Tag Archives: Barack Obama

THE most important ad of 2012

The last week of a national election is always utterly exhausting. But even the 2012 election has met its match with the challengess left by Hurricane Sandy. As we all know… some things are more important than politics.

But with the storm heavy on their minds, election night will proceed. Eventhough President Obama isn’t on the campaign trail, his team is still hard at work. And this morning, they released what could be termed the most important campaign ad of this year. National manager Jim Messina lays out the FACTS that show Obama’s reelection strategy is eclipsing the Romney campaign’s efforts.

Beyond the hard numbers that show the Obama ground game is FAR superior to Romney’s, there’s also the important realization of early voting. Nearly 15 million Americans have already voted, and Democrats out-pace Republicans in every swing-state. So even if there is an “enthusiasm gap” for Obama voters, the meticulously orchestrated ground game is doing it’s job.

So if you haven’t made it to the polls yet, go VOTE!! Have your voice be heard in this important election.

Obama’s Diagnosis for Mitt: Romnesia!!

Fresh off his “New York comedy tour” yesterday (having sat down with The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, and later gave rousing comical remarks at the annual Al Smith dinner), President Obama was fired up and ready to roll at a Virginia campaign rally this morning. Not even minutes later, the campaign had this up on YouTube…

Now that we’re eighteen days out from the election, Mr. “Severly Conservative” wants you to think he was severly kidding about eveything he’s said over the last year.

He told folks he was the ideal candidate for the Tea Party. Now suddenly he’s saying ‘What, Who? Me?’

He’s changing so much… backtracking and sidestepping… We’ve got to name this condition he’s going through. I think it’s called ROMNESIA.

Mr. President… I think you might be right. Either way, we’ll find out the test results on November sixth!

Hole in the Polls? landlines vs cell phones

One thing that most analysts Right and Left can agree upon… the 2012 Presidential Election is expected to be CLOSE. It’s no surprise that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney continue to circulate around the same precious group of Swing States. And even if the candidates themselves aren’t watching the daily rollercoaster of electoral polling, their campaign staff are glued to their computer screens, ready to respond to even the slightest variance.

But what if the polls themselves aren’t as accurate as they seem? No, not because of some viscious plot to skew them towards one person or the other. It’s possible that polling just isn’t keeping up with the realities of the 21st century.

A 2010 Pew Research Study revealed that there is a big gap amongst landline respondents and cell phone-only respondents. It turns out that landline respondents are more likely to be Republican, while cell phone respondents are more likely to be Democrats. This makes sense in some ways… the Democratic party is on average much younger and more diverse than the Republican party, so it’s no surprise that fewer Democrats would own a landline or still use it as their primary form of telephone communication.

The study found that during the 2010 race, Republican House candidates led by a twelve-point margin nationally when the data only polled land-line users. But when combined with data from cell-phone users, that lead shrank to just six percentage points. This was from the very last set of polls conducted before the election results, and when the actual votes came in, the real lead for Republican candidates turned out to be just seven percentage points… much closer to the combined data. The GOP advantage was inflated due to a mis-match in polling methodologies.

Even after the results of this study were widely known, some polling agencies still continue to poll only landline users. They skip cell phones entirely when submitting their data. Rasmussen’s polling methodology still openly admits to focusing on landline calls, and polls ZERO cell phone users. The Gallup Poll is in transition to incorporate more cell phone respondents, and has recently come under hot water from the Obama administration for not doing so sooner.

So if this disparity persists in our national polling, what implications could it have for the Presidential race? Are cell phone users being under-polled? We’ll all know the answer in the days following the election.

Obama’s remaining task: Let’s Build Our House

Presidential debates bring so much hype, and so little actual information. After the second debate of 2012, accusations flew all over the room. But once again, neither candidate outlined a real path for the future. This is what the American people need to hear from both men, but most importantly from President Obama. After all, it is his job that is on the line.

Many Americans are still waiting for Obama to articulate his vision for the next four years, and it’s quite simple. Here’s my advice to him…

The economic foundation was laid. Despite the staggerring amount of obstruction lodged by the GOP, Obama’s leadership has led to economic improvement. Jobs are getting created again in this country… real jobs. President Obama has turned the corner for American factories and US exports are growing again, even to China. The three new Trade Deals Obama signed with Panama, South Korea and Columbia have created new, growing markets for American manufacturing. This is why we’re not shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs every month… because Americans are starting to make stuff.

The healthcare foundation was laid. No more waiting on the Supreme Court with bated breath, and no more tax money-wasting symbolic votes for repeal. This law, and the standards that it has set aren’t going away. Remember in 2009 when people were fighting about “death panels” and talking about ridiculous costs? None of that has come to fruition. Instead, 47 million American women are now saving money through free preventive services and products. They go to their same doctor, but the visits and mdedical supplies now costs less. That’s the “new normal” of the Affordable Care Act… more people going to the doctor, and less people waiting until ailments are so severe that they rush to the emergency room. Is it perfect? No, but again the foundation was laid.

The foriegn policy foundation was laid. Americans now have a renewed standing around the world, and are able to foster more diplomatic cooperation than ever before. President Obama’s leadership has ended one war in Iraq, which means more of our servicemen are back home with their friends and families. We have a clear path to end the war in Afghanistan as part of a coordinated, international effort. And lest we forget, our Military is safer today because all of our troops can serve without having to hide who they are.

President Obama didn’t achieve everything he sought to in a first term, but he did achieve a lot in a very divisive environment. But what he did… what we did was lay a foundation… a good solid foundation which we can build upon. Now is the time to invest in our nation’s workers through education programs. Sure, some low-skill jobs have left for China and aren’t coming back. Let’s train Americans on how to work in 21st century factories building 21st century goods. Let’s repair our crumbling infrastructure. Make sure that no child has to go to a school without working, dependable computer access and a safe school building. Make sure that our roads we drive on are not only repaired for today, but ready to handle the rapid population and trade growth they are experiencing from the North and South. Let’s connect our broadband and power grid to incorporate more alternative energy. We can do all of this and create real, AMERICAN jobs… ones that cannot be outsourced.

So in essence Mr. President, take some well-worn advice from Leonard Bernstein (alla Voltaire). We’ve laid our foundation. It’s time to build our house.

We’re neither pure, nor wise, nor good

We’ll do the best we know,

We’ll build our house and chop our wood

And make our garden grow.

Obama vs. Romney: The Internet campaigns

One thing that we sometimes forget about Mitt Romney… he’s actually been campaigning for the Presidency longer than Barack Obama has. Obama announced his candidacy on February 10th 2007, while Romney announced his 2008 campaign just 3 days later on February 13th 2007. Sure, Romney then withdrew from the race, while Obama went on to win, but the intention has always been clear.

Given this incredibly long game, it’s still quite surprising to me that Mitt Romney is so far behind Barack Obama in the numbers. I’m not talking poll numbers… but internet forces.

As of today, October 9th, here’s where the two campaigns stand…

Twitter Followers–

Romney: 1,334,802 Obama: 20,717,400

Facebook pages–

Romney: 8,735,870 Obama: 30,634,455

YouTube page subscribers–

Romney: 22,852 Obama: 237,120

YouTube video views–

Romney: 25,796,758 Obama: 240,764,291

And this is almost one full week after the first debate. It lets you know that debates are definitely more important for the challenger than they are the incumbent. But to Obama’s credit… his campaign has a much larger audience at any time day or night.

Romney’s debate win: Trick, Treat or Trap?

Initially, I was ready to call this debate a “clear win” for Mitt Romney… and I still think it was. But one has to wonder if things are always as they seem. So let’s take a moment to examine the situation from all sides.

After a hideous summer, Mitt Romney is LONG overdue for some good press. Standing on stage with the President of the United States will give that to you. The only way Romney could have actually suffered after the first debate is if he had been decimated. Clearly, that didn’t happen from either candidate, and it wasn’t anyone’s goal. The knock-down, drag-out punches that fire up either side of the political base also isolates the political middle. Giving Romney’s views legitimacy not only shows respect for the GOP faithful, but cuts down the arguments that Obama is an out-of-touch, lefty socialist. Notice that hardly anyone in the Conservative blogosphere is bantering about “Obama socialism” today.

You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar, right? Treat.

Romney’s gargantuan gaffes aside, he has tried to run a relatively safe campaign when it comes to the big stuff… so safe that he won’t talk about it. Obama has made some rather risky moves. His support for same-sex marriage and deferred action for the DREAMers still make some members of the Democratic party uneasy. Beyond how he treats Romney, that is a delicate needle that the President still must tread. But the Governor put very, very few specifics on the table for how he would achieve his policy goals. And the few cuts that he did spell out… you know like Big Bird… haven’t gone over so well.

Lest we forget, President Obama’s debate prep partner is John Kerry. Mr. Kerry has a unique view in this process as the only person in recent memory that was beaten by an incumbent President. He also understands the process of the debates, and other factors that are already at play. Back in 2004, Mr. Kerry handily won his first debate against George W. Bush, but then went on to lose the election. By debate time, much of the damage to Kerry’s image as a perilous war hero had already been done in the infamous “swift boat” ads. It’s quite possible that this first debate is straight out of the 2004 playbook.

Already today, we’ve seen some rather stark contrasts between the Obama and Romney campaigns. The first thing the President did after the debate? Come out swinging. He gave a rousing rally to Denver supporters, and practically said everything that we wished he would have said the night before… including the infamous “47 percent” comment. Pure coincidence? Or Trick?

Contrast that with the Romney campaign, After making history in his first debate for the Presidency, Mitt Romney’s campaign staff is back to an established pattern of making really sophomoric mistakes. Instead of capitalizing on the candidate’s strengths from last night, one of the first videos they release is in defense of Romney’s tax plan. They cite the American Enterprise Institute as an “Independent, Non-Partisan” organization. The campaign is basking in the glow of a “clear win”… that’s means they’ve let their guard down, and have become vulnerable.

Sometimes even the sweetest of treats can lead to a Trap.

Debate 1: My Take

Well, the first Presidential Debate of the 2012 election is in the history books. I took notes of things that stood out for me, and then tried to summarize them at the end. I also tried to write my thoughts before I start reading other stuff from the punditocracy. Only the FAILS are bolded. So here you go…

– 1st impression: really struck at how strong of an opening Romney displayed… sounds like Obama ’08! First time I’ve heard the phrase “Trickle Down Government”. Obama didn’t respond to it at all.

-Wow Romney said “High income people are doing just fine in this economy.” Great… doesn’t that mean they can afford to pay higher taxes? Economic Patriotism, right? Umm, Mr. President… where are you?? O-FAIL.

-Romney: And BTW I like coal.

-Romney’s tax plan is a lot of pie-in-the-sky. How can you lower all of these rates and not add to the defecit without cutting HUGE chunks of Government? The new rates won’t add to defecit just because you say so??

-Obama: too much explaining, not enough reacting. Needs to be more primal.

-Obama: ENOUGH about pointing out what you and Romney share!! And less explaining.

-Both are going round and round about taxes… just throwing numbers and promises up in the sky. Either find some substance and relate to us or GTFO and move on!

-Obama called Romney’s plan a “sales pitch”. That was a good line, but then he inesthitized it with more rambling. Of course Romney rambled right back at him. Only effective line from him in this bit: “going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it.”

-Romney calls out PBS as one way to cut the defecit, but Big Bird references aside, this is really eating around the edges when compared to Entitlements and Military. Right-wing pander.

-Ah, ok… Obama has peaked his head in the door. Glad for the defense of MediCaid and calling out Romney from the Primary debates. Never raising anyone’s taxes for any reason is complete and total nonsense. We need more of this.

-Romney flat-out lied on taxes… they are historically low, and government is now starved for revenue. Obama refuted with corporate taxes, but did not defend the role of government. Back on MediCaid, Romney starts spouting Conservative principles about states’ rights, and Obama didn’t counter. O-FAIL.

-Why is Jim Lehrer not asking any specific questions? Too topic-based. Feels lawless.

-MediCare: FINALLY Obama gave a credible counter for Mitt Romney’s VoucherCare plans. Romney’s only response was pie-in-the-sky rhetoric. Romney even said “I’d rather have a private plan.” Umm, you do… it’s called being RICH!!

-Wall Street Regulation: OOPS! Mitt Romney “You have to have regulation” and then he goes on to defend not only Dodd-Frank, but also Obama’s position on why Dodd-Frank was needed. After all of this, THEN you want to repeal and replace it? Can’t have the cake and eat it too, Governor. R-FAIL.

-Obamacare… Sheesh, this is not going to work for Mitt Romney. Obama is now using your state plan against you. Clear points to the President for schooling you on your own plan. BTW Mr. Romney, which is it… do you want states to develop their own plans (knowing some will just continue to leave lots of people uninsured) or do you want them to develop more sustainable care methods? Can’t take both positions. OMG did you really just respond to the repeal quagmire with “Reagan, Reagan, Reagan”? R-FAIL.

-Romney came back strong on role of government (in the broad sense). Eventhough I disagree with some of it, his explanation and conviction is amiable. This would have been a good time for Obama to get primitive and at least HINT at the infamous ’47 percent’ remarks. He needs to call up Professor Clinton and get a quick lesson on how to jab within the bounds of Southern Hospitality. Or just watch Designing Women.

-Congressional paralysis… President got an ok line in here. “Romney hasn’t been successful saying no to his party during the campaign.” True but he also has a record as Governor that he has COMPLETELY papered over. If Romney’s gubernatorial record is so stellar, then why didn’t he run for a second term? Where are all these lawmakers that are lining up to say how great of a “uniter” he is? And umm… why isn’t his home state VOTING for him?? O-FAIL.

In summation…

Neither candidate destroyed the other tonight, but Romney walked away with a slight advantage. I’m a Liberal, but I don’t believe in trying to spin something that doesn’t need any spin. Obama has been riding quite high, and after the debate he’s back on the ground, and in the real campaign to be President. Mitt Romney had to climb from an increasingly deep hole, and most of the way he was able to do it.

On one hand, I am glad for a debate that mostly stayed on policy issues, and at times got into the very weeds of the candidates’ tax plans, and healthcare legislation. The ‘college professor’ in my was happy for that. I was also happy that both men strayed from the constant spin of personal attacks that we see on the campaign trail.

On the other hand, we are a very “baseline” electorate this year… information gets thrown around left and right, and sometimes it’s very difficult to disseminate the truth. The sometimes “fact-free zone” in itself is in Romney’s advantage, especially if his statements go unchallenged the very second they are made. It “legitamizes” them. Obama certainly knows the facts, but he tried to keep the debate “serious and real”, and that’s NOT what the American People want right now. We want more neolithic action… someone that can give the facts, but also FIGHT for their position. So as hard as Mitt Romney worked to find the openings he needed to repair his character, Obama sure helped him by creating a few and leaving most of his pandering history unchallenged. But a word of caution to the GOP… Mitt Romney tied himself in knots tonight with a few of his promises. Those statements could come back to haunt him later.

Final tally: Romney 2 FAILS. Obama 3 FAILS. Advantage ROMNEY