Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on September 1, 2012 by Allahpundit

Over his first term, Mr. Obama, 51 years old, has fundamentally shifted his view of modern presidential power, say those who know him well. He is now convinced the most essential part of his job, given politically divided Washington, is rallying public opinion to his side.

As a result, if he wins a second term, Mr. Obama plans to remain in campaign mode

The president views a second term in some ways as a second chance, an opportunity to approach the office differently, according to close aides. He would like to tackle issues such as climate change, immigration, education and filibuster reform.

He has told some aides that a sizable mistake at the start of his administration was his naiveté in thinking he could work with Republicans on weighty issues.

***

[E]ven if negative campaigning works, a re-elected Mr Obama will need the strength that comes from a convincing agenda. Otherwise the Republicans, who will control the House and possibly the Senate too, will make mincemeat of him. And … it is not just Mr Obama who needs a plan. America does too. Its finances and its government require a drastic overhaul. Surely this charismatic, thoughtful man has more ideas about what must be done than he has so far let on?

A tempting option will be to galvanise his party base, with talk of more health reform and threats of higher taxes on business and the rich. Rather than redesigning government, he could suck up to the public-sector unions by promising that jobs will not be cut. Rather than cutting entitlement programmes, he could reassure the elderly that America can actually afford them…

Incumbents tend to win presidential elections, but second-term presidents tend to be disappointing. Mr Obama’s first-term record suggests that, if re-elected, he could be the lamest of ducks. That’s why he needs a good answer to the big question: just what would you do with another four years?

***

This election is not about what happened before Obama become president. It’s about his failure to make things better, and it is about where we are going in the future.

Obama didn’t close that factory — but he hasn’t re-opened it either. Despite telling the people of Janesville that was the plan. When GM announced in October 2008 that it would be halting production there, then-candidate Obama said, “As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America.”

Though Obama got his bailout, the people of Janesville are still waiting for that re-tooling. It’s that failure to accomplish the very goals he set out for himself that is the greatest indictment of Obama’s presidency.

***

[L]et me make a modest observation from having spent much of the last few months traveling round foreign parts. When you don’t have frighteningly white upscale liberals obsessing about the racist subtext of golf, it’s amazing how much time it frees up to talk about other stuff. For example, as dysfunctional as Greece undoubtedly is, if you criticize the government’s plans for public-pensions provision, there are no Chris Matthews types with such a highly evolved state of racial consciousness that they reflexively hear “watermelon” instead of the word “pensions.” So instead everyone discusses the actual text rather than the imaginary subtext. Which may be why political discourse in the euro zone is marginally less unreal than ours right now: At least they’re talking about “austerity”; over here we’re still spending, and more than ever.

Time’s Mark Halperin wrote this week that “Obama can’t win if he can’t swing the conversation away from the economy.” That’s a pretty amazing admission. The economy is the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters, and, beyond that, the central reality of Obama’s America. But to win the president has to steer clear. That doesn’t leave a lot else. Hence, the racism of golf, the war on women, the carcinogenic properties of Mitt Romney. Democrat strategy 1992: It’s the economy, stupid. Democrat strategy 2012: It’s the stupidity, economists.

***

Four years on, the speeches are starting to grate. Americans are tiring of their leader’s charm, much as we tired of Tony Blair’s. When demanding a trillion-dollar stimulus package at the start of his term, Mr Obama promised that it would bring unemployment down to below 5.6 per cent; today, the figure stands at 8.3 per cent. He pledged, in that slightly millenarian manner of his, to halve the deficit. Four years on, the deficit has fallen from $1.3 trillion to, er, $1.2 trillion. America’s credit rating has been downgraded as $5 trillion has been added to the national debt.

These are indescribable sums. There are no superlatives that can adequately convey what a $16 trillion national debt means. But Americans don’t need to wrap their minds around the statistics to know that they are worse off than they were 12 months ago, and will be yet worse off 12 months from now…

Whether Mitt Romney can eliminate the deficit is not clear. What is beyond doubt, though, is that Mr Obama cannot. His four years have left America poorer, less happy and less free. As Clint Eastwood told Republican delegates: “Politicians are employees of ours – and if somebody does not do the job, we gotta let ’em go.”

In a television interview after Mr Romney’s speech, the presenter asked me whether it was possible to win on an austerity message. Hadn’t the Greeks just punished the politicians who suggested deep budget cuts? “Yes,” I told him, “but Americans aren’t Greeks. We expect better of you.”

***

In 1992, candidate Bill Clinton’s campaign ran an ad that began: “For so long government has failed us, and one of its worst features has been welfare. I have a plan to end welfare as we know it.” This was before progressives defined progress as preventing changes even to rickety, half-century-old programs: Republicans “would end Medicare as we know it.”

When did peculiarly named progressives decide they must hunker down in a defensive crouch to fend off an unfamiliar future? Hoover Dam ended the lower Colorado River as we knew it. Rockefeller Center ended midtown Manhattan as we knew it. Desegregation ended the South as we knew it. The Internet ended . . . you get the point. In their baleful resistance to any policy not “as we know it,” progressives resemble a crotchety 19th-century vicar in a remote English village banging his cane on the floor to express irritation about rumors of a newfangled, noisy and smoky something called a railroad.

***

According to new research released today by Rasmussen, more voters identify themselves as Republican than ever in the last 8 years. More importantly, by a 4 point margin, more voters identify as GOP than Democrat. This is the largest spread between the parties ever. Worse for Democrats, the number of voters who identify with their party is also approaching an historic low.

In August, 37.6% of voters identified themselves as Republican. That is up from 34.9% in July. By contrast, just 33.3% of voters identify themselves as Democrats. That is very near their historic low in February, when 32.4% of voters identified as Democrat. The 4.3 margin in favor of the GOP is the biggest gap ever between the parties. In November 2010, when the GOP won a landslide in the mid-term elections, their advantage was just 1.3 points…

If the GOP advantage holds through November, it is likely that the electorate will be evenly split, like it was in 2004 or possibly have a Republican edge. If that is the case, then current media polling is way off-base. Democrats and the media may wake up in shock on November 7th.

***

Through three nights of gauzy videos, sentimental testimonials and, finally, his own address to the nation Thursday, Mitt Romney worked hard to show he has a heart.

But he still needs to tackle the much harder job of convincing those Americans who so emotionally invested their hearts in President Obama four years ago that it is time to accept that his presidency did not work, let go of him and move on…

After month after month of disappointing job numbers, poll after poll showing dissatisfaction in his economic performance and hundreds of millions of dollars in negative advertisements, a large portion of wavering voters maintain a personal attachment to Mr. Obama, and a tentative willingness to give him more time to get it right, top strategists with both campaigns agree…

“It’s going to be hard to break the bond a lot of voters feel with Obama, even if they are disappointed,” said Mark McKinnon, a former strategist for Mr. Bush. “It may be a bad marriage, but they still want to save it.”

***


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Oh, BTW, I’m sure I mentioned this to you before. (I’m also sure you totally ignored it.) I voted for H. Ross Perot in 1992. What did it get us? Eight years of Bill Clinton, that’s what.

RedCrow on September 2, 2012 at 3:56 AM

Oh, BTW, I’m sure I mentioned this to you before. (I’m also sure you totally ignored it.) I voted for H. Ross Perot in 1992. What did it get us? Eight years of Bill Clinton, that’s what.

RedCrow on September 2, 2012 at 3:56 AM

I couldn’t care less who you voted for in the past. Your crooked party is waging generational warfare against the young! They are burying us under so much debt that we can’t possibly ever repay it but will have to carry the burden of paying for other peoples frivolous crap for the rest of our lives. THEY ARE BRAZENLY RIGGING VOTES ON NATIONAL TV!!!!!!!!! They are generational thieves who are stealing from the young to pay off their cronies and buy the votes of the much greater number of old people who don’t mind frivolously spending other peoples future earnings like it doesn’t matter. When the young victims of the Republican and Democrat parties learn of the fate that the rulings class has in store for them they are rebelling and have enjoined the political process to save themselves and their futures, and the old people who dominate the Republican Party have rigged votes and cheated in other ways in order to dictate an outcome other than the truth.

The Republican Party is illegitimate and un-American.

America is supposed to be about truth and justice, and the Republican Party is supposed to be about law and order, and neither is the case any longer, but it can be. Gary Johnson was a popular and successful governor who respects the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He would have vetoed a Romneycare/Obamacare. He has always supported the 2nd amendment, unlike Romney who was the first governor in the nation to pass an so-called assault weapons ban.

That is probably the easiest way for the Republican grass roots to force the Republican Party to undo what they’ve done. Vote for Gary Johnson. Romney can’t be allowed to win because these unjust, dictatorial changes will become permanent, but let’s not give up in defeating Obama. Romney is unacceptable but Gary Johnson will be great. He’s exactly the kind of reformer that America needs; one that does things the American way, not the Obamacare/Romneycare/gun ban way.

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:16 AM

Changing the rules to alter outcomes and rigging votes like Romney and Boehner have actually been caught doing is the sort of thing that Putin has only been accused of doing.

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:26 AM

Romney is unacceptable but Gary Johnson will be great. He’s exactly the kind of reformer that America needs; one that does things the American way, not the Obamacare/Romneycare/gun ban way.

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:16 AM

Dude, you’re a nut-job.
Seek help.

RedCrow on September 2, 2012 at 4:27 AM

that Putin has only been accused of doing.

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:26 AM

How did Al Franken win a Senate seat?
Dude, you’re a nut-job.
Seek help.

RedCrow on September 2, 2012 at 4:28 AM

I don’t want an American Chavez like Obama but I don’t want an American Putin either. And we don’t have to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire like that because Gary Johnson believes in freedom and liberty and his state prospered while he was the popular two term governor.

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:30 AM

Dude, you’re a nut-job.
Seek help.

RedCrow on September 2, 2012 at 4:28 AM

You’re the nut-job who doesn’t care about vote rigging and cheating. I proudly stand for freedom and liberty and oppose immoral nut-job cheaters like you and make no apologies. Your behavior, on the other hand, is shameful.

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:38 AM

I’m turning in shortly. For people coming in in the morning, this is what I’m referring to above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKaXqoC4DjE

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:58 AM

I’m turning in shortly. For people coming in in the morning, this is what I’m referring to above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKaXqoC4DjE

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:58 AM

I’m glad the rule passed. It’s what most of us want anyway. Makes no sense to allow a bunch of troublemakers the ability to try to weaken or embarrass the presumptive nominee before a general election. Delegates should be bound to vote for a particular candidate. End of story. The nomination should be based on the votes of the millions of primary voters in the different states, NOT on arm-twisting and anarchy at the convention. The people who have been whining about losing their ability to create a ruckus in the future should be ashamed. This has nothing to do with grassroots; this is about preventing chaos-promoting kooks from being able to overrule the votes of millions of voters.

bluegill on September 2, 2012 at 7:21 AM

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:58 AM

Waaaa, Waaaaa, waaaa!!!! The big, bad, meanie Republican party foiled the spoiled, crybaby Paulnuts plans.

Vince on September 2, 2012 at 7:41 AM

I have a quote for the day:

Anyone who votes for Gary Johnson is an idiot who is throwing away his/her vote, is supporting Obama’s reelection chances, and should feel embarrassed to show his/her face in public. Announcing you intend to vote for a no-chance loser third party candidate is the equivalent of announcing that you are retarded. The kind of people who throw their votes away in this way and then brag about it remind me of 9/11 truthers who go around ranting about their conspiracy theories, thinking it makes them sound smart and in possession of some insight that supposedly only a select few possess. Sorry, it just makes you sound like loons, and no one is impressed.

Anyone not voting for Romney and Ryan is simply supporting Obama’s reelection chances. No more complicated than that.

bluegill on September 2, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Changing the rules to alter outcomes and rigging votes like Romney and Boehner have actually been caught doing is the sort of thing that Putin has only been accused of doing.

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:26 AM

Your posts leave me speechless. Where and what have you been reading to be so delusional. Who but the Dems have had dogs and dead people casting votes? Just amazing you are so out of touch with the real world….

chai on September 2, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Changing the rules to alter outcomes and rigging votes like Romney and Boehner have actually been caught doing is the sort of thing that Putin has only been accused of doing.

FloatingRock on September 2, 2012 at 4:26 AM

Do your care providers know you’re out and unattended?

Abiss on September 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Floating Rock…heh heh…aptly named. Okay, jokes over. Someone wanna flush that?

Abiss on September 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Love Romney’s “coach” line. So perfect.

bluegill on September 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM

You might as well have watched it on a black-and-white TV” — BHO

It’s a darn good thing that a Republican didn’t say that.
Chris Matthews would have called it RACIST.

J_Crater on September 2, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Whether Mitt Romney can eliminate the deficit is not clear. What is beyond doubt, though, is that Mr Obama cannot. His four years have left America poorer, less happy and less free. As Clint Eastwood told Republican delegates: “Politicians are employees of ours – and if somebody does not do the job, we gotta let ’em go.”

Amen.
The “CEO” is not above being removed from office by the shareholders.
How ironic would it be if King Barack the Growth Slayer were to be treated like the shareholders of Gubmint Motors?

King Barack should have heard, given his predilection for White House parties, …
♫♪ If ya can’t keep the beat, ya gotta let go ♫♪
C’mon, Barry … sing us a tune … ♫♪ waa waa waa ♫♪ aint no “tune”.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on September 2, 2012 at 9:49 AM

“It’s going to be hard to break the bond a lot of voters feel with Obama, even if they are disappointed,” said Mark McKinnon, a former strategist for Mr. Bush. “It may be a bad marriage, but they still want to save it.”

Maybe not, if they come to understand that thanks to a derelict media, it was an arranged marriage.

Barnestormer on September 2, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Dire Straits was here!..:)

Dire Straits on September 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Announcing you intend to vote for a no-chance loser third party candidate is the equivalent of announcing that you are retarded.

bluegill on September 2, 2012 at 7:43 AM

.
Since you are voting for Romney, what’s your excuse?

listens2glenn on September 2, 2012 at 10:10 PM

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