Archives for August 2012
“I remain very, very skeptical of hearing anything that will change the course of history. We have a debt problem. We have a spending problem, but how many things did he list to cut?”
— Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), in an interview with Bloomberg TV, on Romney’s speech to the Republican convention.
The Pentagon “threatened legal action against the former member of the Navy SEALs who has written a first-person account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but the author’s lawyer and the book’s publisher, Penguin, said they were proceeding with publication on Sept. 4,” the New York Times reports.
A spokesman said that the book’s author, Matt
Bissonnette, was “in material breach of nondisclosure agreements he
signed with the U.S. government” to not reveal classified information.
If you want to read the book, you might want to get your order in quickly.
In an Obama campaign conference call with reporters, senior adviser David Axelrod said that former President George W. Bush’s policies and legacy — but not Bush himself — will be key to the Obama campaign’s effort to draw a sharp contrast with Mitt Romney, Greg Sargent reports.
“Axelrod joked that Bush the man would get about as much of a mention at the DNC as he did at the RNC — which is to say, almost none at all — but said Bush economics would be very much on the agenda.”
Said Axelrod: “We are going to take issue with the policies that were in place in the last decade, because this is where they want to go back to. These are the policies that they want to embrace once again.”
Alex Castellanos, a former political adviser to Mitt Romney:
“At some point in a debate, Obama is going to turn and challenge Romney, saying, ‘Mitt, you have nothing new to offer. In fact, on social issues, foreign policy, taxes, spending, Medicare and everything else, you have nothing different to offer than taking us back to what George Bush proposed. That’s what got us into this mess.’ Romney has yet to answer that question. He has until the first presidential debate Oct. 3, in Denver, to find a response.”
“Republican voters, if you ask them about my particular policy positions, often agree with me. So there’s a difference between Republicans in Washington and Republican and Republican-leaning voters around the country. I think that after this election, we’ll be in a position to once again reach out to Republicans and say that the American people have rendered a judgment, and the positions we’re taking are well within what used to be considered bipartisan centrist approaches.”
— President Obama, in an interview with Parade, on how he’ll be able to work with Republicans after the election.
Runner’s World is investigating claims by Rep. Paul Ryan that he ran a marathon in under three hours but “has been unable to find any marathon results by Ryan.”
“Requests for more information from Ryan’s Washington and Wisconsin offices, and from the Romney-Paul campaign, have so far gone unanswered.”
A federal judge in Ohio “is giving all voters in the swing state the option of casting their ballot in person during the three days before Election Day,” the AP reports.
The judge issued a preliminary injunction granting the request from President Obama’s campaign that targets a state law that cuts off early voting for most residents on the Friday evening before a Tuesday election.
Rick Hasen: “This could get very ugly very quickly. This is certainly not the last word, unless SOS Husted chooses not to appeal.”
Michael Moore: “The footage of Eastwood rambling and mumbling to his ‘Harvey’–President Obama–will be played to audiences a hundred years from now as the Most Bizarre Convention Moment Ever. The people of the future will know nothing about Dirty Harry or Josey Wales or Million Dollar Baby. They will know about the night a crazy old man hijacked a national party’s most important gathering so he could literally tell the president to go do something to himself (i.e. fuck himself). In those few moments (and these days, it only takes a few moments–see Anthony Weiner), he completely upended and redefined how he’ll be remembered by younger and future generations.”
A new West Virginia Poll shows Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) crushing challenger John Raese (R), 66% to 27%.
In the presidential race, Mitt Romney has a solid lead over President Obama, 52% to 38%.
A dozen years after the razor close presidential race in 2000, Al Gore told Current TV that he now believes the presidency should be decided on the popular vote and not the Electoral College.
Said Gore: “I really do now think it’s time to change that. It’s always tough to amend the Constitution and risky to do so, but there is a very interesting movement under way that takes it state by state, that may really have a chance of succeeding.”
A Florida man “obsessed with Fox News and the Republican party” is in jail after he allegedly said that he felt he was going to have to kill his girlfriend because she was a “liberal,” the Palm Beach Post reports.
William Kristol: “Mitt Romney said not a word about the war in Afghanistan. Nor did he utter a word of appreciation to the troops fighting there, or to those who have fought there. Nor for that matter were there thanks for those who fought in Iraq, another conflict that went unmentioned.”
“Leave aside the question of the political wisdom of Romney’s silence, and the opportunities it opens up for President Obama next week. What about the civic propriety of a presidential nominee failing even to mention, in his acceptance speech, a war we’re fighting and our young men and women who are fighting it?”
Mark Halperin: “Convention planners had assumed the Hollywood legend would reprise the powerful and typically gruff/charming performance he delivered at the beginning of August when he showed up out of the blue at a Romney fundraiser in Idaho and said he was backing the Republican.”
“Romney aides played down the impact Eastwood’s odd turn might have on Tampa’s positive impact, but they acknowledge that the empty-chair monologue came as a complete surprise to them. They simply turned the podium over to an iconic superstar and expected him to stand and deliver.”
First Read: “Unfortunately for the Romney campaign, Eastwood was yet another unforced
error. Of course, all campaigns make them… But
Romney and his campaign stumble on the EASIEST of situations.”
“We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”
— Karl Rove, quoted by Businessweek at a fundraiser, on the unwanted Republican Missouri U.S. Senate candidate.
A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds one in four registered voters may be persuadable in the 2012 presidential election.
Key findings: “One element of persuadability, anxiety, is significant: In the new ABC/Post poll, 53 percent of Obama’s backers say that regardless of their supporting him, they’re anxious about how he’d perform in a second term as president – and even more of Romney’s supporters, 62 percent, are anxious about their man. Four in 10 overall also say they’re interested in more information about the candidates. And 25 percent meet both those conditions: anxious about their candidate, and looking for more information.”
Businessweek: “This rare look at the mechanics of SuperPac fundraising and electoral strategy was likely not intended for reporters. I was invited as the guest of a financier who is a significant Republican donor. The financier knew that I was a journalist. At no point was I presented with, nor did I agree to, restrictions regarding the information I heard. Upon my arrival at the breakfast, I was not asked if I was a journalist. I gave my name, identified the person who had invited me, was handed a wristband, and ushered into the dining room. American Crossroads disputes this version of events, but a spokesman did not immediately return calls to elaborate.”
Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination but gave a speech that was flat. He started slowly, often rambling, but gradually moved to a more powerful, scolding tone. It was utterly predictable and lacked specifics, but he checked off most of the important topics.
A bizarre appearance
by Clint Eastwood beforehand and interruptions by Code Pink hecklers during his speech certainly
didn’t help, but Romney just isn’t an inspiring speaker. It was not worthy of the moment.
Josh Marshall: “I thought the first half to 2/3 of the speech were really weak, disjointed, kind of rambling… That changed in the last ten or fifteen minutes – it finally developed
some verve and direction. In speech terms it was fairly solid at the end… But on balance, I thought it was fairly weak as a speech. He’s the
underdog and he’s the guy who needs to have a galvanizing introduction
to the general public. In those terms, it was a missed opportunity. A
pretty big one.”
Andrew Sullivan: “My instant verdict? A good night for improving Mitt’s personal image;
but a sad evening for an actual reality-based critique of Obama’s
record, or a coherent set of proposals for the future… In a word: mediocre, and deeply dishonest as an argument. As a way to soften his awful image: B +.”
The Romney campaign planned a mystery guest to address the Republican convention: Hollywood actor and director Clint Eastwood.
First Read: “But it might have been more of a surprise than they bargained for. In a rather rambling speech that lasted for more than 10 minutes — not delivered on TelePrompter — Eastwood criticized President Obama, in part by conducting an imaginary interview with the president.”
If you missed it, you have to watch the video. It’s an instant classic.