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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Predicting the American Election (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Predicting the American Election
Blayne Bradley
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Colin Powel also endorsed Barack Obama, are you going to argue with a General Ron?
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Olivet 2.0
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Probably. Anyone taking odds?
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Rakeesh
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I don't know if Ron hates America enough to argue with a general.
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Hey, you remember the Greek columns Obama had at his nomination convention? Now for this convention he is having a statue of himself made. Never mind Mount Rushmore, this dude thinks he is destined for Mount Olympus.

Link: http://media.washtimes.com/media/image/2012/09/01/obamasand_s640x857.jpg?01d7f9d7e9e7265caacf27ce098a1d4b28482eec

Doesn't that embarass you guys just a little bit?

I hope at some point Romney brings this up in a debate, and says, "No, Barack Obama, you are not a god. And I promise you, you are not going to be president for much longer."

I think what is scary is that by now it is difficult to figure where your satire line begins.

Or maybe that you don't understand what my post means.

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Lyrhawn
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This has a pretty major bearing on the election outcome, so I figured I'd post it here rather than trying to track down another thread. I should have just started a big election thread like I've done the past few years to eliminate the confusion, but oh well.

GOP voter suppression laws struck down around the country

Now that these laws are finally coming into contact, they're being knocked down all over the place. Ohio's was particularly important given the state's importance to the election. Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia all still have a law on the books. SC's is being reviewed soon by a three judge panel, and PA's, which was upheld by a state court, is being appealed to the federal court system as we speak.

I'd read that Obama won't contest the VA law, but that doesn't mean a voting rights organization won't.

This has been kind of an under the radar story for the last few months. Unless you've been watching Stewart's rants on TDS or reading a select group of news sites, you probably didn't even realize there was a concerted, organized voter suppression effort going on around the country designed to deny likely Obama supporters the ability to vote in order to hand the election to Romney. A major GOP official in PA said as much a few weeks ago.

I wonder, now that the courts have spoken, if this is an issue Obama can go on the offense with. I'd say he was considering it off limits since he hasn't talked about it at all, but the GOP has even talked about it whilst cartoonishly mischaracterizing Obama's position on it. So it's fair game, and it would energize just the sort of people he needs to energize for him.

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Rakeesh
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I've been following the news on these new laws, but not in a committed way-rather for instance whenever they come up on NPR's site. I didn't quite realize these laws had been dealt such blows lately because of that-I remember reading about the upheld and being pretty upset.

To my mind there really aren't two ways to think about these laws in an honest, thorough way. One can honestly believe they're a good thing, but they cannot believe that if they've examined things and discovered, as everyone who does will, that evidence of fraudulent voting is minimal at best and where it exists isn't at the polls with a fake name or something.

Strangely, this is again against one of those conservative principles I remember hearing about when I was younger: don't make new laws if the current ones are doing the job, or would if enforced.

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Lyrhawn
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Four decisions came down four days in a row this week. All of them are being appealed to even higher courts, but it's unlikely that they'll get past appellate courts in time for the election, as SCOTUS is very unlikely to break from their recess to decide something like this.
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Rakeesh
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That makes me really happy:) Partly because, I admit, I quite enjoy these days (I didn't used to, as some Hatrackers might remember) seeing the GOP get mud on their face. But also because I really thought a combination of election-year politics and an easy sell (if they have a good ID, they have nothing to complain about) would seal the deal.
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Lyrhawn
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Expect a lot of post-election "Chicago-style politics stole the election" if Obama wins.
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Rakeesh
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Like that wouldn't happen anyway, heh. He's already a secret atheist communist Muslim who in his unholy lust for power seeks to weaken America to a 3rd World Nation (how that squares with his own lust for power, who the hell knows). Adding in dirty gangster politician just adds spice.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
This has a pretty major bearing on the election outcome, so I figured I'd post it here rather than trying to track down another thread. I should have just started a big election thread like I've done the past few years to eliminate the confusion, but oh well.

GOP voter suppression laws struck down around the country

Now that these laws are finally coming into contact, they're being knocked down all over the place. Ohio's was particularly important given the state's importance to the election. Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia all still have a law on the books. SC's is being reviewed soon by a three judge panel, and PA's, which was upheld by a state court, is being appealed to the federal court system as we speak.

I'd read that Obama won't contest the VA law, but that doesn't mean a voting rights organization won't.

This has been kind of an under the radar story for the last few months. Unless you've been watching Stewart's rants on TDS or reading a select group of news sites, you probably didn't even realize there was a concerted, organized voter suppression effort going on around the country designed to deny likely Obama supporters the ability to vote in order to hand the election to Romney. A major GOP official in PA said as much a few weeks ago.

I wonder, now that the courts have spoken, if this is an issue Obama can go on the offense with. I'd say he was considering it off limits since he hasn't talked about it at all, but the GOP has even talked about it whilst cartoonishly mischaracterizing Obama's position on it. So it's fair game, and it would energize just the sort of people he needs to energize for him.

This makes me pretty happy, and it was not something I anticipated. I do remember hearing the PA gop official just up and admit it, and it wasn't a one-off disgruntled or misinformed republican saying it, but I was pretty sure it was going to be ignored anyway.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:

Many people are still learning about Romney. As most of them are finally learning for themselves what kind of person he is and what kind of experience he has had, they see the contrast with the ridiculous misrepresentations about him made by the Obama campaign, and early polls indicate that the large majority of Independents are breaking to Romney.

Convention bounce hasn't even come IN yet and Romney's base 'likeability' among independents has only gone up to 45%. Any time you say that some measurement of something 'indicates' something to you it is reliably just you making up or buying something wholesale just because someone said it and it's something you want to believe.

Oh man, it looks like Obama is going to lose in a landslide, in the same universe in which Barack's grandmother said he was born in Kenya, the WMD yellowcake in Iraq was found, Snopes is left-wing, and Palin is the de-facto head of the republican party by now.

:/

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Like that wouldn't happen anyway, heh. He's already a secret atheist communist Muslim who in his unholy lust for power seeks to weaken America to a 3rd World Nation (how that squares with his own lust for power, who the hell knows). Adding in dirty gangster politician just adds spice.

A breath of gangster, if you will.
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Many people are still learning about Romney.

How long does it take for people to get to know him? He's only been campaigning for, what, five and a half years now?
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Kwea
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Depends. I'm still waiting for him to say something I can tell he actually believes in himself. Other than "leave my millions out of it" and "I told the dog I was sorry"....
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Lyrhawn
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I believe he wants to win.
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Shigosei
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It turns out there was a giant creepy sand sculpture of Mitt Romney, too. Looks like neither the RNC nor DNC are responsible in either case. It's Myrtle Beach's chamber of commerce that's to blame. I guess they like making disturbing sand sculptures of politicians.
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Thesifer
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
I have mentioned this in another thread, but it seems especially relevant here. A Network commentator recently compared this election to the one in 1980, when Governor Ronald Reagan ran against President Jimmy Carter (who like Obama presided over a dismal economy, and was running for a second term). Coming out of the Republican National Convention, Reagan trailed Carter by double digits in the polls. But he wound up winning the election by a large margin.

Some credit this to Reagan's performance in the debates. Romney most likely will best Obama in the debates because he is smarter and more experienced as a successful businessman (Obama has never so much as managed a lemonade stand), and Obama will not be able to use a teleprompter in a live debate. Romney may not have the oratorical skills of Reagan, who was an actor, but he is highly articulate and experienced selling his programs in corporate boardrooms. Plus Romney looks and sounds so presidential. As it has been pointed out by many commentators, if you called up central casting for a character to play the role of the president, Romney would be the first choice.

Obama does not enjoy any double-digit lead in the polls. Many polls have them even. A few even give the edge to Romney. If things continue to happen the way they did in 1980, then Romney will win in a landslide, and the coattails will certainly deliver control of the Senate to the Republicans.

Many people are still learning about Romney. As most of them are finally learning for themselves what kind of person he is and what kind of experience he has had, they see the contrast with the ridiculous misrepresentations about him made by the Obama campaign, and early polls indicate that the large majority of Independents are breaking to Romney.

Then of course there are all the people who voted for Obama in 2008, who are now very disillusioned.

Everyone in America knows our primary problems as a nation are the economy and jobs--and Romney, with his sterling business background saving companies and creating thousands of jobs, and with his successful executive experience as governor of Massachusetts, is the one with the obvious qualifications to deal with those problems for the nation.

The debates will be crucial, of course. But Romney has all the advantages. As I already mentioned, Obama will not be able to use a teleprompter.

This is all a joke right?

Obama has been in debates before, if you think back really really hard, you might remember that in 2008 he wasn't the President yet, he had debates in the Primaries, and the General Election, and he's quite good at it. While he uses a teleprompter sometimes to a fault for prepared speeches, he has proven it's not a requirement.

Also - He hasn't ran so much as a Lemonade Stand? How about the United States for the last 4 years? Was I in some alternate reality where Obama was President, but in this reality he wasn't?

Being the CEO of Bain Capital gives Romney less experience for being executive than his being Governor does, in my opinion. Politics and Business are two completely separate jobs. You can't "Fire" people in Congress as the Commander-in-Chief. You can't just "Cut off services, to save money." You can't file for bankruptcy, as "restructure" as Bain Capital was good at. You can't do fancy paperwork to make debts or taxes go away.

It's just a completely separate system. Romney left Mass. with a 36% (I believe that's accurate without looking it up right this second.) approval rating. His one lasting impression that actually does seem to be doing pretty well is the one thing he won't talk about "RomneyCare." And the fact that a Democrat succeeded him for the first time in 4 (or 5) Governors in Mass.

Romney is the master at going off script, believing he is better than his advisers, and throwing out comments that he thinks will resonate with his current audience. If he does that at the debates, he will sink his campaign.

If you'd like to talk about "Winning" debates, I'd venture to guess Paul Ryan will most likely handily "win" over Biden in the debates. But since the Romney campaign and Ryan himself have already been publicly downplaying Ryan's policy ideas and the fact that he won't be in charge, I doubt that will matter in the least.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
You can't just "Cut off services, to save money."
Heh. Unless you're Scott Walker. (And I suppose the "save money" bit is optional, too.)
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Samprimary
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How's everyone thinking it's going right now?
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Xavier
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I pretty much defer to Nate Silver. I check there at least 10 times a day, I swear.
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Lyrhawn
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Romney's Libya comments are a huge blunder and will dominate the news cycle for several days.

If he keeps this up, Obama will hold his several point lead into October, and then it's the debates, which I still think Obama will dominate, and then it's the election.

Romney's best chance for a win was always going to be to pray for a razor thin tie going into September, where he could use his massive funding advantage to carpet bomb the swing states with ads against Obama. But he's making that into a serious uphill climb.

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Samprimary
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Nate is trying to calculate an expected reduction in Obama's numbers as the convention bounce cools down, but there's so many things happening to Mitt that end up being comorbid to the DNC's reduction in the enthusiasm gap that it's going to be difficult to pick one factor from the other, and Obama is just hanging at around 80% odds to win in Silver's analysis, any post-convention drop being counteracted by Romney's campaign-related and party-related liabilities and missteps.

One telltale sign is that, as far as I can tell from the little data filtering through about voting based on demographic, Akin & Co reinforcing the "War on Women" narrative have really caused significant and lasting damage, especially among women voters.

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Tovarich Volk
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I'm going to sit this one out, as I really don't feel like supporting a politician from Chicago's "Machine", who really hasn't done much in the past four years, or supporting the other side which could possibly be worse for the USA as a whole. --Comparing either side, is kind of like comparing Apples and Oranges.
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Lyrhawn
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That's troublesome. I like both apples and oranges.

Can't one of them be a blueberry? I don't like blueberries.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I don't like blueberries.

What is WRONG with you?!?
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Xavier
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quote:
Originally posted by Tovarich Volk:
who really hasn't done much in the past four years, or supporting the other side which could possibly be worse for the USA as a whole.

A relevant quote I've seen (attributed to Chris Rock, couldn't say if he actually said it):

"If you vote against Obama because he canít get stuff done, itís kind of like saying ĎThis guy canít cure cancer. Iím gonna vote for cancer.í"

Edit: This may or may not be relevant, depending on what "done much" means to you. Also sitting out isn't quite the same as voting against. Still, I wanted to mention it because the "not doing much" is not for lack of trying.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Tovarich Volk:
Comparing either side, is kind of like comparing Apples and Oranges.

Sure, if you buy into the narrative that each side is equally as bad, just ~different~

Which I haven't been permitted in a long time.

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Hobbes
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quote:
If he keeps this up, Obama will hold his several point lead into October, and then it's the debates, which I still think Obama will dominate, and then it's the election.
You've said this several times and I've become curious: what makes you think Obama will do so much better in the debates? I find it hard to believe either of them is really going to sweep the floor with the other. I mean this isn't like one really smart guy versus one really stupid one. And while the issues seem like an obvious home-run from one side it looks the opposite from the other (i.e. neither one of them supports extremist policies in the milieu of American politics). Debates, historically, havenít been the source of big bumps for either side, even when one or more of these factors was in play and while this is a bit sad, I donít see why that should change this cycle.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Samprimary
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I think it is possible that Obama could really jam it to Romney in the debates but I honestly think it is pointless to wonder if he can do so because even if he crushes Romney from a logical perspective (in effect, if what Obama says is much more truthful and much more logically sound and applicable to the real issues of the election), media is unwilling to presume so with strong language for risk of sounding 'partisan.'

Besides, the format of the debates has become somewhat tedious and predictable, because each side knows that the goal is to ensure that they work scripted responses and narratives within a narrow range of interaction with each other or even with the debate moderator. You have to put on good appearances, decide in the moment to what degree you want to directly address questions posed by the moderator (or rather, how much you are allowed to do so without putting yourself at risk of the opponent opportunistically AVOIDING the direct question), and use all leeway to make sure to hit the primary talking points and work out all the positional pabulum. Victory goes to the most inspired-looking weasel.

The reason people sometimes assume Obama will 'dominate' the debates is that he is honestly just a more inspiring talker and he is better at playing the indirect workaround 'game' that the debates have become, and because he is very good at not making the same sort of gaffes that Romney put himself into such poor image with already, that he carries with him to the debate.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I don't like blueberries.

What is WRONG with you?!?
I also don't like raspberries or blackberries.

Straw is the only type of berry I like.

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Xavier
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I think Obama absolutely could dominate the debates if he went off script and really let himself speak his mind.

If he was far behind in the race maybe he would, but I suspect he'll be mostly playing defense and not taking any chances.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
quote:
If he keeps this up, Obama will hold his several point lead into October, and then it's the debates, which I still think Obama will dominate, and then it's the election.
You've said this several times and I've become curious: what makes you think Obama will do so much better in the debates? I find it hard to believe either of them is really going to sweep the floor with the other. I mean this isn't like one really smart guy versus one really stupid one. And while the issues seem like an obvious home-run from one side it looks the opposite from the other (i.e. neither one of them supports extremist policies in the milieu of American politics). Debates, historically, havenít been the source of big bumps for either side, even when one or more of these factors was in play and while this is a bit sad, I donít see why that should change this cycle.

Hobbes [Smile]

Because Romney doesn't really have any ideas. He has a list of platitudes. In the past that hasn't been a huge problem for debates because they're essentially a joint press conference where each side rattles off strings of canned phrases they've been saying for weeks, just with a more devoted audience.

But 2008 was different. Especially in the second debate, the town hall style event, Obama repeatedly jammed McCain with direct criticisms and questions, and McCain is a lot better than Romney is at that sort of questioning. I've yet to see any evidence that Romney can stand up to any sort of cross examination, and while the debates don't really allow for this extensively, I think there's just enough of a window for Obama to keep asking Romney for specifics, and to hammer away at what precious few details he has released to make Romney look like the puff of hot air that he really is.

Romney has proven a very smooth deliverer of applause lines and drafted speeches. The GOP likes to hammer Obama for being a teleprompter president, but four years ago he was actually quite excellent at speaking off the cuff. Romney on the other hand has avoided cross-examinations in his interviews, and when confronted with angry voters tends to make extremely awkward gaffes. The only place he shined was at GOP primary debates where he rarely had to do much at all due to his polling numbers, and when he did, it was only to feed fire to the right-wing base with canned applause lines. I think Obama will skewer him.

As for the importance, polls have been showing for weeks that most people who haven't already made up their minds will do so during the debates. If this election hinges on only a couple percent points of the population, and several percent are still up for grabs, it makes the debates the final chance either candidate has to sway those voters.

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Jeff C.
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Obama will win. The guy is a celebrity. But besides that, he's the President, which gives him an automatic advantage (why take a risk on a new guy you don't know when you have one you do?). He's also a passionate speaker who can inspire people with ease. Oh, and he's black.

I know most of those things shouldn't matter, but people are stupid. People will vote for him because of those reasons because most people don't follow the details of politics. Of course, you'll also have the people who do follow politics, and a lot of them will get behind him.

What does Romney have, besides his views? He's an old, creepy-looking, white guy. No offense to the man, but he's competing with the complete opposite of that. In a society of American Idols, Real Worlds, Jersey Shores, and US Magazines, it's tougher than ever to get elected into anything if you're unattractive or hard-to-relate-to. Do you think FDR would have been elected if people knew he was crippled?

Obama is going to win. Not (entirely) because of his politics, but because of how he comes across and how he looks. That's the way the world works. Regardless of whether you agree with his politics or not, the fact remains that he knows how to run a race. That's what it really comes down to in the end.

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Lyrhawn
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On the other hand, how they look is going to be why a lot of people vote for Romney and not Obama.

Just to keep it in perspective.

I'm also not convinced that Romney actually has views, at least, not ones he's shared with us yet.

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Mucus
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I've been informed that Romney has the "forehead of intelligence" and that he would be the GOTO guy for Hollywood central casting for a President.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Because Romney doesn't really have any ideas.
He does have ideas, he's just not big on either

1. giving the specifics, or
2. giving the actual plan, if a ridiculous and mathematically impossible premise sounds better and is easier to sell to conservatives in the interim

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Godric 2.0
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I don't like blueberries.

What is WRONG with you?!?
I also don't like raspberries or blackberries.

Straw is the only type of berry I like.

Straw is the only type of poll I like.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
Obama will win. The guy is a celebrity. But besides that, he's the President, which gives him an automatic advantage (why take a risk on a new guy you don't know when you have one you do?). He's also a passionate speaker who can inspire people with ease. Oh, and he's black.

Not only is this sad and cynical, it's not even close to insightful.
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PSI Teleport
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Cynical is a lot closer to insightful than optimistic is.
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Rakeesh
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I'm closer to Benghazi than my Uncle in Oklahoma, but that hardly means I'm close;)

It's a strange world where someone can say, and apparently mean, that Obama's skin color is actually an advantage to most voters rather than a neutral factor or a loss. Romney looks very much like we have tended to like our Presidents to look in this country, quite a bit more than Obama, so to be blunt, Jeff, your analysis seems to be bunk.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by PSI Teleport:
Cynical is a lot closer to insightful than optimistic is.

The two are not directly correlated.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I'm closer to Benghazi than my Uncle in Oklahoma, but that hardly means I'm close;)

It's a strange world where someone can say, and apparently mean, that Obama's skin color is actually an advantage to most voters rather than a neutral factor or a loss. Romney looks very much like we have tended to like our Presidents to look in this country, quite a bit more than Obama, so to be blunt, Jeff, your analysis seems to be bunk.

Regardless of the bunk-ness of the analysis (which is utter crap, of course), it's just not being intellectually honest.

I see this kind of mental math all the time:

You reduce the entire issue into a few seemingly obvious points (ignoring any complexity that disserves this breakdown). Then you announce that *this* is the important point because "most people are stupid." The implication is of course that *you* are not stupid, but that because everyone else is, what you know doesn't matter.

It's cynical because it makes no attempt to communicate or to elevate dialog at all, and as a bonus, it happens to usually be a reduction so stupid, that it has no relevance to the actual situation, particularly when the question is, in a complex race determined by marginal percentages of specific groups of people, who will win and how. I mean, we know that the winner, Republican and Democrat, will be elected because, ultimately, nearly 50% of the population would have voted for him anyway. The questions we are dealing with have to do with the last few percentage points of people who haven't decided. So these broad statements have little utility, and are anyway mostly wrong, and based more on self-satisfied snarking than any insight worth noting.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I don't like blueberries.

What is WRONG with you?!?
I also don't like raspberries or blackberries.

Straw is the only type of berry I like.

Do you hate antioxidants, or what?
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Rakeesh
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Not only does he hate them, he's not known for fondness for those who like 'em either!
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Xavier
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Even with it being a wonky analysis, I think the premise is even wrong. I was under the impression that Romney's exceptional good looks were an asset. This is literally the first time I've ever heard anyone claim he's going to lose because he's not attractive enough.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Not only does he hate them, he's not known for fondness for those who like 'em either!

I've been pro-oxidants for years.
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Rakeesh
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Yes, we've established your perverted lust for oxidants before. I don't think we need to have that conversation again-some people are just finishing dinner, and those who aren't probably hope to eat sometime in the future without knowing about your appreciation for those...things.

What I want to know is why you dislike people who don't sign on for your sins of oxidancy.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Not only does he hate them, he's not known for fondness for those who like 'em either!

I've been pro-oxidants for years.
I think I'll start calling you Rusty.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Yes, we've established your perverted lust for oxidants before. I don't think we need to have that conversation again-some people are just finishing dinner, and those who aren't probably hope to eat sometime in the future without knowing about your appreciation for those...things.

His blood runs brown with oxidation.
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