Friday, April 20, 2012

'No' Doesn't Mean Never: A Guide to Veepstakes Denials

So you want to be the vice presidential nominee? Here's a tip: start by saying you don't.
On a hot August day in Wilmington four years ago, as speculation swirled over who Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama would pick as his running mate, reporters swarmed Joe Biden when the Delaware senator left his house.
"Hey guys," Biden told them, " I'm not the guy."
Of course, Biden was "the guy" - days later he was unveiled as Obama's pick. Biden's denials that summer day were nothing new. In 2007 he had said unequivocally, "I will not be vice president under any circumstances." Even though Biden is now the vice president, he was simply following the veepstakes playbook of deny, deny, deny… and then take the job if it's offered.
In 2000, Dick Cheney said, "I have no absolutely no desire to go back to government." But at the same time, Cheney was leading George W. Bush's search for a running mate… a search that, ultimately, settled on - yep, Dick Cheney himself. Still, Cheney maintained that for months he had told Bush that he did not want the number-two slot on his ticket.
"I did turn it down," Cheney said, "until we got down to the end of the process and he persuaded me that I was what he was looking for."
It should come as no surprise then that the list of potential running mate picks for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney have repeated time and time again in recent months that they all have absolutely no desire whatsoever to even be so much as mentioned as a possible option.
Take Marco Rubio, the freshman Florida senator who has appeared at the top of most veepstakes lists.
"I don't want to be the vice president," Rubio said Wednesday.
"So if Mitt Romney asks, you will say no?" questioned the National Journal's Major Garrett.
Well, okay then. Rubio has been saying essentially the same thing for months now. Just like other potential Romney picks. Another frontrunner, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said, "I don't take it seriously. I think at the end of the day, Mitt Romney will make a personal decision and he'll choose somebody else."
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, citing her developmentally disabled sister, said "I just couldn't do it." Rep. Paul Ryan, who campaigned in his home state of Wisconsin alongside Romney in the build-up to the Badger State's April 3 primary, said he is "not giving any serious thought to it" because he is "in a good place in Congress."
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said, if asked, she would tell Romney, "Thank you, but no." Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who served as a loyal surrogate to Romney after his own presidential bid failed last summer, said, "I'm not going to be considering that." Just in case there was any doubt, Pawlenty noted, "I've taken myself off the list."
After CIA director David Petraeus was listed as a possible choice for Romney, CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood issued a statement that Petraeus "will not seek elected office."
How troubling all of this must be to poor Romney, who will apparently be hard-pressed to find anyone to serve as his running mate.
But of course, it's all just part of the act. If you want to be a running mate, the last thing you want to do is acknowledge any interest in it.
After Rubio's comments Wednesday, one top Republican operative told ABC News' Jon Karl, "Nobody believes that saying no really means no."
When it comes to the veepstakes, "no" apparently means "absolutely, definitely, yes!"
Matthew Jaffe is covering the 2012 campaign for ABC News and Univision.

Castro Applauds Repsol Expropriation

Thursday, April 19, 2012
This is absolutely fascinating.

Either Repsol's partnership with the Castro brothers is headed for troubled times or their current exploratory drilling is not going well.

From Reuters:

Cuba backs Argentina's YPF oil company expropriation

Communist Cuba on Thursday declared its support for Argentina's decision to expropriate a 51 percent controlling stake in the South American country's largest oil company, YPF, from Spanish owned Repsol.

"Cuba reiterates its solidarity with the Republic of Argentina and that this nation has a permanent sovereign right over all its natural resources," said a government statement, read on state-run television.

President Cristina Fernandez unveiled plans on Monday to seize Repsol's share of YPF, sparking a chorus of condemnation from Madrid to Washington and support from Venezuela and some other leftist governments in Latin America.

The brief Cuban statement accused Repsol of purchasing its controlling interest in YPF for less than its value.

The Spanish company is a key partner of Cuba's in its efforts to explore for oil off its northern coast in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company is currently drilling some 18 miles offshore in what has been billed as the start of exploration in a vast area thought to harbor billions of barrels of oil.

The fad, chaos and absurdity

| By Calvo Leonardo Cardenas

HAVANA, Cuba, April, -The specialized analysis program on television sports national "As hard and without a glove" a few days ago brought us interesting and  amazing reviews on the current state of Cuban baseball their prospects in the international context in a time of crisis so obvious that it seems to have sounded the alarm on high.
The national pastime, the game of baseball is more than passion of the Cuban culture. With over one hundred and thirty years of presence this sport is closely related to our History, in fact some of his earliest farmers were linked  the struggles for independence. There are many successes and figures Relevant provided by this complex and moving along sport more than a century of achievements and emotions.
However, neither the many glories cumulative or persistent passion of the fans can keep the national pastime suffered  the most serious crises. It is not just about the setbacks and successive defeats on the international scene or the continuing exodus of novice and established players, the fact is that the poor quality of elite tournament of the discipline, which by the way he lives his fiftieth first edition, it is so obvious that disappoints the most faithful fans and begins to seriously worry about the very little critical political and sports authorities of the country. The disaster is such that  Only a few months reached Cuba Japanese specialists to lessons teach pitching and batting coaches and athletes.
At this point the concern is logic: empty stadiums, unstoppable exodus of stars and young prospects, weakness apparent in several lines of play and an apparent reversal in the popular preference, especially young people, and it is noted that the most inexperienced increase  his love football to the detriment of the perennial national passion,  which is only natural to enjoy each week through the TV  best football the world, including almost complete transmission World European Championships and Copa America in competition with a baseball getting worse quality.
Commentators called the said program is extended about the apparent delay of our baseball in the international arena where there are ways to beat their bitter rivals. The specialists came to wonder: Why Cuba is in the best international soccer and not the Major League Baseball?
Our naive commentators, who seem to have arrived yesterday Cuba did not know that that question must directly hacérsela rulers who for years have become taboo to baseball professional, alienating fans of the best Cuban beisboleros circuits and especially the exploits of our foreign compatriots in those scenarios.
Antonio Castro, el heredero
Antonio Castro, the heir
Obviously no human achievement can successfully perform excellence or standing with his back to the development and fluid contact  with her for the same. The exchange with baseball players and higher quality that has led the two editions of the World Classic (2006 and 2009) has demonstrated beyond doubt that competitive friction and blank the higher level are essential to maintain quality and aspirations of  leadership that Cuban players have talent and quality  compete at the highest level, provided they have the appropriate conditions and preparation, and above all that can be a star Billionaire world and yet people friendly, gentlemanly and lovers of their country.
The quality and potential of Cuban baseball are undeniable, but that isolation is gaining so many decades as a high price and  results. Otherwise it is the Netherlands, a country as small as Cuba and no baseball tradition that in recent years has grown in the sport to beat Cuba twice to take first  the title in the edition held last year in Panama.
The case is that a profound structural reform and strategic Cuban baseball requires if we want to see worst performances international and considerable reduction of the support of fans.
However, beyond the urgent need for change, that verbal flirtation with professional baseball and the visit of managers  Caribbean Series champions ─ tournament winter league  ─ region is motivated by the interest of orthopedic surgeon Antonio  Castro, son of the supreme leader to be exact, who on a whim dynasty has become vice president of the Federation International Baseball (IBAF) and regent of the national sport.
It seems that this gentleman, whose new endowments constitute a sovereign disregard for fans and many men of the people who have dedicated their life to baseball, aims actually benefit from the materials that produce results new paths to follow Cuban baseball pass and maintain control on athletes and their performances.
The audacity of dynastic hegemony that now epitomizes Tony Castro is not new to baseball, we must not forget the times when your  father acted as supreme director, also in this field.
To address the crisis in which the ball sinks Cuba is necessary to banish the structural patterns that both retrograde weigh down the competitive quality and the show itself, stop considered traitors to the players who decide to act in other latitudes and allow fans to enjoy and take pride in their  successes, but above all promote the appropriate blanks of the athletes in the best scenarios.
If the authorities do not show courage and determination to the changes that have already been delayed a lot, which is the Cuban baseball will collapse like everything they touch the Castro.