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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 11/13/2011

Morning Bits

Herman Cain’s appeal dims. “I think what was overlooked, because nobody remembers any element of the debate except the Perry moment, was that Cain, apart from the problems of the [sexual harassment] accusations, answered every question he got — whether it was China or fluctuations in the stock market — with 999, which at one point drew laughter from the other candidates.”

Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) star hasn’t dimmed: He “has emerged unscathed from a controversy stemming from the date on which his family emigrated from Cuba, according to a new poll Friday. Forty-nine percent of Florida voters approved of Rubio’s job performance — unchanged from late September, reports a new Quinnipiac poll. Only 29 percent disapproved of his job performance, slightly down from 31 percent in September.”

Hope dims but doesn’t vanish for a supercommittee deal. “Sens. Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), Republican members of the deficit-reduction supercommittee, are trying to attract Democrats off the special panel to support their plan to restructure the tax code.”

Democracy dims in Russia. President Obama may be feckless, but a campaign of public pressure is having is making a mark. “Two Russian generals have called off plans to travel to Washington, according to the group that invited them, following a backlash over their alleged involvement in the case of a whistleblowing lawyer who died in a Moscow jail. The lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died two years ago, but fallout from his death has reverberated in U.S.-Russian relations, with repeated allegations that officials were culpable in his death and later covered up their role. The allegations have fueled calls for accountability from rights groups and U.S. officials.”

The prospects for the “peace process” go from dim to nonexistent with the departure from the Obama administration of Dennis Ross. Elliott Abrams observes that “it does highlight once again the degree to which this administration has mismanaged affairs in the region. It has lost the confidence of Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and more broadly of Arab leaders, all of whom believe that American influence in the region is declining. It has presided over three years in which Israelis and Palestinians have not even been sitting together at the table, which would have calmed nerves even if it produced little or no progress. And it does not seem to know where to go next. . . . I don’t know why Mr. Ross is leaving and leaving now, but with the diplomatic situation that grim, who can blame him? And who can blame him if he has tired of being the facade of wonderful Obama-Israel relations behind which the actual political and diplomatic relationship steadily became colder and more distant.”

In a must-read piece, Mona Charen takes a dim view of the circle-the-wagons mentality regarding Cain. “The booing, and some of the commentary among conservatives, can be interpreted to mean not only that we disbelieve the accusations, but that they wouldn’t trouble us even if they were true. Alternatively, one gets the sense among some conservatives who are circling the wagons around Mr. Cain that the accusations are the reason to support him — despite his weaknesses on policy, experience, and crisis management. We don’t know whether Mr. Cain is telling the truth that he ‘never sexually harassed anybody.’ . . . But if Mr. Cain is telling the truth, his memory lapses alone might disqualify him (along with the hapless Rick Perry) from consideration for the presidency.”

I suspect the left’s infatuation with OWS will continue to dim as it devolves into self-parody. “So let me get this straight: Harvard students are ‘occupying’ the Yard to protest how the 1 percent keep the 99 percent in economic servitude. But the Crimson protest against capitalist oppression is by invitation only, and all the gates on campus have been locked, chained and padlocked to keep out the real 99 percent? Occupy Harvard? It’s more like Occupy Gated Community. The pampered pukes are saying their faux encampment of Eddie Bauer and L.L. Bean tents is ‘symbolic.’ It sure is — symbolic of the breathtaking hypocrisy of these limousine liberals.”

As the prospects for Cain and Perry dim, more pols are pointing to Rick Santorum. “Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad on Friday said Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s debate gaffe this week was one of those unfortunate iconic moments, just like former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s memorable scream was in 2004. . . . Branstad said strong performances in Iowa were essential for Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. He also said former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ‘could be the real sleeper in this thing.’ ”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 11/13/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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