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Archive for August, 2012

Rachel Maddow rips Chris Christie keynote speech as selfish because he supposedly didn’t mention Mitt Romney until 1800 words into a 2300 word speech. I just checked the transcript for the speech Democrats occasionally cite as the gold standard of keynote addresses – Mario Cuomo’s 1984 speech in San Francisco. It’s 4309 words. The words “Walter Mondale” are never mentioned.
1TF

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One wonders what goes through Andrea Mitchell’s head sometimes. Her statement that “This is not a pick for suburban moms. This is not a pick for women” says more about her than it does about Ryan. While it may not be a pick for Mitchell and her fellow moderate-to-liberal, pro-choice, Jewish women from New Rochelle, New York, they are not in fact the majority of suburban womenhood – nor are they a swing demographic. There are plenty of suburban moms for whom the Ryan pick will work just fine. Many of these women are Christian women in midwestern swing states – Catholics in Cincinnati, Evangelicals outside Des Moines, Lutherans in the Twin Cities, etc. – the kinds of women Mitchell rarely meets but believes she can speak about with authority. Furthermore, not all suburbs are created the same. Suburbs closer to the city tend to be more liberal; outer-ring suburbs tend to be more liberal. Mitchell’s blanket declaration, coming from someone who is neither suburban nor a mom, is more than a little presumptuous. I can’t think of a single person, male or female, who could have been acceptable to the Republican electorate and could have gotten Mitchell’s ‘suburban mom seal of approval’. That’s not because suburban moms are overwhelmingly liberal; it’s because she is.

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The Ryan Choice

A few thoughts on Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as a running mate:
– Ryan’s really young for this. He looks like he’s still running for student council president.
– On the other hand, Ryan is no Dan Quayle or Sarah Palin. He’s a genuine idea guy. He’ll be able to hold his own intellectually on the campaign trail, with one possible exception …
– Defense and foreign policy is a concern. Neither Romney nor Ryan is experienced in that area. (I think it is a genuine shame that no member of either ticket has served a single day in the military.) Ryan will need to study up to make sure he meets the challenge former Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden is sure to pose to him in the vice presidential campaign.
– Ryan does offer the chance to make Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa more competitive. I don’t know that he offers much in Pennsylvania or Ohio (even though he attended college there). In Florida, his views on Medicare and Social Security might make some seniors nervous.
– This pick makes the campaign less of a ‘referendum’ campaign and more of a ‘choice’ campaign. It makes it marginally more difficult for Romney to win, but it helps him to have an ideological mandate to act if indeed he does win. In a turnout election, Ryan increases the enthusiasm factor of people on the right.
– In conclusion, the pick, like most VP choices, is a wash. The people will concentrate their focus on Obama vs. Romney. Let’s get it on and get it over with.

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Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard indicates that Romney may be picking his VP on Thursday. Word is Rep. Marsha Blackburn (a member of the 1TF shortlist from July 10th) will be in Richmond, Virginia this Thursday for a “Women for Romney” fundraiser. From there it’s a quick trip up to wherever Romney would need her to be as he starts his bus tour. The logistics seem to work out quite well if she is indeed his choice.

– 1TF

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Congratulations are in order for those liberals, such as Glenn Greenwald, Kevin Drum and the editors of the Boston Globe who have rightfully chastised the mayors of Chicago and Boston. Whether one agrees with Mr. Cathy’s opinion on gay marriage or not, it’s clear he has a right to say it. If gay marriage advocates want to boycott his company for that reason, they have that right. But the mayors of Chicago and Boston do not have the right to hold up zoning permits or otherwise use the power of government to treat his business any worse than any other similar business. The law is clear here, and Messrs. Emanuel and Mennino are on the wrong side of it. One expects the conservatives to point this out; it was refreshing to see some liberals understanding it as well. The First Amendment protects the right to hold any opinion, not just those we like.

1TF

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If Mitt Romney wants to avoid being compared to George W. Bush, he’ll need to do better than this.  His overseas trip was understaffed and underplanned, leaving the mission prone to high-visibility mistakes that the press pounced on and which overwhelmed whatever good he was trying to do.  Sounds like Bush in Iraq.  Mr. Romney needs to show voters he’ll be competent in foreign policy.  The fact that much of what he said was actually true – Great Britain wasn’t quite ready and the Israeli Jewish culture does account for a large part of Israel’s economic success – doesn’t matter that much.  The press will focus on the mistakes.  He needs to expect that in any endeavor and account for it in his planning.

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