Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney’s next role: Health Care Advocate??

Though he may have tried to run from his record during the campaign, Mr. Romney does have a well-known, well-documented public record… he served four years as Governor of Massachusetts. And during that time, his single greatest legislative achievement was the passage of of universal health care reform.

As crazy as it sounds after 2012, historic health care reform is Mitt Romney’s legacy as a public servant. The state of Massachusetts still operates by the provisions he signed into law, and though not perfect, most Bay Staters would never go back to a time before universal coverage. Regardless of their opinion of Romney, they definitely like their Romneycare.

Of course we all know the next chapter of the story… President Obama, seeking to make significant progress for the nation, takes Romneycare as a blueprint to craft Obamacare. Though the bill passed without a single Republican vote (unless you count the “vote” of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to uphold the law after its 2012 challenge), it is truly some of the most bi-partisan legislation we have in recent memory. The provisions of Obamacare were born, tested and tried via Romneycare.

Listen to him defend his universal health care plan with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. I Had to transcribe my favorite part here…

Cavuto: “Let me step back from this Governor, if you don’t mind. When people are polled on this issue of universal healthcare coverage, a Fox Poll that we did… 2 out of 3 folks say ‘don’t want it, don’t see the need for it.’ What do you say about that?

Romney: “Well what they don’t recognize is they’ve already got it, and that’s the big surprise. Everybody in this country does get free health care. If people get sick… they go to the hospital and they get treated. And everybody else pays the cost of those individuals if they don’t have health insurance… So we have universal health care. For people that can afford to pay, it’s time for them to step up to the plate.”

Now that it’s 2013 and the President is officially a 2nd termer, the opportunity has been born for us as a nation to have an adult conversation regarding national health care reform. Both the President and Governor Romney are men that now have more in common than they ever had during the campaign. They are both powerful, influential people, both public servants, and both concerned about their legacy. After any election, win or lose, there is a critical window of time that things can actually “get done”. As Steve Leblanc of the AP and Huffington Post wrote today, states are looking to Massachusetts for leadership on how to implement Obamacare. That leadership should include Mitt Romney.

Of course many Democrats will rightly point out that Romney signed the legislation, but then chose not to run for a second term. That left much of the shepherding of “Romneycare” to the states next Governor, Deval Patrick. As a faithful Democrat, he and the Massachusetts legislature have worked hard to ensure that the law lived up to its goals of providing access to insurance for all Bay-Staters. The Boston Globe did a comprehensive review of Romneycare in 2011, saying that it has been (and continues to be successful in achieving those goals. In 2006, some 500,000 Massachusetts residents did not have health insurance. Today, that number hovers around 120,000 and continues to drop as more tweaks are put in place. Romneycare, though not perfect, is an example of what government can actually DO to improve people’s lives.

As the nation begins a rapid implementation of Obamacare, we still remain deeply, (some might say tragically) divided on what health care reform means for the country. Democratic Governors and legislators are going full-steam ahead by embracing the new provisions, while Repbulican strongholds are building a fort against them even if it defies logic and reasoning to do so. As Texas Governor Rick Perry, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and others toy with the lives of millions in need of access to affordable care, it may be of benefit to have a prominent Republican voice that can attest to the good that health care reform can do. Sure, Mr. Romney’s status was lessened as being the losing candidate, but that doesn’t erase what he did for the Bay State. If anything, this could also be an opportunity for the former Governor to restore his reputation and find new purpose in the public debate.

The term “Obamacare” was originally drummed up by the Right-Wing media to distort and shame the President’s efforts for health reform. But in the 2012 campaign, President Obama turned around saying “I like Obamacare, because I actually DO care!”. Despite what he may have said in 2012, the same actually holds true for Mitt Romney. It’s why he chose to put the universal symbol for medicine into his official portrait as Governor of Massachusetts… the portrait that will align the walls of the Massachusetts State House for all forseen time. But now, in this time, our nation’s health care reform is in need of advocates from BOTH parties. We’ve got the Democrats, and now we are looking to Republican leaders who can break with the tight- lipped opposition, and defend the importance of health care. After all, our health can never truly be a party issue.

It’s called “Romneycare” because, at least this writer believes, Romney does care.

GOP shows no gratitude to Mitt Romney

Nobody likes to lose. But one thing that Americans themselves despise more than losing? A sore loser. And after November 6th, it’s clear that we have very sore losers in both Mitt Romney and the GOP.

Granted, Mr. Romney’s recent comments about Obama giving “gifts” to his electorate in exchange for their vote is nothing short of offensive. Now that he’s finally untethered from the whims of his party, Mitt’s true character has been revealed for the world to see. But here’s the big “secret” that’s right in front of everyone’s face… This is THE Mitt Romney that the GOP elected!! Remember how he said “I’m not concerned about the very poor“? That was back in late January. And the infamous “47 percent” comment? He said that in May, but it wasn’t really on the national consciousness until September. But still the GOP rallied around him… the crowned him the leader of the party, and accepted him WITH ALL OF HIS FLAWS. Long story short, they bought in, and then sold him to the American people. One may be frustrated with Romney for being a sore loser, but folks, we knew he would be all along. You get what you vote for, right?

For the greater Republican Party on the other hand… the blazing speed with which they have turned to disown Mitt Romney is quite astonishing. Some are trying to quickly act like November 6th never happened and that he was never the nominee. They have disowned Romney at every public opportunity. Does that mean that they also want to disown their vote too? Did they forget that this guy was one night away from the Presidency a couple of weeks ago?

Here’s the greater problem… turning Mitt Romney into the new “Republican enemy number one” does nothing to solve systemic issues within the party. Romney was simply a symptom, he was not a cause for the GOP’s long history of problems. After living in a vast bubble of denial, the GOP finally must look in the mirror at a party that was built on malice and falsehoods. This party nearly tore apart between fringe religious fundamentalists and the well-funded but shrinking establishment. And in 2012, Mr. Romney stepped up to the plate and chose to lead them to an humbling defeat. In so many ways, they really should be thanking him saving a more critical member of the party agony and public embarassment of a 2012 loss. No matter what he says days after election, the party should be standing up for him, and finding a way to move forward with their own political aspirations.

Urban Electorate: The GOP’s “other” Demographic Disaster

It’s been rare of late, but for once I have to congratulate US Congressman (and FORMER GOP nominee for Vice-President) Paul Ryan for some recent comments about the election. While everyone in the media has been obsessing over the coveted Hispanic vote and the emerging US minority coalition, few have come to realize the one group that drove Obama straight back into the White House. Remember, the Hispanic share of voters, while growing, was still only 10 percent of the electorate.

But the people that showed up for Obama with overwhelming decisiveness? Urban voters. As Mr. Ryan said, Republicans are losing America’s major cities. And it’s not even close… they’re losing urban areas by a long shot. Now granted, Paul Ryan is admittedly biased against cities, claiming that all urbanites are impoverished, violent and lack discipline. So clearly if this baseline assumption is held by others in the GOP, it’s no secret why they’re not reaching urban voters. And of course their assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth.

Much to Republican dismay, American cities are back on the rebound. Our latest Census data shows that Americans are now moving to inner cities more than at any point in the last century. This demographic shift is causing America’s main urban areas to see impressive growth, while rural areas continue to decline. Yes, the majority of that growth is still in the suburbs, but cities proper are also beginning a renaissance.

And here’s the bad news for the GOP… Republicans are no longer competitive in most major cities. If you take the 25 most populous counties in the US, Mitt Romney won just four of them… Maricopa County (Phoenix) AZ, Orange County CA, Riverside County CA and Tarrant County (Ft. Worth) TX. Only two of the counties house what could be considered “traditional” major cities, and the other two are predominantly suburban and exurban areas. Even if you take the 50 most populous counties, that only adds Fresno County, CA and Salt Lake County, UT. So just six of the nation’s 50 largest counties voted GOP in 2012.

Many will be critical of this assumption saying that several counties were competitive for Republicans… most certainly the nation’s second largest of Harris County (Houston) TX, and Hamilton County (Cincinnati) OH. And they would be right, as these areas were won by President Obama in the narrowest of margins. Only 585 votes in Harris County put Obama in the win column. But the trend was upheld in both areas. Though nine million fewer people voted in 2012 than in 2008, urban centers still turned out to support Democrats. But amongst nine million total fewer voters, the split between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama wasn’t even close. Romney received 1.2 million fewer votes than John McCain, but Obama got over seven million fewer votes… and still won! Think about that for a second. The President was at a seven million vote defecit, and still grabbed both popular and electoral majorities.

All you heard from national media was about the “enthusiasm gap”… Republicans were FIRED UP to vote for Romney, while Democrats were non-plussed for Obama. If they were truly chomping at the bit to vote, wouldn’t there have been a “red wave” like in 2010 to sweep Mitt Romney into the Presidency? A loss of seven million would indicate that the enthusiasm argument was true for Democrats.

So the question remains… if the GOP is a nationally competitive party, where are all of its voters? What’s the likelihood that most of those 9 million people that “sat out” in 2012 were Republican or right-leaning independents? Did they live in Amreica’s small towns? These are the critical questions that Republicans and Right-Wing media forgot to ask themselves. But for those on the Left, we heard the answers to these questions loud and clear. And we liked it. Rain or shine, welcome to the new “left of center” urban America.

All In: my 2012 Election Prediction

Time to place my bet. On Tuesday night, here’s how I believe the 2012 Presidential race will go down…

I predict that Barack Obama will win with 294 electoral votes. Mitt Romney will end up with 244. Despite a lot of last-minute jostling to say that Pennsylvania is now in play for Romney or that Wisconsin has quickly moved to toss-up, I believe the Obama ground-game has done enough to win this election. The popular vote is going to be close… I think Obama’s going to win it, but it will be by less than 2 million votes. BTW I found this map on 270towin.com. It’s a cool resource that lets you play with the different scenarios.

Do you agree with my prediction? How would your map look different? Please share, and let me know what you think!!

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.

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 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.