The Libya Scandal Unbound

Mitt Romney made the right play in the last debate with President Obama which centered on foreign policy. While many like myself and even the cool cucumber Charles Krauthammer would have loved to see Romney go at Obama with a Louisville Slugger on the Libya debacle, it would have taken the debate into the tall weeds. As I've said many times, candidates running for president actually deserve our sympathy because they have to spend so much time - most of it in the home stretch - convincing really stupid people to vote for them. Maybe that's a little harsh but what you have to remember about "undecided" voters is that they have no real ideology. They never spend their time doing any deep thinking, of giving much consideration to things outside of their domestic bubble. Romney's message of "we'll be a strong nation (i.e. safe) abroad by being a strong nation domestically (i.e. economically)" was a stroke of genius considering who he has to win over in the final days. A broad, macro approach to foreign policy appeals to moderate or undecided voters who he can put him over the top on November 6th.

That being said, us political wonks know that what has happened in Libya is a "big f-ing deal" to quote our Vice President who isn't just an idiot, he's an unfeeling and callous individual. I'm the type of person that speaks my mind and occasional bends the rules of decorum, but asking a dead-soldier's father about his son's balls is the height of social ignorance and utterly contemptible. You see, to Obama, Biden and Hillary, we aren't even real human beings, we're like game pieces, but not in a game of kings like Chess or even Risk. I'm afraid we're all playing Sorry.

Be that as it may, all the evidence and ass-covering of the past weeks points to only one conclusion. President Obama left our people in Libya defenseless. The only question left is why? Was it a purely political decision? an avoidance of a possibly failed military mission before an election? Certainly the ghost of Jimmy Carter's ill-fated rescue attempt of the Iranian hostages is still with us. But even if that's so, it's maddening to think that Obama and his inner circle would think that something like this could stay a secret.


The Home Stretch

Been very busy at work so posting has been non-existent, but with the day off I'm taking the opportunity to get back up to speed.

I'm naturally a pessimist when it comes to elections and the chances of my guy winning, but I'm finding less and less to be pessimistic about in the case of Mitt Romney's run for the presidency. Right now, the smart money is on him to win this election. The polls are breaking his way and no matter what verbal slips a Senate candidate makes or what nothing-burgers Gloria Allred comes up with, nothing out there seems to be able to stop Romney's momentum. People are paying attention and waking up. Newspapers that endorsed Obama in 2008 are flipping for Romney thus adding to the wave. I'm not saying I'm 100% convinced victory is in hand, but it's looking damn good.

That being said, Romney is going to need every vote. There will be fraud and there may be bad weather. If you have early voting in your state, do it. If there's rain forecast for election day, invest in poncho. Do what you have to do to cast that vote. Here in Nevada, I voted last Saturday. I had the voting machine print out my ballot so I could double-check it had the right names. Ultimately, that's all you can do.


Second Debate: My Take

Didn't get to see all of last night's debate due to prior commitments but saw enough and various clips to get a good feel for it.

First, here's two opinions from two bright men of the right.

Charles Krauthammer:

“Obama clearly had a good night,” Krauthammer said, asserting that on points, President Obama won the debate. “When Romney went large he did well, when Romney went small [...] Obama got the better of him.”

Mark Levin:

Charles Krauthammer and his followers today are wrong. Obama did not win the debate on points or edge out Romney. Based on what? Obama could not defend his awful record, which Romney repeatedly hammered. In fact, Obama lied about his supposed role in increasing oil and gas production. He lied about creating jobs. He lied about Romney’s position on women’s access to health care. Does that give Obama the edge?

Obama sounded like a fool on the terrorist attack on Libya. Candy Crowley tried to rescue him with her own dishonest statement and intervention. But Romney nailed Obama. In fact, Obama’s false assertion and Crowley’s abuse of her role are the big topics of discussion this morning. And Obama was often angry and disregarded the rules and the clock.

So, on what basis did Obama edge out Romney? This debate changes nothing and Obama is stuck with his record. 

Here's the thing: they're both right. Sounds wishy-washy but they're coming from two different, yet correct, perspectives. Krauthammer is giving the perspective on how the debate will play with the public as a whole both rational and irrational; a public that looks at things not always based on facts but rather like a boxing match where a punch is a punch even if there's not much power behind it. Levin on the other hand is analyzing this from a purely logical point of view looking at the facts and less the presentation.

Bottom line, Romney went into this debate ahead of the game. He just had to not lose it in order to keep his momentum going. Obama excited his base but that's chump-change in the grand scheme. All Obama has to worry about with his base is turnout. To win this election you need to get the independents and even with Obama's "fiery" performance, Romney still wins them over on economic issues. As important as I think Libya is, the economy is still where this race is gonna be won or lost. After last night, advantage is still Romney's. Now he needs to run some effective ads that make the points he wasn't able to make at the debate.

Early voting starts Saturday here in Nevada. Get out there!

UPDATE: Great minds...what do they do? They think alike.


The Romney Surge: A Theory

If I weren't such a pessimist, I would be inclined to say that the signs are there that Mitt Romney is pulling away from Barack Obama. He's picking up steam in the swing states and the crowds coming out to see him are huge.

The campaign started rolling after Romney's debate with President Obama. It was watched by 67 million Americans...a spectacular number and his performance gave a sterling first impression to the many who had, for all intents and purposes, seen him for the first time.

We hear every presidential election that "most" voters don't really start getting into the race until October unlike us wonks who are into it 24/7 and can't figure out how no one has made up their minds yet. However, this old cliche may have proven out, but (spoiler alert!) the MSM is to blame.

Let's look at these people that supposedly were seeing Romney for the first time. To be more precise these were people that had, of course, heard of Mitt Romney, but up until that point, they knew him as a caricature. And who, dear reader, creates said caricatures? You guessed it.

As with any major political event, we get an endless stream of stupid "Do ____ Matter?" articles from the MSM. In the case of the Obama/Romney debate we got plenty of "Do Debates Matter?" write-ups and pontifications after the debate since it was clear their guy Obama got his clock cleaned.

So to answer this question: Yes, debates do matter...for Republican candidates, thanks to you, MSM. If the American people had had a real, unbiased representation of Mitt Romney from the media since he secured the GOP nomination, they wouldn't have gone into the debate knowing him only as some rich guy with great hair who had something to do with the Olympics and might have injected some woman with cancer. But despite the MSM buffoonery, the debate wouldn't have mattered as much if Romney hadn't done as well as he did. If he wins in November, we may have to stop talking about the first Kennedy-Nixon debate as the most significant presidential debate in history.

Romney has the momentum right now, let's just hope it's enough.


Let It Come Down

Admittedly, I'm still very nervous about the election. I watched the debates the other night with my heart racing. I wanted Mitt Romney to do well. It's like a football game: you're watching the clock, your team has the lead...can they can hold on? In that last 10 minutes, I knew Romney had "won the game" and was hoping he didn't give up too much to Obama in "garbage time."

Lot's of tricks upcoming. Ridiculous unemployment numbers; a bin Laden movie; maybe some wagging of the dog in Libya. It could all work. Obama could still pull this out and after that, you can bet he'll be out for revenge for suffering the indignity of being challenged.

But while my mood still swings slightly with the good and bad news day by day, I am developing a sense of peace over November 6th. Either way, we'll know. We'll know where we stand and where we're headed. If Romney wins, there's some hope for America returning to normalcy. If Obama wins, well, we'll know where we stand can adjust accordingly. While I still pray it doesn't happen, a second Obama term will be like the biggest boxing match a fighter has ever faced. The American Idea will have the opportunity to see what it's made of; if it can withstand the biggest challenge of its life. It's almost thrilling to think about; to be taken to the precipice. The rational part of my brain says "We can't let it happen, we won't survive." while the more philosophical side says "Let this be our final battle."

Right now, we're in a state of limbo like I've never personally experienced. If the only path left is through the looking glass, then...let it come down.


First Debate: My Take

The biggest problem with presidential debates is they tend to be all about the zingers in the end. In fact, there was a story floated by the media this week that Mitt Romney has prepared a playbook of zingers for the debate. I think after tonight, that story was bunkum, however, the story that Romney had been preparing like crazy for this debate is very believable. And that's good news. What better quality could you ask for in a president than excellent preparation? (i.e. He does his homework.)

Yes, it's true that the challenger usually does better in the first debate as he tries to land a punch, but it was more than that. Romney was prepared, he was aggressive but not a bully, he took control of the room and answered allegations with lists of counterpoints (Paul Ryan influence?). Obama wouldn't make eye contact with Romney for about the first 30 minutes, seemed to get some kind of rhythm after that and then coasted the rest of the way trying to run out the clock. The MSNBC cabal was forlorned. Obama spokespeople blamed Jim Lehrer.

Deep breath.

Romney won the debate and Obama suffered by not having a teleprompter and more importantly being out of shape debate-wise. As many pointed out on Twitter, he hasn't been challenged, really challenged, in four years (if not longer). If the media actually put him through his trials once in a while he might be better prepared.

I agree with Krauthammer that this isn't a 'total game-changer, it's over, Romney is President' performance but it is a serious boost to Romney's campaign. One more month with this kind of energy and he can win this thing. The next debate will be much different as Obama will be more prepared (right?), so don't get cocky but stay the course you've set tonight.

On another note, Lehrer is gonna get a lot of grief from the MSM, but this is the best debate I've seen in years, and not because Romney won. What's been missing from debates with their stupid town-hall formats, with scripted questions from "real" people, is interaction between the candidates themselves. Lehrer got run over by Romney and later Obama but that was a good thing. The accidental format of "here's the topic: discuss..." was the best thing that could have happened. These two men are the warriors the country has chosen for the final battle in November. Many of us are dying for a little bit of "This is Sparta!" We (at least us red state types) got some of that tonight. 


Tape Drops: A Theory

The nation's editor, Matt Drudge, has tweeted a scoop about a tape drop tonight:

Perhaps, but look at everything we've seen this campaign season. Obama would have to murder an underage prostitute before the polls would show a significant blip while Romney has had everything and the kitchen sink thrown at him.

I marvel at the idea that there's any piece of video tape at this point in the campaign that can have any effect. We accuse politicians and the media of living in a bubble, but I'm fear the general public may itself have been engulfed inside the bubble. What will it take to shock us to the core? I'm highly doubt we'll be seeing it tonight, and that could be a bigger problem for our country than anything actually on the tape.

UPDATE: Well, here it is. Will it make any difference? My gut reaction is no. It should, but it won't.


Jockeying For Position On Election Day

It's anathema to a blogger to say "I have no idea." Why blog then? Well, it's about more than just being a soothsayer, but right now I, and many others, face the dilemma of having no idea how the election is going to shake out. We are literally (hat tip: Joe Biden) sinking in a flood of media misinformation with more polls coming out every day either showing Obama winning or the race a tie. This has led to arguments over whether these polls are skewed or not. Limbaugh says this is all for the sole purpose of dispiriting Romney voters while Erick Erickson says the polls are correct and Romney needs to up his game or it's over. While I respect Erickson, I don't think he has any idea but is playing the pessimists so as to have something to hang his hat on in an Obama second term. If he's wrong, we'll all be too excited/relieved to care.

I'd like to think the public is still as angry as they were in 2010. Yes, I said angry. The late Peter Jennings called the 1994 Congressional elections a national "hissy fit," but that was to be expected from a journalist who used to date a PLO mouthpiece. But despite his snark, he was right. People were mad. They elected in 1992 a supposedly moderate Democrat who went full socialists for two years so they reacted accordingly. Now we look on the Clinton years as the good ol' days when small businesses were at least allowed a chance to survive. America had it's "Hissy Fit II" in 2010 but it wasn't enough. We need to go full-blown conniption in 2012.