Tag Archives: deficit

Obama Fails to Change the Trajectory of the Race

Normally I like to use Mark Halperin’s write-up because I really respect his work and appreciate the way he smartly puts things on paper even when it is something I don’t want to hear.  His grades for the debate were B- for Obama and C for Romney.  I can live with those grades but I thought his write-up was pretty weak.  He makes a couple good points as you’d expect but his wording and phrasing was overwhelming negative towards Romney.  If you read only the reviews and not he grades you would think he gave Obama a B and Romney a D-.  In light of the fact that his B- grade is the exact same grade he game Obama after the disastrous Denver Debate,  I  have to grudgingly admit this was a poor effort on his part — especially the near hyperbolic words and phrases he uses to describe troubles for Mitt Romney.

One of the better discussions of the debate in my opinion was by Ari Fleisher on CNN who talked about the debate in baseball terms with each debate accounting for 3 innings of a 9 inning game. The blowout first debate for Romney was like a team scoring 5 runs in the first three innings.  I agree wholeheartedly with that assessment which is backed up by every poll, in enthusiastic fundraising numbers as well as through the post-debate despondency on the Left.  So after debate 1 we are looking at a score of Romney 5 Obama 0.

For the second debate with most people scoring it a draw Fleischer said that would be a 0 to 0 outcome over those three innings.  He then conceded you might give Obama 1 run to Romney’s 0 based on some of the snap polls.  I would go with the 2nd scoring and grant Obama a run for representing his case strongly as his base would see it — something he did not do in Denver. At the same time Romney did a good job in areas like forcefully distinguishing his prospective Administration from the Bush years, consistently articulating his focus on job creation as well as remaining appropriately critical of why we should move on from Obama.

Romney didn’t score though because of his fumbling the Libya opportunity.  If he was going to land a knockout blow, that was his opening and it was right there for the taking. We can criticize Candy Crowley for inappropriately interjecting herself there but Romney was already fumbling before she made even more of a mess in that situation.  The facts and severity of the situation in Libya will ultimately overwhelm any debate fallout from the missed opportunity but if Romney were going to add to his momentum and put some runs on this board, this was his moment and he missed it.  It doesn’t set him back but it does keep him from extending the lead.

So I’ll score the second debate Romney 0 Obama 1. If someone wants to make the argument that Obama won this debate to balance out Romney winning the first debate, that may be technically accurate but the two debates were materially different in terms of voter impact.   In our baseball analogy, after 6 innings, the score is Romney 5 Obama 1. Romney still has momentum and growing voter support even if he didn’t augment it in this debate.  You saw this is those same post-debate snap polls where voters overwhelming supported Mitt Romney on issues of the economy, jobs and the deficit.  This is materially important because every Battleground State or National poll says those issues are paramount to a super majorities of voters and Mitt Romney continues to be the run away leader on those issues.  Barack Obama’s inability to move those numbers are why, despite his improved performance, he most likely did not persuade the voters he needs to get over 50% in the polls or dissuade the Romney voters he needs to stay home.

Both candidates came out combative and ready for the fight.  The problem for Barack Obama is the public is ready to replace him as President evidenced by the stubborn consistency of his polling always around 47% support (that is below the necessary 50% threshold). The public saw a Mitt Romney in the first debate who they deemed plausible as President and nothing in this debate did anything to disabuse them of that notion.

“Actually Happened”

American Crossroads goes all “Minority Report” on Obama’s failed economic record with its latest ad. According to Politico:

American Crossroads and its affiliate Crossroads GPS are going up today with their biggest paid media push so far in the 2012 cycle, … on TV and radio in eight presidential battlegrounds and four Senate contests … On the presidential level, American Crossroads will spend $11 million on a spot called ‘Actually Happened,’ which focuses on the impact that President Obama said the stimulus would have on the unemployment rate. The spot features a man using charts and graphics to show where the president said unemployment would be around now, under 5.5 percent, compared to where it is, at 8.1 …

The ad is running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. Crossroads GPS …  is spending an additional $1 million on radio in those states.  Another $4 million is being spent by GPS [on Senate races in] in North Dakota, Virginia and Montana, and American Crossroads is going up in Florida. … Republican outside groups are about to demonstrate the extent to which they can have impact as the 2012 cycle enters its final stretch. … [T]he case has been made that, especially given Mitt Romney’s own comparatively light advertising in the summer, the groups helped keep the race close in the face of Obama’s spending.”

“The Romney Plan”

Enough With the Fallacy Reagan Could Not Get the GOP Nomination Today

It is a fallacy and exercise in sophistry to claim today Ronald Reagan could not get the nomination of the Republican Party because of the party’s allegedly extremism. To argue groups driving today’s Republican elections like the Tea Party are as extreme to reject a Ronald Reagan for President is to conveniently deny the true Ronald Reagan.

It was thirty-two years ago when Ronald Reagan was first elected President in 1980. The Ronald Regan of 1948 (i.e. thirty-two years prior to 1980) would not have gotten the Republican nomination in 1980. The opinions and policy prescriptions he would have espoused then would have little relevance to the Soviet threat of global nuclear annihilation (modern rocketry was in its infancy). Let alone the ever changing needs of the world’s most dynamic country thirty-two years later. Heck, the actual Ronald Reagan could not even get the Republican nomination in 1976!  It would be laughable today to brand the Republicans of 1976 “too extreme” because they rejected Reagan. No, the very complaint against Reagan in 1976 was that HE was too extreme.

The difference between Ronald Reagan of 1948 and Ronald Reagan of 1980 was as the facts changed, so did his opinions.  Ronald Reagan evolved with the times then as he would today. The undeniable over-arching concern of Ronald Reagan’s Presidency was global nuclear annihilation by an external threat — the Soviet Union. Today, the undeniable over-arching concern is the global fiscal annihilation by an internal threat–irresponsible governments. This is the very same threat currently bringing the entire continent of Europe to its knees.

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