2012 Presidential Election

VP speculation continues to mount

Condoleezza Rice

The question of who Mitt Romney will choose to serve as his running mate has been a source of considerable speculation over the last couple of weeks. The New York Times ran a story on Tuesday giving some inside information about the grueling vetting process for prospects. But obviously, that doesn’t put to rest the seemingly endless speculation. Will his running mate be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty? Or could it be someone off the wall, like Condoleezza Rice, whose name was dropped into the discussion over the weekend. Every guess is as good as the other.

Many commentators downplay the effect that a potential running mate can have on a ticket, but numbers indicate that it does indeed matter. And while the suggestion has been both dismissed and praised by Republicans, a new Fox News poll shows that Rice, who served in the Bush Administration as National Security Advisor (2001-2005) and Secretary of State (2005-2009), may actually help Romney’s campaign. But conservatives want someone more exciting given that Romney does little to inspire them.

Obama makes an appeal to young voters

youth vote

Over the last couple weeks, it has become clear that President Barack Obama has a problem with young voters. That’s not to say that he won’t win them in the end, but perhaps not by the margin he carried them in 2008. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 59% of voters between 18-29 say they plan on voting in November:

President Obama obviously realizes this is a problem for his re-election bid. During a radio interview yesterday, Obama urged young voters to get behind his campaign:

President Obama dismissed suggestions that young voters who backed him in 2008 were less enthusiastic this election cycle, saying that he believed they wanted to “finish what we started.”

In an interview with local Washington D.C. station WJLA released Sunday, the president predicted young voters would again rally behind his presidency.

“2008, obviously your first time around in some ways it was lightning in a bottle. There were so many young people who just automatically got involved and, you know, we’ve gone through three and a half tough years. The economy is tough, especially for young people,” Obama acknowledged, according to a transcript of the interview.

Romney voters motivated by Anti-Obama sentiment

As the Republican National Convention approaches, Mitt Romney is indicating that he may be just days away from annoucing his running mate. Many conservatives hope that Team Romney chooses a credible conservative, one that could excite the base. This is a dilemma for the campaign since, as a new WaPo/ABC News poll indicates, Romney’s supporters are more motivated to vote against President Barack Obama than for him:

Nearly six in 10 of those siding with Mitt Romney in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll say their vote is primarily “against” President Obama not in favor of the former Massachusetts governor, a testament to how much of Romney’s support is built on opposition to the current occupant of the White House.

By contrast, about three-quarters of Obama’s supporters are voting affirmatively “for” the president.

Romney’s support numbers are similar to those of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D) in 2004 and Obama’s support numbers mirror those of President George W. Bush in his bid for a second term. The 2004 contest was close, but ultimately the “Bush protest” vote was not enough to put Kerry on top.

Voters feel that Obama has changed America for the worse

Polls may show him in a tight race with Mitt Romney, but a new survey from The Hill doesn’t paints a less than flattering picture of how voters view the “change” President Barack Obama has brought. According to the poll, a majority of Americans believe that Obama has changed the country for the worse:

Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority.

A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

The results signal broad voter unease with the direction the nation has taken under Obama’s leadership and present a major challenge for the incumbent Democrat as he seeks reelection this fall. 
[…]
It found 68 percent of likely voters — regardless of whether they approve or disapprove of Obama — believe the president has substantially transformed the country since his 2009 inauguration.

Over at QandO, my friend Bruce McQuain gives his two cents on what the poll means in terms of the race for the White House:

People are not happy with the current situation in the country (with good reason) and for the most part think 4 years is enough time to change it if a president is capable of doing so.  It hasn’t happened.  In fact, for at least 14.9% of the working population it has gotten worse (as reflected in the U6 unemployment/underemployment number).

That’s a huge number.

CNN poll shows Romney leading in swing states

We haven’t been paying attention to many general elections polls around here lately. Why? Because none of it really matters until around 60 days before voters casts their ballots. But there has been a narrative that Mitt Romney is performing poorly in swing states and President Barack Obama is well on his way to re-election. But a poll released by CNN earlier this week shows that Romney is up in the states that will decide the presidential election:

Mitt Romney has a sizeable lead in 15 battleground states, according to a CNN/ORC poll released late Monday.

The Republican candidate leads President Obama 51 percent to 43 in 15 states that will be critical in determining the outcome of the 2012 election.

Obama won 12 of these battleground states in 2008 — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — and will need to keep about half of those in 2012 if he’s to secure reelection. The poll also included Missouri, Indiana and Arizona as battleground states.

That’s good news for Romney, showing he has a base of support in those states, though the blanket poll of 534 registered voters doesn’t give an indication of which candidate leads in an individual state, or by how much.
[…]
Obama holds a slim lead over Romney nationally in the CNN/ORC poll, 49 percent to 46, which is within the poll’s margin of error and unchanged from the same poll in May.

UPDATED: Dear Erick Erickson: Libertarian’s WON’T and SHOULDN’T Hold Their Noses

Of all the commentary on the SCOTUS decision today, this one stood out to me. It’s from a post written by Erick Erickson over at RedState, titled “I’m Not Down on John Roberts.” (Really, at this point, who could be?) There’s one paragraph that got my attention. The italics are his; the bold is mine:

Fifth, the decision totally removes a growing left-wing talking point that suddenly they must vote for Obama because of judges. The Supreme Court as a November issue for the left is gone. For the right? That sound you hear is the marching of libertarians into Camp Romney, with noses held, knowing that the libertarian and conservative coalitions must unite to defeat Obama and Obamacare.

With all due respect, Mr. Erickson, that is balderdash.

As I have written, the entire reason that this decision was made, the entire reason that this abomination has passed, was because a conservative justice, appointed by a Republican president, made it so. In effect, Roberts pulled some random garbage out of left field with a Death Star’s tractor beam in order to make this work.

And so somehow, because a conservative had upheld this unrepetant bag of you-know-what, libertarians are going to jump to their side by electing the guy who created Obamacare’s prototype?

Excuse me, but just what in the name of the Father, Son, and the Unholy Ghost is Erick smoking?

How both right and left are wrong following ObamaCare ruling

Now that ObamaCare has been upheld, I look around and see a lot of reactions in the political spheres.  The left is gloating.  The right is rallying behind Romney.  Libertarians such as myself are looking around and seeing exactly what the hell is wrong with this country.

First, to the conservatives.  You’re idiots.  Rallying behind Romney?  He practically gift wrapped ObamaCare for the Democrats.  He can say whatever the heck he wants to now about how he doesn’t support it, but the fact is that he does support individual mandates.  He does support the law.  In fact, he’s not actually saying he disagrees with the policy.  He’s saying he thinks it should be at the state level.  Really?

Conservatives should be ashamed of themselves.  Why?  Their whole schtick of “vote for anyone but a democrat” landed us with people who would appoint John Roberts to be Chief Justice.  Nice freaking job there pals.  Thanks for nothing.  Our nation is screwed, but we got a Republican in the White House that day so it’s all peachy-keen.

To the progressives.  Shut the hell up.  Seriously.  Yes, you won one.  Nice freaking job.  Now, the next time you lose, remember how you’re acting right now.  When Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the DNC posts a tweet saying, “It’s constitutional. Bitches,” then you have zero justification in acting all hurt when salt gets rubbed in your wounds.  NONE!

Of course, also remember this victory when the GOP passes some law that uses just this to justify its existence.  Remeber it was your ideology that let it happen.  Trust me on this, it will happen.  And yet, I suspect you will all conveniently forget this moment and act indignant.  Well, cry me a freaking river.  I’m past caring anymore.

Obamacare: Sinks Obama, Teaches Us NOT To Trust Conservatives

First, as you’re probably already aware, the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional, and that the individual mandate is also constitutional, but not as how it was argued in Congress, but rather as a tax. So instead of the extremely dangerous Commerce Clause (which is really, really badly written) we have it surviving under Congress’ taxing power.

This is really just as bad. Although now technically, they can’t “force” us to buy things with Commerce power, the federal government now has absolutely no limits on taxing us. This is going to be 1775 all over again, except we can’t say “No Taxation Without Representation!” (unless we live in DC.)

The one silver lining that some are bringing up is that, because Obama campaigned hard on Obamacare and the mandate not being a tax, and now with SCOTUS saying “it’s a tax,” he’s going to be royally screwed come November. I have to agree with the results; I’ll defer to one of my friends who has this down:

That is pretty much going to ruin Obama’s chances of reelection, especially with so many already up in arms over this (something like 55-60% wanted this law overturned?)

However, as another friend of mine points out, this is no silver lining at all:

Ron Paul Fans Should Learn About “Malinvestment”

For a group of people who follow the veritable patron saint of Austrian economics on Capitol Hill, the fans of Ron Paul don’t seem to understand the Austrian concept of “malinvestment” very well. Malinvestment, as described by the Mises Wiki, is:

Malinvestment is an investment in wrong lines of production, which inevitably lead to wasted capital and economic losses, subsequently requiring the reallocation of resources to more productive uses. “Wrong” in this sense means “incorrect” or “mistaken” from the point of view of the real long-term needs and demands of the economy, if those needs and demands were expressed with the correct price signals in the free market.

Of course, the concept applies more to commercial dealings than with efforts in the political sphere, but I think it works here too, especially when you regard recent messages from the Ron Paul faithful:

 

Ok so the Rand endorsement let us all down a lot along with all of the discouraging emails and videos directly from the campaign. I think for the most part we are over the hump if you know what im saying.

Now think… before all of these shenanigans how much did you believe Ron Paul could win! And remember when we realized all the delegates are unbound?! That was amazing and at that point it was the cream of the crop. We were gonna win hands down, romney has no chance in hell.

You remember all those fuzzy feelings right?

Obama’s Personal Romney & Other Stories

A new story from Neil Munro at the Daily Caller is making the rounds of the blogosphere. The main focus of the article is that Obama’s new strategy will be to paint Mitt Romney as a radical libertarian, which to actual libertarians is so laughable it’s genuinely sad. But I’m sure my colleagues are going to tackle that main point, and I will certainly get to it in just a bit. But there are some things that immediately jump out at me I feel need to be focused on.

First, there’s this tidbit, which I emphasized in bold:

 

President Barack Obama is previewing his next strategy in the 2012 campaign — an audacious effort to paint former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the majority GOP as radical libertarians that have abandoned mainstream American politics.

Since 2000, “we [Democrats] haven’t moved that much… What’s changed is the Republican Party,” Obama told a group of wealthy donors gathered Monday night at a New York town-house owned by Marc Lasry. Lasry is a billionaire equity-capitalist who runs a $20 billion fund that buys up the shaky assets of failing companies.

 
 


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