Campaign Reboots, Hail Marys, “Charlie” Christie and Minnesota

President Obama’s closing argument is the “Independent”/Bi-Partisan Colin Powell video.  This ad says a number of things about Obama’s strategy.  First, his slash and burn campaign failed.  So he’s going with a reboot of his entire campaign theme 5 days before election day.  That is the very definition of a Hail Mary. “Charlie” Christie’s effusive embrace of Obama which doesn’t add one thing to New Jersey’s relief efforts (just as Mayor Bloomberg) acted as the lead blocker in Obama’s bi-partisan, can get things done across the aisle reboot Hail Mary.  Many of us will never forget this.

The closing campaign ad is running in “all Battlegrounds” according to the official Obama campaign statements.  This includes Minnesota and not North Carolina.  I feel vindicated on both fronts.

I’m not surprised there is no Romney stop in Minnesota stop.  If there was even a remote chance for a stop, that was wiped out when the candidates left the campaign trail due to Hurricane Sandy.

Romney may not be going to Minnesota, but Paul Ryan did and Joe Biden essentially is.

Thanks to the Late Debate with Ben and Jack in the Twin Cities, we know the Duluth News Tribune, a very pro-Union paper endorsed Romney. Things are VERY interesting in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

48 Comments

  1. Tina
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    If you read the writeup for the latest RAS national poll, it says that he polled Wisconsin and found it tied again. The same result as last week.

  2. MikeN
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Is pro-Union mean they support Big Labor, or is that the name of a Minnesota Party, or do you mean they are in favor of fighting the Civil War?

  3. Posted November 1, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Fox News per Carl Cameron is reporting that Romney is going to make a visit to Pennsylvania. Has the Romney campaign confirmed or put up any info on this?

    • Posted November 1, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink | Reply

      Good info. Carl gets the inside scoop from Team Romney so if he reported that, you can believe it. Nothing on the official site. Romney on offense!

      • M. White
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        I heard the same thing.

      • Dave S.
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        ROMNEYS VISIT IS CONFIRMED….RECEIVED MY rsvp. LAST NIGHT!! HE’S COMING TO HARRISBURG,PA. TONIGHT AT 6:00p.m. DEFINATELY NOT
        MISSING OUT ON THIS FOLKS!!

      • Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        can u email that to battlegroundwatch “at” gmail “dot” com? Thx

    • stuckinmass
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Why Harrisburg and not Bucks/Montgomery county?

      • Posted November 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        That wouldn’t be a bad play I agree. There is talk of Romney going to PA on Sunday as well but that is totally rumored. We’ll see

  4. petep
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    The O campaign really feels like Bush in 92 or Carter in 80. I think Chicago has just been too arrogant and shortsighted. Of course, the blame goes rightup to the top, given the refusal to wake up after 2010 and change direction like Clinton in 96.

    I think a lot of libs may just not vote, given their utter disappointment, given that wars continue, Gitmo is still open, civil liberties are worse than the previous admin, etc.

  5. Tom
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink | Reply

    More bad news for obama. Mitt-Mentum

  6. NMVM
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    I would encourage people to lay off Christie. Admittedly, I like the guy. Back in 2009, I drove back home to NJ to vote for him (I was a student at Lehigh at the time and a resident of NJ, no voter fraud here) and my brother volunteered for his campaign back in the early days when he looked like a disaster. So with those disclaimers out of the way:

    1) Christie is a no BS guy. That’s his deal. When he says “If you think I give a damn about presidential politics right now, you don’t know me” he’s right. You probably don’t know him. NJ is a disaster right now. His job is to be the governor, not to manage the news cycle for Romney.

    2) He’s only 50, so it’s not like 2016 is his only shot to run and he’s trying to derail Romney. His chances for 2020 (if he even wants it, honestly not sure he does given his choice to sit out this year) are best if Romney wins back to back terms and leaves as a popular president. He could then challenge Paul Ryan (presumably the 2 time VP at this point) in the primary and say “remember how much you liked the last Northeast moderate/reform-oriented Republican ex-governor? Well that’s me.” Once again, this is all assuming he wants it. Don’t forget the fact that not everyone has a burning desire to run for President.

    3) Yes, the media will run with this whole Obama/Christie bipartisan thing as much as they can. And you know what? I don’t care. If at this point in the election cycle, people (either undecideds or soft Romney supporters) actually decide to vote for Obama on something as stupid as “President Surveys the Damage with Republican Gov” and throw the election narrowly towards Obama, then guess what? We truly are a lost republic. No election result will save us from that.

    * Final note: I’ve seen a lot of people claiming that Christie is up for reelection in two years. NJ goes on off years (like VA) – he’s up in 1 year.

    • Medicine Man
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      +5

    • housebroken dad
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Agree 100%. Christie’s focus and only focus right now is to help his residents get back on track. Their lives have been disrupted more than any of us will know, some even have lost friends or family members. He’s doing what he needs to do to get NJ going in a positive direction. So what if he said the president has been open arms to their needs. That’s his job for crying out loud. The LSM making this more of a deal than it really is is what’s stupid. But anything to keep them from talking about the economy or Libya is a win for team O.

    • docsazman
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink | Reply

      “If at this point in the election cycle, people (either undecideds or soft Romney supporters) actually decide to vote for Obama on something as stupid as “President Surveys the Damage with Republican Gov” and throw the election narrowly towards Obama, then guess what? We truly are a lost republic. No election result will save us from that.” Ha. Said almost the exact same thing to my wife yesterday. It’s telling that Obama supporters are hyping this hoping it will sway voters.

    • JGS
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink | Reply

      I was a big Christie fan and wanted him to get the nomination, and then when he didn’t run, I wanted him to be put on as VP (or Rubio). Similarly, I would have been happy for Colin Powell to have run. What a mistake either of these guys would have been. In Christie’s case, I agree with those he say that he could have been thankful and respectful, stayed non-partisan (even inviting Mitt Romney to come along for a tour), but instead he allowed himself to be used as a prop in Obama’s faulty 12th-hour case that he too is a bipartisan guy instead of the ram-it-through Chicago pol we have seen for the past 4 years. In Colin Powell’s case, I hate to say it, but I agree with those who are suggesting that he is being accommodating to someone of his own race over his party, and that disqualifies him in my view not because he is sympathetic to the country’s first black President as a black man, but because he has proven himself not to be a strong Republican. Again, he could have shut up and sat on his hands, or endorsed but not allowed himself to be roped into doing a commercial for Obama, and now Powell is part of Obama’s “closing argument” that he is a bipartisan who is loved by both Chris Christie and Colin Powell. Mark my words, if Obama wins re-election, Christie can kiss off ever being the Republican nominee for the highest office in the land. People will not forget.

      • Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        There are photos of Powell hanging out with Louis Farrakhan the other day. Powell is a lost cause, neither a Republican or a conservative. His chief of staff went on an epic rant against the “racist” GOP the other week as well.

        And I agree on Christie. He could have handled this much more professionally. The man is letting his exhaustion and emotions get in the way of smart politics.

      • NMVM
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Valid criticism of Powell, but I wouldn’t lump Christie in with him. Once again, Christie has a very clear job to do, and he appears to be doing it well. If he were working on crafting a bipartisan education reform plan with Obama, I would feel differently. Bottom line: you cannot discount the amount of devastation in NJ right now. I live in MA now, but everything I’ve heard from family back in NJ has been surreal. And that’s what matters to people outside of the political/media establishment. This is a real crisis, and I don’t think politics really enters the picture for your average voter watching at home.

        If anything, these discussions highlight what has really been central to the race all along. On one side, there are the liberals. They believe people are votes to be purchased and/or influenced towards “the right decision” through press cycles, gaffes, spin, fact-checks, advertising spend, etc. If you’re on this side of the fence, you’re probably salivating at the thought of running as many pictures of Christie/Obama as you can. (*I have to admit, I kind of like the pictures. How lanky and weak does Obama look next to Christie? Hilarious contrast*) You believe that this is the stuff that wins elections. People are just mindless drones who pull the lever for whichever empty suit (or chair) you prop up the most. On the other side, there are the conservatives. We’ve tried to play by the liberal establishment’s rules and mask our beliefs in their terms (remember compassionate conservatism?). After these failures, we’ve come to realize that we’re pretty terrible at spinning fairy tales and promising everyone the moon. That’s not our game. So what did we do? We nominated two stand up guys from blue states who aren’t always “model conservatives” but nonetheless seem to have deeply held convictions about bedrock American principles. They’ve gone around the country touting free enterprise, religious liberty, and a realistic view of America’s place in the world. Anything earth shattering? It shouldn’t be. But they knew these ideas would open them up to all sorts of predictable attacks from the left (war on women!, end Medicare as we know it!, voter suppression!). But besides the typical motions of the campaign (it would clearly be political suicide to not at least put up your own ads, have a rapid response team, etc.) and a few slip ups (the populist rants about China really piss me off), they haven’t taken the bait and fully descended to the liberals’ playing field, as our side does all too often. They’ve placed their faith in the American electorate to come together on Nov. 6th and make the adult decision. They’re simply hoping that enough people tune out the attack ads and promises for more “free” stuff and say “You know what? That all sounds great in theory, but it’s really not the America I’m looking to leave for my kids.” If you’re on this side of the fence, you think (and hope) that all of this Sandy/Obama/Christie stuff is just political noise.

        So that’s my theory, for what it’s worth. Who’s going to be proven right? No idea. But as I said before, if this is the kind of nonsense that really can win elections, then we truly are a lost republic.

    • CP
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Reply

      Nope. Not gonna lay off. This is one of the most important elections in American history, and Christie’s behavior is inexcusable. New Jersey has been temporarily crippled by the storm, but that is nothing compared to the devastation our entire country will face if Obama is re-elected. To contribute to Obama’s campaign in any way at this point is to betray everything Christie supposedly stands for as a Republican.

      • UncleFred
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        In theory conservatives are principled and responsible. Under the circumstances, I would demand that regardless of party both the governor and the president work together to mitigate the disaster that has hit NJ. Christie has a job to do and it is not to play politics at this moment. I don’t like the fact that it helps Obama appear presidential and sucks up the news cycle making it hard for Romney, but a responsible governor’s first duty in such an emergency is to his/her state. Period.

      • Bob San Diego
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        “Christie has a job to do and it is not to play politics at this moment. I don’t like the fact that it helps Obama appear presidential and sucks up the news cycle making it hard for Romney, but a responsible governor’s first duty in such an emergency is to his/her state. Period.”

        Maybe the shame of it is Christie feels he has to suck up to the President to get the aid his state rates under the current system.

        And for those who say, “No one is going to say Obama walking with Christie is going to change their mind” – I agree.

        But the brain doesn’t work that way. A person will pick one of two paintings because he likes it better and yet may not be able to tell you why.

        It’s why Obama’s body language at the first debate was so devastating.

        It’s why Nixon won the debate against Kennedy among those listening on the radio, but lost among those who watched.

        Images are very powerful.

        I’m not saying this is Obama’s life ring for the whole election, but it will gain him some votes among some who would have otherwise either stayed home or maybe even some lukewarm Romney types.

        How many – we’ll never know.

      • CP
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        In response to Uncle Fred: Christie does have a job to do, but photo-ops with President Obama aren’t going to rebuild New Jersey–there’s a reason Mayor Bloomberg told the president to stay home.

        And it would not be “playing politics” to refrain from heaping unearned praise upon Obama six days before a critically important, very tight race. In fact, Christie’s over-the-top praise of Obama in this moment seems like political gamesmanship to me. Optics are extremely important at this stage in the game and Christie knows it.

    • Posted November 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Christie is facing re-election in a year, his state was just donkey kicked in the face. Presidential visits are COMMON place. Bush did it after 9-11, New Orleans. Obama did it after tornados. It is their job.

      Bloomberg said no because the a presidential visit kills the flow of the major city, pile on a disaster and 1st responders swamped it just wasnt a good fit. But a visit to a basically gone Atlantic City is actually easier and the devastation seen by everyone is what is important for the people of New Jersey.

      I would contend 95% of American did not see or care about Obama or CHRISTIE. they are stunned by the scope of the devastation.

      Politically. Christie did what he was supposed to do. If he said no, as a surrogate of Romney he would have been BLASTED that Republicans are putting politics about people. He DID THE RIGHT THING. he did his job.

      We and talk radio are falling into the trap Obama wanted..republicans crucifying Christie for being seen near him. Showing, in his mind, that republicans always put politics over virtue. Christie took one for the team and took that weapon out of Obama’s hand. Now any politicizing Obama does will make HIM and his side look bad. Like the NY congresswoman blasting Romney this morning in the news…bad move overplay the hand

    • No Tribe
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “He’s only 50”

      Just to be a realist here. With his weight, he has about 15 more years to live.

    • Svigor
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The only people defending Christie at this point seem to be those who like the guy. Me, I don’t follow mainstream politics that closely so I barely know anything about him. I just know you don’t give sound/video bites to the other party the week before the election. If you can’t do your job as governor and accomplish at least that, you’re in desperate need of some head-correcting.

  7. Evan3457
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Desperation, because slash and burn wasn’t working, or taking advantage of the opportunity of Sandy? Maybe both. The campaign changing its strategy in the last 5-6 days is the one that’s behind, or thinks it’s behind, or is worried about being behind. That’s for sure.

  8. bks
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Obama a 90% favorite at Princeton Election Consortium, an 80% favorite at 538 and a 68% favorite at Intrade:

    http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=743474
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/
    http://election.princeton.edu/

    –bks

    • Evan3457
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink | Reply

      GIGO.

    • Medicine Man
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

      Intrade was a 75% regarding Obamacare being overturned right before the decision.

      I would sell everything you own then and put your $$$ on Obama. Easy Money as Rodney Dangerfield would say.

    • Interested Party
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      All nonsense. Again, this is all about composition of the electorate. The fundamentals are really for R. The early voting data (not from polls, from data so far) suggests an electorate more in line with R projections. Looks like 51-52 to 48.5 or so, with 280-310 EV, if not more.

      In trade, Princeton, and 538 all use topline polling data, which is worthless at this point.

      • bks
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Sure, topline polling data is worthless unless your guy is winning on the topline. Get real.
        If an advocate is talking about “oversampling” or “crosstabs” his guy is losing.

        –bks

      • Porchlight
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        You mean advocates like David Axelrod trying to spin Obama tanking with independents?

        “David Axelrod didn’t have much to say when he was asked why polls how Mitt Romney leading President Obama among independent voters.

        “I can’t speak to that,” Axelrod told Mark Halperin on MSNBC, moments after saying that the winner among independents would win Ohio. “Part of it, Mark, is how polls are conducted and how people identify themselves in the poll,” he speculated.

        Axelrod also said that his data indicates that “we’re doing well with independents.”

    • Kevin Paradine
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      See you next Wednesday!

  9. John
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    Ok fine, hopefully the Romney camp responds with ads showing Obama braggin “I won the election” at the big health-care summit and other examples of how has been one of the most divisive and partisan presidents we’ve ever had. Romney has a demonstsrated history of working across the isle as MA governor and I think that has helped sway a signifant portion of independents his way. He should not let Obama hijack that narrative in the final days.

  10. Rick
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Just to take a step back…

    The angst over the effects of Sandy, Christie, and the new Obama narrative is unwarranted. Obama’s political goose was cooked in the first debate. His campaign has been fighting for weeks to mitigate that disaster. Nothing he has done has worked so far to blunt Romney’s momentum.

    • No Tribe
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Agreed. Cooked. And “stay the course” has to be the worst possible closing ad for a President with this type of economy.

  11. Carol
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very interesting that the Duluth News Tribune endorsed Romney. I grew up in Superior, Wisconsin and it is right across the river from Duluth, MN so I guess the Obama campaign sending Biden there is very telling. Must be really worried.

  12. Dave
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Chistrie….that’s all fine and well about Christie doing his job to get NJ back on track but you’re missing a point…since when does requesting federal aid require public kissing up (did Obama hug Gov Christie too)? It doesn’t. It doesn’t help one damn thing and it can only hurt republican prospects. And if you think this president is doing anything other than what any other president would do you’re sorely mistaken. How come Bloomberg isn’t on television kissing O’s butt. Or how about the govenor of NY? Why? Because they have nothing to gain. Christie may not give a damn about presidential politics but he sure as hell cares about his personal political future and in a state full of democracts the only thing to do is to get down and both knees and bow no matter what the consequnces are for Romney in nearby states such as NC and VA. Christie seems like an uneven fellow or an unprincipled one whose fawnngs go to the highest bidder. One moment he’s getting emotional talking up the resasons to vote against Obama and in the press later, and now, with tons of cash coming his way, can’t seem to get close enough to Obama with emotion and flowing praise.

    Maybe Christie has seen the real poll numbers and he knows what he has to deal with come Nov 7th. It’s just odd that the biggest critic of Obama is now his most grateful follower (when he doesn’t have to be..a simple thank you would have done just fine).

    BTW where is O in NY? Where’s the NY governor and Obama? Nowhere for the press that’s for sure? Why. Because there’s nothing to gain politicaly from touring devastated areas of NYC. You don’t see democrats hugging Obama. Why does a republican governor have to do it? Talk about politcizing a tragic event. That’s all Obamas doing. Add to that he can’t seem to keep his hands off hugging men that are republicans and or were republicans. That looks like the new democratic campaign stategy–hugging republicans.

    Mother nature has handed Obama (another) major political gift. And republicans continue to seem determined to keep the giving aflow.

  13. M. White
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    University of Colorado’s model and the similar Yale University model both show a huge Romney win in the electoral college. University of Colorado has been right in the last several presidential election cycles. They base their model on each individual state by economics, unemployemnt, etc.
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/electoral-college-model-predicts-romney-will-win-big-in-2012-and-its-been-right-since-1980/
    This article was before the debates!

    • bks
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The University of Colorado model was not published till this year. Anyone can make a model that predicts all of the elections that happened in the past. Nate Silver and Sam Wang have notches on their guns.

      –bks

      • Mike S
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        You mean the “notch” where he predicted on election day, 2010 that Sharron Angle had a 83.4% chance of beating Harry Reid?

        http://elections.nytimes.com/2010/forecasts/senate/nevada

      • Matthew Schultz
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Nate silver has…one (or two) notches. I’m not sure if looking at Obama’s internals from 2008 counts as one.

      • Posted November 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        they built a model to look at this year’s race. As a way of determine it’s accuracy they inputted information available back to 1980. And it retroactively predicted the outcome almost to a tee (5 states, 24 EC MOE) in every race. It even correctly predicted the Gore Popular, Bush slight EC win.

        Their model was peer reviewed and is an academically designed poll.

        Silver has two notches…two wave, easily predicted elections.

        We will see…perhaps this time next week Nate Silver will be signing multi multi million dollar consulting, book, etc deals.

  14. Dao
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Christie is for Christie not the party. I agree he did a disservice to the party and Romney by being effusive over Obama. Didnt need to do it.

  15. hunter
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Just as an aside. As a member of the “senior” hunting community, I haven’t seen anything written about the hunting community’s impact on this election. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Minnesota and New Hampshire, to mention just a few, include large numbers of this fraternity and I would be willing to bet that their votes for Romney would rival the 95-5 vote split of the African-American community for Obama. You’re talking upwards of a million votes in some states when you include spouses of license holders. Just a thought.

    • Bob San Diego
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m not hearing a lot of pro gun talk out of Romney.

  16. FCP
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    FWIW, BHO was in my home state of Louisiana a few months ago after a hurricane. Mitt was too, but that’s unrelated. Anyway, I watched the live news feed from our local affiliate where BHO and our Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, spoke about federal disaster aid, etc. This was just after Ryan’s nomination and Jindal had been a top 5 (or so) contender for VP. I remember recalling how uncomfortable BHO appeared to be while standing there with Jindal. He even made references to their political differences during his speech. Jindal was respectful and deferential, but there was no broad scale pandering like we saw with Christie. Jindal recognized the need for the President to speak, but he did not go out of his way to let it be turned into a political event. BHO came, spoke, and left, and that was it: Just two politicians engaged in fulfilling their public service.

    I had a good deal of respect for Christie before this meltdown, but my opinion has now obviously been diminished. I don’t doubt that he was grateful for whatever relief BHO could provide his state, but the political pandering was over the top.

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