For only $25.00 you too can have from the official Obama campaign store a portrait of Fearless Leader with his campaign slogan Forward! Sheesh! If the Obama campaign must steal a Nazi slogan, the least they could do is come up with an updated version of the old Hitler Jugend Vorwarts! Vorwarts!
One of the political experts I pay close attention to is Charlie Cook. His personal politics lean Democrat, but when it comes to predicting elections and reading political tea leaves, he has one of the best records among political mavens. I therefore assume that alarm bells were going off all over the Obama campaign when they read Cook’s column today in The National Journal:
We are past the point where Obama can win a referendum election, regardless of whether it is on him or the economy. The success of his campaign is contingent upon two things. First, when focusing on the narrow sliver of undecided voters, between 6 and 8 percent of the electorate, the Obama team must make its candidate the lesser of two evils. It has to make the prospect of a Mitt Romney presidency so unpalatable that about half of those undecided voters will begrudgingly vote for reelection. Polling focusing on the undecided voters reveals they are a deeply pessimistic and angry segment of the electorate and don’t particularly like either candidate (fitting, because they don’t tend to like politicians). But they show signs of being more conservative than not. One unpublished analysis gives Republicans a 10-point advantage on the generic congressional ballot test among those undecided about the presidential race. Close analysis of the numbers shows that Obama might have an edge with between a third and a quarter of the currently undecided bloc. That’s cutting things awfully close.
The second key is turnout. African-Americans look solid for Obama and very likely to vote in high numbers, but young and Latino voters’ turnout appears problematic. Obama’s recent announcement of a newly articulated Dream Act-light policy could help, but it is too soon to see any data showing measurable change. It is what many Latino voters wanted to see, though Obama did it less than five months before the election when it could have been done three years ago. After deportations had reached levels higher than those under George W. Bush, it could take a lot to drive up Latino turnout.
This election is hardly over: The totally unexpected could happen that changes everything. Unless the Obama team can discredit Romney, though, convincing voters that he is a ruthless, uncaring corporate buccaneer, this will be a hard election to win. Continue reading
Hattip to Verum Serum. Sheesh, how more cult like can they get? Nagging your relatives about politics at family get-togethers, especially over Christmas, strikes me as a good way to drive a stake through family good feeling. One of the great things about family is that you are thrown in with people you do not choose. If you like them great, but you tolerate and associate with them even if you do not because they are blood and marriage relatives. Families help teach us how to get along with people we might not have chosen to associate with, but for the accident of being related. This mandates tolerance for differences with relatives who interact with us because we are family. Using a family relationship as an opportunity for political propaganda strikes me as completely wrong-headed, and having a campaign adopt this as an official tactic of the campaign leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.