Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Steve Rattner, Obama’s former car czar, explains in the video above how economic growth under Obama is in the toilet along with Obama’s re-election prospects.
Steve Rattner, the former “car czar” for Barack Obama, explains why voters may have narrowly given Obama the edge in the debate on Tuesday night, but give Mitt Romney a 31-point advantage on the economy. You have to go all the way back to the 1930s, Rattner explains after Willie Geist presses the point, to find a President with a worse record on economic growth in a first term. Continue reading
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney appeared tonight at the Al Smith Dinner and gave the usual humorous speeches. A few observations:
1. Romney the Standup Comic-I was surprised at how well Romney did. Comedy and Mitt Romney would seem to be mutually exclusive concepts, but he had good timing and delivered an effective series of jokes. Funniest joke: A reference to the Cardinal, because of Obama’s troubles with the Church, turning Obama’s wine into water.
2. Flat Obama-Four years ago I praised Obama’s speech at the Al Smith dinner as being hilarious. Not this year. Most of his jokes fell flat and he seemed to be going through the motions. Funniest joke: He said at one point that for the third debate he was going to train as he did for the first debate. Pause. He then said that he was just kidding, that he only wanted to make Axelrod sweat.
3. These Guys Really Hate Each Other-Both Romney and Obama at the end of their speeches gave unfelt praise to the other. Their other comments dripped venom for their opponent, especially Romney’s comments. No love lost here at all.
4. Romney on the Attack-The usual humor at an Al Smith dinner is self-depracatory. Romney had a bit of this but most of his humorous comments were fairly hard hitting attacks against Obama.
5. The War on the Church-Romney was not shy in mentioning Obama’s attacks on the Church. He joked that Obama has found a way to soften the attitude of the Church to the HHS Mandate: the rules will be in Latin. Continue reading
In the above video our beloved National Clown lauded our veterans who served in Iraq and Iran. What do you think?
1. Bone headed Biden being bone headed Biden.
2. Give Joe a break, they both begin with I!
3. Joe let the cat out of bag in regard to the October Surprise!
4. Sure there was a war with Iran. That is where “Blood and Guts” Biden got his brain injury!
5. Biden was unable to plagiarize in his Geography course in college. Continue reading
Just a quick update to my post of some two weeks ago; I exchanged e-mails with two prominent pollsters who told me that not only are religious voters moving toward Governor Romney in a big way (we expected that) but so are voters in the Midwest. One of the pollsters read my article on The Data and Demographics That Detail Why Romney Defeats Obama in Ohio.
He told me he was “amazed” at the shifting demographics in Ohio in areas of the state that would help Governor Romney and hurt President Obama. He indicated that many pollsters hadn’t taken this into account (lots of population shifts since the Economic Upheaval of 2008.) This particular pollster, who you probably have seen on TV and or read his highly respected polls, is currently working on polls in Ohio and other Midwest states.
The other pollster told me that the religious vote which strongly went for Senator McCain in 2008 will be easily surpassed by 2012 totals. Now anything can happen from here to election day, yet as Don explained in his post on the Fat Lady Warming Up these are not bounces but surges. As I indicated in my just released book, The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn, the religious faithful are persistent and though they certainly don’t hang out with the pop culture and media movers and shakers and because of this are often overlooked, that doesn’t mean they won’t be heard at the ballot box on Election Day.
Gallup today was Romney 51-Obama 45. Polls come and polls go, but this one is significant for several reasons:
1. 50% and up-It is the first time that Romney has gone above 50% in the Gallup tracker.
2. Surge Not a Bounce- Initially it was thought that Romney got a bounce from the first debate. Bounces fade. What this poll demonstrates is that Romney for the past two weeks has been enjoying a surge.
3. Incumbent Forty Blues-It is electoral death normally for an incumbent to be under 50% in a Presidential race this late in the election season, due to the fact that most undecided voters break for the challenger. Obama in the mid-forties is looking at a ceiling for his support well under 50%.
4. October Winner-The candidate ahead in mid-October has almost always gone on to win. The only exception I can think of is Reagan in 1980, and Democrat blather to the contrary Obama isn’t Reagan.
5. One More Debate-The events that can have a major impact on the election are running out. Just one more debate and that is on foreign policy, probably not the President’s favorite subject in these Benghazi haunted days. Continue reading
President Obama’s performance in the first debate was, unarguably, pretty lethargic, and he took a big hit in the polls shortly afterward. The general wisdom drawn from this, especially on the democratic side of the aisle, seemed to be that what was really needed in the debates was, thus, more aggression. Biden delivered this in his own unique way in the Veep debate, to such an extent that one wondered at times whether he would have to be removed from the stage in a straight jacket, still alternating between wild cackling and angry shouting, but at last he ran out of gas and calmed down in the last 20 minutes. Obama has a sense of personal dignity that Biden lacks, and so although he certainly came to the debate in a pugilistic frame of mind, he didn’t make himself silly in the way that Biden did. Nonetheless, despite the fact that the debate was supposed to feature the candidates answering questions directly from voters, it instead was most notable for intense bouts of the candidates rhetorically hammering each other.
The common wisdom is that this kind of thing turns undecided voters off. I saw some anecdotal evidence of this in the reactions of my less partisan friends on Facebook, one of whom posted in indignation:
Dear Gov Romney and Pres Obama,
Every time you keep talking when you are reminded that a normal citizen has a question for you, you reinforce that you think what you have to say is more important than the concerns of the people of your country. You both lost my vote tonight.
This aside, though, I think the focus on rhetorical dominance and aggression has probably been misplaced. Was it really that Obama’s performance in the first debate was so sluggish that cost him so much in the polls? I don’t think most Americans care whether the president is a skilled debater or not. Continue reading
“3. Crowley Hearts Obama-Candy Crowley attempted to come to the rescue of the President in misstating that Obama blamed the Benghazi attack on terrorism in his rose garden statement. That is incorrect. The operative phrase in Obama’s statement: Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. Crowley’s intervention indicated that she was not a moderator but rather an Obama partisan.” Continue reading
Predictably Obama was very aggressive tonight. Less predictably perhaps, Romney was just as aggressive. Here are some thoughts:
1. Wired Obama-Obama came loaded with talking points and spoke rapidly throughout the debate to get them all out.
2. Face Time-Classic political theater with Obama and Romney having a few face to face clashes during the debate.
3. Crowley Hearts Obama-Candy Crowley attempted to come to the rescue of the President in misstating that Obama blamed the Benghazi attack on terrorism in his rose garden statement. That is incorrect. The operative phrase in Obama’s statement: Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. Crowley’s intervention indicated that she was not a moderator but rather an Obama partisan.
4. Romney the Good-Romney gave another good debate performance and I expect he will do just as well in the third debate. If Obama is hoping for Romney to stumble or commit a gaffe, I think he will wait in vain.
5. Boxing match-Although the back and forth got a bit tiresome to me after a while, I did like the way in which both candidates talked directly at each other. Romney did make the mistake of asking too many questions of Obama, as if he were going to get any forthright answers. Continue reading
I posted debate advice for Mitt Romney prior to the first debate which may be read here. My advice for round two is as follows:
1. Don’t Get Cocky-You had an exceptionally good first debate. Enjoy it and forget it. That was round one of a three round fight, and who is left standing at the end of the third round is how you determine the victor.
2. Don’t Sit on a Lead- That is what Obama tried to do in round one and it was a disaster. Don’t make that elementary mistake.
3. This is a Townhall Meeting-We have Joe and Jane Citizens asking the questions and that is a challenge. The media is predictable, ordinary citizens are not. Listen closely to the questions and answer them. Ignoring questions at a townhall can be ruinous, especially if they are inane.
4. Aggressive Obama-After his fairly passive performance at the last debate, Obama will probably come out full of fight. That can work to your advantage at a townhall if Obama comes across as over the top before a live audience. After the Biden debacle I think he will probably avoid this, but don’t be surprised if he has flashes of temper and be ready to capitalize on them.
5. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs-You can bet that almost every person in that townhall will have a friend or relative who is either unemployed or underemployed. Pledge to turn the economy around and put America be back to work. Be detailed as much as time allows. People were impressed the first go round at your breadth of knowledge and your ideas. Play off of those strengths. Continue reading
There is a great scene in Kipling’s story The Man Who Would Be King. Two British adventurers take over a fictional kingdom, with one of them pretending to be a god. The whole exploit goes pear-shaped when the “god” attempts to marry a local girl. She belts him and he begins to bleed. The local pagan priests seeing this yell out, “Neither God nor Devil but a man!” and things head badly south for the two conmen.
Something similar has happend to the erstwhile South side Messiah since his first debate with Romney. Byron York interviewed a young woman who, I think, speaks now for many in her generation:
Danielle Low, a 22 year-old preschool teacher in Lebanon, is the quintessential Romney target voter. In 2008, she was newly eligible to vote, and she chose Barack Obama. “But then I gave birth to my first son, and I knew we needed a change,” Low said. “We bought a house in ’09 and we’re struggling every day, my husband and I are. I just want to see things turn around. I want to be able to afford to have another child. I want to be able to afford to buy a house where we want to live, and right now, with the economy the way it is, we can’t do that.”
“I think President Obama tricked me into voting for him,” Low continued in an impromptu discussion that could have doubled as a Romney ad. “I feel like he lied to me. He made promises he couldn’t keep. He played on my young emotions. He played on me because I was young and naïve. I didn’t know anything about the world. I believed that he was going to give us a change. I just feel like he made a lot of promises — there’s no way he followed through with them. I haven’t seen any change. I’ve seen change for the worse, not change for the better. So I hope Mitt Romney can carry us through the next four years.” Continue reading
Hattip to John Hinderaker at Powerline. Biden, our Veep and Beloved National Clown, reacts to some of the wilder things that he has said over the years.
Thomas Peterffy came to this country as a penniless refugee from Communist Hungary. He could not speak English when he got here. Currently he is worth five billion dollars. It is obvious that almost all of the immigrants to this country have not succeeded materially in the outstanding fashion that Peterffy has, but it is also safe to say that almost all have greatly bettered themselves materially, while enjoying freedom, the birthright of all Americans. He is not the first refugee from Communism I have read about who has pointed to unsettling parallels between what he experienced in the nation that he fled from and what has been going on in this nation for the past few years.
Smitty at The Other McCain has a brilliant riff on The Gettysburg Address in regard to the debate last night:
Four score and five interruptions ago our zany uncle brought forth on this continent a new indignation, conceived in contempt for liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created to serve the state.
Now we are engaged in a soft civil war, testing whether that indignation, or any indignation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great debate-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a blog post for he who here gave 90 minutes of his life that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should blog this. Continue reading
Indicating the seriousness with which our Bishops view this electoral contest, they wasted no time in taking Biden to task for his lie about the HHS Mandate in the debate last evening: Continue reading