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GOP Convention Brings Optimism To Peninsula

Local Republican officials prepare for this weekend's convention.

As the momentum proceeding the fall presidential election builds, local leaders of the Republican party expect hundreds of conservative voters will flock to Burlingame this weekend in order to hobnob with notable members of the Grand Old Party.

High-ranking party officials such as House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day and Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich are rolling into town Friday and will appear over the course of the weekend at the .

Chuck McDougald, chairman of the San Mateo County Republican Party, said he anticipates that nearly 1,000 people will attend all of the events taking place such as town hall meetings, banquets and speeches.

According to McDougald, about 70,000 county residents are registered as Republican voters, which comprises about 10 percent of the total population.

But despite being the local political minority, McDougald said his party is not willing to forfeit the battle to win over the hearts and minds of county residents.

"We are going to fight until we get the majority," he said. "We used to be the majority. I don't know what happened. But we've got to do something to change that."

McDougald said he believes this forthcoming election could be integral in shifting the county, and country's, political allegiance.

"This election could be the most important in our lifetime," he said.

McDougald also said he has faith in the ability of the eventual Republican candidate to win the upcoming presidential election, despite the claims of some critics that the current group of potential conservative nominees is not strong enough to seriously contend with President Barack Obama.

"There is a great chance that whoever is the Republican nomination can beat Obama," he said.

But in order to do so, it is in the best interest of the right wing candidate to build their campaign on a foundation of highlighting the variety of economic failures that took place during the first four years of Obama's presidency, McDougald said.

He said the high unemployment rate and increased cost of gas over the course of Obama's four years in office are examples of his unsuccessful economic track record.

County Republican party spokeswoman Lucy Calder agreed, but was not as optimistic as McDougald about the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.

"I think we have a shot, but I think it will be very tough," she said.

Calder cited the sizable campaign war chest that President Obama has built, as well as his appeal to those who favor voting for the candidate with the best grasp on social issues, as two of the most substantial obstacles that the Republican candidate will have to overcome in order to be elected.

"If we don't get away from social issues, it will be tough," she said.

Yet she pointed to the election of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as proof that substantial support still exists for conservative candidates, even in areas that are traditionally liberal.

Calder also said she believes that the recent passage of a pension reform act in Menlo Park may indicate that a groundswell of support for fiscally conservative politics may be growing.

She said she hopes that the events this weekend will be able to tap into that community of supporters, and expects the convention will be packed with enthusiasts wanting to support a common cause.

And that is music to the ears of Burlingame Mayor Jerry Deal, who said local merchants will welcome the influx of visitors with open arms regardless of their political affiliation.

"I'm glad they are coming to fill up our hotels," he said.

Kali February 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Thank you George. Your posts are perfect.
Cory David February 26, 2012 at 04:47 PM
What interesting dialogue. What should be a discussion of policies affecting the welfare of hundreds of millions of people devolves into a discussion of the net worth of a handful of individuals who happen to occupy the halls of Congress or work on a movie set. Let's also throw in the media for good measure. Paranoia reigns supreme. Some of you sound resentful of those less fortunate who receive government assistance. Great, defund the programs, the safety net, but beware, the problems do not go away. And if you are okay with mass homelessness, hungry and uneducated children and people dying for lack of medical care, I guess you have chosen not to be a member of society. And you know what? These programs are funded by OUR tax dollars. Tax dollars that are obtained through a progressive tax system that reaches limits once you reach extreme wealth. I, for one, am disgusted at what masquerades as a "two party" system. As our elected officials claim to seek bi-partisanship to govern, I might suggest we have already achieved it. BIPARTISAN CORRUPTION! Our system is hopelessly broken, possibly beyond repair. So rather than falling for someone pandering to me with signs touting $2.50 a gallon gasoline, promising to legislate morality or feigning a kinship with his fellow man while sucking on a "silver spoon," I will continue to hold my nose while voting for the liberal candidate, finding it far superior to vomiting while voting for a conservative one.
Bren February 26, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Sounds like Kali's been drinking too much Republican Kool-Aid. Any time I hear somebody ranting and raving about how the liberal Democrats control the news media and Hollywood, I brace myself, because I know I'm dealing with a conspiracy theorist whose next assertion will be that the Jews control everything. Let me explain something to you, Kali: In order to have a career in Hollywood, you have to be a creative person. In order to be a journalist, you need to be well educated. Such people tend to be liberal Democrats. Go figure.
George Muteff February 26, 2012 at 09:07 PM
"Nobody is harmed by a high-class escort service." Really? Ask Heidi, or perhaps you'd rather speak with Elliot http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/nyregion/10cnd-spitzer.html?pagewanted=all They, however, differ from Barney's version. His was a gay 'service' run from his home, allegedly by his boy toy that he was 'rehabilitating'. Yeah, right. You might want to stay up with current affairs, play intended, Before you comment. Look, I'm not here to change your mind. Vote for whoever you like. The only rub is you appear rather extreme in your emotionally run rather than factually based thought process. Some of your comments are so out there that someone should come in just to add facts. Otherwise, some other person, void of the desire to do any research, may actually believe the BS you're doling out. Btw, you might appear better informed if you would supply some type of support for your claims. Yeah, it can be a pain, huh? Backing up assertions helps keep a lid on the mis-statements.
George Muteff February 26, 2012 at 09:16 PM
I would add: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/barney-frank-to-quit-house-after-30-years/ From the piece; "Mr. Frank served as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee until Republicans won control of the chamber this year; he remains the ranking Democrat. He co-wrote the Dodd-Frank law overhauling financial regulation; the other author, Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, left the Senate last year." And despite the fact that he co-authored the financial reform legislation, to date not one person has been charged, let alone convicted with it. I guess that means everything's good on Wall Street, huh Bren? http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1721111_1721210_1883878,00.html Is this something you would hold up for Bren Jr as something to aspire to?

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