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Holman Jenkins writes about the Bain ads.
… Mr. Obama’s great political talent has been his knack for granting his admirers permission to think highly of themselves for thinking highly of him. The self-approval of his supporters is the engine of his political rise, albeit married to the kind of hardball that drove his two most formidable rivals out of the 2004 Senate race in divorce-related scandals.
But now there’s a problem. In a presidential re-election race, the formula is inconvenienced by the existence of a very public record of things done and said, of persistent joblessness and sluggish growth, and one big issue that threatens to dwarf the Obama allure altogether—the entire industrial world’s rendezvous with insolvency.
Here’s the real message of the Bain ads. The ads may invoke classic private-equity slurs like looter and stripper, but the real message is that private equity is exactly what it says it is: a bringer of efficiency and rationalization. Mr. Romney, the ads say, wants to take things away from you that he claims no longer are affordable; Mr. Obama, the ads say, will fight whoever tries to take things away. To the less sophisticated voter, the Obama message is a soothing “nothing has to change.” To the more sophisticated, President Obama proposes himself as the defender of every spending interest, never favoring a cut, always pushing for higher taxes.
Look at Europe. Look at California. This strategy can work electorally. As policy, it may be unbelievable, irrational and misleading—like Gov. Jerry Brown clinging to his bullet train. But it makes a kind of political sense. …
Andrew Malcolm lists three of Romney’s emerging strengths.
With summer officially underway and only 161 days left before the presidential election, it’s a good time to take inventory of Mitt Romney’s chances of sending Barack Obama into early retirement a la Jimmy Carter.
The MSM has made much of Obama’s commanding poll leads among blacks and Latinos. Romney was supposed to be vulnerable among evangelicals, until Obama’s same-sex wedding gift. We heard a lot about Obama’s strength among women, until it started to fade.
No one knows, of course, but conventional wisdom today holds the Nov. 6 outcome will be close. Unless it isn’t. And then we’ll hear all about why it wasn’t.
You don’t hear much about Romney’s strengths these days, but what can we discern right now about them and their scope?
Well, economics and jobs have been atop virtually every opinion poll since Obama took office and began his determined drive for pretty much anything else. Gallup asked people recently to describe their economic views. By more than a two-to-one margin (46%-20%) Americans called themselves some shade of conservative instead of liberal. Even moderates (32%) outnumbered liberals.
On social issues the gap was closer (38%-28%), but conservatives still outweighed the spendthrifts.
Advantage: Romney …
Jennifer Rubin thinks Romney’s electoral college prospects are good.
Lo and behold, conventional wisdom has now changed. The Associated Press writes: “Warning signs for Obama on tight path to 270.” The AP explains:
“Obama’s new worries about North Carolina and Wisconsin offer opportunities for Republican Mitt Romney, who must peel off states Obama won in 2008 if he’s to cobble together the 270 electoral votes needed to oust the incumbent in November.
Iowa, which kicked off the campaign in January, is now expected to be tight to the finish, while New Mexico, thought early to be pivotal, seems to be drifting into Democratic territory.
If the election were today, Obama would likely win 247 electoral votes to Romney’s 206, according to an Associated Press analysis of polls, ad spending and key developments in states, along with interviews with more than a dozen Republican and Democratic strategists both inside and outside of the two campaigns.
Seven states, offering a combined 85 electoral votes, are viewed as too close to give either candidate a meaningful advantage: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.”
Among that group, you have to like Romney’s chance in Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, with Iowa and Colorado going to the President Obama. That puts Romney’s total at 276. …
Alana Goodman thinks the president’s campaign will have a hard time scaring the folks with the “hard right Romney.”
John Heilemann has a big-picture report on the Obama campaign’s shift from hope to fear. Rather than focusing on an affirmative reelection message, Obama’s strategy is to paint Mitt Romney as a composite of various nightmarish right-wingers in the hope that it will scare off independent voters and shore up the progressive base:…
… Beyond Romney’s record, his personality doesn’t fit the stereotype of the extreme right-winger. He’s mild-mannered and accentless, and walks without swagger. He chooses his words carefully and rarely goes off message. The Obama campaign can compare him to fringe characters like Joe Arpaio all it wants, but the disparity is unmistakable….
Weekly Standard piece wonders if Scott Brown is going to get lucky again.
The event was called “Hoops for Our Troops,” and it was held on Armed Forces Day (May 19) in a high school gym here in Newton. The mayor, Setti Warren, came up with the idea. He is an Iraq war veteran himself and passionate about helping vets. The event brought veterans together with potential employers as well as representatives from job training programs, health care providers, counseling services, and others. Spice for the event came in the form of two basketball games. In one, the players were disabled veterans in wheelchairs. The other game, which was the draw, was between teams that were a mix of vets and local celebrities, mostly from broadcasting and sports, among them Kevin Faulk of the New England Patriots. Mayor Warren also suited up to play.
This was a made-to-order opportunity, then, for any capable, hustling politician looking to connect with constituents, early in a tough campaign. So Senator Scott Brown, who is an officer in the National Guard with some brief service in Afghanistan, arrived a little before halftime in the second game and worked the room. He goofed a little with the players. Shook a lot of hands. Did not make a speech and, in general, kept things low-key and casual. He was either enjoying himself and happy to be there, or very gifted at pretending to be. Which, in his line of work, probably amounts to the same thing.
It is fortunate for Brown that he is good at this sort of thing because if he intends to win in the league where he has chosen to compete, then he is going to have to play large. He is, first of all, a Republican, and no matter how hard you try, you can only go so far in ameliorating that liability in Massachusetts, which is among the bluest of the blue states. So blue, in fact, that Mitt Romney, who once managed to get himself elected governor of Massachusetts, is certain to concede the state as a lock for President Obama.
The Senate seat which Scott Brown now occupies was held for 46 years by Ted Kennedy. It is still considered by many to be “the Kennedy seat,” though Brown got some traction in the 2010 special election to fill the two years remaining in Kennedy’s term after his death by insisting that it is “the people’s seat.” Nice point, but then most of “the people” are Democrats.
Brown was expected to lose that election, and he might have, except that it was the time of the Tea Party ascendant, and opposition to Obamacare was running high. Voters knew that Brown might represent the needed 40th vote to keep a filibuster alive in the Senate.
He also had the good fortune to run against a political stiff …
Throughout the Fauxcahontas flap, the Boston Globe has been supporting her version of events – until now. Corner post by Patrick Brennan has the story.
Over the weekend, more news emerged about the bizarre controversy over how Elizabeth Warren and Harvard University identified the law professor’s ethnicity. Warren has claimed that she did not identify herself as a minority, and didn’t know that Harvard had, but Harvard registered her as a Native American in a federal database that’s usually based on self-identification (indeed, one wonders how else someone would label Warren a Native American, save her claim). The Boston Globe reports: …
Andrew Malcolm has late night humor.
Fallon: A recent survey found that more men are finding work in fields that are historically dominated by women. Yeah, I heard it from that nun at my church — Sister Gary.
Fallon: Michelle Obama says if she could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be Beyoncé. Of course, it got awkward when Barack was like, “I’m game!”
Fallon: A solar-powered plane tried to fly over 1,500 miles. Going great until the plane encountered this one technical problem — night.