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Bill Clinton's remarkable skill
September 6, 2012 4:54 AM   Subscribe

What are the secrets of former American President Bill Clinton noted oratory? Is it the writing, the body language or his unique human touch? Whatever it is, his gift for speeches was on full display at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Text of the prepared speech here, note that it differs greatly from what he ad libbed. Andrew Sullivan has a round up of reactions to Clinton's speech.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (1187 comments total) 90 users marked this as a favorite

 
Beats talking to an empty chair.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:04 AM on September 6, 2012 [31 favorites]


The Republican rebuttal: But Obama's an America-hating Muslim. Class warfare!
posted by chasing at 5:04 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Thanks for this. I've been looking around trying to find his speech because twitter was all abuzz about it last night.

And man, did he loose some weight. He's looking awesome. Go Bill Clinton!
posted by royalsong at 5:05 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clearly Bubba is doping.
posted by phaedon at 5:06 AM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]




I've always thought Clinton was an incredibly gifted speaker, but last night was something. Was it David Gergen who said (Clinton) "drove a Mac truck through Romney's argument"?
posted by R. Mutt at 5:10 AM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


A friend of mine met Clinton at a party. He's a scruffy late 20 something hipster basically, in one of those situations in life that come up occasionally where you're like "how did I get here again?" Anyway, Clinton walks around the room chatting with people and eventually hits the pocket of people my friend is standing with. He gets one of those cursory introductions where you go around the group and say "this is Tina, John, Marie, Al, Lisa and Joseph." Clinton chats with the group for a minute or so and then moves on. Flash forward to the end of the night, Clinton's about to leave. But before he does he circles the room one more time, shakes everyone's hand, my friend included, looks them in the eye and says something like "it was so nice to meet you (first name). I enjoyed chatting about (subject of small chat)." This is to like 30-40 people he's just met tonight. My friend said it was one of the most impressive things he'd ever seen, socially.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:10 AM on September 6, 2012 [152 favorites]


He's a consummate politician who's lived his whole life in the game. He's a world-class orator with a down-home accent, he can rattle off statistics without sounding like a professor, he's fantastic at going off the script but staying on message, he's good-looking but not in an artificial way, and he's crazy smart. It's amazing how often people remember the guy is from Arkansas and not that he graduated from Georgetown as a Rhodes Scholar that went on to Oxford and Yale Law.Most importantly, he always knows his audience, even if (like last night) he's speaking both to those on the fence and to the party faithful. In short, he's the Big Dog.

BTW, some folks in the GOP (Alex Castellanos, for one) are saying Clinton wrapped the election up for Obama last night. If that's true, he's got Obama on the hook big time for helping out Hillary in 2016 if she runs. I don't know if he thought he was giving one of the best speeches of his life last night, but I'm pretty sure he knew what he was going to get for it.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:10 AM on September 6, 2012 [89 favorites]


I think my fave line was the anti-Ayn Rand bit: "We're all in this together" is a better philosophy than "You're on your own."

(That said, I really dislike the way past presidents/senators/governors/etc always try to keep their title for life after they leave office. The USA isn't a monarchy; you lose the title when you're no longer on the job.)
posted by mediareport at 5:11 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I started watching the convention on CPAC (Cdn. CSPAN) around about the time that the fabulous Cristina (somebody) from Telemundo spoke, and found I just couldn't stop watching: Fluke, Warren, it just kept getting better and better, and thennnn Clinton. WOW. It was like a crazy contact high or something. Blown away. Couldn't believe I was actually feeling a little jealous of Americans.
posted by Flashman at 5:12 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clinton is an extremely gifted orator. What I think made him particularly effective last night (especially in comparison to all the RNC speeches last week) is that he shredded the other side with a smile on his face. He wasn't mean about it.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:12 AM on September 6, 2012 [44 favorites]


But before he does he circles the room one more time, shakes everyone's hand, my friend included, looks them in the eye and says something like "it was so nice to meet you (first name). I enjoyed chatting about (subject of small chat)." This is to like 30-40 people he's just met tonight.

Nice. Sounds like Clinton was using method of loci.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:16 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


His script was for 28 minutes. He spoke for 48 minutes. The ability to give a speech of that quality is what made it special.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:17 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


We're all in this together was my favourite line too.
This was my favourite tweet of the proceedings.
posted by Flashman at 5:18 AM on September 6, 2012 [20 favorites]


Yeah, I met him last year at a private fundraising event and that dude is a seriously charming, erudite, thoughtful motherfucker.
posted by elizardbits at 5:18 AM on September 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


Come back, Bubba. All is forgiven.
posted by Optamystic at 5:18 AM on September 6, 2012 [37 favorites]


Just glancing over the length of the text of the prepared speech and knowing the tiniest thing about his oratorical style, I cannot believe anyone seriously budgeted only half an hour for him to speak.
posted by psoas at 5:18 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Remember when Gore basically ignored him in 2000, playing straight into the hands of the same hypocritical, two-timing Republican fucks who had impeached Clinton over a consensual sex act between consenting adults?

And Gore actually won the vote, but still got hosed due to Republicans on the SCOTUS?

Yeah, liked the speech but couldn't help thinking Gore's pusillanimity basically fucked us all over for 2000-2008.
posted by bardic at 5:21 AM on September 6, 2012 [24 favorites]


Any chance of a side-by-side comparison of text as prepared vs. a transcript of text as given?
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:22 AM on September 6, 2012


I'm pretty far from being able to just turn on the tv and watch (time differences, not on tv here), but I heard so much about the speech that after a remarkably shitty day, I still sat down and watched it (the ny times site has the whole video). After the painful clips I saw of Eastwood, it was nice to see center stage given to a person who is pretty much the smartest in the room, and is actually armed with facts to back up opinion.

If someone on the right could do more than shout 'nuh-uh, and, uh, Lewinsky!' maybe American politics wouldn't be such a horrible morass of soul crushing suck.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:24 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Clinton is like a master jewel thief back for "just one big score then I'm out". You have to twist him to come back , but you know he has been prepping this speech late at night lying in bed for like 6 years. He'll never be out. Obama had to play golf with him to get him to give the speech, but I'd say it paid off for Obama.

I don't buy the "we scheduled him for 28 minutes" bit either. Giving crazy long speeches off the top of his head is part of the clinton mystique. I think he was just gauging the crowd, if he had only spoken for 28 the talking point today would be they only scheduled him for 15.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:26 AM on September 6, 2012 [38 favorites]


And man, did he loose some weight. He's looking awesome. Go Bill Clinton!

Heh, he went vegan, ole Bubba did, because of a health scare (IIRC) a few years ago! Now that if that isn't a turnaround for a fellow Southerner, I don't know what is!


Only heard bits and bobs of his speech up here in Canadia, but man, it sounded AWESOME.
posted by Kitteh at 5:27 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]




Here's a Wordle word cloud of the speech talk I threw together last night. I thought it turned out nice given the random word placement.ogether last night; I thought it turned out nice given the random word placement.

The biggest takeaway I'm hearing is his raising of the Medicaid cuts as a harm to poor nursing home seniors line. It seriously undermines the GOP weaseling around with the "current seniors are exempt, fuck the under-55s" thing. It's nice that a barnburner like this is also True, True. Unlike some people.

And don't forget Warren's star turn:
"No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people -- people have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance, they live, they love, and they die. And that matters."
posted by Rhaomi at 5:33 AM on September 6, 2012 [52 favorites]


Yeah, about ten years ago I had a long term girlfriend who when choosing the one person we could each fuck and get away with, selected Clinton. I was totally cool with her choice, so for me that says something about the man.
posted by gman at 5:33 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


STAND UP JOE BIDEN WHAT DID YOU DO SELL YOUR KNEES?

oh... oh joe... you know magic beans are not real, right?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:33 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Could only watch 10 minutes of the speech before getting tired of the cliches. Astonishing how people fall for the same stuff year after year.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:34 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


tl;dr version of the speech :
"One of the greatest Chairmen the Democratic party ever had, Bob Strauss, used to say...that every politician wants every voter to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself. But...Strauss then admitted, it ain't so."

"...And here's what I want the people at home to think about - When times are tough and people are frustrated and angry and hurting and uncertain....the politics of constant conflict may be good. But what is good politics does not necessarily work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation."

"In those 52 years, our private economy has produced...66 million private sector jobs. So...what's the job score? Republicans - 24 million, Democrats - 42!"

"In 2010, as the President's recovery program kicked in, the job loses stopped. And things began to turn around. The Recovery Act saved or created millions of jobs and cut taxes - lemme say this again cut taxes for 95% of the American people. In...in the last 29 months, our economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs. We coulda done better, but last year the Republicans blocked the President's job plan - costing the economy more than a million new jobs. So, here's another job score: President Obama - plus 4.5 million. Congressional Republicans - ZEE-RO"

"So, what's happened? There are now 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than on the day the companies were restructured. So...now we all know that Governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM and Chrysler. So...here's another job score - are you listening in Michigan and Ohio and across the country? - here's another job score. Obama - 250,00.....Romney? ZEE-RO"

"Now, finally...listen to this. For the last 2 years, after going up at 3 times the rate of inflation for a decade...for the last 2 years, health care costs have been under 4% in both years for the first time in 50 years."

"Now, when Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama's Medicare savings as quote 'the biggest, coldest power play' - I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Because...that 716 billion dollars is exactly, to the dollar, the same amount of Medicare savings that he has in his...own...budget! You gotta gi' him one thing - it takes some brass to attack a guy to doin' what you did..."

"And, the administration agreed...to give waivers to those Governors, and others, only if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20% - and they could keep the waivers only if they did increase employment. Now - di...did I make myself clear? - the requirement was for more work, not less. So...this is personal to me...we moved millions of people off welfare. It was one of the reasons that...in the...8 years I was President, we had 100 times as many people move out of poverty in the middle class than happened under the previous 12 years. A hundred times as many - it's a big deal. But I am telling you, the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform's work requirement is just...not...true. But...they keep on running ads claiming it. You wanna know why? Their campaign pollster said, 'We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.' Now, finally I can say - that IS true."

"People ask me all the time how we delivered four surplus budgets. What new ideas did we bring? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic."

"We simply cannot afford to give the reigns of government to someone who will double-down on trickle-down."
Get registered to vote if you haven't already.
posted by crunchland at 5:34 AM on September 6, 2012 [44 favorites]


bardic: "Yeah, liked the speech but couldn't help thinking Gore's pusillanimity basically fucked us all over for 2000-2008."

Of course, if Gore had been elected, Lieberman would have been extremely close to power in that period, and he's basically as nuts as W, at least on foreign policy, so you kind of dodged a bullet there.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:34 AM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


I was fascinated by Clinton's hands as he spoke--they flow with his words, they pose.
About Clinton in the room--several people who met him say the same thing--he remembers names forever; his charisma just fills the room. Even people who don't like his politics--yes, women I know--feel drawn to him. I was very very tired of his shenanigans by the end of his term but Gawd, he was good.
posted by etaoin at 5:39 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


...when choosing the one person we could each fuck and get away with...

Was it a hard decision?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:41 AM on September 6, 2012


Man, I would love to be Bill Clinton's biggest fan. But the problem is I'm also a fan of Hilary Clinton, and can't help but see him through her eyes.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:41 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Could only watch 10 minutes of the speech before getting tired of the cliches. Astonishing how people fall for the same stuff year after year.

Cliches are trotted out in political campaigns because they work.

Them's the breaks when you have an electorate so woefully undereducated on the issues and how government works. In other words, the speech wasn't really aimed at people like us. He's reiterating talking points to trying to convince the people who need encouragement to get out and vote to do so.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:42 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I met him last year at a private fundraising event and that dude is a seriously charming, erudite, thoughtful motherfucker.

When I was involved in national politics for a couple of years here in .nl, I found that most of the national politicians, both of my own party and not, were like that. Driven, knowledgable, assertive and being able to turn the charm on at the drop of a hat. We tend to think that being a politician isn't really a job, something anybody could do, but on the higher levels it's incredibly hard and you need to work hard to be good at it.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:44 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


//If someone on the right could do more than shout 'nuh-uh, and, uh, Lewinsky!' maybe American politics wouldn't be such a horrible morass of soul crushing suck.//

I had the same experience with Newt. I ran into him on the streets of DC walking to his own book signing. (His Civil War books, nothing political.) An hour later, after he gave his talk and had signed 30 or 40 books while chatting with each person I got to the front of the line. He remembered my name and what we had talked about an hour earlier.

There is a reason guys like Clinton and Newt, as flawed as they are in so many important ways, still manage to stay at the apex of power in this country.
posted by COD at 5:44 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I would love to be Bill Clinton's biggest fan. But the problem is I'm also a fan of Hilary Clinton, and can't help but see him through her eyes.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:41 AM on September 6


http://gawker.com/5940926/heres-a-very-cute-photo-of-hillary-clinton-watching-bills-speech
posted by knoyers at 5:45 AM on September 6, 2012 [21 favorites]


You know it must've been good because the Republican water-carriers at the Washington Post can stop whining about how he was too mean to Republicans and bitching about how long it was.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:46 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


*can't stop
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:46 AM on September 6, 2012


Them's the breaks when you have an electorate so woefully undereducated on the issues and how government works.

Was there ever a round-up for last week's signal-to-noise ratio, other than "Ryan lied" and "Eastwood has Alzheimer's"?
posted by vhsiv at 5:47 AM on September 6, 2012


You could almost hear him say as he walked up to the podium, "those were some fine speeches you-all gave but lemme just show you how it's really done."
posted by octothorpe at 5:47 AM on September 6, 2012 [27 favorites]


I always thought this blog post was the best summary of Bill and Hillary's relationship:
I believe that if they were animals on the paradigmatic veldt and one of them died, the other would hang by the body and howl for days.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:49 AM on September 6, 2012 [38 favorites]


Could only watch 10 minutes of the speech before getting tired of the cliches. Astonishing how people fall for the same stuff year after year.

I am not sure we watched the same speech.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 5:52 AM on September 6, 2012 [31 favorites]


I actually liked Warren's speech better than Clinton's because I'm still deeply skeptical of Clinton's "Third Way" track record. We are talking about a guy who signed off on the repeal of Glass-Steagall and declared that "the era of big government is over".

Most of my excitement from the 2008 election came from the prospect of Obama not being another Clinton, and much of my disappointment over the past four years has come from being proven wrong. Clinton's an amazing person and a charismatic speaker, but I'm always left wishing his leadership had reflected that.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:52 AM on September 6, 2012 [39 favorites]


Yeah, we really don't know the true nature of Bill and Hillary's relationship; we just think we know.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:52 AM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


Man, I would love to be Bill Clinton's biggest fan. But the problem is I'm also a fan of Hilary Clinton, and can't help but see him through her eyes.

I'd be careful with that, you are presupposing you know how she feels. From all I've seen the two of them actually love each other very much, despite Bill's issues (hopefully) in the past.

I think B. Clinton is a very gifted speaker and a consummate politician. There was a lot about his presidency I didn't care for, but it seems Democratic ex-presidents seem to prove after office they are committed to real positive social change, no matter how their term in office went.
posted by edgeways at 5:53 AM on September 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


Also, when the opposition's best critique is that the speech was too full of facts, you can almost feel the desperation.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 5:54 AM on September 6, 2012 [96 favorites]


Was there ever a round-up for last week's signal-to-noise ratio, other than "Ryan lied" and "Eastwood has Alzheimer's"?

The only other direct comparison I've read was between Ann and Michelle's speechs. Michelle's speech was rated a full seven grade levels above Ann's (who did get some positive results as well)
posted by edgeways at 5:57 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Right wing moaning about that speech is all the evidence I need to see how wounded they are this morning.

As ever, they can dish out some bullshit, but they can't handle the truth. The election was decided last night, and the few intelligent ones on the GOP side realized it.


Also, this just in . . . Ryan caught in another lie claiming to have climbed "nearly 40" of Colorado's 53 14K+ peaks. Problem is, there is no way he did that and no one noticed at the time that he was spending months (which is what that would take) in Colorado on mountains.


He's Joe Isuzu.

posted by spitbull at 6:00 AM on September 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


Of course, if Gore had been elected, Lieberman would have been extremely close to power in that period, and he's basically as nuts as W, at least on foreign policy, so you kind of dodged a bullet there.


dodged a bullet just to get hit by a cannonball.
posted by entropone at 6:01 AM on September 6, 2012 [59 favorites]


Tweet of the night from Radley Balko: "Clinton speech was on as I was eating breakfast in Tblisi this am. Waitress: 'The sex man will be your president again?'"

As a policy geek, I was pretty much in heaven watching Bill wrap the audience around his finger talking about the doughnut hole in medicare funding for the middle class. To be simultaneously wonk-ish and down-home, with the repeated "now, listen...this is important" calls, is a rare thing indeed. At one point I wondered if we would see him actually swagger.
posted by dry white toast at 6:04 AM on September 6, 2012 [29 favorites]


Of course, the only downside to Bill's speech is that Obama has to top it. As good as Obama is, it's still a mighty high bar to hurdle.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:05 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love how, in that Gawker photo, the photo could easily be captioned "Awwwww, that's my awesome husband being awesome!" and "We have this one in the bag, now, bitches! Bwah hahahahaha!"
posted by Sara C. at 6:06 AM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I must say, I think there is broader theme here.

Compare and contrast please.

Clinton: Welcomed back as an important party leader, respected elder, and accomplished statesman. Someone, who while probably the most dogged by critics President in the last 50 years, delivered on every campaign promise he could, left the country with a huge surplus, and last night stepped up, crossed the line and embraced the man who was probably his worst nightmare four years ago, for the good of our country.

Bush, Cheney, McCain, Palin, Rumsfeld etc: Not even invited to the convention, much less to speak at it, and only mentioned out loud in the most desperate service of the proper use of the English language when trying to identify someone in a sentence.

Some of my worst friends are Republicans. I say that not because I think they are evil in their hearts, but I think they are gullible to a fault, and it makes me question their larger judgement about everything. The fact that they are willing to settle for such a sorry pair of candidates, and have the blind faith to just support them without warrant. All I hear is lies out of these people.

From the egregious Romney claim about Medicare, which was proven wrong in about two hours, to Ryan's marathon run, it's like they float up a different piece of crap everyday, and hope more people agree than call bullshit. And when the latter happens, they just step back and give a non-denial denial. Then tell the same lie twice as loud the next day and hope for the same. If they had something to say, a plan, I would listen.

Yes, I'm an Obama fan, but that doesnt mean I want to blow the guy.

What happens on Wall Street truly doesnt affect me much, but sure, I guess I wish the economy was doing better. I also know the truth that for a President, there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. If it is good, brag like hell. If it's bad, try to find someone to blame it on, and hope to crap you don't do anything to make it worse.

Im pretty sure anyone who has been in Gitmo for 11 years, probably has no useful operational intelligence left to give. You can get the NSA out of my phone and computer. If you are selling grain alcohol and Pall Malls and collecting a tax on it, tell me why weed is illegal and try to keep a straight face while you're doing it. I mean, at least you can sterilize a wound with everclear. The health effects of Pall Malls have been documented. As are those of marijuana.

While I have no skin in this game, I must say it took you way too long to speak up for gay rights, and gay marrriage. While I was glad when you finally did, it felt a litte like Gerald Ford passing the Civil Rights Act in 1974, instead of Johnson, in 1964.

When I hear Romney/Ryan say "We should talk about those things after the election." it's like a used car dealer is asking me to sign the contract, and he'll fill in the price later.
posted by timsteil at 6:11 AM on September 6, 2012 [106 favorites]


He's a consummate politician who's lived his whole life in the game. He's a world-class orator with a down-home accent, he can rattle off statistics without sounding like a professor, he's fantastic at going off the script but staying on message, he's good-looking but not in an artificial way, and he's crazy smart.

And one more thing--he was having fun. He made being on that podium seem like he was eating the tastiest, juiciest burger ever. And so were you.
posted by gimonca at 6:12 AM on September 6, 2012 [24 favorites]


The election was decided last night

Do people actually believe that? Wow. If you do, please stop. Speeches are great and inspirational and all, but anyone who thinks this election won't be decided by the ground game (including attempts to cheat) in November is crazy.

I think Elizabeth Warren's 15-minute speech was pretty good, too, with lines like this:

Republicans say they don't believe in government. Sure, they do. They believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends.

Keep going for her great riff on Romney's corporations=people bullshit. I know some folks find her not very likable, but she did a nice job last night praising the guy who let Tim Geithner shove her aside. I could almost forget the fact that Obama and Geithner bungled the mortgage relief mess so horribly and deliberately. Almost.
posted by mediareport at 6:13 AM on September 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


A friend called me last night to see if I was watching Clinton.

"No. I'll have too many sexy dreams if I watch it before bed. I'll watch it in the morning."

God, today is going to be rough.
posted by peacrow at 6:14 AM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Do people actually believe that?

The ground game was going to be the same irrespective of who said what at the convention.

This was a game changer.
posted by spitbull at 6:16 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


And I thought Elizabeth Warren kicked it pretty hard last night too. Loved Sandra Fluke's turn as well.
posted by spitbull at 6:17 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


^ The only other direct comparison I've read was between Ann and Michelle's speechs.

Michelle O.'s Q-ratings are in the stratosphere. She is Barack's personal gift from Heaven. Like Clinton, her speech pegged the anxieties of an endangered middle-class. AFAIC Ann Romney is (still) invisible.

But we're not supposed to be electing a First Lady here...
posted by vhsiv at 6:17 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I give it 8/10. It could have been better but it was very good and knowing half of it was ex temporaneous adds a shine. But it wasn't as dazzling for me as Michelle Obama's speech and perhaps it's not fair on either of them to compare their speeches.
Clinton muddied a couple of lines - he said 'medicare' when he meant 'medicaid' at one point (and medicaid should have been the supreme argument and it should have been a bigger part of his speech); his points about the welfare critiques weren't as bolstering or beneficial as you all may wish to claim (he actually acknowledged that there was reduction in work requirements ... I know this is parsing of language and the main thrust from Romney is a false premise, but the dems have played loose on this thing too and the reps are gaining ground with the ads); it was a poor start to say Obama had a "cool exterior" no matter how the 2nd half of the phrase was delivered; the points on Obama's bipartisanship were poorly made, hardly including anything to do with senate or house of reps; and, despite bringing those devastating numbers about years/job numbers with reps/dems to light, they weren't distilled into as good a soundbite as they could've been. I'm impressed he mentioned the poor at all; but I'd have been more impressed if he'd tried to cooperate on messaging with the reelection people to do a bit better supporting of some elements that's difficult for BO and his team to say without leaving themselves open to further attacks. I enjoyed watching it, though I wish he'd kept himself to fewer topics kinda thing. I get bored when everyone comes out with the shopping list of achievements/hopes. That said, I hope it stirs some latent young people out of their depression and out into the registering/organising modes.
posted by peacay at 6:18 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope you're right, spitbull. I do think more fired-up volunteers will have a direct result on election day, so in that sense the ground game wouldn't be the same. I just think it's premature to call an election based on speeches two months out.
posted by mediareport at 6:19 AM on September 6, 2012


David Frum: "Clinton Socks GOP In Its Glass Jaw." (DailyBeast)
posted by spitbull at 6:19 AM on September 6, 2012


Keep going for her great riff on Romney's corporations=people bullshit. I know some folks find her not very likable, but she did a nice job last night praising the guy who let Tim Geithner shove her aside.

I still hold it against Obama that he didn't appoint her to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but I'm very happy she's running for the Senate, and sometime later today I'll cast my first of what I hope are many votes for her.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:23 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


mediareport, I canvassed for BO in f'ing *Indiana* (which he won by fewer than 20K votes) in 2008, and I've given until I'm broke in this cycle. I do not underestimate the importance of the ground game. But the ground game depends on enthusiasm. There will be a spring in the step of our people from last night's Clinton speech that will last until November.
posted by spitbull at 6:23 AM on September 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


I still hold it against Obama that he didn't appoint her to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If she wins, that may have turned out to be a blessing.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:25 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do people actually believe that?

Of course not. I;ve been saying for months that Obama is gonna win this thing. The Electoral College count has been heavily tilted to Obama since the spring.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:26 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yep, it was a good speech. I'm old and tired, and really hoped to sit out this election, other things on my mind, but Bill's speech last night changed that. I guess it did exactly what it was supposed to do.
posted by HuronBob at 6:26 AM on September 6, 2012 [27 favorites]


CSPAN has an HD version of the speech.
posted by Kattullus at 6:27 AM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


If she wins, that may have turned out to be a blessing.

Personally, I think one seat in a dysfunctional Senate has way less influence then head of the CFPB. But by the same token, her confirmation by said dysfunctional Senate would be far from a sure thing.
posted by dry white toast at 6:28 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


HADP's monthly report, just released, shows very strong job gains and a sharp decline in both layoffs and new unemployment claims for August. Tomorrow we get the real number, but if it's as good as the ADP report suggests it might be, it's going to be like taking that extra shot just to make sure the zombie is really dead.

Barack Obama does not lose elections.
posted by spitbull at 6:29 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


ADP, not HADP
posted by spitbull at 6:29 AM on September 6, 2012


But before he does he circles the room one more time, shakes everyone's hand, my friend included, looks them in the eye and says something like "it was so nice to meet you (first name). I enjoyed chatting about (subject of small chat)." This is to like 30-40 people he's just met tonight.

This is apparently some sort of superpower he has. A friend's dad lives in Chappaqua, and ran into Clinton twice. The first time they were both waiting to be seated at a breakfast place, and Clinton struck up a conversation with FD (he stressed that it was not the other way round). Months later, Clinton saw FD while he was out walking his dog. FD didn't expect that Clinton would remember him (how many people does Clinton get introduced to every day?), but the former president stopped briefly, pet the dog and said "She's a beauty FD!"

FD is retired from the financial industry AND a Cuban ex-pat to boot, so while I don't know his politics, he's not the typical Clinton-lover. However, he was very impressed with Clinton's personal skills.

How much memory does that guy have devoted to people's faces and names? It's shocking and very impressive. I don't have much love for him (or pretty much anyone we've had in my lifetime) as a politician, but he's a fascinating person.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:29 AM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


I know some folks find her not very likable

I've seen a couple of videos of Warren in the past where she seemed like a hesitant, difficult speaker. I don't know if that was typical, but I used to find it hard to follow her at times.

Not the case last night, though. She did superbly. I hope people in Massachusetts were watching.
posted by gimonca at 6:30 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd carry it further and say that both nights of the convention have seen some pretty strong speeches, and both nights capped off exactly with the right speaker. Lord knows if there will be any bounce, but compared tot he RNC last week, whoever is running this convention is doing a hell of a job. Only real hiccup so far is the idiotic put god and Jerusalem back in the platform nonsense, and at least 1) that wasn't in prime time, and 2) got overshadowed by Clinton's speech.

But, just direct to direct comparisons between the two conventions? Ann did an ok job, Ryan got smacked pretty hard even by the MSM for telling a bucket full-o-lies, Jeb was transparently self promoting and barely got a Romney mention in, Clint rambled at a chair and got higher numbers then Romney's eh,-it-was-alright,-I-guess speech, Rubio, from all I head did ok as well, but had his speech trimmed on the fly because Eastwood went too long, and people will still doing a WTF from Eastwood.

So far this convention Castro, Fluke, Warren, M. Obama, B. Clinton, Patrick, Strickland, Even Ted Kennedy gave a post mortem smack-down, Ledbetter... there was a wide range of talent and a lot of very very good speeches. Looks like the first night outstripped the RNC first night by 4 million viewers as well.
posted by edgeways at 6:30 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


I liked the bit where he totally hit on Michelle Obama. Oh Bill, you've still got it in you...
posted by Artw at 6:30 AM on September 6, 2012 [43 favorites]


How much memory does that guy have devoted to people's faces and names? It's shocking and very impressive. I don't have much love for him (or pretty much anyone we've had in my lifetime) as a politician, but he's a fascinating person.

He might have an eidetic (aka photographic) memory, since he also doesn't depend on a teleprompter for speeches, even if they're being provided. Apparently they just gave up and turned it off about 1/2 way through last night.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:32 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


At no point did he talk to a chair after that.
posted by Artw at 6:36 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


"it was so nice to meet you (first name). I enjoyed chatting about (subject of small chat)."

And I've been at my job 6 years and 1) people still call me by the wrong name (my last name, which is also a first name) and 2) no one knows what I do.
posted by stormpooper at 6:36 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren - her photo and that quote just remind me of Edna Mode. In other words, that was cooool.

I've only read the text of the speech, but I think it was exactly what was needed at this point. Obama's oratorical fanciness is inspiring, but not factually reassuring, and probably not a good move if the economy stagnates. But Clinton is a great explainer of facts and what policies this elections entail, and the "aw, shucks, c'mon let me set ya straight" factual approach feels timely.

Hee, I remember being five or so and wondering why all of a sudden the very kind- and friendly-looking Man in a Suit with Lots of White Hair had to leave, and everyone was angry at him. I'm glad to learn that he has Certified Personal Skills, and I ain't just crazy.
posted by undue influence at 6:38 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't agree with everything the man said, but seeing him deliver that speech, using the full range of rhetorical devices so deftly -- it was a pleasure and a treat. You don't get speeches like that anymore, so natural, conversational, engaging, and filled with substance.

The man is probably the most natural, gifted political animal since, oh, FDR? I'm not sure we've ever seen him in full flight like that. He himself has nothing at stake (not directly, or no more so than any other citizen), and without those restraints, he just sailed on and on and on.

Clinton '12. Best comeback since Presley '68. All these years of calling himself the 'Comeback Kid' -- we had no idea.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:38 AM on September 6, 2012 [24 favorites]


but compared tot he RNC last week, whoever is running this convention is doing a hell of a job

As you continued in your comment, the organizers are obviously helped by the actual substance they're presenting.
posted by inigo2 at 6:40 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I miss our philanderer-in-chief. Those were the good old days.
posted by Forktine at 6:40 AM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Speaking of Hillary, this "Text from Hillary" image, maybe 2/3rds in, made me chortle.
posted by artlung at 6:42 AM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


And I've been at my job 6 years and 1) people still call me by the wrong name (my last name, which is also a first name) and 2) no one knows what I do.

Well, look at the fancy lady whose coworkers actually talk to her.

Hi! My name is psoas and I hate my job.
posted by psoas at 6:43 AM on September 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


Castro, Fluke, Warren, M. Obama, B. Clinton, Patrick, Strickland, Even Ted Kennedy gave a post mortem smack-down, Ledbetter...

I'd add Tammy Duckworth and Sister Simone Campbell to that list. It's really been a good show.
posted by mdn at 6:44 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The reactions in Brandon's last link are preceded by some pretty great Twitter takes:
@davidfrum
Clinton calls for a round of applause for W - and gets it. Magic

@daveweigel
That's more Bush references than we got at the entire RNC.

@sfphotoman
@sullydish the Democrats put there former presidents in prime time. The Republicans put theirs in the witness protection program.

@ktumulty
TelePrompTer comes to a halt. Clinton is improvising #DNC2012 [Wha?]

@ryanavent
No one ever cheers when I say the word "solvent".

@geektrooper
I want Bill Clinton to explain the ending of Lost to me. #2012DNC

@GregMitch
Brit Hume actually just said Clinton's pointing finger tonight just like he did when he said "I did not have sexual relations...."

@TimJHanrahan
Splash headline on Huffington Post: "BILL KILLS" Splash headline on Drudge: "THEY BOOED PUTTING GOD BACK!" #dnc2012 [Still up, btw]

@BuzzFeedBen
People outside the arena repeating Clinton’s lines to one another. “Arithmetic!”

@BuzzFeedAndrew
RT @thinkprogress: Peak tweets-per-minute during Bill Clinton speech tonight (22,087); Romney peak last week (14,289)

@samsteinhp
"This convention is done. This will be the moment that probably re-elected Barack Obama." -- @alexcast on Clinton's speech [That would be GOP strategist Alex Castellanos]
posted by Rhaomi at 6:44 AM on September 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


How much memory does that guy have devoted to people's faces and names?

My 2y.o. daughter is like that - she knows the names of everyone in her (very large) daycare facility, not just her class, she knows their parents on sight, and either by name or by title (Hi, Tommy's mommy!), and she knows what the kids are up to, and what their parents are up to (Did you like the trip to the store? Tommy's daddy not feeling very well, he needs medicine.)

It baffles me - I don't even know my co-workers that well. It must be a skill you're born with.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:45 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


FWIW, the big story here shouldn't be how good Clinton's speech was, it should be the amazing idiocy of the Romney campaign to hold him up as an example of what a "good" Democrat is, and then spend several months pushing that point in the media and via ads.

Like, did they actually expect he'd be a keep his mouth shut and be a poor campaigner for Obama because of one poorly-worded quote? Or even more befuddling, did they actually believe all the PUMA hype and think that he'd call for a insurrection at the convention? That kind of miscalculation is the the stuff campaign managers lose their jobs over. Any first-year poli-sci major knows that you save the lionizing of opponents for someone who's dead (see also: Obama and Reagan) to prevent exactly this kind of thing from happening. If Romney loses, that's what will have enabled Clinton to wrap it up for Obama, the speech was just the should-have-been-obvious conclusion.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:48 AM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


In 1993, Bill Clinton came to Congress to deliver a speech touting his health care plan.

The wrong speech was loaded on the prompter.

He started speaking extempore, and no one noticed for 9 minutes while his staff desperately rebooted the prompter.

Clinton has the rare gift of extempore speaking. Even among politicians it is rare to see it at his level.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 6:49 AM on September 6, 2012 [24 favorites]


And factcheck.org weighs in on the speech.
posted by crunchland at 6:51 AM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


For me, Hillary Clinton lost the White House by one vote. Her vote to support the war in Iraq.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:51 AM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Any good salesman learns the trick of remembering lots of people''s names after a single introduction, as I am sure any talented politician must do. I put myself through college as a salesman. I've found the skill invaluable in my later career in academia. It's really very simple to do if you *focus* on introductions instead of treating them as rote, low-consciousness speech events.
posted by spitbull at 6:52 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


ADP's monthly report, just released, shows very strong job gains and a sharp decline in both layoffs and new unemployment claims for August. Tomorrow we get the real number, but if it's as good as the ADP report suggests it might be, it's going to be like taking that extra shot just to make sure the zombie is really dead.

The good news is that weekly jobless claims fell more than expected, so that's encouraging. The bad news is ADP messed up badly on predictions for the June report (expected 176k, actual 80k), so I would take their predictions with a grain of salt.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:55 AM on September 6, 2012


I really think Obama should just walk up to the podium say something like "We rest our case, Obama out" then drop the mic on the ground and walk off as they play Hail to the Chief.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:56 AM on September 6, 2012 [59 favorites]


hold him up as an example of what a "good" Democrat is

Yeah, for real. They could have used any other white person for the contrast they were going for.

I think the reason I am so emotionally invested in this -- quite apart from love of country or even self-interest (both of which are genuine for me) -- is that I want to see the racist GOP taken down for being racist. I want to see overt racism like we've seen from them year after year since Nixon, at least, and awfully from the Romney campaign, definitively revealed not only as morally unacceptable but as politically stupid. I want to make them pay for it. I hate their policies, but I think their greatest shame is barely being named by the media. They are running a campaign against "the black guy" and we all know it. Everyone knows it. But not enough people are willing to say it.
posted by spitbull at 6:57 AM on September 6, 2012 [62 favorites]


Clinton entered to Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop," his theme song since his first campaign for president 20 years ago. When the song was already 15 years old.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:59 AM on September 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


The bad news is ADP messed up badly on predictions for the June report (expected 176k, actual 80k), so I would take their predictions with a grain of salt.

Yeah, but over time the correlation is pretty strong. Even if they are half right it will be a good report tomorrow. And if they're ahead of the curve, it will be a good report for September. They seem to be a bit ahead of the BLS statistics, but the overally match between the curves over the last few years is quite strong.
posted by spitbull at 6:59 AM on September 6, 2012


I can't get over the bow to Obama. It fit in the context, and yet... clearly called to mind the President's Saudi faux pas. And as noted above, his body language is so deliberate as a rule that I can't believe it wasn't intentional.
posted by lily_bart at 7:00 AM on September 6, 2012


Dude, I have no idea why so many internauts are asking Bill Clinton to talk about Lost (which was a shitty show, anyway), but he should totally promise to explain the end of the series if Obama gets elected.

(Also I totally shook that guy's hand as he breezed by me and my friends on the Champs Elysée, I can't freaking tell that story enough, the man is TRULY electric.)
posted by Mooseli at 7:00 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I liked the bit where he totally hit on Michelle Obama. Oh Bill, you've still got it in you...

My favorite comment on the speech from Fark: "A blanket text message went to every stripper in North Carolina. "WASSUP, BIATCHES. Just killed it at the DNC and I'm coming down. You heard of 'makin it rain?' Well, Hurricane Billy just rolled into town YEE HAW!"

It was a great speech (if a little long) and you could tell he was enjoying making it. I almost expected him to drop the mic and strut off the stage when he was finished.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:00 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really think Obama should just walk up to the podium say something like "We rest our case, Obama out" then drop the mic on the ground and walk off as they play Hail to the Chief.

After Clinton's speech, Obama can walk out, start his speech with "As-Salaam-Alaikum", and still win.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:03 AM on September 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


They are running a campaign against 'the black guy' and we all know it. Everyone knows it. But not enough people are willing to say it.

Team Romney White-Vote Push: "This Is the Last Time Anyone Will Try to Do This"

Lindsey Graham: "The demographics race we're losing badly. We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:05 AM on September 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


Was underwhelmed by Castro, I totally don't see the appeal at all other than 'look I'm a bit Mexican! Or a baby with big eyebrows', Deval Patrick had a bit of fire in his belly, O'Malley was charming with a strange call/response thing but sort of like a pantomime, Emanuel woeful. Bubba barn storming as ever. It actually has me pumped for Obama's speech as he's a pretty class act himself and as Prez he has to tone down the soaring rhetoric, convention is one of the few chances he can let rip. And maybe a certain amount of oneupmanship.
posted by Damienmce at 7:05 AM on September 6, 2012


One comment suggested a former [resident ought not be addressed as "president: if he is no longer holding that office. But this is a convention in the same way that a former doctor is called doctor, a former general is often referred to as general, a former judge, as judge..In fact, often the honorific is place on a headstone when the persosn is buried.

But speaking of formers, where was Carter, aka President Carter?
posted by Postroad at 7:06 AM on September 6, 2012


A good friend of mine worked on then-Senator Hillary Clinton's security team. He says that she, too, is supernaturally gifted when it comes to remembering names, faces, conversations, the whole bit.

I don't get the sense that Bill and Hillary are lovey-dovey sexual-romantic partners, but I do get the sense that they are extremely good friends who have massive respect for one another.

Are they perfect human beings? No. Are they pure liberals? Absolutely not. But as far as political skill and talent goes, they are positively stratospheric. Hillary only lost the the 2008 nomination because Obama is an even better campaigner than she is, which is saying quite a lot about the both of them.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:06 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I disagreed with a lot of Clinton's politics and polices when he was in office, but last night, that was a man in his element. He was made for that. He put together a cogent argument, and delivered it with an Ali-like force.

I had actually turned on the TV to check the Dallas NY score (bleah) but switched channels when i saw Warren talking. I wanted to strangle the bobbleheads for yammering over the first minute of her speech - thankfully an intern with some snap hit the mute button. She was good, but Clinton delivered a body blow, and did so with great relish. Top of his form. He clearly studies his fire & brimstone Baptist preachers.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:07 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


But speaking of formers, where was Carter, aka President Carter?

Jimmy Carter's DNC video
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:09 AM on September 6, 2012


Lindsey Graham: "The demographics race we're losing badly. We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."

Wow. He actually said that. Wow.

How does he not have a full skulls-on-hats, are-we-the-baddies moment?
posted by jaduncan at 7:10 AM on September 6, 2012 [75 favorites]


How much memory does that guy have devoted to people's faces and names?
It's hardly a surprise though, right? Politics is the art of persuading lots of highly opinionated people to do what you want them to or, at a minimum, get out of your way while you do it. Presidential candidates are chosen from the cream of that pool, largely based on how well they can engage with and persuade the public. It's no wonder that you end up with expert manipulators incredibly charismatic and socially-minded people at the top.

I've heard exactly the same said of GWBush, by the way: incredible memory for people and almost impossible not to like when you meet him in person. For my fellow Brits, (Sith) Lord Mandelson is reputed to be the same: his slipperiness and skill at manipulation largely come from the fact that he can instantly charm basically anyone, no matter what they thought of him before he walked into the room.

From a rational point of view, one of our biggest vulnerabilities is our susceptibility to charm, and our tendency to assess arguments largely based on how much we like the person making them. People who can just flip a switch and choose to blast this much charisma out at an audience, and get this scale of response, creep me the fuck out.
posted by metaBugs at 7:18 AM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


FWIW, "angry white men" were a big fat electoral trope back in the 90s. I remember that exact phrase being used to describe how the Republicans came to power in 1994.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:19 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lindsey Graham

He always struck me as an odd duck. I don't know anything about him, but I watched the entirety of the Clinton impeachment and Graham kept talking about how Clinton had impugned Lewinsky's reputation, I think he was minutes away from issuing a glove slap and demanding satisfaction on the white house lawn. I think he thinks of himself as some sort of southern gentleman and lives by some kind of moral code all his own.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:19 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Clinton entered to Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop," his theme song since his first campaign for president 20 years ago. When the song was already 15 years old.

Well, he had to change it at the last minute when he learned Biden's already got dibs on Skillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites."
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:20 AM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


True... Hard to remember, but republicans used to hate Bill Clinton's charm, and they hate President Obama's charm -- which is formidable -- too.
posted by spitbull at 7:21 AM on September 6, 2012


Moderate derail, but while we're talking about the DNC... Tom Brokaw accidentally took some Ambien and got weird on the set of 'Morning Joe.' Where have we seen that before?
posted by troika at 7:21 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


How could anyone tell if Brokaw was wasted on ambien?
posted by spitbull at 7:23 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I recall an anecdote about how the people stopped playing Hearts with Clinton aboard Air Force One because he was too good at counting cards.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:24 AM on September 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


I really think Obama should just walk up to the podium say something like "We rest our case, Obama out" then drop the mic on the ground and walk off as they play Hail to the Chief.

Obama - "I yield my time to the gentleman from Arkansas"
posted by dry white toast at 7:25 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


And how do you "accidentally" take "half a dose" of anything?
posted by spitbull at 7:25 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I listened to on the radio, so I missed out on the body language. But you could clearly tell he was really working the room.
posted by CrazyJoel at 7:28 AM on September 6, 2012


Shorter Obama: what the white guy said.

Rest assured Obama will kick ass tonight. When has he ever failed to deliver in a political speech? When? He lives for this just as much as Clinton and he is every bit as smart and charismatic.

We'll be talking about it tomorrow in the same terms. I loved Bill last night. I expect to be awe by Barack tonight. If you are a connoisseur of the art of oration, Clinton is Chateaux Margaux, but Obama is a very good vintage of Petrus.

Romney is like white Zinfandel. Cheap white Zinfandel.
posted by spitbull at 7:30 AM on September 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


And how do you "accidentally" take "half a dose" of anything?

What's weird is that half a dose is far less believable than a full dose. I could easily see taking one pill instead of another. What I can't see is unintentionally breaking off half a pill and then taking that - unless, of course, there is some other drug that he only takes half of.

My opinion is that Brokaw kinda sucks either way, and that I don't really care whether this is a one-off, honest mistake or a sign of ongoing pill abuse.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:30 AM on September 6, 2012


Damn. Clinton covers it all, and in an engaging way. And he called Romney on the 23 million jobless lie. True, 12 to 15 million is still a huge number, but if you already have a large number, why boost it? Maybe he was using Ryan's math skills.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:31 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chateau Margaux, dammit.
posted by spitbull at 7:31 AM on September 6, 2012


How could anyone tell if Brokaw was wasted on ambien?

They knew something was wrong when he started articulating clearly, instead of sounding like he had a mouthful of marbles.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:33 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney is like white Zinfandel. Cheap white Zinfandel.

Oh, this is fun! Hillary Clinton is a Riesling, Paul Ryan is vodka mixed with room temperature tap water, Joe Biden is Cynar and soda, John McCain is a tall boy of Budweiser, and Sarah Palin is vintage Ripple that you drink on a bet.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:33 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Sarah Palin is pruno.
posted by rocketman at 7:36 AM on September 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


Instead of balloons, at the end of his speech, Obama should drop thousands of copies of his tax returns for everyone to see. Romney's returns should be the top story every day until he releases them.
posted by ColdChef at 7:36 AM on September 6, 2012 [34 favorites]


Ron Paul is a weird concoction that you were really excited about when you were a bit tipsy, but upon sobering up, you think doesn't sound like a good idea.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:37 AM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


That kind of miscalculation is the the stuff campaign managers lose their jobs over. Any first-year poli-sci major knows that you save the lionizing of opponents for someone who's dead

Very true.

On a side note, I very much doubt that our hypothetical first-year poli-sci major will wind up as a campaign manager. I know very few people who work on actual political campaigns at any level who majored in political science. Usually, they wind up as analysts, and they do fine jobs, but campaign management and political organizing have their own bodies of theory, and the jobs require different skills than what are acquired via a political science degree.
posted by snottydick at 7:38 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Joe Biden is Cynar and soda --- Nah. Absinthe all the way.
posted by crunchland at 7:39 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


John McCain is a 10 yar old can of Bud you find in a hunting cabin.

Hillary ain't no Riesling, though. Maybe a truly fine Sancerre.
posted by spitbull at 7:39 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm an Obama supporter to the core, but all I think about w/ Clinton is that he flies around in a private plane with the gross, misogynistic Steve Bing.

I do like it when he called Chris Wallace a smirking manchild.
posted by discopolo at 7:40 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


What I can't see is unintentionally breaking off half a pill and then taking that - unless, of course, there is some other drug that he only takes half of.

If taking care of a slightly elderly dog has taught me anything, it's that one's dotage inevitably involves an ever-increasing variety of pills in a dizzying array of fiddly and difficult-to-cut fractions.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:40 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think Ryan is any drink that's been roofied.
posted by spitbull at 7:40 AM on September 6, 2012 [32 favorites]


And one more thing--he was having fun. He made being on that podium seem like he was eating the tastiest, juiciest...

"Burger" is not the word I thought you were going to use there.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:43 AM on September 6, 2012 [19 favorites]


Ryan is PBR poured into a flute and called champagne
posted by edgeways at 7:47 AM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well, he had to change it at the last minute when he learned Biden's already got dibs on Skillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites."

If Biden's speech tonight doesn't have a bass drop in it, I'm going to be sorely disappointed.


talky-talky folksy-folksy
CALL 911 NOW
tears shirt off, Camaro screeches onto the stage, he starts tossing big bundles of new voter registration applications out to the screaming delegates.
posted by penduluum at 7:48 AM on September 6, 2012 [26 favorites]


Rest assured Obama will kick ass tonight. When has he ever failed to deliver in a political speech? When? He lives for this just as much as Clinton and he is every bit as smart and charismatic.

Totally true. I met him at the DNC eight years ago when he was being paraded around as the Next Big Thing and I didn't even know that much about him. We had a small breakfast talk with him [a "bloggers breakfast" I think I still have a blurry photo of him somewhere] and then I got to see him give his speech live when we already had the text of the embargoed speech in front of us. He was the only person besides John Kerry that even mentioned libraries in his speech which was the specific little thing that I personally was looking for and I was all "Hey he's talking about me!" and was sort of stoked afterwards. I have no doubt that he's able to push that button in nearly every single person at the event that will be watching him as well as a lot of people watching from home. That energy is infectious. There are a bunch of different things I could fault the guy for but watching him give a speech is electrifying.
posted by jessamyn at 7:50 AM on September 6, 2012 [20 favorites]


I relish the idea that an election might be won on the idea of basic math.

"YES WE CAN (count)!"
posted by mazola at 7:51 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


"CALL 911 NOW"

Oh man, I dunno why but that has me barely able to stifle giggles in my cubicle. I wanna be Joe Biden and eat all the ice cream when I grow up.
posted by ghharr at 7:54 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, Biden is so prone to gaffes and all, but he also comes over as one of the most "real" people in national government. I don't half wonder if Obama tapped him to have at least one person on his side who occasionaly will just say w hat he thinks whatever the political consequences are.
posted by edgeways at 7:54 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Convincing someone with lies may be easier than truths, but in the morning the difference matters.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:58 AM on September 6, 2012


You know, Biden is so prone to gaffes and all, but he also comes over as one of the most "real" people in national government. I don't half wonder if Obama tapped him to have at least one person on his side who occasionaly will just say w hat he thinks whatever the political consequences are.

In another thread, I said that Biden is Obama's honey badger, and I stand by that assessment.

If you are a connoisseur of the art of oration, Clinton is Chateaux Margaux

"Maybe it's the booze talking, but I'm pretty sure I took more crap from more people than any President in history, and yet I remain the most popular since Roosevelt. So y'all just suck on it."
posted by zombieflanders at 7:58 AM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


timsteil: What happens on Wall Street truly doesnt affect me much, but sure, I guess I wish the economy was doing better. I also know the truth that for a President, there isn't a whole lot you can do about it.

Like hell there's not. You know what Obama could have done? Not re-nominated Ben Bernanke to the Fed, and picked someone who was not a standard-issue "fiscal conservative" psycho about inflation.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 7:58 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


STAND UP JOE BIDEN WHAT DID YOU DO SELL YOUR KNEES?

I thought he was right to remain seated. Clinton was praising Biden. For Joe to stand up at that point, and give a standing ovation to praise he was being given -- that's a little unseemly. Stay seated, lightly clap to acknowledge was was being said, and that's it.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:01 AM on September 6, 2012 [22 favorites]


What was being said. What.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:01 AM on September 6, 2012


New tagline for the GOP: We'll try to put the future on hold
posted by filthy light thief at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Sarah Palin is vintage Ripple that you drink on a bet"

Ripple is offended.
posted by HuronBob at 8:07 AM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don't get the sense that Bill and Hillary are lovey-dovey sexual-romantic partners, but I do get the sense that they are extremely good friends who have massive respect for one another.

If you think over all Bill's known women on the side, none of them has shown any indication of having anything comparable to Hillary's sheer intellectual calibre. The woman was featured in Life magazine for her accomplishments as a student before she even met Bill. We don't know what their relationship is really like, but I suspect that they've stayed together despite Bill's hundreds of affairs because they have something together they'll never find anywhere else: a nuclear fusion-level bond of shared political affinity and intellectual compatibility.
posted by orange swan at 8:08 AM on September 6, 2012 [29 favorites]


Paul Ryan says he's Diet Coke. Is actually regular Coke.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:08 AM on September 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


Clinton loaded the bases. Obama is going to knock it out of the park tonight.
posted by Renoroc at 8:11 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren showed her stuff last night too. She doesn't connect with people with the same ease that Bill does, but then who does? What she does very, very well, and did last night, was break down the opposing arguments in a way that an undecided voter can relate. Clinton is the absolute master at finding the weakness in an opponent's argument, and Warren is perhaps just as good at that.
posted by caddis at 8:12 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Paul Ryan says he's Diet Coke. Is actually regular Coke.

It's New Coke.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:12 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought it was a really strong speech. There were definitely some issues at times when he went off the cuff but that's too be expected, and let's be honest Clinton has never been about being completely focused and rapid in his delivery. His cadence is slow and measured with tons of "down home charm" that almost always sounds false when other lesser politicians do it yet he's constantly gauging his audience for understanding and emotional resonance. He'll recite a few facts but he'll intersperse it with laugh lines and really red meat sound bites. Yeah he stumbled at times on some words and overall it lacked some of the crispness that is such a element on Obama's speeches but he just radiates a certain amount of charisma that really appeals to a large section of the electorate. It feels like he's talking to you about issues that you care about without talking down to you.

In contrast I really like Obama's speeches but there are times when he's a little too professorial for the audience. I don't think that he's ever intentionally talking down to his audience and indeed I think he's putting forth the message that he wants to talk to you as an adult but there are times that his speeches lack the personal charm of Clinton or the passion of someone like MLK (who is clearly an exemplar of speechmaking for the modern era). When Obama acts in a more off the cuff manner that illusion of Professor Obama breaks down and he seems like a really fun charismatic guy but there is almost always a slight barrier between him and us in terms of prepared remarks and speeches. I suspect that his media handlers don't want him to ever show the same amount of passion as a Bill Clinton can get by with because they don't want Republicans to be able to point to him and say "There is an angry black man" which is basically a ridiculously easy way to other someone in a political context.

I'm hoping that Obama delivers a great speech tonight. I hope that he talks about both the struggles and the successes of his administration. I hope that he delivers the red meat for his base as well as reaching out to undecided voters. I hope that he delivers a heartfelt speech with a lot of passion and a lot of substance because I think that's where he can really differentiate himself from Romney-Bot in the eyes of the electorate. Even if he barely chips away at the angry white guy vote if he can close the deal with women and minority voters in a way that energizes the base and increases voter turnout I think he's accomplished his goals.
posted by vuron at 8:12 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is this good news for helping to avoid an economic October Surprise re:Europe?

Draghi Gets ECB's Backing For Unlimited Bond-Buying Program
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:13 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joe Biden can speak off the cuff as well as anyone except Bill Clinton, with similar but even more accessible charisma and the greatest possible sense of occasion. It's an Irish thing.

If you've never seen his comments to TAPS in 2012, where he consoles military families of the fallen by summoning his own grief over his family tragedy, you may be underestimating Joe Biden. They don't make 'em like that anymore.
posted by spitbull at 8:13 AM on September 6, 2012 [32 favorites]


Romney is a glass of water in a plastic cup with a single ice cube that you know isn't going to make it cold enough.
posted by gagglezoomer at 8:15 AM on September 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


Paul Ryan says he's Diet Coke. Is actually regular Coke.

more like the store brand
posted by caddis at 8:16 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bill did a great job. When I give talks I tend to speak quicker than I'd like, knowing how much information I have to cover, even when I've pared it down to the bare bones. But truly great speakers can speak slowly and just somehow make the longer time it takes to deliver the message, seem shorter.

I'm pretty annoyed when I feel like some speaker, film or piece of media takes up my time without some clear reason why I should give it to them. Obama, Bill and a lot of good speakers are great at producing a demeanor that draws you in and makes you feel like they respect your time and have something important and noteworthy to tell you. And then to be able to keep going and have you wanting to hear more as opposed to wondering what the point is. You can identify several points along the way where there are little mile markers so that you get a sense of travel and the destination so that you don't feel like the speech will never end, and it is masterful when you can drop those in without missing a beat. People were shouting stuff through a good bit of it, applause went on for a while at some points, but he just always seemed like he was giving the entire speech in the span of a commercial break. At the end of it you don't feel exhausted, you feel educated.

I'm going to pass it around to friends and family. Most people in here are really tuned in, but you'd be surprised at the people who won't see it if you don't send it to them, or who don't know much of anything about the election right now. I talked with someone a few weeks ago who said they knew nothing about the current election. And they have a full time job and there is a television where they work and they have a spouse and a family. So share this stuff. The message is great.
posted by cashman at 8:17 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Context for "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers" -- Romney pollster Neil Newhouse dismissed the Washington Post's Fact Checker article on the Romney ad against Obama's reforms to welfare, stating
"Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers," he said. The fact-checkers — whose institutional rise has been a feature of the cycle — have "jumped the shark," he added after the panel.
It's a good thing, too, because Americans for Prosperity are re-running a debunked Anti-Public Health Care scare ad, which first showed up (and got shot down) in 2009. Facts and memories are for suckers.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:17 AM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm actually a bit concerned about Elizabeth Warren in that she's polling neck-and-neck with Scott Brown (who has been running ads where in lieu of mentioning his political party, he folds laundry, hassles retired people, and zooms around in his truck) and now one of our local opinionated dwafs is starting to harp on the "she doesn't act like she's from around here!" stuff that helped drive a few extra nails in Coakley's coffin.

Professor Warren - please get a Bruins jersey, an opinion on the Red Sox crumbling, and the Dropkick Murphys to open your next rally, stat.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:18 AM on September 6, 2012 [22 favorites]


Is this good news for helping to avoid an economic October Surprise re:Europe?

The markets seem to think so. The Dow is already up 200+ points.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:18 AM on September 6, 2012


Professor Warren - please get a Bruins jersey, an opinion on the Red Sox crumbling, and the Dropkick Murphys to open your next rally, stat.

You're not the only one:
I watched Liz Warren’s speech with my mom, who is from Boston last night. I thought the speech was very good. My mom said “I can see why she’s losing to Scott Brown.” I said “But with that touch of Oklahoma accent, she comes across as more Real Murkin than you’d think.”

My mom said “You think they like that accent in Boston?”
posted by zombieflanders at 8:19 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Onion's take (NSFW)
posted by zombieflanders at 8:21 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Biden is the proxy emotional guy for Obama. He's able to express emotions like anger, sorrow, loss in a way that isn't perceived as being advantageous to Obama politically. He's also used to doing a lot of behind the scenes heavy lifting without always needing to take credit for it. Sometimes you really need a strong partner as a Veep to not only shore up your credibility in states that you need electoral help in but also as a partner in governing. Biden fills that function admirably. Cheney was an immense help for GW Bush in terms of governing but never really resonated with voters because let's face it he's got zero charisma. I think in some ways the Obama-Biden is a return to the model of the Kennedy-Johnson white house in which you had a really strong partnership and a ton of really really smart advisors and cabinet secretaries.
posted by vuron at 8:21 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief: "Ron Paul is a weird concoction that you were really excited about when you were a bit tipsy, but upon sobering up, you think doesn't sound like a good idea."

Paul Ryan is Zima with jolly rancher hard candies in it - a cheap approximation of something that was pretty terrible to start with.
posted by notsnot at 8:25 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hell, both Ryan and Palin are pruno.
posted by mikelieman at 8:27 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I give talks I tend to speak quicker than I'd like, knowing how much information I have to cover, even when I've pared it down to the bare bones. But truly great speakers can speak slowly and just somehow make the longer time it takes to deliver the message, seem shorter.

This is like the advice you get for film directors. When a scene is dragging, it's tempting to tell everyone to speed it up, but it's just as likely that they're moving too fast to emotionally connect and need to slow down. They relax a little, the scene gets 20% longer and all of a sudden it's gripping.

The other direction to try with a scene that isn't working is "happier, and with your mouth open."
posted by jhc at 8:28 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm certain that Obama's professorial demeanor is calculated, or at least as calculated as W's folksiness.

Bouncing off of vuron's point, Michelle and Joe and even Bill are the more human counterpoints to Obama's style of seeming like the smart, cool boss who is nonetheless not your back-slappin' drinking buddy.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:28 AM on September 6, 2012


The one discouraging thing about Clinton's speech last night is that between the football season opener, and Federer's meltdown at the US Open, the people who haven't bothered to form an opinion about the election had ample opportunity to bypass the DNC, and it's doubtful that all those hard facts and numbers had any chance of penetrating their thick skulls.
posted by crunchland at 8:31 AM on September 6, 2012


My friend said it was one of the most impressive things he'd ever seen, socially.

I've never met Clinton myself, but I have my own Clinton charisma story, too. I was a canvasser for the Democratic National Committee in Berkeley, California in 2004. On my first day on the job, I was sent out with another canvasser to be evaluated about whether I was a good enough canvasser to stay on after the first day. My partner and I end up at this late-40ish woman's house in Berkeley, where it's clear she's answering the door in a slightly tipsy state. When you're a canvasser, you often have to listen to a lot of political conversations no matter what weird paths they might go, if you have any possibility of a donation. Anyhow, it was like the woman was a co-ed at a sorority party, flirtatiously saying the political equivalent of, "I may be drunk, but I'm not so drunk you should feel guilty about taking an advantage of me for a donation." As the woman talked on and on, it was clear that she absolutely loved Bill Clinton. When talking about the Monica Lewinsky scandal, she said, "So he needed a blow job. Who doesn't? The problem with Bush is that he needs a blow job and doesn't know it." Then, she got this glassy-eyed look on her face as she stared into the eyes of me and my partner. She said, "I shook hands with Bill Clinton once, and you could tell he would be very responsive to your needs, know what I mean?" Eventually, she gave us a $25 donation, but not before she took my pen and stuck it up her nostril.
posted by jonp72 at 8:32 AM on September 6, 2012 [75 favorites]


When I give talks I tend to speak quicker than I'd like, knowing how much information I have to cover, even when I've pared it down to the bare bones. But truly great speakers can speak slowly and just somehow make the longer time it takes to deliver the message, seem shorter.

I couldn't believe that the speech was, what, 50 minutes long when I looked for it on YouTube. And I read the whole transcript. It felt short. Noooo! Don't stop talking sensible things!
posted by undue influence at 8:33 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


The one thing about the two Democratic presidents of my adult life time is that their charisma is off the charts -- both when speaking but especially in person. It's gross to say, but all I could think when I met Clinton was that I should apologize for any Monica Lewinsky I ever made, because, talking to him, even when he was a retired president 10 years later, I felt weak in the knees and like he was talking especially to me when he was just addressing the small group I was standing with after his speech. And running-for-Senate-nomination Obama made me feel like the king of the world when he gave me a complement at the gay pride parade and I didn't really know who he was yet.

Sure they're politicians and that's one of their specialties. But ot's like when a stripper tries successfully to sell you on a lap dance. You know they're working you, but it's such a pleasure to be worked you don't give a damn.

And I think it's that charisma that has gotten them elected more than anything else -- up to and including people actually agreeing with their opinion. Even though both of them are pretty centrist, I still think they are to the left of where the average American is on most of their policies (both social and economic) and it requires that charisma for them to even get close to being elected.

--

Something else about speeches is how great some of the metaphors they have been using over the past couple of days -- the keynote line about the American dream not being a sprint or a marathon but a relay or Michelle Obama's "you don't slam door of opportunity shut behind you" are simple but really effective. I guess I don't know how it plays to those who don't already feel that way, but reducing the real difference between the two parties down to nice sound bites like that seems like a skill that the party has been lacking in the past, despite the overall quality of the speeches written.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:36 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Not wanting to seem contrary (I thought it was a great speech), but what difference do convention speeches like this really make? Aren't they preaching to the converted?

Or do republicans/independents/undecideds etc... really tune in to watch the DNC? (again, not being facetious, I just want to know!)
posted by piyushnz at 8:37 AM on September 6, 2012


I think having the Cowboys-Giants play opposite the DNC wasn't helpful but wasn't quite as problematic as it would appear to be. Sure ratings numbers are going to be lower because of the broadcast alternative but I think for the most part the DNC and the NFL aren't necessarily targeting the same audience. Those that tuned in to football will end up hearing about how Clinton killed it secondhand and while most won't necessarily read or watch the speech they'll get a favorable impression nonetheless. I think Clinton did enough damage to Romney and the Republicans that even though people weren't watching live the message will get out. The main thing is that the NFL didn't counterprogram on Thursday.
posted by vuron at 8:41 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


In terms of the Romney-Ryan campaign I think Brawndo would be the drink that I would compare them to. Big on talk but when you really think about it actually pretty awful for you. Although Brawndo is at least entertaining, Romney doesn't even really manage that.
posted by vuron at 8:44 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


vuron: "When Obama acts in a more off the cuff manner that illusion of Professor Obama breaks down and he seems like a really fun charismatic guy but there is almost always a slight barrier between him and us in terms of prepared remarks and speeches. I suspect that his media handlers don't want him to ever show the same amount of passion as a Bill Clinton can get by with because they don't want Republicans to be able to point to him and say "There is an angry black man" which is basically a ridiculously easy way to other someone in a political context."

This; fourteen point three trillion times, this.
posted by notsnot at 8:44 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you've never seen his comments to TAPS in 2012, where he consoles military families of the fallen by summoning his own grief over his family tragedy, you may be underestimating Joe Biden. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

Holy cow. Thank you for linking to that.
posted by painquale at 8:46 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


caddis: "Paul Ryan says he's Diet Coke. Is actually regular Coke.

more like the store brand
"

Paul Ryan is that house brand that's got a name like Doctor Soda.
posted by boo_radley at 8:48 AM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Not wanting to seem contrary (I thought it was a great speech), but what difference do convention speeches like this really make? Aren't they preaching to the converted?

Or do republicans/independents/undecideds etc... really tune in to watch the DNC? (again, not being facetious, I just want to know!)


The speeches get reported on, clips shown in the news, Republicans have to respond to it, etc. Hell, I didn't watch the speech until I saw every blog I read orgasming over it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:49 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


bardic: Yeah, liked the speech but couldn't help thinking Gore's pusillanimity basically fucked us all over for 2000-2008.
Me, I blame anomolous voting in Ohio, Republican-led anomolous vote-rejection in Florida, and of course the Republican-dominated SCOTUS.
And Gore actually won the vote, but still got hosed due to Republicans on the SCOTUS?
As do you.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:49 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bill Clinton’s $80 Million Payday:
On December 21, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed a bill called the Commodities Futures Modernization Act. This law ensured that derivatives could not be regulated, setting the stage for the financial crisis. Just two months later, on February 5, 2001, Clinton received $125,000 from Morgan Stanley, in the form of a payment for a speech Clinton gave for the company in New York City. A few weeks later, Credit Suisse also hired Clinton for a speech, at a $125,000 speaking fee, also in New York. It turns out, Bill Clinton could make a lot of money, for not very much work.

Today, Clinton is worth something on the order of $80 million (probably much more, but we don’t really know), and these speeches have become a lucrative and consistent revenue stream for his family. Clinton spends his time offering policy advice, writing books, stumping for political candidates, and running a global foundation. He’s now a vegan. He makes money from books. But the speaking fee money stream keeps coming in, year after year, in larger and larger amounts.
Republicans like to portray Bill Clinton as a pimp, but actually he's a whore.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:49 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's noticeable how little time potential 2016 candidates spent talking about Mitt Romney at the RNC, compared to how much potential 2016ers at the DNC are heaping praise on Obama.

Democratic candidates know they'll have a wide-open primary in 2016. Republicans are having a hard time hiding the fact that in their hearts, they've given Romney up for dead.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 8:49 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not wanting to seem contrary (I thought it was a great speech), but what difference do convention speeches like this really make? Aren't they preaching to the converted?

Generally, candidates receive a post convention "bump" in the polls. Shockingly, this didn't happen for Romney. I do think it will for Obama.
posted by Atreides at 8:50 AM on September 6, 2012


Piyu, well traditionally there has usually been a polling bounce right after conventions, that may be a thing of the past as conventions have moved later in theyear, and many people are no longer undecided. The RNC event saw a pretty flat effect for Romney, it will be iinteresting to see what the after effect of the D convention is. Given the strength of it so far I'm hazzerding there will be some benifit, but we will see.

Otherwise it is an event to formalize the party platform and to energize tthe base, wich is not a trivial thing. I don't think the R convention hurt them, but it certainly did them no huge favors, Romney's basic huge problem is his favorability sinkhole, Republicans are not voting for a president, even begrudingly, they are voting against a president. The R convention seems to have done little to change that fact. The energy difference is pretty striking.
posted by edgeways at 8:53 AM on September 6, 2012


Yeah, even preaching to the converted, you cannot say Clinton did not help with the task of converting registered to likely voters among the base.

You'd think it was Victory in Europe Day on the lefty web today.
posted by spitbull at 8:54 AM on September 6, 2012


Not wanting to seem contrary (I thought it was a great speech), but what difference do convention speeches like this really make? Aren't they preaching to the converted?

It's mostly a rally-the-base thing. These conventions have nothing to do with helping people decide who to vote for and everything to do with getting the people who are really invested in the party and the process some "attaboy!" type feedback to keep them really energized and positive for the last most difficult part of the campaign. Getting funding, getting people undecided to decide, ignoring the shitty opposition, continuing to make donations, etc. The whole "lets pick our candidate" part is mainly perfunctory at this point and the entire event is a made-for-tv spectacle that solidifies the in-group and out-group battle lines. Plus it's a fun as hell party if you're into that sort of thing. I enjoyed going in 2004 and I'm pretty shruggo on national level politics in the US generally.

Republicans like to portray Bill Clinton as a pimp, but actually he's a whore.

There is a terrific argument that the big business aspect of politicking in the US is one of its more unsavory aspects. Getting money for speeches is something that Bill Clinton doesn't do any more than other big name retired politico people, regardless of how distasteful you or I may find it to be.
posted by jessamyn at 8:56 AM on September 6, 2012 [19 favorites]


I just read that Pres. Obama will know the Friday jobs number far enough ahead of time that it will be before he speaks tonight.

Now we see him play poker.
posted by spitbull at 8:56 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


(with one hand, while playing 11 dimensional chess with the other . . .)
posted by spitbull at 8:58 AM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Not wanting to seem contrary (I thought it was a great speech), but what difference do convention speeches like this really make? Aren't they preaching to the converted?

Or do republicans/independents/undecideds etc... really tune in to watch the DNC? (again, not being facetious, I just want to know!)


Well, apparently 30m people tuned in last night, which is a fraction of who will actually vote. But a lot of it isn't going to be who was watching, but how it was covered and how Clinton is seen. Greg Sargent at the Washington Post has a good post detailing how Clinton is supposed to look like the "referee" between the two sides:
Here’s the key to understanding the barn burner of a speech Bill Clinton just delivered. Senior Dems believe Clinton has taken on a unique role in American politics: They think he is seen by genuine undecided and swing voters as a kind of “referee” figure — someone they can trust to tell them what to think about politics and the economy. These voters, Dems believe, think he understands better than any other major figure exactly the kind of economy they want.
[...]
But Clinton went further than this, casting this election as a referendum on whether cooperation itself can survive: “One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation.” This pitch was strongly geared towards independents who hate government gridlock, and Clinton’s stature and popularity with those independent voters — and that role as “referee” — is what enabled him to make such an aggressive case against one party to them.
Considering that Clinton has an approval rating of ~70%, this could work. Of course, political polarization is at an all-time high, so this could also have very little effect. In fact, David Plouffe said as much this morning, though whether he's doing it to lower expectations or because that's the data he's getting from their internals, I don't know. But the other audience for the speech was the base, and that's a big (fuckin') deal. There's still an enthusiasm gap between the two parties, and getting everybody "fired up and ready to go" is pretty damn important.

I just read that Pres. Obama will know the Friday jobs number far enough ahead of time that it will be before he speaks tonight.

@mattyglesias:
Obama should just break the embargo on tomorrow's BLS jobs number tonight. Who's going to stop him!
posted by zombieflanders at 9:00 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Herman Cain is Faygo, served in a high heel.

Rick Santorum is homemade, poorly-made Postum substitute, served in a woolen tea-cup with "HAVE YOU BEEN WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB?" written on the bottom.

John Kerry is the tree sap that oozes out of his own barky carapace. Some say that drinking it confers magical powers, but no one has been able to stay awake long enough to try.

Al Gore is cat grass, which he explains to you, at great length, with more detail than clarity, as being the same thing as wheat grass.

George H. W. Bush is your first sip of beer - puzzling and gross, and only interesting in retrospect.

Ronald Reagan is sugar cane Coca-Cola offered to a diabetic dying of thirst.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:01 AM on September 6, 2012 [29 favorites]


Not wanting to seem contrary (I thought it was a great speech), but what difference do convention speeches like this really make? Aren't they preaching to the converted?

The number of undecided people who actually vote is pretty small. Elections are mostly decided by which party gets their existing supporters excited enough to show up at the polls.
posted by straight at 9:01 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


How much memory does that guy have devoted to people's faces and names?

I have this ability, too (obviously not to the same preternatural extent as Clinton). It takes a bit of work, but it comes in handy - anyone can do it if they try.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:02 AM on September 6, 2012


One thing I noted was that when he started to get tied up and could misstate something, he had the presence of mind to back up and restate it in a different more accurate way.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:02 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney, GOP Groups Pull Ads From Michigan and Pennsylvania

Somehow I doubt this is permanent, what with a billion or so still in the GOP warchest, but if not...wow. That would be 36 electoral votes just gone from the scorecard.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:03 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Fwiw, regarding the football distractions: Twitter numbers where 22k per minute for Clinton. 14k for Romney, so even with the competition it sort of looks like Clinton outstripped Romney... of course I think the empty chair did as well.

Also fwiw, I suspect the empty chair will, in the end, be as big a factor as Clinton last night
posted by edgeways at 9:04 AM on September 6, 2012


0m people tuned in last night, which is a fraction of who will actually vote.

Yeah, but not a small one. I think around 130 million people voted in the last presidential election. So we'll call it 1/4.
posted by spitbull at 9:05 AM on September 6, 2012


Romney, GOP Groups Pull Ads From Michigan and Pennsylvania

They have a limitless amount of money. Why would they do this, even if they DID think it was throwing money away?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:05 AM on September 6, 2012


There is a terrific argument that the big business aspect of politicking in the US is one of its more unsavory aspects. Getting money for speeches is something that Bill Clinton doesn't do any more than other big name retired politico people, regardless of how distasteful you or I may find it to be.
In 2004, Clinton got $250,000 from Citigroup and $150,000 from Deutsche Bank. Goldman paid him $300,000 for two speeches, one in Paris. As the bubble peaked, in 2006, Clinton got $150,000 paydays each from Citigroup (twice), Lehman Brothers, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors. In 2007, it was Goldman again, twice, Lehman, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch....

And these speaking fees aren’t the only money Clinton got, it’s just the easiest cash to find because of disclosure laws. Apparently, Clinton’s firm apparently had a paid $100k+ a month consulting relationship with MF Global, and Clinton and Tony Blair have teamed up to help hedge funds raise money. His daughter worked for a giant hedge fund and political ally (Avenue Capital).
You don't get to rake in that kind of quid, without the pro quo. It's not like you even have to be a conspiracy theorist: Clinton ran on taking the democratic party to the right. Now he's reaping the rewards for ditching unions, regulation and the welfare state. But, the fact that a president can go home and make 80 million dollars giving speeches is corrupt no matter the particular politics. No one gets something for nothing and no one gives away $500,000 just because you are a swell guy.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:06 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


30 million, not 0m, I guess I need a new keyboard.
posted by spitbull at 9:06 AM on September 6, 2012


If I was running the GOP, I'd accept the reality of a Romney loss. I'd focus on legislative seats and governorships. Make sure that, for the red states he does take, he takes them by a huge margin, but don't pretend like he can win this thing. Stop throwing good money after bad, i.e. don't focus on swings states so much.

Instead, foster the image that Obama has completely divided America between know-nothing liberals and common-sensical conservatives. Passive-aggressively paint Romney as being someone who lost because he wasn't conservative enough. Make conservative voters angry at this fact, so that they'll gum up Congress with conservatives.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:08 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did Elizabeth Warren actually walk out to "Wanna Be Starting Something?" Cause that's hilarious.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:09 AM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Sticher, so in other words, re-run the McCain playbook?
posted by spitbull at 9:10 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


More or less! I think that, from the GOP's point of view, that's the best way to achieve their goals.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:13 AM on September 6, 2012


You don't get to rake in that kind of quid, without the pro quo. It's not like you even have to be a conspiracy theorist: Clinton ran on taking the democratic party to the right. Now he's reaping the rewards for ditching unions, regulation and the welfare state. But, the fact that a president can go home and make 80 million dollars giving speeches is corrupt no matter the particular politics. No one gets something for nothing and no one gives away $500,000 just because you are a swell guy.

REMINDER: Once out of office, [Harry S.] Truman quickly decided that he did not wish to be on any corporate payroll, believing that taking advantage of such financial opportunities would diminish the integrity of the nation's highest office. He also turned down numerous offers for commercial endorsements. Since his earlier business ventures had proved unsuccessful, he had no personal savings. As a result, he faced financial challenges. Once Truman left the White House, his only income was his old army pension: $112.56 per month.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:14 AM on September 6, 2012 [23 favorites]


I think the ad pulls are to not oversaturate the market with too much, too long. Expect massive buys mid Oct to give him a just long enough bump. Iirc that was the game plan during the MI gov run as well, late game massive negative attack ads. Bank it.
posted by edgeways at 9:15 AM on September 6, 2012


You know what's amazing? Two nights ago I was arguing on Twitter with Roger Stone, Nixon's hatchet man. So I looked up some stats and learned that in the final quarter of 2008, the economy shrank 8.9%! And Stone called my numbers cooked and I said dude, these are department of commerce numbers. They're Bush's own numbers! And then I tweeted him and said really? I'm whipping up on Roger Stone, the great GOP hatchet man? I was literally taunting hin and he had no reply.

Yesterday in response to Obama's renomination, Romney's official campaign response was that Obama had the worst ever presidential record on the economy! The worst ever! The lie refutes itself.

They can't keep lying like this and putting out zero platform. They're gonna take it hard.

My fave tweet of yesterday was James Taranto saying his cabbie voted for McCain but is voting for Obama now because Romeny is such a liar.

And one other curious thing--when Chuck Todd was interviewing Ohio's Ted Strickland, he aksed a meandering question at the end about Ohio--started to say it was going Obama's way, and something along the lines that the Romney people are quietly saying they're working out ways to win without Ohio--and then he suddenly stops, like he just gave out some info he got off the record and mumbles through the rest of the question. A sure tell.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:16 AM on September 6, 2012 [19 favorites]


Harry Truman, of course, also nuked two Japanese cities, so there's that.
posted by spitbull at 9:16 AM on September 6, 2012


ennui.bz: Bill Clinton’s $80 Million Payday:
On December 21, 2000, [...]

Today, Clinton is worth something on the order of $80 million
Republicans like to portray Bill Clinton as a pimp, but actually he's a whore.
1. This "Payday" lasted almost 12 years.

2. So, someone who is a very in-demand speaker is a "whore"?
posted by IAmBroom at 9:17 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


You don't get to rake in that kind of quid, without the pro quo

Actually, you sometimes do. You'd be surprised at just how bad of an investment a political expenditure can be. Granted, they EXPECT a pro quo, and sometimes they even believe they've received one when they haven't because, you know, the brain is a crazy thing. It's all about managing expectations.

No one gets something for nothing and no one gives away $500,000 just because you are a swell guy.


People get something for nothing all the time, and people pay money to people for just being swell guys. It's called the art of sales.

Of course, they may be getting something that isn't from Clinton, but from someone who is impressed by Clinton: "Hey Bill, I got this group of investors that I'm trying to raise $250,000,000 from. Want a 10% cut to come dazzle them for me?"
posted by snottydick at 9:17 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, this just in . . . Ryan caught in another lie claiming to have climbed "nearly 40" of Colorado's 53 14K+ peaks. Problem is, there is no way he did that and no one noticed at the time that he was spending months (which is what that would take) in Colorado on mountains.

I know it's trivial, but why lie about things like this? I mean, I know that in general personal trainers are scum who are morally opposed to telling the truth about feats of fitness, but this stuff is ridiculous even for them.
posted by winna at 9:18 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also re: the Big Dog, a roommate was a staffer for John Doolittle, a GOP congressman from California. So Bubba invites him back on the plane from the spotted owl summit.

When Doolitle got back, he told his staff that Clinton had him 100% convinced on everything on the flight back and he had to snap out of it when they landed.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:19 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Harry Truman, of course, also nuked two Japanese cities, so there's that.

Good thing Clinton's hands are clean.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:23 AM on September 6, 2012


I don't think Michigan or Pennsylvania are remotely realistic for Romney currently despite some polling indicating Romney is somewhat in reach of the lead. Democratic GOTV efforts in those states are liable to be huge and union presence is still significant. I think they were optimistic at best. Hell 538 doesn't even list either as battleground states.

Some of the supposed battleground states aren't really contests (Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina and Montana should be safe for Romney; New Hampshire, Nevada and Wisconsin should be safe for Obama). That really means that the fight is almost exclusively focused on Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. If Obama is solid at 257 Electoral Vote and Romney is at 191 then Romney needs to basically sweep the remaining battleground states to have a chance of being elected. Considering he's behind in almost every single on of them I think he's desperate for a game changer and he's honestly running out of time. I can't imagine the debates getting him momentum and even infinite money for advertising reaches a point of diminishing returns. You can only reach so many voters with attack ads and increasingly people just filter that through DVRs.
posted by vuron at 9:24 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is simply the done thing for companies in NY to have employees "inspired" by Clinton. My old company used to spend huge sums sending people to "leadership" and "vision" conferences headlined by Clinton. We probably could have saved money spending 250k to have him drop by the office.

Did Elizabeth Warren actually walk out to "Wanna Be Starting Something?" Cause that's hilarious.

In my own personal fantasy, Obama walks out to the instrumental to Mama Said Knock You Out.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:25 AM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


MartinWisse: Yeah, we really don't know the true nature of Bill and Hillary's relationship; we just think we know.
A paparazziesque report from the time of this picture, while they were on "vacation" dealing with the reality of Bill's infidelity, described Chelsea walking between them and holding their hands... Then, she fell back slightly, and put their hands together, which stuck.

I think that is pretty telling of the moment. Possibly of a key moment in the whole marriage. And really uplifting.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:25 AM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]



1. This "Payday" lasted almost 12 years.
2. So, someone who is a very in-demand speaker is a "whore"?


So, you can make 80 million dollars in 12 years giving speeches at union halls and for community groups? Not everyone who has sex is a prostitute, it's who you sleep with and why.

Of course, they may be getting something that isn't from Clinton, but from someone who is impressed by Clinton: "Hey Bill, I got this group of investors that I'm trying to raise $250,000,000 from. Want a 10% cut to come dazzle them for me?"

You people are too close to the dot-com money game... something for nothing, always something for nothing.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:26 AM on September 6, 2012


edgeways: I'd be careful with that, you are presupposing you know how she feels. From all I've seen the two of them actually love each other very much, despite Bill's issues (hopefully) in the past.

Remember, these two came of age in the late 60s, so they were liberal young people who formed their opinions about love and sex in the dead center of the hippie era and the Decade of Love. There's a very good chance that she simply does not care. She might be in the 'bang anyone you like, dear, just be home for dinner' crowd.

Ultimately, we don't know the terms of their marriage. It's been more successful than most, and we have no business imposing our definition of how one works on them.
posted by Malor at 9:27 AM on September 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


I know it's trivial, but why lie about things like this? I mean, I know that in general personal trainers are scum who are morally opposed to telling the truth about feats of fitness, but this stuff is ridiculous even for them.

My opinion is that Paul Ryan is a compulsive liar who doesn't think straight about telling the truth. If he didn't have a deep-seated mental disorder, he'd act on the knowledge that this kind of stuff is easily checked and refuted.

For all we know, they might be all-out narcissistic confabulations. He might believe his own bullshit. He feels that he worked really hard to run a marathon, so of course he received an extraordinary result. It just doesn't make sense to him that he's an average marathoner, even though most healthy people would be proud of the accomplishment of running a marathon in and of itself.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:27 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]



I know it's trivial, but why lie about things like this? I mean, I know that in general personal trainers are scum who are morally opposed to telling the truth about feats of fitness, but this stuff is ridiculous even for them.


He apparently didn't actually claim that but the horse has left the barn on that one which is maybe a good example of why you don't want to get that reputation.
posted by ghharr at 9:28 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good to know about the climbs/peaks distinction, but the marathon story is still ridiculous. As a (thoroughly amateur) runner myself, the idea of claiming to have run a sub-3 marathon when your PR is a hair over 4 is absolutely insane.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:31 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bill Clinton, rock star…
posted by homunculus at 9:32 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sticherbeast: "My opinion is that Paul Ryan is a compulsive liar who doesn't think straight about telling the truth. "

But I bet he can tell you all about Huey Lewis and the News!
posted by boo_radley at 9:32 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


PR is personal record? Because I think the I've run marathons bit is also a lie. I think he ran one marathon, so I guess you can have a personal marathon record by running one marathon, but it seems kinda... well more then just a little self aggrandizing.
posted by edgeways at 9:36 AM on September 6, 2012


I hate to suggest that anyone exhibits sociopathic tendencies but Ryan's tendency to concoct complete and total fabrications because they make him seem more manly or easier to relate to just seem creepy. I known tons of completely remorse braggers over the years (it's hard not to living in Texas where such behaviors are still pretty revered) but to really think that he can get by with such outlandish attempts at creating a hero myth for himself in the modern media atmosphere where just about any claim of prowess can be fact checked into oblivion just seems hopelessly clueless or so relentlessly cynical that you just feel skeeved out by him.
posted by vuron at 9:36 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Warren was wonderful; I couldn't help but think of Doonesbury all this week and imagining her real speechwriters high-fiving each other as she hit all the right notes. But Clinton? He was electrifying. Go'Bama!
posted by Lynsey at 9:37 AM on September 6, 2012


In my own personal fantasy, Obama walks out to the instrumental to Mama Said Knock You Out.

It's not the same, but from the official Obama Tumblr: "Well, if this isn’t the best thing we’ve ever seen.".
posted by zombieflanders at 9:37 AM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I met him at the DNC eight years ago

jessamyn, that's also when you and I met. You were walking around outside and I called out "Nice shirt!" because I noticed you were wearing a Blogger.com t-shirt. We ended up talking for a few minutes.
posted by grubi at 9:39 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most telling factoids of all : Rush Limbaugh opened his show today by saying "That was an absolute disaster for the Democrats." and "The best part? They think the election is in the bag."
posted by crunchland at 9:40 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]




On a somewhat related note, it looks like the slut-shaming of Sandra Fluke is still irresistible for the GOP.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:41 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


In my own personal fantasy, Obama walks out to the instrumental to Mama Said Knock You Out.

Don't call it a comeback. He's been here for years.
posted by jonp72 at 9:41 AM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


If I was running the GOP, I'd accept the reality of a Romney loss. I'd focus on legislative seats and governorships.

People, please do not forget these.
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on September 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


On a somewhat related note, it looks like the slut-shaming of Sandra Fluke is still irresistible for the GOP.

Putting Sandra Fluke onstage was the "don't throw me in the briar patch!" of the DNC. Calling women whores is not good for business, but many in the GOP just can't resist.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:45 AM on September 6, 2012 [26 favorites]


Paul Ryan apparently claims that the marathon time thing was just a "rounding error." My question is, if a man can round "over four" to "under three," even by mistake, do we really want that guy dealing with the budget?
posted by KathrynT at 9:45 AM on September 6, 2012 [25 favorites]


Most telling factoids of all : Rush Limbaugh opened his show today by saying "That was an absolute disaster for the Democrats." and "The best part? They think the election is in the bag."

Back in 2006 and 2008, you could say that the George W. Bush administration was in a political "bubble," and they had no clue of the political ground shifting beneath their feet. But now it feels like the entire Republican base is living in that same "bubble" built by constant exposure to the Fox News/talk radio/Tea Party echo chamber. Because of this, they assume Obama is much more likely to lose the election than he really is. And when Obama wins, they are going to be very angry and assume that the election was stolen by the New Black Panther Party, illegal immigrants, and the reanimated zombie of Richard Daley, Sr. So when Obama gets inaugurated again, I suppose I will be happy, but I will be constantly waiting for that other shoe to drop, because I fear it's gonna get real ugly.
posted by jonp72 at 9:48 AM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Did I somehow navigate to the counter universe Free Republic today by accident?
posted by rr at 9:51 AM on September 6, 2012


Biden is Lionshead beer.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:52 AM on September 6, 2012


Limbaugh is just trying to deflect. His schtick is to say that the Republican's (actual) weaknesses are actually what the democrats suffer from.

ie. "That was an absolute disaster for the Republicans." and "The worst part? We know they have the election is in the bag."

Now it fits reality!
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:52 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fluke's is an interesting case, her efficacy and reach has been phenomenally expanded by one fuck awful talking head, you could say Limbaugh immeasurably helped Fluke's career and prospects with his week long tirade, I wouldn't go so far as to say "he made he" because she seems like an intelligent and on the ball woman, but we certainly would not be seeing her on the national stage at the 2012 D Convention delivering a pretty good (prime time) speech . I would not be shocked to see her run for office at some point, and win, all because of that idiot and his inability to be a decent human being.

So, hey, thanks Rush. Any other future Democratic powerhouses you want to help make?
posted by edgeways at 9:52 AM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


Paul Ryan apparently claims that the marathon time thing was just a "rounding error."
I have not seen that claim, just a later statement after he got caught out saying "If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three." Do you have a cite? (I agree that it was ridiculous for him to claim a sub-3-hour marathon.)
posted by dfan at 9:52 AM on September 6, 2012


Presently enjoying a cup of coffee and some pleasant musing on the possibility that government based on facts and cooperation, not lies and othering, might carry the day.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:54 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, hou about Ryan's claim he's summited "about 40" of the 54 14k peaks in Colorado? He'd have to be a major hobbyist climber for that.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:59 AM on September 6, 2012


I had heard the "rounding error" claim widely disseminated, but I can't find a locktight cite, no. The closest I can come is Politico: "Ryan said he should have rounded his marathon time to four hours, not three."
posted by KathrynT at 9:59 AM on September 6, 2012


The Atlantic has Clinton's speech, edited to his actually remarks. It's fascinating.
posted by gladly at 10:01 AM on September 6, 2012 [35 favorites]


Did I somehow navigate to the counter universe Free Republic today by accident?

I know, right? Apparently, it was a really good speech to get the jaded and faded cynics here all worked up. CNN's been showing lengthy clips of it all day.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:02 AM on September 6, 2012


The Atlantic has Clinton's speech, edited to his actually remarks. It's fascinating.

a moment of silence for the poor bastard working the teleprompter last night
posted by theodolite at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


I wonder how many millions of dollars of negative ad spend that one speech is worth.
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, hou about Ryan's claim he's summited "about 40" of the 54 14k peaks in Colorado? He'd have to be a major hobbyist climber for that.

You'd think Republican politicians would be wary of telling people how much they enjoy hiking by now.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder how many millions of dollars of negative ad spend that one speech is worth.

Let's hope it's 1,000.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:04 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Speaking of desperation....
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:05 AM on September 6, 2012


I could give a long, long, long, long list of things I'm still peeved about Clinton and his years in office.

But that speech gave me the warm fuzzies. It was nice to see him back in his element. And he can explain policy, in detail, without condescending, better than anyone alive.
posted by feckless at 10:05 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Best part of his speech, hands down:

"It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did"

I lol'd
posted by triggerfinger at 10:05 AM on September 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


In my own personal fantasy, Obama walks out to the instrumental to Mama Said Knock You Out yt .
posted by Ad hominem


I said back in 2000 that I would have happily voted for Bush if he'd opened the first debate by saying, "Vice President Gore, welcome to the Terrordome."

I guess that offer stands for Romney, too, but I just don't think he has it in him.
posted by COBRA! at 10:07 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


DNC Lacking Same Delusional Magic It Had in 2008. Not anymore!

On the other hand, if you pay someone $125,000 to show up at lunch and talk for 20 minutes, what makes you think he's your whore? As opposed to a shiny glittery object that really impresses the folks at lunch? Why are big speaking fees to the most compelling high-status speaker in the world a sign that he's in your pocket?
posted by leopard at 10:08 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


In his hypertrophic heart of hearts, Limbaugh and his advertisers want four more years of Obama because attacking him will win him more listeners than having to defend Romney/Ryan's disastrous policies.

Whatever success Limbaugh has, he basically owes to the Clinton family. It was his vitriolic attacks on them that helped tile his broadcasting empire with gold.
posted by Renoroc at 10:09 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


You people are too close to the dot-com money game... something for nothing, always something for nothing.

What does that even mean, in the context of my quote that preceded it? Also, I'm nowhere near whatever the "dot-com money game" is.
posted by snottydick at 10:10 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of my favorite parts of the speech was Clinton reminding everyone about George W. Bush, since the Republicans just shoved their hands in their pockets, kicked at the ground and whistled whenever 43 should have come up.

Politics is the best example of "a truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent."
posted by ambrosia at 10:11 AM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]



In my own personal fantasy, Obama walks out to the instrumental to Mama Said Knock You Out.
posted by Ad hominem


Fuck, how about "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)"? Now that would top Bill Clinton.
posted by spitbull at 10:12 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, "It takes some brass" really needs to stick around as a popular phrase.

gladly: "The Atlantic has Clinton's speech, edited to his actually remarks. It's fascinating."

Really, really fascinating. I know you can't reduce the 'magic' of public speaking to a formula, but looking at it like this, and seeing what changes were made, what Clinton does right is so obvious. Good thing they can't patch the Romney-boy with some sort of upgrade between now and then.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:13 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love Bill Clinton. I adore the guy, flaws and all. I remember the first time I heard him speak back in 1992 on the lawn of the LBJ Library at UT. Barbara Jordan was there, and some other folks and I was just 20 and it was like magic. I was pretty pleased with his speech last night. Although, I had a hard time fending off the massive wave of nostalgia and longing that almost took me down for the count.

My side-bar: In 1992, it didn't seem as fucked up. I mean, we still had our dastardly covert military operations and the death penalty and chemicals in the wrong places and I'd just come off a wave of protesting Desert Storm with a bunch of never-going-to-finish grad students, but I didn't need the internet and I didn't need a cell phone and I wasn't scared to death about dwindling fresh water supplies and global food shortages and lay-offs. My grandparents were still alive and I could get away with my bumper stickers that said things like "abortion on demand and without apology" and "know your rights - just say NO to illegal search and seizure". And now here I am, raising a kid and wondering what I should probably be stockpiling in the garage and debating if there will be an end to our drought and *terrified* at the thought of a Romney/Ryan administration.
posted by PuppyCat at 10:15 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I said back in 2000 that I would have happily voted for Bush if he'd opened the first debate by saying, "Vice President Gore, welcome to the Terrordome."

First debate opens:
MODERATOR: Mister President, your opening remarks?

BARACK OBAMA: Hello, Republicans, look at your candidate, now back to me, now back at your candidate, now back to me. Sadly, he isn't me, but if he stopped listening to the Tea Party and switched to being a moderate, he could govern like he’s me. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re in the Oval Office with the President your candidate could govern like. What’s in your hand? Back at me...I have it, it’s a tax plan that saves you enough money to buy two tickets to that thing you love. Look again, the tickets are now people marrying who they love regardless of gender. Anything is possible when your candidate governs like me and not a bigoted vulture capitalist. I’m on a unicorn.”
posted by zombieflanders at 10:17 AM on September 6, 2012 [206 favorites]


PuppyCat, I was there too! What are the odds? Only time I ever saw him live.
posted by spitbull at 10:19 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


As opposed to a shiny glittery object that really impresses the folks at lunch?

This is it entirely. Everyone wants to feel like a mover and shaker, the kind of person who hangs around with presidents. Companies have no problem paying 250k for this, which isn't even very much if it was a payoff. It makes employees feel they are part of a grand endeavour. I mean we sent QA dudes to Clinton leadership speeches and they came back amped up about the high tech future they were part of, ready to test the hell out of some shit.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:19 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Only real hiccup so far is the idiotic put god and Jerusalem back in the platform nonsense

As DNC Pushes Through Jerusalem Vote, Critics Ask Why GOP is Dictating the Democrats’ Platform

DNC Delegates Finally Resolve This ‘God’ Business By Going Insane
posted by homunculus at 10:25 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I listened to the first 2/3 on the speech on the radio, and the rest on the TV when I got home. Bill Clinton is the second-best orator of our current political generation.

When Bill is firing on all cylinders, as he was last night, he can take a speech that (yes, admit it) had a lot of boilerplate politicalisms in it and drive it home as though they were brand-new discoveries. Or what Nate Silver said. He's a genius at delivery. He played the room like a master.

Of the two people in the last three decades of politics that are in the same league as Clinton, one falls in just barely below Bill, and the other a notch or two above: Reagan, especially in the early part of his administration, could work a room and sell it.

But it's Barack Obama himself who, at his best (cf. his big "Race" speech), can top Bill Clinton's speech last night. I wonder if tonight we'll see him do that.
posted by chimaera at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2012


Bill Clinton's is, for me, America's grandpa.

I tend to write of my (surrogate) grandfather as someone who's a bit out of touch; endearing but not really someone to whom I give much credence to.

But then when I listen, and I mean really listen I realize, whoa, am I grateful he decided to speak his mind. There's a difference of perspective and understanding that I lack in my (relative) youth.
posted by Tevin at 10:28 AM on September 6, 2012


Paul Ryan is the wine beverage you accidentally buy because you didn't read the label carefully enough and you thought it was real wine.
posted by brina at 10:29 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I love this picture. It's half "I know that feel bro" and half "Guy Love."
posted by zombieflanders at 10:30 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Only real hiccup so far is the idiotic put god and Jerusalem back in the platform nonsense

It was certainly a self-inflicted gunshot to the foot. They had already caught a small boatload of shit from the right for making the changes. Now they're catching another boatload for undoing the changes. Making themselves look spineless over two issues that are going to be divisive no matter which side they stand on.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz trying to deny the interparty divisiveness was a boneheaded cherry on top.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:33 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hollywood Upstairs Medical College: In 1993, Bill Clinton came to Congress to deliver a speech touting his health care plan.

The wrong speech was loaded on the prompter.

He started speaking extempore, and no one noticed for 9 minutes while his staff desperately rebooted the prompter.
In case anyone missed that, that link is (AFAICT) one of those rare, truly sincere, behind-the-scenes political interviews that really puts a handle on the Clinton presidency, and the man.

Thanks again, Hollywood Upstairs Medical College.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:37 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Romney campaign and its proxies have stopped advertising in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
posted by Flunkie at 10:38 AM on September 6, 2012




The Romney campaign and its proxies have stopped advertising in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Didn't we see this with McCaine? Ceding battleground states? Obama's response was to step up the ground game in any state where he had a even the thinnest chance, and it delivered surprises like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida. The McCain campaign got bogged down in its own strategy.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:47 AM on September 6, 2012


The Romney campaign and its proxies have stopped advertising in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

"Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done"

Fuck you Turzai. You thought you had it in the bag if you could only stop the poor from voting, didn't you? Enjoy your comeuppance, asshole.
posted by Talez at 10:48 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


My take on the removal of ads, in decreasing levels of credibility:

Temporary removal because they're holding back for October
Temporary removal because they're going to wait out any "bounce"
Some sort of feint that they actually believe the Obama campaign will fall for
Giving up on the national race
posted by zombieflanders at 10:51 AM on September 6, 2012


homunculus: I'm still kind of amazed that a guy who writes for Esquire about politics goes on and on about how Clinton never failed to use his talents for political ends, unlike Obama. Anyone who has studied American politics should have the failure of Clinton's first-term attempts to end the ban on gays in the military and pass health care reform committed to memory. There's no excuse for forgetting that, so the writer is just engaging in pure nostalgia there. (And I loved the speech!!!)
posted by raysmj at 10:55 AM on September 6, 2012


During Clinton's speech, at one point the camera zoomed in on a lady in the audience who was waving some sort of ID card. Her name and what appeared to be her ss# were clearly visible. They did it twice. I could very clearly make out most of the number without even pausing. Did anyone else see this? Why would the cameras show that?
posted by triggerfinger at 10:58 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Speaking of State races, does anyone know a good FiveThirtyEight-ish site for tracking the Senate runs? I know Kaine is facing a tight race here in VA but I don't know a good source. Anyone?
posted by daHIFI at 11:00 AM on September 6, 2012


TPM's Polltracker.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:01 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


In my own personal fantasy, Obama walks out to the instrumental to Mama Said Knock You Out.
posted by Ad hominem

Fuck, how about "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)"? Now that would top Bill Clinton.


I was hoping for "Let's Stay Together", personally. The stage would be empty, people cheering... they quiet down as the song continues with no one appearing on stage... and then the curtain parts and Obama walks out, mike in hand, glittery tux, and HE'S SINGING. Yeah.

talky-talky folksy-folksy
CALL 911 NOW
tears shirt off, Camaro screeches onto the stage, he starts tossing big bundles of new voter registration applications out to the screaming delegates.


Apparently Biden's real ride is a '67 'vette, but the Secret Service won't let him drive it.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:03 AM on September 6, 2012


Yes, triggerfinger, it was during the part of the speech where Clinton was talking about Medicaid/Medicare.

One of my friends posted this on FB: "Dear lady on CBS, please stop showing your Medicare card. That's your social security number my dear. "

She has had excellent credit.
posted by daHIFI at 11:03 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]




PuppyCat, I was there too! What are the odds? Only time I ever saw him live.
posted by spitbull at 10:19 AM on September 6 [+] [!]


So was I!

\m/
posted by mudpuppie at 11:06 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought it was a great speech. He did an amazing job of explaining complicated policy details in a factual and understandable way. Emphasizing how the Romney/Ryan plan's cut to medicaid would devastate medicare was particularly good. I hope the Obama talking points people study it carefully. It would be nice to hear more from progressives on what they think we need to do to build a successful "modern economy." I'm not convinced just investing in education and science and technology will be enough.

It's interesting that Clinton bombed at the 1988 national convention and was basically jeered off the stage for giving a long boring endorsement of Dukakis. This time voters needed a detailed clear policy speech.

The Romney campaign and its proxies have stopped advertising in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

I think Romney may just be redo'ing ads to better target undecided voters.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:06 AM on September 6, 2012


PA and MI were second-tier targets for Romney to begin with. They're fool's gold for Republicans this year as they have been in the past three cycles. Only IE groups were spending there. See this indispensable tracker of ad spending by state. The Romney campaign itself has spent nothing in PA or MI since the primaries.

Romney will pick up Indiana and is likely to pick up North Carolina (if he loses NC, he'll also have lost VA by a bigger margin, so it's moot). This brings him to 206, he needs 64 more.

Set A are the big three: Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. (60 EVs)

Set B are the smaller swing states: Nevada, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire. (25 EVs).

If he wins all of Set A, that brings Romney to 266, and he only needs one of Set B to reach 270.

If he loses any one of Set A, he has to run the table on Set B.

If he loses Virginia, he needs 3 of set B. Possible.

If he loses Ohio, he needs all 4 of Set B. Not impossible, but very hard.

But if he loses Florida...winning all of Set B won't get him to 270. And if he thinks he can snag Wisconsin to win a no-Florida scenario, he sure isn't showing it.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 11:06 AM on September 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


and then the curtain parts and Obama walks out, mike in hand, glittery tux, and HE'S SINGING. Yeah.

... and now I just realized that this could be spun in a totally racist "give us a song" way. Ouch. I just think it's awesome that Obama can sing like Al Green.

Sorry for that.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:07 AM on September 6, 2012


(Eh...Set B adds to 27, not 25.)
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 11:08 AM on September 6, 2012


He's from rags-to-riches, people; he ain't dumb
He's got 99 problems, but a Mitt ain't one.
posted by grubi at 11:09 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why not just bring the real Al Green out as a special surprise guest before the speech, so's he can seduce a chair? I've seen him live, and even at his age, Al could do that. By the time he throws roses at the chair, it's a done deal.
posted by raysmj at 11:10 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's interesting that Clinton bombed at the 1988 national convention and was basically jeered off the stage for giving a long boring endorsement of Dukakis. This time voters needed a detailed clear policy speech.

Maybe that was just Clinton playing the long game :)
posted by gagglezoomer at 11:13 AM on September 6, 2012


Paul Ryan says he's 500ml but he's actually 355ml.
posted by Damienmce at 11:26 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sticherbeast: FWIW, "angry white men" were a big fat electoral trope back in the 90s. I remember that exact phrase being used to describe how the Republicans came to power in 1994.
Let's not bring the obesity epidemic into this thread.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:26 AM on September 6, 2012


spitbull: And how do you "accidentally" take "half a dose" of anything?
Easy. You put all your Monday pills into the Monday compartment, including your half-pill of morning Whatsis(tm), and your half-pill of evening Ambien. Then, in the fog of morning, you take your morning pills.

Hell, I've taken all my pills, when I was supposed to take all-but-two.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:27 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another testament to President (yes -- he and others deserve the title-for-life) Clinton ...

During one of his early campaign stops in 1992 here in Boston at the old "Castle" (now Smith & Wollensky steak house) in the Back Bay. There were a few hundred people in the large event room. After Clinton spoke he worked the first two rows of attendees. I and some friends were perfectly located in the first row. He stopped, focused intently on the person with whom he was speaking -- and he spent 1 or 2 minutes with each person. He genuinely connected with each person. *

Fast forward to later that year. I am at a much smaller venue and he approaches -- AND HE KNEW MY NAME. There was no aide standing behind him whispering names from a clipboarded list.

------------

* - Even more impressive and how I was able to witness his compassion and empathy first hand ...

A row behind us was the late Worcester Academy music teacher and AIDS activator , Michael Querico.
"I said, `Bill, my name is Michael Quercio, I am gay and I am HIV-positive and I teach a class on AIDS,' " Mr. Quercio recalled in an interview that ran in the St. Petersburg Times on Dec. 30, 1992. "His eyes saddened and he said he was sorry. Then -- we were already shaking hands -- he took his other hand and clasped it over mine and never let go of me for the four or five minutes we spoke. Nor did his eyes leave mine."

When he was elected president, Clinton did not forget his acquaintance from Worcester. He invited Mr. Quercio to the pre-inaugural "Faces of Hope" luncheon held in the oak-paneled Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington. "I think it is really ironic to consider that I've never been in Washington before and my first visit is one in which I'll be honored by the president-elect," Mr. Quercio said at the time.

During the luncheon Mr. Quercio, a determined long-distance runner who competed in five Boston Marathons, asked the president-elect if he could join him on his jog the following morning, the day of the inauguration. Clinton agreed and Mr. Quercio found himself tromping through the streets of Washington the next morning with the president-elect.*
BTW -- you may recall the lunch included one person from each state whose stories really touched Clinton. I wouldn't be surprised that he kept a notebook and jotted down names of the eventual invitees who stood out at campaign events. Heck, he probably didn't even need to write them down!
posted by ericb at 11:30 AM on September 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


spitbull: Harry Truman, of course, also nuked two Japanese cities, so there's that.
And saved, by all accounts, a roughly equivalent number of American lives, and a greater number of Japanese lives, from dying in the planned invasion efforts. Which led to the sudden end of hostilities.

Harry S Truman brought peace to two hemispheres.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ron Paul is ...Aqua Velva and ginger ale.
posted by y2karl at 11:34 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


How dare you disparage my beloved ginger ale that way.
posted by grubi at 11:38 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


*AIDS activist* -- damn autocorrect.
posted by ericb at 11:39 AM on September 6, 2012


Easy there Broom, I wasn't trying to start the old Truman nuke argument, it was a lame joke about how none of these guys are saints.
posted by spitbull at 11:39 AM on September 6, 2012


I wish those Washington Post ad buy maps had a breakdown of spending by candidate (and proxies). There is still some ad buys in Michigan and Wisconsin but they seem pretty subdued. If ad buys are proxies for the battleground it seems like basically Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida are the frontlines. Yeah they still seem to be spending in Boston but I can't really imagine anyone really feels like NH will be competitive despite NH being iconoclastic as hell.

It's interesting to see that it's basically all negative ads now. I guess Romney has given up trying to appeal to independents and is basically hoping for a base election plus low voter turnout. Obama can afford to go full negative because his popularity numbers while low seem pretty stable. He's also got a more secure base in the electoral college so he can afford to be on offense.

Watching TV in Denver, Tampa, DC, and Las Vegas must be completely horrible right now
posted by vuron at 11:40 AM on September 6, 2012


snottydick: You people are too close to the dot-com money game... something for nothing, always something for nothing.

What does that even mean, in the context of my quote that preceded it? Also, I'm nowhere near whatever the "dot-com money game" is.
Forget it, he's on a roll.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:42 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Vuron, I'm in VA and I have been toooo bombarded. I expect that to change as tv seasons & football start again and more folks watch stuff live, though.
posted by troika at 11:43 AM on September 6, 2012


Instead of balloons, at the end of his speech, ..

I have heard that due to the fact that had to nix the outdoor venue and move indoors tonight that they probably won't have enough time to prepare for a balloon drop.
posted by ericb at 11:45 AM on September 6, 2012


Watching TV in Denver, Tampa, DC, and Las Vegas must be completely horrible right now

Never in my life have I been happier for DVR/VOD, Netflix, and Bittorrent USENET other digital sources.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:53 AM on September 6, 2012


I said back in 2000 that I would have happily voted for Bush if he'd opened the first debate by saying, "Vice President Gore, welcome to the Terrordome.

If Romney/Ryan adopt the Ruff Ryders logo then my vote's in the bag.
posted by Smallpox at 11:55 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I got everything I wanted from that speech except Clinton leveling a terrorist fist-bump to Obama when he walked out on the dais to greet him afterward.
posted by contessa at 11:56 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am tired of charisma without substance; I think we are starved for people who can combine great style with real substance. In his 1991 book about American government "Parliament of Whores, "P.J. O'Rourke wrote the following about Jesse Jackson at the 1998 (?) DNC:
I did, however, want to hear Jesse Jackson speak. He is the only living American politician with a mastery of classical rhetoric. Assonance, alliteration, litotes, pleonasm, parallelism, exclamation, climax, and epigram- to listen to Jesse Jackson is to hear everything mankind has learned about public speaking since Demosthenes. Thus Jackson, the advocate for people who believe themselves to be excluded from Western culture, was the only 1988 presidential candidate to exhibit any of it.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:57 AM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Watching TV in Denver, Tampa, DC, and Las Vegas must be completely horrible right now

Speaking from Tampa -- it's getting pretty bad, yeah. I've been avoiding TV except for watching the actual convention on PBS. But at least the RNC didn't leave the whole place a smoldering, somehow-still-misogynist cinder the way we feared.
posted by penduluum at 11:59 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Watching TV in Denver, Tampa, DC, and Las Vegas must be completely horrible right now

I subscribed to Hulu Plus to give the kids something new to watch - and they get slammed with Romney-friendly commercials between Woody Woodpecker episodes.
posted by tilde at 12:03 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


@penduluum, I spoke to a job recruiter calling out of the Tampa area yesterday. I asked him about last week and he said that they all had to work from home b/c getting around was a nightmare. He also said that he had to work out of his parents spare bedroom as his apartment was near the convention center. He said the Secret Service offered him the option of "staying or going," that he had to either stay in his apartment for the 3 days and not leave or leave and not come back until it was over; there would be no coming and going. Have you heard anything along those lines?

@~, at least the Romney ads are followed by Obama ads on the subsequent breaks ;)
posted by daHIFI at 12:08 PM on September 6, 2012


Romney is a glass of water in a plastic cup with a single ice cube that you know isn't going to make it cold enough.

No, that's too kind. Water's a basic necessity of life. If Romney were water, he'd be a half-empty bottle of lukewarm Vitamin Water discarded on the passenger seat - kind of thing you'd only drink if there wasn't any other beverage in arm's reach after a workout.

But what Romney really is, is a can of dealcoholized beer at a wedding reception for two people you don't like, which you drink because you're stuck being the designated driver and it at least reminds you vaguely of drinking away a scene like the one you're stuck in and aching for it to come to an end.
posted by gompa at 12:12 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Have you heard anything along those lines?

I bet he lives on Harbor Island. There's this little, almost-totally-high-$$$-residential island in the south of Tampa that's only connected to the main city by a couple bridges, and both of those bridges were in the Secret Service red zone. I think they told people that they could either stay or go.

I work for a nonprofit cultural arts venue in downtown Tampa (we had a couple RNC events last week, e.g.). My venue was in the unofficial "yellow" zone: expected heavy protester activity, vastly increased police presence, but few actual changes to traffic patterns (except for parking spaces being changed). Coming and going into downtown during the week was incredibly easy, easier than normal even. The place was like a ghost town, 8 blocks away from the convention.

Last Thursday, walking from my car to the office, I had a dude with a bandanna on ride silently up behind me on a BMX and, as he approached me, whisper "it's almost like the place is TOO quiet". Then he asked me where the nearest check-cashing place was.
posted by penduluum at 12:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


For the first time in my life, I may actually rewatch a political speech.
posted by cherrybounce at 12:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan...you think he's chocolate milk but he's watered down Yoo-Hoo.


Although...Yoo-Hoo is delish.
posted by ian1977 at 12:16 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sidenote: For a constant stream of great campaign-themed silliness, tune your Twitter to @wise_kaplan, who's now several weeks into a spectacular long-form gag pleading relentlessly to give the GOP nomination to Newt Gingrich.

E.g.

"He mops his fat sweaty face with a handkerchief. Takes a swig from a bottle of Coca-Cola. Says it sure is hot out here. Vote Newt."

"The guy scooping up the soggy Brie with his finger? Yep, it's Newt."

"The guy raising his eyebrow and immediately being brought a gin & tonic? You know it has to be Newt."

"The guy in the Lincoln fumbling with his gal's brassiere? You know it's Newt. Vote Gingrich 2012."
posted by gompa at 12:18 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was headstrong about voting Green party this year but.. but Bill.

Bill.

Be still my beating heart.

Can't I just vote for Bill again? Please??

He convinced me not to throw my vote away. Guess I'll vote for Obama.
posted by Malice at 12:21 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


He convinced me not to throw my vote away. Guess I'll vote for Obama.

See, guy-up-thread-who-was-wondering-what-the-point-of-conventions-is? SEE??
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:23 PM on September 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


Can't I just vote for Bill again? Please??

Nope

posted by snottydick at 12:24 PM on September 6, 2012


I wish those Washington Post ad buy maps had a breakdown of spending by candidate (and proxies)

Vuron, it's there, click on the gray boxes on the left side. You can filter by Romney, Obama, or by specific SuperPAC.

Presidential ad spending is saturating key media markets so well that it's actually been suffocating some downticket races. Gubernatorial, congressional, and state legislative races had to reserve their time early this cycle because they ran the risk of literally running out of airtime to buy.

Truly amazing. And media buyers/political TV firms work the same way as commercial firms: % commission. They're minting money.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 12:37 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I follow Doonesbury pretty closely these days, and as a Massachusetts resident I thought the strip's recent focus on Elizabeth Warren was misguided, and perhaps a product of lead times and irrational exuberance, à la the strip's handling of the end of the Nixon/McGovern race in 1972.

Don't get me wrong: I'm definitely going to vote for her; she's not on my shit list like John Kerry (whose political ambitions were a primary motivator for voting to authorize the war in Iraq) or John Tierney (whose professed ignorance of his wife's criminal behavior is not credible), and her opponent Scott Brown is an anti-gay bigot... but she hasn't really distinguished herself in this race.

Scott Brown and his surrogates in conservative talk radio can point to her once-claimed but since disproven Native American heritage and self-association with the idiotic, failed Occupy movement to impugn her character.

Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, seems to have no viable character attacks to use on Scott Brown. The Cosmo Spread was never a good angle to begin with, and what small potential it did have was wasted on Martha Coakley, the incompetent Democratic nominee1 in the special election that first catapulted Scott Brown to the Senate. Even if she had a good attack, the idiotic non-aggression pact that she forged with Brown has left her without her most effective means of disseminating the information.

1. Seriously, Coakley was horrible. Her credo as a candidate was best summed up by this quote. I couldn't even stomach voting for her after I learned about her role in blocking the just resolution of the Amirault sex abuse hysteria case.
posted by The Confessor at 12:37 PM on September 6, 2012


Bhaskar: What was interesting about the speech and what "the boy from Hope, Arkansas" has always done well is mix a populist appeal, talking about shared prosperity and equal opportunity in the broad strokes, but actually delivering austerity quite well on the specifics. He did work to reform welfare, and he was a deficit hawk, yet somehow, Clinton manages to maintain the authenticity to present himself as a friend to the poor and downtrodden. It's the beautiful sophistry of the Third Way.
Reihan Salam and Bhaskar Sunkara discuss Clinton's convention speech
posted by RogerB at 12:39 PM on September 6, 2012


I did, however, want to hear Jesse Jackson speak. He is the only living American politician with a mastery of classical rhetoric. Assonance, alliteration, litotes, pleonasm, parallelism, exclamation, climax, and epigram- to listen to Jesse Jackson is to hear everything mankind has learned about public speaking since Demosthenes. Thus Jackson, the advocate for people who believe themselves to be excluded from Western culture, was the only 1988 presidential candidate to exhibit any of it.

My brother was on a tear the other day, excoriating Jesse Sr. for allowing his jealousy of Obama's meteoric rise to keep him from using his amazing talents to get people fired up. Jackson is an amazing speaker if he'd let bygones be bygones he would be very effective. I miss him speaking at the DNC.
posted by readery at 12:39 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I said back in 2000 that I would have happily voted for Bush if he'd opened the first debate by saying, "Vice President Gore, welcome to the Terrordome."

I know this will never happen, but in my weird political dreams, I envision the debates playing out a little something like this...

Let's say it's the third Obama vs. Romney debate. The first two debates have been widely denounced by pundits from all parts of the political spectrum as either a snoozefest or a complete abomination of all standards of campaign journalism. The third debate looks like it will proceed on a similarly boring path, when suddenly Fox's Shepard Smith asks Mitt Romney a question about Obama's foreign policy record. Romney's response is competent, perhaps even engaging, but still recycles standard GOP talking points about Obama as an appeaser. Shepard Smith then looks to Obama who has two minutes to rebut Romney's remarks. It is at this point that the magic happens. Obama reaches behind his lectern and places a duffel bag on top of it. He unzips the duffel bag, reaches in, and pulls out by the hair the disembodied head of Osama bin Laden. The crowd gasps; some audience members even faint. Meanwhile, Obama has exploited the momentary confusion to yank off his tie and wrap it around his head. Then, with lightning-quick speed, Obama takes out six guitar strings, strings them through Osama bin Laden's eye sockets, and begins to strum on the skull-guitar, while singing a rendition of Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile with slightly altered lyrics: "I stand up next to bin Laden. I chop him down with the edge of my hand." Obama then proceeds to pull off the sickest guitar solo ever performed live on network prime time TV since Prince played the Super Bowl. He then slams the Osama skull guitar on the stage, takes a bottle of lighter fluid out of his back pocket, and does the awesomest recreation of Jimi Hendrix at Monterey ever conceived. Shepard Smith bends the rules to ask Romney if he has any response to Obama's rebuttal, but at that point, everybody knows that Romney has no chance.
posted by jonp72 at 12:48 PM on September 6, 2012 [20 favorites]


Shepard Smith bends the rules to ask Romney if he has any response to Obama's rebuttal, but at that point, everybody knows that Romney has no chance.

Still, he makes an attempt:
MITT ROMNEY: Obviously, the President is just pandering to his base. As we all know, when it comes to rock and roll, Elvis built that.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:58 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


penduluum: "I bet he lives on Harbor Island. There's this little, almost-totally-high-$$$-residential island in the south of Tampa that's only connected to the main city by a couple bridges, and both of those bridges were in the Secret Service red zone. I think they told people that they could either stay or go."

Hey, this reminded me of Miami's Billionaire Bunker.
posted by boo_radley at 1:03 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only real hiccup so far is the idiotic put god and Jerusalem back in the platform nonsense

And there are other problems with the platform, though they've gotten little attention: Democrats Retreat on Civil Liberties in 2012 Platform
posted by homunculus at 1:08 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clinton inspires stuff like this:

RUN DNC
posted by Skygazer at 1:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


daHIFI: Have you heard anything along those lines?

Yep! I work for a college with a campus in Charlotte, and they are opening the school year a week late because of the DNC! I only heard about it a couple of weeks ago: apparently a dorm was commandeered or something. The term is simply being cut short by a week for those students.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:24 PM on September 6, 2012


Since Clint Eastwood's yelling at an empty chair worked out so well, the Republicans put out a
video today featuring a supposedly disappointed former Obama voter breaking up with a cardboard
cut-out of Obama. The woman in the video is a director on the Republican National Committee.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dow, S&P 500 multi-year highs. Pretty good backdrop for your speech.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:34 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]




Since Clint Eastwood's yelling at an empty chair worked out so well, the Republicans put out a
video today featuring a supposedly disappointed former Obama voter breaking up with a cardboard
cut-out of Obama. The woman in the video is a director on the Republican National Committee.


I was about to say, "to be fair, she could have voted for Obama and then later become an RNC staffer," but then I clicked the link: it turns out that she was a regional Victory director for John McCain's campaign. Holy moly.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:38 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, spoiler alert for who's leading the pledge of allegiance at 6pm.
posted by troika at 1:42 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, spoiler alert for who's leading the pledge of allegiance at 6pm.

Who wants to bet on how long it takes Erick Erickson or Michelle Malkin to tweet something offensive about "special needs?"
posted by zombieflanders at 1:45 PM on September 6, 2012


The term is simply being cut short by a week for those students.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:24 PM


Seriously? They're losing a week of instruction time?
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:51 PM on September 6, 2012


Whoa. Charlie Crist is speaking tonight.
posted by grubi at 1:52 PM on September 6, 2012


You might say it's his coming out party.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:55 PM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Cardboard Cutouts & Empty Chairs.
posted by Aquaman at 1:59 PM on September 6, 2012


Can we hear another "now, listen...this is important", please?

Oh, how I miss listening to that man speak!
posted by WestChester22 at 2:00 PM on September 6, 2012


CHARLIE CRIST. That's awesome. Just the best thing. But ... where's Betty White?
posted by brina at 2:00 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Haha Charlie Crist, I guess Republicans are going to have to deal with the consequences of forever running to the right during primaries. If he can boost Obama even slightly in Florida that would be great.
posted by vuron at 2:19 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


In other election news: How A Republican Appeals Court Just Made Citizens United Even Worse
posted by homunculus at 2:35 PM on September 6, 2012


I think Elizabeth Warren's 15-minute speech was pretty good, too

We don't need no "Injuns" comin' 'round here with their fancy ideas 'bout savin' the middle class

WTF.
posted by homunculus at 2:49 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's ridiculous. I know there was a kerfuffle about her claiming Native American heritage and then not really elaborating when pressed on it, but that doesn't give you an excuse to act like an ass and use slurs.
posted by cashman at 3:00 PM on September 6, 2012


You people are too close to the dot-com money game... something for nothing, always something for nothing.

What does that even mean, in the context of my quote that preceded it? Also, I'm nowhere near whatever the "dot-com money game" is.


you are all so used to the dotcom fable: code 'instagram' and walk out of your deal never having to work again (i.e. a percentage of 250,000,000), that walking out of a 20 minute speech with a six figure check seems totally normal... i mean, he was the president after all, surely he deserves 80 million for that. except that it's corrupt, and if everyone does it it means the whole political class is corrupt.

bill clinton's career is built on personally putting any hope of "social democracy" in america into the grave of history: welfare reform, NAFTA, balanced budgets. you didn't even pay attention to this speech:

Bill Clinton and Structural Unemployment:
But — you knew there was going to be a but — Clinton did get one thing wrong, which he has persistently gotten wrong for years. He’s stuck on the notion that we have a big structural unemployment problem:

Of course, we need a lot more new jobs. But there are already more than 3 million jobs open and unfilled in America, mostly because the people who apply for them don’t yet have the required skills to do them.
He’s been saying this for years. But it’s not true — even Republican economists agree.
all you unemployed, just get retrained to work in call centers uh... what are they even selling now that everyone sees that the "trade" schools have been loading down suckers students with mountains of debt in exchange for worthless credentials.

the unemployment crisis is the biggest issue in american politics right now, even though it's hardly ever mentioned directly. all the warm fuzzies don't change the fact that bill clinton essentially thinks it's the fault of the unemployed rather than the fraud based economy of his friends on wall street.
posted by ennui.bz at 3:02 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


John Lewis is speaking about republican efforts to suppress the vote: "I've seen this before. I've lived this before. Too many people have suffered and died to give people the right to vote."
posted by cashman at 3:05 PM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]



I heard a lot about the speech today. My Dad (we're Canadian) asked if I watched it. I said no and he said I should. Now my parents aren't super political but I was surprised just how much of the conventions that they've been watching. My Mom can't stop talking about Michelle and if you looked at her facebook postings you'd think she was getting ready to vote herself.

Anyways so I decided to check it out. When I first loaded the link I though '49 minutes? That's long.' I started watching and then before I knew it, it was over. Those 49 minutes flew by and I could have easily sat there for much longer.

I've seen more political speeches (had to give some myself and have wrote dozens) in my lifetime then I wish I had. I'm generally 'bleh' about speeches in general. It's a testament to what a great speech he gave that I not only was I interested, I listened intently and completely lost track of time.

Good on you Clinton. That rocked.
posted by Jalliah at 3:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


cashman: "I know there was a kerfuffle about her claiming Native American heritage"

I didn't, and those tweets confused the hell out of me. I take it the loonies have taken that and run with it?
posted by brundlefly at 3:07 PM on September 6, 2012


brundlefly: " I take it the loonies have taken that and run with it?"

Basically, she's from Oklahoma. If you're an Oklahoman and *don't* have 1/32 Native American blood it's remarkable. So she has some interest in that little sliver of her heritage. Kinda like I spent two months' commutes with Learn Czech tapes cuz I'm a quarter Czech. Anyway, Harvard talked it up when they were under fire for a lack of diversity in the 90s. She didn't use that 1/32 to any advantage, but Harvard tried to - and didn't bother to tell her until she saw the brochure talking up the diversity. Scott "pretty butthole" Brown's campaing dug up the Harvard brochures and has made hay about it.
posted by notsnot at 3:28 PM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


the unemployment crisis is the biggest issue in american politics right now, even though it's hardly ever mentioned directly. all the warm fuzzies don't change the fact that bill clinton essentially thinks it's the fault of the unemployed rather than the fraud based economy of his friends on wall street.

The dot.com portion of your remarks don't really make any sense, but this I'll take on b/c Clinton's welfare reform act has had some pretty brutal consequences and is one of those thingswhich I'm still angry about him for. But it's also part of the puzzle of the man -- unlike many, many, many others in the political I believe he genuinely cares for and (more importantly) has an understanding of poor people in this country. That's a big reason why he was able to sell welfare reform in the first place I think -- unlike a lot of other people who tried, few people think he really wants to stick it to poor folk. I still don't think that was his intention.

But it was the effect.
posted by feckless at 3:32 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Alright, I want that Obama dress.
posted by cashman at 3:47 PM on September 6, 2012


The black and grey one from last night? Yes, definitely. As for the one she wore when she spoke? Also good, but disappointingly matchy matchy on the shoes.
posted by brina at 3:54 PM on September 6, 2012


No there was some lady they showed about 20 minutes ago, walking through the crwod with that shepherd fairey image as a dress. In theory it should be really tacky and bad looking, but somehow it looked good.
posted by cashman at 4:00 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]



Clinton's about to leave. But before he does he circles the room one more time, shakes everyone's hand, my friend included, looks them in the eye and says something like "it was so nice to meet you (first name). I enjoyed chatting about (subject of small chat)." This is to like 30-40 people he's just met tonight. My friend said it was one of the most impressive things he'd ever seen, socially.

Heck. It would have scared the crap out of me.
posted by notreally at 4:00 PM on September 6, 2012


He watches you sleep at night.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Here's a really bad picture of that dress. If you look around on Twitter, people liked it, although maybe some liked it in that look...a hat-with-a-real-bird-in-it-at-church way.
posted by cashman at 4:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd focus on legislative seats and governorships.

Yeah, any joy I feel over an excited Democratic party base is tempered by the fact that here in North Carolina (which still has a chance of repeating for Obama like it did in 2008), the Dem candidate for governor, Walter Dalton, is consistently 6-7 points behind the Repub candidate in the race to replace our retiring Democratic governor, and is not running what I would call an aggressive campaign. Both the state House and Senate recently went to Republican control, which means if Dalton loses, in just a few short years we'll have gone from a totally Dem-controlled state to a totally Repub-controlled state. Our local fundies and Randians are already salivating at the legislative agenda they'll rush through as soon as they get the governor's veto power out of their way; NC will be right up there with Arizona and a few others among the immigrant/abortion/voter ID rightwing wet dream states.

Dalton is not talking about this. I have no idea how he plans on making up a consistent 6-point deficit before November. I rarely donate to politicians, but I've done so for him, and will again. I hope other folks in NC are paying attention, too.
posted by mediareport at 4:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]



Man, I would love to be Bill Clinton's biggest fan. But the problem is I'm also a fan of Hilary Clinton, and can't help but see him through her eyes.


I am a HUGE fan of Hillary, so if he's OK with her, he's OK with me. She's a smart woman; she can decide for herself and obviously she has.

Even if I weren't the world's biggest Hillary fangirl, I could understand why she stays with him.
posted by caryatid at 4:18 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Of course, we need a lot more new jobs. But there are already more than 3 million jobs open and unfilled in America, mostly because the people who apply for them don’t yet have the required skills to do them.
He’s been saying this for years. But it’s not true — even Republican economists agree.


I've seen this mentioned in a few places lately — 650k unfilled skilled manufacturing jobs in particular. 3M is perhaps an exaggeration, but it seems like there's some truth to it. Maybe part of the problem is not enough people believe these jobs will necessarily be there long enough to justify the training costs.

I think both could be true, a demand problem that potentially could be addressed with Keynesian solution of monetary expansion and deficit spending(?) and structural problems that involve permanent loss of some middle class jobs that need to be re-created somehow. Robert Reich often argues that this is the case. But no one's solution to this problem, if it exists, seems very satisfactory.

U.S. manufacturing sees shortage of skilled factory workers

John Lewis is speaking about republican efforts to suppress the vote: "I've seen this before. I've lived this before. Too many people have suffered and died to give people the right to vote."

The voter suppression is just obscene.

That's a big reason why he was able to sell welfare reform in the first place I think -- unlike a lot of other people who tried, few people think he really wants to stick it to poor folk. I still don't think that was his intention.

According to Rahm Emanuel, Bill Clinton first veto'ed two republican welfare reform bills because all they did was cut welfare.

It doesn't seem to me that enough is being done to cut our uncompetitive healthcare costs by standing up to pharma, health insurance, and probably other parts of the healthcare system that are unnecessarily monopolistic. I wonder if this is an area where more free-market brutality might do us some good.
posted by Golden Eternity at 4:23 PM on September 6, 2012


Can't I just vote for Bill again? Please??

You can vote for whomever you want.
posted by Lizard People at 4:28 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


In my own personal fantasy, Obama walks out to the instrumental to Mama Said Knock You Out.

Obama introduces The Roots, and then Jay-Z and Nas come out and perform new versions of 'Takeover' and 'Ether' with lyrics about the Romney/Ryan ticket.
posted by box at 4:50 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Okay ... I've got the chills while watching Gabby Giffords. Amazing! What a strong person.
posted by ericb at 4:59 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


In my own personal fantasy, Obama walks out to the instrumental to Mama Said Knock You Out.

Obama introduces The Roots, and then Jay-Z and Nas come out and perform new versions of 'Takeover' and 'Ether' with lyrics about the Romney/Ryan ticket.


People above were talking about bringing out into the open the racism that's in the GOP's tactics. As such: Obama introduces Lupe Fiasco, who sings All Black Everything.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:00 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sweet Caroline!
posted by ericb at 5:00 PM on September 6, 2012


Why would the cameras show that?

The real question ought to be why the Social Security Number is used as though it's some kind of super-secret information (which it's not, and never has been), the knowledge of which reliably authenticates you as the bearer of that number (which it doesn't, and never has).
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:11 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would vote for Willy C in a heartbeat this year.

That said... Hmm, Stein, or stay home... Stein, or stay home... Same result, really.
posted by pla at 5:15 PM on September 6, 2012




Romney's like drinking O'Douls in the desperate hope that if you just drink enough of it, it'll get you drunk.
posted by klangklangston at 5:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I work on a military base with a bunch of hardcore life long Republican Christians/Catholics. I was SHOCKED when all day long I heard things like, "Fuck yea, Bill!", "Bill's speech was awesome!", "Fuck Mitt, he can't pull the wool over my eyes." and "Oh shit, I might have to vote for fucking Obama." etc. and so on.

All day long. I'm still shocked and pretty damn impressed. I know one not exactly small military installation is not any kind of indicator, but that was pretty fucking awesome.
posted by snsranch at 5:18 PM on September 6, 2012 [38 favorites]


Granholm's really getting them riled up.
posted by Flunkie at 5:18 PM on September 6, 2012


ohshenandoah : annotated mark-up of the speech that was written and the speech that was delivered

Wow... Not a flattering picture of Obama! Looks like he can barely stand Clinton, but has to put up with him for the sake of an endorsement.

Usually, Barry looks much, much more composed and jovial. Really somewhat odd, IMO.


snsranch : I know one not exactly small military installation is not any kind of indicator, but that was pretty fucking awesome.

Not an indicator??? If active military sound excited to vote for a Democrat, we can pretty much call the election now.
posted by pla at 5:23 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The real question ought to be why the Social Security Number is used as though it's some kind of super-secret information (which it's not, and never has been), the knowledge of which reliably authenticates you as the bearer of that number (which it doesn't, and never has).
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:11 PM on September 6 [+] [!]


Exactly. A unique identifier like an SSN is much more like a name than a password. You can't change it easily, it's assigned to you at birth, you have to put it on a lot of documents.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:27 PM on September 6, 2012


Former Michigan Govervor Jennifer Granholm: "In Mitt Romney's world his automobiles get an elevator; the workers who built his cars get the shaft!"

She was fantastic!
posted by ericb at 5:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Schweitzer is kicking ass as well. He's got the great rural good ol' boy vibe going that the Republicans always try to trade on.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:31 PM on September 6, 2012


Wow... Not a flattering picture of Obama! Looks like he can barely stand Clinton, but has to put up with him for the sake of an endorsement.

Surely you've seen this.
posted by Potsy at 5:32 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoa! Charlie Crist! I wasn't expecting that. It's like Zell Miller all over again! Minus the crazy and the spittle.
posted by Flunkie at 5:35 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whoo-boy. Limbaugh is gonna try brand Crist as a turncoat, a traitor and nt American.
posted by ericb at 5:37 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hold on, I gotta fix the color on my TV...
posted by dirigibleman at 5:38 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't help but hope he challenges Chris Matthews to a duel.
posted by Flunkie at 5:38 PM on September 6, 2012


Not meaning to snark on the man's appearance, but looking at Charlie Crist makes me feel like I'm viewing photo negatives.

Good speech, though. Curious to see how he's branded by his former party-mates tomorrow...
posted by palomar at 5:41 PM on September 6, 2012


Hmmm. Didn't Geraldine Ferraro make various not-so-subtly racist statements in support of Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama? Am I misremembering?
posted by Flunkie at 5:41 PM on September 6, 2012


Heh - "Ask Osama Bin Laden if he's better off now than he as four years ago"
posted by Flunkie at 5:47 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


John Kerry: "Ask Osama bin Laden if he's better off than he was four years ago."

Snaaaaaaap.
posted by notsnot at 5:49 PM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


My memory may not be that fresh, but it definitely feels like Kerry's speechmaking is better off than it was 12 years ago.

Also: for it before he was against it SNAP
posted by Rhaomi at 5:51 PM on September 6, 2012


Dang. John Kerry just showed us his Romney roast material.
posted by palomar at 5:52 PM on September 6, 2012


Dude just referenced Rocky IV!
posted by zombieflanders at 5:52 PM on September 6, 2012


John Kerry: Governor Romney, a bit of advice before you debate the President on foreign policy: finish the debate you're still having with yourself.
posted by ericb at 5:53 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Kerry is fucking punching noses, yo.
posted by angrycat at 5:53 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Goddamn, I really wish Kerry had been fired up like this in '04.
posted by notsnot at 5:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Where the hell was this version of Kerry twelve years ago?!
posted by palomar at 5:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The electricity in the hall must be incredible. All great speeches tonight.
posted by ericb at 5:54 PM on September 6, 2012


I did not expect to be excited by Kerry's speech. Glad I didn't tune out.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


palomar -- bingo!
posted by ericb at 5:54 PM on September 6, 2012


BTW Kerry is playing Romney in Obama's debate prep.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Naw, he hasn't closed his fist yet. He's backhanding Romney.
posted by notsnot at 5:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or however many years ago it was. I've blocked out so much of the past decade-plus...
posted by palomar at 5:55 PM on September 6, 2012



Dude just referenced Rocky IV!

Except that closed caption had him saying "Rocky Horror", which while more interesting is slightly more befuddling.
posted by newpotato at 5:55 PM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


My memory may not be that fresh, but it definitely feels like Kerry's speechmaking is better off than it was 12 years ago.

Where the hell was this version of Kerry twelve years ago?!

It adds up to 2016 because this election is totally feeling over ATM.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:56 PM on September 6, 2012


Is this Tom Hanks narrating the veterans video?
posted by Flunkie at 5:56 PM on September 6, 2012


He had me at Rocky IV.

("Mitt Romney thinks he can prepare for a summit with a montage!")
(Also, though it felt longer, it was only eight years ago)
posted by dirigibleman at 5:56 PM on September 6, 2012


The organizers of this convention are doing/have done a great job -- true professionals. Makes the RNC look like it was slapped together by a high school's A/V and drama clubs.
posted by ericb at 5:57 PM on September 6, 2012


Is this Tom Hanks narrating the veterans video?

Yes. He's a solid liberal, even if he keeps it on the DL publicly.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:57 PM on September 6, 2012


Makes the RNC look like it was slapped together by a high school's A/V and drama clubs.
Unfortunately (?) I didn't have the opportunity to see the RNC this year, but this description actually reminds me of the 2008 RNC. Most prominently when they inexplicably showed a huge picture of a middle school behind McCain (incidentally green screening him, which they caught flak for months earlier too) while he was talking about wounded veterans. Turns out someone googled "Walter Reed" to get a picture of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and they got a picture all right... of Walter Reed Middle School, somewhere in California.
posted by Flunkie at 6:04 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


I did a word search for "China" and nothing came up. Really? Clinton granting China Most Favored Nation status annihilated plenty of American jobs at the low-low cost of tacitly abandoning the Helsinki Accords and the nominal idea that America gave a tinker's damn about human rights abroad.

I mean, he's a great speaker and one of the most talented straight up politicians of the age. And fuck Mitt Romney. But, seriously, I just don't understand why this never comes up in criticism of the man's administration.
posted by absalom at 6:05 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Imagine if John Kerry had been this charismatic 8 years ago, John Edwards' affair would have been a real catastrophe for democrats.
posted by humanfont at 6:06 PM on September 6, 2012


NBC is streaming live (Joe Biden then Obama coming up) -- I'm outside of America and can watch it here, so if you're overseas and interested in watching live, that might be a good place to try.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:12 PM on September 6, 2012


I find the Guardian's live blog the best way to keep up-to-date (discreetly) here at work. Witty too.
posted by vac2003 at 6:16 PM on September 6, 2012


I know it's a tiny, tiny thing, but the fact that everyone's referred to Jill Biden as Dr. Jill Biden makes my heart grow half a size.
posted by Kattullus at 6:17 PM on September 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


Scott "pretty butthole" Brown's campaing dug up the Harvard brochures and has made hay about it.

"Pretty Butthole"?
posted by homunculus at 6:19 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why does Obama arrive at the last minute rather than being there for the whole thing? Surely it's not a security issue if the place has already been vetted?
posted by triggerfinger at 6:19 PM on September 6, 2012


"How you feelin' today, stav?"

Well, pretty butthole, to be honest.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:20 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Pretty Butthole"?

I would say just Google it, but I did that and... honestly I should have known better.
posted by palomar at 6:20 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah but 'Dr' Biden also has that familiar jc vibe of I am full time I am not adjunct I am doctor. She's endangering the adjunct vote by her vibing -- no not really.
posted by angrycat at 6:21 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


After Romney dropping the ball, the hallway from the Democrat speakers' green room to the stage must have a giant sign hanging over it reading:
THIS
IS
ANFIELD
A GOOD TIME TO THANK THE TROOPS

posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know it's a tiny, tiny thing, but the fact that everyone's referred to Jill Biden as Dr. Jill Biden makes my heart grow half a size.

I was similarly pleased by the fact that the Daily Show (and seemingly ONLY the Daily Show) consistently referred to Condoleeza Rice as Dr. Rice.
posted by KathrynT at 6:26 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


For the life of me, I do not understand why Joe Biden always polls so badly.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:28 PM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


@tbogg: Pundits predicting Biden will be replaced with Hillary before this video is over
posted by zombieflanders at 6:29 PM on September 6, 2012


Ha, Joe...ya sweetie.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:31 PM on September 6, 2012


That was almost creepy. Like, I expected him to jump down off stage and start making out with her.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:32 PM on September 6, 2012


We have become unaccustomed to sincerity.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:34 PM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]




He loves grabbin' her.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:34 PM on September 6, 2012


Joe just made me tear up with lovely little speech to his wife. "Jilly, the love of my life, the life of my love.... Aaaaah....
posted by triggerfinger at 6:37 PM on September 6, 2012


For the life of me, I do not understand why Joe Biden always polls so badly.
A guy I know who claims to be "independent" and "centrist" but is pretty clearly partisan for Republicans was complaining to me about what he hates about various Democrats. A lot of it didn't really make much sense to me - I mean, I could understand disagreeing with Nancy Pelosi's policy positions, and I could imagine disliking her, but he literally thinks that she's of below average intelligence, which is just bizarre to me. One such thing like that was his feelings on Joe Biden:

"And Biden! Beyond contempt. Beyond contempt."

It really took me aback - again, I can imagine disagreeing with his policy positions, or disliking him, but "beyond contempt"? I was genuinely confused. I asked why Biden was beyond contempt. He paused a moment, and then:

"Beyond contempt!"

I asked what he had done that was contemptible. He again paused, longer this time. Then:

"Biden. Beyond contempt. Beyond contempt."
posted by Flunkie at 6:37 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


We are officially at our second "literally" misuse.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:37 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoa Joe.

Whoooooooooooah
posted by The Whelk at 6:38 PM on September 6, 2012


Flunkie, does that friend of yours know what the word contempt means?
posted by palomar at 6:39 PM on September 6, 2012


Imagine if John Kerry had been this charismatic 8 years ago...

Kerry's war chest was financed by Republicans, he was uncharismatic.
posted by ovvl at 6:40 PM on September 6, 2012


Three!
posted by zombieflanders at 6:42 PM on September 6, 2012


In Defense of Kerry 2004
posted by zombieflanders at 6:43 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


yay, good piece on Kerry, zombieflanders, I respect that he tried.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:45 PM on September 6, 2012


FOUR
posted by zombieflanders at 6:46 PM on September 6, 2012


Also good idea to stop the boos
posted by zombieflanders at 6:46 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The crowd looks so confused by Biden's respectful comparison with Romney.
posted by Vysharra at 6:47 PM on September 6, 2012


FIVE
posted by zombieflanders at 6:48 PM on September 6, 2012


A number of the speakers that I've seen tonight have been respectful of Romney in one way or another. As much as it pains my leftie heart to see (because they're sooooooo wrrrrrrrrroooooooonggggggggggg!), it's good politics and I do appreciate it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:49 PM on September 6, 2012


"Literally" has been used to mean "figuratively" since at least 1769. It's time to get over it.
posted by Flunkie at 6:50 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


LITERALLY, FOLKS!
posted by saul wright at 6:50 PM on September 6, 2012


SIX

At this point, Parks and Recreation should literally have Rob Lowe's character doing a Biden impression for an entire episode.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:50 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


And HE SMELLS GREAT!
posted by Skygazer at 6:52 PM on September 6, 2012


He literally had his spinal cord replaced by a steel rod!
posted by dirigibleman at 6:52 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


And now I just read that Amy Poehler and Will Arnett are getting divorced and I haz a sad
posted by zombieflanders at 6:53 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


LOVE Joe...ha ha ha...
posted by Skygazer at 6:53 PM on September 6, 2012


I think he actually means literally in this case. The members of Seal Team 6 are literally the finest warriors in the history of the world.
posted by humanfont at 6:53 PM on September 6, 2012


What the fuck? Is this a Republican warmonger speech now?

Justice is done? America had to heal with justice? As a foreigner I my perspective would be that America's bloodlust has been sated with revenge.
posted by Talez at 6:53 PM on September 6, 2012


Biden's not very slick. He's not a great speaker, that's clear, although he's not a bad one either. I have a measure of respect for him regardless. I think, like his boss, he genuinely cares about doing the right thing.

SIX

Shrug.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joe is one of the most brilliant Foreign Policy guys...
posted by Skygazer at 6:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I missed what this "they wouldn't tell you what calls they would make" thing was? What prededed that line?
posted by Flunkie at 6:55 PM on September 6, 2012


"They said they'd make the tough calls, but they didn't tell you what those tough calls would be" or something.
posted by King Bee at 6:56 PM on September 6, 2012


Joe needs to resist his urge to go off script. Clinton can pull that stuff with ease and success; Biden can't. Literally.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:57 PM on September 6, 2012


Flunkie:
"My opponents, they pledged that they had the courage to make the tough calls...[pause]...they wouldn't tell you" etc etc.
In the context of the tough call to go after Osama and stuff like that.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:57 PM on September 6, 2012


[Folks maybe stop the livebloggy county thing?]
posted by jessamyn at 6:57 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


What is "the livebloggy county thing"? Am I doing it?
posted by Flunkie at 6:59 PM on September 6, 2012


Wait...should we not comment on what Biden's saying?
posted by Skygazer at 6:59 PM on September 6, 2012


homunculus: ""Pretty Butthole"?"

He's pretty, and he's a butthole. QED.
posted by notsnot at 7:00 PM on September 6, 2012


I think she just means stop counting the number of times he says literally.
posted by peacheater at 7:00 PM on September 6, 2012


She's talking about the tedious counting of the number of times Biden says 'literally'. It's annoying and pointless.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:00 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK, done deal. Time to start campaigning for HILLARY 2016!!!1!!!!
posted by snsranch at 7:00 PM on September 6, 2012


What is "the livebloggy county thing"? Am I doing it?

She's literally talking about zombieflanders literally counting Biden's misuse of literally.
posted by Talez at 7:01 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, counting. OK, I was thinking "county" like "county government", and didn't understand.
posted by Flunkie at 7:01 PM on September 6, 2012


All this has me wondering what Jill said in her speech. I'm going to youtube it after Obama speaks
posted by Ad hominem at 7:01 PM on September 6, 2012


Heh, fivethirtyeight's tweet: "Folks, Biden's speech is literally channeling Clint Eastwood's "Halftime in America" commercial."

Yup. On purpose?
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:04 PM on September 6, 2012


Mr President - please please please be the inspirational Obama and not the lecture us Obama. I beg you.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:04 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


All these signs saying "Women will remember in November"...they'd damn well better.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:04 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's channeling Manifest Destiny right now. American infallibility indeed.
posted by Talez at 7:05 PM on September 6, 2012


Mr President - please please please be the inspirational Obama and not the lecture us Obama. I beg you.

The single solitary thing that Candidate and then President Obama has never disappointed me on is his speechmaking. I don't think you need to worry.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hmmm. Didn't Geraldine Ferraro make various not-so-subtly racist statements in support of Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama? Am I misremembering?

She said, "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Which I for one do not find racist at all. She was merely commenting that he was benefiting from the same dynamic that benefited her in her historic vice-presidential candidacy: she was a woman running at a time when the nation was caught up in the concept of a woman VP candidate. She even commented at the time (1984) that she would not have been nominated if her name were Gerald rather than Geraldine.

So yes, I would say you are misremembering. But then many, many non-racist things said by many, many Hillary supporters (including Bill) were tagged as racist during that campaign, so it's understandable.
posted by caryatid at 7:07 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm scaring the cat singing the high parts of September.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:09 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


He's channeling Manifest Destiny right now. American infallibility indeed.

This is politics. As divided and entrenched as America is these days, there's still a chance that redmeat-and-war Americans who are undecided or disenchanted will be swayed. It may be a bit distasteful, but it's understandable.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:09 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Amazing that the GOP spent months saying so much about Bill Clinton and so little about the the armed forces, apparently thinking that the Democrats wouldn't dare take advantage of that.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:11 PM on September 6, 2012


I'm scaring the cat singing the high parts of September.

If your cat can now sing any part of September, then that's Joe's first miracle and he's this much closer to beatification.
posted by maudlin at 7:11 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


It is amazing that they dropped the military ball in Tampa - do they take it that much for granted?
posted by madamjujujive at 7:13 PM on September 6, 2012


Ending DADT was a thing, remember
posted by The Whelk at 7:14 PM on September 6, 2012


The contrast between the RNC and the DNC us striking.

The really true snapshot that represents the vast diversity of our country is apparent in the DNC hall while the faces of the RNC was so very homogenous.

Also, the quality of the speeches: the depth and discussion of ideas, policy, etc. had depth at the DNC ... While at the RNC all presentations were hollow, offered no roadmap of ideas (e.g. "Trust us ... You'll hear more about our plan for the country after the election."), etc.
posted by ericb at 7:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's amazing the difference between how I perceive American politics and how my adopted family do.

Also the ongoing drain on the political system that is election season in the US. In Australia the GG is advised, the writ of election is issued, the parliament is dissolved and the whole spectacle is over in six weeks. Parliament is out of commission for only two months tops. Congress seems to grind to a halt for nearly a year.
posted by Talez at 7:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


America can't go backwards...you know, unless we're moonwalking.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:16 PM on September 6, 2012


Oh SNAP Durbin just pulled the Lincoln comparison. "We must walk forwards together" ...and always twirling, twirling towards freedom!
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:16 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


True, those bastids. That was the best they could do?
posted by madamjujujive at 7:16 PM on September 6, 2012


Shouldn't George Clooney be talking to a chair?
posted by humanfont at 7:18 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man even the cheesey video is total A Game.
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man Clinton likes scoring riffs on Bush, its gotta be fish in a barrel.
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lot of romance in the air tonight
posted by madamjujujive at 7:24 PM on September 6, 2012


So... Uhhh... How long until we see the "bet against the American people" in a GOP campaign commercial?
posted by Talez at 7:24 PM on September 6, 2012


Psst, Mr. Clooney, someone wants a word with you about your satellites.
posted by homunculus at 7:24 PM on September 6, 2012


Hey, look! There's my President.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


And he's coming on to U2's "City of Blinding Lights".
posted by Talez at 7:25 PM on September 6, 2012


The speeches are alright... can they ditch the music? It nearly transforms the sentiment into mildly affecting pablum.
posted by deanklear at 7:26 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Unless someone plays "Eye of the Tiger," in which case it's totally rad.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:26 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Man he looks, well rested and youthful and shit
posted by The Whelk at 7:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my gosh, I remember looking at my husband that night 8 years ago and saying "why can't we have him instead of Kerry???"
posted by ersatzkat at 7:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


When he accepted the nom just now I totally got confused for a sec and thought he just won the election and got really excited
posted by Greg Nog at 7:28 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Unless someone plays "Eye of the Tiger," in which case it's totally rad.

*isn't sure if suggesting 'Back In Black' would be hilarious is racist or not*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:28 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


If nothing else its good having a public servant with a good sense of humor
posted by The Whelk at 7:29 PM on September 6, 2012


I like the cool comfortable approach that Obama is going with. I love Professor Obama but I think we need a "I feel your pain" Obama.
posted by vuron at 7:29 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


oh god this thing got really weird now he's just farting and farting and farting and daring us to look away
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:30 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


...and no one said "wait until it trickles down...it'll be fine"...
posted by ersatzkat at 7:30 PM on September 6, 2012




back in black

I'm Barack Obama and I am Iron Man
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


ICE BURN!
posted by vuron at 7:32 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good transitions from serious to humor and back.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:32 PM on September 6, 2012


Hah! 'Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulation, and call us in the morning' is a great line.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:32 PM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Oh my gosh, I remember looking at my husband that night 8 years ago and saying "why can't we have him instead of Kerry???

I was having the same type of thought watching Elizabeth Warren.
posted by saul wright at 7:33 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama about to lay out the liberal agenda for Echinacea
posted by Greg Nog at 7:33 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here take my wallet i wasnt uasing it anyway
posted by The Whelk at 7:34 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nice (and, separately, unfortunate that it's worth noting) use of small businesswoman as a generic person.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:34 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is like a great halftime speech.
posted by humanfont at 7:36 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw fuck hes good at this
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 PM on September 6, 2012


Energy? Bah. Mitt Romey is the cold fusion candidate.
posted by homunculus at 7:38 PM on September 6, 2012


Clean coal boooooo
posted by The Whelk at 7:39 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Climate change is not a hoax holy shit
posted by The Whelk at 7:39 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Drill Baby, Drill is just a bad dream.
posted by readery at 7:40 PM on September 6, 2012


yay, he said climate change is not a hoax -- (but clean coal is)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:40 PM on September 6, 2012


For those not watching at home, this was the joke stav referenced above (text courtesy of The Guardian's liveblog):
Now, our friends at the Republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn’t have much to say about how they’d make it right. They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan. And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescription they’ve had for the last thirty years:

“Have a surplus? Try a tax cut.”

“Deficit too high? Try another.”

“Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!”
posted by Kattullus at 7:40 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Climate change is a threat to our children's future.

Bold. And awesome!
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:40 PM on September 6, 2012


It's like he's just taunting the tea party like a bullfighter with a red cape.
posted by vuron at 7:41 PM on September 6, 2012


Malia totally just looked bored there.
posted by dry white toast at 7:41 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


So who isnt registeted to vote? Time to change that...
posted by The Whelk at 7:42 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hated the "U-S-A" chants from 2001-2009 and I still hate them now.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:43 PM on September 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


Okay fine ill get a hufflepuffs for obama shirt
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Malia totally just looked bored there.

Remember, she gets Dad Speeches at the dinner table. :)
posted by Malor at 7:44 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's like he's just taunting the tea party like a bullfighter with a red cape.

I read the Slate piece about Sandra Fluke's speech, and this bit seems fitting, irrespective of whether it's birth control, climate change, abortion, gay marriage:

It's a move that indicates Democrats have finally stopped freaking out at the first sign of reactionary histrionics, and instead have embraced the strategy of taking the fight to conservatives.

Just keep shining a light on it. I love it.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:45 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Heh
posted by The Whelk at 7:45 PM on September 6, 2012


Good pause for effect
posted by zombieflanders at 7:45 PM on September 6, 2012


Whe/n did the democracts grow a fucking spine?
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


IKR?
posted by ersatzkat at 7:46 PM on September 6, 2012


I do so love a little righteous ass-kicking. Smells like victory.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:47 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Remember, she gets Dad Speeches at the dinner table. :)

"...and students, you've got to do the work! ... Malia."
posted by jason_steakums at 7:47 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


...it's like, he's finally saying OUT LOUD the things people wish politicians would say OUT LOUD. I'm a little thrown...
posted by ersatzkat at 7:47 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I hope he talks about how he sees cutting through partisan gridlock in a second term should the GOP decide on Obstructionism Pt II.
posted by Skygazer at 7:48 PM on September 6, 2012


"Y'all remember Bill was here? I thought so..."
posted by ersatzkat at 7:48 PM on September 6, 2012


Shit. That Was Alan Thicke wasn't it. He isn't even American and he is voting for Obama.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:49 PM on September 6, 2012


I hated the "U-S-A" chants from 2001-2009 and I still hate them now.

I completely agree. I'm a proud naturalized citizen, who worked long and hard to become an American. But that sort of stuff is just so unpleasant...
posted by gemmy at 7:49 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. Never.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:49 PM on September 6, 2012


So who isnt registeted to vote? Time to change that...

I thought I was registered to vote. However a canvasser didn't have me on the list (but they had my roommates who haven't voted in 4 years), which is how I found out that I had been "purged for inactivity".

Luckily, registering isn't very difficult in my area, but it's still a hassle.
posted by Vysharra at 7:50 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish he'd spend more time looking forward into the camera. This speech issues aimed more at us than the people in that room, much less the stupid teleprompters.
posted by crunchland at 7:51 PM on September 6, 2012


CITIZENSHIP
posted by The Whelk at 7:51 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm loving him breaking down why the Randroid viewpoint is so damned negative in a democracy.
posted by vuron at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2012


I hated the "U-S-A" chants from 2001-2009 and I still hate them now.

Well yeah, but they were chanting for quality education and exporting the highest quality goods. Not exactly chanting for "bomb bomb bomb iran"
posted by Ad hominem at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Give HER thst chance
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


CITIZENSHIP
posted by ersatzkat at 7:53 PM on September 6, 2012


jinx I owe you a coke...
posted by ersatzkat at 7:53 PM on September 6, 2012


OR GAYS
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't even worship a God but I've said Amen about 11 times.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck yeah

That's all
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


jinx I owe you gays?
posted by ersatzkat at 7:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


OKAY FINE STOP BEING PERFECT
posted by The Whelk at 7:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


That riff on freedom was great.
posted by gaspode at 7:55 PM on September 6, 2012


You are the change.

Chills.
posted by Skygazer at 7:55 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Excellent call-back to other convention speakers
posted by zombieflanders at 7:55 PM on September 6, 2012


Well damn. He is all in at this point. Hope this works.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:55 PM on September 6, 2012


"You did that!"

...now go sit in that voting booth and think about what you've done...
posted by ersatzkat at 7:56 PM on September 6, 2012


Fucker is making me cry.
posted by Mooski at 7:56 PM on September 6, 2012


You did that
posted by madamjujujive at 7:56 PM on September 6, 2012


All the gendered pronouns and examples being female makes me all warm and fuzzy. This must be the "pandering" I've heard about.

I don't care what the hell you call it, I LOVE it.
posted by Vysharra at 7:56 PM on September 6, 2012 [25 favorites]


WELCOME HOME
posted by The Whelk at 7:56 PM on September 6, 2012


Anyone got a hanky...
posted by Skygazer at 7:56 PM on September 6, 2012


CHOICES WOMEN SHOULD BE MAKING FOR THEMSELVES
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sounding now like a straight up culture warlord
posted by zombieflanders at 7:57 PM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


OR GAYS

Sold.
posted by dry white toast at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good luck trying to close that gap among female voters now Romney
posted by vuron at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2012


Good speech overall - boo on clean coal, but a lot of good solid stuff with a lot of red meat for the base.
posted by edgeways at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2012


He has been playing the Citizens United card a decent number of times tonight, always brief but definitely there. LOVE IT.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2012


Lincoln again. Good.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2012


"I'm not totally awesome..."
posted by zombieflanders at 7:59 PM on September 6, 2012


He gave us hope, now he's talking about how we give HIM hope. Nice.
posted by ersatzkat at 8:00 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a minor thing but I LOVE the Obama profile shots they keep cutting to.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:00 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man I dunno, I am just really glad this guy is our guy.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:01 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh man I was hoping he would mention Howard Cooper there.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:02 PM on September 6, 2012


Romney would have to sell the tatters of his soul to be such a good speaker
posted by edgeways at 8:02 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


His voice is breaking - I'm dying here.
posted by ersatzkat at 8:02 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The COMMUNITY and the WORKERS that helped build that business.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:02 PM on September 6, 2012


Edgeways, robots don't have souls
posted by humanfont at 8:03 PM on September 6, 2012


You've got it, dude.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:03 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


And here comes the MLK-style
posted by zombieflanders at 8:03 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, stav, you called it
posted by madamjujujive at 8:03 PM on September 6, 2012


We pull each other up.
posted by gc at 8:03 PM on September 6, 2012


FUCK YEAH LETS WOOOOOOO
posted by The Whelk at 8:03 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


OK, I'm sold.
posted by octothorpe at 8:04 PM on September 6, 2012


robots don't have souls
FALSE
posted by Flunkie at 8:04 PM on September 6, 2012


Nice finish
posted by Flashman at 8:04 PM on September 6, 2012


Ahhhhhhhhh
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 PM on September 6, 2012


No balloons?
posted by dry white toast at 8:05 PM on September 6, 2012


Whoever didn't get The Boss to actually come out playing this song live should be fired
posted by zombieflanders at 8:05 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


That was a great speech.

He didn't talk about all the issues I wanted, but that's a given. Speechwise it was fantastic.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:05 PM on September 6, 2012


BRUCE!!!!!
posted by humanfont at 8:05 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait what music is this
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 PM on September 6, 2012


Ahhhhhhh!
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


They didn't have time to rig the balloons after having to move everything inside.
posted by deanklear at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2012


I did not expect Clinton to have the second best speech.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


No time for balloons given the venue change
posted by edgeways at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2012


here's Guy Rundle's take on the last few days of the Convention:
With the Democratic National Convention wrapping up, and the Republican party little more than a memory of a memory, there is every indication that both parties believe one thing: that Barack Obama has already won, and that the polls are understating the margin by which he is leading.

They were in 2008 -- registering a three-point lead, when the final margin turned out to be about 9%. No one is expecting a 9% margin this time around. But many believe that the polls running evens, are really hiding a more solid three-point lead, one that will be consolidated by the campaign proper, and especially the debates.

The wise ones believe this cautiously, the complacent ones believe it utterly, but the important point is that many on the Right believe it too. The thought is driving many of them to a degree of desperation.

Through the course of this convention they have been going batshit insane. With the exception of the -- major -- glitch of taking out and putting in some bullshit language about God and Jerusalem from the platform, the Democratic Convention has been one of the most kinetic, exciting, dynamic events of recent times. To say that it has surprised everyone, including especially journalists, is to make something of an understatement. It has gobsmacked, it has knocked itself out of the park, it has been a triumph of political organisation. The degree of the triumph has extended well beyond the faithful.

In Tampa last week, Mitt Romney got the lowest ratings in history for a candidate's acceptance speech, his TV ratings, at 25 million, down 30% from John McCain's in 2008. Last night, Bill Clinton's speech beat the football -- the first game of the NFL season, leading to the Super Bowl.

The Republicans had some bad luck, of course, faced with the dilemma of a potential hurricane, and they have the potential problem that no one will license them any decent music, or appear on the podium. Nevertheless, everyone who actually produced the RNC Convention should not merely be sacked, but taken out back and shot. I very much doubt that anyone would object.

It was, as all pundits remarked, such a tired, dead complacent event that it actually sucked morale from all but its most delusional contributors. This isn't a partisan thing -- anyone who saw Sarah Palin's speech in 2008 knows a good right-wing populist speech when they see it, and that one will live in the memory forever. But the secret of Palin's speech was that it was the inaugural speech of a woman who came from a very complex and pragmatic place, Alaska, a place that still embodied certain features that America once had -- a frontierish pragmatism, acceptance, a closeness to nature and manual work -- which the lower 48 states had long since lost beneath the miles of malls and exurbs.

But Palin was the only thing in that convention that anyone remembers. And after that, nothing.

The reason is not hard to see. The parties are asymmetrical. The Democrats are a real political party, with all the contradictions that a big umbrella party must endure. The Republicans have become a millennial theocratic cult in the form of a party, a masquerade ball of Jesus, Ayn Rand, apocalypse Zionism and a misogyny that gives the Taliban a run for its money. Yet, like any cult, it is prey not to its best impulses, but to its worst. It is a cult that establishes an ideal America, drawn from the 18th century, a period of substantial communalism and collectivism in every village, town, small city -- and applies it to an America where any sense of community has been eviscerated by 30 years of hyper-individualism, in every area, from the workplace to town-planning, this ghastly no-place. The Republicans then cut with the grain -- an essentially adolescent exceptionalism, a literal Jesusness that they do not believe for a second, all essentially cultural additives to a daily life that has been hollowed out, a sort of political Prozac.

The absence of any connection to a reality means the Republicans and even their most rational allies float free of any exchange with it. Take a look at National Review this week -- it has retreated to a sort of delusional cocoon, under a pummelling from all sides. Obama "decline and fall"? Please. Even their most able satirists, P.J. O'Rourke and Mark Steyn, appear to have largely quit the field in despair. So now, the field is left to the bitter. They try and restrain themselves, but last night with the appearance of Sandra Fluke they really lost it.

Fluke really drove them crazy, because she had spoken a simple material truth -- people have s-x, but the consequences are not equal, and if a low-income woman cannot get birth control on her insurance, the consequences can be lifelong. These plain facts -- we have bodies, they're different, get used to it, make minor adjustments to funding rules to suit -- drove them, men and women alike, batshit. Ann Coulter tweeted: "Bill Clinton just impregnated Sandra Fluke backstage ...", Roger Stone wished that the late Ted Kennedy had "taken her for a drive", and the more acceptable ones were obsessed with the idea, promulgated by Rush Limbaugh, that everyone was "paying for her s-x".

The general tone was misogynist, but it was something more -- it was a resistance to human materiality, to the idea of practical politics, that we are here on this Earth and work out arrangements that make life easier, freer, less oppressed by circumstance. For to admit that politics is simply a process of making sensible, practical changes -- which is, after all, the essence of Burkean conservatism -- would be to admit that some sort of transcendental meaning cannot be found in it, that it will not instantly redeem a society that has become mediocre in education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc, that is essentially the slowchild in the OECD class. When that information starts to creep in from all sides, defence must be withdrawn to a defensible redoubt. The line has to be drawn at, or through, the fertile female body, the boundary of nature, culture, politics and morality, in every society, any time.

Fluke's cool self-assurance, her quiet confidence, her refusal to buy into special pleading, or exhibitionist, fishnet bullshit, has simply driven the Republican party insane. She is, by presentation, a mildly puritan bluestocking, yet the Republicans -- the party whose channel, Fox News, has a female staff that look like the afternoon shift at The Penthouse Club -- try and paint her as some crazy wanton.

From Todd Akin to Tom Smith, to the party platform itself, if the Republicans lose this election on the women's vote, it will be the most deserved loss in history. Tonight at the convention we had Gabby Giffords reciting the pledge of allegiance -- which brought a round of applause for a flatscreen TV in a sports bar -- John Kerry in a helluva speech asking "is Osama bin Laden better off now than he was four years ago?", and Joe Biden giving a VP speech defying the odds, the sense that it is ours for the loss is as strong as ever, against the biggest crowd of f-cked-up freaks you've ever seen. This afternoon, the Prez himself.
posted by wilful at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [38 favorites]


Oops ... the two teleprompters which were lowered along with the podium had the words "hug them" on them as Michelle, Sasha and Malia came on stage. I guess everything is crafted by a director.
posted by ericb at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2012


As far as Springsteen songs go, I was hoping for Born in the USA. Twist the knife.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


"More balloons! There's nothing falling! What the fuck are you guys doing up there?!"
posted by Flashman at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2012


Hell, I've done donations, but this man's got me wanting to get involved.
posted by Mooski at 8:07 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I really liked how Obama and Biden hugged tight, then shook, then second handshake/hug, then shoulder pat. Obama was still riding the emotions and Biden was clearly affected too.
posted by Vysharra at 8:07 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think this was the best convention I've ever seen. Top notch oration throughout. Values clearly and strongly articulated.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:07 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


couple real smart bits - "I am no longer just a candidate, I am the president" after the hope stuff, and the Springsteen which makes everyone hear "Born in the USA" even though it's not Born in the USA... gamesmanship.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:08 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


He is changed. You can see the wear on his soul...absolutely, but he seems whole and smarter and more soulful.

He's definitely my Goddamn president. And the second term I want him to just bust Republican heads for real if shit doesn't get done...
posted by Skygazer at 8:08 PM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wait what music is this
Brooks & Dunn
posted by Flunkie at 8:08 PM on September 6, 2012


@ObamaTranslated: I PROOFREAD ALL HIS ISH NOW RT @tbq_ This may be the closest @BarackObama has come to speaking as @ObamaTranslated that we've ever seen #DNC
posted by zombieflanders at 8:08 PM on September 6, 2012


Every time I see how much Sasha and malia have grown up, it makes me want to cry.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:08 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's a minor thing but I LOVE the Obama profile shots they keep cutting to.

Yeah, I noticed those. Beautiful and artful.
posted by saul wright at 8:08 PM on September 6, 2012


Whoever didn't get The Boss to actually come out playing this song live should be fired.

I suspect that Springsteen would choose not out-of-respect since this is truly The President's moment in which he needs to be the sole focus.
posted by ericb at 8:09 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]




As far as Springsteen songs go, I was hoping for Born in the USA. Twist the knife.
They actually did use it earlier in the evening. Maybe just before or just after Caroline Kennedy? Sometime at least vaguely near her.
posted by Flunkie at 8:10 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect that Springsteen would choose not out-of-respect since this is truly The President's moment in which he needs to be the sole focus.

I probably should have included a sarcasm tag.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:10 PM on September 6, 2012


In my experience, this is when Obama comes out and plays one more song, the old classic that we all expected but didn't happen.

But no.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:10 PM on September 6, 2012


The archbishop is killing my obamaboner.
posted by Vysharra at 8:11 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


well all in all that speech made me glad I didn't finally get that New York State Driver's license this year... NH, baby!
posted by nathancaswell at 8:14 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Brooks, our Favorite Conservative Pundit here in the Faust household, just can't say "Obama won the day" - he says Bill did it better last night.
posted by ersatzkat at 8:14 PM on September 6, 2012


Can we talk about Michelle's dress and how great it looked? Gold/Maroony Purple looks really good on her and the silhouette was great and it managed to be both chic and modest but not flashy.
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Eh, I'm watching on local PBS and man, they immediately have people talking shit about Obama's speech. WTF?
posted by snsranch at 8:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Republicans then cut with the grain -- an essentially adolescent exceptionalism, a literal Jesusness that they do not believe for a second

Amen to that. That's one of the better lines I've seen. They don't believe that shit, not even a little bit, they just preach it loud and long.
posted by Malor at 8:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I never thought I would feel bad for republicans, but they got outclassed and outplayed this year. I always thought it would be bad, but with a second buffoon on the ticket for the Rs it is going to be even worse. I bet they are wondering if they can just pass on this election. It only gets worse as Romney faces the national press day after day and has to meet Obama in debates.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:16 PM on September 6, 2012


Haha - awesome shot of a lady with her head bowed and eyes closed during the prayer: "Bless all of them, including Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan..." - nods her head - "... who seek to serve the public good ..." - eyebrows raise with eyes still closed, mouth makes a sideways really? scrunch.
posted by Flunkie at 8:16 PM on September 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


OMG who else is watching the PBS feed?? Brooks just said "I have to admit he made my (something something) tingle"....what is tingling on David Brooks??? How did Obama make that tingle? I missed it!
posted by ersatzkat at 8:16 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


just bought it
posted by The Whelk at 8:17 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I haven't voted in any election since the 2000 one (don't yell at me), but this year I actually decided to pay attention to these political things and I watched all three nights of both conventions. This year, I am going to vote.

And while I live in Texas and my vote for Obama will probably not turn any tides, my desire to be a part of the decisions that get made has been reinvigorated this time around. Thanks to all the democratic convention speakers!
posted by King Bee at 8:18 PM on September 6, 2012 [24 favorites]


I liked Michelle's Tracy-Reese-speech-dress a little more I think. But that nail polish the other night gave her cadaver hands.
posted by ersatzkat at 8:18 PM on September 6, 2012


Hell, I've done donations, but this man's got me wanting to get involved.

it was awesome in 2008. I was a volunteer election monitor at a polling place in piedmont virginia. It was amazing watching all these older African Americans go up to the polling place. You couldn't help but tear up.


And the rest was great too. A friend's wife works for a dem-based lobbying shop. her boss was one of Bill Clinton's inner circle. Can't name names. But my buddy called me and said "the campaign's exit polls look really good." I was like really? Can you send them to me? A bunch of back and forth and it got mailed from a gmail account. And they were great. They showed us running the table. wow, my spirits rose. and the feeling when I got to turn to fellow volunteers and showed them the email, it was great. We really didn't know. There were fears of a Bradley effect, that the polling showing Obama ahead could be incorrect. They weren't.

I highly, highly recommend volunteering.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:18 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


He was repeating the Chris Matthews thing, jokingly.
posted by Skygazer at 8:18 PM on September 6, 2012


I've had a lot of people around me talk about how they feel like this election isn't much of a choice for them.

I don't know, guys. One of these candidates just managed to bring a tear to my decidedly cynical eye, and the other represents a platform that fills me with terror and dread. Given our sad inability to actually elect third-party candidates, it seems like a pretty easy choice from where I'm sitting.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:18 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I bet they are wondering if they can just pass on this election.

I figure anyone with half a brain is sitting this out and the entire campaign is a way to flush out the party for re-grouping.
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 PM on September 6, 2012


I love those nerds for obama things...but the purveyors don't seem to be donating any proceeds to the candidate.
posted by troika at 8:19 PM on September 6, 2012


Brooks just called Romney and Obama speeches a TIE. WHAT?!
posted by Skygazer at 8:20 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do wish they'd mention more often that we also need to attend to the small matter of a Republican majority in the House so maybe we can skootch a few things through here and there, yeah?
posted by Mooski at 8:20 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


But that nail polish the other night gave her cadaver hands.

Seriously silver is so the wrong color, you see that shot of her with the neck-high blue dress and pearl broach? Way more formal than usual but totally slamming.
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 PM on September 6, 2012


I love those nerds for obama things...but the purveyors don't seem to be donating any proceeds to the candidate.

I balance out the purchase with some actual donations. I love the 30s-ish slanted OBAMA! ones.
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 PM on September 6, 2012


Woo boy... Broks, "romney, obama speeches a tie". Did he get into someone's Ambian?
posted by edgeways at 8:21 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, of course I tune in to Fox News right afterward to hear Krauthammer call Obama's speech the emptiest speech he's ever heard him give. WTF?
posted by King Bee at 8:21 PM on September 6, 2012


Cardinal Dolan's benediction: "gooby plz"
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:21 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


also, what a convention! what branding! the GOP convention looked like a doctors office blown up to a large scale. and after that convention, every kind of looked around and said, will there be a bump? people didn't know what to think.

This convention was a shrinking ray on the Republicans. It made them look small and it made their convention look small.

They went big and confident on their positions and it paid off in perception.

Now we campaign our ass off.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:21 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Obama brought tears to my eyes a few times, but only because he was speaking to issues THAT ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO THE AVERAGE AMERICAN!1!!.

(Oops, sorry for yelling!)
posted by snsranch at 8:22 PM on September 6, 2012


For dessert, flip over to Fox News and stare into the void. One of their correspondents said (and I'm paraphrasing), "The Romney camp is quiet because things went so well in their favor."
posted by deanklear at 8:22 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Soooo glad that my candidates are not an Inhuman Mitt and a Lying Liar.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:24 PM on September 6, 2012


Godamnit it you'd think he has a time-traveling police box the way I forgive and fall for him so
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


But still, republicans are ruining the brand. If I was a branding expert, I would say it was time for a name change. Pick someting innocuous like Philip Morris did with Altria. Maybe Experia? The Experia party? Ditch the red maybe? go with a teal ?

Just forget the whole "Republican" thing ever happened.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:25 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fox Nation: President Obama: Ours Is A 'Future Filled With Hope'

Who are you and what the hell have you done with the real Fox Nation?
posted by Talez at 8:25 PM on September 6, 2012


"The Romney camp is quiet because things went so well in their favor."

The cheering crowds show how desperate they are! Oh look, a large gathering of happy peasants with torches and festive pitchforks to light the way to your carriage, how nice of them.
posted by The Whelk at 8:25 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


High neck blue and pearls were giving me Barbara Bush shivers and makes me remember what David Rakoff told us to never forget about Barbara Bush and I never will:

While we're on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity's most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let me not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W's liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair. I've no idea if she smokes.) When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq - purportedly to respect "the privacy of the families" and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war - the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son's decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this "Let them eat cake" for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents' children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow.

posted by ersatzkat at 8:25 PM on September 6, 2012 [24 favorites]


Several of the responses I've seen online have started with: "well, Barrack Hussein Obama....." It's as if they finally learned not to capitalize his entire middle name, but didn't really understand the point of that.
posted by inigo2 at 8:25 PM on September 6, 2012


On President Obama's speech:

The [Fox] Nation Says This Post Is
Offensive


There we go.
posted by Talez at 8:26 PM on September 6, 2012


Caller on CSPAN complaining that the convention was the same night as the VMAs. Oh, CSPAN callers. Never change.
posted by troika at 8:26 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


wow, the usual rwnj suspects on twitter:

I give this a D+. Nowhere near what he needed to do. Needed to frame how he'll answer economic challenge.

Yes RT @AceofSpadesHQ: it was also false, and I don't mean dishonest, that's a given. It read false. It was fake like an actor's monologue.


right now you have two parties thinking that their election strategy is going to bring them victory. One is not following the other, they are, in an American sense, as far apart as you can be. Somebody has got to be wrong.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:26 PM on September 6, 2012


From the lyrics to that Springsteen song:
From Chicago to New Orleans
From the muscle to the bone
From the shotgun shack to the Superdome
We yelled "help" but the cavalry stayed home
There ain't no-one hearing the bugle blown
Nice little rip on Bush hidden in there.
posted by octothorpe at 8:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


High neck blue and pearls were giving me Barbara Bush shivers

Trimmer fit, shorter shirt, no sleeves and a truly rocking flip-do. Makes all the difference in the world.
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Semi-related, who knew Chuck Woolery was a fucking psycopath?
posted by inigo2 at 8:28 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, of course I tune in to Fox News right afterward to hear Krauthammer call Obama's speech the emptiest speech he's ever heard him give. WTF?
"WTF?"? What else would you expect on Fox? I mean, it should be considered a minor victory that they didn't say "OK, even assuming he was born in Hawaii, is Hawaii really officially part of the United States? Technically speaking?"
posted by Flunkie at 8:29 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


obama campaign now promoting hashtag #literally on twitter. literally. as in its true.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:29 PM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think Obama realized he can never win with the Republicans. No matter how many times he offers an olive branch they are always going to slap him down on his name, or his birth certificate or some other complete fabrication. Just drive them over the fucking cliff and watch as they go apeshit and foam at the mouth in public.

I hope he takes this lesson into the second term.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:31 PM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


High neck blue and pearls were giving me Barbara Bush shivers

Trimmer fit, shorter shirt, no sleeves and a truly rocking flip-do. Makes all the difference in the world.

I know, I know, but Barbara Bush has plainly broken a little place in my brain. I wish is wasn't true, but here we are. I'm enjoying saying flip-do flip-do flip-do flip-do, so thanks for that at least.
posted by ersatzkat at 8:31 PM on September 6, 2012


Brooks just called Romney and Obama speeches a TIE. WHAT?!

Partisan Pundit: "Our candidate's speech was better"
Translation: They tied

PP: "The two speeches were a tie"
Translation: The other guy's was better

PP: "The other guy's speech was pretty good"
Translation: Our guy questioned the sexual virtue of mothers of disabled Iraq veterans
posted by saturday_morning at 8:31 PM on September 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


‏@chrislowrance

First debate, Obama should cede all his time to Romney. Just... let him keep talking, long as he can stand. And stare.

posted by The Whelk at 8:31 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


@BrianLynch

That was my favorite presidential speech since Bill Pullman inspired me to fight aliens.

posted by The Whelk at 8:32 PM on September 6, 2012 [19 favorites]


Link to the #literally ad buy story
posted by troika at 8:32 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]




Patton Oswalt's Twitter feed is straight FIRE:
The DNC narrative arc: Michelle Obama was foreplay, Bill Clinton was pure sex, and Barack Obama was the cuddle in the afterglow.

That was my favorite presidential speech since Bill Pullman inspired me to fight aliens.

How amazing would it be if President Obama turned around and said, "One more thing" and then revealed the iPhone 5? #DNC

"Ryan! Upload my oratory program and attach my buzz saw hand!" -- Romney, watching Obama right now #DNC

Call me a radical, but I think we'd all like it if Obama addressed the nation as "girl." #DNCActually, most of these are retweets, but they're good ones.
posted by AceRock at 8:37 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


So

who's looking forward to the debates?
posted by The Whelk at 8:39 PM on September 6, 2012 [23 favorites]


I have had friends here in Singapore who have apparently tuned in to the speech on the web or something, and are asking me how they can donate to the Obama campaign. They're, ummm, non-Americans, which can get tricky when it comes to overseas donations.

Personally, Obama had me at "climate change is not a joke". We're living through the haze season out here in the Straits of Malacca; despite Doha, Copenhagen, carbon-credits etc, the forests in Aceh and Sumatra are burning at the same rate as before. Lots of details to go into - perhaps could do a clicky-linky post on this in a few days - but, from my interactions with friends and family in NGO's etc, I believe it's extremely extremely crucial that world-powers show some significant leadership on this; it's looking extremely bad out here. I don't know how it can translate into actionable domestic politics in the US, but having someone out there in front saying that climate-change is in itself awesome.

And oh, just for that awesome pivot away from Romney's sarcasm, I intend to go to the Chilli's outlet at the very mall that Obama was supposed to have hung out, and have an all-American jambalaya over the weekend.
posted by the cydonian at 8:39 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


(if I get anything less than a Captain America-style-Hilter-punch I will be very disappointed)
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Climate change is not a hoax" is ...serious gauntlet throwing. And "or Gays" and "her choices."

I honestly never thought I'd hear those things at a big event like this.
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Obama sounded like a champion for a society that makes sense. I'll take it.

Also, re the 'literally' story, damn that is some social media savvy.
posted by dry white toast at 8:44 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


A speech not just to win the election, but to win back the heart of Michelle Obama, stole by a devilish rogue...
posted by Artw at 8:44 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


(also my British husband under much protest agreed to watch the speech with me over dinner and half-way through said "You're registered to vote right?")
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 PM on September 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


Link to the #literally ad buy story

Look at the dateline: Biden spoke from roughly 9:25 PM to 10:08 PM. During the speech, he goes off script and says "Literally" several times.

By 10:57 PM, literally less than 50 minutes after the speech has ended, #Literally had become a new meme. But not only was it a trending topic on Twitter, the Democrats had already taken out an ad campaign to neutralize it. And not only had the Democrats taken out an ad campaign, but that ad campaign had already been covered in the Washington Post.

I mean, I love that we are living in the future, but it's seriously tiring me out.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:45 PM on September 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


I think I missed the "or gays". What was that?

Also, has anyone seen any snap poll results? In-studio focus groups or whatever?
posted by Flunkie at 8:46 PM on September 6, 2012


The "climate change is not a hoax" thing is a direct response to Romney's line about how "Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet, but I promise to help you and your family." When he delivered that line and the crowd laughed like "hahaha, global warming then why was it so cold last winter HUH??" I really wanted to cry.

Obama's response to that was purrrfect.
posted by King Bee at 8:46 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


but that ad campaign had already been covered in the Washington Post.

because they pushed the story to WaPo. Pros, those guys.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:49 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, then, I apologize to zombieflanders for being annoyed at harping on the literally thing. Somebody get that zombie a job on the campaign!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:49 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think I missed the "or gays". What was that?

He was listing all the groups of people that we're "supposed" to blame for our problems.
But we [democrats] don't think that the government is the source of all our problems, any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles.*
posted by King Bee at 8:50 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think I missed the "or gays". What was that?

It was in the list of things 'they' are making us fear that we shouldn't be afraid of.

And while I know he has officially quit I kinda hope Obama got some time after the speech for a nice, long, uninterrupted smoke break. #formersmokertotallyquitokaymaybelikeonceeverytwomonthsmaybetwiceshutupyourenotmymom
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


also sorry for linking to fox news if that upsets folks, it was just the first link that came up in a google search
posted by King Bee at 8:51 PM on September 6, 2012


This speech and most of the speeches during this convention particularly Clinton's have been basically saying to Republicans "You want to make this a base vs base election? I'll show you a base vs base election". I think Obama's willingness to assault the key fundaments of the Republican platform since Reagan (Guns, Tax Cuts, Anti-Choice, Individualism vs Collective Citizenship) directly shows a confidence that not only is the Obama got a significant advantage moving into the home stretch of the election season but that many of the areas that have traditionally been weak spots for Democrats in national elections (being weak on defense and foreign policy) are areas where Obama-Biden has almost complete mastery over Romney and Ryan.

Romney has tried to play the not Obama card and can't close the deal, he's tried to play the dog whistle card and can't close the deal, now he's trying the fire up the base and try to decrease Democratic voter turnout and I think Obama and company have gone a long way towards making sure that Romney's attempts to outplay them fall short.

I'm not saying that this election is effectively over but I'm having a hard time seeing how last week wasn't the high water mark for Romney. I simply can't see this being a repeat of 80 with the debates somehow coming up roses for Romney. Obama is a much more gifted debater than Carter and Romney is absolutely no where near Reagan's league.
posted by vuron at 8:52 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wasn't really harping on "literally", I was more bemused than anything else.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:52 PM on September 6, 2012


Conservative political pundits don't get out on tv to say what they think, they get out there to bash the liberals. Liberals may say what they think, because they are paid to be beaten up by the conservatives pundits.
posted by humanfont at 8:53 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


alles gut
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:54 PM on September 6, 2012


So

who's looking forward to the debates?
Barack Obama.
posted by Flunkie at 8:54 PM on September 6, 2012 [28 favorites]


I think I missed the "or gays". What was that?

He was listing all the groups of people that we're "supposed" to blame for our problems.
But we [democrats] don't think that the government is the source of all our problems, any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles.


Yeah, that line had me hanging my jaw open for a bit. There's just so much in there, and it really sneaks up on you, what he's actually saying, until he says it. A brilliant line, IMO.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 PM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


After saying he was not going to watch the speech (cause you know Obama didn't watch his) Romney immediately released a press statement about O's speech after it was done. Course Romney likey had noting to do with the actual statement, which is likely true about the entire campaign.
posted by edgeways at 8:57 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rocky IV is also trending on the Twitter.
posted by Skygazer at 8:58 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]




Yeah, I want to think that many other people watching were struck by just how reasonable the things Obama and the other speakers at the convention were saying were; but then I just think of my family watching Romney or Ryan and feeling the same way about that shit, and know we're all doomed.
posted by Red Loop at 9:00 PM on September 6, 2012


I really liked how the convention felt inclusive to all Americans and immigrants. Such a diverse group of delegates. The RNC almost couldn't have been more opposite. Obama's citizenship message was great!
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:01 PM on September 6, 2012


Yeah, that line had me hanging my jaw open for a bit. There's just so much in there, and it really sneaks up on you, what he's actually saying, until he says it. A brilliant line, IMO.

you really don't know what "Validation you didn't know existed until it happens" feels like until you feel it. Like I literally did not know that was a thing I was missing, as in the President acknowledged that I not only exist but also I'm not the enemy.

Like the only way I can conceptualize it is like if the President just said Mutant-Americans are Americans and we have nothing to fear from their extraordinary powers.

This may reflect more on me then on the speech.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on September 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


I have to say, I think Clinton gave a more compelling speech than Obama.
posted by crunchland at 9:01 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have to say, I think Clinton gave a more compelling speech than Obama.

No doubt, but Obama didn't really coast with this one, either.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:04 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I loved the reference to Romney/Ryan being "new" to foreign policy.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:04 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising"

ICE BURN
posted by The Whelk at 9:06 PM on September 6, 2012


I have to say, I think Clinton gave a more compelling speech than Obama.

Luckily, whether that's true or not (and you definitely won't be the only one to say it), Obama's not competing with Clinton.
posted by inigo2 at 9:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I know life isn't The West Wing but a part of me is imaging a scene where Obama talks to Romney at the debates and says, "You know when you made that crypto racist birth certificate joke... that's when I decided to kick your ass."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [42 favorites]


Yeah, that line had me hanging my jaw open for a bit. There's just so much in there, and it really sneaks up on you, what he's actually saying, until he says it. A brilliant line, IMO.

They were interviewing a Haitian American delegate on PBS after the speech. She was really struck by this line again and said something to the affect of how bad it feels as an immigrant to be blamed for the country's problems when it is not doing well. And how great it feels to be told you are part of the solution not the problem. That America is a country built by immigrants, after all.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:07 PM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


@dylan20

I pity the cameraman who, whenever Obama mentions gays, has to find some gay-looking people in the crowd

posted by The Whelk at 9:08 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have to say, I think Clinton gave a more compelling speech than Obama.
posted by crunchland at 12:01 AM on September 7 [+] [!]


I agree, but mostly because he had a certain job to do in dispelling all the bullshit the RNC unloaded and clarifying all those issues they think they can confuse folks on.

And Obama gave the speech he needed to give, and it was all about inclusion inclusion and giving people an update on the man. It avoided too much wonkiness (Clinton's job) and going more for the heart than the head.
posted by Skygazer at 9:08 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to say, I think Clinton gave a more compelling speech than Obama.

I think that's because they had different jobs to do. Clinton's was to explain the last 3 years and to stir enthusiam. Obama's was to appear presidential and calm and talk about inclusion and explain the difference in him and Romney.

Clinton's speech might have been more entertaining, but comparing the two is apples and oranges, IMO.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 9:10 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also of course, no one slices and dices and dissecting the Republican party with such a warm smile and sparkle in his eye as Clinton. His happiness as he did was infectious...
posted by Skygazer at 9:12 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I pity the cameraman who, whenever Obama mentions gays, has to find some gay-looking people in the crowd

Like these guys?

For those who might not know, that's Rep. Barney Frank and his husband.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:13 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


God Clinton's glee in jabbing Bush, the person not even named during the RNC, was PALPABLE.
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to say, I think Clinton gave a more compelling speech than Obama.

A different speech, crafted for a different purpose, with different structures and thrusts and goals. Both were marvellous examples of the art in their own ways.

I am wary of Obama in a way I wasn't 4 years ago, but, Clinton included, America has not seen a politician-orator so skilled in a very long time. I thought Clinton did a great job, but he has nowhere near the sheer power that Obama can muster.

Goddamn him for making me mist up again when he got rolling, for making me dare to think the next four years will bring any more real, substantive change than the last four did in America, which wasn't much, for all their bow-taking, but what the hell -- in this case, as it was four years ago and is so rarely in American elections, it's not the lesser of two evils, it's good versus evil.

And in this messy world, that kind of clarity is a mighty nice thing to have once in a while.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:14 PM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


@GoAngelo

Fox News' Karl Rove criticizing Obama for not thanking George W. Bush for helping get Bin Laden. Yes, really.

posted by The Whelk at 9:14 PM on September 6, 2012


Like these guys?

(doing adorable seal clapping)
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


will bring any more real, substantive change than the last four did in America, which wasn't much, for all their bow-taking

wow. the guy passed health care reform and when he took office the prior quarter had a negative 8.9% growth rate. dude got a large part of his agenda passed, despite only having 60 votes for only 4 months!
posted by Ironmouth at 9:17 PM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Clinton's speech set the expectations for Obama's, which surpassed them because you think "well, Clinton has nothing to lose, but Obama does so he might softball it" and instead of some middle of the road boilerplate he brought the fire. But if either speech was less than masterful they both would have suffered because of it, they worked best in tandem.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:18 PM on September 6, 2012


it's good versus evil.

Yeah, tell that to the dead kids in Afghanistan, defined as militants because they were killed in a drone strike.

Oh, that might be a little difficult. How about you tell their parents, instead?
posted by Malor at 9:20 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Came in late to the thread, read the speech reactions, read the transcript (before the speech had finished)... got to the end of that, and there was no *way* I was not going to watch it as soon as it was up on cspan. Just got done... holy fuck, that was even better than I thought it'd be. Now if I can just find anybody in my neighborhood who doesn't *already* want to vote for him...
posted by hap_hazard at 9:22 PM on September 6, 2012


I know life isn't The West Wing but a part of me is imaging a scene where Obama talks to Romney at the debates and says, "You know when you made that crypto racist birth certificate joke... that's when I decided to kick your ass."
posted by MCMikeNamara



OK.
posted by timsteil at 9:22 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


From the summaries I've been reading of both speeches (I haven't had a chance to catch all of them, I did see the end of Obama's however), I would have to say that it sounds like Clinton was all about getting things setup for Obama's speech tonight. The things coming from Clinton's mouth could only come from his, if Obama said them it would break his inclusiveness / we are all citizens part of his speech.

Obama stating he is a citizen, and citizens make the country, not companies or special interests, can't have the attacks mentioned that sounds like Clinton did in his takedown of the Republicans and Romney. One guy knocks them down, the next guy talks about the future, it's hard to do both in the same speech.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, tell that to the dead kids in Afghanistan, defined as militants because they were killed in a drone strike.

Oh, that might be a little difficult. How about you tell their parents, instead?


Nah, I'll just tell that to the live kids and their parents and grandparents that are helped by Medicare and Medicaid expansion.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is Romney the anti-drone candidate or something?
posted by MoonOrb at 9:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


Also, yea... pandering, emotional manipulation, not how things work out look how it turned out,, but "no family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter cause they didn't have the money" is why I didn't go to Princeton.
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]




It's not good versus evil. It's evil versus slightly less evil.
posted by Malor at 9:27 PM on September 6, 2012


It's evil versus slightly less evil.

Not if you're gay or female!
posted by troika at 9:29 PM on September 6, 2012 [28 favorites]


slightly less evil doesn't want to make me a second class citizen.
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 PM on September 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


Remember, the important thing isn't what Obama says, it's what he does.

He's always talked a great game. Always. But don't mistake those flowery speeches for what he's actually going to do. When the rubber hits the road, that man is boots-in-faces forever, 100% of the time.
posted by Malor at 9:31 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, so tired of Obama supporters being treated like they're just conveniently ignoring the horrible shit he's done too - if there was a viable candidate whose good points were as good as Obama's good points and who wasn't going to pull that shit with drone strikes and privacy and torture, Obama supporters would become supporters of that person. I would love to vote for that mythical person! I'd vote to toss Obama out if he was running against some analog of himself with the bad parts cut out! But it's down to Obama and Romney because nobody is going to magically change the two party, first past the post system at the national level in an election year, and Romney would be worse. All of the bad and none of the good, and the bad would be worse to boot.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:31 PM on September 6, 2012 [29 favorites]


It's hard to govern and come up with solutions when the guys on the other side of the aisle are doing their best to make sure that nothing you want ever gets done. The level of obstructionism that the Republican congress has presented over the last 2 years has been completely unprecedented. The structure of our Republic is designed to limit the power of the majority and protect the concerns of the minority but in essence it requires the opposition party to actually attempt to govern. The Republican party has shown no interest in being a partner in governing even though they could actually get a bunch of stuff that they want rammed through if they showed even the slightest hint of cooperation. When your supposed partners in government have absolutely not desire to actually compromise at all and engage in one hostage taking event after another it's really hard to make forward progress on deep systemic issues like the malfunctioning aspects of our economy.

Could Obama and company gotten more out of the brief period of time that they had 60 votes in the Senate? Possibly. Could they have made the Republicans actually carry through with their filibuster threats in an attempt to highlight the obstructionism better? Probably. But the fundamental truth is that we've never had an exceedingly disciplined congressional caucus during the period in which I've been alive and even when we had clear majorities in both houses we rarely had the votes to force a cloture vote on a whole host of issues. There were definitely times when I wish that we had the cohesion of the Republican caucus but on the other hand I don't like the Republican strategy of relentlessly silencing internal dissent through ruthlessly primarying your own members.

Is Obama perfect? God no. I think he's been quite authoritarian in regards to a large number of policy issues and that is definitely concerning but of the two realistic candidates for President there is no doubt in my mind that Obama more closely represents the interests of the "average" American in a way that Romney never could.
posted by vuron at 9:32 PM on September 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


Honestly, Whelk, if we would stop torturing and assassinating people, I think I could trade your social discomfort for that.

Yes, I think other people being killed and grievously, horribly injured, often deliberately, is more important than you feeling included.

We shouldn't have to choose, but handing some drippy plaudits for you, and then killing kids in Afghanistan, does not make him a good President.
posted by Malor at 9:33 PM on September 6, 2012


that's really a not a good way to convince people of your cause.
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 PM on September 6, 2012 [43 favorites]


Via TPM, here's a white paper outlining the proposed policy agenda for Obama- Take 2. The following stood out for me (bolded for emphasis; sorry for the line-breaks, copy-pasting it from PDF):
3. Cut net oil imports in half: [...] Thanks to the progress we have made,
President Obama is raising the bar on his previous goal of cutting imports by a third, or 3.7
million barrels a day by 2025. To reach this goal, he will pursue an all-of-the-above energy
strategy that is:
• Opening up millions of acres for exploration and development, including more than 75
percent of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic
• Expanding domestic oil production by speeding up the leasing process and improving
safety measures to prevent future spills, reducing the review period for drilling permits
by two-thirds while implementing important safety measures that will prevent another
environmental disaster.
• Doubling fuel economy standards, an essential step toward energy independence that
will save 2.2 million barrels of oil a day by 2025 while effectively halving many families’
gasoline bills.
• Expanding the use of ethanol and other biofuels, including a renewable fuel standard
that will save over 300 million barrels of oil by 2022.
• Promoting advanced vehicles, including natural gas, electric, and hybrid electric vehicles,
and investing in clean domestic energy sources including wind, solar, clean coal, nuclear,
and biofuels.
So carbon-trading is off, but are they talking about drilling in ANWR ?
posted by the cydonian at 9:35 PM on September 6, 2012


wow. the guy passed health care reform and when he took office the prior quarter had a negative 8.9% growth rate. dude got a large part of his agenda passed, despite only having 60 votes for only 4 months!

Oh, they did some good stuff, certainly, in the face of stonewall opposition. But the whole system is just as fucked, just as deeply corrupt, just as bought-and-paid-for as it ever was. Perhaps it was my mistake in thinking 'change' would mean real change, rather than doing things that barely brings America into par with other western democracies. Certainly, much was accomplished, but not the kind of fundamental shifts that I, at least, had dreamed might be possible.

Yeah, tell that to the dead kids in Afghanistan, defined as militants because they were killed in a drone strike. Oh, that might be a little difficult. How about you tell their parents, instead?

Wipe the spittle off your chin, for goodness sakes. Feel free to make me somehow complicit with your nation's child-murdering ways by suggesting that my characterization of Barack Obama and Joe Biden as 'good' is foolish. More power to you, you loon. Hell, I'll even grant that if we're talking about the Republican party versus the Democratic party, it's evil versus less evil, why the fuck not?

But I'm not American, I've been a critic of America and actively and vocally anti-war (and anti-American, some have accused) for more than 3 decades. So my responsibility for comforting Afghan parents may be less clear cut than, say, yours.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:36 PM on September 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


I think I could trade your social discomfort for that.

That is very, very easy for someone without the "social discomfort" to say. Don't trade away something that isn't yours.
posted by troika at 9:38 PM on September 6, 2012 [51 favorites]


That is a fantasy world, the fact is by voting for a non-viable candidate you only retain your ideological purity. People still die and The Whelk still gets secknd class treatment. We all get mothing.

Maintaining my ideological purity by voting for a non-viable candidate it isn't really worth it to me when balanced against the liberty of millions of Americans. Come back when you have a magic spell to end war in exchange for a few American freedoms and we can bargain. Would you give up your own freedom of speech to end the war? Why bargain away somebody else's.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:39 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


.. Freedoms that you take for granted
posted by Ad hominem at 9:40 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


handing some drippy plaudits for you, and then killing kids in Afghanistan, does not make him a good President.

You are aware that Obama doesn't literally go to villages in Afghanistan and slit the throats of children, yes? Is Lincoln a bad president because of atrocities committed by Union soldiers during the civil war? Or is FDR a bad president because while we may not have anything to "fear but fear itself", he did sign a declaration of war in 1941, one that led to millions of civilian casualties?

Has the US ever had a Malor-approvedTM good president?

I'm sorry if this comes off snarky and baiting, but seriously, I am asking this question.
posted by King Bee at 9:44 PM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]




I thought the "Promises Kept" video was really effective to all those people who like to say, "He says all this flowery stuff but he doesn't really deliver!"

Shit, this guy got a lot done.

End the war in Iraq? Check.
Enact healthcare reform? Check.
End Don't Ask Don't Tell? Check.
Enact Lily Ledbetter? Check.
Prevent failure of US Auto Industry? Check.

And then there's stuff in his platform that I didn't agree with, like all the tax cuts, but he's been doing that, too, and the education reforms that rely so much on standardized testing, but he went ahead with Race to the Top, like he said. Oh, and Osama Bin Laden's dead, so there's that.

Seriously, his record on getting stuff done is pretty damn good. So I think whatever criticism he gets on his record needs to be specific rather than leveling a general accusation that he's all talk, no action.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:47 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm just now watching Biden's speech, holy crap that is solid. I love Attack Biden. Literally.
posted by troika at 9:53 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Prevent Wall Street from destroying itself and the country? check.
Stimulus, investment in Green Energy and other infrastructure? check (though perhaps more could have been done).
Dream Act? check (incomplete).

I really didn't like the over-emphasis on Bin Laden, myself. Is that really going to convince a lot of people to vote for Obama at this point? Or just really piss off those who think Obama is taking too much credit for it, and piss off people who are against any military action by the US, however naive that may be.

I wish they could have done more to paint a vision of how we can sustain and grow the middle class.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:56 PM on September 6, 2012


Oh, they did some good stuff, certainly, in the face of stonewall opposition. But the whole system is just as fucked, just as deeply corrupt, just as bought-and-paid-for as it ever was. Perhaps it was my mistake in thinking 'change' would mean real change, rather than doing things that barely brings America into par with other western democracies. Certainly, much was accomplished, but not the kind of fundamental shifts that I, at least, had dreamed might be possible.

You know what I do? I actually read what the candidates say they are going to do. I vote for them based on those promises and I judge on whether they meet them. Obama promised to send more troops to Afghanistan. He did that. He promised to get bin Laden if he could.

He never promised to change the entire system in the way that is personally acceptable to you. In general, this is a dysfunctional system, not a corrupt one. It is legal for a corporation to exercise free speech. The fact that some corporations and some people disagree with you does not make it corrupt that they feel that way. Instead of just acting like those we oppose aren't entitled to think what they want, we should be persuading as many people as we can to vote against them and push back via legislative action against what they are trying to do.

At the core of this attitude is my deep frustration with the way we have tried to move these agendas forward. What Obama does is get down in the dirt and try. He pushes. He does not apologize for what he believes in. He fights for it. In the past, liberals have used the excuse of "corruption" and similar self-defeating words to justify not actually trying to move the ball forward at all. Instead they focus on political strategies such as protesting and the like which are emotionally fulfilling but do nothing. They do not call their congressman, feeling that the system is "corrupt." Turns out that calling your congressman is exactly what moves the needle forward.

What Obama offers is standing up for what he believes and getting the best deal he can, rather than throwing everything away because it isn't exactly what one small section of the party wants.

And that is exactly what voters hate-not trying, not doing. And this is why Obama is president.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:59 PM on September 6, 2012 [28 favorites]


Related.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:00 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The fact that acceptance if not condoning of torturing detainees (even if the torture is being done by outsourced labor), the readiness to use drone airstrikes with a spotty track record to reduce troop fatalities, the willingness to continue a host of surveillance programs, etc all speak to how much the American electorate has normalized the authoritarian mindset in the wake of 9/11. It still shocks me at how much that event (which was undeniably tragic and horrifying) has damaged our nation's psyche and how it has seemingly irrevocably broken some people's brains.

We have become a nation obsessed with us vs them, arguably we've always had that mindset but it's been emphasized and reinforced and attempts to disarm it are nearly instantly the source of public excoriation. It does not surprise me that the Obama administration has internalized that sort of thinking, it is disappointing and I generally feel that it's something that Obama personally struggles with but I also understand that it's become the norm in our political discourse to emphasize the value of members of our "tribe" and relentlessly de-emphasize the other. I honestly wish that Obama would've made a better attempt at guiding us back into sane discourse and a greater respect for the rule of law but in this regards I agree that the Obama administration has definitely come up short. Yes coming up short is to be expected but I sincerely wish that Obama and his administration had invested more political capital into the issue even if nothing substantive was ever produced.

I can understand why Malor and others are disillusioned with Obama and I share some of that disillusionment but I also feel that all of the positive change that Obama has actually delivered in the face of a brutal economic and political landscape has been quite remarkable. I can definitely understand deciding he's not your guy and that Romney, or some third party candidate better represents your interests but I definitely think that the differences between Obama and Romney on a whole host of issues could not be more clear.
posted by vuron at 10:00 PM on September 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


We shouldn't have to choose, but handing some drippy plaudits for you, and then killing kids in Afghanistan, does not make him a good President.
posted by Malor at 12:33 AM on September 7 [+] [!]


That's a sloppy thuggish blowhard of an argument, if I ever saw one. Not to mention rude, and obnoxious and blisteringly insensitive.

Any other misplaced aggression you care to share?
posted by Skygazer at 10:03 PM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


You know what I do? I actually read what the candidates say they are going to do. I vote for them based on those promises and I judge on whether they meet them. Obama promised to send more troops to Afghanistan. He did that. He promised to get bin Laden if he could. He never promised to change the entire system in the way that is personally acceptable to you.

Who are you and why the fuck are you condescending to me? I am on your side.

Well, not your side, because this is the first time I've noticed you and you seem like an unpleasant fellow, to be honest, but on Obama's side, certainly, or at least on the side of people who care more about your nation and its people than they do about gaining and maintaining power.

I deliberately said 'perhaps it was my mistake' to have my hopes set so unreasonably high in 2008 (and I was by no means an outlier, there), and you decided that I needed a leaf from the Children's Primer on Political Platitudes? Thanks, but I'm OK over here without the lecture.

For what it's worth, though, I don't really disagree with your take (which, admittedly, was not blinding in its insight), except that I continue to maintain that your system is indeed deeply corrupt.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:13 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


End Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Check.
Endorse same-sex marriage? Check.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:13 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


> I do wish they'd mention more often that we also need to attend to the small matter of a Republican majority in the House so maybe we can skootch a few things through here and there, yeah?

Yes. It's all very well putting the best orator in the White House and safely dreaming of reform.

This time give the man a mandate in the other House for fear you remain Obama-apologists by wasting his second term, too.
posted by de at 10:20 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Malor do you ever do anything but shit all over our collective glee, enthusiasm and hope?
posted by Talez at 10:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Honestly, Whelk, if we would stop torturing and assassinating people, I think I could trade your social discomfort for that.

There are two flaws in your reasoning. First, if a nation is willing to trade on other people's social discomfort domestically, it's probably also willing to write the whole rest of the world off as being not quite all the way human. The union of the sets "historic examples of nations operating on this paradigm" and "nations thought of as the bad guys" is quite large.

Second, you seem to believe that Romney's military game plan would be loosely based on Prez: First Teen President. Given the last 8 Republican conventions rhetorical resemblance to a Soviet May Day parade, this is probably in error. Romney's absolute silence on all things military might be a sign that the right has learned it's lesson, but I predict lots more "America: Fuck Yeah" attitude and war by proxy if not directly.

Finally, if you think drone strikes are offensive, consider saturation bombing with cluster munitions which we did a lot of during the invasion of Iraq and which are probably going to be causing civilian casualties in Iraq for the next 100 years.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


For better or worse Stavros, the US system is pretty much built on incremental change through policy shifts at least in the 20th and 21st century. We have had some periods of monumental change in the modern era (The New Deal and Johnson's Great Society) but for the most the periods in which truly monumental change are possible come relatively infrequently and last for only brief periods before a return to the norm.

In some ways this is bad because positive progressive change takes a significant amount of time. In other ways it's good because it means that what progress is made isn't completely negated by the next time the opposition controls the Congress and the White House. It's the exact same for the other guys. You think that they wouldn't want to be able to dismantle the New Deal and Great Society advancements overnight? Of course they would but the truth of it is that they've been working on that objective for 30 years and they are only making incremental progress towards achieving their goals.

That we can't just instantly improve stuff is definitely a feature of our Republic instead of a bug and it's been one that helps liberals/progressives as much as it sometimes hinders us. Same for the guys on the other side of the aisle.

Hope and Change are not just things that can be done overnight or even within the context of a single presidency. They are ephemeral goals set in an attempt to engage and appeal to an increasingly cynical set of voters who simply don't believe that they have a voice. Is the promise of Obama 2008 a false one, or one he simply can't deliver or is it actually more of a challenge for us to step up and actually try to realize our own visions of a more perfect union? I think in many ways Obama is an inspirational and possibly even visionary leader but he's also just one guy albeit with a ton of political power and a ginormous bully pulpit but it's really dependent on us to realize that promise.
posted by vuron at 10:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


This circle-jerk is sickening. This is barely-progressive pandering rhetoric that does not in any way match with anything the party has put meaningful political will behind. Usernames that I've previously attached with level-headed thought have more-or-less shilled for the party that has just thrown them the nastiest sliver of a table scrap.

Spare your prepared talking-points; the disparity between what is said when bases need to be rallied and what gets done in the trenches is abominable. This glurge is politically expedient and was called into being for this reason alone. The rhetoric is transparent and even taken at face value portrays a centrist cock-tease fairy tale.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 10:29 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Spare your prepared talking-points; the disparity between what is said when bases need to be rallied and what gets done in the trenches is abominable. This glurge is politically expedient and was called into being for this reason alone. The rhetoric is transparent and even taken at face value portrays a centrist cock-tease fairy tale.

Yep. Attack with bitter cynicism and a too cool for school attitude. That'll show all those fuckers who believe in something!
posted by Talez at 10:32 PM on September 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


Is the promise of Obama 2008 a false one, or one he simply can't deliver or is it actually more of a challenge for us to step up and actually try to realize our own visions of a more perfect union? I think in many ways Obama is an inspirational and possibly even visionary leader but he's also just one guy albeit with a ton of political power and a ginormous bully pulpit but it's really dependent on us to realize that promise.

Absolutely. I said this, almost exactly four years ago
People who look for heroes to save them get bent across the barrel and fucked, inevitably, every time.

Obama is a politician, and a good one. Politics at the level we're talking is a dirty, dirty business of dealmaking and compromise of principles. That is never going to change.

Barack Obama could eat babies on stage and he'd still be the best goddamn hope you silly bastards have, and by extension, the best hope for the rest of us as well. Stop looking for heroes, and stop flying into hysterical tizzies when your fantasy-land Defenders of Truth and Justice show they are less perfect than you'd like them to be. Grow the hell up, vote for the man, and then, unlike what you and your media have done for the past seven years, don't say 'job done' and wait for the next election to get exercised about what's happening to your country.

The stakes are higher than they've been in generations. Swallow your disappointment that he's willing to compromise, get him elected, rejoice briefly in the possibility of a reprieve from history's executioner, then hold his goddamn feet and the feet of his administration to the fire, demand that your media pay attention to the real issues, and make sure that some kind of change actually happens. The election is the beginning not the end of the painful decisions and difficult work ahead in keeping America from going down the pipes entirely.
which, in my inimitable and horrifyingly profane way, makes much the same points, perhaps. It's possible that my mild disappointment is not entirely with Obama and his administration, but in large part with the American people. Which is a whole different kettle of fish. But hope, as they say, springs eternal.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:35 PM on September 6, 2012 [23 favorites]


Metafilter: a centrist cock-tease fairy tale
posted by KathrynT at 10:42 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


except that I continue to maintain that your system is indeed deeply corrupt.

I suspect corruption exists on some level in any government and anywhere else there is a concentration of power. The amount of money in politics now, thanks to SCOTUS, is ridiculous. I don't think companies really like it either. It has become pay-to-play. They have to donate money to be heard. The candidates need the money or they can't get elected. What a huge waste of time and money. We definitely could use better campaign finance laws, and I think Obama and others would agree. That being said, I suspect the campaign finance and ethics laws that do exist here, and the fact that the U.S. is a two party system, means corruption probably not nearly as bad as it could be and probably is in many other countries.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:45 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm starting to feel like I'm monopolizing things a bit by responding to stuff, but I don't disagree with this, in principle

corruption probably not nearly as bad as it could be and probably is in many other countries.

at all. I made no comparison of corruption in America to that anywhere else, explicit or implied, though, nor did I intend to. The level of corruption here in Korea, for example, is shocking and systemic, and unlikely to change any time soon, just as it is in many other countries, each in their own way.

But that's not what I was talking about. I was -- we are -- talking about America.

It's true that the perfect is the enemy of the good and all that, sure, but it's damning with faint praise, I reckon, to say 'Sure, American politics are corrupt, but they're not as corrupt as [COUNTRY X]'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:51 PM on September 6, 2012


> Yep. Attack with bitter cynicism and a too cool for school attitude. That'll show all those fuckers who believe in something!
Yeah, that's precisely one of those "prepared responses/talking points" I was referring to. I am not any kind of cynic, and I believe passionately in a lot of things. This is shit.

Shills is shills, and they all respond to genuine feelings or earned conviction by immediately questioning the authenticity of same. It's the game you've been taught and internalized. Your glib and ephemeral knee-jerk rebuke speaks volumes.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 10:52 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama is still a massive step forward in almost every regard* and whining that he isn't your perfect accomplishes nothing. He is our guy right now and I am going to continue to do my damnedest to make sure that my state, Virginia, gives him her electoral votes - as well as the democrats downticket. Voting liberals, even if they're not as liberal as I'd like they're still better than the alternative, into as many seats as we can makes the promise of more ideal candidates in the future a reality.

*The one area, as far as I can tell, where W was actually better was geography education. Geography was one of the core subjects of NCLB. Obama didn't even mention it in ESEA! But, I mean, not a huge difference. It was mentioned in NCLB, but not given a penny of funding. So...not that much better.
posted by troika at 11:01 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your glib and ephemeral knee-jerk rebuke speaks volumes.

And your opening salvo was articulate and enduring?

You and Malor both have this delusion that if enough of you say "fuck you this game is taking too long. I'm taking my ball and going to my corner" that enough people will follow. Even though there's a couple hundred million balls in play and nobody particularly gives a shit about yours.

Newsflash. Hardly anyone is going with you off that cliff and the wheels of progress move slowly against the powerful resistive forces. So you can either go and sulk in your corner or you can get out there and bloody push.

Protip: Only one of those is a productive thing to do in this situation.
posted by Talez at 11:05 PM on September 6, 2012 [21 favorites]


"Yeah, that's precisely one of those "prepared responses/talking points" I was referring to. I am not any kind of cynic, and I believe passionately in a lot of things. This is shit.

Shills is shills, and they all respond to genuine feelings or earned conviction by immediately questioning the authenticity of same. It's the game you've been taught and internalized. Your glib and ephemeral knee-jerk rebuke speaks volumes.
"

Do you have any actual arguments you'd like to advance, or is it all going to just be ad hominem dismissals?

You've done nothing but assert that you know what's really going on and that we're all dupes — so why don't you actually try to articulate what's really going on and give some specific examples?

Because otherwise, we're just going to go back and forth with, "No, you're unreflectively posing in order to satisfy your bizarre emotional needs!" "No, you are!"
posted by klangklangston at 11:13 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Any other misplaced aggression you care to share?

I understand where Malor is coming from. The fact is that at some point this week, Obama will be shown a series of cards, each with photos of suspected terrorists, including an executive summary of what they are accused of and a bit of the suspect's life story. His advisors will then tell him their last location, who is likely to die with that person, and then Obama will give the order to execute some of them. No trial. No jury. No right to a redress of grievances, or even an attempt to arrest the individual to spare those who might be around him. Just a man transformed into a God who can self-righteously order the execution of a suspect without any fear of facing consequences if he is wrong.

Now, would Romney be any better? That's nearly a rhetorical question at this point. But in any case, whitewashing the continuation of endless low intensity warfare — now poised to spread a religious war at the doorstep of Israel in Syria, funded by Saudi Arabia, supplied by the CIA in Turkey, and staffed by none other than Al Qaeda — is not the answer either.

(And guess where Assad is getting his weapons? Iran... via Iraq.)

Obama has the power to change the way we conduct ourselves abroad, so the aggression and the accusations fall exactly where they should: on the desk of our sitting President.
posted by deanklear at 11:18 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama has the power to change the way we conduct ourselves abroad, so the aggression and the accusations fall exactly where they should: on the desk of our sitting President.

I don't think any liberal really wants the president to practice extrajudicial killings (although I may be wrong?). The difference is that people like Malor are perfectly happy to throw the baby out with the bathwater in a principled (yet misguided) stand while the rest of us will take whatever victory we can get and keep pushing.
posted by Talez at 11:22 PM on September 6, 2012


Also, Cydonian, unless I misunderstand election law, your non-American pals can't contribute to anything that has the purpose of directly or indirectly affecting the outcome of an American election, which means no candidate donations, no PAC donations and it's really touchy on 501(c)4s. However, some 501(c)4s doing independent issue advocacy, and some 501(c)3s, which do things like public education, are legal. (Obviously, I'm not a lawyer and you shouldn't say, "Klang said to!")

So, while the intent is dubious and I wouldn't recommend a paper trail (though absolutely no one will be checking to make sure that purchases of Obama t-shirts are only made by Americans), you may want to tell them to do things that would benefit the overall context of the Democrats, like paying for pro-LGBT educational grants or the Southern Poverty Law Center or ACLU to continue doing their work.

At the very least, since all non-profits are cash-strapped now, they'll spend it quickly and help make more jobs ;)
posted by klangklangston at 11:22 PM on September 6, 2012


[Hey, guys, there's actually a drone thread that's still open and a great place to continue that conversation. This post is actually about Clinton's speech, and a good place to talk about various DNC items of interest.]
posted by taz at 11:36 PM on September 6, 2012


It's possible that my mild disappointment is not entirely with Obama and his administration, but in large part with the American people. Which is a whole different kettle of fish. But hope, as they say, springs eternal.

I think that's a good assumption. In the end, convincing our fellow citizens is our job. That's why I don't think corporations are forcing politicians to give us what they want. I think much of what corporations care about is regulatory and not mediated well through politics. People want this.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:46 PM on September 6, 2012


I am tired of charisma without substance; I think we are starved for people who can combine great style with real substance. In his 1991 book about American government "Parliament of Whores, "P.J. O'Rourke wrote the following about Jesse Jackson at the 1998 (?) DNC:

I did, however, want to hear Jesse Jackson speak. He is the only living American politician with a mastery of classical rhetoric. Assonance, alliteration, litotes, pleonasm, parallelism, exclamation, climax, and epigram- to listen to Jesse Jackson is to hear everything mankind has learned about public speaking since Demosthenes. Thus Jackson, the advocate for people who believe themselves to be excluded from Western culture, was the only 1988 presidential candidate to exhibit any of it.


Jesse Jackson's 1988 DNC speech is Awesome! Way ahead of its time. The patchwork quilt. Wow!
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:47 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Backtracking to candidates-as-drinks for a second, Ron Paul is clearly colloidal silver and moonshine in a brandy snifter.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:32 AM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, Cydonian, unless I misunderstand election law, your non-American pals can't contribute to anything that has the purpose of directly or indirectly affecting the outcome of an American election, which means no candidate donations, no PAC donations and it's really touchy on 501(c)4s.

That's my understanding as well; was bemused that (otherwise well-informed) people did not know this. :)

So, while the intent is dubious and I wouldn't recommend a paper trail (though absolutely no one will be checking to make sure that purchases of Obama t-shirts are only made by Americans)

Yes, I did see quite a few Obama t-shirts on Orchard Road back in 2008.

Haven't had a similar thing here, to be frank; anecdotally, quite a few more Romney supporters than McCain folks this time around in my thick-of-woods, lots of bankers (Singapore obviously attracts these types) and strat consultants out here.

you may want to tell them to do things that would benefit the overall context of the Democrats, like paying for pro-LGBT educational grants or the Southern Poverty Law Center or ACLU to continue doing their work

Good call on ACLU and SPLC; that's the kind of organization that people interested in US Civics should support. ACLU has quite a bit of overseas support, so to speak; for instance, the daughter of the Indian Prime Minister, who's married an American and is domiciled there, works for them.
posted by the cydonian at 12:55 AM on September 7, 2012


MCMikeNamara: "I know life isn't The West Wing but a part of me is imaging a scene where Obama talks to Romney at the debates and says, "You know when you made that crypto racist birth certificate joke... that's when I decided to kick your ass.""

As long as he follows it with "I challenge you to fisticuffs!"

On a completely different note, as I've said before, the best way to express your displeasure with the continuation of some of the objectionable policies of the Bush Administration is not by withholding your vote from Obama or, perish the thought, voting for Romney. You need to be working to change the corrupt system that perpetuates the dominance of only two parties. You can do it at the state level. Talk to people, convince them, get an initiative on the ballot changing your state's districting laws and voting method. You won't find many people who argue in favor of two party hegemony.

The grand thing is that you can both keep Romney out of the White House, thus at least limiting the damage, while still working to reform the system. It need not be an either-or choice accompanied by a protest vote. Stop acting like it is and get out there and fix the problems standing in your way.
posted by wierdo at 1:03 AM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]








If you're watching this after the fact, as I am, and you want to follow along with the commentary, it's useful to sync the Mefi posting times with the time display on the C-Span feed.
posted by Optamystic at 3:10 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Naive ideological purism is adolescent whether you spout Ayn Rand bromides or you stand for everything I believe in.

If you hate Obama from the left, just close your eyes and picture the smirking face of George Bush grinding his boot into the face of a tortured "detainee" forever.

My big disappointment is that we are still in Afghanistan, and I strongly disapprove of the drone assassination even of known terrorists. I don't worship Barack Obama. I think he's imperfect, to say the least.

But goddamit he stands between us and real fascism. Have you listened to what the right wing in the US says?
posted by spitbull at 4:22 AM on September 7, 2012 [17 favorites]


The rabid left would have us move a the American Bus by sprinting towards it at full speed and slamming into it, wrecking themselves in the process and doing not much at all.

The sensible left gets a big team together, puts on cleats, lays hands on it, and starts grunting and shoving.

It takes TIME to get something as big as America moving.

But move it will, if only you put your shoulder to the work at hand, set your toes into the dirt, and then never stop pushing.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:36 AM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just thought it was nice to see a Democratic convention where they weren't apologising for or backing away from the principles they actually believe in. I thought including Sandra Fluke was great - really nice to see them standing behind an ordinary citizen who was horribly unfairly trashed by a multi-millionaire celebrity with an enormous megaphone.
posted by lucien_reeve at 4:58 AM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I thought I was registered to vote. However a canvasser didn't have me on the list (but they had my roommates who haven't voted in 4 years), which is how I found out that I had been "purged for inactivity".

WAIT, WHAT? That's a thing?
posted by psoas at 5:14 AM on September 7, 2012


Absolutely it's a thing. If you haven't voted for a certain number of cycles, you need to re-register.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:29 AM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you hate Obama from the left...

I suspect that the reason Republicans can join hands together at the end and vote every time without fail is because they aren't confused about who their common savior is, and what this idol represents to them as imagined bounty and sustenance. The left also needs a common ground that blends universal health care, reproductive choice, free education, equal rights, and environmental goals into one meatball. I propose they call it "family care" for both political and practical reasons, because that's what it really means, even in the abstract. If single people are offended, they missed the point that we are all under someone's care for about 40% of our lives, coming and going.

The left should freely admit that the old patriarchal family values and class traditions just victimized most people and the right wing doesn't get to decide what a freedom-based family is anymore than they should determine the goals and values for them. Let the right come out of their holes and preach their ancient alternative, at their peril.
posted by Brian B. at 5:32 AM on September 7, 2012


Ugh...monthly jobs added was only 96k, 40k in downward revisions for June and July. That's a bad trend.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:37 AM on September 7, 2012


I only caught Obama's speech.

Pandering is awesome, it's what I want in politicians (as long as they back it up with policy), but for too long the Democratic leadership has been pandering to right-wing Republicans, and it's about time someone comes out and stands up for gay marriage, poor people, immigrants, and the like instead of throwing them under the bus whenever it's convenient.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:37 AM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Malor, step back for a second and think clearly about what you're saying. Trading your values and issues for The Whelk's is a zero sum game. Actually, its honestly a little worse because you're trading The Whelk's personhood for your principles. How does selling out another person's values like that make you any better than the version of Obama that you see?

I don't know what type of person Obama is any more than anyone else. But I came away from his speech with the distinct impression that he struggles with the same values we're debating here. But unlike other progressives, he doesn't see the value in alienating half the country. As he said on election night in 2008, he's their President too. We often say "where has that gotten you?" (I know I do all the time), but he's clearly not about to give up on a common way forward. What I saw him doing is very clearly drawing a distinction between sane-minded conservatives and Republicans.

Sure, we want our leaders to run full steam in the direction that we think is right. While I often wish Obama and other progressives would have the balls LBJ displayed with the Great Society, I quickly remind myself that his while his principles were just and right, his approach opened mawing chasms in American society that (going on 50 years later it seems quite safe to say) it is still reeling from.*

His speech makes me feel like I have a champion for my values, but a realistic champion, playing a long game. He seems humble enough to know he won't actually achieve everything he wants in his time as a President, but my impression is his aim is to put the country on the irrevocable path to get there. But that's just me.

*not wanting to start an LBJ derail, or that there was a better way than his. Whatever the case, his strategy had its consequences.
posted by dry white toast at 5:40 AM on September 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Seriously: if this election was a choice between Mitt Romney and a member of the actual Taliban, you better believe I'd be out there phonebanking my ass off for the Mitt. Because even though Mitt is pretty much a sociopath, at least he doesn't want to cover me up with a veil and keep me from going to college. YA DIG?
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:50 AM on September 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


zombieflanders: "Ugh...monthly jobs added was only 96k, 40k in downward revisions for June and July. That's a bad trend."

Meh, back out the government job losses and suddenly it's back over the psychological hump of 100k.
posted by wierdo at 5:56 AM on September 7, 2012


There is no statute of limitations on torture or war crimes. Obama can be moved on this issue with te right public backing in a way that no republican can or will be. Holders decisions doesn't forever exonerate those who committed torture. Obama's new friends in Lybia and Egypt have a lot more evidence than the torturers would like.
posted by humanfont at 6:17 AM on September 7, 2012


I thought I was registered to vote. However a canvasser didn't have me on the list (but they had my roommates who haven't voted in 4 years), which is how I found out that I had been "purged for inactivity".

WAIT, WHAT? That's a thing?

Yes, typically if you haven't voted in several years the record is marked as "Inactive" and the county registrar will try to confirm if you are still there. After two federal elections of Inactive status your record is purged. This takes 4 years after you are declared inactive.

Most of this is codified in the National Voter Registration Act (better known as the Motor Voter law). Specifics depend on your state and county.

Inactive voters are still on the pollbooks, but may be asked to confirm their address or another step at the polling place. Once they vote, their record is reactivated.

The United States does not have a central voter registration agency. County registrars (and in certain states, town clerks) handle registrations. When a voter moves or dies, inactivity is the only clue they get if they don't receive a cancellation or death notice. Re-registering in another jurisdiction will require your new county to send your old county a notice.

Before NVRA registrars were quite purge-happy, but now it takes a couple cycles before it happens.

Republicans are notorious for voter caging, especially in Florida, intentionally abusing this process.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 7:09 AM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Paul Krugman on the jobs report
The headline number came in a bit below expectations, but that’s probably just the noisiness in the data. The best hypothesis about the US economy this past year and more is that it has been steadily adding jobs at a pace roughly fast enough to keep up with but not get ahead of population growth. Today’s report was consistent with a continuation of that story. Nothing to see here.
We'll see if that's how it gets spun, but we won't know the effect of either the convention or the jobs report (if any) until the middle of next week anyway.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:13 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can ask your county voter registrar for your registration status at any time. Many even let you do this online.

Deadlines to register to vote are approaching quickly, faster in some states than other.

Whether or not they voted in an election (but not who they voted for) is a matter of public record, and letting people know that their friends and neighbors can find out whether they have voted is far and away the most effective voter mobilization method ever studied. Make sure your less-invovled friends know that you are watching them. You don't even have to make it sound like you're judging them, just the belief they are being watched is good enough.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 7:20 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


But don't mistake those flowery speeches for what he's actually going to do.

Maybe this is a good time to repost the list of 76 Accomplishments by the Administration and Congress on LGBT Equality from Obama's first term?

I did like the flowery speeches, though.
posted by jhc at 7:27 AM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


The jobs number is certainly not stellar especially when most of the gains in terms of unemployment rate seem to be coming from people leaving the labor pool. Productivity gains have been instrumental in allowing employers the flexibility of not hiring new workers but I'm not sure how much longer employers can continue to "wait things out" before opening new positions. In some cases it's because the labor pool simply lacks the needed skills or there is a spatial mismatch between laborers and the available jobs but I also think a bunch of employers have gotten used to being ultra-selective in terms of job candidates looking for an employee to be able to contribute in a dramatic way from day one with little to no upfront training costs. Obama and company did talk about job retraining at some length but I think it should be one of the major talking points as they move forward with a counter-narrative to Romney's "Just cut more taxes and the job creators will make more jobs".

There is still a ton of volatility in the economy especially surrounding Europe but overall the numbers have been significantly better it's just that employment particularly among key constituent groups has been a fairly intractable problem and one that Obama has only limited influence over.
posted by vuron at 7:29 AM on September 7, 2012


It's not good versus evil. It's evil versus slightly less evil.

If this is my Sophie's choice, the Germans can take Mitt all day long.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:35 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


How to tell if you're still a registered voter. CanIVote.org
posted by crunchland at 7:41 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The journos on The Diane Rhem show are kind of like, 'Obama gave a laundry list of things but didn't explain how he was going to do them' and 'zomg platform crisis was bad' plus he's in trouble because of bad job numbers today.

People are writing and calling and seem to be saying, to paraphrase, bitches, you trippin?
posted by angrycat at 7:42 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did they gloss over the fact that the numbers on Wall Street hit multi-year highs yesterday?
posted by crunchland at 7:49 AM on September 7, 2012


the button said when u vote black u don't go back, so....
posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:53 AM on September 7, 2012


crunchland: "Did they gloss over the fact that the numbers on Wall Street hit multi-year highs yesterday?"

"Markets are high but jobs are teh suck" is not a winning message for the blue team.

"Jobless recovery" is a phrase that we need to send to a farm upstate.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:53 AM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]




"He's done a lot for veterans"
posted by crunchland at 7:58 AM on September 7, 2012




What The Fuck Has Obama Done So Far.
posted by ericb at 8:00 AM on September 7, 2012 [10 favorites]




Journalists have a vested interest in making this campaign into a really tight horserace even when the likelihood of Romney winning the election is pretty small currently. In some ways that's even a good thing that they are promoting this tight race narrative because if Democrats think we've got it in the bag turnout might go way down. I do think that Obama has set the expectations so high in regards to his speeches that anytime he doesn't hit a crushing homerun of a speech there are going to be people that say that he under-performed. It was a very good speech designed to do something really important which is to set forth a counter narrative to the Republican "Angry Man Yelling at a Chair" impression that the Republican convention gave off.

Michelle's speech humanized him, Clinton's speech defended his record, Biden showed that no the Democrats aren't weak but are passionately invested in economic and global security issues, and Obama laid for a case that a return to "Screw You, I've Got Mine" is not acceptable. I grateful that Obama is tired of Democrats being ashamed of being inclusive. I'm grateful that he's willing to fight for big ideas. I'm grateful that he's willing to talk about the problems of money corroding our political landscape and the attempts to disenfranchise voters.

I'm not going to take the election for granted and plan on casting my vote in November even though I'm cognizant that Obama is unlikely to come remotely close to winning Texas. My hope that excitement over Obama can at least strengthen turnout for some local races even though most of the state races are basically foregone conclusions.
posted by vuron at 8:03 AM on September 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


But ericb, I WANT $PONY NOW! OBAMA SUX!
posted by Talez at 8:03 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


If we're defending Obama's progressive record here, let us not forget the single most important thing a President does: hiring people. Obama hires people who actually believe in the missions of the agencies that they are heading; in turn, agency employees are allowed to carry out the duties of said agencies.

Government works.
posted by blueberry sushi at 8:11 AM on September 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


I'm not sure what you're trying to say ericb, can you clarify, perhaps with another link?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:13 AM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Look... it's going to come down to this... no matter who is elected as president, it's going to be hard for them to get anything done. Unless they have the good fortune of sweeping the House and Senate majorities in with them, their hands will be tied, and even then, it's no guarantee. You can hang on to the pipe-dream that if one candidate gets a mandate, the other side will cavee, but realistically that's not going to happen. The race has been neck and neck for months and months, so no one is going to get a mandate. The politics of polarity is good for the pockets of the politicians, so they'll do everything they can to maintain the partisan quagmires.

So for all practical purposes, the only thing this election is going to decide is who gets to name the new Supreme Court justices to replace the ancient and ailing ones that are there now. In light of that, you have to make a judgement call ... do you want that person to be someone who is closer aligned to what you believe in, or are you willing to let someone who is diametrically opposite you to do it?
posted by crunchland at 8:20 AM on September 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


If we're defending Obama's progressive record here, let us not forget the single most important thing a President does: hiring people. Obama hires people who actually believe in the missions of the agencies that they are heading; in turn, agency employees are allowed to carry out the duties of said agencies.

Who leaves Comedy Central to work for the government?

No, really, it's a good article! A bit of a shame the title is more for grabbing attention than letting us know what its about, which is how people with tech industry backgrounds are getting are moving to the public sector (in this case, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) to help give regulatory agencies quicker response times and hopefully more teeth.

So for all practical purposes, the only thing this election is going to decide is who gets to name the new Supreme Court justices to replace the ancient and ailing ones that are there now.

This is a pretty broad oversimplification, as there's also a choice between two different views on how government works, of which the CFPB is a good example, as is Obamacare (and the attendant Medicare and Medicaid reforms).
posted by zombieflanders at 8:26 AM on September 7, 2012


yes, this is indeed the time when I am deeply appreciative of ericb, hommoculus (sp?) and other linky people. Thanks linky people.
posted by angrycat at 8:31 AM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure what you're trying to say ericb, can you clarify, perhaps with another link?

What I am trying to say is that there is plenty of evidence of Obama's successful first term out there ... much of which those willfully ignorant choose to ignore. I suggest to them that they take the time to read those links.

Am I better off than I was four years ago? Hell yes!
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on September 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Might want to get that sarcasm meter checked there, chief.
posted by Talez at 9:05 AM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah I think he was thanking you. I know I was.
posted by angrycat at 9:07 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't take it as sarcasm. As it's my birthday today, I should likely go get my annual sarcasm meter replaced.
posted by ericb at 9:07 AM on September 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


l ... do you want that person to be someone who is closer aligned to what you believe in, or are you willing to let someone who is diametrically opposite you to do it? Posted by crunchland

Or someone who doesn't think you are even a "real" American or deserving of basic human rights unless you are a propertied white Christian male, perhaps?
posted by spitbull at 9:12 AM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


President Obama’s 244 Accomplishments : Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4.

Obama has truly been an effective person and accomplished much.
posted by ericb at 9:12 AM on September 7, 2012


(Those are 244 accomplishments in his first two-years alone (2009 - 2010).
posted by ericb at 9:13 AM on September 7, 2012


As it's my birthday today, I should likely go get my annual sarcasm meter replaced.

I believe that's covered under Obamacare.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:14 AM on September 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


Not until 2014, zombieflanders.
posted by rtha at 9:21 AM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Obama hires people who actually believe in the missions of the agencies that they are heading ...

And, a very diverse group to boot.

Example: "To date, the Obama-Biden Administration has appointed more than 250 openly LGBT professionals to full-time and advisory positions in the executive branch; more than all known LGBT appointments of other presidential administrations combined."
posted by ericb at 9:22 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I believe that's covered under Obamacare.

Oh, it already is! And, just a $20 deductible.

I live in Massachusetts and we have Romneycare (upon which Obamacare is based) to thank for that benefit!
posted by ericb at 9:24 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Happy Birthday, ericb! Thanks for all you link!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 9:26 AM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, Eastwood is talking about his "performance" said he had no idea what he was going to do until Thursday yadda yadda yadda... one thing that did stick out was he assurances he was just an ordinary guy. (ayuh, an ordinary millionaire white old guy)...


anyways


Been noticing just an obnoxious amount of Anti-Obama/Pro Romney (text/visual) advertisement on Pandora, which really seems like a waste of money... especially when it pops up, say during Vic Chesnutt's Dick Cheney.

Noticed a bunch of similarly just weird advertisements in weird places
posted by edgeways at 9:31 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]




But, rtha, Sarcasm as a pre-existing condition won't keep you out of all insurance pools now. Hooray! I don't want to die of untreated Sarcasm as I can't afford the cost of the Irony. Though when that co-pay assistance kicks in, I will be able to relax, finally ...
posted by tilde at 9:38 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


spitbull, I just watched the Biden speech you linked to. Thank you for sharing that.

When things are going so well for me, I need to be reminded that my life won't always be beer & skittles, and I will need to be stronger than I think I can be.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:40 AM on September 7, 2012


I'm soooo sure you could, tilde.

(Oh shit, I may be infected!)
posted by grubi at 9:41 AM on September 7, 2012


ericb:
Example: "To date, the Obama-Biden Administration has appointed more than 250 openly LGBT professionals to full-time and advisory positions in the executive branch; more than all known LGBT appointments of other presidential administrations combined."
OK, that's not a fair comparison. Until very recently, it wasn't very safe - politically, and sometimes even personally - to come out in government.

There's no doubt Obama's White House is far more open to LGBTs than most previous ones, but since the coming-out curve is tilted sharply upwards, the data is biased.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:48 AM on September 7, 2012


NPR is reporting that Bill's speech beat out the 2nd half of the Cowboys-Giants game - more people were listening to his speech than watching two of the most popular NFL teams play the opening football game of the season.

He also topped Honey Boo-Boo.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:56 AM on September 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


Can someone explain to me why lower unemployment and more jobs is bad? Because that seems to be todays spin and i dont get it.
posted by Big_B at 9:58 AM on September 7, 2012


As opposed to lower-yet uemployment and yet more jobs, basically. Projections were for better progress there than actually materialized. Romney's camp would prefer a report of a net loss, but they'll happily argue too little growth if that's what they've got to work with.
posted by cortex at 10:01 AM on September 7, 2012


Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, people. Not only are you not going to get a decent replacement for your sarcasm detector, but your innocent cognitively impaired child is going to have to defend himself in front of a Sarcasm Panel.
posted by Flunkie at 10:01 AM on September 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I didn't take it as sarcasm. As it's my birthday today, I should likely go get my annual sarcasm meter replaced.
ericb, happy birthday, and thanks for all your contributions here - I've already forwarded your links to a bunch of people. You're pretty great!
posted by ersatzkat at 10:02 AM on September 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


He also topped Honey Boo-Boo.

I really need to rephrase that.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:02 AM on September 7, 2012 [14 favorites]


It's the expectations game... because not AS MANY jobs where created as expected (by whom anyways eh?) then it's seen as a failure, even if quite a few jobs where created.

Frankly the hyper attention paid to the market and weekly jobs fluctuations really kind of pisses me off. I absolutely hate it that every news break HAS to include Dow up .34%, NASDAQ down .25%. We've gone from a nation of people ignoring economics to people being pumped ever 15 minuets with, frankly usually, meaningless economic data. There has to be a middle ground, but moderation is so hard, especially in such a demand heavy news environment.

Given the amount of profits companies have made over the past 4 years one would think job growth would be brisk, that is not makes me veer into conspiracy territory at times.
posted by edgeways at 10:05 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom: "OK, that's not a fair comparison. Until very recently, it wasn't very safe - politically, and sometimes even personally - to come out in government.

There's no doubt Obama's White House is far more open to LGBTs than most previous ones, but since the coming-out curve is tilted sharply upwards, the data is biased.
"

That's the point - that the atmosphere is such that openly GLBT people *can*be*open*.
posted by notsnot at 10:06 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain to me why lower unemployment and more jobs is bad? Because that seems to be todays spin and i dont get it.
Well, a few reasons:
  • The gains for August are less than what was expected. In case you may still wonder why that matters in any real sense rather than just a general "aw shucks" disappointment sense: Because businesses and markets and such have already based actual decisions upon the expected numbers.
  • The preliminary numbers for June and July, which were reported earlier, have been adjusted downwards upon further data becoming available. Again, actual decisions have already been made based upon the preliminary numbers.
  • The "96,000" number that's being bandied about is a gross increase, not a net increase. That is, it doesn't take into account the fact that the population is growing, and specifically the working-age population is growing. The net number for August is essentially something like zero, not 96,000.
posted by Flunkie at 10:09 AM on September 7, 2012


WSJ defends ADP numbers...
posted by schyler523 at 10:09 AM on September 7, 2012


Isn't the unemployment drop also due to some people who stopped looking for work? I know there's an unemployment metric (U6 maybe?) that includes everyone who could work and isn't, but the unemployment number that everyone seems to refer to doesn't.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:30 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey, ericb, happy birthday! I have enjoyed your excellent links in dozens--if not hundreds--of threads for years. Thank you so much for your continuing contributions to this site! Hope you have a great birthday.

(This would be incomplete without a link.)

Um, on topic, I don't think the job numbers and other minutiae are going to have much impact on the election, actually (unless the numbers are a huge change one way or the other). I thought the conventions highlighted what both parties feel this election is about, identity and American character. I think that one party's ideas about American character are pretty abhorrent and am very glad that the President and his party finally are taking the gloves off and being clear and unapologetic about their progressive views of what the United States is, what kind of people we are and aspire to be.

It's what I thought was particularly brilliant about Clinton's speech, his simple framing of this basic difference: are we a 'you're on your own' society or a 'we're all in this together' one? Which is a struggle that springs from fundamental human nature, the conflict between our altruistic and our selfish selves, but I'm continually dismayed by how many people respond strongly to appeals to selfishness. I'm thankful there are some appealing to our better selves.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:32 AM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can someone explain to me why lower unemployment and more jobs is bad? Because that seems to be todays spin and i dont get it.

It's bad but probably not as bad as it will be made out by the GOP and a compliant press. Here's several explanations:

Effect of Jobs Numbers on Presidential Race Is Uncertain
About that unemployment rate...
Disappointing jobs report unlikely to change presidential contest
The economy vs. the president
The jobs report in five – nay, six! – charts

Isn't the unemployment drop also due to some people who stopped looking for work? I know there's an unemployment metric (U6 maybe?) that includes everyone who could work and isn't, but the unemployment number that everyone seems to refer to doesn't.

Short answer: Yes, kind of, but we don't know why because for whatever reason the number of "discouraged workers" didn't change.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:40 AM on September 7, 2012


Oh, and don't get too excited just yet, but the Gallup daily tracking polls are now showing Obama with a 52-43 (up from 49-45) approval rating and 48-45 (up from 47-46) against Romney, from the period of Sept 4-6.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:46 AM on September 7, 2012


Thanks all. There is certainly a dearth of sources discussing the numbers, but l like to hear mefite breakdowns on things like this.
posted by Big_B at 10:49 AM on September 7, 2012


Caveats/corrections for the Gallup numbers, via @electionate: The head-to-head is a 7-day tracker of registered voters, the approval is a 3-day tracker of all adults.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:50 AM on September 7, 2012


And it looks like Obama's using variations of the "take two tax cuts and call me in the morning" line on the campaign trail:
And we are fighting to recover from that — it's a long, tough journey. But our friends at the Republican convention, they talked a lot about what they thought was wrong with America. They didn't tell you what was right. They didn't tell you what they'd do to make it right. They want your vote, but they do not want to show you their plan. And that's because they know their plan will not sell. That's s because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they have had for the last 30 years.

Tax cuts, tax cuts, gut some regulations — oh, and more tax cuts. Tax cuts when times are good, tax cuts when times are bad. Tax cuts to help you lose a few extra pounds. Tax cuts to improve your love life. It will cure anything, according to them.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:52 AM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Frankly the hyper attention paid to the market and weekly jobs fluctuations really kind of pisses me off. I absolutely hate it that every news break HAS to include Dow up .34%, NASDAQ down .25%.

That being said, Obama did get a nice assist from the ECB earlier this week.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:57 AM on September 7, 2012


The Gallup tracker has some peculiar assumptions about race weighting.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 11:11 AM on September 7, 2012


"In some cases it's because the labor pool simply lacks the needed skills or there is a spatial mismatch between laborers and the available jobs but I also think a bunch of employers have gotten used to being ultra-selective in terms of job candidates looking for an employee to be able to contribute in a dramatic way from day one with little to no upfront training costs."

There were actually a passel of headhunters and employment consultants on All Things Considered not too long ago, saying basically that employers have talked themselves into such a headspace of it being a buyer's market that they're actually forgoing people that could help them now in hopes of getting desperate, overqualified people for a song. One of them was saying, "I keep telling them it's not 2008 anymore, or even 2010, but they don't see employees as an investment," and she was saying that this was exacerbated by thin margins which made employers really short-sighted about patching holes now — since they already cut to the bone — and ignoring the long-term growth of the company.

It was part of a broader discussion about how on-the-job training has really fallen by the wayside, and how employers now aren't good at looking for underlying skills that will allow them to make gains. She said it was also impacted by the feeling that employees are no longer loyal to their jobs the same way, so training can just lead to those folks leaving for better jobs elsewhere. (To which I kinda sputtered, "Well, but big employers have shown absolutely zero loyalty to employees, so why should they expect to be treated with a consideration they're not giving, the myopic assholes?")
posted by klangklangston at 11:36 AM on September 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


It was part of a broader discussion about how on-the-job training has really fallen by the wayside, and how employers now aren't good at looking for underlying skills that will allow them to make gains. She said it was also impacted by the feeling that employees are no longer loyal to their jobs the same way, so training can just lead to those folks leaving for better jobs elsewhere. (To which I kinda sputtered, "Well, but big employers have shown absolutely zero loyalty to employees, so why should they expect to be treated with a consideration they're not giving, the myopic assholes?")

People don't realize that the logical response to "fuck you I've got mine" is "fuck you I'll take what I can get".

What we're seeing is forty years of chickens coming home to roost.
posted by Talez at 11:47 AM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


ericb: "Former Michigan Govervor Jennifer Granholm: "In Mitt Romney's world his automobiles get an elevator; the workers who built his cars get the shaft!""

Another choice line from Ms. Granholm's remarks:
"America, let's rev our engines!" she concluded. "In your car and on your ballot, the 'D' is for drive forward, and the 'R' is for reverse -- and in this election, we're driving forward, not back! Let's re-elect our great president, Barack Obama!"
I had heard a version of this quip before, but to hear it coming from a former Michigan governor at the DNC with the parties having staked out such vastly different positions on the GM/Ford bailouts was just pitch-perfect.

Who are you people, and what have you done with my timid, equivocal and feckless Democratic party?
posted by tonycpsu at 11:55 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]






Oh oh oh.... really i am not a jingoistic person, and would be happy with a much smaller military geared towards defense not offense (and am a proponent of CBD), and yeah get people home from Afghanistan... but seriously? Romney's big defense of why he did not mention the Afghanistan war lat week during his speech? He says, he didn't think it was important enough. Holy Moly talk about unforced error, that is going to be a political attack ad opportunity of big size.
posted by edgeways at 12:39 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]




I guess more accurately when asked why he didn't address the war:
When you give a speech you don't go through a laundry list, you talk about the things you think are important.
posted by edgeways at 12:45 PM on September 7, 2012


Romnoms just gave a speech here in western Iowa earlier this afternoon, included a bit about how, if China cheats us on business deals, there will be "consequences". That is about the vaguest vague a man can vague - what is he gonna do, send the military into China? Economic sanctions? Over bad private sector business deals?

He also trotted out the ol' $716 billion taken away from Medicare thing again - hopefully after Clinton's speech, more people just roll their eyes at that.

There was not a single thing that he said that got as much applause as when he name-checked the school he was speaking at, so... not the most enthusiastic crowd.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:54 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


edgeways: "When you give a speech you don't go through a laundry list, you talk about the things you think are important."

Can you imagine what would happen even if a well known Democratic-leaning blogger said that -- let alone a ranking politician? If Obama said anything even remotely like that, it would be in every ad from here until November.

tonycpsu: " Who are you people, and what have you done with my timid, equivocal and feckless Democratic party?"

You know everybody keeps saying stuff like that (and, Lord knows, I'm thinking it even more often), but I think we should be careful and quit mentioning them. For all we know, they might be like Beetlejuice or Bloody Mary -- if we keep saying their name, they might show up again!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:55 PM on September 7, 2012


Obama sets 'Tweets-Per-Minute' Twitter record: "Twitter reports 52,756 '=Tweets in the minute following Obama's speech -- a new record for a political event and on par with Usain Bolt's final race in the 2012 Olympic relay, Twitter spokesperson Elaine Filadelfo told POLITICO."
posted by ericb at 1:06 PM on September 7, 2012


Yeah that Iowa speech he also extolled Rep. King and said he wanted him as a partner in Washington. rep. King is three shakes of a lamb's tail from being in Bachmann territory, if he is not already. He is flat out politically bonkers. "I don't know of anyone who's gotten pregnant because of incest" (paraphrase) is one of the many many fantastic quips by the King.
posted by edgeways at 1:07 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, another gem from Romney's Orange City, IA speech today: paraphrasing, but he goes from "75% of businesses polled think Obamacare is going to hurt them!" to "I will abolish Obamacare, but also we still need to make sure that people with preexisting conditions can get insurance and people don't get dropped for no reason..." and uh. That's a big chunk of the expensive stuff in Obamacare, guy.

And yeah, the King thing. King was cozying up to Bachmann pretty strongly in the primaries, there was some low level speculation that he was trying to get a VP spot with her if she were to win it. He's crazypants. His "I don't know of anyone who's gotten pregnant because of incest" thing came just a week or so after his WTF-is-this-guy-webcamming-drunk "It's totally legal for someone to rape a 10 year old, drive her across state lines and force her to get an abortion" video. I'm definitely casting my vote for Vilsack in that race, I don't know what the chances are of King getting booted but he's an embarassment. Also, he looks like a flesh-colored Grover.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:16 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Tweets per Min are a pretty shaky ground to judge much, but worth noting: Obama hit 52,756 during his speech, which is the highest ever for a political speech. Michelle Obama 28,003 Clinton had a very respectable 22k per minute, Biden 17,932 Romney? 14k. Rubio 8,937, Eastwood 7,044, Paul Ryan 6,669, Ann Romney 6,195.

A big deal was made about the RNC Convention hitting 4 million Tweets at the time. The DNC Convention hit 8 Mil.
posted by edgeways at 1:52 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]




Also in Iowa... Welp, Romney's Woman's ambassador sure doesn't want to talk about "women's" issues, justhow wonderful a dad he is and you know something something jobs ""You know, I'm not going to talk about the specific issues. I'm going to let my husband speak on issues."
KWQC: Do you believe that employer-provided health insurance should be required to cover birth control?

ANN: Again, you’re asking me questions that are not about what this election is going to be about. This election is going to be about the economy and jobs. [been around this country, people pray for me and want me to help keep their job] So really if you want to try to pull me off of the other messages it’s not going to work.

Shorter Ann: No talkie about lady parts issues, not important.

So women's ambassador won't talk about women's specific issues? I wonder if the ambassadorship is a paid position?

Oh yeah right Mitten's didn't talk about it so it's not important.
posted by edgeways at 2:14 PM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Show us yer taxes!
posted by Artw at 2:22 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ann does realize that she doesn't actually get to pre-screen all the questions and only give answers to those she deems sufficiently softball?

I don't really expect Ann Romney to be authoritative on all of the issues but I also don't expect her to play royalty and get annoyed with the temerity of journalists to actually ask questions.

Michelle Obama comes off as incredibly warm and open, yeah some of that is obviously cultivated but in contrast it seems like Ann Romney is always swallowing something incredibly bitter when she deigns to grace us with her presence. In terms of being assets to their respective partners Michelle seems miles ahead.
posted by vuron at 2:23 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt Romney Didn’t Watch the Democratic National Convention

Oh please. Of course he did.

I prefer to envision him sitting on his settee with his knees drawn up against his chest and peeking through his hands covering his eyes weeping that he "did build it gosh darnit".
posted by futz at 3:34 PM on September 7, 2012




What's "funny" about that is that when Obama said "clean coal", it certainly felt a lot bigger than that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:02 PM on September 7, 2012


This makes me feel stupid, but can someone explain this 'RUN DNC' thing to me? It seems like it's supposed to be clever in some way, but I don't get it.
posted by meese at 4:12 PM on September 7, 2012


I believe Bobby Bare wrote the country classic "You Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)."

Inside social science version used to title a paper by a quirky colleague years ago: "You Got the Gemein (I Got the Schaft)."

posted by spitbull at 4:14 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


can someone explain this 'RUN DNC' thing to me?

It's a take off on this. Run-D.M.C. is a hip hop band that a lot of people like
posted by jessamyn at 4:17 PM on September 7, 2012


Run DNC is a reference to Run DMC. The poster mimics the logo and has the 2 mc's and 1 dj (Clinton's obviously on the wheels of steel) who are calling out the sucker mc's in the RNC.
posted by honestcoyote at 4:18 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


This makes me feel stupid, but can someone explain this 'RUN DNC' thing to me?

It's tricky.
posted by Talez at 4:22 PM on September 7, 2012 [22 favorites]


Talez: "It's tricky."

Here we go.
posted by notsnot at 4:38 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's like that, and that's the way it is.
posted by Artw at 4:39 PM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Here we go.

You talk too much.
posted by Talez at 4:50 PM on September 7, 2012


This makes me feel stupid, but can someone explain this 'RUN DNC' thing to me? It seems like it's supposed to be clever in some way, but I don't get it.

Yeah, you know that rap band RUN DMC? Pals with Aerosmith? It's a take off on their logo.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:54 PM on September 7, 2012


klangklangston: "She said it was also impacted by the feeling that employees are no longer loyal to their jobs the same way, so training can just lead to those folks leaving for better jobs elsewhere. (To which I kinda sputtered, "Well, but big employers have shown absolutely zero loyalty to employees, so why should they expect to be treated with a consideration they're not giving, the myopic assholes?")"

As a Gen-Xer, the first time I remember being consciously aware of economics and politics was in 1979, when the Denver library system was laying off employees. My mom tried to explain to me how it was that my friend Mike's mother had lost her job. I had a hard time wrapping my 9-year-old brain around the idea that she'd been fired even though she hadn't done anything wrong.

Loyalty from one's employer? As far as I can tell, it was dying before I hit middle school. So as klang says, why the hell should employees give loyalty to the employer when doing so does nothing to change the odds of eventually being shown to the door carrying a file box of one's former cubicle decorations?
posted by Lexica at 4:58 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Careful now, that kind of thinking's one step removed from the dreaded "U" word that middle America's been trained to get all riled up about.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:02 PM on September 7, 2012


Careful now, that kind of thinking's one step removed from the dreaded "U" word that middle America's been trained to get all riled up about.

Unitarians?
posted by Talez at 5:13 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Unctuous. Anthony Bourdain just burned everyone out on that word.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:16 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


That I can, just off the top of my head, easily come up with 5 things/phrases that start with "U" that the Republican party has made "unAmerican" -- not including "unAmerican" -- says all you need to know about the current GOP.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:27 PM on September 7, 2012


Thanks, everyone! I'm just culturally-deficient and had never heard of RUN DMC.
posted by meese at 5:28 PM on September 7, 2012


I am jealous. You may want to start this way...
posted by jessamyn at 5:31 PM on September 7, 2012


Joe Lieberman is Steve Tyler.
posted by Artw at 5:38 PM on September 7, 2012


That's right on time.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:39 PM on September 7, 2012


RawStory: The American rock band R.E.M. on Thursday demanded that Fox News “cease and desist” using their song “Losing My Religion” during its coverage of the Democratic National Convention.

I'm too busy but I had been toying with the idea of doing a post on (Rock) Music to Campaign By because I almost feel sorry for the poor Republicans; the road to the White House is littered with cease and desist letters from rock musicians ordering GOP candidates to stop using their music or even mentioning their names. For example look at how Paul Ryan pissed off the band when he named Rage Against the Machine as a favorite group, because Ryan (and the GOP) stands for everything that RAtM is against. I think the GOP is stuck with country music and Kid Rock.

Plus I find it funny when somebody uses a song but pays no attention to the actual lyrics. Like when Rudy Giuliani campaigned with Rudie Can't Fail by The Clash. I don't think he understood the lyrics too well. Hint: Rudie or Rude Boy is Jamaican for gangster.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:21 PM on September 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


How is it that Romney and Ryan can use whoever's music they want to prop up their propaganda machine without asking, but you download a torrent of an mp3 of Strawberry Fields Forever, and risk getting hit with a $60,000 fine from the RIAA?
posted by crunchland at 6:35 PM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Because the event staff has cut a deal with ASCAP and BMI for performance rights.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:38 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


For better or worse Stavros, the US system is pretty much built on incremental change through policy shifts at least in the 20th and 21st century.

I'm not sure I'd support this premise. I'd argue the exact opposite, in fact: the US changes in rapid bursts that quickly flame out into the status quo. That goes back a hell of a lot farther than the New Deal. Just take a look at most of the amendments: they come clustered in small groups around a small time period, then long periods of no change at all. The progressive reforms basically went down inside of a decade, which is hardly incremental reforms. Same with the Reconstruction amendments. In the case of reconstruction specifically, the next 100 years saw an actual erosion of african american rights, which was a change that was not only not incremental, it was regressive. Oh, yeah, and the bill of rights, but that's just cheap point scoring.

The exceptions, like the 20th, 21st and 22nd are hardly structural changes at all, nor change generating, but rather a response to specific quirks or situations.

More to the point, the other reform movements that did not generate constitutional changes were still relatively quick events.

You could argue that things like the guilded age were "incremental" in that workers got their faces kicked in for decades before law enforcement roughed up a bunch of striking girls, and a bunch more burnt to a crisp. I would argue that there, abuses were ignored to the point that they exploded and had to be address by a series of structural changes.

I'd agree the system is designed to work slowly and work against itself, but for that very reason change does not come incrementally, but only when the entire system wears itself down to the point of collapse.
posted by absalom at 6:39 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Because the event staff has cut a deal with ASCAP and BMI for performance rights.

Actually the US has compulsory licences for public performance.
posted by Talez at 6:44 PM on September 7, 2012


I almost feel sorry for the poor Republicans; the road to the White House is littered with cease and desist letters from rock musicians ordering GOP candidates to stop using their music or even mentioning their names

Joe Walsh Tells Joe Walsh to Cease and Desist (complete letter):
We trust that you will promptly comply with this request so that we don’t have to go all Jackson Browne on you.
(This cease-and-desist letter was later plagiarized for a cease-and-desist letter by attorneys for Silversun Pickups.)
posted by kirkaracha at 7:23 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This cease-and-desist letter was later plagiarized for a cease-and-desist letter by attorneys for Silversun Pickups.

Lol. If you're going to plagiarize cease-and-desist letters, at least use the very best one.

I think the GOP is stuck with country music and Kid Rock.

And Ted Nugent! Won't anybody think of poor Ted Nugent?
posted by triggerfinger at 8:08 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Joe Lieberman is Steve Tyler.

No. That's not like Joe Lieberman at all. Jomentum is the cop who makes Steve Tyler beg him not to tase the black guys one studio over. Fuck that guy.

Joe Biden is Steve Tyler, who recognizes black people are real people and wants to sing a duet with them so hard, it makes his Trans-Am's screaming-chicken decal gleam. He's not gonna pretend to be black. He's just gonna sing like he always does, and let Rev. Run take the lead, because things are more awesome that way.

THE MAN DRIVES A PONTIAC FIREBIRD TRANS-AM. DEAL WITH IT.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:10 PM on September 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


58 days, less than two months and Romney hadn't moved the needle yet. Man... it's been a whole month+ since Reid baited him
posted by edgeways at 8:17 PM on September 7, 2012


Yeah... still feeling pretty good seeing the Dems stand tall like that. I've got a very conservative boss - one of those guys who thinks his political opinions are above reproach because nobody really argues back when he spouts off, never realizing that it's because he's the boss and he does this around employees. These past few days he's been getting as good as he gives, and getting it from many sides, and it's all kinds of fun. I like seeing a little spring in the step of typically quiet Dems, and I like seeing the loud ones quiet down when words have consequences.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:57 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]








My 80-year-old lifetime-Republican mother just confessed to me she's jumping ship and voting for Obama. In Virginia. I wonder if she's an anomaly, or if there is a quiet shift going on.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:30 AM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]




Local charities benefit from 8,000 pounds of food leftover from DNC’s canceled stadium event
Sixty-five thousand people may have been disappointed by the relocation of President Barack Obama’s Bank of America Stadium speech Thursday, but Charlotte’s homeless and hungry were celebrating in high style on Friday.

All the fancy catered food intended for the VIP suites and club rooms at the stadium – and perhaps even for the president himself – was redistributed Friday to local soup kitchens and shelters, via Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

On the menu: thousands of pounds of pecan-fried chicken, baked orzo, fresh crudités, three-bean bake, fresh-cut fruit and something called short rib cobbler.

And that’s only a partial list.

It had all been prepared in advance by chef Jon Morey and the kitchen staff of Delaware North Inc., the official food provider for the stadium. A dollar value for the food was not immediately available.

“It’s really a wonderful order,” said Kay Carter of Second Harvest, which got 7,500 pounds of the food.

“None of this food will go to waste. We contacted every shelter and soup kitchen in town and asked them how much refrigeration capacity they have and how many are they feeding. It will all be gone at the end of the day.”

Second Harvest has a history of redistributing fresh food at a moment’s notice, she said, including leftovers from major golf tournaments.

However, the Democratic National Convention’s gift is different, if only for the inclusion of enough popcorn for 70,000 people, popped and stuffed into bags. It will go to the community’s various children’s programs, including low-income day cares. “At least it doesn’t weigh a lot,” Carter said.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:50 AM on September 8, 2012 [12 favorites]


My 80-year-old lifetime-Republican mother just confessed to me she's jumping ship and voting for Obama. -- What made her change her mind?
posted by crunchland at 8:28 AM on September 8, 2012


What made her change her mind?

She's finally seeing the actual class warfare dynamic that I've urged her for years to pay attention to. I'm kinda proud of her.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:53 AM on September 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


The GOP convention negative bounce: a final look

As I stated before, the GOP convention was of no help to them in the Electoral College. Indeed, it appears that the race shifted towards President Obama by 6-15 EV, or about 1.0% of Popular Vote Meta-Margin. From an analytical perspective, a negative bounce is quite remarkable because all the talk in recent weeks has been of bounces being smaller or zero, but always in the hosting party’s favor...

...The natural question arises: why would the Republicans be hurt by their own convention? Two answers come to mind.

(1) The Ryan-VP bounce effectively used up whatever room there was for a bounce. This year, opinion seems to be fluctuating in a very narrow range: Obama up by 1.0-5.0%. Maybe there was no room for improvement.
(2) The GOP convention was not particularly inspiring. Indeed, the most notable event was Clint Eastwood’s empty-chair routine, which overshadowed Romney’s acceptance speech.

posted by madamjujujive at 11:23 AM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


She's finally seeing the actual class warfare dynamic that I've urged her for years to pay attention to. I'm kinda proud of her.

They're not stupid. They knew it was there the whole fucking time. Old people didn't give a shit that the Republicans were going after poor, minorities and gays because they were well cared for because they were the base. The republicans would promise to lower taxes, brutalize criminals and keep the money flowing to old people for their votes.

Now Republicans are trying to find where they can suck the wealth that's left. Non-security discretionary spending has already cut fat, cut muscle and they're at the bone. If they cut any more from there they'll be looking at a revolution. Time to go after that big chunk of mandatory spending. But the base will cause a fucking ruckus if the checks stop. Let's see if we can be vague and fleece them one last time, yes?

Remember the old Niemöller poem? Well we're now at "Then they came for me".

Born again democrats from the 55+ age group isn't altruism. It's their sense of self-survival kicking in.
posted by Talez at 11:37 AM on September 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Born again democrats from the 55+ age group isn't altruism. It's their sense of self-survival kicking in.

I certainly agree that that's part of it.

But, I also think my mom's generation was much more inculcated in the "my country right or wrong" attitude. They experienced social mobility, believed in it, and haven't been looking for representatives (or, at least, turning a blind eye to) to willfully steal that mobility out from under us.

I'm not cutting them any slack, mind you, but the country has significantly changed in ways that they don't entirely grok.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:46 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


So Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton get to speak, but not John Edwards? What gives?
posted by republican at 11:47 AM on September 8, 2012


The national daily trackers have all showed at movement towards Obama in the last 48 hours or so, i.e. at least two days (of the 5- or 7-day) worth of polling was done after Clinton's speech. In the head-to-head, Gallup has a 3-point swing, Rasmussen has a 5-point swing (3 of which was since yesterday morning), and we haven't seen the Reuters/Ipsos numbers for today, although yesterday they already had a 4-point swing. And the approval ratings show a 13-point swing for Obama in Gallup and 7-point swing in Rasmussen. Also, Tom Jensen at PPP says he saw good numbers for Obama in OH and NC in last night's polling, but will be doing Sat and Sun as well to see if they've got legs. Obviously, we won't know for a while how high it will go and whether or not this is a convention bounce rather than a trend, but it's a good start.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:50 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


It may be worth noting that 538's biggest spikes right now for election forecasting is at 332 (everything in 2008 bar Indiana and North Carolina) then another at 347 (everything in 2008 bar Indiana).
posted by Talez at 11:59 AM on September 8, 2012


Ha, republican, you are asking about why one guy was missing? I would have to ask the old "why behold you the speck that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?" question...

How Can We Trust Republicans With the Future When as Far as I Can Tell, the World Ended the Year Reagan Left Office?

"And finally New Rule, Republicans don't have to accept evolution, economics, climatology or human sexuality, but I just watched a week of their national convention, and I need them to admit the historical existence of George W. Bush.

If your party can run the nation for eight years and then have a national convention and not invite Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Karl Rove or Tom DeLay, you're not a political movement, you're the witness protection program.

In fact, Republicans, next time instead of holding a convention without your most recent president, your most recent vice-president, your most recent vice-presidential nominee and most of the runners up from your most recent primary, why not just wave one of those Men in Black memory eraser wands and say make us forget everything we know about you?"
posted by madamjujujive at 12:10 PM on September 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


Ignore/flag and move on. He's just trying to start a fight.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:17 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


True that, zombieflanders, but that clip is hilarious and worth viewing anyway.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:19 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan accidentally moved to the left of Obama on medical marijuanna, saying it should be a matter for the states. Then the campaign said he misspoke and that like Romney he thinks it should be illegal in all circumstances as a dangerous drug.
posted by humanfont at 12:26 PM on September 8, 2012


@madamjujujive: Bush 41 and 43 appeared by video. Jimmy Carter appeared by video at the DNC.

@zombieflanders : Do you flag everyone who points out hypocrisy? Or is it just that you like to shut down and censor opposing viewpoints?
posted by republican at 12:43 PM on September 8, 2012


Born again democrats from the 55+ age group isn't altruism. It's their sense of self-survival kicking in.

I am glad that you are qualifying that with "born again" because, lord, I get weary about the way my demographic gets painted on mefi. The older voter is so often portrayed as stupid and venal, people who only want their social security, the rest of the world be damned.

People in their 50s and 60s were on the front lines of civil rights, contraceptive rights, antiwar issues, and more. There's a great deal of altruism there - who wants to see backsliding for principles and issues that they fought for? Who wants to see kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, young colleagues and friends, inherit a worse world? (I don't even think that of my opponents, I just think they are wrong-headed in their beliefs.)

I was just going to sigh and let the point pass, but then I saw a great post on Balloon Juice that made me want to come back to post it: Eleven Little Words - I think it makes the point better than I could.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:10 PM on September 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Humanfront: Paul Ryan accidentally moved to the left of Obama on medical marijuanna, saying it should be a matter for the states. Then the campaign said he misspoke and that like Romney he thinks it should be illegal in all circumstances as a dangerous drug.


From what I'm reading and learning about the issue, we don't have medical marijuana out in the northeast (at least that I know of) it seems that was a sly, weasel-way for Ryan to suggest that he's pro-pot, but in truth it seems this medical marijuana scheme, is a way for the growth and distribution of it to be fully controlled, and become a fabulous waterfall of income, for big pharma, and indeed, never be legalized.

Not in the way alcohol was made legal after prohibition. And really big pharma gets all the fun doesn't it. Those bastards.
posted by Skygazer at 1:25 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


An observation, in retrospect, on Clinton's speech that has come to me: Watching Clinton at the DNC on Wednesday night was like watching a really great band who's studied and studied all the master blues-men, and sublimated it all, and incorporated it into their sound in a way so that when you hear them play your literally hearing the whole history of a genre played not by technicians, but by the true heirs of that sound.

IN other words watching CLinton, I felt like he was channeling every great progressive and forward facing great politician this country has ever had, in a way that sorta made the whole reality of this country and what it's tried to do become fully fully palpable. It's hard to describe, but I feel like watching that speech I could feel multiple politicians in America's history, with vanity and ego, so not perfect as a human by any means, but ultimately a fighter for mostly the middle class of the country, and Bill is the prodigy with the single mom that's a template for Obama, so he understands these things.

It was transcendent. It was like watching FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, LBJ, Lincoln, and Jefferson all in one. Clinton's truly grown as a person since he left office. His heart seems bigger and he's tougher and he's got NOTHING to lose. Sprinkle the idea that he gets back into the Fed gov on some level and damn, someone tell me if anyone could roll back the term limit on presidents it's not ole Bill himself? And I think there's a deal going on with BHO, and Hillary's gonna be made VP so she's in place for the 2016 election, and it would be great to have Bill as co-president of sorts in the background advising Hillary.

Anyhow, Bill Clinton really shut down the GOtP with an authority and vigor, I think Obama cannot because he's African-American, and I'm glad CLinton's on his side, and the middle classes side, he obviously knows and loves to play the knight in shining armor and the hero slaying dragons on the decrepit Right. There's very little as enjoyable as watching him devastate the GOP, even while he tells them how much he likes them...and it's nothing personal, as he sticks the knife blade deeper and deeper and twists it with that twinkle in his eye...

Kochs, Adelson whoever else is a septa or octogenarian with a billions to burn, it doesn't matter. ONe Bill CLinton is like a hundred of those guys. Maybe a thousand.

One last thing is how mesmerizing his hands were with those very long slightly trembling elegant fingers...like I said, it was like history being channeled, made neat, leveraged and in action up there...and being played like a violin by a master.
posted by Skygazer at 1:45 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Skygazer, Hilary is not going to be made VP. If she stays another term as SoS, which is rare because of how demanding the position is, then she won't run in 2016 either.

Most likely she will resign after the election, get a well deserved rest, and then start campaigning in 2015.
posted by Vysharra at 1:58 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


we don't have medical marijuana out in the northeast

Maine does (although the program is a mess). It passed in NH but was then veto'd and they came three votes shy of overriding the veto. It's on the ballot in November in MA.

Was Ryan in NH when he said this? I can't help but think he's not really for it - "letting the states decide" is another way for him to say "I'm not going to take a stand on what is clearly a close issue in your state."
posted by anastasiav at 2:11 PM on September 8, 2012


And I think there's a deal going on with BHO, and Hillary's gonna be made VP so she's in place for the 2016 election
Biden has already accepted the nomination. Are you suggesting that there's a deal going on where he's going to resign?
posted by Flunkie at 2:13 PM on September 8, 2012


And in any case: I'm so not a fan of dynastic politics, but if we have to have a president's spouse become president, I'd so prefer Michelle Obama to Hillary Clinton it's not even funny.
posted by Flunkie at 2:15 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I mean, Biden already accepted the VP nom. I like to think that, when Obama was making those kind of decisions, he offered her the VP or SoS (or, honestly, any position she wanted) and she chose SoS. Probably didn't happen that way, but oh well.
posted by troika at 2:17 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


(....it puts her in a great position for 2016, as it cancels out any assertions of lacking foreign policy experience)
posted by troika at 2:18 PM on September 8, 2012


Vysharra: Most likely she will resign after the election, get a well deserved rest, and then start campaigning in 2015.

I guess that sounds more reasonable. I just though having her be in place as the VP, let's say in 2015, might give her an advantage. Maybe not though.

anastasiav: Was Ryan in NH when he said this?

In Colorado.


Flunkie: Biden has already accepted the nomination. Are you suggesting that there's a deal going on where he's going to resign?

I don't know really. I've always thought that if things aren't going well before the run up to election day such a thing might be possible as an ace up the sleeve. It would REALLY get out the vote.

Perhaps, I'm imagining this but there seems to be a deal here that's happening some cabinet offer for Bill from Obama, and wouldn't it be a trip for Bill to take over for Hill as SoS, and Hill ramp up for the 2016 election

...Clinton giving Biden a nice shout out during his speech seemed to make me wonder as well...but perhaps there's small chance of that. I think Biden's one of the best foreign policy experts in the whole gov. and I think he's a really no bones straight up excellent guy. But he's team player...I guess I'm speculating here...
posted by Skygazer at 2:28 PM on September 8, 2012


So that means we could be looking at Clinton v. Ryan in 2016?
posted by crunchland at 2:29 PM on September 8, 2012


Nate Silver's been doing some quick number-crunching on Twitter, and with the Ipsos tracker showing a 6-point swing to Obama, he thinks that the Clinton (and presumably Obama) speech is responsible for a bounce of around 7 to 9 points in the polls done in the last two days. Again, this is likely temporary, but still not good news for Mr. Negative Bounce.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:29 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


In Romney land, horses are now people too. Just relating to the average women demographic, again because riding academies are where we go on Saturdays after the spa!
posted by madamjujujive at 2:33 PM on September 8, 2012


I've always thought that if things aren't going well before the run up to election day such a thing might be possible as an ace up the sleeve. It would REALLY get out the vote.
I think it would take something incredibly bad for a major party to dump its nominee -- the sitting Vice President of the United States no less -- so close to an election, and I furthermore think it would (rightly) be viewed as an absurd act of desperation. I sincerely doubt it would "REALLY get out the vote".
Perhaps, I'm imagining this but there seems to be a deal here that's happening some cabinet offer for Bill from Obama, and wouldn't it be a trip for Bill to take over for Hill as SoS, and Hill ramp up for the 2016 election
That's a mighty specific claim. I agree you might be imagining it, but do you have any evidence at all that there seems to be such a deal happening, other than your imagination?
posted by Flunkie at 3:01 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


IIRC the few times a VP switch has been made late in the game, it was a political and electoral disaster. It would take someone universally loved (we're talking 90%+ favorability) to even come close to looking good, and given today's extreme political polarization even then it is likely to be a very bad idea.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:04 PM on September 8, 2012


so she's in place for the 2016 election

This doesn't make much sense. It's not like a person is required to serve as VP before they can run for President. The VP also isn't terribly involved in policy and doesn't have clear responsibilities that would qualify them for the presidency over and above anyone else who wanted to run.

The only benefit to a Hilary 2016 campaign that would come from replacing Biden as VP would be so she'd have plenty of free time on her hands.
posted by Sara C. at 3:10 PM on September 8, 2012


it would be great to have Bill as co-president of sorts in the background advising Hillary

Um what
posted by Sara C. at 3:11 PM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


So Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton get to speak, but not John Edwards? What gives?

Same reason the last president (Bush), last V.P.) Cheney, (last Republican Presidential Candidate) McCain, and (last Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Palin) weren't even invited to attend the RNC.
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on September 8, 2012


So that means we could be looking at Clinton v. Ryan in 2016?

I predict a Clinton v. Bush in 2016.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:19 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The DNC in one picture.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:21 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Flunkie: but do you have any evidence at all that there seems to be such a deal happening, other than your imagination?

Not really, I mean there was a point in summer of 2008 when Obama and Hillary were neck and neck and then he was edging her out in delegates and it seemed like a bit of situation as to what Hillary was going to do with her sizable chunk of the delegates and Obama and Hillary had a much publicized but very secret meeting, and the news even showed the house where they were meeting and window, where they hammered out an agreement, and I've always tried to imagine what was said between the two at that point. How they spoke to one another and what agreement, if any, they did make. I mean, I'm pretty sure that's when Obama offered her the Sec. of State job, but again this is speculation, and I'm keen on Obama's memoirs at the end of this decade.

He's an excellent writer and they will be something, indeed, indeed...

Flunkie, Are you suggesting speculation or imaginative forays into what's talking place is something you don't think should take place here...
posted by Skygazer at 3:22 PM on September 8, 2012


Romney's Woman's ambassador sure doesn't want to talk about "women's" issues...

Nor does she want to talk about marriage equality. Her avoidance of talking about anything of substance mirrors her husband's.

More of her stonewalling regarding women's issues and marriage equality:
Anchor David Nelson: "Here in Iowa, as you know, same-sex marriage is legal. Do you believe a lesbian mother should be allowed to marry her partner?"

Ann Romney: "You know, I'm not going to talk about the specific issues. I'm going to let my husband speak on issues. I'm here to really just talk about my husband and what kind of husband and father he is and, you know, those are hot-button issues that distract from what the real voting issue is going to be at this election. That, it's going to be about the economy and jobs.

And, frankly, the President said four years ago that if he doesn't turn this economy around he's going to be looking at a one-term presidency. And I frankly believe that Mitt is the person that is so going to be focused on jobs and job creation and making sure that women's economic prosperity is more certain ...

Anchor David Nelson: "Do you believe that employer-provided health insurance should be required to cover birth control?"

Ann Romney: "Again, you're asking me questions that are not about what this election is going to be about. This election is going to be about the economy and jobs."

Anchor David Nelson: "Well, a Pew Research poll shows those issues are very important to women, ranking them either "important" or "very important."

Ann Romney: "You know, but I personally believe, and this is what I'm hearing from women all across the country that they are going to look for the guy that's going to pull them out of the weeds and get them job security and a brighter future for their children. That's the message.

Listen, I've been across this country, I've been for a year-and-a-half on the campaign trail. I've spoken with thousands of women and they are telling me, they're telling me a couple of things, one they say they're praying for me which is really wonderful, and then they're saying, ‘please help, please help. We are so worried about our jobs.' So really if you want to try to pull me off of the other messages it's not going to work because I know because I've been out there."

Anchor David Nelson: "Well, I don't want to pull you off any message. You just told a reporter who was questioning you in Cleveland that you want women to have a secure and stable future. I asked you about marriage and whether lesbian mothers should be allowed to marry. Isn't marriage a part of creating a stable future?"

Ann Romney: "You know, again, I'm going to talk to you about the economy and about job creation and about how my husband is the right person for the right time. This is going to be an election that is very important for women, and we are going to make sure that their economic prosperity is more certain under a President Romney."
posted by ericb at 3:23 PM on September 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I predict a Clinton v. Bush in 2016.

That's what I always thought, too, triggerfinger - but I don't know how the RNC is going to purge itself of the teabagger faction - he's way too liberal for them.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:23 PM on September 8, 2012


Sara C.: Um what


What, um what?? What is the what?
posted by Skygazer at 3:24 PM on September 8, 2012


Flunkie, Are you suggesting speculation or imaginative forays into what's talking place is something you don't think should take place here...
What? No. I'm suggesting that you claimed "there seems to be" a deal being made to dump the guy who has been VP for the past four years immediately after he just accepted the renomination. You didn't says "I speculate". You said "there seems to be". I asked if you had any evidence other than your own speculation.
posted by Flunkie at 3:25 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm hearing from women all across the country that they are going to look for the guy that's going to pull them out of the weeds and get them job security and a brighter future for their children.

Bullshit. Go home to your estate in Belmont ... or the one in La Jolla ... or the lakeside retreat in Wolfeboro ... or any of your other mansions and let the adults take care of the country!
posted by ericb at 3:26 PM on September 8, 2012


Flunkie: You said "there seems to be".

Oh, my bad. Wrong word and word combinations. Apologies.

Sometimes all this wordifying with the computer on the internets gets away from one...
posted by Skygazer at 3:27 PM on September 8, 2012


I don't know how the RNC is going to purge itself of the teabagger faction - he's way too liberal for them.
I think that they'll fall in line for whoever the nominee is, and will consider his policy positions to be sublime and supremely conservative no matter what they are, as soon as the primary is wrapped up. Then when they lose again, they'll go right back to complaining that the reason they lost is because they nominated a RINO.
posted by Flunkie at 3:28 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I predict a Clinton v. Bush in 2016.

America loves its dynasties. Maybe Caroline Kennedy could get in on the act as well?

That's what I always thought, too, triggerfinger - but I don't know how the RNC is going to purge itself of the teabagger faction - he's way too liberal for them.

Jeb Bush hates the Tea Party because they keep trying to deport his wife.
posted by Talez at 3:29 PM on September 8, 2012


What, um what?? What is the what?

It seems pretty gross that, in this day and age, and in reference to Hillary "BAMF" Clinton, no less, you're assuming that any woman POTUS would of necessity rely on the First Husband as a "co-president" of sorts. Or worse, that Clinton makes a good candidate mainly so as to be a sort of puppet for a backdoor Bill Clinton return to the presidency.

That you said that is fucked up on a number of levels that approaches infinity.
posted by Sara C. at 3:33 PM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


The DNC in one picture.

From madamjujujive's linked article/photo: "The still is from a video that stopped the convention in its tracks on Tuesday night."
posted by ericb at 3:34 PM on September 8, 2012


Same reason the last president (Bush), last V.P.) Cheney, (last Republican Presidential Candidate) McCain, and (last Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Palin) weren't even invited to attend the RNC.

McCain gave a talk on Wednesday.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 3:38 PM on September 8, 2012


Sara C.: It seems pretty gross that, in this day and age, and in reference to Hillary "BAMF" Clinton, no less, you're assuming that any woman POTUS would of necessity rely on the First Husband as a "co-president" of sorts.

It's you who's assuming that, not me.

I think Hillary would make a fantastic president, with or without Bill Clinton by her side.
posted by Skygazer at 3:48 PM on September 8, 2012


Skygazer, you wrote:

"it would be great to have Bill as co-president of sorts in the background advising Hillary"

What else could that possibly mean besides what it says?
posted by Sara C. at 3:51 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Skygazer: and it would be great to have Bill as co-president of sorts in the background advising Hillary.

Dude, you said it. Sara C was basically quoting you.
posted by troika at 3:52 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sara C: "it would be great to have Bill as co-president of sorts in the background advising Hillary"

What else could that possibly mean besides what it says?


You're assuming that statement is implying, she wouldn't make a great president without Bill Clinton.

That part in italics, is all you, not me.

Because, I can assure you, in the most profound and honest way that I can muster here, that's not AT ALL, something I was implying.

I'll say it again and leave it at that: I think Hillary Clinton would make a great and fabulous president. Period. Whatever Bill Clinton's status is while she's the president.
posted by Skygazer at 4:03 PM on September 8, 2012


Sara C., I agree with your sentiment in general, but Bill & Hillary are kind of a unique duo - in his first election, he spoke a lot about getting "two for the price of one" and she was definitely one of his big advisors. So while she could totally run things without him -- and I have no doubt about that -- I would still be happy to have there to watch her back, too. He's pretty savvy. So in fairness to Skygazer, I could have made a similar statement and not meant to be taking anything away from her. Nevertheless, I see how it can come across as patronizing.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:08 PM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


He could be her Secretary of Explaining Shit Stuff.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:19 PM on September 8, 2012


I think she's probably had a lifetimes worth of hearing him explain things.
posted by Artw at 4:25 PM on September 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


I mean there was a point in summer of 2008 when Obama and Hillary were neck and neck and then he was edging her out in delegates

Obama took a substantial lead in pledged delegates in February 2008 that Clinton never really closed. Except for brief periods of a couple of days in March and May, after February he also had a substantial advantage in the polls. By early March, the delegate math was working against her; she won states after that, but not by big enough margins to narrow Obama's lead in delegates. Clinton had a lead in pledged superdelegates until early May, but they started trending towards Obama in March.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:35 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hillary Clinton announced in February that she'll leave office if Obama wins a second term.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:43 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reacting to the conventions John McCain explained how he would have handled Iran and the the withdrawal from Iraq had he been elected President in an interview with the AP this past week.

Just in case you were wondering:

On Iraq
"I would have left a residual force of some 20,000 troops in Iraq," he said. "Things are unraveling" in a way that threatens to yield a "fractured state" divided among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish regions, under the sway of al-Qaida, and out of the U.S. orbit – "all the things we predicted would happen if we pulled out completely."

So we really dodge a bullet there. Imagine how much more of a mess we'd be in with 20k American troops stuck there. We be hearing him demand another surge.
posted by humanfont at 4:47 PM on September 8, 2012


Sorry. I guess, in a lot of ways, I'm still reeling a little bit from the 2008 primary season, when there were basically two reasons that people were giving me for being on Team Hillary:

A) Hillary is a woman, it would be good to have a female president, therefore vote for Hillary

and

B) stuff that ultimately reduced to the literally patriarchal arguments, many of which smelled a lot like Skygazer's point which I quoted.

The main reason I didn't vote for Hillary then and would feel vaguely icky about voting for her in 2016 is the dynastic/two-for-the-price-of-one stuff. I'd like to think we could elect a female president without hanging it all on her husband being around to do the heavy lifting.
posted by Sara C. at 4:51 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ezra K: Are you better off without dumb campaign questions?
"So perhaps a better question would be, “Are you better off than you were three years and eight months ago?” That brings us back to the beginning of February 2009, the first full month of Barack Obama’s presidency. Since then, the economy has experienced a net loss of about 316,000 jobs, or -8,000 jobs a month. Real weekly wages are up by 0.6 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen 74 percent.

Yet it’s a little odd to blame Obama for the first few months of his presidency. After all, he entered office amid a convulsive economic downturn. Blaming him for, say, the 724,000 nonfarm jobs lost in February 2009 is like blaming firefighters for the damage done by a blaze while they’re getting out of their truck.

Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, agrees. “We ought to give whichever president is going to be elected at least six months or a year to get those policies in place,” he told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow in July. So let’s extend one year to Obama for his policies to take effect. Now the clock begins at the start of February 2010. Since then, the economy has added, on net, about 4 million jobs, an average of 132,000 jobs a month. Real weekly wages have risen by 1.5 percent. The S&P 500 has risen 34 percent. Overall, that’s a better record."
posted by peacay at 4:57 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


The main reason I didn't vote for Hillary then and would feel vaguely icky about voting for her in 2016 is the dynastic/two-for-the-price-of-one stuff. I'd like to think we could elect a female president without hanging it all on her husband being around to do the heavy lifting.

I think after her stint as Secretary of State, which has been very highly regarded, i don't think there's any question of her being fit for a run at the Presidency on her own merits.
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:59 PM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't see that much wrong with what Sara C. said. I mean, Hillary was as much Bill's "co-president" back in the '90s, re:"Hillarycare", having her own West Wing offices, vetting (and often naming) appointees, etc. That doesn't detract from his presidency or imply he couldn't do it without her, just that she was a valuable part of his administration -- and vice-versa, if roles were reversed. Their mutual political savvy is a big part of what makes them so formidable, and I have a hard time seeing that go away if she were to be elected president, especially after this last week.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:03 PM on September 8, 2012


Billyfleetwood - Oh, I fully agree. If she's the Dem nominee in 2016 I will vote for her, and when she wins I will be proud.

But there will be a teensy part of me that feels weird about it, for the above reason.
posted by Sara C. at 5:13 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


B) stuff that ultimately reduced to the literally patriarchal arguments, many of which smelled a lot like Skygazer's point which I quoted.

What sort of comment is that?

Any "smell" you got from what I wrote was coming strictly from you and your misinterpretation of it. And inability to read with full comprehension or a sense of fairness, before you condemned me to "an infinity of fucked-upness"?

Why not be a big girl and not take passive aggressive shots like that at this point and admit you misread it??
posted by Skygazer at 5:33 PM on September 8, 2012


The main reason I didn't vote for Hillary then and would feel vaguely icky about voting for her in 2016 is the dynastic/two-for-the-price-of-one stuff.

You certainly aren't alone in that, Sara C. I'm of two minds about it. Sure I'm all lovely dovey about Bill after his speech the other night (it was a thing of beauty) but I was less enamored while he was in office. But every year of the Bush presidency made me appreciate him more. And I love Hillary, always have. I usually look at it as the way Rhaomi described -- but the dynasty duo aspect can get to me, too. There's something to be said for fresh air.

That being said, I was leaning to Hillary early on last time -- tho it was a tossup. I liked Obama better but felt she was more experienced, particularly in dealing with the wingers. I didn't always like how she ran her campaign, but I was appalled and totally dispirited at the sexism she faced. I stopped participating in any Obama-Hillary discussions here for awhile because they were making me too angry at some members I otherwise liked.

I imagine that when the first woman is elected president, it will be something like Obama's election: all the haters will crawl out from under rocks and the intensity of the hate will be fierce, as it has been for him. I was on such a total high when he was elected - I honestly did not think this country would elect a black man to the presidency in my lifetime - it was total elation when my fellow citizens exceeded my expectations since they so rarely do. But after the short-lived honeymoon, it was like the reopening of a very ugly festering wound -- revealing an oozing depth of hate that I foolishly thought we had largely put behind us.

Still, it's progress. For women, for minorities, for lgbt, the needle has moved so much over my life. Not fast enough, not as much as it should have ... but progress.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:34 PM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why not be a big girl and not take

OK, you are losing me here.

"Be a big girl"?

I think you need to just stop now, Skygazer - take a break and walk away from it because while you may not have had any offensive intent before, it sounds like fighting words now.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:38 PM on September 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's not that I don't like Bill. I do. I always did. The morning after he won the '92 election, I wore a homemade Clinton/Gore button to school. And that was junior high, so that shit was serious. I thought the Lewinsky shit and impeachment was ridiculous. I remember being relieved when he was reelected, and I also remember being a senior in high school towards the end of his administration, at the height of the dotcom era, and sort of basking in the amazing amazingness that Clinton had brought about despite so much right-wing sabotage, all in my own formative years. It felt really special, growing up in the Clinton era.

But I still hate the idea that the first female POTUS is the wife of a still-living former President, and that, for a lot of supposedly liberal and enlightened people, the main reason she's worth voting for is because he'll be there, waiting in the wings as, to quote Skygazer, "co-president".

I don't want a female President who needs a co-president. I know Hillary can do the job under her own steam, but I also know that a lot of people are not going to see it that way, regardless.
posted by Sara C. at 5:41 PM on September 8, 2012


That's what I always thought, too, triggerfinger - but I don't know how the RNC is going to purge itself of the teabagger faction - he's way too liberal for them.

I have to think that the teabagger faction is coming close to its tipping point. They are doubling down on the extreme positions to the point where they're alienating pretty much everyone except the frothing at the mouth base, which isn't enough to win them elections.

I hope so anyway.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:45 PM on September 8, 2012


It certainly won't be this election, and probably not 2014. I do get the sense that, if they lose the WH and/or one or both chambers of Congress in this election and the next, there might be a backlash from moderates and Rove-type GOP strategists. Then again, judging by people like Frum and Sullivan, they might have already given up and become Democrats by then.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:55 PM on September 8, 2012


Madamejujujive: it sounds like fighting words now.

Sara C. Wrote: That you said that is fucked up on a number of levels that approaches infinity.

And then she wrote: B) stuff that ultimately reduced to the literally patriarchal arguments, many of which smelled a lot like Skygazer's point which I quoted.

I'd say those are some underhanded and immature fighting words. Not to mention a cheap shot.

I've explained patiently how she's misinterpreted and misread and was pretty unfair in her reading, of what I wrote.

It's understood by many political junkies how much of a team Hillary and Bill are and how much she contributed to his presidency, indeed as somewhat of a "co-president" and I would think the same dynamic would apply if she became president. That's the truth and the fact of it, and even as mentioned above Bill and Hillary have even alluded to it in ways, and as RHoami linked: It's accepted history that they're a team.

I am certainly, not the first to observe (and not for any of the lowly and base and gross reason Sara is suggesting) that having Hillary be president would be a somewhat of a two-for-one dynamic that would make Hillary extremely deft and savvy and able to jump in from day one knowing how to go about getting things done.
posted by Skygazer at 5:56 PM on September 8, 2012


A Democratic win in 2016 would definitely lend support to the idea of the teabaggers as the death of the Republican Party.

The last time there were three POTUS wins for the same party in a row was Reagan followed by Bush I, which will be ancient history by 2016.

The last time there were three Democratic wins in a row was before the Southern Strategy and evolution of the modern political climate (i.e. the parties as "liberal" and "conservative" proxies).
posted by Sara C. at 5:57 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


It looks to me like Obama has been running ~7-9 points ahead of Romney since the Clinton speech to have gained ground so quickly.
-- Nate Silver
posted by chrchr at 7:05 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Joe is not going to be dropped as VP for Hillary at the last minute. Hillary is not running for president in 2016. Where do you guys get these ideas? It's like you dream of writing writing pulp political fiction and are using this forum as practice. Are you the same kind of folks that thought Rick Perry was a viable GOP candidate? Or worse, did you actually worry about Michelle Bachmann possibly winning the GOP nom?
posted by effwerd at 7:21 PM on September 8, 2012


effwerd, it was reported by MSNBC during the convention that Clinton fundraisers have been told she is planning a run in 2016. That's not official, and it certainly doesn't commit her to running, but it seems she is at least considering it and wants to be able to raise money. Since she's already announced her intention to step down at the end of Obama's first (please, first) term, she'll have some time to rest up and raise money to hit the ground running in 2014 if that's what she wants to do.

Anything can happen between now and then, obviously, but I would not completely rule it out.
posted by ambrosia at 7:30 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


[ Please back off the personal sniping, please. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 7:37 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would.
posted by effwerd at 7:47 PM on September 8, 2012


She'd be close to 70 next election, which would put her at the far edge age wise. Not Imoossible, but certainly a factor.

Gotta be honest though I'm hoping for a generational change. Not to say I wouldn't vote for her, I think the SOS job was good for her, credentials wise I am at least a
little kinder disposed towards her currently because her on the job experience.

Bill got elected not as a ''team'' despite having her advice, and she should not be elected because she would bring Bill back to the WH.
posted by edgeways at 7:48 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


She'd be Reagan's age when he assumed office. Youth is good sometimes. Not always.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:53 PM on September 8, 2012


Her age is actually the only thing that makes me wonder if she'll run again. BUT, I think a 70 year old woman is "younger" (so to speak) than a 70 year old man. Also, I think of the ages of some of the Supreme Court Justices (Ginsburg, 79; Scalia, 76; Kennedy, 76) and none of them show any sign of slowing down. Ginsburg in particular could have easily retired during this term and not left the appointment of her successor such a nerve-wracking unknown during this election cycle. If a person is in otherwise decent health, I don't think 70 is such a big deal anymore.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:58 PM on September 8, 2012


Age is probably going to prevent her from being the front runner in 2016. It's not impossible but it will almost certainly raise question marks in terms of fitness to serve.

From an electoral standpoint I think they are probably going to want to nominate a White Female (which should cut into the Republican lead with white voters) or a Latino of either gender (which would really help solidify the Democrat lead with Latino voters especially if the Republicans nominate Rubio). I think if we nominate a white guy we'd need to definitely balance it with a female or a minority VP.

I think Republicans will probably coalesce around Jeb Bush as the compromise candidate. Rubio is a distinct possibility but I don't think he's ready for prime time. Christie just has way too negatives to actually make it through the primaries. Perry showed that he just doesn't have what it takes. Everyone else is pretty much a clown.
posted by vuron at 8:26 PM on September 8, 2012


Tim Pawlenty? He's boring, but he's likeable enough and doesn't appear to have any glaring issues (though if the tea party bizarro world continues to be a strong force, those things will count against him).

Also, I don't think there's been a FPP about it but for anyone who hasn't seen it this recent New Yorker article about the relationship between Obama and Bill Clinton is really interesting.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:37 PM on September 8, 2012


I think if Pawlenty had a chance this was his year. He didn't even rate a Veep nomination. I think effectively he's done.

They could conceivably nominate someone that isn't really on the radar currently like a David Petreus but I think they've given up their heart and soul to the Tea Party and will try to ride that pony for at least one more election cycle.
posted by vuron at 8:44 PM on September 8, 2012


Interesting to note that the GOP convention was so poorly received, most of Obama's current "bounce" is hangover from that, undecided voters are listening to Mitt and Ryan and walking away in droves... the President's larger post-convention bounce is building, and into a landslide.

If Obama wins, it's probably the death knell for Big Money politics - it's a huge investment that has an unpredictable, or worse, negative payoff. Bad business.

The payback for Bill's speech is that Obama has to make one just like it in four years for Hillary. Since the Republican "establishment" always backs last election cycle's also-ran, that means she's up against Santorum.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:46 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


If Obama wins, it's probably the death knell for Big Money politics - it's a huge investment that has an unpredictable, or worse, negative payoff. Bad business.

That's a cheering thought that hadn't occurred to me. But they might just pump money into buying states and judges - that seems to be working.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:51 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Obama wins, it's probably the death knell for Big Money politics

ohpleaseohpleaseohplease
posted by rtha at 8:52 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I kind of think of Santorum as a less-reasonable Paul Ryan. If people turn away from Ryan, I'd be surprised if they rallied behind Rick again.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:52 PM on September 8, 2012




The recent Obama bounce is very encouraging, but it remains to be seen how long it will last. After officially winning the Republican nomination, Romney has gained access to much larger sums of general election cash, and is just now starting to pour that money into torrents of localized advertising in multiple swing states. And I have a feeling the various SuperPACs are holding back until later in the game, a sort of artificial October Surprise.

The race has been steady for so long, we forget how swingy it can get. FiveThirtyEight's archives projected Obama with a 2-in-3 chance of winning on August 7th, McCain winning every swing state and the election on September 12th, and Obama back on top with leads or near-leads in Missouri and West Virginia and a 95.8% chance of winning the general a bare month later.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:22 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]




Joe Walsh: “Think about this, a 31-32 year old law student who has been a student for life, who gets up there in front of a national audience and tells the American people, ‘I want America to pay for my contraceptives.’ You’re kidding me. Go get a job. Go get a job Sandra Fluke.”

Wait... So did we get single payer while I wasn't looking?
posted by brundlefly at 10:12 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh, Joe Walsh. I can't wait to see that odious deadbeat dad's 15 minutes of fame expire. Help expedite that - consider sending a few dollars to his opponent Tammy Duckworth - she's a double amputee Iraqi vet and he denigrates her. She told her story at the DNC. Can't wait to see you in the job line, Joe, you asshat.

He and looney tunes Allen West are two of house members at the top of my send-them-packing wishlist.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:19 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Kansas non-Presidential primaries were held about a month ago. Teabaggers were gunning to completely take over the state by removing any and all of the fiscally responsible (read: anyone still willing to tax the wealthy) "moderate" Republicans left in the legislature. The Koch Brothers, their Americans for Prosperity PAC, and other related groups stepped into the fray.

For my very rural district's state senate race, I would receive a four-color heavy stock mailing every other day for a month, touting the conservative virtues of the Koch's pet idiot. While the spending for this mailing was probably huge compared to the costs of normal state senate campaigning, it was smaller than peanuts compared to what would need to be spent in any sort of national campaign.

Long story short, this bought-and-paid-for teabagger won the race against the moderate by over twenty points. Multiply this race by about 30 or 40, and the Koch's managed to buy the Kansas state legislature for probably not much more than a couple of million. They already own Governor Brownback and eliminated state taxes on the wealthy, so their mission here is now complete.

This is the future of unlimited campaign financing. Obama will probably trump the flood of negative ads (furiously knocking on wood for this to happen), but the podunk districts in the pissant states like Kansas are ripe for the plucking and, here's the bonus, no one will really notice or care until the teabaggers force the states into bankruptcy. Perhaps Democrats and sane Republicans will somehow get elected to clean up the mess, but it will probably be too late to salvage anything.


(Just to rant a little more because this shit makes me insanely angry, I have no fucking clue what the end game of the Koch brothers consists of. Their politicians in Kansas have savaged the state tax system to such an extent that the state will probably be 2.5 billion in debt by 2018, and since the educational budget is over 60% of the budget, this will end up gutting the educational system in an already struggling state. And rural areas, which are already in decline and are very dependent on money from Topeka and Washington, will find themselves completely devastated without the money to keep the local schools open or even to keep the roads paved. It's positively apocalyptic and I have no bloody idea what the Koch's or any fucking inbred conservative can hope to gain from this obviously brilliant and cunning plan.)
posted by honestcoyote at 10:49 PM on September 8, 2012 [18 favorites]


Three’s A Trend: Polls Show Voters Believe GOP Intentionally Stalling Economic Recovery

Uh, that was in November 2011.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:05 PM on September 8, 2012


Honestcoyote: It's positively apocalyptic and I have no bloody idea what the Koch's or any fucking inbred conservative can hope to gain from this obviously brilliant and cunning plan.

Judging from ALEC white papers I think in a nutshell the endgame is the complete replacement of all state-run services with private contractors. Along with the selling off of vast tracts of state lands and parks for mining, forestry, oil drilling and development.

I think on a national level that would include the replacement of Federal agencies with private contractors as well and an unprecedented selling off of vast areas under federal protection for those things I itemized above. The Koch's will not only be able to purchase much of that land for a song, but they'll have the cheap desperate labor pool that they seek from the gutting of the middle class that privatizing state and Federal agencies will bring with it.

That's what I see. A sort of medieval Neofeudalism. The Kochs could break a trillion in net worth. They'd be absolutely unstoppable at that point. A second dark ages, to rival the first...
posted by Skygazer at 12:12 AM on September 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


He and looney tunes Allen West are two of house members at the top of my send-them-packing wishlist.

But West is the modern-day Harriet Tubman, not to mention part of the Romney For President Black Leadership Council and a supporter of Chick-Fil-A. What greater example of leadership could you ask for?
posted by homunculus at 1:20 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Three’s A Trend: Polls Show Voters Believe GOP Intentionally Stalling Economic Recovery"
Uh, that was in November 2011.


oopsie - sorry about that! I saw it in my twitter feed and took it as pre-election polling since that issue is coming up. I should be more careful!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:29 AM on September 9, 2012


honestcoyote, your story is so frightening. We all have to be more involved in the mid-term and statewide elections. Some of the state results have been devastating. Count me among those who have voiced disappointment about Obama not moving far enough on some key issues, but in fairness to the man, his supporters did not get out there for him in 2010, making his job that much harder.

Take Down the Tea Party Ten in 2012
"The CREDO SuperPAC is a political committee working to defeat ten of the most odious Tea Party members of Congress. Most super PACs are vehicles for big corporations or wealthy right-wing activists to make unlimited contributions to pay for expensive attack ads to help elect Republican politicians. The CREDO SuperPAC is primarily funded by thousands of small-dollar contributions to fund an unprecedented volunteer grassroots effort to take down Tea Party incumbents in Congress."
posted by madamjujujive at 5:04 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


2012 Outside Spending, by Super PACs
posted by crunchland at 5:42 AM on September 9, 2012


So Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton get to speak, but not John Edwards? What gives?
posted by republican


Ironic that you set yourself up as a caller-out of hypocrisy. Actually, it makes your comments eponysterical.

The GOP's most recent VP candidate wasn't invited to Tampa. Neither did we hear from any of the current schmuck's primary clown car of challengers -- imagine what would have happened if Herman Cain had spoken? How about John Hagee or perhaps, for the value of the comparison to Edwards, John Ensign?

Y'all are so consumed with bitterness that you don't even hear yourselves talk.
posted by spitbull at 7:02 AM on September 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


the current schmuck's primary clown car of challengers -- fact check: Republican primary challengers Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich all spoke at the RNC'12. There was also a video presentation that included George W. Bush
posted by crunchland at 7:29 AM on September 9, 2012


And Rasmussen gives him a further net +2 (it's now 49-45 compared to 44-47 before Clinton's speech), while a couple Romney advisers quietly freak out to Politico:
The Romney campaign, while pleasantly surprised by Obama’s lackluster prime-time performance, said the post-convention bounce they hoped for fell well short of expectations and privately lament that state-by-state polling numbers — most glaringly in Ohio — are working in the president’s favor.

“Their map has many more routes to victory,” said a top Republican official. Two officials intimately involved in the GOP campaign said Ohio leans clearly in Obama’s favor now, with a high single-digit edge, based on their internal tracking numbers of conservative groups.
Sounds like they're seeing the same numbers as PPP, who described their state polls (including OH and NC) as "looking like" 2008. I'm nervous that this is still volatile and temporary, but if the jobs report hasn't slowed anything down yet, that's promising.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:33 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pawlenty got out of the clown car in time. Gingrich and his freaky wife did the GOP no favors with their bizarre televangelist act, and Santorum is proven electoral poison but brings a segment of the wacko base Mitt needs. So yeah, they spoke in low viewership slots. But no Bachmann, Cain, Perry, or Trump, each of whom repels centrist voters.
posted by spitbull at 7:38 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Newt: Clinton’s DNC Speech Could Be Seen As ‘Condemnation’ Of Obama : "Think about it," Gingrich said on CNN's "State of the Union," summing up how he interpreted Clinton's message: "I had the longest period of economic growth in economic history; you didn't, Mr. Obama. I got to four balanced budgets by working with Republicans; you didn't, Mr. Obama. You can take his speech, spin it not very much, and it's actually a condemnation of the fact that Obama learned nothing ... out of the 2010 election."

Romney seeks to use Clinton against Obama : Upset over Obama campaign tactics in '08, Clinton said then: "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen." In the ad, an announcer says: "He's a good soldier -- helping his party's president. But what did Bill Clinton say about Barack Obama in 2008?"
posted by crunchland at 8:55 AM on September 9, 2012


Ann Romney continues to win hearts and minds
Ann Romney pushed back Sunday against detractors whom she said have called her husband “heartless,” emphasizing that she and Mitt Romney have struggled, even if not financially.

“Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives,” Ann Romney said in an interview with Mitt Romney that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “But I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle. And our struggles have not been financial, but they’ve been with health and with difficulties in different things in life.”
Well, good thing this election's not a referendum on the economy or anything like that.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:04 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney seeks to use Clinton against Obama

Because it's not like Clinton is actively stumping for Obama or anything. I eagerly await the smackdown/rebuttal.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:13 AM on September 9, 2012


chrchr: "It looks to me like Obama has been running ~7-9 points ahead of Romney since the Clinton speech to have gained ground so quickly.
-- Nate Silver
"

But Jimmy Carter was beating Reagan in September 1980!
posted by octothorpe at 9:34 AM on September 9, 2012


If you gotta go 32 years to find some way of feeling good about the election things are a bit dire.

FWIW Romney is starting continuing to twist in the wind saying "I'll keep the good parts of Obamacare". Many in the conservative Blogopsphere predictably freak out.

I'm kind of looking forward to the debates, there is so much red meat lying around for Obama to choice to attack Romney from it'd be nigh on impossible for Mittens to prepare effectively. And Romney still hasn't convinced the conservatives he is "one of them".
posted by edgeways at 10:09 AM on September 9, 2012


Oh and for that whole "But Jimmy Carter was beating Reagan in September 1980!" to be even close to effective not only to you have to accept Obama is as weak as Carter in campaigning (I love Carter BTW), but that Romney is as Telegenic as Reagan. I guess... from a blind partisan POV the Republicans can believe in the Obama/Carter similarity, but damn no one, and I mean NO ONE on dog's green earth would breath Romney and Reagan as being anything alike personality wise. That is some epic grasping at straws right there.
posted by edgeways at 10:13 AM on September 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not just that, but note that Carter was comfortably ahead until November, where there was an 11-point swing all of the sudden. If Iran hadn't announced in October that they weren't going to release the embassy hostages without huge concessions, Carter may very well have been re-elected. He also went through a bruising primary attempt from Kennedy and the disaster that was Operation Tiger Claw (which was likely responsible for the Iranian hard-line negotiations).
posted by zombieflanders at 10:33 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


And the Republicans don't have a former CIA chief/running mate to make trips to Iran (or any other sudden hot spot) this time.
posted by edgeways at 10:50 AM on September 9, 2012


The Romney folks are back to this Reagan myth again. It is just another lie
posted by humanfont at 10:54 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney: Voters can look to 'principles' for sense of how he'd govern.

Translation: Trust me even though I won't campaign on anything of substance.

Unbelievable!
posted by ericb at 11:06 AM on September 9, 2012


Romney, Ryan Can't Say Which Tax Loopholes They'd Plug.

This is my surprised face!
posted by ericb at 11:08 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which kernel's principals is he referring to? With all the upgrades one hardly knows which script to read from any more.
posted by edgeways at 11:09 AM on September 9, 2012


Romney Advisers: We're Losing -- "Their [The Democrats] map has many more routes to victory,”
posted by ericb at 11:11 AM on September 9, 2012


Mitt Romney: “Oh, I was laughing at Clint Eastwood. Look, to have him get up and speak on my behalf was … a great thrill.”
posted by ericb at 11:12 AM on September 9, 2012


Well at least he got something other then a huge mess o cash out of the experience of running for Perez.
posted by edgeways at 11:14 AM on September 9, 2012




Fascinating article, triggerfinger, thanks for linking it (though the cartoon on the second page has me completely lost).
posted by newpotato at 11:46 AM on September 9, 2012


AP : Does racial bias fuel Obama foes? How to tell?

Holy shit, an exception to Betteridge's Law of of Headlines! This changes everything!
posted by entropicamericana at 12:19 PM on September 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


crunchland: The video linked to in that article is really disturbing.
posted by bardophile at 2:26 PM on September 9, 2012


Fox News website has a poll : Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago? (link obscured to avoid giving foxnews.com the hits.) (via reddit)
posted by crunchland at 3:13 PM on September 9, 2012


Obama Gets a Lift on the Trail
posted by homunculus at 5:15 PM on September 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's a follow-up pic, too. Looks like everyone's having a grand old time.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:51 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney probably has people lift him in his throne all the time and is wondering WTF the fuss is about.
posted by Artw at 7:13 PM on September 9, 2012


Romney has a Designated Chair Holder.
posted by homunculus at 7:16 PM on September 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Joe Biden Isn’t Finished

Interesting article on Biden and his relationships with Obama, Romney, and Ryan.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:18 PM on September 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama just cracked 80% on 538's forecast.
posted by Flunkie at 8:42 PM on September 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is the best image of the vice-president campaigning so far, and maybe the best image of the campaign period. Definitely upstages his boss's encounter with the affectionate giant.

After his term is done, I'm hoping Biden sells the Trans-Am, buys a Harley, and hits the road for some well-deserved mayhem.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:47 PM on September 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


The photo of him in the New York mag article in front of the Dairy Queen menu is good too, especially since it's placed after the paragraph that compares him to the attractive yet empty calories of Paul Ryan's politics.
posted by peeedro at 8:58 PM on September 9, 2012


For those expecting great things from the debate, you should definitely read the well-reported Fallows piece, Slugfest, which puts it all in more likely/historical/evidenced perspective. Challengers are given an advantage in these things.

It was interesting to note from over the w/end (via Think Progress maybe .. can't quite recall) that Romney and Ryan are getting apart on messaging vis a vis the sequester (good luck to them trying to blame dems/white house on that) and Romney has gone way waaaay off reservation endorsing some of the popular parts of the Affordable Care Act (which was subsequently and softly walked back by his handlers when talking to a conservative media outlet). Romney's also saying that rich people won't get a tax break coz of tax policy loophole changes. But, as Bill says, the arithmetic won't save them on that. It's a fantasy. They just can't keep juggling so many lies and not come asunder in my view. Obama is winning on the integrity of his first term and a convention bounce; but I think there's a modest chance of a landslide if the republican leadership policy anomalies can be brought into focus for the majority of the electorate. They're fucking craaaaazy man. At any other time, with any other candidate, the republican presidential challenger ought to be up by 10+ points on the back of the economy.
posted by peacay at 10:33 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ooop....SLUGFEST.
posted by peacay at 10:34 PM on September 9, 2012


Yo, it's a '67 Corvette, not a TransAm.

/car enthusiast pedantry
posted by bardophile at 11:34 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is Biden's Trans Am. I have no idea what Biden drives in real life but cross-referencing this real life picture with the fictional Biden of the Onion was quite irresistible.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:49 PM on September 9, 2012


"real life picture" as in the Sunday photograph of Biden with bikers.

Always nice (and sometimes terrifying) to see reality and the Onion briefly merge.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:56 PM on September 9, 2012


Yeah, the Onion piece was joke based on the reality that Biden drives a 1967 Corvette. From that nymag article: (Biden’s only gripe [about the Onion piece] was that they got the car wrong: He owns a 1967 Corvette, which the Secret Service won’t let him drive.)

I am greatly amused by the whole thing. i.e. 1) He owns a 1967 Corvette, 2) it would be totally in character for him to wash it in the White House driveway, shirtless, 3) it is even more in character that the thing that bugs him about the Onion piece is that they got the car wrong. Yes, I am easily amused.
posted by bardophile at 2:42 AM on September 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


gah, typo. "was a joke" of course.
posted by bardophile at 2:42 AM on September 10, 2012


1967 was the last year for the second-generation, mid-60's Sting Ray body style. YMMV, but these are totally my favorite Corvettes. (Here's a Biden Car & Driver interview I found while looking for a picture of his car.)
posted by box at 5:00 AM on September 10, 2012


peacay, I was contemplating 538's long term trend lines last night and thinking there well might be an outside chance of Obama pulling off a EV landslide. In reality, yeah the chances are pretty damn small, but Romney is in a big hole right now, I think the O camp did a very good job pre convention in framing Romney within a narrow box, which R&R have done a crap job in countering and have made worse for themselves. I can understand how challengers would have an innate advantage in a debate, because of the ooh new, factor. I suspect that is going to be somewhat blunted because of how not new Romney is actually. We'll see, but I still think Romney gets wiped.
posted by edgeways at 5:06 AM on September 10, 2012


and it looks like NC is likely moving into the toss up category post convention, having the convention there may have been a good idea.
posted by edgeways at 5:21 AM on September 10, 2012


Not to dampen your enthusiasm edgeways, but remember that this is a convention bounce. It may end today, or a week from today, or maybe not until October. There is a chance it will last until Election Day, but it's not likely. If it does fade, will it subside to pre-convention levels (~1-2% Obama lead), or will it have widened the race a little? And there's a number of factors that could throw the race into a new direction: unusually good (or bad) financial or employment numbers, a major international event (think Israel unilaterally attacking Iran), one or more of the four candidates saying something completely awful, etc.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:10 AM on September 10, 2012


In a lighter note, apparently the story behind the Biden pic honestcoyote linked to is that they were trying to recreate a scene from Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:19 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, absolutely, I recognize all of that, 56 days to go and all of that. But a lot of the "are they playing rope a dope" wondering I've had in the back of my head about Romney's campaign is slowly being replaced by, no they are just that bad at it. While a major gaffe is always a potential lurker, at this point I think R&R have the edge on committing it, Biden is always a possibility but hell when The Candidate manages to not only flip, but flop the very next day on Health care, and The Wing Man is flat out denying he voted they way he did (shades of I was for it before I was against it Batman), and that is all a matter of course. Add to it the whole campaign is unable to explain their grand budget plan, and these are what the MSM is reporting... cripes.

We are 3 weeks away from the first debate, and they come pretty hot and heavy after that.

Yeah, things can turn on a dime, but right at this moment I am pretty optimistic. I just don't think Romney is all that good at this game. It takes him too long to learn the ropes, he finally managed to conquer the Primary (with weak contenders) because he could just outspend them 20:1 and even then the American-Taliban candidate gave him a little run. Now he has one shot at the big prize and he is just not adequately programmed for it and he doesn't get to come back in 4 years and try again. (well technically he does but I'll bet me next paycheck he wouldn't win 5 primaries after losing the presidential race in 2012)
posted by edgeways at 6:26 AM on September 10, 2012


I think the Super Pacs supporting Romney will go on about 2 weeks to see if they can move the dial back towards Romney before a narrative of Obama's re-election being pretty much inevitable begins to set in. After that point I think the Koch's and Adelson will begin to look more at the Senate and Congressional races as a firewall against any sort of Obama ability to lend support to down ticket races.

Democrats have to be better at contesting state legislatures moving forward because these guys will keep gerrmandering awful congressional districts in order to boost their legislative numbers in Congress. I also anticipate that if the Supreme Court gets a 6th conservative we'll probably see further weakening of the Voting Rights Act in order to weaken minority voting more.
posted by vuron at 7:10 AM on September 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Remember that Team Chicago is really, really good at this stuff. In addition to a far superior GOTV operation, I guarantee there are some significant punches held in reserve for October.

Barack Obama does not lose elections.
posted by spitbull at 9:00 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


TPM has an interesting article talking about Romney's pollster saying (paraphrase) don't panic nothing has changed, remember 1980, and and MONEY! Of course what was stangly missing from the pollster's kinda all over the map (ha) press release? No actual polling data, it just looked like another campaign press release. Having to reassure your base is concurrently necessarily, and kinda panic Inducing. Especially if ''nothing has changed'' means you are still losing, ''remember 1980'' is a fallacy, ''Money'' = Obama out raised you last month and ... well a pollster NOT talking about actual polls.

I'm sure they will get I togeather and be more focused in a few days or weeks, but right now there is a bit of the smell of WTF are we doing? time to fight the Culture War!!!?
posted by edgeways at 9:07 AM on September 10, 2012


I wonder if Newhouse is the same guy who put together that memo in August that said they expected a convention bounce of 11 points for Romney.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:35 AM on September 10, 2012


Don't know, but that was a really horrible case of expectation management. It's as if they hired some fellow just out of college with his Poli Sci degree instead of having done this work for 25 years. This is the fellow of "We won't let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers".

Interestingly he has had some experience with this: Gov. Jeb Bush (FL), Gov. John Rowland (CT), Gov. Mitt Romney (MA), Senator Rick Santorum (PA), Senator Pat Roberts (KS), Rep. Henry Hyde (IL) and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (WV).
posted by edgeways at 9:55 AM on September 10, 2012


The "remember 1980" argument is not only false, but silly. It's like saying that an alcoholic is destined to be as great an author as William Faulkner, because Faulkner was an alcoholic.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:04 AM on September 10, 2012


a major international event (think Israel unilaterally attacking Iran)

Isn't the ball sort of in Obama's court if something like this were to happen? I mean, Romney has already proved his total failure to grasp foreign policy. Meanwhile Obama is the guy who caught Osama Bin Laden. I guess it's a matter of spin and framing to an extent, but something catastrophically bad would have to happen for Obama to completely bite it over a foreign policy October Surprise.
posted by Sara C. at 10:17 AM on September 10, 2012




What we don't hear much about the extent of downticket strategies. And I guess there's immediate divergence on that anyway because the campaigns do their thing and the outsider $$ groups do their own thing.

I've always thought that the tv ads were going to be a null game with the campaigns if the money wasn't toooo far apart between them, and it probably won't be. The people in the 9-odd states in play will turn their tv's off I'd reckon. I do have greater faith in the Chicago team being very very smart in their non-tv spends though and they can be cheapish and can reach people in unusual ways. Witness the speed of the buy for #literally on Twitter for example. I think BO has done well doing a whole slew of local and soft news publication interviews preconvention too.

But it's hard to know whether BO will just end up captain of a zombie teapocalypse ship if the Kochs and the Roves and the Adelsons and the rest of the mindfuck saboteurs successfully poison the pseudo-minor races. It's what we can't see that worries me most. On paper, everything looks pretty good, but what's going on in the sewers I wonder?
posted by peacay at 10:43 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't like to think of myself as a conspiracy theory tinfoil-hat kind of person, but at this point I'm starting to wonder who in the GOP (or who in the group of people the GOP is beholden to) wins if Romney loses. Because it looks to me like they're throwing this election like a Chinese badminton team.
posted by KathrynT at 11:07 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


But it's hard to know whether BO will just end up captain of a zombie teapocalypse ship if the Kochs and the Roves and the Adelsons and the rest of the mindfuck saboteurs successfully poison the pseudo-minor races. It's what we can't see that worries me most. On paper, everything looks pretty good, but what's going on in the sewers I wonder?

Actually, that seems to be what the DSCC/DCCC and even the Obama campaign are worried about. Due to a number of factors (Todd Akin, mainly), retaining 51 seats is a bit easier right now, but that could change. For instance, here's an article on the "dark money" campaign to unseat Sherrod Brown in Ohio. And Nate Silver did mention via Twitter that he's working on a beta polltracker for Senate races on his Twitter feed a couple days ago. I'm guessing the Dems in particular are going to be poring over that when it comes out.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:15 AM on September 10, 2012


Obama Gets a Lift on the Trail

Sigh...Republican Meltdown Spreads To 'Bear-Hug-Man'
posted by zombieflanders at 11:24 AM on September 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Hrmm it will be interesting to see if there is a enough datapoints to make Nate's Models work somewhat reliably. There simple hasn't been a ton of downticket independent polling of Senate and Congressional races so it's kinda unclear where things actually stand currently.

It could be that renewed optimism about Obama manages to buoy the rest of the Democratic ticket this election and then Republicans make improvements in 2014 if Obama and company still can't right the ship. Based on how little traction all the big money has been able to generate vs Obama (who can fundraise like a champ) I think it would be in the Republicans best interest to seek to hold the House and try to get to 51 seats in the Senate and then just play rope a dope with Obama for 4 years. If the last 2 years have been horribad that would be even worse. I'm just not certain Obama can hope to break the Republican obstructionism without resorting to really partisan messaging.

From that perspective I kinda hope that they continue to pound away at Obama instead of more vulnerable Democrats because I think he can absorb and redirect the attacks whereas others like McCaskill probably can't.
posted by vuron at 11:24 AM on September 10, 2012


Romney, Ryan Can't Say Which Tax Loopholes They'd Plug.
New Obama Ad: Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Won't Answer The Most Basic Questions.
posted by ericb at 11:27 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Holy Shit, zombieflanders, I realize that the teabag echo chamber was bad but that's some pretty serious nutbag stuff there. When did the Republicans lose sight of the fact that we are in a democracy and someone is allowed to show support for whichever candidate they want? It's really not that far from those sorts of comments to having people break windows and vandalize his shop.
posted by vuron at 11:30 AM on September 10, 2012


Crazy smart indeed. And the speech he gave to the British Parliament on the eve of Blair's and Bush's Iraq war was also something else. Only a couple of self-deluding self-serving ruthless demagogues could have ignored it.
posted by glasseyes at 11:45 AM on September 10, 2012


TPM has an interesting article talking about Romney's pollster saying (paraphrase) don't panic nothing has changed ...

Related: Romney Camp Confronts Torrent Of Bad News With Optimistic Memo: We're Not Losing!
posted by ericb at 12:01 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]






I think the Super Pacs supporting Romney will go on about 2 weeks to see if they can move the dial back towards Romney before a narrative of Obama's re-election being pretty much inevitable begins to set in.

I think they are going to just crouch in the corner, then throw a haymaker at the end. It fits with what they've been doing all along, saying as little as possible, being as generic as possible, not giving specifics, not releasing taxes, trying to turn everything back to Obama. Then they will try to hit hard and heavy with not much time remaining, to spread false information and hope the election comes before it can be refuted. The infrastructure straw man they created was probably a test of how long they could run with that lie before it was reasonably seen through - a good measure of how many people are paying attention or that can be deluded easily so they can try to estimate how many votes they can expect.

They haven't given up, this just seems to still be their strategy - to run as generic republicans and then hope at the tail end to just get people to not vote for Obama and hope for a ripple effect. They have mountains upon mountains of cash. They aren't just going to order more wine and cheese. These people still want power.

Be ready for it. Probably around October 23rd after the last debate. Or maybe slightly before. Guess we'll see. It's good to see the President will have enough funds to try to dispute the falsehoods they will inevitably spread, but I lost a little faith in people to not be stupid after the "infrastructure" straw man actually lasted so long that some fools believe it to this day.
posted by cashman at 12:07 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I realize that the teabag echo chamber was bad but that's some pretty serious nutbag stuff there.

This has been a very fruitful nutbag season. Here's another beauty:

GOP Rep: Government-Issued Student Loans Put U.S. On ‘Slippery Slope’ Toward Holocaust
posted by homunculus at 12:51 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Speaking of which: Debt Collectors Cashing In on Student Loans
posted by homunculus at 12:53 PM on September 10, 2012


This has been a very fruitful nutbag season.

My favorite Kashi cereal: Fruitful Nutbag.
posted by grubi at 1:08 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think they are going to just crouch in the corner, then throw a haymaker at the end.

I think this sounds right. I think it's also ideal for Obama, who's changed up tactics - he is going after Romney and Ryan, hard, while laying down the TV-Dad charm offensive. When the negative onslaught does come, it will seem petty and mean spirited tit-for-tat politics, and give Obama a chance to show off his dignity and comportment and act all Presidential under fire.

This is the problem with using big money for media buys as a primary strategy - it doesn't require a lot of money to send the spin off its axis, just savvy PR. Meanwhile, Obama and Biden manage one hell of a ground game - and every time Mitt tries to run to the center, his GOP core constituency freaks out.

They have mountains upon mountains of cash. They aren't just going to order more wine and cheese. These people still want power.

Yes, but the people they've hired or given - given! - their money to want more money. It's looking a lot like a classic mercenary trap - you can't buy loyalty or dedication. The PACs and bundlers need to keep it close, to keep money coming in. If they're losing by a little bit, even better, as desperation loosens the purse strings. If they fail in the end, well, no skin off their back... think of Blackwater in Iraq. They're going for as much as they can as fast as they can and let the next election cycle take care of itself - the fools will probably be back with a bigger check and an even less electable candidate regardless of the result.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:10 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


edgeways: "TPM has an interesting article talking about Romney's pollster saying (paraphrase) don't panic nothing has changed, remember 1980"

I was reading somewhere, can't find it at the moment, but claiming Carter was winning for most of 1980 requires a magic unicorn.
posted by notsnot at 2:00 PM on September 10, 2012


National Police Union Turns Down Romney and Obama

The 330,000-member Fraternal Order of Police, the country’s largest police union, announced that it would back no candidate for president this year, the first time the group had passed on an endorsement in its 98-year history.
...
A candidate needs to win a two-third majority of the group’s national board to win an endorsement, but Mr. Pasco suggested the vote wasn’t close. “This vote was taken with no real debate,” he said. “There was real consensus that there was just no candidate for us to back.”

Mr. Canterbury bemoaned a lack of bipartisanship in Washington. “This national preoccupation with defeating or trumping political opponents has eroded confidence in our leaders and the entire political system,” he said. “In such an environment comity, compromise and cooperation have become virtually impossible,” Mr. Canterbury said. “We urge our members to exercise their right to vote in this election.”

posted by futz at 3:08 PM on September 10, 2012


From that article: "The union backed the Republican nominees in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and backed President Bill Clinton in 1996."

They just can't endorse the Republican this time, can they? Nice smokescreen about the comity deficit, though.
posted by maudlin at 3:59 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama in Glass House on Foreign Policy Criticism? (FOXNews.com)

Interesting that Fox News is also going after Obama on foreign policy (a full five days after the speech), is the republican machine making a concerted effort to undermine Obama's strength on this topic before the debates? Or is it a purely defensive play?
posted by TwoWordReview at 4:11 PM on September 10, 2012


Is there an Obama hug FFP or is the discussion just in this thread? Just curious.

No big wup.

posted by Skygazer at 4:11 PM on September 10, 2012


is the republican machine making a concerted effort to undermine Obama's strength on this topic before the debates?

Absolutely, Romney-Ryan are hugely out-gunned in the matter, and it's Repub-machine MO to attack the strengths of one running against their people.

Look for the Repub. machine to attack Obama's African-American status soon in order to take advantage of getting some African-Americans to vote for Romney/Ryan....

/wink
posted by Skygazer at 4:15 PM on September 10, 2012


Don't know for sure, but suspect an Obama hug FPP would get nuked, so prop best to confine it to here, unless you want to try, in which case dog speed.
posted by edgeways at 4:29 PM on September 10, 2012


Edgeways, maybe if it becomes a bit more of a cultural touchstone with some real legs or meme (as I suspect it might), but for now it does seem a bit thin for a full blown FPP, Thanks for the kind encouragement, though...
posted by Skygazer at 4:50 PM on September 10, 2012


I do not think there would be any particularly good reason to give that Man Hugs President thing its own thread, no.
posted by cortex at 4:50 PM on September 10, 2012


Maybe if an extensive historical archive of presidential man hug photos could be found?
posted by Flunkie at 4:54 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The communists do us one better.
posted by Sara C. at 5:07 PM on September 10, 2012


cortex: I do not think there would be any particularly good reason to give that Man Hugs President thing its own thread, no.

What if it's Dog Hugs President?

posted by Kattullus at 5:32 PM on September 10, 2012




Romney and his campaign are comming unhinged. Every day they are doing something else to upset moderate and independent voters. He looks less presidential and more liked a loser everyday. People won't turn out and vote for a loser. That's the part that really scares the big money backers of Romney. The only thing worse than an Obama second term is him getting elected while you piled money and slights against him. Watch as the smart money starts to pull back from Romney, cut back on negative outside ads and figure out a way to make peace before election day. You watch they'll be singing Kum Bay Obama come mid October.
posted by humanfont at 6:26 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, they won't give the appearance of endorsing Obama. They'll stop spending huge on the big race and pour it all into the little races, and for the next four years will clutch the gubernatorial, senate and house races as tightly as they can. Hell, they'll probably spend in state governments, too, anywhere they can make their move. It 2014 it could basically be Obama staring out of an impregnable tower at a ravening horde who can't kill him but won't let him do anything either.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:40 PM on September 10, 2012


I'm holding out hope that if R/R screw the pooch hard enough that the big money moves on and the electoral gap widens and Obama is re-elected (a lot of ifs, I know), that it won't be as easy going forward to play the "obstructionism as usual" gambit for the Republicans.

I just feel like the scales are falling from more and more peoples' eyes. Eternal optimist, I am.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:01 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think we might be getting a little ahead of ourselves.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:04 PM on September 10, 2012


Hell, they'll probably spend in state governments, too, anywhere they can make their move.

Don't forget state judiciaries.
posted by homunculus at 7:13 PM on September 10, 2012


Agreed, zombieflanders. A few good weeks does not an election victory make. I'm Obama/Biden all the way, but it far too early to plan past November 6th.
posted by haiku warrior at 7:15 PM on September 10, 2012


I do not think there would be any particularly good reason to give that Man Hugs President thing its own thread, no.

Damn, I never thought I'd see the day cortex would be opposed to hugs. This election season really is getting ugly.

posted by homunculus at 7:39 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


No, no: my feeling is that hugs are such an important and pervasive part of life that posting about them is like posting about Man Breathes Air.
posted by cortex at 8:23 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]




“How long do we have, folks? I know people, who think 18 months before a real United States economic collapse,” he concluded.

Okay, well, I know people who won't walk on sidewalk grates because they think the imps that live in them will bite their ankles and steal their pocket change, so... yeah. Keep talking, Rush.
posted by palomar at 11:49 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are nine states reasonably in play right now, listed by electoral vote:

FL-29
OH-18
NC-15
VA-13
WI-10
CO-9
IA-6
NV-6
NH-4

Obama is ahead in 8 of those 9-all but NC, where he trails only slightly. Romney's lead in NC is thinner than any of Obama's leads in any of the other 8.

If Obama wins Florida, Romney must win all of the other 8 states to win. If Obama wins Ohio, Romney must win at least five other states, including Florida and North Carolina. If Obama wins Virginia, Romney must win Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and either Wisconsin or Colorado, or any combination of Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire.

It is impossible* for Romney to win if Obama wins 2 out of 3 of Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina, even if Obama loses the rest of the contested states.

*operating under the assumption that only these 9 states are in play, and the outcomes in the rest are not in doubt, as a practical matter.

It is likely to think that there will be some reversion to the mean after the recent uptick toward Obama and as Romney's/Republic SuperPAC monetary edge takes hold.

I also think the first debate could be a game changer. The debates had tremendous impact on the Republican primary race. The impact in the general election may not be as profound since the vast majority of voters has likely made up its mind, but among the undecided voters, the debates could loom large. The set-up isn't ideal for Obama, as the expectations for his performance will likely be high, and Romney is the most capable debater the Republicans have put forward since...geez...Reagan? That isn't to say Romney is likely to thrash Obama in a debate, but in a close election, if Romney holds his own, I think there's a danger that could be perceived as a "win" for him given the high expectations placed on Obama, and it doesn't take many undecided voters to move toward Romney to tilt the outcome his way.

But, Romney's path through the electoral college is still so difficult that even with him being a (likely--I mean, the guy's not that fearsome of a debater) better debater than someone like Bush 2 or McCain, it might not be enough, even with his money edge and a perceived debating "win" in the books.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:26 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney is the most capable debater the Republicans have put forward since...geez...Reagan?

I served with Ronald Reagan, I knew Ronnie, Ronnie was a friend of mine. Governor, you're no Reagan.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:39 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I served with Ronald Reagan, I knew Ronnie, Ronnie was a friend of mine. Governor, you're no Reagan.

While I totally agree, MoonOrb's comment is a comment on how bad republican debaters have been over the past 30 years rather than comparing Romney to Reagan.
posted by Talez at 12:53 AM on September 11, 2012


The whole Republican thing now is to compare the current candidate with Reagan; the man who raised taxes, ran up an incredible deficit, and trickled down the economy.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:01 AM on September 11, 2012


From a Public Policy Polling poll in Ohio [pdf]:

Q15 Who do you think deserves more credit for the
killing of Osama bin Laden: Barack Obama or
Mitt Romney?

Barack Obama 63%
Mitt Romney 6%
Not sure 31%
posted by rdr at 1:15 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]




I'm not that scared of Romney as a debater. He's got a lot more recent experience, but it's all against the nutjobs in the Republican primaries. He had tons of debates against them, and the Republicans favored each one in turn over Romney. His "$10,000 bet?" and "there are a lot of reasons not to elect me" comments came in debates.

There was real consensus that there was just no candidate for us to back

And we backed George W. Bush--twice!
posted by kirkaracha at 4:09 AM on September 11, 2012


Guardian : How the Republicans' scorched-earth anti-Obama strategy has backfired By being 'the party of no' to Obama on jobs, stimulus, healthcare and all, the GOP has left Romney with no positive offer to voters
posted by crunchland at 5:11 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


From a Public Policy Polling poll in Ohio

Do 15% of Ohio Republicans think Romney killed bin Laden? Probably not.
...[V]oters have trouble crediting politicians they don’t like for policy outcomes they do like. And killing bin Laden is a policy outcome they do like. And so partisan effects have led some Republicans to argue that Obama was not primarily responsible for killing bin Laden or, even more absurdly, that Romney was responsible.

What’s more, correcting peoples’ factual misunderstandings doesn’t seem to help at all. Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth and Jason Reifler of Georgia State ran experiments measuring whether partisans who read news articles with correct information that ran against their ideological views were likelier to hold the right factual beliefs. They found the opposite effect — correcting people, in other words, doesn’t inform them, it creates a backlash.

Telling conservatives that there were no WMDs in Iraq made them more likely to say there were weapons, and telling them that the Bush tax cuts reduced revenue made them more likely to say they increased revenue. Same for liberals — while conservatives and moderates were less likely to think Bush banned all stem-cell research after reading an article pointing out that he only banned federal funding of it, liberals’ stated factual beliefs didn’t change at all. So ream after ream of news articles wouldn’t have done much to help any unfortunate souls who formed the belief that Romney killed bin Laden.

Psychologists call the phenomenon on display here “motivated reasoning,” and those of you (which is to say, hopefully all of you) who read Ezra’s New Yorker piece on motivated reasoning and the conservative turn against the individual mandate will be familiar with the idea. But the Romney-killed-bin Laden finding also fits in with the broader literature on polling generally.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:16 AM on September 11, 2012




rdr, what? How can you be "not sure" as to who deserves more credit? That is ridiculous.
posted by King Bee at 6:32 AM on September 11, 2012


Because people have a tendency of outright rejecting facts when those facts collide with their world view. In the minds of many Republicans it's completely impossible for a "Kenyan socialist impostor" who is also a black man to do any good whatsoever. The result is that they'll do just about anything to ease their cognitive dissonance including saying that any president would do what Obama did, that the military was ultimately responsible, or apparently in this case that Romney actually led the raid on Osama's compound like a modern day Teddy Roosevelt.

When the only source of news that a large percentage of the electorate get is crap like talk radio and Fox News there is a tendency to see everything about Obama in a negative light and even those ostensibly good things are described as being someone else's responsibility.

I think the article from PPP even indicated how people get angry when you confront their elaborate reality filter and threaten to expose the reality behind the curtain.
posted by vuron at 6:43 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the article from PPP even indicated how people get angry when you confront their elaborate reality filter and threaten to expose the reality behind the curtain.

vuron, you have confronted my elaborate reality filter, in that I mistakenly believe most people are reasonable. Blargh.
posted by King Bee at 6:55 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


King Bee: vuron, you have confronted my elaborate reality filter, in that I mistakenly believe most people are reasonable. Blargh.
Welcome to the real world, Neo. King Bee goes by Morpheus here. Now, don't try to get up right away - your real muscles are a little out-of-practice.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:51 AM on September 11, 2012


Southern whites troubled by Romney's wealth, religion
Sheryl Harris, a voluble 52-year-old with a Virginia drawl, voted twice for George W. Bush. Raised Baptist, she is convinced -- despite all evidence to the contrary -- that President Barack Obama, a practicing Christian, is Muslim.

So in this year's presidential election, will she support Mitt Romney? Not a chance.

"Romney's going to help the upper class," said Harris, who earns $28,000 a year as activities director of a Lynchburg senior center. "He doesn't know everyday people, except maybe the person who cleans his house."

She'll vote for Obama, she said: "At least he wasn't brought up filthy rich."
posted by zombieflanders at 8:15 AM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wonder if the incredible lie regarding Obama's religion will lay the foundation for actual Muslims holding office on the national level in more than a token sense. Keith Ellison does pretty well, but he is the only federally elected Muslin that I know of.


Mind you, whatever religion is pretty much the same to me, how you actually treat people is what really matters.
posted by edgeways at 9:44 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


From that "Southern whites" link:
Several of those interviewed in Lynchburg were devotees of the TV series "Big Love" and "Sister Wives," about polygamous Mormon families. They were unaware that the Mormon Church long ago renounced polygamy.

"Mormons don't believe like we believe," said Dianna McCullough, a retired factory worker, as she tossed salad in a Tree of Life Ministries soup kitchen. "Like the wives -- Romney's probably got more than one."
wow
posted by Flunkie at 10:23 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Several of those interviewed in Lynchburg were devotees of the TV series "Big Love" and "Sister Wives," about polygamous Mormon families. They were unaware that the Mormon Church long ago renounced polygamy.

Really? Because that's what the show is basically about.
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on September 11, 2012


NY Daily News : Mitt Romney's epic incompetence "I’ve been following politics for many years; I’ve written a book on presidential campaigns and I’ve delved quite a bit into the minutiae of the 2012 campaign. And I’m increasingly convinced that Mitt Romney is the worst national politician I’ve ever seen."
posted by crunchland at 10:28 AM on September 11, 2012


There's also some not inconsiderable solace to be found in this Politico piece: GOP to Mitt Romney - You're So Vague.
posted by peacay at 10:35 AM on September 11, 2012


One thing I find interesting is that NYC tabloid papers like the Daily News and the Post seem to be curiously positive toward Obama lately, when normally they'd be hardcore in the Republican camp.

I remember being surprised a few weeks ago when the Post devoted the entire front page to Michelle Obama's speech, including a gushing headline.

Sure, convention bump etc, but it seems unusual for these right-leaning papers to be so solidly in Obama's camp. Aside from some residual Historic Moment buzz when Obama won the election in the first place, they have generally been down on him, overall.

When do newspaper endorsements happen? Next month? I'm curious to see who the Post and Daily News endorse this go-round.
posted by Sara C. at 10:43 AM on September 11, 2012


Yeah the stink of failure is setting in around the Romney campaign. If people think that you are a loser then you are toast because a certain percentage of the electorate will vote for the likely winner simply in order to be on the winning tribe.
posted by vuron at 10:43 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know "Fox News lies" is "dog bites man", but this is a level of dishonesty that deserves special recognition.

Today In Dishonest Fox News Graphics
posted by tonycpsu at 10:44 AM on September 11, 2012


One thing I find interesting is that NYC tabloid papers like the Daily News and the Post seem to be curiously positive toward Obama lately
I don't often see such papers, but I did happen to notice one (I forget whether the Daily News or the Post, but I'm pretty sure one of those two) during or perhaps immediately before the DNC. Dominating the front page in 20,000 point bold font was something akin to the following:
OWE, BAMA!

DEMS PARTY IN CHARLOTTE WHILE CAUSING 13 TRILLION IN DEBT
posted by Flunkie at 10:52 AM on September 11, 2012


Ugh, when I say "few weeks ago", I think I actually mean last week, because that's when the convention was. Working from home stretches time out.
posted by Sara C. at 10:54 AM on September 11, 2012


Upon further investigation, here it is (and it's the Post):
OWE
BAMA!

$16 trillion kiss
of debt for prez
as Dems party
Also of note is the other headline it shares the front page with, regarding an upcoming football game:
Yee-haa

Giants,
Cowgirls
tonight
Classy!
posted by Flunkie at 10:57 AM on September 11, 2012


Ugh, when I say "few weeks ago", I think I actually mean last week, because that's when the convention was. Working from home stretches time out.

DOC-TOR?
posted by zombieflanders at 11:08 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Today In Dishonest Fox News Graphics

The most ridiculous part of that (which Media Matters doesn't even mention) is the emphasis on the relatively low "unemployment rate for government workers" which is frankly nonsensical since if you're unemployed, you're not a government worker.

And yes, I get that it's counting last form of employment, but at best--at best--that is a flawed indicator of anything to do with the relative health of employment sectors.
posted by psoas at 11:10 AM on September 11, 2012


I had thought that Mitt was avoiding releasing tax returns because he'd have to discuss tithing and the whole argument of does tithing to a church really = pure charitable giving. But my tax accountant brother mentioned no, he must have taken advantage of the 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, so of course he won't go back further that 2010.

I wait for them to be leaked now with baited breath.
posted by readery at 11:27 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Report: Sheldon Adelson Could Get $2 Billion Tax Cut If Romney Wins.

No quid pro quo expected in the future. No siree. Nothing to see here. Move along.
posted by ericb at 11:40 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Re: Romney's taxes -- Larry Flynt Offering $1 Million For Mitt Romney's Tax Returns.
posted by ericb at 11:43 AM on September 11, 2012


KathrynT: but at this point I'm starting to wonder who in the GOP (or who in the group of people the GOP is beholden to) wins if Romney loses.

My guess, and this is purely speculative is that the real winner is Jeb Bush and I'll tell you why: The seemingly cozy folding in of Karl Rove into the Romney campaign money machine has always seemed pretty disingenuous Machiavellian and opportunist to me.

It's taken Rove a while to to turn Crossroads SuperPac into a major GOP money network, but he did it on the idea of beating Obama in 2012 and getting Romney in there...

Right. Talk about your snakes in the grass, Rove as usual is playing the TP suckers and the Texas Billionaires club, and the Religious Right like a Stradivarius. I don't think he gives a flying toss about Romney being elected, his loyalties are first and foremost always with the Bushes.

So, the real winner is Jeb Bush, who has a clear run in 2016, without Romney in the way seeking a second term if he wins.

Th thing that's galling about that long game is that it makes me realize that if Obama doesn't get majorities to work with the next four years will still be about obstructing and sabotaging him every step of the way so as to hinder any real economic progress.
posted by Skygazer at 11:44 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]




Or, what zombieflanders said above!
posted by ericb at 11:47 AM on September 11, 2012


GOP to Mitt Romney: You’re so vague -- "Leading conservatives are offering blunt advice to Mitt Romney: Quit ducking details, start engaging in a real and specific war of ideas with President Barack Obama — or lose."
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on September 11, 2012


Report: Sheldon Adelson Could Get $2 Billion Tax Cut If Romney Wins.

Ah. I guess Sarah Silverman can't compete with that.
posted by homunculus at 11:57 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jennifer Rubin today tries to claim that people are overstating the significance of recent polls showing a widening Obama lead.

While it is probably premature to declare the election over, her case for "No, really! This thing is dead even!" Seems awfully thin to me, as I think any discussion of Romney's chances has to address his standing in the electoral college, most notably in Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. I mean, she does claim that polls in battleground states aren't showing the same widening gap, but she cites only three polls: one, in fact, shows Obama's lead in Ohio widening; one shows him in a lead for North Carolina, a state Romney pretty much has to win (and a state in which he has been ahead more or less all year, at least according to Nate Silver's analysis); and a third is of New Mexico, also showing an Obama lead, but it's not a poll that was taken after the DNC.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:00 PM on September 11, 2012


Rubin is a public laughingstock in most left and centrist media/blogger circles, and I'm led to believe that she makes more than a few right-wing eyes roll too (not that they would admit it). Or as I heard someone describe her, she's second only to Ann Romney in people who love Mitt, and even that distinction can be blurred on some of her more incoherent days.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:06 PM on September 11, 2012


Why Republicans are puzzled by the polls
As Ezra Klein notes today, there’s a wide gulf between what many Republicans (and some independent pundits) think the fundamentals of the economy predict and what political scientists think the fundamentals of the economy predict. That is, the models devised by political scientists, economists, and Nate Silver tend to show a close race, not a GOP landslide (see also Joshua Tucker).

So why don’t Republicans know that?

I think there are two answers. One is that many Republicans appear to suspect academic political science, assuming that it must be biased against them. At least, it’s certainly my strong impression that, say, the premier political-science group blog the Monkey Cage gets cited a whole lot less often by the National Review than it does by the New Republic.

The other is a perception bias. The economy has been lousy compared with how it looked in 1984 but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was in 2008. (Matt Ylgesias has some relevant numbers.) Republican voters, however, don’t see things that way.

Gallup constructs an economic index based on two questions: one about economic conditions now, and the other about whether the economy is improving. It spiked up last week during the Democratic convention, reaching close to its post-recession high (still a negative number, at minus-18). Yet Republicans’ average perception of the economy, at minus-59, is basically where the nation as a whole was in September 2008, in the midst of the collapse.

Now, one has to be careful with these numbers, because they don’t allow for intensity, but the bottom line is that Republican voters believe the economy is bad and getting worse, while everyone else believes more or less what the economic data say: The economy is mediocre, but far better than in late 2008.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:23 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looks like Ryan is actually running ads to retain his House seat, which I guess is smart politics, but it also seems to speak to a realization he just might not win that VP job and has to at least make a token effort in WI
posted by edgeways at 12:25 PM on September 11, 2012


Rubin is a public laughingstock in most left and centrist media/blogger circles, and I'm led to believe that she makes more than a few right-wing eyes roll too (not that they would admit it).

I know, right? The scary thing is, I consider her to be the WP's third-most wacky/out of touch conservative commentator, behind Marc Thiessen and George Will. This trio makes Krauthammer and Robert Samuelsson look rational by comparison.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:34 PM on September 11, 2012


Thinking ahead to 2016 ... testing the waters for a presidential run : "Morning Joe" Scarborogh.
posted by crunchland at 12:42 PM on September 11, 2012


The economy is mediocre, but far better than in late 2008.

+1

A lot of people aren't "back", a lot never will be, some can adjust to the new normal.

I'm seeing more job ads, at least.

This time in summer in 2008, I was being solicited for employment at a couple of major employers, and felt confident in turning them down because the commute was a bit (15 more miles) more than I'dve liked. Six months later I was happy to get 20 hours of billable work 50 miles (each way) a week.

I'm at a new normal of 2002 life (just starting out in my career) and salary, but there's still more to improve. I can't see voting for someone who can hand out billion dollar tax cuts while bleeding me and folks who are much much worse off than I more.
posted by tilde at 12:56 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh! That photo from the Scarborough article is soooo sexist.
posted by annsunny at 1:00 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


2002 = just starting out in my career path at Big Corporations; I had 6yrs of non-college in-the-trenches experience that Big Corporation accepted in lieu of a degree
posted by tilde at 1:00 PM on September 11, 2012


a major international event (think Israel unilaterally attacking Iran)

Netanyahu blasts Obama administration ahead of election
posted by homunculus at 1:48 PM on September 11, 2012


Well of course.

Why have the president that's 99% your bitch when you can have one that's 110%?
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dow Near Five-Year High Ahead of Fed Meeting.

But, of course the Republicans can't/won't acknowledge that our economy is moving in the right direction. Or, wait ... if they do/will, it's all Romney's influence. Right?
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on September 11, 2012


Sounds like the White House has since refused Netanyahu's request for a behind closed doors face to face meeting later this month when Netanyahu is in the States.
posted by edgeways at 2:03 PM on September 11, 2012




Romney’s Insensitivity To LGBT People: ‘I Didn’t Know You Had Families’
David Wilson and Julie Goodridge, two of the plaintiffs whose case led to the legalization of marriage equality in Massachusetts, described meeting with Romney to discuss their experiences. According to Wilson, “it was like talking to a robot. No expression, no feeling.” At one point, Romney remarked, “I didn’t know you had families.” Goodridge recalls her final exchange with the governor, which proved to her that he had “no capacity for empathy”:
GOODRIDGE: Governor Romney, tell me — what would you suggest I say to my 8 year-old daughter about why her mommy and her ma can’t get married because you, the governor of her state, are going to block our marriage?

ROMNEY: I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.
Romney described the meeting to the press as “pleasant,” as Goodridge cried.

This lack of understanding for the experience of same-sex families seems to have played out even on the occasions in which he was open to supporting LGBT protections. Josh Friedes, who once served as advocacy director for the Massachusetts Freedom to Marry Coalition, explained Romney’s business-informed rationale:
FRIEDES: He made clear that he was willing to listen to business leaders about the issue of family recognition. The impression was that if business leaders told him certain benefits and protections would increase the productivity of gay workers, he would be open to supporting those. … It was not really about what these protections would do for gay families, but what they would do for the titans of industry… It felt like there was a lord/serf relationship.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:55 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.

Jesus fucking Christ.
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on September 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.

"Fair enough. I'll just keep telling them that you're a widely-loathed schmuck."
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:09 PM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


He didn't know we have families? Seriously?
posted by rtha at 3:13 PM on September 11, 2012


To play Romney's advocate, it's possible that he just meant that he did not know that they in particular did not have families. Still bad, but not as bad.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:16 PM on September 11, 2012


Goodridge recalls her final exchange with the governor, which proved to her that he had “no capacity for empathy”

That seems totally consistent with this:

Romney chastised woman for getting life-saving abortion
posted by homunculus at 3:18 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Larry Flynt’s Plan to Expose Mitt Romney

...promising “$1 Million” for information about Mitt Romney’s unreleased tax returns and/or details of his offshore assets, bank accounts, and business partnerships.

posted by Golden Eternity at 3:19 PM on September 11, 2012


Vote Romney / Ryan for that real honest to goodness feudal flavor that comes with an actual 100% real lord/serf relationship.
posted by Skygazer at 3:20 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Larry Flynt is the mighty god king of political gadflies.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:27 PM on September 11, 2012


Larry Flynt's probably not even coherent enough to know that money's being offered, honestly.
posted by klangklangston at 3:37 PM on September 11, 2012


"... my daughter..."

"... your adopted daughter..."
posted by Flunkie at 3:37 PM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Right? How shitty was that?
posted by rtha at 3:39 PM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


He is one cold fish. I could spout some psycho-babble but I will refrain from giving an internet diagnosis. However, I think his heart is two sizes too small.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:03 PM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


These sorts of social bombs he either blunders into or manifests through his miswired antiempathetic myopia remind me that at his heart the Rombot runs on entitlement juice.

The dem superpacs ought to hit this guy with a soundless single image ad shot of that shiteating grin with the text: "President Obama thinks health care should be a universal entitlement. Mitt Romney thinks the presidency is HIS entitlement" or the polysuch.
posted by peacay at 4:48 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


homunculus: Netanyahu blasts Obama administration ahead of election

Romney and Netanyahu have a relationship that seems kinda complicated.
posted by Kattullus at 4:51 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]




Ann Romney Booked for Gay-Bashing Conference?
It’s an odd move by the Romney campaign. They’ve previously deployed her to show the softer side of Mitt. Now they’re sending her to stand on stage with a man who paid $83,000 to use David Duke’s mailing list and addressed a white supremacist group while in public office. The same person – Tony Perkins – also praised a law in Uganda to execute gays and warned senators they would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands” if they repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
 
The Romney campaign must have its reasons, but it sure seems like an odd way to deploy Ann Romney. They already have Paul Ryan scheduled to address the conference. Do they really need two headliners reaching out to the Bachmann-Akin wing of the party? Besides, just last week Ann Romney refused to answer questions about same-sex marriage and contraception, dismissing them as distractions "from what the real voting issue is going to be."
posted by ericb at 5:05 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I served with Ronald Reagan, I knew Ronnie, Ronnie was a friend of mine. Governor, you're no Reagan.

Speaking of St. Ronnie: Peeping Ron: A long-awaited book on Ronald Reagan's secret alliance with the FBI

Hoover, Reagan, and Spying at Berkeley
posted by homunculus at 6:06 PM on September 11, 2012


I wonder why there's so little about his "missionary work" in France. I bet there are women his age in France who met him and perhaps initially found him quite handsome, only to recoil avec tres horror at the terrible realization Monsieur Le Romney was un homme avecice in his heart and the romantique qualities of a stiff dead... mackeral.
posted by Skygazer at 6:48 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


avecice = avec ice
posted by Skygazer at 6:49 PM on September 11, 2012


Avarice.
posted by box at 7:02 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


well why do you think he was doing missionary work? Trying to trying some of the most passionate folks on earth into souless automatons is hard work damnit.
posted by edgeways at 7:51 PM on September 11, 2012


So, about what I said upthread about "a major international event (think Israel unilaterally attacking Iran)" changing the race? Well, it looks like Netanyahu's getting ready to go ahead and do it soonish. This has all the signs of a military and economic clusterfuck, and Netanyahu certainly doesn't have any reservations with interfering in the election to get his way.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:53 PM on September 11, 2012


zombieflanders: The thing is, he's talking about doing it, but there's a lot of resistance, within Israel, to that plan, even amongst his own advisers. I'm hoping they'll prevail.
posted by bardophile at 9:38 PM on September 11, 2012


I don't think the effect of that sort of crazy international event can be predicted. It seems as likely to rally people around the current president as anything else. No president ever gets a higher approval rating than during times of international crises. See also: Bush the Elder and Bush the Younger.
posted by Justinian at 9:47 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


That said, thank god we bombed the shit out of some more brown people in Libya a while back, otherwise they might have a government which allowed violent mobs to murder our diplomats.
posted by Justinian at 9:52 PM on September 11, 2012


Justinian: I'm assuming/hoping that last comment is sarcastic?
posted by bardophile at 10:15 PM on September 11, 2012


Also, keep in mind that Mittens was just in Israel recently, where he made a fool of himself by calling Israelis out as a bunch of moneygrubbing Jews.

The idea that something like that happening -- regarding Israel especially -- and Obama looking bad while the Romney campaign benefits is just completely ludicrous.
posted by Sara C. at 10:20 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Justinian: I'm assuming/hoping that last comment is sarcastic?

More like disgusted. People never learn. It'll surely work out this time when we save everyone with the machine guns of liberty and 2000lb bombs of freedom.

I note Romney is already attacking the administration. I don't think he has any shame.
posted by Justinian at 10:24 PM on September 11, 2012


Justinian: " More like disgusted. People never learn. It'll surely work out this time when we save everyone with the machine guns of liberty and 2000lb bombs of freedom."

I'm curious what your counterfactual scenario is. Supposed the UN resolution doesn't pass, and the U.S. and other countries decide to sit the Libya thing out. What sequence of events leads to the events in Benghazi today not happening?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:40 PM on September 11, 2012


Justinian: " I note Romney is already attacking the administration. I don't think he has any shame."

Of course he doesn't. Mitt's people today pushed back against charges that he's a rookie on foreign policy by pointing out that he speaks French -- FRENCH! Remember "Freedom Fries", Mitt? Your party's voters don't exactly see French on the resume as a plus.

They also cited his experience running the Olympics in that far-off land of Salt Lake City, Utah. I wonder if Mitt shows his passport when he goes to Chinatown.*

But yeah, because some low-level officials at the U.S. embassy in Egypt put out a statement that wasn't quite "we gonna kill some A-rabs" enough totally means Obama can't be trusted to handle U.S. foreign policy.

*I know Mitt doesn't go to Chinatown -- he has people for that, for Pete' sake!
posted by tonycpsu at 10:56 PM on September 11, 2012










Heh. I like the suggestion that President Obama bring Clinton on as "Secretary of Explaining Stuff."

Although, apparently it wasn't "stuff" originally; Obama says, "I cleaned that up a little."
posted by misha at 8:28 PM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd be kind of interested in seeing another poll in GA, last month there was only a 3 pt difference, which was a big swing from last time it was polled, in May, where there was a 12+ pt difference. Hell if that August poll was close to accurate and if Obama got a bounce from the convention...

Honestly though, I don't think it is in play really (538 has it at 96+% a win for Romney) but GA is 16 EVs, more then VA or NC, and only 2 less than the exulted OH. It would be... amusing... to see Mittens have to spend serious $ in Atlanta, and I wish we didn't have to have it come down to either FL or OH ever friggen election cycle.
posted by edgeways at 9:43 AM on September 13, 2012


I think the limited polling of Georgia, Texas and a few other presumed safe Romeny states may provide a suprise for Obama on election night.
posted by humanfont at 7:21 PM on September 13, 2012


They've been polling Florida like crazy. My husband and I both have, separately, taken phone polls about the election in the last couple weeks.
posted by misha at 8:35 PM on September 13, 2012


I think the limited polling of Georgia, Texas and a few other presumed safe Romeny states may provide a suprise for Obama on election night.

I'm gonna just take a wild guess that you don't live in Texas.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:36 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, about what I said upthread about "a major international event (think Israel unilaterally attacking Iran)" changing the race? Well, it looks like Netanyahu's getting ready to go ahead and do it soonish.

Has Bibi Netanyahu’s Criticism of Obama’s Iran Policy Gone Too Far? The Israeli prime minister's recent remarks about Washington's Iran policy has subjected him to strong rebukes in the U.S.
posted by homunculus at 2:17 PM on September 14, 2012


Granholm's really getting them riled up.

Jennifer Granholm on “The Dating Game” in ’78
posted by homunculus at 2:29 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]




Doug Sosnik^ has written a very useful analysis, bearing both good and worrying news (whichever party you favour) for the short and long term US political scene
[via Halperin]

[direct link to the Scribd doc]
posted by peacay at 8:15 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, peacay's link to Doug Sosnik's analysis is a sharp read. Good signs for Obama this November, but be sure to get to the points 5, 6 and 7 for some *very* bad signs for Democrats over the next few elections:
5. Over the longer term, Republicans appear to have far more depth and talent rising through their ranks as evidenced by the quality of their speaker line-up during the convention...the convention underscored just how few Democratic elected officials are poised to take over the mantel of power after Obama and the Clintons leave the scene.

The Republicans’ dominance in races throughout the country in the 2010 elections eviscerated the Democrats’ farm teams in state after state, making the party’s political comeback far more difficult. In the short-term Democrats face a thin bench across the country.

6. Republicans stand the chance of controlling Congress for the rest of the decade if they don't screw it up. Their 2010 House gains give them a structural and numerical advantage. However, the leadership will have to figure out how to harness the extreme elements that have taken over their party caucus in order to maintain the majority.In the Senate, despite Republicans’ missed opportunities to improve their standing over the last two cycles, they are still well-positioned to take the Senate in 2014 when Democrats must defend 20 of the 33 seats up for election. Of these 20 seats, six are in red states. And it’s possible that four to six incumbents could choose to retire rather than face difficult re-election campaigns. If Obama wins a second term, it will only complicate Democrats’ ability to hang on to their majority. Historically, midterms that take place during a president’s second term usually prove difficult for the party in power.

7. Republicans are also well-positioned to continue to dominate state houses and legislatures across the country through the decade. It is difficult to overstate how much damage Democrats suffered in 2010 and how much it cost the party in terms of governorships and control of state legislatures, as well as the next generation of Democratic leaders across the country. Republicans currently control 29 governorships and both legislative chambers in 25 states. In 16 states, Democrats control both chambers. After winning 680 seats in 2010–-the most pickups in any modern era election–-Republicans now hold more state legislative seats than at any time since 1928.
posted by mediareport at 10:52 PM on September 16, 2012




Pretty bad to have the Torygraph against the right wing candidate.
posted by winna at 6:40 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]






Doug Sosnik^ has written a very useful analysis, bearing both good and worrying news (whichever party you favour) for the short and long term US political scene

New thread, btw.
posted by homunculus at 1:43 PM on September 17, 2012






Thinking ahead to 2016 ... testing the waters for a presidential run : "Morning Joe" Scarborogh.

Morning Joe's Mika Exposes Obama
posted by homunculus at 10:50 AM on September 22, 2012


Gotta say the copy on the Mika Exposes Obama link works very well with a Monty Python ''life or death struggle pantomime horse'' narration
posted by edgeways at 11:22 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]






This might burst a few bubbles.... Clinton is referred to by the younger Bushes as ''brother from another mother''
posted by edgeways at 10:54 AM on September 27, 2012




Rebecca Solnit: The Rain on Our Parade - A Letter to My Dismal Allies
posted by homunculus at 11:37 AM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


AUDIENCE MEMBER: You voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Why do you think it is okay for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work as a man?

AKIN: Well, first of all, the premise of your question is that I’m making that particular distinction. I believe in free enterprise. I don’t think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don’t pay. I think it’s about freedom.


You know, it's pretty damned suspicious how often Akin's definition of "freedom" resembles misogynistic bullshit.
posted by misha at 10:48 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


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