album, “Pool It.” Two years later, the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In the late 1990s, the group filmed a special called “Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees.”

He is survived by his wife, Jessica.