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2012 Campaigns Continue as New Congress Convenes

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Congressman John Boehner, the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, for the new 112th Congress exclaims that, "the people voted to end business as usual and today we begin carrying out their instructions... Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress. No longer can we fall short. No longer can we kick the can down the road."

On the other hand, flying back from his Christmas vacation in Hawaii, President Obama, stated: "My hope is that John Boehner and (Senate GOP leader) Mitch McConnell will realize that there will be plenty of time to campaign for 2012 in 2012."

There might be plenty of time to campaign in 2012 but the campaigning for the GOP nomination has begun in earnest in 2011 and will continue throughout the year in complete disregard of the president's wishes.

GOP presidential possibilities will begin announcing their intention to fill the residence of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue within the next two months. The new Congress will be a hotbed of political maneuvering for the congressional and presidential races in 2012.

Already the GOP leadership in the House has announced their plans to get rid of the new health care law. This will not and should not happen and it is a waste of time for Congress to pursue this route.

The American people want jobs and economic recovery and that is what the 112th Congress should be focusing on in its early days. Congress, with an approval rating in the teens, should begin to listen to the anger across the land about the lack of jobs and the slow economic recovery.

The new Congress will have 242 Republican members and 193 Democratic members. There are 96 new members of the House -- 87 Republicans and nine Democrats. There are 43 Tea Party backed new GOP members in the new House.

The new Senate will have 51 Democrats, 2 Independents and 47 Republicans. The two Independent members caucus with the Democrats.

Congressman Mike Pence, representing my congressional district in Indiana, is being mentioned as a possible GOP candidate for president or possibly a candidate for governor of Indiana in the future.

Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota and GOP Policy Committee Chair, is also considering a run for the White House in 2012.

And with other possible members from both Houses contemplating running for the White House the wishes of President Obama to keep campaigning for president happening until 2012 is a fantasy. It is happening every day from now until the 2012 primaries are over.

People to watch in the new 112th Congress include the House majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor from Virginia who is spearheading the GOP drive to overhaul the new health care bill.

Rep. Darrell Issa who takes over as Chair of the House Oversight Committee, has already announced he will be very active in his new power to investigate almost anything.

Rep. Paul Ryan takes over the powerful House Budget Committee.

New members of Congress Rep. Kristi Noem from South Dakota and Rep. Tim Scott from South Carolina will be liaisons with the House GOP leadership.

Look for New York Senator Chuck Schumer to be more active in the new session. Senator Patty Murray, the new SCCC, will have her hands full trying to make certain the Senate doesn't fall to the GOP in 2012.

On the other end of town look for new changes at the White House as Obama will choose a new Chief of Staff and new economic advisers. Other well -known names will be leaving in the near future from the White House.

Seems like two good candidates for high level jobs in the Obama administration would be outgoing Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and outgoing Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson.

Will the bipartisanship of the lame duck Congress be in evidence in the new Congress? Don't bet on it as the new GOP majority in the House will be working on its own agenda for the first few months.

While the GOP controls the new House it may not fall in line so readily under the new Speaker as the Tea Party members vow to show their independence and not tow the Republican party line all the time.

And, speaking of the 2012 presidential possibilities, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is the Republican of the moment who seems poised to get in the race who could compete effectively against Obama.

Controversial but popular New Jersey Governor Chris Christie repeats that he will not run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He is being praised in some quarters for his tough austerity program.

While Michael Bloomberg is always thought to be a potential third party candidate in 2012 for his effective managerial skills the latest blunders in cleaning up the snow in the Big Apple may doom any of the boomlets that might have appeared for the billionaire mayor.

They may not be ready for the top spot on the ticket in 2012 but new Senators Marco Rubio from Florida, Rob Portman from Ohio and Rand Paul from Kentucky might be possibilities in 2012 for the vice-presidential spot on a GOP ticket.

Or if the GOP is looking for someone with some knowledge of the vice-presidency they might look to the newly elected congressman from Arizona , Ben Quayle, the 34 year old son of former VP Dan Quayle who served as vice-president under George Herbert Walker Bush.

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