August 30, 2012
— CAC says EPIC-MRA, who found Obama's 48-42 lead last month has shrunk to 49-46 in the latest Likely Voter survey taken just before RNC kickoff.
In it, Michigan independents split 51-38 for Romney, women split only 51-44 for Obama, men are a knifes' edge 48/47 for Romney.
Current RCP average in the state? Obama +1.2, closer than all but Florida, Iowa, and Virginia. If you add those states to Romney's no-tossup total, you get exactly 270 with Michigan. Without Ohio.
All before the speeches, and all before Romney's Death Star V2.0 unleashes tomorrow.
— Ace You don't know who he is, do you?
Well you can be excused for not knowing who he is -- after all, you spend all your time watching movies and tv shows and reading entertainment-industry trade papers, so how could you know who he is?*
He was the guy who "starred" in American Pie until people saw the film and decided Seann William Scott ("Stiffler") was actually the star, despite only being in the movie for 20 minutes.
He's now apparently doing voice-over work for cartoons -- the new Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon. So, really lighting it up, career-wise. And also: Maybe your kids don't need to watch Ninja Turtles, eh?
Just degrading nastiness for the sake of it.
* Joke swiped from Chloris Leachman from one of the Comedy Central Roasts.
— Ace Revolutionary War third-person shooter/tomahawker.
— Ace Ah yes. My secret unexpressed caveat about my optimism: It was a powerful, devastating, electrifying speech.
But it only has an effect if lots and lots of people saw it.
It turns out that not a lot of people saw it.
The speech was better than Palin's -- and Palin's, of course, was electrifying -- but only somewhat more than half her audience saw it.
I had expected a big Palin-sized bounce -- remember, McCain-Palin surged ahead of Obama on the strength of their convention, and her speech, in particular -- but now I don't see that happening.
The other problem, besides a tremendous speech just not reaching enough people, is that if there aren't many witnesses, the media can lie and claim whatever they like happened.
So, we're going to have to fight this election after all.
Bounce: Via @conartcritic, no cite, but I trust him:
Reuters 44 Romney 42 Obama. Pre convention tracker Obama was +4. 6 pt shift
Cite: This is an online tracking poll of LVs. Not a non-scientific online poll like the media does to suck traffic-hits, but usually people view this sort of polling skeptically. Not sure why.
— CAC 44-42 Now, Registered Voters.
The bounce has begun.
— Ace Dick Morris said something last night I agreed with: The Obama campaign has made an issue of Bain. Romney cannot ignore that issue; silence is usually treated as concession of fault. He has to provide an answer, Morris said.
Romney probably will talk about Bain in his speech, but he's also got nine videos promoting his career at Bain. I hope he takes Dick Morris' advice and runs them on TV.
Many of these ads are too long for TV (some are almost two minutes long). The one below is 1:00, which means it could run on TV.
Web-only doesn't mean anything. more...
— Ace I was just trying to get Chris Matthews to say something stupid -- it's been hours -- offering him up Ryan's mention that this was not a "dark hour" in America, but the "dawn before we remembered who we were."
Dark hour? Come on. That's easy.
But so far he's not jumping on my bandwagon.
So, I'll have to go back to last night's stupidities.
This is rich:
But I go back to living in DC all these years. I've lived there 40 years, a black-majority city, and anybody who wants to get up early in Washington and drive down North Capitol (Street) and drive past Florida Avenue, sees nothing but youn-, but black people up at 6:30 in the morning going to work. That's where they're going, to work, and not at big-wage jobs and not to get a welfare check, they're out working hard all day and not coming home with a fantastic paycheck. So this notion of blacks live on welfare and whites live on work is a brilliant political ploy but it's not true, Rachel (Maddow). And you know it, I know it.
Newsbusters fact-checks his claim. He doesn't live in DC; he lives in the tony white rich Maryland suburb of Chevy Chase. And:
According to census data at Maryland-Demographics.com, 1,953 people lived in Chevy Chase Village as of 2010. Of those nearly 2,000 residents, 10 were black. That's right -- ten. As in, one-half of one percent. Ninety-three percent of its residents were white, the remaining percentage other minorities.
Now if Chris Matthews intended to claim he was a good, racially tolerant guy for living in a majority-minority city, what does it say about him -- per his own syllogism -- that he actually lives in a town with only ten (ten!!!) black folks in it?
This one's for Jane D'oh. It's old by now, but worth mentioning again: Chris Matthews asked Condi Rice if her speech was a "rejoinder to all the birtherism."
It's now quite clear why Chris Matthews likes noted Conspiracy Theorist and Interuterine Detective Agency owner Andrew Sullivan so much.
— Ace Pretty good.
Apparently Crossroads now has a sub-brand, "Crossroads Generation," faux-hippishly abbreviated "XG."
So we'll be making a play for these, what do you call them, fools.
— Ace I think the election is over. I think it is so over we need a new Latin tense to describe how over it is, the Past Pluperfect Noncontinuing Historical Past Tense.
So, what the hell are we going to do for two months?
That's where Romney and Ryan are going to have to step the hell up. To make this entertaining, and not just a snoozer of a blowout, they're going to have to deliberately make some bad choices. They're going to have to fight to keep this close, to keep it interesting.
They're going to have to schedule some gaffes.
I was spitballing last night about some of the things they could do for us. You might have your own ideas.
* Mitt Romney should start wearing a top hat, spats, and a monocle.
* Paul Ryan should announce his marital status is now "Swingle."
* Mitt Romney can reveal he subscribes to Poop Magazine. And in fact doesn't just subscribe, but invested Bain Capital funds in it. Bain Capital funds that otherwise would have gone towards Not Murdering People With Cancer.
* When citizens present their babies for Paul Ryan to kiss, he should say, "Sorry, lady, but I don't kiss garbage."
* Both candidates should pick a swing state we absolutely need and then begin insulting residents of that state for no good reason. Mitt Romney can start things off by referring to residents of Florida as "Floritards." Paul Ryan can walk into Ohio rallies and say, "What the crap smells so bad? Oh, right: dirty filthy Ohio shit-mongrels."
* Mitt Romney should start using the word "choad" casually, in tv interviews. He should also say "sext" whenever he means "email," "text," "call," or "tell." As in: "I'll be sexting the public my plan for tax reform later."
* Mitt Romney should begin referring to Ann Romney as "My publicly-acknowledged sister-wife."
* Paul Ryan should arrange for himself to be photographed leaving an American Legion bathroom, with the American flag stuck to the bottom of his shoe.
* Whenever Ann and Mitt Romney appear in joint interviews, Ann should flinch at Mitt's slightest movement, and then whisper frantically to the interviewer: "Sometimes he gets so very angry with me."
* Paul Ryan should make frequent, cryptic references to "my side-piece in Madison."
* Mitt Romney should start saying things like "Joe Biden makes me so angry I want to punch him right in the wife."
* Whenever Paul Ryan doesn't like the premise of a reporter's question, he should sharply say "Zionist lies!!!," with sibilants a-crackin'.
* If asked about his Mormonism, and tensions with the evangelical community, Mitt Romney should get a cigar and start doing the Edward G. Robinson voice: "So where's your Messiah now, ay? See? Yeah. See? Yeaaahh."
* Mitt Romney should come out to the stage at the Convention riding Rafalca. On the stage will be a makeshift, poorly-ventilated smithy where poor children are forced to make golden horseshoes for Rafalca. When the children, singed and sooty, are finished with their difficult, dangerous task, Mitt Romney should pay them in chicken bones and old, misprinted issues of Poop Magazine.
— Ace In final sum, when public opinion shifts on the Main Question its opinion on subsidiary questions will shift to match that opinion.
I didn't want to link the HuffPo but this guy adds something:
Today's Gallup Poll, "GOP Favorability Matches 2008 Pre-Convention Level," shows the pre-convention favorability ratings of the two Parties going back as far as 1992. For the very first time, the favorable/unfavorable ratios are now higher for the Republican Party than for the Democratic Party. For the first time ever, the Democratic favorability ratio, which has always been within the range of 1.20 to 1.56, is now below 1. It is a stunningly low .83, which is 31% lower than the prior Democratic Party low of 1.20, which was reached in 2004.
By contrast, the Republican ratio is now .88, which compares with the 2008 ratio of .80, which was that Party's lowest-ever ratio, reached at the end of the Bush Presidency.
I think we might look back at this year as the Last Days of Democratic Fantasy. By which I mean this: They simply have refused to acknowledge, publicly but also I believe to themselves, that Obama's economic record, whether it's fault or not, is horrible and something that would lead to an electoral defeat in 8 or 9 runs out of 10.
They're not, I think, merely attempting to divert the public's attention from this fact; they're also heroically striving to con themselves. They're only looking at the possible pathways in which Obama can win, which causes them to posit things like "all Obama needs to do is get the unemployment rate under 8%." They trotted that out last year, based on nothing, except their realization that that was the best he could hope for.
Now that it appears that that won't be happening, they have abandoned this rule-of-thumb. You don't hear them saying this anymore.
And 8% was never the historic line of demarcation between reelection and ejection. Reagan's 7.2% was the highest unemployment rate for any president who went on to win renomination, and that 7.2% is deceptive, because at the time of the election the economy was growing strongly (9% in one quarter) and the unemployment rate was plummeting.
Obama's is ticking up.
The point is, being partisans, and being emotionally invested in Obama, they wish to see Obama win. And that causes them to optimistically consider only the scenarios in which, somehow, an 8.3% unemployment rate doesn't matter.
But there's no reason to think such a thing except the emotional partisan rooting interest of wishing to believe such a thing. There's no evidence for any of this thinking. It's not thinking. It's wishcasting.
The Days of Democratic Fantasy are soon to end. It will soon become apparent that yes, 40+ months of an 8+% unemployment rate is, in fact, a very high hurdle for an incumbent to clear, and it was only deranged optimism that kept the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) from seizing on this simple truth.
Premise 1: The GOP Keeps Mentioning "Chicago"
Premise 2: "There's a Lot of Black People In Chicago"
— Ace Now, actually, another panelist offers Premise 2 as a clarification of Chris Matthews' point. But it is a clarification-- it's what Chris Matthews was getting at.
"Yea, well let me ask you about that gentleman. What about now, is this constant barrage of assaults, saying the guy is basically playing an old game of demagoguery politics, where you take the money from the worker bees and give it to the poor people to buy votes. That's basically what they're charging him with. Old big-style, big-city machine of 50 years ago."
He added, "They keep saying Chicago by the way, have you noticed? They keep saying Chicago. That's another thing that sends that message - this guy's helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods, screwing us in the 'burbs."
Hielemann helpfully interpreted Matthews statement, presumably for those too challenged to understand basic words (or as we in the business refer to them - Hardball viewers), by making this jaw-dropping statement:
"There's a lot of black people in Chicago."
Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, and the whole brain trust at MSNBC seem to be playing some warped version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon called Six Degrees of Racial Dog Whistle. Give them any word a Republican says, and they will free associated it with other words to get to the "racist" claim they want to make.
Here's how it's played: "Golf" co-stars with Tiger Woods, who is black.
The GOP says Obama is from the corrupt, machine-pol city of Chicago, and Chicago has black people in it.
When Ann Romney says "we had a real marriage," not a storybook one, the reference is made to take a shot at gay marriage. This was offered by Andrew Sullivan, and it counts, because Andrew Sullivan thinks it's racist to not like him. And he's Chris Matthews' Favorite Conservative. Ahem.
Instead of saying "racist," we could just save ourselves some syllables and say "Chicago."
Which actually adds a syllable, but it's more fun.
— Jack M. As readers of this fine blog know (see Andy's piece below), the media has been caught using Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina's lying tweets in a desperate, implausible and self-defeating attempt to smear Paul Ryan.
From mere seconds after the close of Ryan's phenomenal address, Obama's broken promise of a "100 YEAR FACTORY" to the workers of the Janesville GM Plant and the people of Wisconsin has been the hill on which the MSM has chosen to die. The media, like the Obama administration, has decided that this is another instance in which the only way to excuse a clear Obama failure is by forcing their viewers to drink heavily from the nearly dry "blame Bush" well in the hopes that a blackout will ensue. Hence their despiration to make the 2008 closing date stick, despite the clear fact that it closed under Obama's economic "stewardship", and contrary to his promises, in 2009.
This presents an opportunity that I encourage Romney/Ryan to take. And if Andrew Brietbart were alive, I think he'd be all over it too. Because Andrew Brietbart knew better than anyone how to take a false and empty media narrative and turn it against them. (More after the jump)
— Ace I've often argued with people about this-- saying that their desire to run a very red campaign in the general was just a bad idea. The center must be given something, after all.
Apparently Mitt Romney disagrees with me, and agrees more with the people I've argued with.
Romney's primary speeches often contained vapid catchphrases like "I believe in America."
But his general election campaign is increasingly running on a red ideological themes. I recommend reading the whole thing.
Twenty years ago, James Carville popularized the catchphrase, its the economy, stupid to winning effect against President George H.W. Bush in the 1992 presidential election. Now Mitt Romney is betting that its the ideology, stupid will be an equally effective mantra to unseat President Obama. After spending the spring and summer muddled in a neck-and-neck race by focusing exclusively on the economy, hes brought entitlements, health care, welfare, debt and American exceptionalism to the forefront of an increasingly ideological race.
Critics have scratched their heads, wondering why he would appeal to the conservative base when he badly needs to win over the remaining undecided voters in the middle. Why, when the economy is by far the biggest issue for voters, is the Republican ticket focused on secondary issues? But by running on charged ideological issues, he has the potential to fit the missing piece of the puzzle -- connecting voters vague dissatisfaction with the presidents performance with a series of unpopular policies hes pursued.
The strategy has worked according to plan. Romneys laser-like focus attacking Obamas record on issues has brought him to within one point of Obama, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, the closest hes been in months.
Theyve tacked away from a generic critique of Obamas economic performance -- the prevent defense strategy -- and gone full bore with the ideological red meat. So far, its working.
— Ace Dan Riehl caught this.
They don't seem very confident about it -- using question marks in "reporting" it -- but they do say:
One Republican source told FoxNews.com that Eastwood is indeed the mystery speaker, following an online report that claimed the actor is planning to travel to Tampa for the convention.
There is something else, too. This story has been out for almost 24 hours. There are no denials from the GOP or from Eastwood's people.
The GOP could be expected to avoid denial, maybe, even if it weren't true, in the hopes of stoking curiosity.
But Eastwood would not want to let a story about his embrace of a political party to ping-pong around the Internet if it weren't true. Someone in his camp should have knocked it down by now -- but I don't see any denials.
— andy You can file this under "liberals are so stupid" I guess, but last night Obama's campaign manager sent out an email that said of Paul Ryan,
He lied about Medicare. He lied about the Recovery Act. He lied about the deficit and debt. He even dishonestly attacked Barack Obama for the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin a plant that closed in December 2008 under George W. Bush.
We all know the spin they put on Medicare and the spendulus, but let's talk about that GM plant. First, the "fact check":
The Janesville plant stopped production of SUVs in 2008 and was idled in 2009 after it completed production of medium-duty trucks.
So no, Messina, it closed in 2009. Furthermore, according to that JS piece, it has been sitting there idle waiting for the economy to recover, which is the exact point Paul Ryan was making, as you'll see when we roll the tape on Ryan's speech.
President Barack Obama, came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those are very tough days. And any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My own state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it. Especially in Janesville where we were about to lose a major factory. A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that G.M. plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, "I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years."
That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that's how it is in so many towns where the recovery that was promised is no where in sight. Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work. 23 million people unemployed or underemployed. Nearly one in six Americans is in poverty. Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life. (emphasis added)
The plant is a symbol for the failure of Hope 'N' Change, and Messina knows just how powerful and easy to visualize the image of a closed plant is ... especially in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.
So he sent the Obama fanboys on a mission to quibble over the date it closed to distract attention from the fact that it still sits there shuttered, a victim of President Tee Time's failed policies like so many other parts of our economy after his flowery rhetoric of 2008 ran into the cold, hard wall of his incompetence.
— Ace A speech which actually gets better with a fresh reading. There were gems I just plain missed the first time around.
Like I missed the shout-out to "Julia," Obama's Entitlement Gal, in this passage:
College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if youre feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you. None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us. Listen to the way were spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate. Its the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. Thats what we do in this country. Thats the American Dream. Thats freedom, and Ill take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.
It's pure dynamite. I called it "devastating;" minutes later Brit Hume used the same word (as well as a "lethal shot" at the Obama reelection campaign).
I know I'll catch hell for this, but the election is over. This week Romney/Ryan will move ahead in the polls and they will not relinquish that lead, save for the occasional outlier. Polls will tighten and widen; but from this moment forward, the preference cascade begins.
In a way, Ryan shouldn't be over-praised because he had so damn much material to work with. But he worked with that abundance of riches masterfully. Watch him gracefully segue from the stimulus to ObamaCare, and from ObamaCare to Medicare. He's talking about discreet economic policies, but he knits them together so you barely even realize he's shifted topics.
His poise was enormous. He delivered a Mortal Kombat fatality on the Obama presidency and he did it with "aw, shucks, ma'am" earnestness and goodwill. He seemed like such a nice boy as he spoke, and each and every word he said was deadly.
It doesn't matter what Romney says tomorrow. I suppose we should all hope, of course, for the Speech of His Life. Perhaps he'll deliver; one thing about Romney is that he is intensely competitive.
But unless he says something remarkably stupid -- something I'm pretty sure he won't -- the media coverage on him will be "safe and solid as usual, but nothing like the power of Paul Ryan's address."
Which is just fine, because Ryan eviscerated the Obama Presidency tonight. Romney doesn't need to do bonus damage to it. It's done.
Ann Romney's speech on Tuesday night was one for the political record books-- the best speech ever given by a would-be First Lady. And the most effective in achieving core strategic goals (humanizing Mitt, reassuring women, reassuring voters generally that her husband was up the job).
And even her speech -- which was tremendous -- was not up to Ryan's.
Romney can't top Ryan's speech because it can't be topped. So his mission will be to simply close the deal, and as Romney has been the architect of this deal, I don't think he'll blow the final pitch. It might be a little unspectacular, but it will provide, for those millions of Americans who have softly decided that the president should be replaced, but are still unsure of the alternative, the reassurance necessary for the full change of mind to support Romney.
Someone on Twitter noted something I'd said before: For millions of Americans, non-newsjunkies, non-conservatives, this convention will have been among the very first sustained criticisms of the Obama presidency they've ever seen.
Think about what they usually see -- a few snippets on the news, almost entirely protective of the Naked Emperor.
I have to imagine their brains are buzzing after Ryan's speech. He really laid Obama open.
I believe speculation stuff about replacing Biden is going to hit a fever pitch this weekend. I'm not saying it'll happen... though it might. I'm saying that Ryan's speech shook them, and you're going to see some panic.
Here's another prediction: I think Ryan's appeal to young voters... is going to work. Not taking a lead, maybe, but turning it into a 46-52 type proposition.
They thought Ryan would be bad. They were wrong. He was worse than they imagined, and then some.
Another Vote For "Devastating:" Some called it "awe-inspiring."
Ryans 36-minute address did everything he needed to do: offer a devastating indictment of President Obamas economic record, with a few memorable barbs about the presidents legendary self-importance; offer enough personal background so that viewers feel they know a little about Ryan; and most of all, convince voters that he and Mitt Romney will devote all their energy to jobs, the economy, and debt.
Ryan got it all done.
— andy Based on the reaction of the MSNBC panel, Paul Ryan's murder agenda had a very, very good night.
August 29, 2012
Remember Scott Beauchamp, the soldier in Iraq who published a diary, "Shock Troops", in The New Republic and then was found to have made almost everything up?
Okay do you remember that his wife, Elspeth Reeve, also just happened to work for TNR (as a reporter and a fact checker(!) until it became clear that her husband was fabulist)?
House Speaker John Boehner is the most prominent Republican to admit, out loud, that his party's strategy for winning in November doesn't suppose that the GOP can win over some black and Latino voters, but hoping they won't vote at all.
But here's what he actually said:
What about those Latino and African American voters that polls show voting against the GOP by record margins? Republican have found a great way to "recruit" more of them than usual - or at least keep them away from the polls. It's called the economy.
"This election is about economics," Boehner said. "These groups have been hit the hardest. They may not show up and vote for our candidate but I'd suggest to you they won't show up and vote for the president either."
Well sure - those are exactly the same. In the bizarro world. Here they're just proof that dishonest hacks do flock together - and will always find a home in the MSM.more...
— Ace On now.
Paul Ryan Excerpts: At the Weekly Standard.
"I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old and I know that we are ready. Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words. After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney. ...
Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country. The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare. ...
We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years. ...
My Dad used to say to me: Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution. The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nations economic problems. And Im going to level with you: We dont have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this. ...
"The right that makes all the difference now is the right to choose our own leaders. You are entitled to the clearest possible choice because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge. We will not duck the tough issues we will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles. The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this."
"Also, I'd like to reduce the penalty for murder to a $150 fine."
I may have added that last part.
— Ace Hopefully Portman will pick it up.
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