The 2012 election possessed more surprises to the transition of power or the lack their of. The White House was up for grabs, but President Barack Obama came down with the ball sending his opponent, Governor Mitt Romney back home with faded hopes after going much farther than anyone, even himself, had ever imagined.
The Speaker of the House, John Boehner worked feverishly all year to hold on to the Speaker’s gavel in the House. Although Nancy Pelosi gave it the good try, democrats would remain in the minority in House of Representatives but the gains made were startling ones. One of the most expensive races in the country was that of the one term Congressman from Florida’s southwestern, mostly republican district, Rep. Allen West.
West appeared on the scene with the characteristic of loaded pistol, one Speaker Boehner handled with a delicate touch. His comments became more and more outrageous, even raising the concern of many republicans behind the scenes. He was quoted as saying “President Obama is probably the dumbest person walking around America right now”. The name calling continued when he called Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, “…vile and unprofessional…”.
West was quickly becoming an embarrassment to many in the district as he frequented the national cable news cycles appearing more like a fire-starter than a fireman. As a balanced, Rep. West grew an astounding war chest for his re-election, to the tunes of $17 million dollars. There was no grey area with West, you either loved his brazen and aggressively venomous tongue or you absolutely hated his enjoyment of creating discontent.
A 29 year old, with the naïveté to push his onto the ballot when no one else wanted to be in a war for the U.S. House seat with the former Iraq veteran and GOP powerhouse due to his vast amounts of cash on hand and national name recognition, it was a losing battle, most democrats conceded up to the final days before the election. Patrick Murphy felt he had nothing to lose, only everything to gain and removing the microphone from West was quickly becoming more than enough for Murphy.
As some polling began to show late, Murphy was not alone. His one and only message was simply, “West is embarrassing us in this district and he has to go”. What no one thought was possible, was beginning to look more and more plausible. Democrats conducted a few polls for Murphy since he really had no major cash in his war chest, only active volunteers eager for West to go.
Rep. West pushed back on any claims of Mr. Murphy gaining on him as he touted his own polling. Looking hindsight, West and Romney evidently hired the same pollsters because they both were horribly wrong. On election night as the votes came in, the race between Murphy and West was “too close to call”. Republicans were angry that West had not listened to them and tampered down his rhetoric. They were even more angry that he was in such a tight race to begin with in a republican stronghold.
How could a democrat be beating a national name? Who was this kid to take on the one everyone feared? The vote tally was leaning Murphy, but West decided he would not concede; and for two weeks, until yesterday he hadn’t. Rep. West finally conceded the race to the new Congress-elect Murphy. David fought Goliath and true to form, David won by just over 2000 votes.
Name recognition became the albatross around neck of the now former Rep. West. The fact that he was known as something of a trouble-maker, favored by the Tea Party in the 2010 election quickly became a GOP brand unto himself. Republicans however grew concerned when West ignored their advice to take his rhetoric down. This was a seat no one expected the GOP to lose, yet they did. R.I.P Rep. West. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
How did most get it completely wrong? After combing through most publications of the last week, major news magazines as well as web credentialed media, you will easily find how wrong most of the analysis on the presidential race of 2012 actually was. If Mitt Romney and the republicans had won the election, they would all be talking about how they were right and the left leaning biased media were wrong; and it would be difficult to say they didn’t have an argument.
One significant problem with that process of thought is Mitt Romney lost in a landslide in a year when most conservatives and many concerned democrats saw 2012 as a year of fragile extremes on both ends of the political spectrum. There was no national Statesman for the Republican Party that could have gotten them back on track the way former President Bill Clinton. Without that anchor, republicans lost their way and the message became the narrative.
Meaning: from the beginning, Team Romney were very focused on their economic message and with good reason considering the economy has only improved minimally at the lower ends of the economic ladders and there are still tough paths to financial freedom for most middle class families. So they hammered Obama hard on every piece of government data, the monthly Labor Department Unemployment job report numbers, every stock down-tick greater than 50 points as a means to confirming this “broken government-bad economy” message.
The message spun out of control. It began when republican ticket [Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan] had to run, and fast, away from the original positions on just about every issue after the GOP Presidential Convention down in Tampa, Florida. An even larger message was required to keep the main supporters, the base, energized.
The presidential primaries on the republican side is an example of a party that reached so far above the message that when the nominee, regardless of who it was going to be, that Candidate was destined to have a difficult time with the electorate for the same reason Romney did. The message created a bubble; some would say of hot air, but like our economy did back in 2007, The Romney Bubble burst several days ago on election night.
Now the message should not take the blame solely for the campaign bubble. Polling performed by Romney folks had been, according to them, showing a musher closer electoral tally with Romney pulling away with 300 electoral votes. If you don’t somehow agree with my assessment of a landslide loss, then quantify for me and the rest of the readers Romney’s 94 electoral vote shortfall, Romney ended with 206.
Either the Romney campaign seemed to believe its own hype or its get out the vote data, it’s polling, the messaging and the target voting data (used to best identify voters-a concept used by George W. Bush). What inflated the campaign for republicans so? You saw the faces of the Romney supporters on election night-it’s was different from their sinking feeling four years ago. It’s as if conservatives didn’t expect to win in 2008 but this year, they felt owed. As if the presidency was rightfully theirs for being good soldiers and allowing the Obama experiment for four years; “now…where were we…”
To think, two missed cycles in The White House at the hands of Barack Obama? If he was elected four years ago purely for the historical nature of his candidacy, what is the reason for his re-election in 2012. If Obama didn’t win again, then explain how Romney lost. At the height of the campaign, there were potentially 10 battleground states although as Election Day moved closer, the true battlegrounds narrowed down to 5 or 6.
On the night results were tallied, Romney and his campaign surrogates who blanketed the country with news gathered from his internal sources of his likely success in those battlegrounds learned his fate. Romney won only one of the battleground states; North Carolina- by 4 percentage points. They truly seemed to believe the data they were being given, Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan. How could that be?
Even Dick Morris, a former Clinton Advisor, strategist and Fox News Contributor said a day before the election, “Romney will win in a landslide. When pressed by the host, Bill O’Reilly, Dick Morris proceeded with “but let me show you the numbers and explain how”. Mr. Morris flat out pushed back on three major polls that had been put out that very day showing Obama would win Florida, Ohio and Virginia: Morris disputed all three polls and a issued his declaration for a Romney win. Obviously Romney did not win but he also lost those three states due to heavy record turnout in them all.
I received much criticism for not supporting the claims by most. Each time, the reason I gave was based on the one thing, the turnout. African Americans delivered Pennsylvania because they ran up the votes in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Women and blacks along with a strong military turnout delivered Virginia, Women and record turnout for blacks in Wisconsin spun that state race for Obama and Florida, with counting just competed yesterday, shows extremely high record turnout from African Americans and Latinos in the southern portion of the state and Puerto Rican-Americans in Central Florida ran to one side giving Obama the landslide so ,any others had given to Romney.
Romney won both Whites and Independents across the country, but Obama’s minority coalition could not be matched on any level. The steady drumbeat of Fox News Channel seemed to support Romney campaign claims without question until election night when Ohio was called for Obama. Morris tweeted the next morning, “egg on my face”.
We may never get anyone to explain the hot air balloon that looked like Romney’s Presidential campaign but then again, one of his advisors or campaign people will e completing a book soon detailing how they fell short, so badly. Obama did not win, instead, Romney lost in a landslide in a year he should have won huge. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Four days after the election was declared for President Barack Obama, the State of Florida finally completed their count of some 8 million votes for the incumbent.
Several hints that what the Governor, Rick Scott and his republican led legislature hoped would benefit Mitt Romney through last year’s Voter ID challenges have now backfired is first and foremost; Romney lost. In 2008, the battle for Florida was won in the early vote process. Gov. Scott had hoped to reduced the count through the early vote which could help the once historical advantage republicans had in the absentee ballots.
Problem was, this year, minorities had a different plan. They voted with record numbers [minorities] with absentee ballots. The Florida GOP was not anticipating that one. With all the information out regarding voter ID laws, many also felt the opposing party was simply looking for ways to keep them from voting, so instead of causing voters to turn away, they seemed to dig their heels in.
The turnout this year was even higher than it was in 2008. Republicans will say, “Mr. Obama has lost some support among his base” and they will point out that some White voters (3%) and Hispanic voters (2%) did not vote for him this time. They won’t tell you that those were Republican voters from the last election who returned to vote within their own party. They didn’t say “White Democrats”, just White voters; see how that works?
Not to mention, does it really matter how many didn’t vote for him this time when your guy still lost in a landslide…in a republican state? If they can’t admit where the GOP has gone off the rails, the problem will begin to look more systemic, meaning its internal, within the party.
Florida still appears to have gotten it wrong if you look at news reports and just the delay in the count itself. But as your politician next door, lets to deeper. What caused the lines to be so long?
1. A 17 page ballot- it’s true. Counties like Miami-Dade County were required to print all information in three separate languages making the ballot hard to handle since it looked lie a little booklet.
2. The “booklet” then would have to be scanned into a ballot machine, one page at a time by the voter.
3. Eleven constitutional amendments were also being decided in addition to the presidential selections. So although most knew who they wanted to vote for, the lines formed and then wrapped for blocks as voters took time to read the ballots.
Now although most find it easy to blame the Elections Supervisors for the precinct delays, the truth is, the Florida Congress is more to blame with Governor Scott at the helm. After 12 years following the contentious 2000 election where the U.S. Supreme Court had to get involved, the state appears to not have learned. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Republicans seem to have thrown the rock and are now hiding their hands. The ballots in some major turnout precincts had enormously long ballots, difficult to read legalese and fewer poll workers; all conducted with fewer early voting days compared to 2008.
In fairness, the number of hours to vote had not changed, but by reducing the number of days to vote, the Governor increased the number of hours from 8 per day to 12, essentially not affecting the time a voter had to get to the polls.
With all the talk surrounding Florida’s 29 electoral votes in the final months of the campaign, all the campaign visits by Obama and Romney, not to mention their surrogates, the race for The White House was decided without the state. What should have been a close election, was not even close. With Florida now decided, Obama won 332 electoral votes and Romney won 206. Landslides s what we call that.
Florida has to improve its entire system, but does it want too? These problems can be fixed, the people close to the ground want to fix them. Election Supervisors have sent requests for additional resources, money, to make this process work, but Congressional figures have not been willing to set the money aside.
Don’t shoot the messenger, hiring yet another election supervisor won’t fix this. State leadership must standardize the entire system so one county is indicative of the process of the others. All 64 counties had already reported their numbers for the race, except for two; the most populous, the most diverse and the most likely bunch not expected to vote for republicans. You decide.
Whatever the case, there is a lot to answer for. This election has shown, increased early voting hours is not the answer alone. Elections officials have also asked for more polling locations in government buildings and libraries as a way to reduce the long wait times and lines. So far, those requests have gone unanswered.
There are more things both parties could be focusing on for the next presidential election. Midterm elections in 2014 seems to be promising since the turnout is not expected to be as large. With growing populations in the state, longer lines won’t be tolerated. If republicans want to once again win the southern parts of the state and the growing Latino base in Central Florida, keeping them from the polls clearly didn’t work. Maybe you will actually need to speak to the voter and God forbid, try to campaign and win the vote; a novel approach.
That’s my story and um sticking to it.
I will take the leap into the weeds to explain how the echo chamber of election year politics has caused many to miss the big picture. The noise of cable news chatter has distorted the more obvious cues to take away from the current state of the race. There will be no blow out, that much is certain. There will be no runaway mandate for the President, he will break 50% and will likely come extremely close to rising just under 50%, 51% may be more than optimistic and the polls just don’t show it.
No one likes to jump out for fear of being incorrect, yet both men spent most of the election cycle doing just that; being wrong and what does one of them get?…keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and a page in the American history books. This is not based on partisan views but rather the reality of the polling data; if you believe in them.
Lets take a look at the battleground states: going forward, they are considered battles because this is geography where the political parties actually have to vigorously campaign to convince voters for their support. These states currently are not deciding their electoral votes by ideology alone but issues that concern their lives and their families.
Ohio has polled consistently for weeks for Obama. Every poll for that matter has had the President over Romney from 1-6% points. Even conservative leaning polls have shown this throughout. Ohio has gotten the attention it has because it is historically known for deciding the presidency. Obama could go on to win without Ohio, Romney is not so fortunate. No republican has ever won The White House without Ohio. With a severely conservative Governor and Congress, Obama will carry Ohio.
This is significant for the historical reasons I just mentioned. Beyond that, the electoral votes lost to the Romney campaign, makes the path to victory implausible; not impossible. The plausibility is difficult to imagine considering the ridiculous amount of other states that are also battles that Romney would have to win. That math is way too fuzzy.
Good news for Romney, he will carry North Carolina. Barack Obama won the state in 2004, the first democrat to carry it since the 60′s but as I’ve said before, his win then, was more about republicans in the Carolina’s not wanting to drink the Palin-aid! It was always going to be difficult to duplicate the “historical moment”. You can only elect the first African American as President of the United States once.
With North Carolina in the Romney win-column and Ohio dragging Obama closer to the finish line, Romney would have to clean the table with the remaining battleground states: Florida, Nevada, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado. That’s just not going to happen folks. The math to make that scenario work just hasn’t been discovered. Florida will go to Obama as I have said from the beginning in part due to the heavy minority (Latino and African American) turnout.
This year, more than ever, African Americans have mailed in their ballots in the Miami-Dade County area, a heavy democratic portion of the state, to ensure they were not disenfranchised. Latinos in the Central Florida area will also continue to pour out in favor of Obama. Not because of Obama solely, but also because of Romney’s support of self deportation as an immigration policy. Problem is, those Latinos in Central Florida are not from the Dominican Republic, Cuba or Columbia, but they are already Americans, from Puerto Rico.
Nevada, is already gone to Obama, so this is no longer considered in my book as a battle. Latinos in Nevada will bring the state for Obama. These folks are largely descendants, family, friends of neighboring Mexicans. Again, hurt by his strong “anti” immigration proposals, this will cost Romney significantly in Nevada.
Wisconsin will go to Obama due to the growing demographic shifts in the state. Residents there are similar to those in Ohio, where family and earning a honest living is the cultural character and embedded in the citizen tapestry. Wisconsin, also governed by conservative State officials from the Governor down, however, the heavy union presence and manufacturing industry will establish a voter turnout ground game unmatched ever in history by the GOP. The former Community Organizer has to be good at this, mobilizing his voters.
Virginia, also much desired by Romney and honestly needed just as much as Ohio, will be decisive for Obama. The race for the Presidential ticket as well as the Virginia Senate seat will be razor thin, probably the closest of all Senate races (other than Montana- but not a battleground). Keep your eye on this race. Some have speculated that Romney will take the state, but Democrats will take the Senate race, but I disagree. Dems will hold both.
They will hold both because the military, a strong dominant presence in Oceana, Virginia is no longer your father’s U.S. Navy. Our young military personnel are more of a product of this new social acceptance than the last. Issues once viewed as conservative in the military are now more socially acceptable. Reversing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell did not break the military or put military personnel in harms way as opponents and critics of Obama’s reversal once predicted. Michelle Obama has made military families her personal drumbeat, just as Nancy Reagan had the “Say No To Drugs” mantle.
The loss of Virginia and Ohio will be the signal for the Secret Service to get Romney’s motorcade cranked, doors open and begin the journey to the convention floor to speak to his supporters to share the bad news. Without Florida, maybe-almost; kinda, but without Ohio and Virginia, math. Colorado is the closest of the battles for me. The reason it is close in Colorado is the strong Latino vote has voted overwhelming for Obama and according to exit polling, they have voted early.
Colorado will be thin as ice, but will go to Obama. There may be some slow counts in Colorado and Virginia, although Virginia has historically done well, this year is different. Ohio cost John Kerry the presidential race in 2004 against George W. Bush, and will cost one of these men on Election Day. Lastly of the battles is New Hampshire. Currently polls have this race all over the place, but post hurricane Sandy polls show Obama has clinched a solid 2% lead. Turnout will be key, but New Hampshire will send its 4 electoral votes to Obama.
These are all my predictions based on what information I am looking at. There will be an Obama victory because simply, the math is easier to achieve if you’re Obama than if you’re Romney. There is only one path for the GOP nominee, but several for Obama. It looks more like McCain of ’08, he too only had one path, then Senator Obama shut every door leading to that path. Romney’s attempt to circle back in the 11th hour for Pennsylvania, his first visit there in months was widely viewed as a last minute attempt to stretch the map a bit for another alternative since they see what I see.
PA is tighter than it was several weeks ago following the first presidential debate, but more than that I believe; through political and electoral neglect, the numbers began to move-not for or against, but instead back to zero, the middle. So although we may view the polls as tightening or Obama’s gap narrowing, back to zero through neglect.
Romney should not be expected to win any more than 220 electoral votes amidst the presidential hype. We all wanted a tight race just so we didn’t rubber-stamp the next occupant of The White House, but we also wanted to ensure the next resident was moving in with the keen awareness of what would be expected.
The map gives Obama a victory at 310-319 electoral votes once the dust settles. There are a lot of things that are different from 2008, so many that I can’t list here, but to those who support him, they simply do not care-a win is a win and more directly, the final score is less important. The frustration the republicans will have at losing will be less bout Romney and more that the party lost again, twice in a row.
Republicans will turn on themselves before uniting in defiance once again in opposition to this President as they did following the ’08 election. This time however, it will be different. They will have to work a different plan since the first one failed to work. Democrats will take an Obama loss more personal. They will see cultural wars, opposition and disenfranchisement as likely enemies. Their hope for inclusion will be confirmed with an Obama re-election and their fears confirmed with a Romney win.
The Clinton legacy will be enshrined and Obama will not have been a fluke. Healthcare will become the Obama legacy and not just preventing a second Great Depression. Romney will write a book, give some speeches and fight to stay relevant amid the conservative rancor. It may be best to lay low for a while like W. The party will have to check itself. Democrats will need to produce an agenda now that Obama has four more years, Republicans will have to find away to actually expand their base of support and stop worrying about expanding the electoral map.
This morning, on Election Day, Romney is back in Pennsylvania, the second visit in two days after the campaign all but ceded the state to Obama over the last month or so. This is an attempt grow the electoral map at the last minute because Romney sees the math not working out. The party will need to grow their base; more support from different kinds of voters not just White working class me and seniors. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
The republican candidate for the presidency, Mitt Romney will be completing his final campaign day of his political career tomorrow, win or lose. The suspecting candidate, the true dark horse in the race considering his moderate political leanings amid a cadre of severe conservatives from the Republican Primaries earlier this year.
The former Governor of Massachusetts, has come along way from his campaign launch in New Hampshire nearly 18 months ago. Slow and steady was the race for Governor Romney, besting some of his harshest critics, now supporters all, at least publicly anyway.
The Governor has been spotted as of late, woofing down slices of pizza, frequenting fat food outlets to garner the same kind of unscripted crowd responses that the President often enjoys with his OTR or Off The Record eating jaunts. Mr. Romney has began the simple practice of permitting the press capture the less than scripted moments in an effort to bring more of a human quality to his campaign,
When looking at both campaigns, Mr. Romney has always seemed to keep the less than vigorous schedule of of them both, but that has allowed more of a candidate-controlled optics fest; the imagery for Romney had been superb as be and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, have both utilized the retail-politicking to be formed by more robotic corporate-like sentiments.
Tomorrow, this campaign for Governor Romney will effectively end. But unlike the president, if he wins, the journey will be just be beginning. Almost immediately, the focus on the Congressional majority elections in 2013 will begin in earnest, following on its coat-tails, a Romney re-election campaign.
But for today, if he loses against Mr. Obama, this will end his political aspirations as we know them. Rarely would a political party re-nominate the same candidate. Even Governor Romney’s wife, Ann says, “this is our last”.. For all the marbles, for all historical relevance, and for his [Mitt's] sense of family commitment and dedication, deep within him, I am certain he longs for a campaign detox, although not at the cost of his defeat. That’s my story and I sticking to it.
In the final push, on the final day of the last race of his political career and the President’s body has taken a beaten on the road not to mention the first four years of his presidency. You almost want to ask him, “is it all worth it?”
Since the debates, the President embarked on endless multiple day trips each week. Mostly hop-scotching from battleground state to battleground state attempting to weave together an electoral map frayed at the edges, looking less like 2008 every day.
Cat-naps on the campaign bus, dog-naps on Air Force One, a recent visit to California for a quick Jay Leno visit and back to Nevada to beat his own drum, the marching orders however are coming from the Chicago campaign office “war room”, not The White House; all in a days work. They are deciding on real time where exactly the President needs to be to pump the polls, flex his muscle or overwhelm with the presidential trappings of incumbency and White House grandeur.
The work that goes into running for the presidency looks to pale in comparison to actually being President. The “On” switch is always in the on position, the downtime is valued, but that’s just the rest time.
Meals on the go have increased significantly as well. All those impromptu campaign deli stops, pizza dives and burger diners, well, no coincidence there. Two birds with one stone; shake hands, take photos, meet voters, grab the local newspaper headlines, but more importantly eat.
Today, November 5th…Obama will makes final pass through three battleground states, Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa. Two of the three, Ohio and Wisconsin, the President is looking to carry in his election night win column convincingly, but the other, although much desired for his tally on Tuesday night as results begin to roll in and one he is expected to win, Iowa has a special place for Obama.
Obama launched his campaign for his first term in Iowa and they have stuck with him through the rough and tumble, he is again counting on them one final time. Iowa, a place where most campaigns fall flat, Obama seemed right at home and they welcomed him in.
Following his last campaign stop, ever, Obama will board Air Force One and head to Chicago to watch the election night results after a night’s rest in his own bed in his Hyde Park home.
Truly a sprint to the finish, one more day, one more stump speech, one more eye-resting exercise between campaign stops; one more bad meal amid the nostalgia of the road campaign. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Formed from a Tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea on October 24, Hurricane Sandy terrorized the people of Kingston, Jamaica, flooded the shores of Haiti-killing over 54 natives; the Hurricane struck Cuba on October 25 and then went on to temporarily paralyze the island of Bahamas turning the first days into a deadly storm claiming over 60 lives…and that was before ever broaching America’s northeastern coasts.
The damage in the northeast is still being determined at the moment with millions still without electricity and clean drinking water. Our American political system came to a screeching halt with U.S. elections flatly approaching to tend to the aid of those pushed out of their homes by rising waters. Yet Karl Rove, the republican strategist responsible for crafting George W. Bush’s presidency from the Texas Governor’s mansion as well as his re-election campaign in 2004 has made one of the dumbest comments ever heard from such a smart man.
Rove, since his time in Bush’s White House has become the conservative’s electoral king maker; his voice is the big stick republicans trip over themselves to carry. He tactically lays out their battle plan in addition to serving as the party’s unofficial Chairman At-Large. Yesterday, Rove referenced the presidential race between Mitt Romney and President Obama post Hurrican Sandy and said …Sandy helped the Obama.
With thousands of victims out on the street, several million still without electricity and the loss of life, totals still climbing, what about the devastating storm could have aided the President so positively? Has he been able to give them housing? NO? Or maybe Obama has even able to give them all Food? No? Um, we’ll what about some hope? The sight of the current damage has brought many to tears so that too may be a hard feat for the President to accomplish this soon. So then, what exactly was Rove talking about?
For four days, Obama pulled away from the campaign and put election politics aside to actually do his job as a leader. And yes, he [Obama] was able to utilize the trappings of the Office to bring attention to the plight of those badly weathering the storm. He coordinated FEMA and emergency responders to the New York Tri-State area…but simply as the Comforter-In-Chief, nothing more. Mr. Rove believes when republican candidate, Mitt Romney cancelled his campaign events and stepped to the side to allow the nation to take care of the devastation, it was a “stutter” step.
Karl Rove doesn’t disagree that this brief pause by Romney was necessary, however, he said “anytime you have attention drawn away somewhere else or to something else, it’s not an advantage for him [Romney]“. So maybe Rove was referring to challenging the incumbency. From the outside, a candidate would need to ensure focus on the issue remained constant to maintain momentum.
So here are a few things Karl Rove may have meant instead:
1. Sandy permitted the President to do his job for a few days without being attacked by republicans.
2. Hurricane Sandy forced republican political critics, i.e. NJ Governor Chris Christie as well as many Romney supporters to acknowledge Obama’s good handling of a natural disaster coordination.
3. The storm made it impossible to land a cheap shot at Obama while off the campaign trail tending to Americans in need.
4. Obama received an unfair advantage from a storm.
Rove said, those four days were a stutter for the Romney camp because it was four days that their candidate wasn’t able to be out talking about the economy and slow growth; more so, he missed the opportunity to get his message across. Four days? Sure, We may concede the timing of the storm wasn’t opportune, but what storm that rips up the Atlantic ever is opportune?
The people of Nevada, an electoral battleground state has heard Mitt Romney’s economic plan, his speeches and his tax plan over the last 520 days and they are still not buying. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 11.8%, the highest amount of foreclosures in the entire nation and the worst housing market in the nation, yet the battleground state is highly likely to go once again to Mr. Obama. The state Romney should have won with his economic message has not broke his way yet.
So what would four more days have accomplished in any of the hotly contested races that have polled consistently in favor of Mr. Obama? Not sure. The states affected, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey were going to vote for the President regardless, so no electoral gains there. How it plays out all over the country is another story. Any bump reported from the President’s recent performance may simply fall into the “like-ability” category or overall job approval numbers, but nothing significant within the electoral college.
Obama has enjoyed few days as president without personal attacks from the left. Whatever repellent Hurricane Sandy provided from the attacks of presidential politics may have served as the “refresh” Obama so desperately needed. For a few days, Romney was irrelevant. The candidate who had once pledged during the Republican Primary last year, to hollow out FEMA due to excessive funding for disaster relief, was now being forced to watch his opponent demonstrate in HD the need for government in the lives of those who could look no place else. Once again, forced to walk-back his comments on FEMA, Romney looked out of touch.
So if Rove was insinuating that Obama received a rare reprieve, then I must agree, kinda. Obama, once again got an opportunity to correct the messaging of the Right. he got a chance to be seen at the table in command and became the face of the storm relief. Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago, once told Obama, “…never let a good disaster go to waste…”, Emmanuel would be proud; Obama milked this one Gangnam style, but what an enormous cost to the heart and soul of Americans rebuilding their lives in an election year. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
The numbers from the Labor Department are out this morning and that prancing you hear is President Obama skipping around The Oval Office. This last jobs report number had been expected to create most of Romney’s negative talking points for the rest of the race before Election Day. Last month the jobs numbers came in at 7.8%, down below 8% for the first time in Obama’s presidency, so the numbers were met with tons of cynicism from the right.
Although the unemployment rate crept back up to 7.9%, the reaction from the Markets and business analysts was wildly optimistic. Why? 7.8% with no strong economic outlook is less encouraging than 7.9% with positive projections, optimism for consumers and stability within the business world.
Lets try to break that down even further. With the uptick to 7.9% Obama received a load of goodies that he didn’t get last month:
- Last month’s good news, 7.8% encouraged all those who had given up looking for work to return to the hunt which is why the number moved up to 7.9%. Those “seekers” felt more likely to apply for jobs. This is important because last month, critics of the numbers cited the low rate as a result of Americans giving up on looking for work. This month, that has reversed which drives the number back up. Some would think a higher number would be a negative thing and they would be right, normally, but…employers were actually hiring those “seekers” so because hiring increased, it pretty much offset the uptick to 7.9%.
- Businesses added 184,000 jobs last month, above what was previously expected. But because the government simultaneously cut 13,000 jobs, the overall job creation reached 171,000, still great news for the Obama Administration, currently in a day to day fight for their political survival. This positive news allows the President to continue talking up his economic recovery, slow but steady.
- more good news came in the way of lower than expected gasoline prices at the pump. This is encouraging for consumers going into the holiday season which will bring even more optimism to retail sales. It’s a fact, when gas prices are low, consumers look at the extra money as extra; and retailers like that.
- Several areas where jobs were created was healthcare, retail sales (hopeful with jobless claims going down, employment up, gas prices down), improving housing market and private businesses increasing production and/or products based upon consumer demand; all great signs.
Since Mr. Romney has waged his entire campaign on the economy’s poor performance, this news can’t be disputed, only spun politically to show that the growth is merely too slow. Both campaigns must control voter’s expectations so as to not permit them to falsely believe we will return to pre-2008 levels across the board; those were bubbles folks, that wasn’t real. Those housing numbers were inflated, economic projections based on housing were also inflated. Job creation, exports and demand ALL were inflated and with the bust came the new normal.
- Investors were happy to see that national jobless claims fell significantly meaning more people are looking for work AND more people are actually finding work. With that confidence, these newly employed “seekers” will feel more likely to spend and make long term goals with this new found economic stability.
For months and months, the Stock Exchange has been above record levels, even above what it was before Obama took office, however, now, the economic numbers are seeming to catch up, albeit, slower than expected. This is good because if those numbers can begin to mirror the market numbers, it then signals this recovery is real and not another inflated bubble. A real recovery is long and hard, this is clearly the makings of a slow, long and robust return for consumers.
Still there’s room for more growth. Following the Elections next week, the President (whomever that will be) will be forced to work with Congress to address the debt crisis and some mandatory spending cuts. Once the debt deal is fixed, it simply can’t be avoided this time around, businesses will respond because there is additional stability with regard to taxes and government stability. Basically, businesses are holding back until they see what Congress will do about tax increases, spending, exports and etc. Once that battle is over, we should expect to see a more stable increase across the table in all sectors, consumer spending, business development, global exports (we make money from selling our goods to other nations so the more we export, the better).
With the campaigns winding down, Obama has the economic winds at his back as he continues to tout his recovery agenda. Mr. Romney will be forced to convince Americans that 7.9% is just not good enough or fast enough for the nation to re-elect his opponent. That may be a hard sell considering all the good news that came loaded in that new number. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Over these next 5 days, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are going to be making what some have called their “closing arguments”, which leaves me questioning, who’s on trial here? Is it America? Well what did we do wrong? Was it electing Barack Obama in 2008 or was it re-electing George W. Bush in 2004? Is Mr. Romney our double jeopardy clause since he is proposing Bush policies?
I voted for George W. Bush so excuse me, I get to criticize without being accused of being biased. What Mr. Romney is running on IS The Bush Agenda. However what Romney is suggesting is President Bush failed to implement it properly…right. Not that the policies didn’t work or not that Congress got in the way, no, Bush just didn’t do a good job of pushing through his own agenda?
What’s problematic with that theory is, Bush pushed his entire agenda, even those things he could have never won bipartisan support for. After the horrible attacks on our nation, Mr. Bush got everything a republican president could ever dream of…in two life-times. Yet, it crippled the entire system. Every bubble burst; simultaneously.
Mr. Obama has to convince voters he has brought the nation back from the brink, the edge, the cliff or whatever dramatic term you find helpful to describe personal family pain, and then ask those same voters to keep him in Office to ensure we are put back on the straight and narrow…kinda where Clinton left us in 2000.
Where will all this convincing take place? The battleground states of course; Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida, Wisconsin, and *Ohio. No Ohio was not mentioned twice in error, you’ll see why in a moment. Lets take a look at where the campaigns will be over the final days, beginning today:
1. Ohio (multiple stops)
2. Nw Hampshire
1. New Hampshire
1. New Hampshire
Both men have a few days to tell the country what they will do in the Oval over the next four years. So clearly you could expect them to travel all over the country right? Well, no. The next five days will make you think these guys are running to be the President of the United Battleground States of America.
As you can see, Ohio might be important. Obama makes nearly 5 campaign events in 5 days, while Romney makes only one scheduled, we’ll just keep our eyes on his Sunday schedule because if there is anything added, it had better be Ohio or Florida. Romney desperately needs them both to win. In order to become the President of the United Battlegrounds of America, he has to win the majority of the battleground states with Ohio being that nation’s capital.
With his bolstered, re-energized campaign with the help of Hurricane Sandy and the presidential optics and Mitt Romney’s retooled attacks, the game is once again underway. Down the stretch in the final turn, it is currently neck and neck, way too close to call. FEMA showed its head for Romney’s old words and New Jersey Governor Christie looked the other way and got a ride in Marine One. The politics of devastation-that’s my story and um sticking to it.