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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 08/17/2012

Morning Bits

Not inspirational. “The Obama campaign is veering toward antinomianism. Since it regards its own motives as pure, it feels it can dispense with the normal rules of accuracy, civility and decency. So we get the political methods of Spiro Agnew combined with the moral self-regard of Woodrow Wilson. It is not an attractive mixture.”

Not transparent. “Members of the White House press corps complained loudly on Thursday about the Obama administration’s dealings with the media. There were two things that Chuck Todd and Jake Tapper — White House correspondents for NBC and ABC, respectively — were not happy about. The first was a report in Politico that staffers for Joe Biden had tried to edit some unpleasant sections of a press pool report — something Politico said was ‘unheard of.’ . . . Over at ABC, Jake Tapper was hitting the Obama campaign on another front: its candidate’s lack of interaction with the press corps. ‘President Obama Takes Questions from People Mag, Entertainment Tonight, Disses White House Press Corps,’ read a sharply worded blog post on ABC News’ website.”

Not acceptable. “In Seoul on March 26, Obama was caught on tape assuring then-Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s factotum, that he would have ‘more flexibility’ after the U.S. presidential election. He stressed that this would be ‘my last election’ — implying that once that chore was out of the way he would no longer need to worry about voters and what they think . . . . Is it acceptable for an American president to promise to accommodate despots on vital matters of national security, cutting the American people out of the discussion?”

Not risky, after all. “Clearly, the incumbents have no desire to engage Romney and Ryan in a serious debate. Romney’s big all-in raise with Ryan has now made that crystal clear. Thanks to the leadership vacuum produced by the current President and Vice President on any kind of substantive economic debate, the Republican challengers are now doing what once seemed unthinkable – launching an offensive on Medicare, one that has Team Obama already stumbling for a defense.”

Not enthusiastic. “In stark contrast to 2008, when a strong partisan tailwind propelled Democratic voter registration to record levels, this year Republican and independent gains are far outpacing those of Democrats. In Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado, and Nevada — tossup states where direct election-year comparisons could be drawn — the numbers are striking. Democratic rolls increased by only 39,580, less than one-tenth the amount at the comparable point in the 2008 election.”

Not successful. “President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again. The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market. . . . GM is unlikely to hit the wall before the election, but, given current trends, the company could easily do so again before the end of a second Obama term.” It’s almost like government is really bad at picking winners and losers.

Not complicated (if you’re Mitt Romney with a whiteboard). “First, with regards to seniors, those are people who are today 55 years of age and older, today’s seniors if you will. My plan presents no change. . . . So this is the President’s plan: $716 billion cut, 4 million people losing Medicare Advantage and 15 percent of hospitals and nursing homes not accepting Medicare patients. The President’s plan has a dramatic impact on today’s seniors, people 55 years of age and older. Now, there’s another topic which I will call it the next generation, the generation after today’s seniors, generations after today’s seniors. And under the President’s plan, this goes bankrupt. The Medicare trustees have notified the President that the plan will go bankrupt, Medicare Part A, in approximately 12 years. Under the plan that I’ve proposed, it is solvent.”

Not popular. “Obama’s ratings on the economy are significantly worse than all three prior successful presidential incumbents at this same point in their first term, according to the available Gallup trends. His 36% approval rating on the economy is well below George W. Bush’s rating in August 2004 (46%), Bill Clinton’s in August 1996 (54%), and Ronald Reagan’s in July 1984 (50%). Still, in terms of comparisons to presidents who lost, Obama’s economic rating is substantially better than that of George H.W. Bush in July 1992 (18%). Gallup did not measure Americans’ approval of Jimmy Carter on the economy in 1980. Obama’s single worst rating of the seven issues measured in the current poll is for the federal budget deficit.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 08/17/2012

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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