The President's first official week of campaigning for re-election started off a little shaky. Yahoo News Political Correspondent Jeff Greenfield is normally not one to fall prey to the knee jerk reaction to individual events.
If you don’t believe rigid mathematical formulas can tell you who will win a presidential election—and I don’t—you should be even more dubious about hunches divined from a stray incident or two.
So why do I have the feeling that just such an incident—OK, make it four—made last week a very bad one for President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects?
Because they connect to much bigger problems that go to the heart of the Obama campaign’s arguments for a second term. Moreover, the time to repair these problems is rapidly running out.
The incidents in question?
Let’s take the first event, which on the surface may seem ludicrous: the Empty Seats in Columbus.
Obama semiofficially launched his re-election campaign—as opposed to the hundreds of “nonpolitical” appearances he has made over the past three years—at a rally Saturday at Ohio State University. Some 14,000 supporters filled the arena—or rather, did not fill the arena. Coverage of the event focused heavily on the 4,000 empty seats, and Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod was pressed by ABC’s Jake Tapper about whether the turnout demonstrated a lack of “enthusiasm” for the president.
The President's defenders claim that the pictures of the event (that were shown on Drudge and Breitbart) were taken before the event started and that more people showed up later and I don't doubt that for a minute. However, the fact of the matter is, the campaign staged their kick off event in a venue designed to hold roughly 20,000 people and only 14,000 (approximately) showed up. That IS a gaffe as Greenfield explains.
If that were the beginning and the end of the story, I’d be ashamed to be writing about it. Yes, advance teams try to fill halls. The founding father of such work, Jerry Bruno, always booked smaller halls so that the press would have to write that a candidate spoke to “an overflow crowd.” And yes, the press blow logistical mistakes out of all proportion. In 1988, ABC’s Sam Donaldson reported that a faulty sound system “called into question the competence of the Dukakis campaign.” (On the other hand, given that campaign, he may have been onto something.) By itself, the turnout for Obama was no big deal.
Oh those violent whack jobs in the Tea Party....they are at it again....
What a lucky, lucky week this has been for Greater Cleveland -- especially for whichever unsuspecting souls were driving across the Ohio 82 bridge across the Cuyahoga Valley while five petty criminals associated with Occupy Cleveland were trying to community organize it.
The Occupiers, authorities tell us, thought they had rigged the span with plastic explosives that would detonate when they punched a code into a cellphone.
Occupiers??? Plotting violence against honest hard-working middle class commuters that PAY for all the crap that the Occupiers are demanding? NOOOOOOOOOOOO - that would NEVEEEEEEERRRRRRR happen...
Sorry to have been absent this past week. Family issues have kept me mostly offline. That has now been resolved and I am back in the blogging saddle again.
Logical Lady Salena Zito is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Her specialty is politics in Western Pennsylvania/eastern Ohio. So this column is coming right from her wheelhouse....
Knocked off message for a second week by messy Secret Service and GSA scandals, President Obama on Wednesday tried to salvage things with a jobs rally among handpicked supporters in this Northeast Ohio town.
Standing behind him onstage were unemployed workers, ages 33 to 60, who went back to school to learn trades that might help them land jobs.
He began and ended his speech with now-familiar populist rhetoric about fairness and fair shakes. Sandwiched in between were out-of-place lines about free markets, personal responsibility and government not solving all of our problems.
At times the words felt awkward, forced. Six tepid applause lines in a 24-minute speech reflected a candidate testing out a new message that fell flat.
And fell flat it did...with a resounding thud...
You've heard of Soccer Moms and Security Moms and the like. Well ABC News has the latest media focus group.....WalMart Moms and the WalMart Moms are not buying what the Obama Administration is selling.
If you want to know why Americans are frustrated and fed up with Washington, I present exhibit A: the debate between Democrats and Republicans over Osama Bin Laden.
Democrats suggest that Mitt Romney may not have had the guts to take out the Al Qaeda leader while Republicans sniff that the President’s public preening over the successful operation is unseemly.
Americans, meanwhile, have been very clear that they want the candidates to fix the economy, not one-up each other on their anti-terrorism credentials.
It's the economy, stupid...to channel a certain Democratic Presidential advisor....
In January of 2012, 51 percent of Americans polled by ABC/Washington Post said that the economy was the single most important issue in their choice for President. A paltry 2 percent picked the issue of terrorism/national security.
Eight years ago, in the first presidential campaign after the 9/11 attacks, 22 percent of Americans said terrorism was their top concern. And, while the economy was important to their vote, just 26 percent said it was their top issue in the 2004 campaign.
Today, it is the GDP, not OBL that is driving this election.
And, many Americans feel that Washington doesn’t understand or appreciate just how tough this economy has been on them.
Emphasis mine. This is where the "WalMart Moms" come in.
Nowhere is this frustration more evident than among a group of 29 moms brought together by Walmart for an online discussion about the economy and the upcoming election.
These “Walmart moms” – defined as a voter with kids under 18 living at home who shops at Walmart at least once a month – are a sought-after demographic. Even more important, the women engaged in this online discussion were from the key battleground states of Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The discussion was moderated by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm, and Momentum Analysis, a Democratic firm. What they found was that these women are hurting financially. Almost every one of them had a story about how she and her family had to cut back, go without, or sacrifice.
When asked to pick their most important issue, all picked the economy or “domestic issues”. Not one picked “foreign policy issues like Iraq, Afghanistan or the war on terrorism.”
Moreover, these women expressed a deep frustration with the disconnect between what they experience in their day-to-day lives and what they see going on in Washington
“I do not think elected officials and running candidates understand my life and what matters most to me,” said Jamie from Pennsylvania. “They make too much money to understand what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and for someone to be on disability. All they care about is their personal agendas.”
So while the President puts together ads attacking Governor Romney about not pulling the trigger on OBL or his Swiss Bank account, the Romney campaign is putting out ads like this one running in North Carolina, where unemployment is currently above the national average.
President Obama's team knows that they do not have any economic successes to campaign on -hence their reliance on "shiny" object campaigning. Their hope is if they keep the American people focused on the distractions, that they will ignore the dismal economic record that this President has accumulated. The problem with that theory is that they President and his staff really do have no clue how bad things are outside of Chicago or DC or New York. They do not understand the struggles that a working mom in Wichita is going through....
....and just like it was for Bush 41 and Carter before him, that will be the undoing of the Obama Presidency.
I noticed this email in the inbox when I was at work and I almost deleted it. Now I am glad I didn't.
Oh boy someone's campaign is desperate. I say desperate because only a campaign that is so far down in the polls that there is no other option would engage in this form of anonymous slime.
As a concerned Minnesota voter here is something about U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hegseth that should concern you:
In Pete Hegseth's announcement for U.S. Senate he addressed his divorce in 2009 by telling everyone it was public record in his Star Tribune article to get it out into the open, hoping that nobody would actually look into the actual reasons for it.
Well, I went to go see what that public record said - see attached document (especially page 3 under "Irretrievable Breakdown")
Pete neglected to tell us that the divorce was due to his infidelity to his first wife.
That is huge, especially here in Minnesota. We have a marriage ammendment (ed sic) on the Ballot (sic) this fall and we cannot be touting cheaters and immoral individuals as our best option for the GOP nomination and expect our voters to support a bill calling for the sanctity of marriage. We especially can't afford to blow a golden opportunity for the party in a year where Amy is beatable due to the economy and Obama's agenda.
I want the truth to be told so that we can elect a viable conservative without this type of baggage as the GOP opponent to Amy rather than make a further mockery of our state's GOP party leadership and the Marriage Amendment.
The Junior Logician graduates this year and is not too thrilled about his job prospects at this time. This study by Pew (reported by the Associated Press) shows that he has good reason not to be too thrilled. And the report does not bode well for a President going into a re-election cycle.
The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.
A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge.
Young adults with bachelor's degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that's confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.
An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor's degrees.
Opportunities for college graduates vary widely.
While there's strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. Median wages for those with bachelor's degrees are down from 2000, hit by technological changes that are eliminating midlevel jobs such as bank tellers. Most future job openings are projected to be in lower-skilled positions such as home health aides, who can provide personalized attention as the U.S. population ages.
The only way the timing for this study could have been worse for the President would have been for it to come out in July or August. However, young adults facing a June graduation, are looking at it and wondering "Is this the change we really wanted?"
Among some of the key take-away points in the survey...
Well I never would have expected this.....
To be “close-minded” is, according to the dictionary, to be “intolerant of the beliefs and opinions of others; stubbornly unreceptive to new ideas.” To be conservative and close-minded, according to popular portrayal, is a redundancy—a package deal that liberals can and do take for granted.
But University of Virginia Professor Jonathan Haidt’s new book The Righteous Mind doesn’t simply suggest that conservatives may not be as close-minded as they are portrayed. It proves that the opposite is the case, that conservatives understand their ideological opposite numbers far better than do liberals.
Haidt’s research asks individuals to answer questionnaires regarding their core moral beliefs—what sorts of values they consider sacred, which they would compromise on, and how much it would take to get them to make those compromises. By themselves, these exercises are interesting.
But Haidt’s research went one step further, asking self-indentified conservatives to answer those questionnaires as if they were liberals and for liberals to do the opposite. What Haidt found is that conservatives understand liberals’ moral values better than liberals understand where conservatives are coming from. Worse yet, liberals don’t know what they don’t know; they don’t understand how limited their knowledge of conservative values is. If anyone is close-minded here it’s not conservatives.
Get ready for the "Great Distractions Election of 2012". At least that is what many on the right are referring this campaign season to. We have already had Hilary Rosen's attack on Ann Romney, Seamus "Gate", the breathless reportage on the pecadillos of the Secret Service....the list goes on and on. All of these distractions are, according to Jonah Goldberg, the "faux outrage" is being used to bash the GOP. Now that it has been turned against them though.....
t's going to be bait and switch for as far as the eye can see.
That's how it looks now that the smoke has cleared after the recent "Mommy War" skirmish over Democratic operative Hilary Rosen's comment that mother of five Ann Romney had "never worked a day in her life."...
...And besides, the whole episode was a "distraction." That was the quasi-official line almost the moment Rosen's comments caught fire. It was a "manufactured controversy." NBC's Chuck Todd, easily one of the best political analysts in the mainstream media, responded to the spat by proclaiming: "Welcome to the world of the shiny metal object. A person no one agrees with has ignited a manufactured controversy."
So state convention was Saturday. I was not there (had family obligations) but I was following it from the kitchen table thanks to the joys of the internet. However, by the time the 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts nominations rolled around I was logged off for the day so I completely missed this story.
Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love is the Republican nominee in Utah's 4th Congressional District. But her victory came after some serious controversy. After the first round of balloting at Utah's Republican convention Saturday, the GOP 4th district field was narrowed down to two – Love and former legislator Carl Wimmer. However, when Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff appeared on the convention stage to offer his support to Wimmer, Shurtleff referred to Love as a, “novelty.”
To the delegates credit, the response to such a stupid statement was appropriate.
Shurtleff's characterization of Love was met by boos from several delegates.... Pastor Greg Johnson criticized Shurtleff for his comment. Later, Johnson told ABC 4, "The insinuation that she is a novelty is what? What did the attorney general mean when he called her a novelty or that we shouldn't elect a novelty?"
Apparently, State GOP leadership was not too thrilled with the AG's remarks either.
ABC 4 News has learned that Shurtleff also got an earful from one of the leaders of Utah's Republican Party.
And of course, after Shurtleff's comments like cost his guy a chance at being in a competative race.....
Just moments later, we caught up with a tearful and regretful Mark Shurtleff. He told us,"My attitude was she's brand new to this process, we need someone who is proven. Terrible choice of words.”
Ah the old "poor choice of words" excuse. Sorry you didn't like my utterly stupid statement....I didn't really mean to say it that way.
Seriously - if you rise to the position of elected office (or communications spokesperson for a campaign <cough Hillary Rosen>) you had better not fall prey to the "poor choice of words" syndrome - especially when you are elected as the states TOP ATTORNEY and are expected to argue legal briefs before the court! That excuse won't fly Mr. AG
No politics today. Today, a musical legend died...Levon Helm of "The Band" died after a long battle with cancer.
The Band rose to prominence as Bob Dylan's back up band for his 1965 tour but hit it big on their own with a little help from Dylan. Most people know them solely from Martin Scorscese's film "The Last Waltz" which was the Band's farewell concert.
Levon's death leaves only 2 surviving members of the Band - Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson.
RIP Levon. You will be missed.
I have not done one of these in a while but given yesterday was tax day I thought this was fitting....
"Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1784
Predictably, the Democratically controlled US Senate killed the "Buffett Rule". The Democrats lost 2 of their members(Mark Pryor and Independent Joe Lieberman) while the GOP lost 1 (Susan Collins). Expect much moaning, wailing and garment rending from the President and his supporters over this defeat. Then while you are listening to it, remember the words of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse on the subject.
"The Senate Republican Leader has described the bill as yet another proposal from the White House that won't create a single job or lower the price at the pump by a penny. Well, the Minority Leader is absolutely right that the aim of this bill is not to lower the unemployment rate or the price of gasoline."
It is also not about deficit reduction as the Democrats claim. According to government estimates, the so-called Buffett Rule would net the government roughly $30-$40 billion dollars over ten years. The impact on the deficit....MINISCULE. Cutting the federal budget 1% across the board meanwhile would net the government $33 billion dollars A YEAR in deficit reduction.
The Salt Lake Tribune has an article today on the next financial bubble due to burst.
Utah students who attended for-profit colleges are showing up in growing numbers at the offices of bankruptcy lawyers hoping to find a way out from under student loans that they can’t repay.
Verifiable numbers are hard to come by, but a Salt Lake Tribune survey of Utah lawyers suggests that client cases involving student loans have jumped to 15 percent to 30 percent of their caseloads after the recession started four years ago — even though student debt rarely can be eliminated through bankruptcy.
The problem, for most students is that they have gone to school for an additional 4 years and simply can not get a job.
The schools "tailor their programs to provide career education [and] job skills. But if there are no jobs on the other end, then [the students] just have a loan that is non-dischargeable" in bankruptcy, Hanson said.
The private for profits are not the only source of worthless degrees, as my friend Gary Gross found out.
So Saturday, I'm at the Salt Lake County GOP Convention campaigning for a county wide candidate (more on that later) when the following tweet crosses my phone....
Jazz Shaw @JazzShaw - New at Hot Air: Orrin Hatch may just punch you in the mouth. http://bit.ly/HChCpW
Jazz Shaw, my former radio partner, has been in the Hatch camp (still is when you read the post). He fully sees the importance of that committee position. So of course I just had to click out on the link to read the column.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has been under a lot of pressure from his own right flank this cycle, facing a serious primary challenge from people who think he’s too “moderate” for today’s Republican Party. FreedomWorks has dropped more than a half million dollars in attack ads trying to knock him out of the running, hoping to replace him with former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist. But at least he’s taking it with the calm, professional demeanor that you’d expect from a seasoned, veteran statesman.
Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is “doggone offended” by the activists and voters standing between him and re-election, describing them as “radical libertarians.”
“These people are not conservatives. They’re not Republicans.”
“They’re radical libertarians and I’m doggone offended by it,” he said.
“I despise these people,” Hatch added, “and I’m not the guy you come in and dump on without getting punched in the mouth.”
Now the Daily Caller (which Jazz quotes) is more right leaning than even say National Review or Hot Air, so I went to the quoted NPR piece. The quote was accurate, but the piece went a little further.
One has to ask that question when PRAVDA, of all places, is reporting on things that the state run media here refuses to touch.
Today there is no American news outlet factually covering the illegal actions of the sitting President of the United States in context. Nor is there one consistently exposing the laws his administration has flagrantly broken, though this corruption now demonstrably permeates every level of the federal system.
Attorneys General Tom Horne, Arizona; Pam Bondi, Florida; Sam Olens, Georgia; Bill Schuette, Michigan; Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma; Marty Jackley, South Dakota; Alan Wilson, South Carolina; Greg Abbott, Texas; and Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia produced a joint memo on March 5th, 2012 detailing 21 blatant violations of law committed by the Obama administration.
By now it is unsurprising the media has by and large ignored this announcement though AG Cuccinelli did appear in an extended segment with CSPAN (the relevant segment can be found here) on March 18th.
What is even more interesting, is that they are quoting the Tea Party and not passing judgment (in either direction) on them.
Fortunately, The Tea Party Tribune published the Attorney's General memo, "A Report on Obama Administration Violations of Law" in full the same day it was released. It is nothing short of a flashing legal headline story, yet cannot be found at the Washington Post or the New York Times.
"Whether it is through the EPA, NLRB, Office of Surface Mining, FCC or other entities, the Obama Administration has aggressively used administrative agencies to implement policy objectives that cannot gain congressional approval and are outside of the law." - A Report on Obama Administration Violations of Law.
Emphasis in the original. The article has a litany of items where the Obama Administration has broken the law. Then Pravda adds...
- Another Judicial Slap Down
- Hope To Hopelessness
- Welcome To Our Future
- The Fall Out Continues
- That Crashing Thud
- Your Job or Your Password
- About Profiling
- Trial By Media
- It's Not My Fault!!!!!!
- This Historic Administration
- Lies, Lies
- Whose War On Women?
- Countering A Weak Defense
- Locked And Loaded