August 02, 2012When people get desperate they start doing really stupid things.
To most of us the presidential campaign has been going on for way too long and the candidates aren't near the finish line yet. But for the insiders – the ones who have the real poll numbers, the folks who focus group whether it is better to start a speech with "Good evening" or "Hello, Greensboro," the folks who decide whether the candidate will get more clout out of visiting Salisbury or Lexington – to them the long campaign is coming to a close. The real insiders in the campaign are looking at figures and statistics. They know exactly where every incumbent who has won and every incumbent who has lost stood in the first week of August.
From their actions it appears the Obama camp thinks they are in trouble. Candidates who think they are going to lose go negative. It is a technique that works, but it is not one that is loved. President Barack Hussein Obama – who ran in 2008 on "Hope" and "Change" and promised no negative campaigning – this time around has realized that he is not going to be able to get up in front of huge crowds and spout off meaningless babble about hope and change if he wants to win, and he does want to win.
So most likely someone from the campaign went to Obama and said: We're losing big time. We don't have a prayer in North Carolina unless we really push his wealth and his religion. Virginia is right behind them. And if we don't do something we could lose the whole thing.
So Obama apparently decided that to get back in the race he needed to go negative, and it is likely to get really ugly during the next 97 days or so. Mitt Romney has often countered the negative with facts.
Isn't it interesting that the problem is the economy, and according to Obama the problem with the economy is that there are too many rich people. He is exactly wrong. The problem with the economy is that there are too few people getting richer every day and too many people getting poorer every day. Creating jobs is not something poor people do. In a capitalist society, creating jobs means creating wealth. If you create jobs without creating wealth, which is pretty much what Obama has done with the $1 trillion stimulus package, then all you've done is borrowed money to make the government more powerful.
But the White House is also doing really dumb stuff like claiming that Obama didn't return the bust of Winston Churchill, which was in the Oval Office, to the British. This is not something that is debatable. It is a fact that when Obama became president the bust was taken out of the Oval Office and returned it to the British.
The White House had to correct that statement with an update, which was some nonsense about two Churchill busts, which has no relevance. It doesn't matter how many busts of Churchill are in Washington, DC. This was about the particular bust that was in the Oval Office and will be back if Romney wins.
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In a nearly unprecedented move White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, who had written that columnist Charles Krauthammer's statement about Obama sending the bust of Churchill from the Oval Office back to the British was "100 percent false," issued an apology to Krauthammer. Pfeiffer doesn't man up and just admit he was wrong, but maintains that there was some confusion about the two Churchill busts in the White House. So Krauthammer and all the bloggers out there had better information about what was going on in the White House than the communications director. But be that as it may, Pfeiffer claims that Obama had nothing to do with sending the bust back to Great Britain. Unfortunately for Pfeiffer, not only can Krauthammer read, so can the British, and they are not shy about telling people that the bust was on loan for as long as the White House wanted it, and was returned at the beginning of the Obama term.
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Then Congressman Nancy Pelosi gets her two cents in saying that Obama had been to Israel "over and over again." It just isn't true. He has never visited Israel as president or as a private citizen. Obama has visited Israel a total of twice. Obama visited both times while he was a US senator, and once when he was also a presidential candidate. But he never visited Israel on his own dime and has not been since becoming president.
Pelosi says dumb stuff all the time, but what is the advantage of saying something like that which can be proven false? The advantage is that the liberal mainstream media are not going to correct Pelosi, so her statement will simply stand for those who rely on the mainstream media for their information.
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It's so predictable that Obama goes after Romney for being rich. What was funny was when the late Sen. Ted Kennedy would talk about the working class. No one in the Kennedy family has worked in generations, but it is OK for them to be rich and it is OK for Bill Gates to be rich because they are rich liberals. The problem is when you have a conservative who is rich, and that is when something needs to be done about it.
Barack and Michelle Obama, in particular Michelle, appear to really want to be rich. She acts like she is richer than the Romneys, and in many ways she is. The Romneys do not travel on matching 747 jets. I would be willing to bet that they don't take two separate jets so that Ann can arrive a few hours before Mitt.
If Obama does lose in November it will be interesting to see what trips the president and first lady take between November and January.
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One thing for anyone on the fence to remember is that Obama has known for years that he needed to get the unemployment rate down and the economy up in order to get reelected. He said himself that if he didn't get the economy going then he would only be in the White House for four years. His first year in office he had a filibuster-proof majority for seven months in the Senate along with enough of a majority in the House to do anything he wanted. And for his entire first two years in office he had huge majority in the Senate, though one vote short of filibuster proof, and a big majority in the House. So for two years he could get any reasonable economic reforms and fixes through Congress. He chose to spend most of his political capital on health care, but he did spend $1 trillion on the economy
The point is that when he had the opportunity and he had the power, Obama did what he thought would work, so that he could but spend another four years with a private golf course at his disposal, huge 747 jets to take him wherever he wanted to go, a chef to cook his meals and all the other trappings of the office.
So he had the incentive and the power to improve the economy, but he couldn't get the job done. If he couldn't solve the economic problems when he could pass virtually anything he wanted, how in the world is he going to be able to do anything with Republicans controlling the House and Senate? The fact is that Obama's policies don't work. What the economy needed was not a massive government spending plan. Increasing government spending and taking the country further into debt was not the answer. During Obama's administration $5 trillion has been added to the deficit.
The one percenters that Obama talks about pay 40 percent of the taxes. Is that the right amount? What I would like to hear Obama say is what is the right amount. Should the top 1 percent pay 50 percent, 60 percent, 80 percent? Obama constantly talks about how they don't pay enough, but what is enough? It seems like we have a right to know.
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In sports or politics, when you can get the other side to give up their game and start playing yours, you have won half the battle.
Obama has started just responding to what Romney is doing, which is great news for Romney.
Romney is telling the Israelis that he knows where the capital is and it is Jerusalem. The Obama administration does not know where the capital of Israel is, as evidenced by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney being repeatedly asked that question by two reporters and refusing to give an answer.
So Obama responds to Romney being in Israel by releasing $70 million of military aid to the Israelis. No doubt the Israelis were happy to get the $70 million, but they also knew where it came from. It didn't come because Obama wanted to give it to them; it was a gift from Romney, with Obama simply acting as the middle man.
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It's amazing how many small business owners are just waiting for Nov. 6. If Romney wins they tell me they think they can go on. If Obama wins they tell me they may end up closing their doors before Christmas because they know they won't last four more years with a president who seems to hate business and believes that the government, not individual effort, is responsible for the success of businesses.
My prediction is that Romney will win and the economy will improve on Nov. 7 because so much of our economy is dependent on consumer confidence. Right now consumers have no confidence that the economy is going to get better or that the country has a president who wants to make the economy better.
But Romney knows economics and he knows how to make businesses successful. I think the result will surprise all of those liberal pundits who think the problem with the economy is that too many people don't have affordable health care. That must be something they teach in liberal economics classes.
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Presidents usually bring some folks with them from their former lives to have some friendly faces at the White House. Often these advisors don't last that long in Washington, but Obama's chief advisor is the same advisor he has had all along, and she was a Chicago insider not familiar with Washington. Of course, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett has some pretty good reasons for not wanting to rush back to Chicago, since some of her old buddies have gone to jail. Both Tony Rezko, a close friend of Obama's, and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who Obama once claimed to have gotten elected, are in prison.
Obama says that he runs all of his decisions past Jarrett, who is steeped in Chicago politics. It explains a lot about actions that Obama has taken. Jarrett has no experience in international diplomacy, which may be a big reason that Obama has not fared well in international politics, although he seems to think he has done a stellar job. She does know the dirty dealing ways of Chicago politics and it comes out in some of the decisions that Obama has made.
So during his entire presidency, Obama's top advisor has been someone who doesn't know Congress, doesn't know Washington, doesn't know international diplomacy but does know all about the corrupt ways of Chicago politics.
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Advice from Jarrett explains some moves, like deciding to come out full force in favor of legally recognizing gay marriage. This is not a winning issue for Obama, and from a purely political standpoint it is a dumb move. One of the things you don't want to do in politics is energize your opponent's base or discourage your own.
Coming out in favor of gay marriage being legally recognized is not going to win Obama voters who were on the fence. People in favor of gay marriage becoming legally recognized were already going to vote for Obama. What it did do is get a bunch of folks who are opposed to legally recognizing gay marriage up in arms. Included in that group are a large number of black pastors.
Obama is going to get the overwhelming majority of votes cast by black voters, but the question is, how many of those votes will there be? If black pastors decide they can't support a president, even a black president, in favor of something they consider a serious sin, then Obama loses a bunch of votes. It's not likely that those votes will go to Romney but it is likely that many registered voters won't go to the polls or won't vote in the presidential race.
If one of the large organizations of black pastors decides to tell their congregations not to vote for Obama, it will be extremely damaging to his campaign.
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The Obama campaign has made it very obvious where its priorities lie with the "Great Green Fleet Initiative." Some think that the purpose of the Navy is to protect American interests and its citizens, but to Obama the purpose of the Navy is to run huge expensive experiments with so-called "green energy."
At the direction of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, two destroyers and a guided missile cruiser recently put on a demonstration using bio-fuels. The cost? A mere $26 a gallon, with the total cost for the demonstration at $12 million. It is true that $12 million is peanuts for the Navy, but how is spending $26 a gallon for fuel actually doing anything other than proving Navy ships can operate on really expensive fuel if the government wants them to?
Maybe Obama should see if a ship can operate with the crew only eating caviar and drinking expensive champagne. Or perhaps Obama would like to have a ship painted in gold leaf and see if the reflection would cause the ship to operate more efficiently. It would be really expensive and wouldn't accomplish much, but what good does operating ships on fuel that costs $26 a gallon do?
Wind used to be really popular in the Navy. The British Navy ruled the seas for decades operating entirely with wind and manpower. Maybe what Obama should do is go back to a Navy of sailing ships. Then the US Navy wouldn't have to spend $26 a gallon on fuel. The power for the ships would be free. It would be a little inconvenient in today's world to have the US Navy becalmed somewhere for days or weeks at a time, and it seems it might be difficult to figure out how to rig sails on an aircraft carrier – what with the flight deck and all. But then maybe it doesn't make sense to have a sailboat carrying gas guzzling jets around the world. Perhaps the aircraft carrier could just carry balloons or ultralights that use hardly any gas. All of that would have to be worked out. A green Navy wouldn't be much use in a modern war, but that doesn't seem to be Obama's main concern anyway.