Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Tag: 2012 election

We Do Have a Mandate—- So What?

Congratulations to all the Democratic grassroots, to an outstanding campaign team, and to President Obama and Vice President Biden.  What, exactly did we all win? Democrats still control the executive branch and half of the legislative, and the Republicans still control the other half of the legislative branch (thanks to some exotic redistricting) and the top of the judicial branch, SCOTUS.

You might think Obama's strong win was proof that the voters re-approved his message and his accomplishments in his first term; the election could be regarded as a referendum on Obama and his "liberal" policies. Not so fast. Already, we hear The Establishment pundit class stating in no uncertain terms that we are still a "deeply divided nation," half and half, with the always-to-be-expected insistence that, well, Yes, Obama won, but... but half the country voted for Romney, so, of course Obama must now "move to the middle," and compromise with the losers--- who, remember, lost.  This demand was not, so far as I can remember, imposed upon George W. Bush, who was appointed to his first term not by the voters but by the Supreme Court; he governed as ferociously as if he had received an overwhelming mandate, and charged off down an utterly disastrous road

Mudcat: GOTV will Let Obama, Kaine Prevail in Virginia

I caught Mudcat being interviewed this morning on MSNBC by Chuck Todd.

The entire interview was not particularly interesting. Todd is a generic television political analyst who tends to base his reporting on the conventional wisdom, occasionally channeling the analysis of the last political operative to plant an idea in his brain (lately, he seems to have developed a good source in the Romney camp, based on his reporting). Both of those skills were on display for the majority of his chat with Mudcat. Meh.

Mudcat did explain that he did not see the Commonwealth as a "purple" state, but rather still as a "red" state, based on the makeup of the General Assembly. At a local state level, he is without doubt correct (and it must look extremely red from his perch down there in Roanoke), but thanks to continuing demographic changes and a growing urban population, particularly in NOVA, the picture is not quite as clear on a statewide basis. It is now possible for Democrats to statewide elections without attracting significant numbers of "independents" to its side.

Indeed, at the very end of the interview, Todd asked about the whether Democrats could offset losing that "independent" vote in the Commonwealth (which Todd sited in the Southern D.C. suburbs, the Northern Neck, and the more rural areas of Hampton Roads), and Mudcat had an interesting response:

ALEC Announces Recall and Replacement of Romney-bot

In a stunning late night press conference, the Alien Legal Entity Corporation announced the re-call of its premier artificial human, the Romney-bot (also known as ShamMan). Mr. Josh A. Lot, Chief Information Officer at ALEC, said the current Romney-bot, version 2.55, is being replaced overnight by the much enhanced version 3.0. He claimed they expected the transition to be smooth and utterly seamless. A reporter from The Times asked, if this was going from version 2.55 to 3.0, how many earlier versions of Romney-bot had there been, and wouldn't people notice the change?

Mr. Lot smiled a lot, pointing out, "We have had at least 16 versions of our marvelous plastic politician, and the general public has never noticed when we modified or replaced one version with another, so it will be no different this time. " He distributed copies of a condensed "Story of Romney-Bot" to the press corps:

Notes from Canvassing

"Canvassing" in politi-speak means physically walking a neighborhood, knocking on the doors of residences, and, one hopes, talking to a likely voter who answers the door.  That is what I've been doing in Northern Virginia lately on behalf of President Obama's Organizing for America.  This is what political junkies refer to as "the ground game," and it is hoped that the Democratic ground game will offset the money game of the other side, which utilizes thundering gushers of Super-PAC millions. I spent most of a recent Saturday and Sunday canvassing a generally average middle-class suburban neighborhood of detached homes, in this case in the City of Fairfax, where my real estate office is, and where I've sold many homes over the years, so I know the area.  I did not simply go up and down the street to every house because I was provided with a list of targeted names and addresses based on some selection system that supposedly winnowed out strong Republicans, leaving a list of voters who had given some indication in the past they might be inclined to support Obama this year; I think the list was compiled out of Chicago (or maybe Richmond), based on computer records.  It was not, in other words, to be a cold-call list, but a warm-call list. What did I experience, and is it typical?

Is Obama Getting Bad Re-election Advice?

Recently I was a (passive) participant in a conference call between Jim Messina at the White House and Virginia Democrats. It was billed as a "Momentum" call, with an advance advisory that we would be bringing up problems and ideas about the upcoming re-election campaign of Obama for the Presidency, especially in Virginia.  Since it was all in the family, so to speak, I expected to hear, and contribute to, some specific political talk in a frank and helpful manner. I was... disappointed.

The entire call was like coach's pep talk at half-time when things look a little shaky for the home team----- or, better perhaps, a corporation staff meeting where a vice-president rolls out a supposedly new/old program, and all subordinate functionaries, whatever their secret opinion of the program, brown nose like crazy to earn points for their blind loyalty.  In other words, kabuki theater.

It went sort of like this: a fulsome introduction of Mr. Messina; Mr. Messina then gave a short talk about Mr. Obama's accomplishments in his first term and segued into the upcoming re-election after commenting very discreetly on the losses in 2010, which made it even more important that we all pull together to save the country and re-elect Barack Obama; he knew the President could count on his friends in Virginia, who were also going to vote Tim Kaine into the Senate at the same time (each would apparently reinforce the other); finally, he said it was time for questions, which we could ask by punching "1" and waiting to be called on. I kept quiet, to see what happened