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WATER COOLER

The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

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Gov. Perry whips up SRLC crowd

Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry blew out the SRLC audience today with his speech. Some are saying that Mr. Perry one upped former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Decide for yourself here is the video of Mr. Perry's speech (h/t the right scoop):

DCCC attacks Hawaii Republican for signing no tax increase pledge

Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, a Republican, is taking on Hawaii’s Democratic machine and running for Congress in a special election. Hawaii has not sent a Republican to the U.S. Congress in twenty years, and Mr. Djou could very well break that trend this year. Democrats are already blasting Mr. Djou for signing the Americans for Tax Reform pledge.

Southern Republican Leadership Conference gears up 2012 prospects

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference starts up on Thursday in New Orleans. The event, which happens every four years, in between presidential elections, will give Republican party leaders and activists a platform to address grassroots conservatives. Speakers will include: Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele, and Sarah Palin. Ms. Palin, among others,  is being watched very closely at this forum, as political watchers speculate what her next move might be in terms of a presidential run in 2012.

Steele: Republicans and the tea party movement

In this past Sunday’s Washington Post, former Vice President Dan Quayle offered a thoughtful analysis of the Tea Party movement and its followers.  He writes about the principles and motivations of their cause and why these concerned Americans are “the natural allies of the party of Reagan.”  In order to gain the Tea Party’s support, he says, what “Republicans need to do is speak to its issues” and “heed its example of a confident and unapologetic challenge to a liberal president and Congress.”  I agree with Mr. Quayle and believe the Republican Party is doing just that. 

The new student loan czar?

By appointing Robert Shireman as deputy undersecretary of education, President Obama appears to have broken a campaign promise to keep lobbyists out of his administration.