There is a lot of uncertainty headed into the fall. Will voters re-elect President Barack Obama, keeping him in the White House for another four years. Or will they choose a different course for the country with Mitt Romney. It’s hard to say where the minds of voters are at the moment in that regard, but a new Washington Post poll shows that Americans do want limited government:
A survey of 3,130 American adults conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation between July 25 and August 5 discovered that large majorities of Americans favor a smaller federal government and believe the government controls too much of our daily lives.
The poll asked: “Would you say you favor a smaller federal government with fewer services, or larger federal government with many services?”
Among all those polled, 55 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 40 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.
Among just the registered voters in the poll, 58 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 37 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.
The poll also asked: “Do you personally agree or disagree with the following statement. Government controls too much of our daily lives.”
While we have gotten off on another distraction thanks to Todd Akin’s comments about abortion and rape, swing state voters may wish the national focus of the election was back on the economy. According to recent jobs numbers, the unemployment rate went up in 44 states, including many that will play a factor in determining the presidential race:
The jobless rate climbed in July in nine of 10 battleground states that could play a pivotal role in the presidential election, even though employers added workers in most of them.
The unemployment rates rose in Iowa, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, according to Labor Department data released Friday. The rate also increased very slightly, in Colorado and North Carolina, and held steady in Ohio, ending 11 months of declines there, the data show.
Nevada’s 12% unemployment was highest among all 50 states. Michigan’s rate hit 9% for the first time since January, and Florida’s rate, now at 8.8%, increased for the first time in more than a year.
The state figures largely tracked the national jobless rate, which ticked up to 8.3% in July from 8.2% in June.
Separately, Gallup notes that 56% of voters in swing states say they are not better off than they were four years ago. Only 40% say they are better off. The number of voters who say they aren’t better off is up slightly from when the same question was asked back in January. Who do they blame? Twenty percent point their finger at President Barack Obama, while only 7% blame his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Earlier this week, President Obama’s best guarantee against harm, the hair-plugged, gaffe-prone buffoon we know affectionately as Vice President “Bumblin’Joe” Biden, addressed a mostly black audience in Danville, Virginia (or as Biden would say, “North Carolina”) and proclaimed the election of Mitt Romney would mean big banks running roughshod over helpless blacks. In a horrific, cringe-inducing attempt at a Southern drawl (reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s 2007 pandering murder of an old gospel hymn, where she proclaimed in a faux-black preacher accent, “Ah don’t fee-yull noways tahrd. Ah’ve come too faarrr from where I started fruum…”), Uncle Joe declared that blacks must fear Romney and the Republicans because “They’re gonna put ya’ll back in chains.” I suppose we must at least listen and consider the verity of Biden’s words. After all, who knows more about putting black people in chains than the #2 guy in the Democrat Party? This is the same Joe Biden that, in a 2006 interview, bragged about his home state of Delaware having been a slave state.
Many conservatives, initially including myself, were outraged at yet another claim of racism against Republicans peddled by Democrats and parroted by their liberal media sycophants. However, I realized that rather than getting indignant and angry, this should become, as Obama himself might say, a “teachable moment.”
According to Politico, it appears that Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul who flirted with a presidential bid last year, will be included in the opening day events at the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, Florida:
Convention organizers won’t say what he’ll be doing in Tampa or whether he’ll address the delegates there. But they promise the controversial billionaire and prominent anti-President Barack Obama provocateur will be part of their opening day schedule.
Mitt Romney has embraced Trump this campaign season, including attending a Las Vegas fundraiser in May thrown by the reality TV star.
Trump has generated some buzz with recent posts on Twitter saying he was planning a “big surprise” at the convention next week. But for the first time sources are confirming Republicans will indeed enlist Trump to be part of their opening day act.
Trump’s appearance will come on a day with a theme titled, “We Can Do Better,” which appears likely to amount to a coordinated attack on Obama’s time in office.
“We are going after Obama,” said Kyle Downey, a convention spokesman. “If he doesn’t want to talk about his failed record, we will. The American people expect and deserve better.”
There is no denying that Joe Biden, our gaffetastic vice president, had a rough week. The Washington Post gave him the “Worst Week in Washington” award thanks to his off-remark during a campaign stop in Virginia that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would allow Wall Street to put the predominantly African-American crowd “back in chains.”
Despite all the talk of a “new tone” that we’ve endured, it certainly does seem that the Obama campaign is lobbing most of the cheap shots during this campaign. Since Obama doesn’t really have much of an economic record on which to run, the tactics being employed are to be expected. But if Vice President Biden is supposed to score points for Obama, polls show that the campaign may want to think again before sending him back out on the stump:
Almost every recent poll has shown Biden’s numbers at a low point, with more voters viewing him unfavorably than viewing him in a positive light — though in most cases, it’s only by a few points.
Biden’s favorable rating, which was well into the 50s when he and Obama won the 2008 election and took office in 2009, has fallen to around 40 percent in most polls. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll recently pegged his favorable rating at 35 percent (37 percent negative), while a Fox News poll showed the split at 41 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable.
The stagnant economy is sure to be on the minds of voters as we get closer to the fall election. President Obama’s campaign is doing everything it can to distract voters from the dismal unemployment rate, depressing budget deficits, and looming tax hikes.
Recently, Veronique de Rugy, an economist at the Mercatus Center, noted the job creation numbers under presidents dating back to 1945. While Obama claims that the economy has created some four million jobs since taking office, the truth is that Americans have seen the worst job creation numbers under the current administration than any of his predecessors dating back to Truman.
And while his fixes haven’t worked as sold haven’t worked as promised — and there was no question that they would fail before they were even passed, President Obama is trying to sell more snake oil to Americans by pushing crippling taxes hikes. Nevermind that the share of income taxes paid by higher-income earners has gone up since the passage of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and nevermind that even Keynesian economists will tell you that raising taxes in an economy is a bad idea.
For the last couple of years, I’ve heard rumors about Obama dropping Joe Biden off the 2012 ticket and replacing him with the Democrat that Republicans fear the most: Hillary Clinton. Then earlier today a friend shared this article, which goes into detail about how August 24 is the likely time that Obama will announce that Biden is being replaced with Hillary Clinton.
The logic on that timeline would be just fine, except that’s not going to happen. Here are a few reasons why:
Biden makes Obama look good.
Joe Biden is quite literally a sideshow. He’s Larry, Moe, and Curly all rolled up into one ridiculously gaffe-tastic goof ball. The things he does and the things he says just go to make Obama look sane and in control. Obama may be like a Clark Griswold (a well-intentioned man with issues of his own), but Biden is his Cousin Eddie.
When Biden opens his mouth and says something stupid, Obama is there to explain what should have been said, show he’s got a handle on the campaign, and demonstrate that he can keep the crazy cousin at bay.
A change this close to their convention would show disorder and desperation.
Politico ran an interesting story on Wednesday about how Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee and now Mitt Romney’s running mate, “spurned” the Simpson-Bowles commission, which was put together by President Barack Obama to find a solution to the United States’ debt and long-term entitlement issues:
he commission has lived larger in mythology after its demise than it ever did while doing its work. Partisans and commentators on all sides — and in particular centrists and business leaders — hail the efforts of co-chairmen Alan Simpson, a Republican, and Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, as exactly what Washington needs more of.
And they cite the inability of its recommendations — a mix of spending cuts and increased revenue proposals — to gain momentum as deplorable evidence that Obama and GOP leaders won’t put the national interest in solving the budget crisis over their own narrow partisan concerns.
Now the saintly, do-good aura that surrounds Simpson-Bowles presents an awkward challenge for Mitt Romney and his running mate. Romney is pitching Ryan as a problem solver who wants to use his command of the budget to forge bipartisan deals to solve the nation’s fiscal crisis.
But in reality, Ryan, according to the recollection of some commission members and staffers, was a key part of the dynamic that undermined the commission and allowed the triumph of partisan and ideological loyalties over a budget deal.
Under its charter, the commission needed a supermajority of 14 members in order to give its formal endorsement to any recommendations. Ryan joined six other members — the dissenters came from both parties — in voting against the final proposal, with 11 members in favor.
Whilie avoiding serious questions and interviews from the White House press corps, President Obama apparently has time to spend six minutes calling local radio stations in Albuquerque, NM to discuss chill and “Call Me, Maybe.”
After the 6:30 mark, when President Obama hangs up, the female hosts says, “I just flirted with the President of the United States of America.”
As the message of “Hope and Change” has evolved into “Mitt Romney MURDERED MY WIFE!,” Obama’s Chicago team of political thugs are doing their best to keep potentially pro-Romney ”independent” voters to stay home.
This is vastly different from the surprisingly soft tone of the new ads released by Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded group which the slighest mention of enrages the common liberal MSNBC viewer into a an unhinged slobbering-frothy hated.
This new ad invites those who were fooled by the soaring rhetoric and near-religious experience of the 2008 campaign to make a change. After all, everyone makes mistakes, and few could have predicted just how much of President Obama’s radical agenda could be implimented in just 3 and 1/2 years.
I like this new tone. And now that swing voters are starting to pay attention, they need to hear this message.