Showing posts with label Eleciton 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eleciton 2012. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Campaign Speak

Jonathan Chait has another great take on the momentum bluff coming from the Romney campaign.

Obama’s lead is narrow — narrow enough that the polling might well be wrong and Romney could win. But he is leading, his lead is not declining, and the widespread perception that Romney is pulling ahead is Romney’s campaign suckering the press corps with a confidence game.

A confidence game...that's right. In fact, they now say they are going to win handily! Why?

This is a bluff. Romney is carefully attempting to project an atmosphere of momentum, in the hopes of winning positive media coverage and, thus, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If there's one thing that the Right have in abundance, it's hubris...and it's often very unwarranted hubris. You can always see this if one looks more closely.

If you look closely at the boasts emanating from Romney’s allies, you can detect a lot of hedging and weasel-words. Rob Portman calls Ohio a “dead heat,” which is a way of calling a race close without saying it’s tied. A Romney source tells Mike Allen that Wisconsin leans their way owing to Governor Scott Walker’s “turnout operation.” That is campaign speak for “we’re not winning, but we hope to make it up through turnout.”

Over the last week, Romney’s campaign has orchestrated a series of high-profile gambits in order to feed its momentum narrative. Last week, for instance, Romney’s campaign blared out the news that it was pulling resources out of North Carolina. The battleground was shifting! Romney on the offensive! On closer inspection, it turned out that Romney was shifting exactly one staffer. It is true that Romney leads in North Carolina, and it is probably his most favorable battleground state. But the decision to have a staffer move out of state, with a marching band and sound trucks in tow to spread the news far and wide, signals a deliberate strategy to create a narrative.

If this is all his campaign is going to be for the next two weeks, I have to say that I'm relieved. Momentum? That's it?

One other thing to note...when a campaign starts talking about another campaign "resorting to blah blah blah" because they are in trouble, it's the opposite that is actually true.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Tight race? Avoid tea party label on stump.

But two years later, Rehberg wants a Senate seat, and in the 2012 version of Montana politics, Rehberg is Mr. Bipartisan. He touts his vote against the Paul Ryan budget; talks up his work with a New England liberal, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.); and has embraced expansion of a children’s health program. 

He doesn’t mention his tea party membership.

What happened?

Eric Olsen, the co-founder of one of Montana’s leading tea party groups, Montana Shrugged, said they still know Rehberg is “on their side,” but they also realize Montana’s sole congressman has to appeal to independents and some Democrats to win a Senate seat that could determine control of the upper chamber.

Oh yeah. Reality happened.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


The second presidential debate is tonight at Hofstra University and it's very clear that the race has changed since the last debate. If you would have told me before the last debate that the president's chances of re-election went from  347-191 to 281-235 (with Colorado and Virginia being pure tossups), I would have said you were nuts.

But that's what one poor debate performance and a completely new and improved Mitt Romney does for a presidential race. The president has a tough task ahead of him tonight. He has to obviously be more upbeat than he was in the last debate and he also has to challenge Romney on his many about faces on the key issues. Yet he has to do it without seeming belligerent because this is a Town Hall style debate with undecided voters in the audience who would likely frown upon heavy partisan bickering. A tough task, indeed.

What I would do tonight if I were the president is point to his list of accomplishments in office and use them to challenge Romney. The president could say, "Mr Romney says that he is a job creator...well, he's sharing the stage with one right now. I've created 5 million jobs in my four years in office and that was after the greatest economic contraction since the great depression. The stock market is seeing new highs, housing is coming back, and consumer confidence is getting higher everyday. We've cut the deficit by 200 billion. We're on the right track, despite the policies of the past that Governor Romney wants to return us to." This is the way he has to frame it. He can't be the attack dog that the Democrats want him to be.

Another thing he could say to erase the last debate is to say something like, "I was shocked at the last debate to see that Governor Romney has come to my way of thinking on issues like health care and taxes. I'm glad he wants to save social programs and keep most of my health care plan like pre-existing conditions and children being able to be insured by their parents until they are 26. I think it's great that he thinks taxes don't need to be cut for the wealthy. But he still hasn't said how he is going to pay for all of this."

The president can nail Romney on specifics without going negative. He could simply say, "I stand for the wealthy paying more of their fair share of taxes. I want to keep tax cuts permanent for the middle class. I'm looking forward to implementing the rest of my health care plan. Who are you, Governor Romney and what do you stand for?"

This point really has to be driven home because it's enormously aggravating that Romney is now suddenly a moderate who supports helping the middle class. More irritating is the sound of crickets I hear from the Right who now have made it abundantly clear that they just want Barack Obama to lose and it's not because they think his policies are wrong for the country. It's because they KNOW they are starting to be effective (which Romney will, of course, take credit for if he wins) and that would hasten the end (already inevitable, demographically speaking) of their party as they know it. It matters not if Mitt Romney does these things...just as long as it's not Barack Obama.

Honestly, I don't think Mitt Romney can do these things. I think he's a nice guy and he is exactly like all the dads of the kids I with whom I went to school (private school, grades 7-12) but he's not presidential material. The fact that people are now of the mind that he "looks like a president on the TeeVee" is really disappointing to me. I thought we had moved past all that.

I guess I'm very pessimistic about the race at this point. Perhaps it's because there was such a comfortable lead by the president that has now been needlessly squandered and we are left with an honest to goodness nail biter that sadly isn't based on substance. More frustrating is the fact that the Democrats are likely to pick up 12 seats in the House and hold the Senate, possibly even gaining a seat or two, given the fact that the GOP candidates are so awful this year and the Democratic candidates are so good.

281 does win it, however, and so perhaps I'm being overly paranoid. With Ohio holding the way it is (even after the president sucked in the last debate), that means that Romney is going to have to run the table on the rest of the states. Even Frank Luntz says that the president is likely going to win simply because of electoral math.

So, the president could really help himself tonight and I'm hoping that he will!