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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden

2012 VP Debate: Joe Biden had to show when Paul Ryan was lyin’

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Somewhere in Alaska, Sarah Palin is pissed.

The former vice presidential candidate is working on a diet and fitness book while Paul Ryan enjoys “credibility” with the establishment. Palin can understandably be confused by a world where she was considered incompetent and Ryan is treated as a candidate not just for vice president but possibly president in 2016.

This isn’t to say that Palin was competent; just that the different between her and Ryan was studying a little bit harder before accepting the VP nominee.

Ryan comes across as smart, but the smartest thing Ryan has done is be better at Sarah Palin on the conservative mantra and in lying.

Palin wasn’t asked terribly hard questions. Charles Gibson and Katie Couric aren’t very good journalists and they weren’t even at their best. The press pounced on her in part because her early answers were so clueless.

Ryan has been at the deception and lying game much longer than Palin and he is much better at it. After all, Ryan dodged any specifics on how the tax cuts will be “revenue neutral” on Fox News — on Fox NEWS.

Since we don’t believe in coincidences, we did notice that the documentary “As Goes Janesville” made its debut on Independent Lens on PBS last week. Not that the documentary makers thought when they started the project that Paul Ryan would be the VP pick, but they sure benefited from his candidacy.

Independent Lens only showed ⅔ of the film. From what we saw, the powers that be in Janesville love putting their eggs in one basket. This was bad enough when the GM plant was the major jobs source. After the plant closed, they were trying the same strategy on a company that wasn’t even sure if they were going to build something. The other depressing point is that they get sucked up into Scott Walker’s union bashing tactics. The Koch brothers sponsored candidate wasn’t about job creation; just blaming the unions that didn’t vote for him. Remember that Walker spared those unions that supported him during the campaign. A politician of principle would have done the same thing to all public unions. Walker didn’t do that.

Mitt Romney was hyperactive and acting like a bully to the moderator in his debate. The MSM gave him love and kisses for that behavior. Joe Biden stood his ground, debating, and the MSM jumps on him for acting like a bully in his debate. Huh?

The MSM always wants a close race and you could feel the pressure on them when Obama was doing well and Romney kept putting his foot in his mouth. The funny part is people talking about the momentum Romney got after the first debate. His momentum was nothing compared to the momentum from the MSM. They went gangbusters on the campaign.

The MSM has always rewarded style over substance. The 2012 campaign has sunk to a new low, which we didn’t think was possible. Whether President Obama likes it or not, he now has to respond to that narrative to keep the MSM at bay. Mitt Romney may not bury Obama, but the MSM will. And the media isn’t on the ballot.

Big Bird did something on Weekend Update that Seth Meyers hasn’t been able to do: make me laugh.

Big Bird came up to defend, as it were, the coverage based on Mitt Romney’s call to defund Big Bird.

Big Bird came across as funny, charming, sincere, honest, and non-political. Though American voters secretly love the infighting that is a campaign, they say they would rather have behavior shown by Big Bird in their candidates. Don’t think Big Bird can run for president; some people are disappointed by that news.

The MSM admonished the Obama campaign for focusing too much on Big Bird. While these debates are filled with wonkish details of tax plans, small items such as Romney’s attack on Big Bird get more attention at the end of the debate. The Obama campaign pointed out an overlooked element in the Republican platform. They focus on deficits when the president is from the Democratic Party, and they are more concerned about ideology than reducing the deficit.

Spending a little money that turns into more money — investment — is something you want to keep in a budget. The small amount of money that goes to the Corporation of Public Broadcasting turns into much more money thanks to sponsors and pledges. And the cuts wouldn’t hurt Big Bird, but instead would shut down PBS stations in smaller markets, many of them in the red states.

Speaking of “Saturday Night Live,” when they were teasing the Thursday night updates, they played a clip of Jason Sudeikis doing an impression of Mitt Romney about the 47%. Yet the show never aired the actual comedy skit. Was censorship, self-imposed or otherwise, the reason why that never aired? After all, SNL has done an overbearing take on Obama, Biden, and the MSNBC team — all liberal targets. Ignoring Romney’s 47% is something even the SNL of 2008 would have failed to do. Airing the clip might be “too late, but in the spirit of fairness (and humor), NBC should still air it. At least, we deserve an explanation.

The MSM spent some time debating the viability of Martha Raddatz as a moderator because President Barack Obama attended Raddatz’s first wedding … in 1991. I discovered this by watching Morning Joe the morning of the debate. The discussion centered around whether Raddatz could be unbiased based on this information.

During the conversation, Joe Scarborough pointed out that if this had happened on the other side that The New York Times would put this on the front page. That fact that he appeared to say this without irony means he conveniently forgot what happened to his network four years ago.

Tom Brokaw was thrust into the spotlight in 2008 after the death of Tim Russert. NBC debated about various inside personnel (Chuck Todd, David Gregory, Keith Olbermann) before letting Brokaw handle duties on an interim basis.

The McCain campaign threatened not to have NBC involved in a debate because of their criticism of the coverage, most notably on MSNBC. Brokaw met with the McCain campaign to convince them to let the network have a debate. Brokaw also later put pressure on NBC to remove Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as anchors of MSNBC election coverage. The network subsequently demoted Olbermann and Matthews.

Just before the debate that Brokaw moderated, he ended an episode of “Meet the Press” by falsely quoting poll numbers giving McCain an advantage he didn’t have.

Brokaw later was the moderator for the town hall debate in Nashville.

In reporting this story at the time, I remarked on how this would impact Brokaw’s reputation as a newsperson. Then again, his career wasn’t as remarkable as his reputation would lead otherwise.

“Brokaw was the milquetoast anchor of the Big Three in the 1980s and 1990s. Never the great reporter such as Dan Rather nor did he have the curiosity and worldliness of Peter Jennings, Brokaw was always the favorite son of the corporate media. He liked The Greatest Generation and wrote about them. He never stirred the pot, but never did anything great either.”

Steve Schmidt was on the set of “Morning Joe” as they were discussing the Raddatz story. Schmidt is a MSNBC contributor. Given Schmidt’s role in the McCain campaign, he either had some role in those Brokaw conversations or certainly has some idea what happened. Yet we heard nothing.

Scarborough is right in that The New York Times did run the story, though not on the front page. Very few MSM outlets picked up on the story.

Raddatz and Obama were at the same social event 21 years ago. And she was the bride, so she was presumably distracted that day by being the bridge. Brokaw and McCain’s people met about a month before the debate. Even Paul Ryan could figure out which incident shows bias.

Mitt Romney’s intro to foreign policy was just a misplaced mendacious talking point

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As an American, I wanted Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to issue statements that would reflect well on the United States after the attacks in Libya and Egypt. They’re not even close to being ready for leadership on foreign policy.

I posted this on Facebook in a way to show a true non-partisan stand, one that presidents and presidential candidates should weigh before launching potentially troubling statements. People, sadly, expect a bit of this bravado on domestic issues where nothing is particularly at stake. Somehow, for international incidents, especially one as disturbing as the attacks in Northern Africa, we have a different standard.

Liberals on Facebook gave me a “like” for my statement, but didn’t submit comments on the statement. Conservatives weighed in disturbed that Obama had “apologized” as Romney noted, and why should we have a commander-in-chief who apologizes for American stands. One of them has a son who will join the Marines, so her concern is a bit more personal.

I had started this exercise in a way to show non-partisanship in a time of international crisis. I don’t mind my Facebook friends who criticize Obama. The funny part is that liberals don’t like to criticize the president, even when he needs to hear that.

I can understand some of their fear. After all, the criticism of Obama from the right gets daily airings, whether they are fact-based or not.

Whatever you might think of me or my politics, I can sincerely handle criticism of the current president. And I truly meant what I said about Romney and Ryan about their statements. Short of a Hail Mary x 100, either Obama or Romney is going to be president. And I’d like to have a president who can handle the dangers that still lurk outside our borders.

Romney dropped the ball by going too early, by adapting a political point to a situation where it didn’t even apply, and criticizing the president for something he or anyone else did not do in the middle of an ongoing situation.

I wasn’t crazy about John McCain’s foreign policy but had a reasonable assumption that he knew what he was talking about. Okay, so he still thought Czechoslovakia was still a country in 2008, and he was a little obsessed about war. So maybe McCain isn’t a good example.

Mitt Romney had kept his domestic policy as vague as possible, but he does have somehow somewhere a domestic policy. His foreign policy has been hidden better than his undisclosed tax returns. To make the debut of thinking about foreign policy on the early morning of September 12 in the middle of an ongoing situation where American diplomatic people were killed — irresponsible is only the beginning of where to start.

Getting back to my conservative friends on Facebook, I asked them in the most pleasant tones I could muster in print to please show me proof that Obama or anyone else had done what Romney had accused them of doing. After all, if what Romney said was true, that would be the easiest thing to find on the Internet. Still waiting for that proof.

Of course, in reading this, you could supply this proof in the comments section. I will go even further and if someone submits a moment where Obama or any embassy did what Romney is describing, I will go on Facebook and disclose this.

The talking point that was pounded into our head during the Republican National Convention was that Obama was an apologist. There isn’t any basis in reality, just like the accusations of Obama being a socialist. We would have a better society if we had the same standards for lying on domestic issues as we do for international problems.

The fact that Romney’s initial statement and his double-down follow-up matched the talking point is discouraging and depressing. The lie didn’t even fit the scenario, and Romney didn’t wait until all the facts were in to start the lie.

Romney said “it’s never too early … .” If Romney gets to be president, he will find that being too early will get this country in trouble overseas. If he really wants to be president, Romney needs to learn that lesson between now and November 6.

Will political conventions have to survive on only 3 days?

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Now that political conventions are merely a PR pep rally, will they permanently shrink to 3 days instead of 4?

The Republicans started this trend in 2008, shortening the coronation of John McCain and Sarah Palin to 3 days to honor those who suffered under Hurricane Gustav. The Democratic Party chose in 2012 to not work on Labor Day, a day the Republicans were going to work in 2008 until the adjustment for the hurricane. Now the Republicans aren’t going to work on Monday thanks to Hurricane Isaac.

Of course, the GOP also took Monday off because the major networks weren’t going to cover the RNC since they wanted to give equal time to both conventions. The Republicans wanted the broadcast networks to carry Ann Romney’s speech. So now the wife of the presidential nominee will speak on Tuesday.

This trend wouldn’t have started except the major parties wanted to run their conventions as late as possible. They want the momentum to run as late as possible as people finally pay attention to the presidential race.

One night for the presidential nominee, one night for the vice presidential nominee, one night for the keynote speaker and the rest.

The networks don’t really want to cover the conventions: 3-4 hours is all they want to do. The FCC licenses for public service be damned.

NBC won’t cover the second night of the Democratic convention for the kickoff to the NFL season. The NFL moved its debut game early for the Republicans in 2008 so as not to interrupt John McCain’s speech. The Dems moved Joe Biden’s speech to earlier on Thursday. NBC won’t show Bill Clinton’s speech at the convention. This would be a good time to remind TV stations of the ability to show more than one feed through the digital spectrum, but stations are under using that technology.

Another good reason for the parties to start thinking about earlier starts. If not for the hurricanes, think about the difficulty of competing against the NFL.

As we said during the Olympics, let the games begin!

Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin: same as it ever was

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The parallels between 2008 and 2012 ring true.

On the first day of my vacation in 2008, the GOP nominee chose his running mate. The nominee was a former moderate who moved to the right and had been denied the nomination in a previous attempt for the GOP nomination. The GOP nominee picked a relatively unknown, much younger politician who appealed more to the base than the independents needed for victory.

The only thing that really changed in 2012 was the location of my vacation (Buffalo — 2008, Lake Louise, AB, Canada — 2012).

Okay, Paul Ryan is visibly smarter than Sarah Palin, and he won’t use the word “lipstick” in his speech on Wednesday. In terms of the race, Ryan and Palin serve the same purpose.

Then again, the GOP has a long tradition of using the VP role to strengthen the base. Dick Cheney leaps to mind as does Dan Quayle, Spiro Agnew, and Richard Nixon. The GOP’s tradition is so strong that the last time any party forced out a sitting vice president was the Republicans in 1976 when they told Gerald Ford that Nelson Rockefeller was too liberal for them to support.

So does it matter that Paul Ryan is the VP nominee for the GOP in 2012?

In the initial days of the Palin pick, she was seen as a game changer, a Hail Mary selection that shook up the establishment. We found out later, yeah, not so much.

In the initial days of the Ryan pick, he was seen as a game changer, a Hail Mary selection that shook up the establishment. Other than rallying a few more Republicans to come out and vote, seeing Ryan’s advantage in the race is like viewing San Francisco when the fog rolls into the bay.

Todd Akin took his lumps for his “legitimate rape” comments but his views are shared by quite a few Republicans and Ryan’s views on abortion for rape and incest victims falls into Akin’s line and the GOP platform — no exceptions.

Under bills that Ryan co-sponsored in the House (H.B. 3), if you are a victim of rape or incest and you get pregnant, no abortion for you.

The unraveling of Sarah Palin was a fluke on numerous levels so a repeat of that is not likely. The questions Palin received from less than stellar journalists such as Charles Gibson and Katie Couric weren’t that hard. Only because the answers were so out there did we get that unraveling.

Though Paul Ryan is more known to the political pundits than Palin was in 2008, the general public still knows very little about the person who would become the next vice president of the United States.

One thing we do know about Paul Ryan is that he is a current House member, and House members don’t often get to be at the top of the ticket. James Garfield is one of three House members to run for the presidency and the only one to win. Henry Clay (1824) and John Anderson (1980) finish off the list; Clay was one of four major candidates while Anderson ended up being an independent after losing out in Republican primaries.

The last House member to make the VP slot in a major party ticket was Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. Ferraro’s pick was seen as bold, but ultimately made little impact.

Ryan and Palin have a similar generational age gap with their presidential nominee. John McCain was 71 while Palin was 44 in 2008; Mitt Romney is 65 while Ryan is 42. While Palin was the center of questions about her viability given McCain’s age, those same questions should be asked about Ryan given Romney’s age.

America can handle a relatively younger president. After all, Bill Clinton was 46 when elected in 1992 and Barack Obama was 47 when elected in 2008. Though, they did run at the top of the ticket and both were Democratic.

There is a certain appeal to having a Gen X candidate on a top ticket, though the president in the other party is also in Gen X. But Republicans haven’t learned that just because your candidate is young doesn’t mean young people will vote for you. This is about what you stand for, not your demographic info. Besides, that would be like picking Sarah Palin thinking women will vote for your ticket because you have a woman on the ticket. Oops.

Partisans will point out the relative inexperience of Obama in comparison to Ryan, and the fact that Romney is apparently in great shape for being 65. True, though Obama went with experience in his vice president in Joe Biden and Romney being healthy for his age isn’t as relevant because you never know what can happen. The vice president needs to be ready; Biden is ready, but is Ryan?

Picking someone younger and relatively inexperienced (Ryan has had only two sponsored bills passed in 12 years of Congress and one of those was to rename a post office) isn’t a bad thing if you feel like you’ve picked someone who is well-qualified for the role.

Paul Ryan wasn’t selected for that reason; neither was Sarah Palin. They weren’t picked because they could take over. Bill Clinton, himself 46, picked Al Gore, 44, as his running mate. Gore’s experience and background dwarfs Ryan’s record.

A presidential candidate’s first major decision is to select a running mate. The pick points to a leader’s character and credibility. What kind of leader will the candidate be? Picking a running mate speaks volumes to what they think of the role of the vice president. Bill Clinton wasn’t afraid to pick someone who could have overshadowed his record.

John McCain and Mitt Romney picked running mates to satisfy the base, thinking very little about their subsequent roles as a vice president and possible president. They saw George H.W. Bush get away with such a pick in Dan Quayle in 1988. Quayle’s experience was more balanced than Ryan, but when Quayle compared his length of service to John F. Kennedy, that is when Lloyd Bentsen said, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

At the RNC Convention in 2008, Sarah Palin gave a better speech than John McCain, a very bad sign for a campaign even if it sounds good inside a convention hall. Paul Ryan will likely give a better speech than Mitt Romney, based on his response to the State of the Union address in 2011. As good a speaker as Joe Biden is (when he stays on script), Barack Obama will outdo Biden in Charlotte.

Ryan is a one-trick pony, a mouthpiece to sell the austerity and emphasis on defense spending at the expense of domestic spending. How Ryan would handle elements outside the budget will hopefully be addressed. Waiting until the Biden-Ryan debate will likely be too late.

Ryan will be the first VP nominee to run for two posts since Joe Lieberman in 2000. The senator from Connecticut ran for his Senate position as well as vice president. Rob Zerban is Ryan’s House opponent from the Democratic Party. Lieberman seemed to be more interested in his Senate post than in being vice president. If Paul Ryan becomes more distracted toward VP, Zerban has a shot at an upset.

Republicans like VP candidates with little experience; Democratic folk like VP candidates with experience. Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin fit that role for the GOP, but the question is whether that will translate into votes in November.

Mitt Romney’s VP pick will either be VP or fall into obscurity

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Editor’s note: This does apply to Paul Ryan, selected as Mitt Romney’s VP pick over the weekend. We’ll have more on the Ryan pick later.

Would you have voted for Joe Biden as vice president? Dan Quayle? Dick Cheney?

We get to vote for president; the vice president comes along for the ride. You might have voted for Lloyd Bentsen instead of Dan Quayle. Could have picked Jack Kemp over Al Gore or Geraldine Ferraro over George H.W. Bush.

The last time a vice president became president was Gerald Ford in 1974, and Ford became vice president because Spiro Agnew had to resign for reasons that had nothing to do with Watergate. At some point, who we elect as vice president is going to make that difference once again.

Political junkies might care who the VP nominee but mostly, the American people have trusted that whomever the nominee picks, that person will be OK should the VP have to become president.

Until 2008.

More people paid attention to a VP pick for the first time since, well, maybe 1972. If you are too young to remember, Google Thomas Eagleton when you get a chance.

Sarah Palin changed the dynamic for how a VP nominee is chosen, and to be fair to the half-term former governor of Alaska, that wasn’t her fault. The one thing we can’t blame Palin for is choosing Palin in the first place.

True, Palin could have turned down the opportunity. And there are some potential 2012 VP nominees who may turn down Mitt Romney (if asked) because they don’t want to be seen as being on a potentially losing ticket.

The process has not been kind to those that accept the nomination — and lose. For every Joe Biden and Al Gore, we have had a Palin, John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, and Jack Kemp (Edwards and Lieberman were on the side that likely had the most votes, but shenanigans prevented a fair outcome). None of those four had much of a political future on the national stage. Palin’s opportunity could have been 2016 if she had not accepted John McCain’s invitation. Now, we’ll never know.

You could argue that Al Gore, Joe Biden, Spiro Agnew, and Richard Nixon ran into those same concerns when they were the VP nominee. What happens if we don’t win? The problem is that voters aren’t really choosing who the vice president will be. Your vote for Obama won’t change because Biden (or in many rumors, Hillary Clinton) is the VP, and your Romney vote will stay pretty tight no matter how he picks. Well, maybe not if it’s Sarah Palin.

Tim Pawlenty would have no reason not to accept Romney’s invite, since his national future, um, well, he has no national future other than being a VP selection. Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal still have a shot of running for the top spot in the future. Nikki Haley is smart enough to know her time isn’t now.

But being the VP nominee of a major party, even one that may lose, is too good to pass up for most people. The allure, the fame, the recognition. Your spot in almanacs and encyclopedias for generations to come. Sarah Palin may not have much, but she does have that.

The last losing VP nominee to be nominated as a presidential candidate was Bob Dole in 1996. Dole had to wait 20 years and run from the most awkward position of Senate Majority Leader to pull that off. I don’t know Bob Dole, Bob Dole is not a friend of mine, but this wave of GOP contenders are no Bob Dole.

Someone will be Mitt Romney’s VP nominee, and that someone has a 50-50 to 40-60 shot of being the next vice president of the United States. If the recent trend continues, that person will either be the next VP or the answer to a trivia question. What’s worse is that the person will have little say in which way that goes.

What Dems should learn from Scott Walker’s recall win

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Scott Walker gets to remain as Wisconsin’s governor, though control of the state Senate, if only temporarily, goes to the Dems.

Those that opposed Walker’s whack on unions lost out for a few reasons. In the momentum of the crowds in and out of the Capitol in Madison, Walker would have been the third governor in three recalls to lose his job.

Whatever you might have thought about Tom Barrett, running the same candidate looked more like sour grapes. Think back to Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger in California in 2003.

And Dems in Wisconsin couldn’t reproduce that spirit that launched all those protests, again Walker outlasted the anger.

Of course, the massive money imbalance didn’t help.

The White House didn’t make a push for the recall vote. Mitt Romney didn’t either, but the recall isn’t his fight. You would think this would have been the perfect place for Joe Biden to shine here. Whatever you might think of Obama, he gets a lot of bad advice, and he seems to listen to it.

The MSM and pundits are screaming that this translates well to the fall elections. Uh, no. Too much will happen between now and November. Obama and his team will make it to Wisconsin between now and the fall election.

Wisconsin used to be a pretty sure thing for the Dems, and they still act this way. Ask Russ Feingold if things have changed in the Badger State. The Dems should fight hard to win Wisconsin. Obama’s home area is within 90-120 minutes of the Wisconsin border. However hard the Dems think they need to fight in Wisconsin, crank it up by at least 10%.

The pundits also fought hard to ask whether Scott Walker was fought on policy and not corruption. Where was that sympathy for Gray Davis in 2003?

How bad were things for Dems in Wisconsin? “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” rained on Wisconsin’s Democratic faithful — before the results arrived.

Yes, the crowds around the Capitol building were awe-inspiring. But when the Dems had the opportunity to do something about that, they resorted to in-fighting and reduced enthusiasm. Yes, getting outspent in multiples (Walker — $30.5 million; Barrett — $3.9 million) is disturbing. Whining about it doesn’t help get those unions back to where they were.

Barack Obama finally comes out in favor of same-sex marriage — again

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Bill Clinton inhaled. And Barack Obama says he’s cool with same-sex marriage.

We all knew Bill Clinton inhaled, but he couldn’t admit it. We all knew Barack Obama was in favor of same-sex marriage, but he couldn’t admit it. Obama was in favor of same-sex marriage in 1995 — the first time.

The idea that Joe Biden saying he was in favor of gays getting married was a gaffe is part of why the Washington MSM media mentality is so destructive. When hatemongers spew hatred, they get the tip of the cap from the MSM elite. When a sitting vice president speaks about love, it’s an embarrassment.

Never mind that Dick Cheney said it before it was cool in some circles. Biden said it, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and then the first President of the United States to say it said it: gays and lesbians should be able to get married.

The Dems are the ones that set up Irony Fest ’12 in placing its national convention in North Carolina, the state that just passed Amendment One that bans gay marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. What a fun time that will be in Charlotte. On the other hand, the Democratic National Convention will be the closest that natives may get to gay and lesbian visitors. Seriously, if you are gay or lesbian, would you go to North Carolina if you didn’t have to go?

Mitt Romney said for his part that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Will the MSM have the guts to ask Romney about the fact that his grandfather was part of a polygamy commune in Mexico? For those who argue for the traditional definition of marriage, as Romney does, Mormons would argue that their tradition is polygamy and Romney is a Mormon.

Part of that traditional definition of marriage would have nullified the marriage of the president’s parents. In fact, Virginia wouldn’t have recognized Obama’s parents marriage at the time Obama was born. For this reason alone, Obama should have been in favor of gay marriage from at least since the 2008 convention.

But Democratic politicians have felt the need to hide their true self and beliefs because the MSM and others pressure them to do so. George W. Bush proposed a Constitutional amendment that took away rights from Americans. No eyes were batted on that news. Then again, the Dem politicians look foolish when they do fall in the MSM trap.

We know where Romney stands on the marriage front, but his take on gays has come under question in two separate instances. Romney’s refusal to stand up for Richard Grenell, his foreign policy spokesman, who was likely hounded out of his job because he was gay, was disgraceful. And Romney went out of his way to dispel the notion that a prank he had played on someone when he was in high school had nothing to do with whether the victim was gay. “That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s.”

Then again, the boy was picked on because he stood out. Regardless of sexual orientation, the “prank” — pinning the boy and cutting off his ponytail — was rather cruel.

Romney did come up and said gay people should be able to adopt, leading to the idea of a family, but not have the parents get married. Huh?

The one person who has the proper perspective who we have not heard from on this issue is Newt Gingrich. After all, we had a major presidential candidate on the GOP side with a blood relative who is a lesbian. Candace Gingrich is the half-sister of the former Speaker of the House. Though political junkies knew of Candace’s existence, the MSM left her out of the equation when gay marriage issues came up. We’ve heard this “well, the public already knows about this” mentality. Guess what? A whole new generation of young people didn’t know. And not every reader, listener, and viewer remembers every little nuance of candidates, past and present.

“No to all incumbents and no to Amendment One.”

The best line was from one of my Facebook friends from North Carolina. While I can’t agree over the incumbents stance (oversimplification of what is happening politically), I love how he acknowledged what conservatives have traditionally stood for: getting government out of people’s business. This includes the bedroom.

Trust me, he is plenty conservative. But he also knows that government shouldn’t be deciding who can get married.

Mitt Romney’s VP pick won’t be a game-changer

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This is the point where I admit that despite what I thought would happen in the 2012 GOP presidential nominating process, Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for president. I thought for certain that the teabaggers would rally around one candidate who would gain the momentum for the nomination.

Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain spoke their language better than Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, but neither candidate should sustain those numbers. If Santorum is right about this being 1976 in an analogy, then 1980 would bring the teabagger messiah, but it won’t be Rick Santorum.

The feeling that Romney would win the nomination all along was that this fit the Republican pattern of picking the second place finisher of a previous campaign (Romney, John McCain). Republicans don’t like dragged out fights, but thanks to Michael Steele, they got one in 2012.

So if Romney loses in 2012, why wouldn’t Santorum be the presumptive nominee? No one thought Jack Kemp would be the front-runner for 2000. The pattern only works in elections where a Democratic politician has been president 0 or 4 years. After Bob Dole lost to Bill Clinton in 1996, the Republican field became wide open. Also, several Republicans sat out 1996 as they did in 2012, waiting four more years for a run.

2016 looks much better for GOP candidates: outside of VP Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, neither of which is expected to run, the Dems list is pretty small. Sen. Mark Warner (VA) and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley lead a small, yet unknown list.

So if Santorum has little shot at the 2016 nomination, why not accept Romney’s VP pick if Romney makes that choice?

Every VP pick wants to be Al Gore in 1992 not Jack Kemp in 1996. You want to be on the ticket if you think your “team” will win.

If Romney were to make the pick tomorrow, Marco Rubio might be at the top of the list. If Rubio wants a political future beyond 2012, he might not take the VP offer. Selecting a relative unknown is risky for the presidential nominee, but if you are the relatively unknown, a VP run shapes what the country thinks of you. If you don’t believe us, ask Sarah Palin.

Hiding Palin away from the time of the initial welcoming speech on Friday to the convention speech on Wednesday proved to be a fatal mistake to the campaign … and Palin. When others define you, getting back the narrative is extremely difficult.

Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Mitch Daniels, Nikki Haley, and countless other potential future GOP presidential candidates need to introduce themselves to the American public on their own terms. Sarah Palin would have been wise to take that advice.

Rubio has a story, and that is pretty much all he has. Believe it or not, Palin had a really good story before the world discovered her.

As we’ve noted, Romney would be the 4th oldest person to be inaugurated if he wins in November. He is only 7 years younger than McCain was on Inauguration Day 2009. A safe choice, someone who is known, would suit Romney’s style and not scare Republicans fearful of another “Sarah Palin.”

We won’t know for months who Romney’s VP pick will be, but the one thing for certain, that person won’t be a “game changer.”

Dems know their presidential candidate is Barack Obama, now have to answer ‘why’ instead of ‘who’

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We previewed the 2012 GOP race in last week’s column, but we didn’t want President Barack Obama to feel left out, so this week’s column is devoted to his re-election run.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be the Democratic Party nominees for president and vice president for 2012. That’s it. Be safe driving home. Bye.

Yes, Obama and Biden will be the nominees from the Democratic Party. The convention won’t take long to make that clear. The drama lies in the direction the president will take in the re-election campaign: what will Obama run on.

Health care reform! Well, wait, most Americans don’t have health-care reform. Maybe not 99%, but most. Ironically, most of the teabaggers might like health care reform but a lot of them don’t have it, so they complain, but not for the same reasons liberals complain.

Job growth! Obviously, this isn’t going well. Obama and the House Dems did take baby steps to help in the first 2 years, but with the GOP in charge of the House, what little help was coming has almost ground to a halt. Difficult to reject or pass a jobs bill when the GOP-led House hasn’t passed a jobs bill in almost a year, and has already announced a shorter working year for 2012. Among Dems, Nancy Pelosi is held in higher regard on jobs than the president because of the rather cool legislation passed by the then-Dem controlled House, but Republican and Democratic politicians in the Senate denied or watered-down many of those improvements. But Pelosi isn’t running for president; Obama is.

Wall Street and banking reform! The Dodd-Frank bill passed (watered-down), Elizabeth Warren kicked butt before running for her own seat in Congress, the old Ted Kennedy Senate seat currently being held by teabagger hero Scott Brown. And banks had to be more forthcoming about fees, the backlash of which we saw with Bank of America pushing an odious $5 debit card fee after major banks begged consumers to use debit cards. Some help, but not as much as Wall Street and the banks received.

The stereotype is that Dems do well in domestic policy and the GOP does well in foreign policy, but Obama has scored some points outside the United States. The death of Osama bin Laden tops the list as well as the plan to get out of Iraq on time. We are still in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay is still open for business; even the Canadians got out of Afghanistan (rule of thumb: if Canada doesn’t get into a war, you shouldn’t be there, e.g., Iraq, Vietnam).

Obama should get some credit for the democratic (small d) uprisings in the Middle East, though the American press is reluctant to help out Obama on that point.

“Obama in 2012: Could have been worse.”

We have seen with Greece and Italy that many world factors have contributed to the world wide economic crisis. But while the United States is no longer #1 in many categories, when the American economy fails, the world suffers as a direct result. And Obama has had a difficult road to climb to get the U.S. economy even back to “decent.”

President Obama hasn’t really understood that the Republicans aren’t the only enemies he has. The unprecedented behavior by U.S. corporations to stockpile cash instead of employing Americans. The obnoxious borderline-illegal behavior from banks over foreclosures and reluctance to help out with loans to small businesses that have every likelihood of paying them back. The antagonism from Wall Street after coming to their defense with bailouts. If Republicans were Obama’s only problem.

Obama hasn’t helped with his need for compromise that would have made him a fine president in a by-gone era; the other side doesn’t want to play with you, Mr. President, and again, this isn’t just Republicans who aren’t playing.

Americans want hope and optimism, even if it is completely fake. Running against Herman Cain, Rick Perry, or Michele Bachmann can mean saying things will be worse under them than you, President Obama. But fighting that fight won’t sway the moderates that went for you in 2008. And in running against Mitt Romney, you won’t be able to make that argument because unlike most of the GOP field, moderates can imagine a President Romney.

“Obama in 2012: You liked him four years ago.”

In 2008, the GOP field was headed by a cantankerous 72-year-old who quit his campaign and whose major decision was picking Sarah Palin for the ticket. Obama’s hopes shouldn’t rest on the GOP doing something similar in 2012, even if Republicans pull a repeat.

We are seeing signs of Obama being tougher on Republicans just in time for the 2012 election cycle. But in an administration that still employs Wall Street friend Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary, those that voted for Obama aren’t seeing the person they voted for in 2008. True, they read things into Obama that he didn’t promise; those aren’t his fault, but they do belie Obama’s reality. Mr. President, your supporters want you to fight for what they believe in for our society.

Democratic voters might be relieved to know who the 2012 nominee is, but they have several months to ask “why.” Why hasn’t Obama done more to help those in bad economic terms? Why hasn’t Obama fought back against the Republicans, et al.? Why isn’t Obama tougher on Wall Street and the banks? Why don’t we have more jobs?

Like the Republican voters that we profiled last week, you have time to figure this out, but not as much time as you think.

Teabaggers want change but they know the change that they want?

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Okay, so I have been a little rough on the teabaggers. Maybe by calling them teabaggers.

But you have to give them some credit: they are making things interesting in the 2010 midterm elections.

They are fielding some atypical candidates: Rand Paul, Sharron Doyle, Joe Miller, and the newest winner, Christine O’Donnell. They seem disorganized, confused about the Constitution, yet running for offices that require them to uphold said Constitution.

They want to change things because things need to be changed. In 2008, those on the left — whom the teabaggers don’t want to include in their little club — wanted change because things needed to be changed. But while the 2008 people wanted specific things, the 2010 version wants change, backwards or forwards.

If the teabaggers do pull off the wins in November, there is the great potential for significant “change” even if nothing much does “change.” And you can bet that if the teabaggers get in, the 2010 version of those wanting change won’t be satisfied no matter what they do.

The 2008 version is angry about what hasn’t changed in the last two years, but their anger isn’t suitable for the MSM. Sure they aren’t carrying signs equating anybody to Hitler or wondering where certain people were born. They aren’t even misspelling signs; these people know how to spell.

So if the teabaggers win in November, you will see signs — presumably misspelled — about how we need change in 2012. But they still won’t know what the change is that they want.

The fascinating element to this “outrage” from teabaggers is that they are afraid of losing what they have. Well, they haven’t had much. They had more under President Clinton, but they were more concerned about a blue dress. They had less under George W. Bush, but they were less concerned about his pretending to look for WMDs that he already knew didn’t exist, and even less concerned about the millions who died as a result.

Despite the scary Orson Welles wannabes (think 1938 version), they still have what they had. Really. The scary half-black president hasn’t taken away a thing from them. He hasn’t helped them as much as he could, but if that were the criteria, the teabaggers would have carrying signs comparing Bush to Hitler.

The spin we are hearing from the MSM is that the Democratic Party is happy that Paul, Doyle, Miller, and O’Donnell won their primaries as it gives their candidates a better chance in November. This may be technically true, but they shouldn’t be proud. Grateful yes, but they need to start working their tails off to earn those votes.

Because the teabaggers have one political asset that the MSM will likely discount: acceptable anger.

Will Hispanics and African-Americans turn out at even close to the same level of participation in 2010 as they did in 2008? Every measure says no. Democracy didn’t end in 2008; it’s a perpetual ongoing machine powered by the passion of the people. Liberals have a lot of great  qualities — passion to the polls isn’t one of them.

Conservatives show up and vote. Angry conservatives come up in larger groups to vote. Liberals will protest, hand out petitions, and ask people to raise up their voices. Conservatives do very little to participate in the democratic process, but voting is one of those things.

The Democrats don’t like their fellow brethren along the lines of Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson, but they keep them in the fold. Republicans beat up on people such as Michael Castle.

How bad were things for Castle? Stephen Colbert re-ran an interview with Castle last week to give Castle Colbert’s famous “Colbert bump.” When the Colbert bump can’t help you, stronger forces are at work.

Delaware voters thought they were getting a Beau Biden-Michael Castle classic matchup for Vice President Joe Biden’s Senate seat. Now we have Chris Coons against Christine O’Donnell.

The kind of Republicans who like Michael Castle will have a choice in November that they probably won’t like. Welcome to Democrat world: people who support the Democratic Party do this all the time.

And if O’Donnell and her fellow teabaggers do pull off the November upset, we will learn what their view of change really is. Whatever way that is, 2011 will be interesting, even if it’s not helpful to the nation’s growing problems.

Written by democracysoup

September 17, 2010 at 8:06 am


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