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Obama campaign moves to restrict military voting in Ohio

Breitbart’s Mike Flynn reports:

President Barack Obama, along with many Democrats, likes to say that, while they may disagree with the GOP on many issues related to national security, they absolutely share their admiration and dedication to members of our armed forces. Obama, in particular, enjoys being seen visiting troops and having photos taken with members of our military. So, why is his campaign and the Democrat party suing to restrict their ability to vote in the upcoming election?

On July 17th, the Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit in OH to strike down part of that state’s law governing voting by members of the military. Their suit said that part of the law is "arbitrary" with "no discernible rational basis."

Currently, Ohio allows the public to vote early in-person up until the Friday before the election. Members of the military are given three extra days to do so. While the Democrats may see this as "arbitrary" and having "no discernible rational basis," I think it is entirely reasonable given the demands on servicemen and women’s time and their obligations to their sworn duty.

Flynn cites the National Defense Committee which reports:

[f]or each of the last three years, the Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program has reported to the President and the Congress that the number one reason for military voter disenfranchisement is inadequate time to successfully vote.

So here is a law actually trying to provide a little extra time to address the problem cited (btw, the members of the military would most likely have to show their military picture ID to be granted the opportunity to vote during that “extra time”).  Why the resistance from the Obama campaign and Democrats?   Why the intent to disenfranchise military voters?

If the polls are to be believed concerning how the military is likely to vote, it wouldn’t favor Obama or the Democrats.  And, of course, Ohio is a swing state.  So they want no extra time allowed for the military to vote (and don’t expect the DoJ to jump in here and take the side of the military either).

Mystery solved.

But hey, the military is still useful as props during photo ops and when they help burnish the C-i-C’s rep by killing bad guys like Osama.  Voting?  Yeah, not so much.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


NYT says Obama distraction campaign may not be working

Much to the Obama campaign and the Time’s chagrin I would suppose.  You see, the economics and politics of unemployment are personal, and most of those who find themselves in that position don’t care about Bain Capital or Romney’s tax returns.  That’s essentially the message the most recent NYT/CBS News poll reported:

Despite months of negative advertising from Mr. Obama and his Democratic allies seeking to further define Mr. Romney as out of touch with the middle class and representative of wealthy interests, the poll shows little evidence of any substantial nationwide shift in attitudes about Mr. Romney.

Personal situations trump political rhetoric, especially when the political rhetoric has no bearing on that personal situation.  Apparently, unlike the media, most of the public still realize what is important.  They aren’t caught up in the politics.  They want answers to the hard questions … the questions the Obama campaign would just as soon ignore.

Thus the distraction game.

But, apparently, that game isn’t working.

The new poll shows that the race remains essentially tied, notwithstanding all of the Washington chatter suggesting that Mr. Romney’s campaign has seemed off-kilter amid attacks on his tenure at Bain Capital and his unwillingness to release more of his tax returns. Forty-five percent say they would vote for Mr. Romney if the election were held now and 43 percent say they would vote for Mr. Obama.

When undecided voters who lean toward a particular candidate are included, Mr. Romney has 47 percent to Mr. Obama’s 46 percent.

Now that’s pretty much dead even with the challenger, despite all the negative ads and stories, having the slight edge.

Frankly, given history, it shouldn’t be this close at this point.  Even Jimmy Carter had a lead at this point in his re-election campaign.

The poll is another among many indicators that the Obama presidency is in trouble.  Take it for no more than that.  It’s a temperature check.  A snapshot. 

However, when put together with all the other temperature checks, you begin to see a campaign that isn’t at all healthy.

I can’t say I’m shedding too many tears over that.   And it also says that the voters are, at least to this point, able to push aside the distractions, focus on the key issues and hold a president accountable that desperately seeks someone (or something) to blame his failure on or an issue to distract from that failure.

Not working.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Obama campaign: “Insular and arrogant?”

I don’t know if you got to hear David Plouffe tell the world yesterday that there was nothing political about President Obama’s decision to refuse to deport certain illegal aliens.

I assume he must have thought most people would buy that explanation.  I also assume he had no idea or didn’t care how lame that had to sound.

Albert Hunt has an article in Bloomberg where he takes a look at the Obama campaign as it exists right now.

Private conversations with a half-dozen of the smartest Democratic political thinkers — all of whom have played at the highest levels of national campaigns, are genuine Obama backers, and almost never are consulted by the campaign — reveal a consensus of advice for the president: Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how, if re-elected, you would lead America to more prosperous times, and challenge Republicans with specifics.

But, they’re not listening as is obvious.  They continue to try to pretend the country is better off since they’ve been in charge (meanwhile seeming to hedge that by blaming current conditions on, well, you name it, from tsunamis to ATMs, to Bush to Europe).

However they seem blind to the reality that the majority of the country just doesn’t see it the way they’re trying to spin it.  And they’re getting tired of the repeated attempts:

“I just want to see specifics and quit the trash talk,” the 31-year-old web designer and construction worker says in the session conducted by the pollster Peter Hart for the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. “Just get down to business and figure this thing out.”

That’s a 31 year old telling the President of the United States and his campaign to grow up, quit the divisive nonsense and, instead of trying to set a record for fundraisers, actually do the work you were hired to do.

One Democratic pollster says:

“The challenge for the president is not the current conditions, but the huge expectations he set that have not been met,” said Hart, a leading Democratic pollster. “There is no road map, no program, no conviction of where the president wants to lead the country.”

I disagree with one aspect of what Hart says – the current conditions are indeed a challenge for the president which is why he keeps trying to change the subject and/or blame others.    And yes, the huge expectations are tied to these conditions.  His challenge is to somehow convince the electorate he’s done a good enough job to warrant re-election.  And he’s failing miserably at that.

Too often, it’s felt that Obama is playing political small ball or tactical games. Party critics note the fumbled response to the president’s much-criticized statement earlier this month that the “private sector is doing fine.”

That’s exactly right.  Because, as Hart says “there is no road map, no program, no conviction of where the president wants to lead the country.”  When sailing in fair winds and prevailing seas, he (like just about anyone else) can handle it fine.  But when faced with headwinds and and stormy seas his lack of leadership becomes obvious.  The man has no idea how to lead, isn’t that good of a politician and really hasn’t the experience to know how to turn this mess around.

But he thinks he does.  And he thinks that he and his campaign have it all under control:

The campaign has an almost mystical confidence in sophisticated technology and in its organization, assets that only matter in a razor-tight race. Further, these other strategists say, the Obama camp is no more justified in its belief that this campaign is like a rerun — with the uniforms changed — of 2004, when a shakily popular Republican president won re-election, than it would be to believe that 2012 is a reprise of 1980, when an incumbent president was thrown out for non-performance.

Absolutely correct.  That belief within the Obama campaign has led to this:

The central challenge, the other Democratic consultants say, is a compelling narrative from the president and campaign, which they describe as unusually insular and arrogant.

The campaign however (see Cleveland speech) thinks it does have “a compelling narrative” which then makes both the president and campaign increasingly “insular and arrogant” … a sure formula for defeat.

But look at the options.  He has a record that is abysmal, he’s increasingly seen as incompetent or just not interested or engaged (or all three) and his campaign to blame others and “trash talk” as the PA voters noted, is falling flat.

How does he then change course and put a “compelling narrative” together that somehow, in the ruins of this economy, convinces the country he should be the choice for 4 more years?

I don’t know, nor does he or his campaign apparently, but the consultants are right – that’s his challenge. 

At the moment, given the economy and the circumstances, it is a challenge that appears to be beyond him.  And I think the fraying around the edges we’re all witnessing shows that and is the beginning of the great unraveling.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Obama’s bumpy week may turn into a bumpy campaign

I remember years ago, when the telecom industry imploded, stock prices plummeted and companies went under, telling my wife, who worked in the industry, “these guys (management) have no idea what to do.  They managed the rise of the company fairly well, but are totally unprepared for the decline of the industry.  It’s like they don’t believe it is happening and refuse to deal with the reality.”

That’s not uncommon in many areas of life.  Easy going when everything is headed up, but seemingly clueless when faced with adversity.   Politics is no different.

Is it time for Democrats to panic?

That’s what a growing number of party loyalists are wondering, amid a rough couple of weeks in which President Obama and his political operation have been buffeted by bad economic news, their own gaffes and signs that the presumed Republican nominee is gaining strength.

Obama’s team insists that it is unfazed by the recent bumps in the political road.

But it’s not just “recent bumps” to those who’ve been paying attention.  It is just the latest series of bumps, and like heading into bad weather while flying, it’s only going to get bumpier.  And trust me this president is heading into bad weather.

Fact: the president has a lousy record and there are millions of Americans hurting that hold him responsible (right or not, that’s how the political game works).

This sort of problem is not one the president’s campaign suffered in 2008.  It was all unicorns, Greek columns and feel good vagary.    In reality it was a much easier campaign in comparison to what he faces now.  Jim Geraghty recently likened it to a “perfect storm” that hit at precisely the right time for Obama politically:

In 2008, Obama had a series of big gusts at his back. Yes, glowing media coverage was one, but he probably wouldn’t have done as well if he had brought the same resume and style to the 2004 political environment or the 2000 one. His ascension to the White House required eight years of the opposition party’s rule, an unpopular war, a series of scandals involving the opposition, and finally the Lehman collapse and the resulting economic meltdown. Almost a perfect storm.

Now he’s on the other side of that sort of a storm.  But, as with the telecom managers who watched their companies decline and go under, he and his team seem to think they can continue to do what they’ve always done and really don’t need to listen to anyone else:

But some Democratic veterans are wondering whether the reelection campaign, run by the same tight-knit group that led it four years ago, is equipped for what lies ahead.

“The bad thing is, there is no new thinking in that circle,” said one longtime operative in Democratic presidential campaigns who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid.

Eight other prominent Democratic strategists interviewed shared that view, describing Obama’s team as resistant to advice and assistance from those who are not part of its core. All of them spoke on the condition of anonymity as well.

Reading that, one is led to believe that the managers of the campaign pretty much believe that all they have to do is gin up a repeat of the 2008 campaign and they’ll sail into victory port with a few tattered sails but essentially intact.

If that’s truly what they believe, it is a very bad miscalculation.  

One, he’s the one with the record this time – and it isn’t a good one.  That’s reality.  It is his opponent who will have the luxury of pointing to it and talking about what he will “inherit”, not Obama.  And what he will inherit is going to be spun as worse than what Obama inherited.  I’d be surprised if the old “ask yourself, are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?” question doesn’t make a comeback.

Two, it is obvious Obama’s support is eroding among all groupsStory after story are appearing showing even his base is at risk (not necessarily that they’ll vote for Romney, but instead may simply stay home).  We’re hearing the term “Reagan Democrats” again for the first time in years.   And, of course, as Peggy Noonan recently demonstrated via her column, even the RINOs for Obama are deserting him.   There’s also dissention in the ranks as more and more Democrats go “off message” or criticize him or his policies.

So now is not a time for arrogance or resistance to advice or assistance from others.  But that seems to be what is happening.  And this sort of “close the gates and man the walls” siege mentality isn’t unusual in high politics (given the egos involved).  But that it leads to is stuff like this, another version of the same tired blame game they’ve been pushing for 4 years:

"I love it when these guys talk about debt and deficits," Obama told supporters in Baltimore. "I inherited a trillion dollar deficit."

"We signed two trillion dollars in spending cuts into law," Obama said. "Spending under my administration has grown more slowly than under any president in 60 years."

Obama said that the country’s budget deficits and big debt were the result of the George W. Bush’s two tax cuts, as well as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"They baked all this stuff into the cake with those tax cuts… and the war," Obama said.

"It’s like somebody goes to a restaurant, orders a big steak dinner, a martini and all that stuff, then just as you’re sitting down they leave and accuse you of running up the tab," Obama said.

Even with the mixed metaphors it’s clearly the same old stuff.  The other guy did it.  It’s the other guy’s fault.   Somehow they’ve not yet figured out that excuse making isn’t a very powerful campaign message and does not resonate with the electorate.  It was tolerated for about a year after he took office.  But his campaign doesn’t seem to understand that what he’s claiming now is old news now.  America doesn’t hire a president to blame the other guy for 4 years as things go from bad to worse.

And note too that he’s again trying to push the totally discredited notion that he has spent less than any other president in 60 years.  How far does he think running that BS line is going to get him?

So … did Obama have a bumpy week?  You bet.  But given his campaign thus far, he’s in for a lot more bumps.  Here’s what he doesn’t want to have to do but must if he’s to have any chance at all.  He doesn’t want to do it primarily because it is an almost impossible job:

However difficult the task, the president may have little choice but to try to make voters feel better about the economy. Successful presidents have run for reelection on the strength of their records, as well as on the hope they offered for the future.

And that, in a nutshell, is Obama’s problem – he has no “strength of record” to carry him.  All he can do is appeal for more time and to do that, and as Karen Tumulty points out, he has to “make voters feel better about the economy”.

Good luck with that.  Given forecasts, it appears the economy is not going to cooperate.  And while American’s are basically an optimistic people, his attempting to make them feel better about the economy with U6 unemployment over 14% and labor force participation at a 30 year low may end up being a bridge too far for his campaign.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 10 Jun 12

This week, Bruce, Michael and Dale talk about the election and Eric Holder.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 27 May 12

This week, Bruce, Michael and Dale talk about the Obama Campaign, the press, and new media.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 06 May 12

This week, Bruce and Dale talk about what the Trayvon martin case says about the media.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 22 Apr 12

This week, Michael, and Dale talk about the Trayvon Martin case, Hillary Rosen, and the economy.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.


The new Obama “Change” campaign

Instead of “hope and change”, the new campaign slogan being tried out by the Obama crew is “change is” as in:

"Change is the first bill I signed into law — a law that says you get an equal day’s work — somebody who puts in an equal day’s work should get equal day’s pay."

"Change is the decision we made to rescue the auto company from collapse, even when some politicians were saying we should let Detroit go bankrupt."

"Change is the decision we made to stop waiting for Congress to do something about our addiction to oil and finally raise fuel-efficiency standards for the first time in 30 years."

"Change is health care reform that we passed after a century of trying."

Anyone notice anything about all the above?

They all have to do with his priorities and not much caring about the Constitution, the political traditions of our country or its foundational concepts.

For instance, who gets to decide what is an “equal day’s work” and and “equal day’s pay”?  The market or the government?  Well, per Obama, it’s the government.

Who gets to decide on economic winners and losers?  The market or the government.  Well, in the case of the auto industry, the government.

Whose job is it to legislate and create laws?  The Congress or the bureaucracy?  Well, in this case, Obama says it is the bureaucracy.

Whose job is it to take care of their health care – individuals or government?   Any guess why this has been resisted for a century?  And don’t forget, this was the number one priority of the man while the economy was collapsing.  It is only now that he’s “tired of waiting” on Congress after having a majority Democratic Congress for two years.

He thinks these are accomplishments.

“Change is?”

Change is a new president in 2012.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


“It was a game changer”

Thus was the reason, according to former ACORN worker, Anita Moncrief, why the New York Times killed a story about the connections between the activist group and the Obama campaign.

A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.”

Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the ommittee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group’s Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee’s litigation against ACORN, she had been a “confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom.”

[...]

Obama and ACORN

Obama and ACORN

During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the [Obama] campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”

Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:

“Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer.”’

ACORN does not exactly deny Moncrief’s allegations, but instead waives her off as a “disgruntled” employee:

“None of this wild and varied list of charges has any credibility and we’re not going to spend our time on it,” said Kevin Whelan, ACORN deputy political director in a statement issued last week.

And the NYT isn’t saying much either:

Ms. Mathis [the New York Times’ Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications] wrote, “In response to your questions to our reporter, Stephanie Strom, we do not discuss our newsgathering and won’t comment except to say that political considerations played no role in our decisions about how to cover this story or any other story about President Obama.”

Strangely, neither the Obama administration nor anyone connected with his campaign comments on the story. Of course, if the allegations regarding handing over the donor list are true, then there may campaign finance law violations to worry about, so they probably wouldn’t say much anyway.

I have to admit, this is almost a dog-bites-man story. There can’t be too many people who will seriously contend that the NYT isn’t a liberal newspaper. And it wasn’t any big secret during the run-up to the election that the MSM was in the tank for Obama. But I do wonder if many people realize the lengths that the MSM would go to in order to see their boy to the finish line. Hillary supporters got the message pretty loud and clear during the primaries, and Palin’s backers can cite chapter and verse on how the MSM dragged her and her family through the gutter. Some people might even remember that story suggesting that McCain had an affair with lobbyist Vicki L. Iseman (for which she sued the NYT and settled out of court).

Yet, how many people realize that the de facto leader of the MSM would spike a story that’s not just critical of their chosen candidate, but that implicates him in illegal activity with a notorious election law violator? Seems like that would be news fit to print. Just not in the NYT apparently.

By the way, keep this story in mind as plans continue to unfold regarding the federal government subsidizing newspapers. If the NYT was willing to spike a story just to help its chosen one, what will they do when that chosen one is paying the bills?

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