Patterico's Pontifications


Obama Charts a New Route to Re-election?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 3:57 pm

[Posted by Karl]

That’s an inaccurate headline at today’s New York Times:

With his support among blue-collar white voters far weaker than among white-collar independents, President Obama is charting an alternative course to re-election should he be unable to win Ohio and other industrial states traditionally essential to Democratic presidential victories.

Without conceding ground anywhere, Mr. Obama is fighting hard for Southern and Rocky Mountain states he won in 2008, and some he did not, in calculating how to assemble the necessary 270 electoral votes. He is seeking to prove that those victories on formerly Republican turf were not flukes but the start of a trend that will make Democrats competitive there for years.


While Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have slid across the board as unemployment remains high, what buoys Democrats are the changing demographics of formerly Republican states like Colorado, where Democrats won a close Senate race in 2010, as well as Virginia and North Carolina.

There’s nothing new about this. The left eyed the Mountain West and Southwest as fertile ground for its Emerging Democratic Majority in 2008 (and well before that, really).

However, if you look at the latest Purple Poll (or .pdf) from the new, bi-partisan Purple Strategies, the head-to-head numbers for Obama against Romney or Perry in the “Wild West” (Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada) and “Southern Swing” states (Virginia, North Carolina and Florida) are both within the margin of error of the numbers in the “Rust Belt” of Ohio and Pennsylvania.  That’s why TNR’s William Galston does not think Obama should be focusing on the electoral map:

The last Democrat to win the White House without carrying Ohio was John F. Kennedy, who pulled off the feat with 73 electoral votes from south of the Mason-Dixon line and another 26 from the border states of West Virginia, Missouri, and Arkansas. Obama’s likely haul from that territory: zero. And as Seib points out, the president is facing an uphill climb in much of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region—including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, all of which went his way by larger margins than did Ohio. (For more evidence, see the latest Pennsylvania survey, which finds that 54 percent of registered voters disapprove of Obama’s performance and 51 percent don’t think he deserves reelection, while it has him running even with Romney in a state he carried by 10.3 points in 2008.) In short, the president won’t have the luxury of building his campaign on a solid-blue foundation of 242 electoral votes in 2012.

So what does this all mean? Barring unlikely circumstances, the core challenge facing the Obama campaign is not to execute a thread-the-needle Electoral College strategy. It is rather to spend the next thirteen and a half months giving the people credible reasons to believe that the economy will fare better in a second Obama term than it did in the first. (Emphasis added.)

Of course, that is why Camp Obama is spending time with the maps.


Obama: America Has Gone Soft

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

We need a hard-bitten tough guy like Barack to pull us through, is what we need:

Granted, we don’t have the full context here, so I don’t know quite what to make of it. But it’s just so funny!

Thanks to AZBob.

Feds Were Selling Guns to Cartels?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am

That appears to be the latest Fast and Furious revelation: rather than simply having gun owners sell guns to straw buyers for the cartels, the feds were actually selling guns to them, and then losing track of the guns.

Has anyone fully looked into the Laredo office? Just curious . . .

Another Post at Dear Elena

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

I have noted the Dear Elena blog before, here and here, about a six-year-old girl who died far before her time. Her dad has a new post up today, and it’s worth your time:

We have a real hole in the kitchen ceiling. It’s about four feet across and two feet high. The drywall’s ragged edges sag a bit and the wooden slats show through. It’s right above the stove. It’s been there for seven years now. We’ve talked about patching it before, but it reminds us of Elena.

Kim was in the basement doing laundry and water started running down the walls. She ran up to the kitchen to see if something was flooding there. Water was coming down through the ceiling over the stove. So Kim ran up another flight of stairs to the bathroom.

There was Elena standing in three inches of water with the toilet overflowing. She was trying to clear out the obstruction with a toilet cleaning brush. When Kim rounded the corner, Elena looked up beaming holding the brush high with wet toilet paper clinging to the end of it. “Don’t worry mom,” she said, “I’ve got it.”

I’ll make you go to the post itself for the bittersweet punchline.

Sockpuppet Friday—the “Anti-Bullying Issues” Edition!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:18 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sockpuppetry in this thread. The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads. I have made that mistake myself.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.


And for this week’s Friday Frivolity, we have this piece at “5 Bad Ideas for Dealing With Bullies You Learned in Movies.

The Cracked template for this kind of piece is to apply science to some common issue, with boob jokes and cursing, resulting in an amusing piece.  That’s their M.O. but in this case, rather than using anything resembling science the author, John Cheese, mainly draws on personal experience.  Some samples:

When my brother was in elementary school, he had a couple of kids who would regularly push him around at recess. It got to the point where…

In my experience, I’ve found that if you can manage to pull it off, ignoring works in most cases. Since the [censored] is looking for attention fuel…

Through most of middle school, my brother and I were terrorized by two brothers who lived down the block. They had pretty severe emotional problems. They came from a family of career criminals who were openly abusive to them, and in turn, they took out their anger on anyone they considered weak…

And it goes on and on like this.  There is no attempt to talk about bullying as a phenomenon, just the jerks this guy and his brother had to contend with growing up.  I mean, I’ll grant that Hollywood treats the issue of bullying about as realistically as they treat any other subject…

(Seriously, do not take legal advice from a movie.  Ever.)

…and I don’t think anyone’s experiences on the playground resemble the movies, with only a few notable exceptions.  But this article reads more like therapy for the author than the usual mix of surprising information, bad words and dirty jokes that usually makes a quality piece.

You know, like this one.  Seriously, that “White Death” dude is awesome!

(By the way, language warning on all of the links.)

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


The Cain Scrutiny

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 11:14 am

[Posted by Karl]

Although Rick Perry currently remains in the lead in the RCP average for the GOP nomination, Nate Silver* is far from the only person noting that the prime beneficiary of Perry’s current slump is Herman Cain, not Mitt Romney.  It appears the political discussion will continue to move back to a Romney vs Not Romney theme, although Silver adds the appropriate caveats:

Mr. Romney has emerged — or re-emerged — as the favorite; I’d give him roughly even odds of winning the nomination. But it’s unlikely to be a smooth and linear path, and the alternate hypothesis that Republican voters are determined to pick someone more conservative than him has some support in this data.

That’s not to paper over the problems of Mr. Perry, who entered the race in a strong strategic position and has failed to make much of it. It’s possible, moreover, that the fallout of the Sept. 22 debate is not yet fully realized in the surveys; Mr. Perry performed somewhat worse in the Fox News and YouGov polls than in the CNN poll, which postdated it by a couple of days.

In general, however, I’d caution against using terms like “momentum” when discussing the nomination race (or polling results under most other circumstances). We’ll be publishing a separate article on this shortly, but there’s not much evidence of serial correlation in polling data: candidates who decline from one period to the next are just as likely to rebound as to see their numbers continue falling.

That finding does not surprise me.  As I noted previously, if Romney re-emerges as front-runner, there will be a renewed focus by his rivals and the media on Romney’s weaknesses as a candidate.  Moreover, if Cain competes seriously with Perry in the Not Romney category, Cain also will get more scrutiny. (more…)


Obama Administration Appeals ObamaCare Issue to Supreme Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:57 pm


It’s a comfort to know that we’re now just nine months away from our super-president, Anthony Kennedy, telling us whether this thing is illegal or not.

My bold prediction: Kennedy votes in favor of ObamaCare. New York Times editorial board praises him. There is much rejoicing.

Only the true candidate denies his candidacy

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 10:31 am

[Posted by Karl]

Sometimes, the news is stranger than satire:

New Jersey governor Chris Christie finally broke his silence since rumors of a presidential run returned out of nowhere this weekend, speaking at the Reagan Library in California. Making the core of his speech the virtues of “leadership and compromise,” Christie delivered a speech demanding President Obama accomplish more, because “his failure is our failure, too.” It is not a garden variety gubernatorial speech, but it’s not exactly a campaign speech– striking square in Sarah Palin Iowa territory. His answer to the question? Christie directed everyone to a Politico compilation of him saying “no” repeatedly.

Of course, the establishment media ignored the speech itself and Christie’s answer to The Big Question.  Rather they focused on a later “question,” in which a woman begged him to reconsider running for president, for her children and grandchildren, followed by a standing ovation.  Christie — not wanting to be a jerk — replied that he heard what she said and that it touches him, but it was not a reason for him to run.  This answer, in the minds of the media, is transformed into Christie leaving the door open, despite him telling people to watch a video of him telling the media “No” in every conceivable way, again and again.  Ironically, this is being pushed by “journalists” at the Politico — Ben Smith, Maggie Haberman, and Juana Summers — despite the fact Politico hosts the “No” video to which Christie referred. The WaPo also has its offenders, including Chris Cillizza and of course Jennifer Rubin, who is already writing Christie’s announcement speech, probably in a cubicle plastered with pictures of the governor, clipped from various magazines along with construction paper hearts. To quote Karen Hanretty, “Only in DC could a man say he’d rather kill himself than run for potus and everyone would say, ‘sounds like he left the door open.’ ”

The Christie videos can all be found at the first link in this post, but the Christie story can really be summed up in 32 seconds (language warning):



White House Gets Ford to Pull Anti-Bailout TV Ad?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:37 am

[Posted by Karl]

The rightosphere is buzzing about the claim made by Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes:

As part of a [Ford] campaign featuring “real people” explaining their decision to buy the Blue Oval, a guy named “Chris” says he “wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government,” according the text of the ad, launched in early September.

“I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work.”

That’s what some of America is about, evidently. Because Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ’09 and again when the ad flap arose.

Howes may be wrong about direct causality.  FoMoCo says the campaign continues to run, although the specific ad was taken “out of rotation after 4 weeks which is consistent with the typical lifecycle for the campaign.”  And contrary to some claims on Twitter, even that ad remains on Ford’s YouTube channel.

However, that does not mean that the Obama Administration did not gripe to Ford about the ad.  The widely-mocked AttackWatch has been eager to defend the bailout of GM and Chrysler.  Moreover, touting these bailouts is a key to Obama’s effort to hold onto the Great Lakes region in 2012.  Ford pointing out that it is easily outperforming GM and Chrysler is not helpful to Obama.  Neither is pointing out that the bailout saved nowhere near the million jobs claimed.  Indeed, it is likely that a regular bankruptcy would have yielded about the same number of continuing jobs as the taxpayer-funded bankruptcy.  The only difference is that Obama intervened to bail out his union support at the UAW, rather than the companies’ creditors.  With a economy mired in malaise overall, Obama does not need Ford reminding people that taxpayers were put on the hook to boost his re-election effort.

Update: FWIW, it looks like Howe says a Ford VP confirms his claim.

Update 2: Scott Monty, head of social media for FoMoCo: “We did not pull the ad under pressure.”

Update 3: WH flack Dan Pfieffer denies they pressured Ford… which isn’t a denial of complaints.


Simple Flub or Freudian Slip?

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:06 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Via the LA Times Top of the Ticket we learn that Obama had a bit of a slip of the tongue during the CBC banquet.  He was supposed to say:

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.

Except he actually said…

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as Jew– as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.

Go ahead, watch the video and listen for yourself.  The Top of the Ticket’s Andrew Malcolm says he was confusing Jews with Janitors, and maybe so…  but I tend to think that when he was discussing billionaires he couldn’t get the word Jew out of his mind.

Yeah, I am beginning to think he has a prejudice problem.  There, I said it.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I’m happy to take a shot at Obama when I can do so fairly, but to me it seems clear that he meant to read “Junior” and then recognized the word on his little TeleCrutch.

But still I think he has a spending problem. There, I said it.

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