Wednesday, May 23, 2012


What’s New Today

Story #1 is the obituary to Barack Obama, the man who would bring the country together.  #2 identifies Obama biggest problem with his record.  He passed the stimulus and then basically forgot about the economy til the Republicans won the House.  He then sent bills that had no chance of passing by ones he could demagogue.  #3 tells how Obama beat uncommitted in Kentucky by less than 16%.  #4 is an ad from the RNC responding to Obama’s Bain campaign.  #5 has a number of Democrats who are abandoning the Bain strategy.  #6 is an interesting one as it relate how Republican bigwigs are starting to realize that Romney just might win.  He will win.  #7 has two links talking about how the Democrats have drifted so far to the left that former President Bill Clinton who left office only 11 years ago would probably not be able to secure the nomination.  #8 is a warning to always check the demographics of any poll before you get excited. 

Today’s Thoughts

Here’s a measure of Obama’s fading star power.  After needing George Clooney to raise money last month Obama is have a joint fund raiser with Bill Clinton.  Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  

You see it on the news, a school zone marked scool zone, but generally you don’t think it should happen in a college commencement booklet.  But you had it at the LBJ School of Pubic Affairs. 

Last night was a tough night for President Obama.  He lost 102 counties to either an unknown Democrat or to “Uncommitted.”

“…the Obama camp looks ominously like a cult of personality that tolerates no dissent; and the reelection campaign just doubled down on the European leftist notion that business is fair only when it operates in a sanitized, risk free manner.”-- Artur Davis, a four-term Democratic congressman from Alabama and now a fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

1. In Memorial:  The Obama who wanted to bring people together

The 2004 version of Barack Obama, who captured the nation with a dazzling speech about unity and went on to win the presidency on a message of hope, died on Monday. He was 8 years old.
The cause of death appeared to be a bitter realization that he needed to win reelection in an increasingly partisan political environment, a cancer that he had been battling for months if not years. 

Obama's illness got the best of him late Monday, as he announced that his campaign for four more years in the White House would be based not on optimism, but rather the shady corporate record of his opponent, Mitt Romney, who ran a private-equity firm that few Americans knew about before this year.

Obama's announcement was a stark contrast to the speech that catapulted him into his party's sights eight years ago, when he electrified Democrats at their quadrennial convention.

"There is not a liberal America and a conservative America," Obama declared to cheers  at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. "There is the United States of America.

"We are one people," Obama roared, perhaps envisioning his political future as the crowd rose to its feet. "All of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."
And strangely enough, it was in that very speech that Obama predicted his own demise. Just before his climactic applause line, the future president issued a stark warning.

"Even as we speak," he said, "there are those who are preparing to divide us -- the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers, who embrace the politics of anything goes." 

On May 21, 2012, more than three years after he was sworn into office, Obama confessed at a press conference in his hometown, Chicago, that he had become one of those peddlers…

A very elegant meme on what has happened to Barack Obama.  But it was only last Monday that the old Obama was declared dead.  Others saw the death in the first weeks of his inauguration when he told the Republicans who looked for compromise, “I won.” 

2. Why Obama is beating Bain
Second, it’s not so much that Team Obama is using Bain, which would be an inevitable part of any campaign (Democratic or Republican). It’s rather that they have so little else to work with. What is the positive message of the Obama campaign? What is the vision for a second term? I’m not seeing much of anything on that front.

And that points to a core mistake that the Obama White House has made time and time again: they’ve ignored public opinion. Poll after poll shows that the president is unpopular in general, and specifically on the economy, but those same polls indicate that most people do not blame him for the recession. Obviously, he’s saddling some of the responsibility for the weak recovery – but there is more to it. Specifically, the government has appeared to have done nothing about the problem since February 2009.

The Obama White House pivoted immediately to health care and cap and trade after the stimulus was passed, and they pressed on with those initiatives even as public disapproval mounted and the evidence grew that the economy was so terribly weak. Then, after the 2010 midterm, the president chose not to work in a serious, bipartisan manner with Congress, instead preferring to send up to Capitol Hill symbolic measures with no chance of passage, so that he could demagogue his opposition as a bunch of radicals.

Today, it is a sacred part of the liberal catechism that the Republicans are to blame for the gridlock, but that’s just not true. Imagine if Obama had sent a piece of legislation first to the Democratic-controlled Senate, something with a reasonable chance of passage. It gets through the upper chamber, which would put pressure on the House Republicans either to pass the bill or offer an alternative that Obama could sign. That could have worked, but Obama never tried that. This was a grievous mistake, in my judgment.

(And just in case you think this “radical GOP” meme really has some underlying purchase on what’s happening, remember that the Beltway establishment said the exact same thing about the 104th Congress, elected in 1994. Yet Clinton dealt with them, producing a balanced budget, tax cuts, a line-item veto, health care portability, and welfare reform….

 Obama is an Amateur as the new book points out.  His experience wasn’t that much and it was only an inch deep in what he had done.  The Democrats are going to regret ever nominating this man for President. 

3. Obama beat Uncommitted by 15.8% in Kentucky Primary

'Uncommitted' is keeping it closer than expected in the Kentucky Democratic presidential primary. With 104 of 120 counties counted, President Barack Obama leads 'Uncommitted' by only 20 percentage points. The tally so far: Obama with 105,487 votes (or 60.04 percent of the vote), while 'Uncommitted' claims 70,211 votes (or 39.96 percent).

(UPDATE: With 99.8 percent reporting, Barack Obama has 119,245 votes, while 'Uncommitted' has 86,789 votes. That is, Obama has 57.9 percent of the vote, while 'Uncommitted' has 42.1 percent.) 

This is not a good sign when over 40% of the voters come out to vote against a candidate that has no opponent.  We now have three straight democratic primaries where Obama has gotten less than 60% of the vote. 

4. RNC responds to Obama’s statement about Bain

Another effective ad in my estimation.  This is going to be an interesting campaign. 

5.  Democrats abandoning Bain Strategy?

Some influential Democrats on and off Capitol Hill are refusing to give President Obama political cover for his attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. 

Despite pushback from more than a half-dozen Democrats, the Obama campaign on Tuesday defended how it has scrutinized Romney’s business background.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a widely respected member of Congress, stopped short of criticizing the president, but made it clear that the campaign should pivot.
“It’s done,” she said. “Go on to other things now.”

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told The Hill, “I think the average American … hopes that this campaign will focus on competing visions for how to strengthen our economy, help create jobs and move the country forward.”

Pressed on whether he thought Obama’s campaign had operated within those guidelines, Coons paused.
“I’m not going to comment on President Obama’s ad,” he said, shaking his head vigorously….

I’m not sure Obama will stop.  He doesn’t really have anything else. 

6.  Republicans Leaders wake up to Romney might wing

Top Republicans, long privately skeptical about their presidential prospects, are coming around to a surprising new view — that Mitt Romney may well win the White House this November.
Margin-of-error polling, fundraising parity last month, conservative consolidation around Romney and a still-sluggish economy has senior GOP officials increasingly bullish about a nominee many winced over during a difficult primary process.

Interviews with about two dozen Republican elected officials, aides, strategists and lobbyists reveal a newfound optimism that with a competent, on-message campaign, Romney will be at least competitive with a weakened incumbent. That’s a dramatic shift from the fatalistic view many party stalwarts shared mere weeks ago.

“Romney is a lot better off than I expected him to be this quickly,” said former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who cast a primary vote for Newt Gingrich. “A lot of people were concerned that Romney, with his being the least conservative of all the Republican candidates, was going to have to work hard to unite the party — that he would have a serious sales job on his hands. But President Obama has apparently taken care of that for him.”…

Many liberals were comforted that all the Republicans running were “clowns.”  They told themselves this to feel better and because they knew they would never vote for any of them.  Kind of reminds me of the NY liberal who couldn’t believe Reagan won saying he didn’t know anyone who voted for him. 

7.  Could Bill Clinton win the Democratic nomination today?

This is a very interesting article.  The left likes to say that Republicans have moved so far to the right that Ronald Reagan couldn’t win the nomination today.   This article looks at the left and asks if Bill Clinton could win the Democratic nomination.  One other interesting insight was that the Republicans since Reagan have run more centrist candidates than have the Democrats. 

Here’s another interesting piece to go along with the one above.

..Conversations with liberal activists and labor officials reveal an unmistakable hostility toward the pro-business, free-trade, free-market philosophy that was in vogue during the second half of the Clinton administration. Former White House Chief of Staff William Daley, who tried to steer the Obama administration in a more centrist direction, is the subject of particular derision. Discussion of entitlement reforms, at the heart of the GOP governing agenda, is a nonstarter. The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats are now nearly extinct on Capitol Hill.

Moderate Democratic groups and officials, meanwhile, privately fret about the party’s leftward drift and the Obama campaign’s embrace of an aggressively populist message. They’re disappointed that the administration didn’t take the lead advancing the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction proposal, they wish the administration’s focus was on growth over fairness, and they are frustrated with the persistent congressional gridlock. Third Way, the centrist Democratic think tank, has been generating analyses underscoring the need for Democrats to appeal to middle-of-the-road voters, to no avail.

There are not a lot of moderates left in the Democratic Party, and Cory is one of the few of them left,” said former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, an early Obama ally who has become increasingly estranged from the party. “I would like to think Cory speaks for a lot of voters in the Democratic Party, but sadly he doesn’t speak for a lot of Democratic operatives within the party. This isn’t Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party anymore.”…

There is something called projection and it seems to work when looking at the Democratic Party today.  They constantly call Republicans “extremists” and out of touch with the average American.  They talk about Republicans failed policies without giving any proof of the charge while talking about how well their policies have worked (well they actually don’t talk about it, they just say it’s working). 

8.  Always check the Demographics of any Poll

….Today the Washington Post is all but dancing in the street about the result of their recent poll showing Obama leading Romney by 2 points overall and tied with Romney relative to whom the people trust to handle the economy.

However as Mike Flynn at  points out it took some heavy lifting with the numbers to get Obama up that high:

Specifically, The Post poll assumes a collapse in GOP turnout.  The partisan breakdown of the poll is D-32, R-22, I-38.  In other words, only 22% of the voters sampled were Republicans.  If only 22% of the voters in November were Republicans, it would be the lowest turnout for the GOP in modern history.
In 2010, 35% of voters were Republican.   In 2008, the year Obama swept into the White House, 32% of voters were Republican.  Even in 2006, the year Democrats took control of Congress, 36% of voters were Republican.

Remember the partisan screen on this poll isn't an accident or quirk of the sample.  It's the direct result of specific choices made by the pollster to "weight" the sample to reflect demographics and other characteristics of the electorate. If 22% of the sample is Republicans, it's because the pollster "weighted" the poll that way.

It's only May, but the media's support for Obama is already blinding them to reality. ..

If they did a poll with 32% Republicans and 22% Democrats, I would feel great until I looked at the Demographics and saw it was totally unrealistic and skewed toward the Republicans.  You can mathematically figure what the numbers would be for the Washington Post Poll if it was 32% for both the Dems and the Reps.  In that case Obama gets 43.7% to Romney’s 49.3%.

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