About Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is an attorney for venture capitalists and their portfolio companies by day, husband and father of three teenage boys by night. He's an avid supporter of Mitt Romney for president and, as a graduate of Brigham Young University, a BYU football and basketball fan. Paul also enjoys competing in triathlons. Because he's in the "Clydesdale" (over 200 lb.) class, he has even had podium finishes from time to time. Paul also has the distinction of being a big enough U2 fan to be willing to travel to Dublin to see them in their native environment.

A Heartfelt Goodbye…Until Next Time

Follow Paul Johnson on twitter at @ntsjohnson

Now that a week has gone by since the election, I still feel a dull ache, as many of you do, when I think about the results. I’ll eventually accept what’s happened and move on. For now, I’m not sure what stage of grief I’m in (probably somewhere around denial), and I’m sure there’s a psychologist out there somewhere who could tell me how long I should expect it to take to fully recover, but I just think it may be a while.

Notwithstanding the disappointing result, there are reasons to be encouraged. We still have the greatest system in the world. We, as a nation, cast our ballots to pick the person we thought best suited to take the most powerful political position in the free world. How great is that? The people who wanted to vote voted, and Mitt was chosen by 48% of those people. With only a 2.5% spread between “winner” and “loser,” that means that if slightly over 1% of voters changed their mind (ignoring the electoral college for a moment), the result could have been different. If anyone thinks their vote doesn’t count, this election (like 2000 and 2004) again disproved that. In a way that’s very encouraging. We, as conservatives, are not that far off. We have work to do to widen the tent, but we’re not that far off.

I know that the authors here at MittRomneyCentral and the other blogs with which we’ve associated from time to time, including Evangelicals for Mitt and Article 6 Blog, did everything they could to persuade, cajole and convince readers that Mitt Romney was the man for the job. I remain convinced of that fact, especially as we head “Forward” toward the fiscal cliff and our president this weekend was once again on the golf course. I trust Mitt would have been hard at work. But again we did our best. Literally millions of visitors came to the site to read what we wrote. It wasn’t enough, but that’s okay. We made our arguments, and the people got to choose. There’s something sacred in that, regardless of result, even if we prayed it may turn out otherwise.

I also know Mitt and family did their best. I thought Ann Coulter got it right. Mitt was the best candidate possible.

There have been articles on our site post-election thanking Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and their families for the great sacrifices they made. I must also add my voice to those. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for being willing to serve, and not just willing, but for having the dogged determination to do your best to win an election that was so important, when there was literally nothing in it for you but your knowledge you were doing the right thing. Our nation owes the Romney and Ryan families a debt of gratitude it may never understand. Special thanks to Ann in particular, who, I know, felt the importance of this election personally, and with health difficulties that she carried gracefully, perhaps was more emotionally invested, and bore a greater cost, than was obvious to most people. Thank you.

As I look back, regardless of result I’ve loved every minute I’ve been involved with this effort. When you willingly make a sacrifice, it doesn’t feel like one. And this experience has been a life changer. It’s made me want to be involved in politics in some way going forward. If not us, then who?

While I may take some time to get back to full form, I will be back. At some point you’ll be able to find me tweeting at @ntsjohnson. I’d be encouraged if you followed me and listened in. I may even have something interesting to say from time to time. It may even be compelling from time to time, especially as we begin debating how we bring down this deficit.

But finally, thank you so much for reading. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. You also did your best knocking doors, making calls, soliciting donations and fighting the good fight. While we didn’t prevail this time, that’s okay. There’ll be another battle, and as you know there’s lots of error out there to correct. The principles of limited government and economic and religious freedom are the right ones. Those of us: you, me, the authors of MittRomneyCentral, who took up the effort are patriots. We fought for freedom. We may have lost the battle, but the war is not lost until we give up.

I’ll close out this long goodbye to MittRomneyCentral and its wonderful readers with Ronald Reagan’s classic quote: “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” With that in mind, and knowing how important it is we stay engaged, I’m sure I’ll see you in 2014, and again in 2016, and beyond. Until then!

Photos in this post are from my personal collection, taken at the GOP Convention in Tampa.

My Closing Argument, and This Ain’t Just Rhetoric

Overview: My Main Philosophical Reason I’m Voting For Mitt.

I feel so strongly that Mitt Romney is the right choice for president that I wanted to make one last post, my closing argument as it were, in hopes of convincing that one last undecided voter out there somewhere to vote for Mitt. I wanted to explain why I, and the other authors here at Mitt Romney Central, have devoted such time, effort, emotion, and yes, money, to the cause of electing Mitt. My list of specific reasons why I like Mitt, and my counterarguments to President Obama’s case, are below. But I can sum up why I feel so strongly with this: Barack Obama’s vision for America is inconsistent with that of our founding fathers and our Constitution.

A Limited Government Preserves Freedom

Our government was founded on the principles of self-determination and freedom. Americans were not content to be told by the British government how much they should pay in taxes or what freedoms they were entitled to. So they fought a war to gain their independence. When the founding fathers then set up their own government, at the forefront of their minds was the concern for how to preserve their hard-won freedoms. So they came up with three fundamental ideas about the new federal government: (i) it should be small, split into different branches with checks and balances over each other’s power, (ii) it should share power with, and in fact have less power over citizens’ day-to-day lives than, the states, where the citizens were better represented, and (iii) our most basic freedoms should be enshrined in a Bill of Rights to make absolutely sure the federal government did not violate them. This combination of ideas, they thought, would assure, over time, that the God-given rights they had won back from their government at great cost would be preserved against tyranny.

Obama’s Vision of a Larger Government is Antithetical to Freedom.

In 2008 when Senator Obama talked of “transforming” America and saying “we can do better,” it was clear to me he was talking about fundamentally changing these key principles. He stood for a larger federal government; one that would try and take responsibility for the poor and do more for its citizens. While that may sound nice, having a government undertake that responsibility also means it must become larger, tax more (a government that undertakes to define what’s fair for all its citizens will also try and make everyone pay their “fair share”) and become more involved in our lives, much more involved than the founding fathers intended. A larger government necessarily becomes more difficult to manage, begins to take on a life of its own, and becomes very difficult to control. A larger federal government also means a shift in power from the states, where citizens can more easily control their own destiny. And once people begin to rely on government largesse, cutting the size of that government and its programs, even if the government cannot afford them (witness our overwhelming deficits and the troubles in Europe as it tries to cut back), becomes very, very difficult. People become less willing to give up that security, even if it means a loss of liberty. And they can become accustomed to the idea that the government represents someone else, not them, and that they are owed something by that government (witness appeals from the left that sound like class warfare). As a result, I believe the policies of President Obama reflect a threat to our liberty. Perhaps not immediate. Perhaps only a little. But what he wants to do, at its core, is inconsistent with the intended size and role of our government, which means we will inevitably lose a little, or a lot, of liberty. How much really depends on how much further down Obama’s road we go. And in my view, we’ve already lost too much.

Example: Obamacare.

As an illustration of what I mean, I’ll use Obamacare. It sounds nice to make sure everyone has health insurance. And there are lots of stories of people who can’t afford insurance, and how having it would benefit them greatly. I get that, and I feel for their situation. This is what Obama meant by “we can do better.” He’d like to use government resources to fix these problems. But, just like when you get your first credit card, you need to look beyond the nice things you can buy and decide whether you can really afford it, because that bill will come due at some time. As for the cost in dollars and cents, it’s clear we can’t afford Obamacare. We just can’t. It adds trillions of unfunded government outlays over the next two decades. And once these benefits are offered to citizens it’s very difficult to take them away. In addition, Obamacare has already begun to infringe on our freedoms. At its core it’s the federal government (not the state, which is the principal difference between Obamacare and Romneycare), forcing us to buy a product. Then, because it forces us to buy this product, it must go further and legislate the minimum requirements of this product (or everyone would buy the cheapest version available). That legislation now includes elements some religions find offensive. How’d we get here? By involving the federal government in something it really was never intended by the founding fathers to be involved in: providing health insurance. Further, because the IRS will be in charge of enforcing compliance with the mandate, it will need to know our personal health information. The founders’ vision of limited federal power, with express limits on what the federal government can and can’t do, has been violated by Obamacare. And having the federal government in this position simply poses a threat to our freedom. The founders knew power corrupts, and while we think we can trust the government now, we don’t always know we will be able to. When will it be your religious belief that’s infringed? Or your freedom of speech? This is why the Republicans resist President Obama so much. This is why Obamacare did not get one single Republican vote. This is why Obama’s own budget was rejected by not only Republicans but his own party. And finally this is why Mitch McConnell said it was his goal to make sure Obama only had one term: to try and make sure the damage President Obama does is not long-lasting. Obamacare is a threat to our freedom, and it’s just one example.

This Ain’t Just Rhetoric.

Let me say that this is not just rhetoric. I’m not just making an argument because I want you to vote for Mitt for some other hidden reason. This is why I’m voting for Mitt, and why I honestly believe everyone should. This is what worries me about the prospect of Obama serving another term. He has already made some strides toward “transforming” America into something I believe it was never intended to be. Obamacare was one very large step in that direction. As Vice President Biden said, it was a “[blanking] big deal.” I know the further we go down this road the more difficult it is to go back. I also know the GOP will fight Obama to preserve that liberty, which is likely to result in more gridlock at a time when our government needs to work together. Unfortunately, though, cooperating with the president can mean, and has meant, the loss of some of these liberties, which makes compromise difficult.
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UPDATED: Media Finally Coming Around: Benghazi Raises Questions of Obama’s Fitness to Lead

UPDATE: In the wee hours last night after posting this article two important events were brought to my attention:

1. CBS just released the rest of the 60 Minutes interview with President Obama the day after the Benghazi attack. See what it says here at Fox in a post by Brett Baier, who I gave kudos to below. In it the president refused to call the attacks terrorism, notwithstanding his statement at the debate he’d called it that from day 1. It shows the president did not, in fact, take that position until much later, vindicating Mitt Romney in the debate and showing the president deceived the American people (with Cindy Crawley’s help). Byron York and Ari Fleischer both tweeted to ask “why sit on this information until now?” Makes me want to watch the Caddell video again…

2. I received a tweet last night pointing me to the website for Congressman Kelly of Pennsylvania. He’s a co-signer, along with over fifty other members of the House, of a letter sent to the president Friday demanding answers about Benghazi. More evidence people are starting to ask the right questions.

ORIGINAL POST:

As Vic Lundquist reported, some in the media (Fox) have not let this go. Brett Baier in particular has done a great job. And I was moved when I saw Pat Caddell’s comments (video in Vic’s post, and re-included here below).

But today I finally, finally saw a headline that gave me a glimmer of hope about our media and Benghazi. Two mainstream papers are asking the right questions about what happened and why.

The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post have just, in the last two days, asked some pointed questions to the administration about what happened. Do we expect an answer before Tuesday? I don’t. And for that it’s difficult to forgive the media, as Pat Caddell says. They sat on this too long to allow the truth to get out in time for it to have an impact on people’s choices Tuesday. Unless you vote for Mitt and don’t let the president off the hook for hiding the ball.

In the Washington Post piece, the editorial board asks the reasons why the facility was so under-prepared when the threats of violence were so obvious?

Fox News reported this week that a secret cable described an Aug. 15 “emergency meeting” at the consulate, at which the State Department’s regional security officer “expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support and the overall size of the compound.”

Fox reported that the cable, dispatched to Washington, said the emergency meeting included a briefing about al-Qaeda training camps in the Benghazi area and Islamist militias, including those that allegedly carried out the Sept. 11 attack. In another cable on Sept. 11, hours before the attack, Mr. Stevens described “growing problems with security” in Benghazi and “growing frustration” with the local militias and police, to which the State Department had entrusted the consulate’s defense. Separately, according to a report on ForeignPolicy.com, Mr. Stevens may have dispatched a letter to Benghazi authorities, complaining that a policeman assigned to guard the consulate was photographing it on the morning of Sept. 11.

Even if you believe what the Post is willing to, that the ultimate US response was all that could be mustered (there seems to be evidence to the contrary due to assets being available in Italy and a drone flying overhead), they still ask the key question:

…why [were] the various agencies … not better prepared for such an emergency, given the clear warnings. Did the Obama administration’s political preoccupation with maintaining a light footprint in Libya lead to an ill-considered reliance on local militias, rather than on U.S. forces? Given the region’s instability, why were no military rapid-reaction assets — such as Special Forces or armed drones — within reach of Northern Africa?

While the agencies separately defend themselves — or not — the White House appears determined to put off any serious discussion of Benghazi until after the election. Sooner or later, however, the administration must answer questions about what increasingly looks like a major security failure — and about the policies that led to it.

Yes, it appears to be a major security failure, resulting from seriously flawed policies. But “sooner or later” is not really satisfactory to me, since I firmly believe that how the Obama administration planned for, responded to, and reported about this event is highly relevant to whether we should be voting for President Obama’s re-election.

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500 Generals and Admirals Buy Ad To Endorse Mitt

Tomorrow’s Washington Times, according to the Washington Free Beacon, will include a full page ad of 500 admirals and generals who support Mitt. Says the Free Beacon:

Nearly 500 former military admirals and generals are poised to endorse Mitt Romney…

The group will post a full page ad in the Washington Times on Monday. The advertisement will have the headline, “We, the undersigned, proudly support Governor Mitt Romney as our nation’s next President and Commander-in-Chief,” followed by the names of the former military commanders.

A spokesman for the group emphasized its independence from the official campaign. The Romney campaign has not sanctioned this ad buy, a spokesman said, and the members of the group are paying the fee themselves.

[Emphasis added]

Here’s the ad:

The Free Beacon also links to a story in the Military Times reporting that in a survey of 3,100 of the professional core military, Mitt is favored 2:1 over Obama. Among those that provide the “blanket of freedom,” that’s not even close.

Mitt: It’s About the Pursuit of Happiness

From guest author Greg Davis:

What is the single most important word in all our founding documents? It’s a question I’ve thought about several times over the last four years. It was a little over four years ago that I was on a plane ride coming back from a 2008 Mitt Romney rally in Boston, seated next to MRC’s own Paul Johnson. Over the course of a long plane ride our conversation spanned many topics, but one topic in particular has remained with me.

We were discussing differences between Europe and America, and in trying to boil America down to its essence, we reflected on these timeless words from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It was on this occasion that I began to appreciate the lasting importance of what may be the most significant word in framing the responsibilities of the American government: pursuit.

This one sentence in the Declaration of Independence establishes that our rights are endowed by a Creator and not granted by governments, kings, or militaries, as has so often been the case throughout history. It clarifies that going forward, the American government would be responsible only to protect and to ‘..secure these rights’ that had already been granted by God.

Consider for moment how different that mandate would be without the word pursuit; “..that among these [rights] are Life, Liberty and … Happiness.” What would our country look like today if our elected officials spent the last 200+ years believing that they were responsible for granting our happiness instead of defending our pursuit of it? Maybe we should look at France. I will never be mistaken for an expert in French history, but consider briefly the French motto: liberté, égalité, fraternité, or liberty, equality, fraternity. Equality can be interpreted many ways, but even the casual observer can see that often French economic policies go beyond creating equal opportunities, and try instead to create equal outcomes by using over-protective labor laws and wealth redistribution practices (such as their maximum 35 hour work week and recent 75% tax imposed on the very wealthy). It should be noted that in spite of these efforts, and perhaps because of them, since 1984, French unemployment has been below 8 percent for only 16 months and they now comprise a mere 2% of global GDP, while the US comprises approximately 23%. The United States ranked 6th in per capital GDP in between 2010 and 2011, while France ranked 24th.

And this is where I believe a key difference lies between our two presidential candidates. I believe Barack Obama thinks he knows what’s best for me and thinks he knows what my happiness should look like. He wants to try and guaranty that equality, or happiness, largely by taking from others to redistribute to me. He also has mandated what happiness looks like to employers, who he wants to force to pay for employees’ contraceptives even if in violation of their conscience. I believe Mitt Romney, on the other hand, will protect my pursuit of happiness and defend the principles upon which our nation was founded.

When asked at the first presidential debate by Jim Lehrer how he viewed the role and mission of the federal government, Mitt responded:

Look behind us [on the wall]. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The role of government is to promote and protect the principles of those documents. First, life and liberty. We have a responsibility to protect the lives and liberties of our people, and that means a military second to none…

Second, in that line that says we are endowed by our creator with our rights, I believe we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country. That statement also says that we are endowed by our creator with the right to pursue happiness as we choose. We’re a nation that believes that we’re all children of the same god and we care for those that have difficulties, those that are elderly and have problems and challenges, those that are disabled. We care for them. And we — we look for discovery and innovation, all these things desired out of the American heart to provide the pursuit of happiness for our citizens. But we also believe in maintaining for individuals the right to pursue their dreams and not to have the government substitute itself for the rights of free individuals. And what we’re seeing right now is, in my view, a trickle-down government approach, which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams. And it’s not working.

[Emphasis added].

He took the words right out of my mouth. Defending the rights of the American people to pursue their own happiness has catapulted this nation into an unprecedented position in world history as both an economic superpower and a bastion of freedom. Mitt understands that, while our current president does not, which is why I look forward to Tuesday when I can cast my ballot for Mitt Romney.

Multiple Paths: Michigan, Pennsylvania Moving from Obama to Toss Up

Conventional wisdom says the winner of Ohio will be our next president. Odds are that’s the case. You’ve heard the history: no Republican president has ever won the White House without it. But late breaking polls show Mitt has multiple paths to victory–paths where states formerly thought in the tank for Obama could put Mitt on top regardless.

Don’t get me wrong. Ohio is clearly still in play and I think we can win there. But if we go by the RealClearPoliitcs “No Toss Ups” map, which solely reflects current polling, even if within the margin of error, we’d believe Obama would win 290 electoral votes to 248. Swing states Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are all blue on this map. People are very focused on Ohio with its 18 electoral college votes. But if you think Ohio being on that map spells an Obama victory, not so fast…polling out today show Mitt-mentum in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Together they represent twice the number of electoral college votes as Ohio. Do the quick math: take 36 from Obama’s 290 and you get 254, giving Mitt 284 and the win.

The latest Michigan poll actually puts Mitt up by 1. The latest poll in Pennsylvania shows a tie. Both polls’ results are well within the margin of error. The Obama camp is nervous enough about Pennsylvania it has sent in its designated hitter, Bill Clinton, to make four visits before Tuesday. Does that indicate they think Pennsylvania’s in the bag? Not at all.

The true bottom line here is that despite what you hear, none of these states is in the tank for anybody. The map shows Florida, North Carolina and Virginia in Mitt’s column, but we will have to work to keep them there. The side that marshals its resources and gets out the vote in all these states is the side that will win. If that means Mitt gets Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, however, he’ll be President-elect Romney on Tuesday night. We may not know it until later in the week as they count and re-count, but Mitt would win.

One thing we do know: if Mitt’s elected, he’ll hit the ground running. Politico recently reported that Mitt’s team, without taking anything for granted, was quietly preparing to be ready to get to work immediately, just in case. He already has a plan for the first 200 days. Meanwhile, apparently at the White House this nonsense of having to justify why they deserve a second term has just been exhausting. Here’s our current Vice President divulging the administration’s plans if they’re back in office:

Final Call For Prayer: Election Day

Many Americans will be headed to some form of worship service in this final weekend before the election. In the United States, the freedom to worship is a fundamental right, enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution. Obviously not all of us agree on who should win on Tuesday. But, as we head to church, synagogue, temple or mosque, and as we reflect on the historical importance of what’s happening in our country next week, we here at MittRomneyCentral invite you to make the outcome of the election the subject of prayer and, if it’s part of your religious tradition, fasting.

With Article VI blog and Evangelicals for Mitt, we’ve asked before for your prayerful support of Governor and Mrs. Romney. Those past calls for prayer were made on behalf of Evangelicals, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Presbyterians and members of many other religions. Today the call for prayer comes from a friend of MittRomneyCentral who is a devout Catholic, Art Grant (who, notably, has a member of his faith on both major tickets).

Our past calls for prayer were on the eve of the convention and the debates. At those times we took pains to make clear we were not praying for a victory, but that Mitt and Ann be favored as they carried incredible burdens. We called for prayers that they be able to communicate effectively and with extraordinary capacity. We called for prayers that the American people would be open to their message and have clear minds to make an informed decision when election day came. We believe those prayers were answered. Ann shone in her convention speech and Mitt’s debate performances were spectacular. Days of obfuscation on the part of Mitt’s opponents followed, but in those moments, Americans saw who Mitt Romney is, and what Mitt and Ann Romney stand for.

Today Art goes beyond what we’ve asked before and asks that we pray that Mitt win. With election day upon us, the time for the American people to decide is now, and we join with him. The authors of this website believe it is appropriate to work toward, and even pray for, causes we feel are worthy. Not all agree. While we will strenuously defend the rights of all people, even those who disagree with us, to do vote their conscience and solicit the help of the deity they choose, we obviously believe it would be best for Mitt to emerge victor on Tuesday, and that the country will be better off under his leadership, and so we claim this privilege for ourselves as well. If you don’t agree, everyone can join us in praying that Americans making up their minds will be influenced by the truth of the arguments made and not be swayed by falsehoods; that voters will be inspired; that voters will feel the weight of their responsibility and seek to understand the issues at stake; and that people will understand both major candidates, what they stand for, and where they would lead this country. And if you agree with us Mitt Romney is the right choice, we invite you to exercise your First Amendment rights and fast and pray for him, that God attend his and our efforts, and that, in the best interest of the country, he be elected as the 45th President of the United States this coming Tuesday.

From Art Grant:

If ever there was a time for prayer it is now. No matter your faith, the future of this great nation is at stake and it is time to take a collective moment, close our eyes, get down on our knees, and pray to God that Governor Romney wins this election on Tuesday. This is a call to every citizen who has even a glimmer of understanding of what this unprecedented, unique idea of a country called America is all about, who understands the founding principles that have guided us to this point in our history. For in our own Pledge of Allegiance we proclaim:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

A belief in God has been a part of this country since the beginning, and people from all walks of life, all nations, and all faiths have proven through our relatively short history that if you have faith, work hard, and lead an honest life, you will have the opportunity to be a success in America. Governor Romney not only understands this, he has lived it himself! It is this OPPORTUNITY that is the most unique and precious thing about living in this country, and must be preserved. We succeed as a nation because we can succeed as individuals, as families, as communities, cities, and states. And so we pray, as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, that Governor Romney can prevail on Tuesday.

Obama II: My Halloween Nightmare

On Halloween night six days before we choose our next president, I must confess that I realized inside me there resides a real fear of what would happen if Obama won next Tuesday. In the spirit of Halloween I decided to give in to that fear, like going to a horror movie, and allow myself to be really, really frightened by the specter of an Obama re-election. So here’s my Halloween Nightmare: Obama II, the sequel.

Like in a horror movie, things may look fine on the surface, but then the ominous music starts playing and you know something’s just not right. This close to the election I feel like I’m watching the American public in the role of that poor teenager, innocently wandering in the dark alley by himself, not knowing the danger right around the corner. The entire audience knows it’s there, and it seems anyone with half a brain would know as well. Yet the teenager doesn’t see it. And so the drama builds…will the hapless teenager keep moving toward danger, or will he turn at the last moment? The suspense is killing me.

But unlike those horror movies, where the fear is contrived and you can calmly go home afterward, my fear is real. The threats to our economy and freedoms are real, and there may be no going home afterward. Obama II may be a nightmare we don’t wake up from. Why am I so worried? What is this ominous music I’m hearing? Tonight I give in to the fear and try and give it a voice. Tonight I try and give a name to what lurks in the dark corners of my mind:

Maybe I’m worried that the next four years will be like the last four. I sat and watched from my position as an attorney for startup companies and venture capitalists as the economy slowed, investment ran dry, and people just didn’t get jobs back, even after reports of an improving economy.

Maybe it’s the fact so many people gave up looking for work. They don’t count in that 7.8% unemployment number anymore but they’re still unemployed.

Maybe it’s the passage of Obamacare, with its thousands of pages, new taxes and failure to reduce costs. When it seemed our economy needed an energy boost, the president was sucking more blood from it.

Maybe it’s the statements I hear from founders of large and small companies that if Obama is re-elected they’ll move those companies, either out of my state or out of the country.

Maybe it’s my dismay at Obamacare’s constitutionally-questionable mandate that some employers do things against their conscience and pay for their employees’ contraception.

Maybe it’s the use of constitutionally-questionable executive orders to do an end-run around Congress on immigration law.

Maybe it’s President Obama’s convenient conversion on same sex marriage.

Maybe it’s my worry about the fiscal cliff, and that President Obama has shown no ability to work with Congress in the bipartisan manner we’ll need to avoid the real horror movie of that un-natural disaster.

Maybe I’m horrified by all those rounds of golf President Obama played. Not that I object to a guy taking a break, but when I saw what happened in the first debate, I saw a pattern. President Obama only shows up when it really suits him, like when his job’s on the line. Maybe I’m worried nothing will motivate him if he’s re-elected and has no accountability. And maybe I’m not only worried about what President Obama won’t do, but what he will do without accountability to the voters.

Maybe I’m worried with no attention being paid, and no real admission of culpability, there’ll be a Benghazi II. How do you avoid repeating a problem you don’t take responsibility for?

Maybe I’m worried about what Supreme Court justices a 2d term President Obama would appoint. Would they interpret the constitution as it was intended, or would they fall in line with the other liberal justices on the court to act like a new legislature rather than limiting Federal power.

I realize I’m letting things get away from me. Mitt’s still neck and neck with President Obama, and maybe we won’t be forced to live through Obama II. There’s a good chance, given the polling data, Mitt even wins in a landslide. But tonight, on Halloween, I’m letting myself be terrified. I’m just sick that this nightmare has any chance of really coming true.

New Gallup Poll Should Have Chicago Sweating…Profusely

SPOILER ALERT: In this post I’ll tell you why polls are looking very good for Mitt, but will also conclude by saying it only matters if we all dig in, do our part to get out the vote. So click the “ComMITTed” link!

I’ve now seen three commentaries on the latest Gallup poll, and they’re telling a consistent story: Chigago is, or should be, sweating profusely about these latest polling numbers. And the evidence is they are.

The Eye Candy: National Polls.

National polls are great and continue to give encouraging news of a Mitt 2-4% lead. The RealClearPolitics average of polls gives Mitt a solid 1% edge. The latest poll in that group, a Rasmussen poll of 1,500 likely voters from October 25 to October 27 (yesterday), gives Mitt a 3% lead. The underlying data show Mitt is winning more Republicans (90%) than Obama is Democrats (85%), but the big news on the national front is that Mitt is leading among independents by 11%. But national polls are really the eye candy of the presidential politics. Fun to look at, but in the end, not what will make the difference.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: State Polls

What’s really important, as we all know, is what happens in the electoral college. So what about those swing states? Well, there’s good news there, too, even if there’s lots of work to be done. Rasmussen’s electoral college map, based on Rasmussen’s own polling in each state, shows Mitt leading or tied in the critical swing states of Florida (50%/48%), Virginia (50%/47%), Colorado (50%/46%), Iowa (48%/48%), New Hampshire (50%/48%), Wisconsin (49%/49%) and, perhaps most importantly, Ohio (48%/48%). Given Mitt was behind in these states a couple weeks ago, and the press’ coronation of Obama as the narrow winner of the last two debates, the trends here are in the right direction: Mitt is gaining when it counts, and Mitt has an ability to improve, while Obama, who the voters have known for four years, is more likely to drop. Other states are also narrowing: Minnesota and Pennsylvania are closer than expected, if still leaning Obama. And no one thought Wisconsin would be tied a few weeks ago. If you don’t like Rasmussen’s numbers, you can turn to RealClearPolitics’ collection of polls and resulting electoral college map. RCP reports similar numbers for each of those states. It shows Virginia, Colorado and New Hampshire in a closer race, with Obama having a slight lead in Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio, with Mitt continuing to make inroads.

So national and state polling shows it’s a very close race, Obama has a miniscule and shrinking lead in states he needs to win, and Mitt is either tied or within easy striking distance in all the same states. Very encouraging for a challenger.

But…there’s more.

The Zinger: the Latest Gallup Poll

The real story is that Gallup poll. Neil Stevens of Red State dissects Gallup’s numbers and says:

We always talk about the independent, swing vote in elections because those tend to be the persuadables. But party ID numbers matter as well, because those partisan voters tend to split better than 90/10 for their party.

It is for that reason that Gallup’s new partisan ID split, one that mimics what Rasmussen has been saying all along, predicts nothing less than doom for the Democrats, and a solid, national win for Mitt Romney this year.

…the numbers are brutal. In 2008, the Democrats had a 39-29 (D+10) advantage in hard party ID, and a 54-42 (D+12) advantage with leaners. In 2012 though, we’re in the post-TEA party era. Republicans now show a 36-35 (R+1) hard party ID advantage, and a 49-46 (R+3) lead with leaners. This gives us a range of party ID swings from 2008, from R+11 to R+15.

[Emphasis added.]

What does this mean? In a tight election with key swing states on the edge and voter turnout key, more of those voters self-identifying as Republicans than Democrats this year means things may be better than they look on the surface of the polls. Mr. Stevens then goes further and says what these numbers would mean if plugged into his own electoral college model. It generates an estimate of the electoral college results if more voters self-ID as Republican versus his baseline year. Here’s the picture:


(more…)

BREAKING: CIA Told To Stand Down In Libya; Father of Killed ex-SEAL Calmly asks Why

Fox News today released two more disturbing reports about the events at Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

First, Fox reports:

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Here’s the video:


Remember that the attacks came in waves and lasted for six and a half hours. Drones were in position to watch. Teams could have been deployed from Italy and arrived in time to help. What happened?

Reacting to this news, Charles Woods, the father of killed ex-SEAL Tyrone Woods, didn’t mince words:

The father of a former Navy SEAL killed in the Libya terror attack last month said Friday that U.S. officials who denied a request for help while the diplomatic compound in Benghazi was under attack “are murderers of my son.”

Charles Woods was reacting to accounts by Fox News sources that a request from the CIA annex for backup was denied by U.S. officials. His son, Tyrone Woods, was killed in the Sept. 11 assault.

“They refused to pull the trigger,” Woods said. “Those people who made the decision and who knew about the decision and lied about it are murderers of my son.”

Woods said he forgives whoever denied the apparent request, but he urged them to “stand up.”

Here’s his son’s story, and the father’s reaction:


Glen Beck also interviewed Mr. Woods today. He asked Mr. Woods about his interactions with the president, vice president and Secretary of State Clinton. He was not impressed that any of them were terribly sincere in their expressed apologies. Our vice president even made a couple less than appropriate remarks (surprise), and Mrs. Clinton explicitly said they’d go after the guy who “made that film” is arrested; not the attackers. Here’s that video:

When can we expect the administration to respond to these, and other inflammatory allegations, or should we expect to be kept in the dark until after the election?

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