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.
Since being introduced as Mitt Romney’s running mate, President Barack Obama’s campaign and Democrats have been hammering Paul Ryan over his budget proposal. The narrative at the moment is that Ryan’s plan would “end Medicare as we know.”
The suggestion is absurd. Ryan’s plan, which was crafted with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) doesn’t touch Medicare for anyone 55 and older and only creates a a voucher system as an option to going along with the traditional program.
Romney is hitting back at Obama’s campaign on Medicare, emphasizing cuts to the government-run healthcare program that will be made as a result of ObamaCare — cuts that would have been made under Ryan’s budget, which has been noted by Ezra Klein and Avik Roy. But, as Philip Klein explains, there are dangers to Romney’s campaign if they focus too much on the issue:
In the past several days, Romney has attempted to turn the tables on Obama by noting that his own national health care law — Obamacare — cut Medicare significantly.
Since announcing Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has seen a surge of support from many of the same people who have been skeptical of his campaign. Some are still many who are not happy with the selection, perhaps best explained by Corie Whalen this morning. But writing at Newsmax, Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, is encouraging grassroots activists to get behind the Republican ticket:
Romney made a good choice — a great choice in fact. It was a real indication to grassroots America that the Romney camp is willing to finally engage on the big issues that matter most in this election. It’s not quite enough to say that Obama has failed, we know that. Incumbent presidents should not win reelection with persistent unemployment over 8 percent and a staggering $16 trillion in debt. Clearly Obama needs to be fired. But what are you, the Republicans, actually for?
Paul Ryan understands that progressivism is a fundamental threat to the American system based on bottom-up individual freedom and opportunity. He understands that economic growth comes from start-up entrepreneurs who struggle for success — who did, in fact, “build that.”
He understands the threat of the entitlement state, how it will bankrupt the country and lock future generations into a system that taxes more and more, but returns less and less. He understands economic opportunity and the need for a tax system that is low, flat, fair and honest.
He even understands sound money, and how the Federal Reserve is destroying our currency, and the economic consequences of its destruction.
Paul Ryan is one of us.
Freedom of speech is one of the most important factors of a free society. The ability to say unpopular things is essential. After all, abolition was once an unpopular thing to talk about. So was civil rights. Questioning the government regarding the Vietnam War wasn’t always a popular thing either.
In the realm of ideas, you typically have a free market. Good ideas will grown, while bad ideas die a horrible, painful death given enough time. Not always (see communism, for example), but this is how it works most of the time. Most free nations understand that. However, Australia has apparently forgotten that little tidbit:
Australian MPs have started to call for legislative powers to compel social networks to swiftly remove offensive content, after Facebook failed to act decisively to remove a page containing numerous racist stereotypes of Australian aboriginals.
Facebook initially did nothing about the page, which disappeared briefly and then resurfaced marked as “controversial humour”.
The Social Network TM made some noises about freedom of speech, which apparently allows controversial humour even if it includes hate speech. At this point in the saga Australia’s Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said he felt the page was inappropriate and should be removed.
Facebook seems to have finally done so as it became apparent the page contravened Australia’s racial discrimination laws. Controversy over the page also exploded into mainstream media. Australia’s media regulator and Racial Discrimination Commissioner are both looking into the incident.
I am a young voter. The Republican Party is my political home. I am also a conservative libertarian. However, I am not the norm in my generation. According to recent polling, Barack Obama is defeating Mitt Romney among young voters by more than 20 percentage points. Republicans need to find a way to reverse this trend because once young voters become accustomed to voting Democratic, it becomes much harder to persuade them to vote GOP. I will try to outline some ideas on how the Republican Party can attract this constituency not just for 2012 but in the future.
1) Take Them Seriously
Some former College Republican leaders have complained to me how Republican Party officials don’t take their clubs and young people in general seriously. The attitude among many Republican strategists and politicos is that they see the College Republican clubs and the Young Republican organizations as nothing more than a source of free campaign labor. Contrast this attitude with the one that Democrats and the left have. They see young people as an important part of the progressive coalition. They go out of their way to give them leadership positions and pander to them as they would gays and racial minorities. Finally, they actually go out and ask for the votes of young people.
While there has been some marginally positive economic news in recent weeks, such as the July jobs numbers and growth in the stock market, a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia shows a less than stellar economic forecast for the rest of the year and into the beginning of 2013:
According to the regional bank’s Survey of Professional Forecasters, real gross domestic product is expected to grow at only a 1.6% annual rate this quarter and 2.2% in the fourth quarter, down from 2.5% and 2.6% forecast three months ago.
The 48 forecasters surveyed also trimmed their view for the first and second quarters of 2013, with growth of 1.8% and 2.3%, compared with earlier projections of 2.6% and 2.7%.
Lower economic activity forecasts are leading to reduced expectations for job growth. The forecasters now see payroll gains averaging 125,000 per month this quarter and 135,300 in the fourth. That hiring pace is down sharply from the gains of 170,000 and 172,600 expected in the second-quarter survey.
Slower hiring means the U.S. unemployment rate will remain above 8% until the second quarter of 2013. In the previous forecasts, the economists thought the rate would fall below 8% by the fourth quarter of this year.
Last week, President Barack Obama put his spin on a report from the Tax Policy Center by suggesting that Mitt Romney’s tax plan would hurt the middle class by raising taxes. Obama’s campaign is now running an ad in 15 states slamming Romney’s tax proposal in typical class warfare-style.
While there are still some questions that need to be answered about Romney’s tax plan, the Wall Street Journal explains that it would most definately not raise taxes on the middle class, as President Obama and others claim:
The heart of Mr. Romney’s actual proposal is a 20% rate cut for anyone who pays income taxes. This means, for example, that the 10% rate would fall to 8%, the 35% rate would fall to 28% and all the brackets in between would fall as well. The corporate tax would fall to 25% from 35%.