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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day! (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day!
Lyrhawn
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With Santorum's withdrawal from the race, what was once inevitable is now assured: The race will be Obama and Romney.

Now we can start considering VP picks and race dynamics as the two candidates start hitting each other more directly.

Feel free to start posting here as the other thread winds down.

[ January 21, 2013, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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BlackBlade
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I suspect Romney is going to pick up Paul Ryan for VP. He needs somebody with the appearance of conservative credentials, especially fiscal discipline and tax cut happiness. While I think Ryan's ideas on paper are ludicrous, he's smart enough to keep a cool head at all times, which gives him the appearance of wisdom. He's also viewed favorable by virtually all of the conservative base right now.

It will also give Romney some leeway in scooting to the center since Ryan can be his attack dog.

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SenojRetep
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I thought this article by Walter Kirn was great, both for the analysis and for the writing quality.

His thesis is that we've got a race between a couple of cerebral egoists with no Bill Clinton-esque "I feel your pain" emotin' going on, and that all the lip-flapping about wanting a President we can have a beer with seems in practice to be taking a back seat to wanting a President who demonstrates "wisdom, strength, and intellect."

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TomDavidson
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Ryan would be a good choice, politically, but it's a horrible one. I've seen Condi Rice floated as an option, and I find that intriguing.
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SenojRetep
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On the Veep-stakes: I think most speculation is pretty pointless. Recently there's been some movement away from Marco Rubio and toward Rob Portman both in the Insiders' poll and at InTrade. To me, that seems like a recognition that having Rubio on the ticket doesn't necessarily lead to a bump with Latino or Hispanic voters. But I think it's probably more likely that the pick, when it comes, will be someone not frequently mentioned on the short-lists that journalists are endlessly circulating.
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BlackBlade
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Senoj: Perhaps, but recently Romney had Ryan campaigning with him for about ten days. I expect that was very much a, "Lets see how well we like each other" period.

Tom: What you said definitely. Condi would definitely be an interesting choice. But for some reason foreign policy just doesn't matter to people as much as I wish it did.

edit: Romney can easily fill certain cabinet level position with wonks, and that's enough for most people.

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SenojRetep
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BB, Romney was also campaigning in Wisconsin (Ryan's home state) for some of the time, and Ryan had just recently endorsed him, both of which might be partial explanations for the recent joint politicking. A Ryan pick is certainly not impossible, but I don't see the evidence for Ryan as being any stronger than Christie or Ayotte or Haley or Rubio or Portman or any number of other prominent national Republicans who've spent time with Romney on the campaign trail during the primaries.

I agree that Condi Rice is an interesting potential pick, although I think we're still too close to her time in Bush's cabinet, and particularly her role in making the political case for and then administering the Iraq and Afghan wars for her to have an easy path to the VP nomination.

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Darth_Mauve
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BB, Condi has three things that are more important to Romney's campaign then her foreign policy experience.

1) She is a woman, and there is a strong resentment with many women and the whole--Birth-Control/Slut thing running around the conservative arena. This could offset it.

2) She is a minority. Her choice would crush much of the "Conservatives are Racists" arguments the left normally advances.

3) Unlike the last attempt to pick a conservative woman to get the disappointed Hillary voters--she is very intelligent. She will not be seen as some one two thick-witted to be President.

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Lyrhawn
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The magic of Condi is that she allows Obama to hammer Romney with every foreign policy mistake made by Bush. Right now Romney can distance himself, but Condi's foreign policy experience leaves a BAD taste in the mouth of most Americans. Where was she on 9-11? Where was she on WMDs? What happened in Iraq and Afghanistan?

I think the dangers of opening that pandora's box undermines her demographic strengths. After McCain picked Palin, what Romney needs more than anything is a humdrum no nonsense VP who can hold his or her own and stay OUT of the spotlight.

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Orincoro
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I'd be frankly surprised if he didn't pick a woman. In fact, I'd be frankly surprised if, no matter what happens, we don't have a woman in the white house in this decade. It is clearly an idea who's time has come- judging from the not unserious candidacies of not one but two women in the last election cycle (jesting over Palin aside).

And Romney is going to be *seriously* hurting with women voters by the time this election comes round. Thanks in no small part to the idiocy displayed by the hard right this year on women's rights.

I think he'll lose though. I think Romney is as about as attractive a presidential candidate as Bob Dole. That is: not very.

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Blayne Bradley
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I've heard that due to the demographics the day of two old white dudes on the ticket is over.

The republicans are in the position of where they NEED a female on the ticket as women have polled recently as to now supporting democrats twice as much as republicans, but every high profile one sans Palin or Bachmann is far too moderate and will make the base stay home on election day.

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Lyrhawn
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Yeah, but most women are also smart enough to not vote for a woman just because she's a woman.

Remember when Tina Fey did one of her Palin impressions and tried to pick up the Clinton mantle, telling women to vote for her. And Amy Poehler jumped in to say that women weren't interchangeable, and she didn't want women to vote for her because she was a woman, but because she was awesome and just happened to be a woman? Goes something like that.

It still matters what the woman stands for, and most women wouldn't have voted for someone like Bachmann.

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SenojRetep
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A couple recent news items:

Lawrence O'Donnell questions Romney's judgment due to his acceptance of Joseph Smith as a prophet, then half-heartedly apologizes when it's pointed out that his understanding of the early Mormon church is largely inaccurate.

A Democratic operative and erstwhile DNC consultant Hilary Rosen touches off a political firestorm when she claims Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life". Lots of people, including the Obama campaign, immediately disavow the statements, but Rosen pushes back by blaming Romney ("look, Mitt Romney has brought his wife into this conversation") and playing the victim ("Instead everybody’s attacking me, that’s fine, attack me, but.."). More condemnation follows (except for Fox News commentator Greta van Sustern who defended Rosen while still disagreeing with her point).

<edit>More Democratic distancing, as DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schulz and first lady Michelle Obama tweet their respect for mothers and all their hard work.</edit>

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I think he'll lose though. I think Romney is as about as attractive a presidential candidate as Bob Dole. That is: not very.

I think you're probably right, but I liken him more to Kerry than to Dole.

A younger, more attractive Kerry, but he has the same wooden facade that will do him no favors in the general election.

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Stephan
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I just want Gingrich on the cabinet, Secretary of State maybe. I would never vote for him as president, but the guy is smart, and would make a great adviser.

Christie as VP?

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Lyrhawn
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I think the chances of Christie being the VP are virtually zero. He's a gaffe machine, even worse than Biden. He speaks his mind, which a lot of people (myself included) greatly appreciate, but it makes him a huge campaign trail liability. Besides, he's not nearly the conservative defender that a lot of people think he his. He's just as moderate as Romney. A lot of people will have a problem swallowing two moderate Republicans from northeast states on the GOP ticket. The base has been pushed too far to the right.
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I think he'll lose though. I think Romney is as about as attractive a presidential candidate as Bob Dole. That is: not very.

I think you're probably right, but I liken him more to Kerry than to Dole.

A younger, more attractive Kerry, but he has the same wooden facade that will do him no favors in the general election.

Romney's actually four years older than Kerry was in 2004. No denying he's more attractive, though [Wink]
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
A couple recent news items:

Lawrence O'Donnell questions Romney's judgment due to his acceptance of Joseph Smith as a prophet, then half-heartedly apologizes when it's pointed out that his understanding of the early Mormon church is largely inaccurate.

A Democratic operative and erstwhile DNC consultant Hilary Rosen touches off a political firestorm when she claims Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life". Lots of people, including the Obama campaign, immediately disavow the statements, but Rosen pushes back by blaming Romney ("look, Mitt Romney has brought his wife into this conversation") and playing the victim ("Instead everybody’s attacking me, that’s fine, attack me, but.."). More condemnation follows (except for Fox News commentator Greta van Sustern who defended Rosen while still disagreeing with her point).

<edit>More Democratic distancing, as DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schulz and first lady Michelle Obama tweet their respect for mothers and all their hard work.</edit>

I think both Rosen and Anne Romney have good points in that kerfuffle. Rosen is right that Ann Romney hasn't been a "working mother" in the way we often think of it, and while Ann Romney is right that being a stay-at-home mom isn't a walk in the park, Rosen's point has more to do with the fact that Ann Romney never struggled to put food on the table. She never had to worry about paying for child care, food, education, clothing, etc. In other words, she missed out on most of the traditional problems that working mothers have to deal with.

But I think Ann Romney makes a good point by saying she shouldn't be attacked for choosing to be a stay at home mom. They both agreed that not every woman has that choice, but the ones who do, and take it, shouldn't be attacked for it.

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SenojRetep
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I think the part I like best is the irony of the privileged, successful, wealthy Rosen telling us we shouldn't accept Ann Romney's opinions about "what women think" because she's so privileged, successful, and wealthy.

Honestly, this is a total misstep on Rosen's part. She's right that the Romney's wealth meant Ann had more flexibility in choosing her life's work* but attacking the well-liked Ann Romney for being a SAHM effectively eliminates the Obama campaign's ability to continue pushing their "war on women" line, which (because of the recent PPP poll showing Romney lagging with women voters) has been their preferred strategy for the last week or so. In effect, while trying to hit Romney where he was bleeding Rosen not only missed, but she also provided his campaign with an effective counter-attack.

*Although Mitt and Ann's early married life wasn't all bread and roses, either; Tagg and Matt were both born while Mitt and Ann were still undergraduates at BYU and, if you believe Wikipedia, living in a basement apartment in Provo.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I think he'll lose though. I think Romney is as about as attractive a presidential candidate as Bob Dole. That is: not very.

I think you're probably right, but I liken him more to Kerry than to Dole.

A younger, more attractive Kerry, but he has the same wooden facade that will do him no favors in the general election.

Romney's actually four years older than Kerry was in 2004. No denying he's more attractive, though [Wink]
You know, I had a feeling this might be true, and considered looking up their ages before posting, but I decided that technical age or not, Kerry had (and has) a certain withered ghoulish aspect that Romney manages to avoid.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think the chances of Christie being the VP are virtually zero. He's a gaffe machine, even worse than Biden. He speaks his mind, which a lot of people (myself included) greatly appreciate, but it makes him a huge campaign trail liability. Besides, he's not nearly the conservative defender that a lot of people think he his. He's just as moderate as Romney. A lot of people will have a problem swallowing two moderate Republicans from northeast states on the GOP ticket. The base has been pushed too far to the right.

I agree with your conclusions, except that I think Christie's plainspokenness is actually the least of the reasons, the biggest one being that he seems pretty committed to his Governorship. He didn't run in the primary for the same reason.

Admittedly, as you said, he is a more moderate conservative on numerous issues, but most of those are largely presidential nonstarters for a Republican candidate, like gun control, so I'm not as sure as you are that it would have been a huge impediment. He's not markedly less conservative than Romney, and it seems to me like his bluntness is a huge mark in his favor as opposed to making him "gaffe machine." But I think he was being his characteristic honest, blunt self when he explained why he wasn't running: he wants to finish being Governor, full stop.

It's actually the same reason I tend to dismiss the floated idea of Ryan as VP, too. I think if Ryan wanted to leave the House for the more monochromatic House, he would have run in the primary. He seems hugely popular among most conservatives, many of whom were basically begging him to run. He stayed out of it, and it seems like that's because he wants to stay where he's at.

Maybe I'm wrong, and it was some sense of fairness that it was Romney's "turn" which led him to choose not to run. In which case he really could snap up a VP slot to build up his credentials for a 2020 run or something. But I'm skeptical.

I guess it's worth mentioning that my impression of what conservatives want is largely based on rather odd sectors, so I don't really have my finger to the pulse of the conservative masses, per se. I bet SenojRetep will let me know how much of this is my twisted imagination of events vs. actual reality. [Big Grin]

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SenojRetep
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Rosen 'apologizes':

quote:
As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay at home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.
In effect "I'm right, you're wrong, but you're all making such a stupid deal out of this I'll say I'm sorry as a concession to your idiocy."

Also, she appreciates stay-at-home mothers because her PR firm is "full" of them. That doesn't even make sense.

I mean, I hate to be part of the great umbrage taking that our political discourse devolves to during campaign season, but I'm just astounded that as a partner in a high-profile Democratic political communications firm she could be so inept, defensive and un-self-aware.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Admittedly, as you said, he is a more moderate conservative on numerous issues, but most of those are largely presidential nonstarters for a Republican candidate, like gun control, so I'm not as sure as you are that it would have been a huge impediment. He's not markedly less conservative than Romney, and it seems to me like his bluntness is a huge mark in his favor as opposed to making him "gaffe machine." But I think he was being his characteristic honest, blunt self when he explained why he wasn't running: he wants to finish being Governor, full stop.
I'm not sure how far you're thinking back, or if you're thinking through just how hardcore the current crop of Republican conservatives are. Christie has the same position on gay marriage that Obama does. How well do you think that'll go over? And the fact of the matter is that most people, especially with today's media, tend to prey upon people who speak their minds in politics. Some people will love it, but the media will use it as a wedge against those who don't. Besides, you only have to look at Palin to see what happens to a campaign when the VP goes rogue.

quote:
It's actually the same reason I tend to dismiss the floated idea of Ryan as VP, too. I think if Ryan wanted to leave the House for the more monochromatic House, he would have run in the primary. He seems hugely popular among most conservatives, many of whom were basically begging him to run. He stayed out of it, and it seems like that's because he wants to stay where he's at.

Maybe I'm wrong, and it was some sense of fairness that it was Romney's "turn" which led him to choose not to run. In which case he really could snap up a VP slot to build up his credentials for a 2020 run or something. But I'm skeptical.

Historically, Republicans over the last 50 years have respected the "it's my turn" argument a lot more than on the Democratic side.

But I think you might also want to consider the fact that Obama is favored by most to win, and he might not want to sacrifice 9+ months of his life on a campaign he's likely to lose. Plus, Ryan is pretty young. He has plenty of time, or to be the VP candidate that gets introduced to the nation and then comes out swinging in 2016 as the heir apparent.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
I thought this article by Walter Kirn was great, both for the analysis and for the writing quality.

His thesis is that we've got a race between a couple of cerebral egoists with no Bill Clinton-esque "I feel your pain" emotin' going on, and that all the lip-flapping about wanting a President we can have a beer with seems in practice to be taking a back seat to wanting a President who demonstrates "wisdom, strength, and intellect."

Walter Kirn's article didn't seem to ignite any conversation, but John Harris makes a similar point here.
quote:
The general election will pit one exceptionally self-contained, self-disciplined, self-motivated man against another with precisely the same traits.

Voters have a choice between two men whose minds gravitate to rationality and logic — both of whom have expressed disdain for the disorder and surliness that pervade modern governance.


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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think the chances of Christie being the VP are virtually zero. He's a gaffe machine, even worse than Biden. He speaks his mind, which a lot of people (myself included) greatly appreciate, but it makes him a huge campaign trail liability. Besides, he's not nearly the conservative defender that a lot of people think he his. He's just as moderate as Romney. A lot of people will have a problem swallowing two moderate Republicans from northeast states on the GOP ticket. The base has been pushed too far to the right.

In the general election are they really just trying to reach republicans anymore?

It has the potential of reaching democrats though. Lets face it, if no democrats voted for Bush, he would have lost.

I see conservative democrats everywhere in my area, especially in areas that have high minority populations.

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Dan_Frank
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On the other hand, Stephan, a lot of minority conservative Democrats I know are unlikely to vote for anyone but Obama regardless.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Admittedly, as you said, he is a more moderate conservative on numerous issues, but most of those are largely presidential nonstarters for a Republican candidate, like gun control, so I'm not as sure as you are that it would have been a huge impediment. He's not markedly less conservative than Romney, and it seems to me like his bluntness is a huge mark in his favor as opposed to making him "gaffe machine." But I think he was being his characteristic honest, blunt self when he explained why he wasn't running: he wants to finish being Governor, full stop.
I'm not sure how far you're thinking back, or if you're thinking through just how hardcore the current crop of Republican conservatives are. Christie has the same position on gay marriage that Obama does. How well do you think that'll go over? And the fact of the matter is that most people, especially with today's media, tend to prey upon people who speak their minds in politics. Some people will love it, but the media will use it as a wedge against those who don't. Besides, you only have to look at Palin to see what happens to a campaign when the VP goes rogue.
I'll admit that I do tend to think that the current ever-popular cries of "most conservative/hard right extremist Republicans EVAR!" are a bit overblown, so that's probably coloring my thoughts on Christie. I think that on certain issues, like fiscal austerity, groups like the tea party have driven Republicans harder to the right, but that's an issue in which Christie and Ryan both have a pretty solid track record so far.

But I don't think that conservatives in general are monstrously more right wing on every issue than in years past. I think that on many issues, including things like gay rights, there's a pretty clear and steady upward trend of improvement that hasn't actually been reversed despite some histrionics on the left.

(For example, even while Republican primary candidates were falling all over themselves to be more anti-gay-marriage than the other guy, they were simultaneously doing contortions to one-up each other in the tolerance game by talking about gay staffers they had, not discriminating against gays, and similar.)

Again, I admit that I don't keep up much with public opinion polls, so I guess this could be the imaginary conservatives in my head. But I do occasionally keep up with online news sources that are generally characterized as strongly right wing, like PJ Media and similar, so I'm mostly talking about what I see from conservative commentators.

Re: Christie's bluntness, the thing is that he's much better at articulating why he is blunt than Palin has ever been. When people call him on his bluntness, he says stuff like this.

And it plays pretty damn well, seems to me. That doesn't look like a gaffe. It looks like a slam-dunk, at least to my admittedly biased perspective.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
It's actually the same reason I tend to dismiss the floated idea of Ryan as VP, too. I think if Ryan wanted to leave the House for the more monochromatic House, he would have run in the primary. He seems hugely popular among most conservatives, many of whom were basically begging him to run. He stayed out of it, and it seems like that's because he wants to stay where he's at.

Maybe I'm wrong, and it was some sense of fairness that it was Romney's "turn" which led him to choose not to run. In which case he really could snap up a VP slot to build up his credentials for a 2020 run or something. But I'm skeptical.

Historically, Republicans over the last 50 years have respected the "it's my turn" argument a lot more than on the Democratic side.

But I think you might also want to consider the fact that Obama is favored by most to win, and he might not want to sacrifice 9+ months of his life on a campaign he's likely to lose. Plus, Ryan is pretty young. He has plenty of time, or to be the VP candidate that gets introduced to the nation and then comes out swinging in 2016 as the heir apparent.

Yeah that's a good point too. If he doesn't run, nobody can say he lost.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:

It has the potential of reaching democrats though. Lets face it, if no democrats voted for Bush, he would have lost.

Really? I have seen no statistics that reflect this conclusion.

Now, I *have* seen statistics that say that if more democrats *voted*, Bush would have lost. But was a cohort of democrats actually decisive in Bush's two victories?

(This leaving aside the fact that yes, probably, in those few districts in Florida, if Bush had had zero democrats vote for him, he would likely have lost, and thus, lost the election. But anyway, that presupposes that Dems were only decisive in that one state).

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Lyrhawn
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Dan_Frank

quote:
Yeah that's a good point too.
You continue to be a joy to argue against. [Smile]
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Dan_Frank
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You too! [Group Hug]

Let's not get too much love all over this politics thread, though. The Republican base wouldn't approve.

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Orincoro
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You get one shot at running for President. I think the last person who successfully ran after losing the General election as the nominee was Nixon, and that was following an assassination.
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Dan_Frank
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Do you think there's some legitimate, compelling reason for that, or is it just the way things shake out?

Is it just as simple as lack of confidence? As you said, you get one shot, and if you can't hack it then nobody expects you to be able to any better the next time?

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Orincoro
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Essentially, yes. You're not a loser if you don't lose. And who wants to go through that kind of thing twice?
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:

It has the potential of reaching democrats though. Lets face it, if no democrats voted for Bush, he would have lost.

Really? I have seen no statistics that reflect this conclusion.

Now, I *have* seen statistics that say that if more democrats *voted*, Bush would have lost. But was a cohort of democrats actually decisive in Bush's two victories?

(This leaving aside the fact that yes, probably, in those few districts in Florida, if Bush had had zero democrats vote for him, he would likely have lost, and thus, lost the election. But anyway, that presupposes that Dems were only decisive in that one state).

Now when I said that, I wasn't taking the electoral college into account. But I distinctly remember both in 2000 and 2004 reading that more Democrats voted for Bush, then Republicans voted for the opposing candidate. I'm trying to find the data.
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Orincoro
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Still, that doesn't guarantee the conclusion you're drawing here about what would have been needed for Bush to lose. It's a fair assumption, maybe even likely, but not evident in anything I've seen.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Essentially, yes. You're not a loser if you don't lose. And who wants to go through that kind of thing twice?

Adlai Stevenson not only ran in 1956 after losing in 1952, he wanted the nomination again in 1960, but was unwilling to campaign for it.
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Still, that doesn't guarantee the conclusion you're drawing here about what would have been needed for Bush to lose. It's a fair assumption, maybe even likely, but not evident in anything I've seen.

My point was more supposed to point out that for a republican to win, he would need to win over some democrats. It is why, contrary to what many hard-core conservatives believe, Romney would have more of a chance than Santorum or Gingrich to beat Obama. (Not that I think he will.)

Looking at 2004 shows me some interesting things though:

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html

11% of democrats and 48% of independents voted for Bush. He had to appeal to a more moderate audience to win.

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aspectre
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Ann Romney has no more in common with most stay-at-home moms than PrincessAnne.
Any cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, kid-watching, chauffeuring etc was by choice -- by preference rather than "Nobody else is gonna do it if I don't."
And slumming is no more working than camping.

[ April 13, 2012, 05:23 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Ann Romney has no more in common with most stay-at-home moms than PrincessAnne.
Any cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, kid-watching, chauffeuring etc was by choice -- by preference rather than "Nobody else is gonna do it if I don't."
And slumming is no more working than camping.

Who cares. I haven't decided if I am voting for Romney or not yet, but his wife and his financial situation has no bearing on it whatsoever. Once upon a time women were looked down upon for NOT staying at home and raising children.
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SenojRetep
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Ben Romney (4th son) posted this status update to Facebook:
quote:
A lot of people have been weighing in on my Mom lately, so I thought I would add my own two cents...I have one daughter, a 3 year old girl, and I feel overwhelmed most of the time my wife and I are raising her. Growing up, we never had a nanny or a "mommy's helper." Never went to daycare. When I left for school in the morning (after she had made me breakfast), she was there. When I came home at the end of the day, she was there. She drove me to HOURS of my sports lessons and competitions (baseball, tennis, basketball, etc), and was my #1 fan in the stands. She encouraged my musical interests, and cheered me on at my piano recitals and high school band concerts. I could go on and on. I was just one out of five, but always felt like I was the most important thing in her life. For my Mom to raise us 5 boys, the way she did, was, in my mind, the most demanding - and hopefully rewarding - work she could have done. Love you Mom, and thanks.
That sounds like pretty much exactly what I'd say about my mom (except the making breakfast bit; I ate cold cereal and I got it myself). The idea that Ann Romney doesn't understand what life is like for most mothers because she's rich is silly.
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Lyrhawn
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Ben Romney isn't at all addressing the point Rosen made.

She wasn't saying stay at home mom's don't do anything.

But man, kudos to the Romney team and Fox News for dramatically creating a new narrative that fits their purposes. It was dumb of Rosen to give them the ammo, no matter how out of context she's being taken.

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kmbboots
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Most mothers don't get the chance anymore to stay at home. Most mothers these days have to work to make sure that their kids have food. They have to worry about paying the bills and the mortgage (if they are lucky enough to own a home) or the rent. Or, heaven forbid, doctor bills. That the Romneys believe that their life is normal, that Mrs. Romney is a regular mom who understands what life is like for most mothers instead of realizing how very privileged they are is the problem with them.

I'm sure she is a great mom but she doesn't have to deal with many of the things that normal moms have to overcome.

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Lyrhawn
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I'm not even sure they believe that or not. The Romneys have successfully turned this from an attack on Romney's understanding of the Every(wo)man to an attack from liberals on stay-at-home moms. It was a brilliant parry, and a lot of people aren't seeing through it, in large part due to the media inaccurately reporting what Rosen said.

But I'm willing to bet there's some of that as well.

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SenojRetep
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Kate-

You're wrong. Stay-at-home motherhood is actually *less* of a 'luxury' today than it was 50 years ago. Many women stay home because it's the most cost effective way to provide care for their children.

It's great that wealthy, educated women can choose whether to stay at home or not, but the idea that most mothers _have_ to work to make sure their kids have food is a flat-out fallacy.

Also: "normal" moms is a pretty abhorrent formulation. I know you hated it when Sarah Palin was talking about "real" Americans. Don't be that.

Lyrhawn- I think it's less masterful on Romney's part than simple ineptitude on Rosen's part. She could have killed the story almost immediately with a sincere apology; instead she doubled down, got defensive, and repeatedly demonstrated both her contempt and her ignorance.

Also, Ben's not addressing the economic point Rosen was directly pushing, but the broader issue of whether Ann's experience is common to those of most mothers, which was the foundation of Rosen's attack. The Dems' strategy has (and will remain) pushing the idea that the Romneys' wealth makes them out-of-touch elitists. I think that pointing out that Ann Romney, despite having the means to hire nannies, cooks, and chauffeurs, chose instead to participate in her childrens' lives is a direct response to the attack that "they're not normal" because they're rich* which has been at the heart of the Obama campaign's strategy.

FWIW, just in the interest of bias disclosure (I think I've mentioned this here before), I know Ben and his wife quite well, and others of the Romney clan a bit.

*It could be worse; many people (including Sen. Hatch) thought they'd try to paint the Romneys as not "normal" because they're Mormon.

<edit>Also, just to rebut a minor point you made in passing, this wasn't a Fox News production. The outrage against Rosen was all over Twitter almost immediately after her comments, and the morning news shows all had significant pieces condemning Rosen's comments, all prior to the interview Ann did with Fox News.</edit>

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Most mothers don't get the chance anymore to stay at home. Most mothers these days have to work to make sure that their kids have food. They have to worry about paying the bills and the mortgage (if they are lucky enough to own a home) or the rent. Or, heaven forbid, doctor bills. That the Romneys believe that their life is normal, that Mrs. Romney is a regular mom who understands what life is like for most mothers instead of realizing how very privileged they are is the problem with them.

I'm sure she is a great mom but she doesn't have to deal with many of the things that normal moms have to overcome.

And Mrs. Obama does?
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Lyrhawn- I think it's less masterful on Romney's part than simple ineptitude on Rosen's part. She could have killed the story almost immediately with a sincere apology; instead she doubled down, got defensive, and repeatedly demonstrated both her contempt and her ignorance.

Also, Ben's not addressing the economic point Rosen was directly pushing, but the broader issue of whether Ann's experience is common to those of most mothers, which was the foundation of Rosen's attack. The Dems' strategy has (and will remain) pushing the idea that the Romneys' wealth makes them out-of-touch elitists. I think that pointing out that Ann Romney, despite having the means to hire nannies, cooks, and chauffeurs, chose instead to participate in her childrens' lives is a direct response to the attack that "they're not normal" because they're rich* which has been at the heart of the Obama campaign's strategy.

Oh I agree that Rosen made a comment that was far too easily taken out of context. For a professional politico, even good points have to be delivered well, or you might as well just shoot yourself in the foot.

And no, I still think both you AND Ben are missing Rosen's point. I think it's great that Ann Romney decided to be so actively involved in her kids' lives, but she still did it from a position of luxury. When mothers are stressing about the economy, and the message implied by Mitt that he should be getting from his wife, they aren't worried about the stresses of picking up the kids from soccer practice on time or making sure they get a healthy snack after school.

They're worried about having enough money to pay for braces, or sending them to college, or how to pay to feed them, clothe them, perhaps even to provide luxuries like the music lessons and sports equipment that Ben refers to in his post. Ann never had to worry about any of that. And THAT is the economic angle that Rosen is referring to. She's not talking about ANY of the stuff you are.

So I'm sorry, but the experience of the Romney's IS different from millions of struggling families who do have those worries.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Most mothers don't get the chance anymore to stay at home. Most mothers these days have to work to make sure that their kids have food. They have to worry about paying the bills and the mortgage (if they are lucky enough to own a home) or the rent. Or, heaven forbid, doctor bills. That the Romneys believe that their life is normal, that Mrs. Romney is a regular mom who understands what life is like for most mothers instead of realizing how very privileged they are is the problem with them.

I'm sure she is a great mom but she doesn't have to deal with many of the things that normal moms have to overcome.

And Mrs. Obama does?
Mitt claimed he got economic advice about the plight of women from his wife. So that's why his wife's opinions and credentials are in question.

President Obama never made that claim, so Michelle isn't in the hot seat.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
Kate-

You're wrong. Stay-at-home motherhood is actually *less* of a 'luxury' today than it was 50 years ago. Many women stay home because it's the most cost effective way to provide care for their children.

It's great that wealthy, educated women can choose whether to stay at home or not, but the idea that most mothers _have_ to work to make sure their kids have food is a flat-out fallacy.

Also: "normal" moms is a pretty abhorrent formulation. I know you hated it when Sarah Palin was talking about "real" Americans. Don't be that.

Lyrhawn- I think it's less masterful on Romney's part than simple ineptitude on Rosen's part. She could have killed the story almost immediately with a sincere apology; instead she doubled down, got defensive, and repeatedly demonstrated both her contempt and her ignorance.

Also, Ben's not addressing the economic point Rosen was directly pushing, but the broader issue of whether Ann's experience is common to those of most mothers, which was the foundation of Rosen's attack. The Dems' strategy has (and will remain) pushing the idea that the Romneys' wealth makes them out-of-touch elitists. I think that pointing out that Ann Romney, despite having the means to hire nannies, cooks, and chauffeurs, chose instead to participate in her childrens' lives is a direct response to the attack that "they're not normal" because they're rich* which has been at the heart of the Obama campaign's strategy.

FWIW, just in the interest of bias disclosure (I think I've mentioned this here before), I know Ben and his wife quite well, and others of the Romney clan a bit.

*It could be worse; many people (including Sen. Hatch) thought they'd try to paint the Romneys as not "normal" because they're Mormon.

<edit>Also, just to rebut a minor point you made in passing, this wasn't a Fox News production. The outrage against Rosen was all over Twitter almost immediately after her comments, and the morning news shows all had significant pieces condemning Rosen's comments, all prior to the interview Ann did with Fox News.</edit>

Do you not get the difference between being wealthy enough to not have to work and not being able to work because you can't afford day care because you never finished high school and can't get a good job? Apparently, the Romneys don't.

I really don't begrudge the Romneys (or other wealthy people) their good fortune. The problem lies when they pretend to be "just plain folks" or, worse, actually think that other people have it as good as they do. "Normal" in this context isn't to be emulated in this context.

[ April 13, 2012, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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SenojRetep
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I get what you're both saying. I'm not trying to pretend that Ann Romney's running Ben to soccer practice is the same as Rosen's hypothetical single-mom waitress just trying to get by and keep her kids in clothes and food. If Romney's sole adviser on the economic issues women face* was Ann, that'd be a big problem. Luckily she isn't.

By the same token, do you get that Rosen's comments are part of a bigger narrative being pushed by Democratic leadership that the Romneys, because of their wealth and/or their values, just don't get what it's like to be a real American?

*It makes me wonder, though, what advisers on the issue Obama is listening to. Does he have a struggling waitress on staff to give him information on what it's like to be a lower-middle class woman during bad economic times? Or is he getting his cues from well fed, well coifed advisers like Hilary Rosen? Or, more likely, from advisers like David Axelrod?

<edit>Also, the Romneys are, from my limited interaction, "just plain folks." I mean, the first time I saw Mitt Romney it was while he was goofing off with his grandkids during a church meeting making silly faces to make them laugh. If, on the other hand, you're talking about putting on a "man of the people" act, I don't know why Obama's well-documented "just plain folks" affectations ("Hey Midwesterners, listen to me talk about how ya'll are hurtin' out here") would bug you more than the Romneys'.</edit>

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kmbboots
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I wish you wouldn't conflate "real" and "normal". We are not suggesting that the Romneys aren't real. But they really don't seem to have a grasp on the struggles of...typical?...ordinary? middle class or poorer families. This isn't something fabricated by the Democrats, it is clear from what both Gov. and Mrs. Romney say themselves. It would be something if they at least recognized that they have been extraordinarily fortunate.

edit: It isn't the "homespun" bit that is the issue. It is the cluelessness. Neither of the Obamas grew up wealthy yet the talk about how fortunate they are to be where they are now and recognize that not everyone is so lucky. Instead of saying idiot things about how they understand poverty because they had to sell stock to pay for college.

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SenojRetep
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I think it's dense of you to think they don't recognize that. I think you're eating up a narrative that simply isn't true.
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