Tag Archives: mitt romney

2012 Presidential Election: 7 Thoughts On Obama’s Victory Over Romney

7 Nov

I’m usually an upbeat, optimistic person. But Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney last night sent me into a prolonged funk before I eventually fell asleep.

I’ve since come up with seven Minor Insights about last night’s results. They don’t cure my depression—but they do actually explain it.

1. Obama is living in a fantasy world

Towards the end of his victory speech, Obama said:

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

This echoes a portion of Obama’s keynote at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the one that truly launched his political status. It sounds so dreamy, doesn’t it?

Yes, but more like, “Keep dreaming.”

Look at this map:

Clearly, it is a collection of red states and blue states.

More than that, it’s a collection of sharply divided red and blue states.

Obama won 26 states; Romney won 24 states.

The fact is that the nation is more divided than ever. No amount of Obama huffing-and-puffing will blow that house down.

2. Obama’s win was smaller than in 2008.

The liberal NY Times declared (screenshot, left) Obama had a “clear victory.” But was it really?

Sure, Obama had a sizable electoral college victory. But that electoral victory—if you include Florida, which is still not officially declared as of this writing but is leaning the President’s way—shrunk (332-206) from his 2008 victory over John McCain (365-173).

The popular vote tells a much different story. Obama won the popular vote—but barely. As of this writing, he has 50% of the popular vote while Romney had 48%. This is down from a 52.9-45.7% margin in 2008.

Even in Obama’s home state of Illinois, his winning margin shrunk. He won 57.3-41.1% this year—down from 61.9-36.8% in 2008.

Other highly liberal, electorally-rich states like California and New York also voted less for Obama last night than in 2008.

The typical phrase the day after the election is: “the people have spoken.” Well, yes and no. The people have spoken but they speak two different languages. 50% spoke one language, and the other 48% spoke a different language.

So unlike the 2010 congressional election, the 2012 presidential numbers decisively show this was not a “mandate” win. The nation was deeply divided about whether to send Obama back to Washington D.C.

3. Obama has rough sledding ahead

Obama’s victory celebration will be short-lived.

First, the so-called “fiscal cliff” is fast approaching, where the President and Congress must try to avert another financial crisis that would send the economy back into another recession.

Second, he’ll need to fix the economy and jobs. Obama’s plan to spend on education in order to fix the economy is a red herring. Education doesn’t fix the economy because there are currently no jobs for graduates, no matter how smart or dumb they are. And Insightful people know that construction jobs are just temporary jobs.

Third, the issue of taxes will also likely take some of the spotlight in 2012. In referring to exit polls where six in 10 voters said that taxes should be increased and nearly half of voters said taxes should be increased on incomes over $250,000, as Obama has called for, Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, told CNN:

“It’s very clear from the exit polling that a majority of Americans recognize that we need to share responsibility for reducing the deficit.”

Perhaps this hike in taxes upon citizens is what Obama meant in his victory speech when he said:

“The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.”

Why people would want to pay (in taxes) for government overspending (causing the enormous deficit) is beyond me. If the government has fiscal diarrhea, then the government needs to clean its own toilet, not the taxpayers.

Furthermore, Obama will divide some of his attention on critical foreign issues all around the world. From Russia—who Obama secretly said he would have “more flexibility” in his second term to do things—to Pakistan and Afghanistan—where Obama’s secret wars are still being waged behind the public hailing of the Iraqi withdrawal—to growing tension over Iran’s nuclear weapons labs, to the crisis in Syria and the growing republic of Islam in the Middle East as secular dictatorships fall, it will be interesting to see how Obama positions the United States globally in this second term.

And he’ll have to do all this with the bipartisanship that he failed to accomplish in his first term.

4. The nation appears to be trending more left on social issues

As popular culture and Hollywood continue to present only-favorable representations of gays while routinely mocking family values, when it comes to social issues, voter values will slowly shift more towards Democratic values.

We saw a bit of that with the gay marriage ballot initiatives that won last night—the first time gay marriage has won at the ballot box.

Furthermore, Obama has a vested interest in the immigration issue—particularly allowing as many Latinos into the country as possible since Latinos tend to be heavily Democratic voters due to government welfare programs.

For example, according to the Wall Street Journal, one policy decision that gave the White House one of its biggest electoral jolts was Obama’s June announcement of an executive action that would halt the deportation of many young illegal immigrants. It may not make fiscal sense but it sure makes great political sense—especially since the Latino community is growing in key battleground states like Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

And marijuana was approved for recreational use in two states—Washington and Colorado—on Tuesday.

Historically, the nation swings one way or another in different decades, so hopefully, things will eventually balance out over time and trend back to the right.

5. Paul Ryan did not contribute much to the Romney campaign

Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan had only two things on his to-do list once he accepted his vice-presidential nomination:

  1. Rout Joe Biden in their debate
  2. Bring Wisconsin under the Romney column

He did neither.

Though Ryan didn’t fail against a typically arrogant Biden in their debate, he didn’t expose Biden as the buffoon that he is—despite Biden giving him a few opportunities on a silver platter.

And Wisconsin was somewhat in play to the end, polls had generally shown the state going to Obama—which it eventually did.

Ryan also tried to assure seniors that Medicare was important to him, using his own mother as proof, but it’s uncertain whether voters believed that message.

Should Romney have picked Ohio Senator Rob Portman instead of Paul Ryan? Would Portman have helped Romney carry the crucial state of Ohio? We’ll never know.

But we do know that Ryan did not help the Romney campaign much—if at all.

6. Republicans do not need a more moderate candidate

Romney was as moderate as you can get. McCain before him was also known as an independent (remember McCain being labeled a “maverick”?).

So finding a centrist candidate isn’t the Republicans’ main problem. They’ve done that and failed.

Sad to say, I don’t think a Tea Party candidate is the answer either—at least not in the short-term, given the Tea Party candidates couldn’t even the primary election. Perhaps down the road when America starts to get fed up with liberal policies currently employed by Obama.

I’m not sure what the answer is but I don’t think it would hurt to have a younger candidate.

Romney is 65. John McCain was 72 when he ran.

In contrast, Obama was 47 when he first ran for president. Bill Clinton was 46 when he defeated incumbent then 64-year-old George H.W. Bush. George W. Bush was 56 when he barely beat 52-year-old Al Gore.

I’m not necessarily saying age is the trump card if all else is equal. But for all the political wisdom that elder statesmen like Newt Gingrich have, it may be possible that in this age of social networking dominated by younger voters, younger candidates have more appeal.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are not only young but they also represent minorities—two growing voting segments of our nation.

7. Many Democratic voters do not have any voting sense

The far-left liberals actually make sense when they vote b/c they are voting for their leftist social values.

But those voters who are not left-wing liberals but still vote Democrat? Them, I don’t get.

For example, on ABC’s Nightline, Terry Moran interviewed a guy in Wisconsin who said he lost his job three times in three years. Moran surmised, “You should be the perfect Romney voter.” Yet the voter insisted he was going to vote for Obama—the author of the economy that has failed to give this man a stable job!

Exit polls showed 60% of voters said the No. 1 issue they voted for in the election was the economy. Yet 50% of voters voted for Obama.

How can it be that a president who spends like there is no tomorrow—thus making the economy worse—still gets the vote of 50% of the the people?

That’s like sticking your finger in an electrical socket, saying safety is your No. 1 priority…and then sticking your finger in the socket again.

What’s more, there are a record number of people on food stamps. People may not know that the food stamp program was championed by Democrats, starting with Leonor Sullivan. Democratic President Kennedy initiated the first food stamp pilot programs. And Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson and House Democrats passed the Food Stamp Act of 1964.

Problem is that food stamps shackles poor people into a system that will forever imprison them in being poor.

Just this past Sunday, a very close friend of mine on food stamps encouraged me to sign up for food stamps. “Free money,” this person told me. “You’d be a fool not to take it.”

This is the legacy of Democrats. Yet voters don’t realize the sad irony of crying about being poor yet voting Democratic.

Here’s another example of nonsensical Democrat voters. In Illinois, U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. coasted to an easy win—despite not working for the past half year. Apparently, his constituents don’t care if anyone is actually doing anything for them.

Want another example of nonsensical Democrat voters? How about Derrick Smith? The former Illinois state representative was indicted, arrested and expelled from his seat due to a felony charge of accepting bribes. Yet Smith won easily (62%-38%) over an independent candidate endorsed by the governor and secretary of state.

I guess it’s not completely surprising given that, as one person on Facebook commented, these same people voted for Obama.

But seriously, some people just shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Advertisements

2012 Presidential Election: 11 Reasons Romney Will Defeat Obama

5 Nov

As the election winds down to the final hours, some Romney supporters I’ve talked to think that Obama has taken the momentum.

For the record, different polls show different results.

The liberal Huffington Post chose to focus on the final Pew Research Center election poll showing President Barack Obama with a ‘modest’ 3-point lead over Mitt Romney.

On the other hand, Gallup shows that Romney holds a 1-point lead over Obama. Thehill.com also reports that all other polls have the two in a dead heat.

Bottom line on who has the lead: no one really knows.

Polls may or may not be accurate, and I’ve had my share of incorrect predictions in the past since it’s not easy to predict other people’s behavior. But as we come down to the few wee hours before the big day, here are 11 reasons why I think Romney will win the 2012 Presidential Election:

  1. Independent voters. In the three most significant swing states (in terms of electoral votes), Romney has a significant lead over Obama among independent voters in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.
  2. Senior voters. Romney also leads Obama among senior voters in these same swing states. Anecdotally, I’ve spoken with seniors who are livid with Obama for the frequent Medicare benefit cuts during his administration. Seniors may not know what Romney will do with entitlement programs, but they already know what Obama has done with such programs and they are incensed.
  3. Young voters. 51 percent of people ages 18-29 turned out to vote in 2008, second-highest turnout ever, and they voted for Obama over John McCain by a 2-to-1 ratio. Four years later, these same young voters are disenchanted, disillusioned and discouraged. They’ve seen Obama fail to deliver on his promise of being a different kind of politician. The Washington Post reported that Obama has been “infantilizing” these young college grads by forcing them to move back in with their parents due to the depressed economy. Many young voters may be disappointed enough to not vote this time around.
  4. State flipping. With Indiana and North Carolina, Romney is likely to flip two of the 12 states that went for Obama in 2008 that are currently toss-ups. If Obama retains the four states he easily won in 2008 (Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) and Romney wins the three biggest swing states (Florida, Ohio and Virginia), then Romney would have a huge 266-253 lead in electoral voting. At that point, Obama would need to sweep the three remaining swing states—Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire—to win, while Romney would just need to secure one of those three to win.
  5. Black voters. While Obama reportedly still enjoys 96% support among blacks, that number still is going to take a hit. Some evangelical black voters who supported Obama in 2008 are no longer supporting him in 2012 due to Obama’s support for gay marriage. In additiona, a coalition of over 3,000 black pastors have publicly stated they will not stand with Obama this time, and it’s safe to assume that many in their congregations will follow suit. Even non-churchgoing black voters have expressed exasperation that despite a black president, [the quality of life for blacks] is “in the same spot as when Bush was president.”
  6. White voters. In 2008, McCain won over white voters by 12% over Obama as many white voters flocked to Obama’s camp in an attempt to lay claim to history. But this year, all four major polls show Romney is leading Obama by more than 20% over Obama, which—if it holds true—would be the biggest margin for that segment by any Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan.
  7. Jobless voters. During the time that the unemployment rate hit a staggering 10.0% in Oct 2009, Obama’s singular focus was to direct the Democratic-controlled Congress to address health care rather than to address the economy. Even with unemployment still standing at 7.8%, voters remember that Obama’s priorities were in the wrong order when he had a Democratic-controlled Congress for two years.
  8. Obama’s inexperience. The biggest criticism of Obama in 2008 was that he was inexperienced. McCain warned voters that America did not want a president who would be learning on the job; that America needed someone who knew what he would be doing from Day One. Four years later, America has reaped what it has sown. Being just a senator—and a junior one at that—Obama had little experience. What’s worse, senators, unlike governors, never lead anything. Senators can introduce bills but they are just one of 100 others just like him. Senators cannot dictate policy, make executive decisions or balance budgets. Romney, on the other hand, has the experience. Not just any experience but diversified and successful experience. He’s led businesses. He’s governed a state. He led it out of a budget deficit. And he led the Salt Lake City Olympics from a budget deficit into a surplus.
  9. Evangelical voters. Obama’s policies have been overtly against evangelical beliefs, from the president’s contraceptive mandate with no religious exception to his endorsement of same-sex marriage, and there were a surprising number of evangelicals, such as in battleground Iowa, who were romanced by the smooth-talking Obama in 2008 but are re-considering this time around. And Obama’s policies have also aggressively eroded religious freedoms, causing evangelical voters who voted for Obama in 2008 to vote for Romney in 2012.
  10. Foreign policy disasters. For a guy who is still trying to fool voters in these frenetic last campaign hours as a guy who will tell the truth, the Obama administration to this day still hasn’t told the truth about Benghazi. uperstorm Sandy may have rescued Obama from media attention on new damning evidence about Benghazigate, but so has the liberal media—CBS was caught trying to rescue Obama by not reporting his lies about Benghazi. Obama points to the assassination of Osama bin Laden as his foreign policy trump card but the reality is that al-Qaeda and Muslim fundamentalism is much more far-reaching than a singular Osama bin Laden. Rest assured that a new bid Laden-type leader will rise to fill the void left by bin Laden’s death. A much bigger issue is Obama’s minimization of Iran’s nuclear weapons program while simultaneously reducing our own nuclear weapons. Romney’s commitment to a strong American military is a clear contrast to Obama’s foreign policy.
  11. Newspaper endorsement flipping. With today’s blogosphere, newspaper endorsements don’t carry anywhere near the weight that they used to. Still, it’s significant that, according to one source, Romney flipped 12 newspaper endorsements that had gone to Obama in 2008 and that, according to another source, Romney flipped 28 newspaper endorsements.

So has Obama taken momentum? No. There is a lot of bleeding that Obama still has to try to stop. It’s like plumbing with multiple leaks. You may have stopped one leak, but there are ten others.

And little wonder. Obama represents failure. He represents deceit. And he represents inexperience.

Hope and change turned out to be smoke and mirrors.

A record $16 trillion debt. Lowered national credit rating. An even more crippled economy. The first-ever endorsement of same-sex marriage from a president. Heck, the U.S. even was the first site eliminated from 2016 Summer Olympics contention despite Obama’s personal involvement.

We want four more years of this utterly depressing state of the nation?

Hope and change is now on Romney’s side.  Hope that a man with a proven track record knows what it takes to turn this country around. Hope that we won’t have to settle for more of the last four years. Hope that America can stand tall and proud again, rather than floundering in a sea of incompetence.

Romney isn’t the perfect candidate but he is far more prepared and far more equipped to handle the challenges that face this great nation than Obama. We have seen what Obama has done, and we don’t like it.

November 6th is just hours away. Call me an optimist, but let’s make a vote for a fresh start, America! Let’s vote for Romney!

2012 Presidential Election: Obama’s campaign rapidly losing focus amidst Obamnesia

26 Oct

Yesterday, I posted how Romney is surging as Obama is slipping, and how an electoral college victory is certainly extremely realistic.

Today’s poll results show the continued stunning change in momentum as Romney now actually leads Obama!

This astounding reversal from a month ago is why Romney recently called the Obama campaign the “incredibly shrinking campaign.”

Obama’s campaign is indeed shrinking because it has been saying nothing that is resonating with swing voters.

Misfiring campaign strategy: Romnesia?

Obama first tried spinning Romney as a candidate who can’t be trusted b/c Romney flip-flops positions, using the Twitter-friendly term “Romnesia.”

This tactic might appeal to the gullible. But Insightful people know that Obama himself has flip-flopped positions many times, inspiring the equally Twitter-friendly term “Obamnesia.”

The Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberly Strassel wrote a brilliant column highlighting just some of Obama’s double-talk:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program”—Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama, June 2003.

“I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter”—President Obama, August 2009.

***

“Leadership means that the buck stops here. . . . I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit”—Sen. Barack Obama, March 2006.

“It is not acceptable for us not to raise the debt ceiling and to allow the U.S. government to default”—President Obama, July 2011.

***

“I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages”—Obama questionnaire response, 1996, while running for Illinois state Senate.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage”—Sen. Obama, November 2008, while running for president.

“It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married”—President Obama, May 2012.

***

“We have an idea for the trigger. . . . Sequestration”—Obama Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew in 2011, as reported in Bob Woodward’s “The Price of Politics.”

“First of all, the sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed”—President Obama, October 2012.

***

“If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election”—Sen. Obama, 2007.

“We’ve made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election”—Sen. Obama, June 2008.

***

“I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign”—Sen. Obama, June 2008.

“The way Bush has done it over the last eight years is . . . [he] added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. . . . That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic”—Sen. Obama, July 2008.

“I don’t remember what the number was precisely. . . . We don’t have to worry about it short term”—President Obama, September 2012, on the debt figure when he took office ($10 trillion) and whether to worry about today’s $16 trillion figure.

***

“[Sen. Hillary Clinton believes] that . . . if the government does not force taxpayers to buy health care, that we will penalize them in some fashion. I disagree with that”—Sen. Obama, Jan 2008, opposing the individual mandate for health insurance.

“I’m open to a system where every American bears responsibility for owning health insurance”—President Obama, June 2009, supporting the individual mandate.

***

“Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times when America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive”—President Obama, April 2009, in France.

“We have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms”—President Obama, April 2009, in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing”—Barack Obama, October 2012, on whether he went on a global apology tour.

***

“The problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel”—Sen. Obama, September 2008.

“Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years”—President Obama, January 2010.

***

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them”—Sen. Obama, January 2008, on his plans to financially penalize coal plants.

“Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution”—Sen. Obama, August 2008.

“Here’s what I’ve done since I’ve been president. We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it’s been in decades. We have seen increases in coal production and coal employment”—President Obama, October 2012.

***

“If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition”—President Obama, 2009.

“We’ve got a long way to go but . . . we’ve come too far to turn back now. . . . And that’s why I’m running for a second term”—President Obama, October 2012.

Obamnesia about Iraq and transparency

Lew Rockwell adds that Obama also made a “promise” that the FIRST thing he would do as President would be to pull our troops out of Iraq, and that “you can take that to the bank.”

Rockwell also noted that Obama promised that transparency would be the “touchstone” of his presidency. The President had Obamnesia on that one too.

That video didn’t even address the closed-door backroom railroading of his famous Obamacare, the dealings for which Obama promised would be shown on C-SPAN but never were.

Obamnesia about his “apology tour”

Obama claimed in the third presidential debate that his so-called “apology tour” is “the biggest whopper that’s been told during the course of this campaign.”

Obama may not have used the word “sorry” but there’s no denying that Obama went from nation to nation admitting that America was wrong in various ways.

 

The bottom line

Let’s use Obama’s theme of trust against him, just from the few points raised in this post:

  • Obama cannot be trusted to handle the economy.
  • Obama cannot be trusted to be transparent.
  • Obama cannot be trusted on his own promises.

The momentum is shifting for good reason: Obama cannot be trusted. He had his chance and he failed—spectacularly.

No wonder people are swinging in droves to Romney the past few days.

Mitt Romney on cusp of winning the 2012 Presidential Election

25 Oct

The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in a dead heat. Here’s what the Wall Street Journal reported in the first paragraph:

Mitt Romney has strengthened his image as the candidate best able to boost the economy and has fought President Barack Obama to a near-draw on who can best serve as commander in chief, helping turn the 2012 election into a tie among likely voters.

Both candidates hold 47% support from likely voters—where Obama once led Romney by 5 points a month ago, when the election was once touted as another easy win for the incumbent President.

Now, though, the race is deadlocked. As the Wall Street Journal notes:

Mr. Romney is close to erasing the president’s once-large advantage in perceived leadership on foreign policy. Closing that gap would moot the issue for many voters and put the spotlight squarely on economic issues or other concerns. The race now has all the makings of one of the closest in U.S. history.

The Journal also noted one of the biggest reasons for his freefall:

The danger for the president: His support has fallen to 36% of likely white voters in the new poll, a level seen as perilous by political operatives on both sides. Exit polls in 2008 showed he won around 43% of the white vote, which accounts for over 70% of the overall electorate.

In fact, the latest AP poll, which is even more recent than the Journal‘s poll, shows Romney with the lead, 47%, to Obama’s 45%!

However, both the Journal and the AP predict that despite Romney’s surging growth in the popular vote, Romney’s challenge lies in winning the electoral vote. And that is the focus of today’s Insightful post.

Those of us Insightful people know that such commentary is not to be accepted merely at face value. Let’s dig a little deeper at that perception of a tough electoral win for Romney.

What do the Electoral Maps currently say?

Here are five of the most well-known electoral college maps as of this writing:

Not surprisingly, the liberal outlets are projecting the biggest Obama leads here.

What do the Electoral Maps really show?

To gain context, we need to look back to the 2008 presidential election between Obama and McCain.

Now let’s analyze the states with the closest margins of victory (<10%) for Obama in 2008:

  • North Carolina (15 electoral votes), 0.33%
  • Indiana (11 electoral votes), 1.0%
  • Florida (27 electoral votes), 2.8%
  • Ohio (20 electoral votes), 4.6%
  • Virginia (13 electoral votes), 6.3%
  • Colorado (9 electoral votes), 9.0%
  • Iowa (7 electoral votes), 9.5%
  • New Hampshire (4 electoral votes), 9.6%

In 2012:

  • North Carolina is leaning Romney (according to two electoral maps, toss-ups in the other three maps)
  • Indiana is strongly leaning Romney (all five electoral maps have Indiana for Romney)
  • Florida is a toss-up in all five electoral maps
  • Ohio is a toss-up in all five electoral maps
  • Virginia is a toss-up in all five electoral maps
  • Colorado is a toss-up in all five electoral maps
  • Iowa is a toss-up in all five electoral maps
  • New Hampshire is a toss-up in all five electoral maps

Thus, Romney looks to have picked up two states (and 26 electoral votes) that went for Obama in 2008.

Now let’s look at the states with the closest margins of victory (<10%) for McCain in 2008:

  • Missouri (10 electoral votes), 0.13%
  • Montana (3 electoral votes), 2.3%
  • Georgia (16 electoral votes), 5.2%
  • Arizona (11 electoral votes), 8.5%
  • South Dakota (3 electoral votes), 8.4%
  • North Dakota (3 electoral votes), 8.6%
  • South Carolina (9 electoral votes), 9.0%

In 2012, all seven of these states are going to Romney.

What we know so far, which is consistent with anecdotal evidence, is that everyone who voted Republican in 2008 is sticking Republican in 2012—but two states that voted Democratic in 2008 have now seen Obama’s failures and are changing to Republican in 2012.

That is, in recent weeks, Romney hasn’t lost any ground, but Obama has. Romney has flipped two states to his side.

The impact of the debates

Could the debates have an impact on the presidential race in these swing states? In other words, with all three presidential debates and the lone vice-presidential debate in the books, how would one summarize the entire package of 2012 debates?

For me, it’s this: Romney looked like the Commander-in-Chief; Obama looked like the challenger.

In the first debate, Obama was despondent, disconnected and rambling. Romney looked confident, assertive and authoritative. If you were dropped in from a time machine and had no idea who these two candidates were, you almost certainly would have guessed that Romney was the incumbent President and Obama was a neophyte challenger.

In the vice-presidential debate, Vice-President Joe Biden rolled his eyes, snorted and guffawed inappropriately, and used the Twitter-friendly-but-not-vice-presidential line “That is a bunch of malarkey.” In contrast, Paul Ryan came across as significantly more professional. The liberal media excused Biden’s behavior as “just Joe being Joe”. However, in a nationally televised debate, Joe is not supposed to be Joe the Buffoon—he’s supposed to be the Vice-President.

In the second debate, Obama was fiery, argumentative and confrontational. Romney counterpunched but generally was not as snide as Obama was (“Not true,” “Get the transcript”, “My pension isn’t as big as yours”, etc.). Again, if you were dropped in from a time machine and had no idea who these candidates were, you probably would have guessed that Romney was the Commander-in-Chief and Obama looked like a playground bully.

In the third debate, Obama was attacking, angry and accusatory. Romney was professional, calm and firm. Again, the contrast was very clear: Romney projected himself like a cool Commander-in-Chief while Obama projected himself as the angry, hostile and volatile challenger.

Newt Gingrich noticed the same thing.

So these debates should have an impact. If you’ve read any books on public speaking with a political focus, you already know the tremendous importance of visual appearance as being much more important than the auditory (i.e., the substance of their comments). While pundits tried to spin who won and who lost each debate and the various fact-checkers and Truth Squads parsed claims, if you had muted the TV as Gingrich suggested when watching the debates, you would have clearly seen who looked authoritative and who looked like the sneering challenger.

A little-known fact about the remaining swing states

Aside from Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Virginia and New Hampshire, there are four more swing states. Why haven’t I mentioned them yet?

Because they had given Obama double-digit percentage victories back in 2008.

You see, in 2008, Obama comfortably won the following states by the following percentages over McCain:

  • Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), 10.4%
  • Nevada (6 electoral votes), 12.5%
  • Wisconsin (10 electoral votes), 13.9%
  • Michigan (16 electoral votes), 16.5%

Now, those states are all considered toss-ups (although the more liberal CNN and NY Times electoral maps have Michigan and Pennsylvania leaning Obama).

Just to emphasize: this is no small feat.

Romney has the realistic opportunity to flip 2-4 states that had previously been easy wins for Obama!

Clearly, voters are recognizing Obama’s record-breaking economic ineptitude and inability to foster the bipartisan politics he had promised. Moreover, swing voters are starting to also see that Romney is not just an “anybody but Obama” candidate but a legitimate contender who brings genuine leadership, business acumen and actual bi-partisan accomplishment as a governor.

Heck, even in Obama’s home town of Chicago, a mutual fund investor even said that he voted for Obama in 2008 but if he saw Obama today, he not only wouldn’t vote for him, he would actually punch him in the face!

Wow. Talk about Obama’s incompetence stirring up the emotions of independent voters in 2012!

The bottom line

Anybody can offer an opinion. But the above facts show very objectively that Romney has a very real chance of unseating Obama. Romney will need to focus on the biggest swing states, which are, in order:

  • Florida (27 electoral votes)
  • Ohio (20 electoral votes)
  • Virginia (13 electoral votes)
  • Wisconsin (10 electoral votes)
  • Iowa (7 electoral votes)
  • Nevada (6 electoral votes)

And given the number of electoral votes at stake, Romney also should fight hard for the following two states, regardless of what CNN and the NY Times say:

  • Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes)
  • Michigan (16 electoral votes)

Here’s more incredible bad news for Obama: Romney has erased his once-untouchable 16-point lead among female voters!

Yes, Romney is on the cusp of winning the election—something that was previously thought to be impossible as recently as just a month ago. Romney supporters should be highly encouraged!

Not only that but they should also determine how they can help do their part to aggressively do grass-roots campaigning in those key swing states. For example, some Democrats in the Chicago area are planning to bus down to Iowa to campaign for Obama; hopefully, an army of Republicans will be willing to do the same for Romney.

If grassroots campaign traveling is not possible, how about blogging, tweeting or other activities that can generate positive buzz for Romney in these last two weeks? Think of ways in which you can help.

Victory is too close to sit back and let it slip through our fingers. Go out and do something for Romney!

Second 2012 Presidential Debate Fact Check: The truth about Obama’s ‘act of terror’ Libya comment

17 Oct

Plenty of punches were figuratively thrown by both sides in the town hall-style second presidential debate. The one that has gotten plenty of press in particular was the dispute about Libya and who was correct.

In case you missed it, Romney accused Obama of not knowing for 14 days whether the attack in Benghazi (where four Americans were killed) was due to a terrorist attack or retaliation for an American-made video mocking the Muslim prophet Muhammad, and that Obama even went fundraising twice during those 14 days. Obama attempted revisionist history in saying he knew from the beginning that it was a terrorist attack.

In the debate recap on ABC’s Nightline show, Terry Moran showed a clip where Crowley confirmed Obama’s assertion, leaving the impression that Romney had egg on his face.

And some bloggers were all too happy to tout Obama’s seeming victory on the issue.

For example, Lisa Taylor at examiner.com wrote:

The piece of tonight’s debate that caught my attention the most was the moment President Obama chastised Romney on his statement about campaigning during the Libyan crisis, and rightly so. Romney had been misbehaving like an ill-mannered child all evening. But to imply that the President didn’t care, rather went on the campaign trail and ignored the Libya situation was quite a mistake.

If you didn’t actually watch the debate, you would simply conclude that must be true.

But here at Minor Insights, we Insightful people know that there is more than meets the eye if you want more, ahem, Insightful analysis.

Ready?

What they actually said

Here is the transcript of the exchange from the debate:

CROWLEY: Because we’re — we’re closing in, I want to still get a lot of people in. I want to ask you something, Mr. President, and then have the governor just quickly.

Your secretary of state, as I’m sure you know, has said that she takes full responsibility for the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what went on here?

OBAMA: Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I’m the president and I’m always responsible, and that’s why nobody’s more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I do.

The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.

And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.

And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president, that’s not what I do as Commander in Chief.

CROWLEY: Governor, if you want to…

ROMNEY: Yes, I — I…

CROWLEY: … quickly to this please.

ROMNEY: I — I think interesting the president just said something which — which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.

OBAMA: That’s what I said.

ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.

It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?

OBAMA: Please proceed, governor.

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror…

OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

CROWLEY: He — he did call it an act of terror. It did, as well, take — it did, as well, take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.

ROMNEY: This — the administration — the administration indicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction.

CROWLEY: It did.

Now that we have the full context of this exchange, let’s take a look at the various issues surrounding this Libya moment in the debate.

Issue #1: with whom did moderator Crowley side with?

Many media reports did not report Crowley agreeing with Romney. As I mentioned earlier, Nightline did not show that part of the clip. So some media reports made it appear that the moderator only backed up Obama.

But as you saw in the transcript, Crowley agreed with Obama (in using the phrase “act of terror”) and with Romney (in the Obama administration not knowing whether the attack was in reaction to a video for 14 days).

Perhaps Romney would have come across stronger if he also asked Crowley to “say that a little louder” after Crowley agreed with him.

So, technically, Crowley sided with both Romney and Obama. But Crowley later admitted that, semantics aside about whether Obama used the words “act of terror”, when it comes to the issue itself, she agrees with Romney.

Winner: Romney.

Lesson learned: don’t let the media spoon-feed you their conclusions b/c most media will intentionally slant their reports with a bias. Check for yourself.

Issue #2: did Obama really say “act of terror” in his Sep 12th speech?

For the answer to that, we would need to “get the transcript,” as the President advised.

OK, President, here is that transcript:

Good Morning. Everyday all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interest and values of our nation.

Often, they are away from their families, sometimes in great, great danger.

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi. Among those killed was our Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as his Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.

We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed and today the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

The United States condemns, in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.

And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.

We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None.

The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.

Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans. Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’ body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.

It’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save. At the height of the Libyan revolution Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi.

With characteristic skill, courage and resolve he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya.

When the Gadhafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy. And I think both Secretary Clinton and I have relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there.

He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. And today the loss of these four Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on.

I have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who loved them back home.

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourn with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those, both civilian and military, who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.

Today we mourn for more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers. These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity. They should give every American great pride in the country that they served, and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity.

We grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory and let us continue their work in seeking a stronger America and a better world for all of our children. Thank you. May God bless the memory of those we lost, and may God bless the United States of America.

So did Obama say “act of terror”? Yes. In paragraph #18 of the 21 paragraphs he read.

Winner: Obama, on a technical point. But there’s more to this story. Read on.

Issue #3: did Obama believe the attack was terrorist or retaliation to a video?

If you read the transcript, you saw that Obama believed the attack was in retaliation to an American-made video insulting Muhammad.

In paragraph #7, he said:

We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None.

Obama clearly linked “this type of senseless violence” with “denigrating the religious beliefs of others.”

So, yes, later in his speech, “this type of senseless violence” was referred to as an “act of terror.” But Obama did not believe this “act of terror” was a terrorist attack. This fact was borne out over the ensuing days when the Obama administration continued to insist the attack was a “spontaneous protest” in order to give American citizens the false impression that al-Qaeda is not still a threat. In fact, townhall.com has a handy timeline of the Libya debacle.

Winner: Romney.

Bottom line

Obama seemed to convince un-Insightful people that he won the point on Libya because Crowley confirmed that Obama technically did use the phrase “act of terror”. But only Insightful people do fact-checking to realize the larger point that Obama did not know—or did not want to admit to the public—that it was a planned, premeditated terrorist attack.

Obama demonstrated passion and fire as he defended himself against Romney’s Libya charge. But passion and fire to cover up lies and administrative bungling is just putting lipstick on a pig.

By the way, the person who asked the question that sparked this whole firestorm in the first place said afterward, “I really didn’t think [Obama] totally answered the question satisfactorily as far as I was concerned.”