Patterico's Pontifications


What I Did Last Memorial Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:34 am

I was browsing through some old pictures and realized I had meant to put up a post about our trip to Carmel from Memorial Day weekend. I had an appointment to interview a witness at a nearby state prison so we made it an even longer long weekend. We stayed in a cottage down by the shore called the Abalone Cottage and wrangled a deal out of the owner. It’s a neat rustic cottage with two bedrooms. Here is a picture I took with an iPhone from inside the cottage:

Walking out to the yard you can take stairs to a path that leads along the coast and takes you to rocks with tide pools:

The cottage is probably about as close as you can stay to what I believe is the greatest state park in California: the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Picture walking amongst conifers with the ocean at your side:

We ate at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch Restaurant, which is really a beautiful property:

We had taken driving trips up the California coast before but had only cruised through Carmel. That was a mistake. It’s a beautiful area and worth spending 3-4 days.

2012 will be brutal? So what?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 8:45 am

[Posted by Karl]

I don’t mean to pick on the AP’s Charles Babington; his latest just happens to contain two pieces of conventional wisdom on the 2012 election worth discussing:

The jobless rate will stand at levels that have not led to a president’s re-election since the Great Depression. Largely because of that, Obama will run a much more negative campaign, his aides acknowledge, even if it threatens to demoralize some supporters who were inspired by his 2008 message of hope.


With the economy struggling and Obama hemmed in legislatively, his advisers sometimes say the election will be a choice between the president and his challenger, rather than a referendum on the administration’s performance.

“That’s a very genteel way of saying ‘Were going to rip your face off,'” said Dan Schnur, a former aide to McCain and other Republicans, and now a politics professor at the University of Southern California. Obama has little choice but to try to portray the GOP alternative as worse than his own disappointing record, Schnur said.

First, research does not bear out the idea that negative campaigning is an effective means of winning votes, but it does tend to boost turnout a bit.  The conventional wisdom gets this exactly backwards.

Second, on the claims of people like David Axelrod that 2012 will be a choice, not a referendum on Obama, Larry Sabato replies: “Wrong. It will be both–a titanic struggle between election theories.”  But even that is likely an overstatement.  According to data from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, more than 2/3 Obama supporters are voting for Obama, while over 2/3 Romney and Perry supporters are voting against Obama.  Pew data shows the same amount of focus on the incumbent in 1992, 1996 and 2004.  Although that Pew report identifies this pattern in the early stages of a presidential reelection campaign, a prior Pew report showed this pattern largely holding throughout 2004.

Obama and his cronies can fling all the mud they like; they will have difficulty finding an issue that neutralizes a weak economy.


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