Quotes of the day

posted at 9:32 pm on August 24, 2012 by Allahpundit

Just about any analysis of the 2012 presidential election should start with words to the effect that this is a very close race, that close races can go either way, and that many different factors—convention speeches, debates, verbal miscues, overseas conflicts—can change the trajectory of such a race. A decision by Israel to attack Iran, for example, would certainly scramble things.

Still, this race shouldn’t be as tight as it is. Whether one looks at polling measurements of whether voters think the country is headed in the right direction, at consumer confidence, or at key economic measurements such as growth in gross domestic product, deviations in the unemployment rate, or the change in real personal disposable income, it is puzzling, to say the least, why polls show President Obama and Mitt Romney running neck and neck. Incumbents generally don’t get reelected with numbers like we are seeing today…

The Romney campaign did not lay down a layer of positive ads at the outset to give voters some understanding of who its candidate is. So when the deluge of negative ads about Bain Capital, layoffs, outsourcing, income taxes, and foreign bank accounts came, Romney had no Teflon coating to protect him. The dynamic was more like Velcro. That’s why even though he is running about even with Obama nationally, in the 11 key battleground states where the ads aired, he’s ahead only in North Carolina and possibly Iowa. Plus, pros in the TV-ad world point out that Obama has been sophisticated in his media-placement decisions, while Romney seems to be pursuing a gross-tonnage strategy.

***

Looking at these charts, you can readily see that 2012 is simply not a year like 2008 or 1980, which stand as the worst or second-worst presidential years in recent history in almost every category. Nor, of course, is it a year like 1984, 1964, or 1972, when the economy was going full-bore ahead. We also see 1968 stand out as a year where the economy was strong, but outside forces disrupted what should have been an easy re-election effort for the party in power.

Instead, this is a middling sort of year, like 1960, 1976, 2004, or 1992, where the economy is limping along, but not contracting. Those years have generally produced close elections. In fact, those elections describe what I see as something of a “95 percent confidence interval” for this election – i.e., I’m 95 percent sure the result will fall in between these elections — a 4-to-5-point Romney win (a la 1992) or a 2-to-3-point Obama win (a la 2004)…

This year, Barack Obama has an argument — he didn’t inherit the mess, and the economy is slowly expanding. That’s an argument that is probably good enough to get him to 46 or 47 percent of the vote. Similarly, Mitt Romney has a pretty good argument for electing a new president, one that will shore up his base and Republican-leaning independents. Thus, we should probably expect what we’re presently seeing in the polls: a close race, to be decided by a relatively small slice of the electorate.

***

While Obama is still drawing sizable crowds, they are nothing like the size of those who flocked to see him in 2008. In Las Vegas, Obama held a rally in a high school before more than 2,000 people but there was space for plenty more…

More significantly, the mood of the crowds is different. There is a sullenness, even resentment, that was not present in 2008. Ask an Obama supporter about their man and as often as not you will get a few words about him and then a demeaning attack on Romney or Ryan…

On Saturday, Obama held two events in New Hampshire, which has four Electoral College votes and on Tuesday and Wednesday he was in Nevada, which has six. Obama, moreover, won Nevada by more than 12 percentage points in 2008.

What does this tell is? That Obama is on the defensive and knows the only way he can win re-election is by the narrowest of margins, by ‘slicing and dicing’ – his own pejorative term – and eking out a 51 to 49 per cent victory, crawling across the line to 270 electoral college votes.

***

Mr. Law says Mr. Romney is fortunate that the president has focused on character assaults. If Democrats had persuaded voters that Mr. Romney’s agenda was wrong for the country, the perception would be hard to change at this stage of the campaign. But, says Mr. Law, when Mr. Romney presents evidence that he’s a “decent, competent, successful” person, the “negatives can fall away very quickly.”…

The Crossroads chief believes that the president’s greatest vulnerability is that he is “increasingly perceived as a deliverer of controversy. What he produces is controversy and fights and clashes. What he doesn’t produce is the result that people want. And when people look at Romney they look at somebody who doesn’t strike them as terribly ideological and if he has a fault, that’s it, right?”…

The Crossroads chief says he was surprised when he recently tested an Obama ad called “The Choice” with swing voters. In the ad, Mr. Obama speaks directly to camera. In a calm and reassuring voice, the president claims that Mr. Romney wants to help the wealthy while the Obama plan is to make the rich pay more to fund education and other priorities. Mr. Law thought the ad might be a winner for the president. But voters told him they had heard it all before from Mr. Obama. “I was shocked,” says Mr. Law.

***

What women want from candidates could not be more clear. In a poll my firm just completed for Lifetime television with Democratic strategist Celinda Lake, 41 percent of women said a candidate’s position on the issues is the biggest deciding factor when they vote. This trumped moral character (21 percent), background/experience (17 percent), record in elected office (9 percent), political party (6 percent) and spouse (2 percent).

For five straight years, women have said the economy and jobs are top issues. Health care and education are important, too. Women were four times more likely in 2010 than in 2008 to say government spending was a top concern. They prefer candidates who provide specific solutions on security — economic, job, national, personal, health — and affordability, which means meeting the costs of everyday life and keeping their jobs, homes and savings intact.

But you wouldn’t know that by listening to politicians today. Abortion and contraception, which do not appear in the top five most important issues to women in anyone’s polling, dominate the discussion. Unable to talk about a robust economy, solid employment numbers or long-term fiscal stability, Democrats plan to bet the house on the “war on women,” giving a prominent speaking spot to the president of Planned Parenthood at the party’s convention and screaming “women’s health!” when what they really mean is abortion. They’re saying comparatively little about heart disease, obesity or cancer. They may be overplaying their hand.

This should mean that Republicans have an opening. To capi­tal­ize on it, Romney and Paul Ryan should turn to metrics and big ideas. They love those things. Turns out, so do women.

***

Looming over that choice is the question of whether, at the end of this campaign, the winner can actually govern. Certainly, the raucous, often vicious nature of the combat so far has not been encouraging. One of us (David) has been attending conventions for some 40 years and has witnessed a distinct change in tone; listening to the hot rhetoric in both conventions in 2004, it suddenly became comprehensible how the country could have wound up in Civil War back in 1861 after another election full of ramifications for the nation’s future.

And the chasms between the two parties continue to widen before us. A deeply illuminating study, released a few days ago by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, has shown that over the past 14 years, the percentages of Democrats and Republicans who consider themselves “strong partisans” has shot up by about 20 points in each case.

So, in pushing voters to make a choice between sharply different visions, it is also imperative that the candidates look beyond November to the next four years, figuring out how they will bring the country together again when the brawl is over. The acceptance speeches are not just a moment to rally the base, they are also a place to begin laying the foundations of a successful presidency.


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I don’t parrot…I research.

kingsjester on August 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Where in what you cited contains reference to nationalist, socialist health care system? Are the many great hospitals in Boston owned and run by the State of MA? Are the doctors there state employees?

bayview on August 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM

kingsjester on August 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Add this to the mix..KJ.

Physician shortage in Massachusetts continues to squeeze primary care
General surgery and internal and family medicine are among the hardest-hit specialties.

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/10/10/prsc1012.htm

As you and I know..you can have a plan..but when you have a limited network or choice of docs and facilities..good luck.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

bayview on August 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Any duplicate of Romneycare, which will be legislated through our Federal Government, funded through our Federal government, while using OUR Tax Money to implement it, would be a national, “state-run” Healthcare System, would it not?

kingsjester on August 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Yep. And physicians are already threatening to quit, if a government-run Healthcare System is put in place.

kingsjester on August 25, 2012 at 9:05 AM

kingsjester on August 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Did Romney suggest any of that in his proposal for national health care reform?

bayview on August 25, 2012 at 9:11 AM

kingsjester on August 25, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Yep-I already see it with Medicare.

I never saw medicaid in action until recently..a friend of mine on it after a job loss..
That was a joke.. hey..here is 3 doctors to choose from (they all sucked)

she was upset..use to a maj med plan-she was upset
I said..welcome to a Govt plan.
I would rather have nothing. I advised her..she ended up paying out of pocket for her PCP and meds..as she is healthy. Leaving the medicaid for something catastrophic.

Lots of devil in the details..people don’t know till they experience it. I havve the new SBC law rolling out for my businesses..what fun!
They also screwed he pooch on the MLR rebate..my clients are up in arms.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:14 AM

bayview on August 25, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Do you believe unfunded legislation gets enacted?

kingsjester on August 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee released an analysis that draws on models from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and found that “the U.S. health-related unfunded obligations increased by $17 trillion since the law was passed, from $65 trillion to $82 trillion over the next 75 years.” Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama says this is “more than twice the unfunded liability of Social Security.”

http://budget.senate.gov/republican/public/index.cfm/must-reads?ID=80f28fa0-7471-42a7-ab33-57524608f187

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Do you believe unfunded legislation gets enacted?

kingsjester on August 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

No. Nor I believe or want national, business and personal financial ruin if the system of how health care is paid for, in the soon to hit tsunami of aging boomers, is not fixed. The quality of care will suffer along with, and when, the financing system breaking down.

bayview on August 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Morning, B9!

My parents are currently going through some insurance changes (Effective 9/1). They are very concerned about doctor availability and they are the lucky ones that do not depend solely on Medicare.

(On my way out the door. Have a good day, bazil!)

4Grace on August 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Does that not point to the absolute necessity of MediCare reform raised by Romney/Ryan?

bayview on August 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Does that not point to the absolute necessity of MediCare reform raised by Romney/Ryan?

bayview on August 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Yes, which I am in favor off.
It is broken..
CMS has the stat 10,000 people a day are turning 65- boomers are here.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Morning, B9!

My parents are currently going through some insurance changes (Effective 9/1). They are very concerned about doctor availability and they are the lucky ones that do not depend solely on Medicare.

(On my way out the door. Have a good day, bazil!)

4Grace on August 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Holy cow..you and I here at a “normal time” LOL.

Yep..doc availability is a big problem. Unless you dont live in a senior rich population.
As you know..my state is senior utopia.
Email me if I can help.

Have a good day! My sweet TX lady.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Morning bazil9. I just talked to my daughter in Broward County, she says the store shelves are emptying quickly.

Flora Duh on August 25, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Morning bazil9. I just talked to my daughter in Broward County, she says the store shelves are emptying quickly.

Flora Duh on August 25, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Morning Flora!

off the shelves? Maybe I need more caffeine..?

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Flora Duh on August 25, 2012 at 9:35 AM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Excusy moi.

Storm?

Axe on August 25, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Watching Mitt doing a GREAT job, with Paul, in Oiho !!
SOO confident, inspiring, and personable.
Covering every possible angle.
No stiffness, totus, nor hesitations.
I’m pleased with Mitt !!

pambi on August 25, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Storm?

Axe on August 25, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Oh, my mind was on Healthcare.

Thats normal…water, batteries, ice, canned foods, ect..
Broward is South..they are being well prepared as it will slice across that area.

Your daughter will be fine Flora..prayers though.

I am central..no big deal in my area.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM

I know this is OT, but how come more folks don’t have provisions set aside for hurricane season ???
It just doesn’t compute with me why there’s always such a rush for supplies once a storm is bearing down.
Heck, in TX one has to be prepared for ANYTHING, so we are. ;-)
Just my 2c.

pambi on August 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM

lol sorry, didn’t mean to throw you off kilter. I’m 75 miles north of Tampa. Beautiful morning here, clear blue sky, slight breeze, 80 degrees.

I did hear though that they found some weird guy wandering around town mumbling something about “chains” and “they won’t let me go to Tampa.”

Flora Duh on August 25, 2012 at 10:11 AM

pambi on August 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

I have a hurricane supply kit prepared every year.
I use to be like whatever..after years of threats that fizzled.
I was devastated by Hurricane Charlie..I will never forget that and now am always prepared.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM

I use to be like whatever..after years of threats that fizzled.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM

I think the FL news media can be blamed in part for that. It seems like at the first mention of something forming in the tropics they start freaking out. After a while people grow tired of the “crying wolf” syndrome and tune them out.

But you’re right, all it usually takes is going through one really bad storm to learn a lesson. For me it was Andrew, for my daughter in Broward, it was Wanda.

Flora Duh on August 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM

lol sorry, didn’t mean to throw you off kilter. I’m 75 miles north of Tampa. Beautiful morning here, clear blue sky, slight breeze, 80 degrees.

I did hear though that they found some weird guy wandering around town mumbling something about “chains” and “they won’t let me go to Tampa.”

Flora Duh on August 25, 2012 at 10:11 AM

LOL, you did throw me off..hazy here..slight breeze.

“I did hear though that they found some weird guy wandering around town mumbling something about “chains” and “they won’t let me go to Tampa.”

haha.. My good friend works right in that area where the convention is. Everyone from her office will be working remotely-as it will be nuts. I wish he was coming..a nice wind gust ripping out the plugs and flying threw the air..lol
Media..>alert alert- watch out for hair plugs flying in 60 miles per hour..wind gusts. LOL.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I think the FL news media can be blamed in part for that. It seems like at the first mention of something forming in the tropics they start freaking out. After a while people grow tired of the “crying wolf” syndrome and tune them out.

But you’re right, all it usually takes is going through one really bad storm to learn a lesson. For me it was Andrew, for my daughter in Broward, it was Wanda.

Flora Duh on August 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Yep- I did use to tune it out..after moving here-went through it so many times panicking and nothing. I agree about the media.
Yes, takes one. Charlie messed me up bad..never been so scared. I lived in the historic district with many old oaks. The morning I walked out..it was surreal.
Now I have a nice kit prepared. I watch closely the path..I dont freak out anymore but if its going to look like its headed my way-I prepare and take it seriously. I also leave town if possible. B doesn’t play anymore.
Yes, Andrew was very bad for many. Once you go through something like that..forever changed. After Katrina..I will assume New Orleans will not just say whatever anymore.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Just my 2c.

pambi on August 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

.02 worth their weight in gold!

HoustonRight on August 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Flora Duh on August 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Yep, the media has an alarmist attitude around here too. I am afraid that one day it will cost lives. Not many left here for Ike and most were w/o power >2 weeks.

HoustonRight on August 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

All of my family members are ‘weather weenies’, and for years I worked for independent insurance agents, who’d be on the road, waiting for me to feed them cane coordinates, via fax @ a local hotel, since first agents there = first ones paid !! LOL .. Those were the days !!
Crying wolf IS part of the problem, especially when the media hyperventilates over a TS or Cat1.
Give us a break … hehe. Flooding is a major problem, but most locals understand where the problems lie and can be prepared.
We moved my MIL from Melbourne (FL) to here in TX BETWEEN those 4 canes, that year (?).
She’d had enough !! LOL.

pambi on August 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Charley was great. Made tons of dough. Especially in downtown Whorelando. People wanted their power back on and didn’t want to deal with inspectors and stuff.

Lanceman on August 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Did ted c ever get back to us with a movie review?

Cindy Munford on August 25, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Did ted c ever get back to us with a movie review?

Cindy Munford on August 25, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Pappy has a thorough review on the MasonDixon thread, @ 11:36

pambi on August 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM

pambi on August 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I’m gonna run right over there. Thanks!!!

Cindy Munford on August 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I have to take a look at qotd, the next day because it seems to be better than most of jazz’s post.

wolly4321 on August 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Charley was great. Made tons of dough. Especially in downtown Whorelando. People wanted their power back on and didn’t want to deal with inspectors and stuff.

Lanceman on August 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Glad it was great for you. Devastated others. I lost a lot myself. Including nearly my life.
Yes, many made $. Fence co’s, roofers, tree removal, ect..raked in the cash.

Yep, the media has an alarmist attitude around here too. I am afraid that one day it will cost lives. Not many left here for Ike and most were w/o power >2 weeks.

HoustonRight on August 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Well said-the alarmist attitude is the problem often. The media..enough said.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 12:36 PM

We moved my MIL from Melbourne (FL) to here in TX BETWEEN those 4 canes, that year (?).
She’d had enough !! LOL.

pambi on August 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM

:) A Brevard girl here. Hey ex-neighbor.
LOL..yeah..I am sure she did. I had enough too..horrible year.

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM

bazil9 on August 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM

My daughter and I visited Bok Tower after that season, those hurricanes did a number on the gardens.

Cindy Munford on August 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

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