Barack Obama and his Dancing Ducks — The “ObamaTax”

ObamaCare — Here are the facts by phase as supported by the liberals:

First: Mr. Obama and surrogates vehemently argued for months that the bill (and then law) was not a tax and that those earning below $250,000 would not see taxes go up.

Second: Mr. Obama’s lawyers argue to the Supreme Court that the ObamaCare mandate is supported as a “tax.” They come right out and call it a “tax.”

Third: The Supreme Court this week agrees with Mr. Obama’s lawyers that ObamaCare’s mandate is supported as a tax.

Fourth: Mr. Obama’s surrogates are now stating ObamaCare’s mandate is really not a tax; that it is really a “penalty” or a “fee.” What is their next phase?

The Wall Street Journal published a short piece yesterday titled, “The Tax Duck”:

Editor’s note: The duck test—if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.
[...]
Herewith, from President Obama on down, is a sampling of Democratic denials that the individual mandate is a tax:

President Barack Obama, talking to George Stephanopoulos on ABC News, September 2009:

Stephanopoulos: Your critics say it [the mandate] is a tax increase.

Obama: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but—

Stephanopoulos; But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

Obama: I absolutely reject that notion.

***
From the White House website, December 2009, under the headline, “The Truth on Health Care Reform and Taxes”:

As we move into the final stage of the historic push for health reform, opponents of reform are testing the age old adage that if you only say something enough times you can somehow make it true. Yesterday, we heard a new version of the old, tired refrain that the health reform bills in Congress would raise taxes on the middle class. So let’s set the record straight: First, the health insurance reform bill being considered in the Senate does not raise taxes on families making less than $250,000.

***
Then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, July 2010: “I don’t see this as a tax.”

***
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, February 2012: “It [the mandate] operates the same way a tax would operate, but it’s not per se a tax.”

***
Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients appearing before House Budget Committee, February 2012:

Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.): If I make under $250,000 and I do not buy health insurance as I’m required to under the Affordable Care Act, is that a tax on me or is that not a tax on me? A moment ago you said there are no tax increases.

Zients: There aren’t.

Garrett: So that’s not a tax?

Zients: No.

***
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi commenting Thursday on the Roberts decision: “Call it what you will.”

Watch this short video of Axelrod doing the dance with Matt Lauer yesterday. Is Axelrod sly or what? I find it absolutely fascinating how Democrats are throwing the potato around to one another as they dance around truth!

Matt Lauer, NBC “TODAY” show host: “The good news [for you] is the Supreme Court said that the mandate is constitutional. The bad news is they said they are a tax. Back in 2009, the President adamantly denied that health care reform was going to be a tax on the American people. Does he now agree that this legislation, this law is a tax?”

David Axelrod, Obama campaign: “Whatever you call it, Matt, whether you call it a mandate or a tax, what it is, is a penalty on the very few Americans who don’t — who can afford health care, don’t pay for it, end up in our emergency rooms getting free care and then we all pay for it in the form of higher premiums.”

In the opening segment of The O’Reilly Factor yesterday, Democrat “strategist” Julie Roginsky continues the dance (moon walk) as she completely dodges Laura Ingraham’s very simple, straightforward inquiries. As with Mr. Obama, Roginsky blames others including Governor Romney as she so artfully pivots, evades, and dodges each question all the while with a smile!


Remember those old westerns where a gunslinger is shooting the ground at the feet of another cowboy as he is dancing all over the place to avoid being hit by the bullets? For the next 128+ days, we will watch Governor Romney firing away at Mr. Obama and his lemmings as they toss the “ObamaTax” (coined by Hannity yesterday) potato from one person to the next.

“Elections should be held on April 16th- the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.” ~ Thomas Sowell


Values, distinctly American: “Liberty” — “In God We Trust” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Top Democrats: Desperate to Pathetic to Whining

How arrogant is Eric Holder? Before I sat down to write this, I caught snippets of the hearings on Capitol Hill. AG Holder is so smug; such an elitist. His supreme condescension to United States Senators was nothing short of stunning! A topic for another day certainly!

THE BEST DEMOCRAT

We all have our favorites. My favorite Democrat is James Carville. To be completely candid, I don’t really know why. He has been my favorite Democrat for years! Maybe because he is married to the very sane, intelligent, and polar opposite, Mary Matalin. Maybe it is because he is so smart and frank when he speaks. He always seems to be speaking what he considers to be truth — unvarnished. Yeah, he always seems to have a chip on shoulder, but his humor is right there at the surface! It very well could be because he is a U.S. Marine (“Once a Marine, always a Marine”). But I think a lot of it has to do with his face. Seriously though, every time I see him on TV, I smile and sometimes I laugh out loud. I love that guy! For some odd reason, he reminds me of one of my favorite Spielberg films of all time: ET. Don’t you just love Carville?!

Politico yesterday published an piece titled, Democrats want change in Obama’s message. In it, James Carville co-authored a paper with Stanley Greenberg and Erica Seifert attempting to influence change in Mr. Obama’s errant campaign message (the problem is the messenger!). This quote from Politico about the paper sounds as if it could have been written by Republicans:

“These voters are not convinced that we are headed in the right direction. They are living in a new economy — and there is no conceivable recovery in the year ahead that will change the view of the new state of the country,” the memo reads. “They actually have a very realistic view of the long road back and the struggles of the middle class — and the current narrative about progress just misses the opportunity to connect and point forward.”

Wow, what a revelation! And its only June!

Household net worth has dropped to the lowest levels in 20 years. Adjusted for inflation, wages have been flat since Obama took office. And a disappointing May jobs report signaled things might be getting worse.

Meanwhile, the Buffett rule is dead. Obama’s jobs bill mostly went nowhere. Things don’t look so hot for student loan subsidies, either.

That leaves Obama with a message that’s hardly the stuff rallying cries are made of: Romney doesn’t want to help you — I do, I just haven’t been able to.

“The good news is, the American people generally agree with our vision,” Obama said Tuesday at a fundraiser in the Baltimore suburbs. “If you just put in front of them, issue after issue and you present the Democratic approach and the Republican approach, we win. The challenge is because folks are still hurting right now, the other side feels that it’s enough for them to just sit back and say, ‘Things aren’t as good as they should be and it’s Obama’s fault.’ And, you can pretty much put their campaign on, on a tweet, and have some characters to spare.”

Regulars to this website know that I have been calling Mr. Obama and team desperate for many weeks. Now, sadly, he is sounding pathetic. Mr. Obama’s almost daily shifting themes are now accentuated by what appears to be his attempt to convince his own base — or is it to convince himself? We could not make this up:

“If people ask you, ‘What’s this campaign about?’ You tell them it’s still about hope. You tell them it’s still about change. You still tell them it’s still about ordinary people who believe that in the face of great odds, we can still make a difference in the life of this country. I still believe that,” Obama said.

Then he reached back even further, to the 2004 convention speech that first made him a star.

“I believe this country is not as divided as our politics suggests. We have more in common than the pundits tell us. I believe we’re not Democrats or Republicans first, we’re Americans first. Most of all I still believe in you,” Obama said, “and I want you to keep believing in me.”

And THE BEST QUOTE OF THE WEEK?

“At some point, it’s hard to spin your way out of a trash heap,” said Drew Westen, an Emory University clinical psychologist who studies the role of messaging and emotion in politics.

The Carville memo continues,

“We will face an impossible economic headwind in November if we do not move to a new narrative, one that contextualizes the recovery but, more importantly, focuses on what we will do to make a better future for the middle class,” they wrote.

The Romney campaign, a bit more gleefully, has also hammered the Obama campaign for its message confusion.

“President Obama doesn’t have a message. He can’t run on his abysmal economic record, so there is no rationale for his candidacy,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.

Oh, and if this is not enough, the Dems want Mr. Obama to start focusing on his strengths now. What are those? His negotiating skills with Congress? This is what a “top economist” said (he actually said this):

Jared Bernstein, a former top economist for Vice President Joe Biden, pushed back — to some extent.
[...]
“This is not the time for some shiny new idea for him to fight with Congress about,” he said. “This is the time for him to explain to the American people how he understands the workings of the economy.”

Financial Times published a piece yesterday titled, Agile Romney gains momentum, also quoting the Carville memo:

[...] said in a report released on Tuesday that convincing voters the economy was “good enough” for people with jobs “is a fools’ errand”.

“[Voters] want to know the plans for making things better in a serious way, not just focused on finishing up the work of the recovery,” they said.

“We are losing these voters on the economy, but holding on because Romney is very vulnerable. . . ”

[emphasis added]

Mr. Obama’s leadership void, combined with a sheer lack of an understanding of economics, has resulted in a campaign of desperation, teetering on panic, devolving to pathetic. Let the whining begin!

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

To see the latest in Mr. Obama’s brilliant economic vision, click here (compare the chart to Obama’s latest assertions) ——–> (more…)

Romney’s ‘Every Town Counts’ Bus Tour / FOX & Friends: “Obama Out of Touch”

A look at Governor Mitt Romney's campaign bus last week in Iowa.
Romney is kicking off a six state bus tour this Friday. (Photo Jennifer Jacobs/The Register)


Check the oil and gas ‘er up! Road trip!

Governor Mitt Romney will be back in his campaign bus this Friday to begin a six state Believe in America: Every Town Counts five-day bus tour.

The kick-off takes place where it all began for him last June – at beautiful Scamman Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire. It’s where Mitt and wife, Ann, served up crock-pots full of her homemade chili to a large crowd of supporters. It’s also where the Governor, under blue skies and a blustery breeze, stood on a crop harvester bed, surrounded with hay bales, and announced his presidential candidacy.

Besides New Hampshire, Romney’s bus tour will carry him over highways and byways in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan, giving him the opportunity to meet with and listen to families and business owners in small towns.

Romney’s press release hit the unemployment nail on the head:

“For three and a half years, President Obama has paid little attention to the everyday concerns of the American people,” Mitt Romney said. “President Obama has offered no hope for the future, and he has left American families to bear the burden of his failed policies. Too many American families have experienced a lost job, faced foreclosure, or been forced to spend their kids’ college savings just to make ends meet. These are not statistics – these are our fellow Americans. In America’s small towns, you don’t find despair — you find boundless optimism. We know we can make America better, and that is why I am running for president.”

Henry Gomez from Cleveland.com points out how Romney is aggressively making his presence felt on turf where Obama has recently been:

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Republican Mitt Romney will sandwich President Barack Obama’s campaign appearance in Cleveland this week with Ohio events of his own, the latest example of cutthroat “bracketing” in this year’s race for the White House.

Romney will attend a private fundraiser Wednesday in Cincinnati, the evening before Obama’s speech at Cuyahoga Community College.

Romney previously bracketed an Obama trip by sending his campaign bus to Lorain County Community College in April, when the president delivered a speech at the Elyria campus. The following day, Romney campaigned miles away at a hollowed-out drywall factory in Lorain. The Republican challenger also came to Euclid last month, two days after Obama officially kicked off his re-election bid in Columbus.

‘Believe In America: Every Town Counts’ bus tour

• Friday, June 15 – New Hampshire

• Saturday, June 16 – Pennsylvania

• Sunday, June 17 – Ohio

• Monday, June 18 – Wisconsin and Iowa

• Tuesday, June 19 – Michigan

Residents in these six states will get to experience how much Governor Romney cares about the plight of ordinary everyday Americans and how much he wants to help.

If you missed it, The Gov was on FOX & Friends this morning to talk with hosts Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade. It was a quick, great interview :



When Carlson asked Romney about Obama’s press tour, which was a ‘clean-up’ response to his “private sector is fine gaffe”, he mentioned Obama’s ignoring the effect Obamacare is having on small businesses, Obama’s outlandish characterization of the state of the private sector, and the fact that 15% of Americans are unemployed, under-employed, or stopped working.

Romney: “The President is really out of touch with what’s happening in America.

Kilmeade: “He says that you’re out of touch. He says that you want to cut firefighters, and teachers – that you don’t understand what’s going on in these communities. What do you say to that, Governor?

Romney: “Well, that’s a very strange accusation. Of course, teachers, and firemen, and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters, or policemen. So, obviously, that’s completely absurd. He’s got a new idea, though, and that is another stimulus – and, to have the federal government send money to bail out cities and states. Didn’t work the first time; it certainly won’t work the second time.”

Look below the fold to see a few photos of that happy day when Governor Romney announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination. ——-> (more…)

Artur Davis: Fmr Dem Rep & Prominent Obama Backer Supporting Romney

Former Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), and former Co-Chairman for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, is supporting Governor Mitt Romney.


Artur Davis, former Democrat Representative and high-profile Obama supporter, once dubbed the ‘Obama of Alabama’, is now a Republican. And, he’s voting for Governor Mitt Romney.

Here’s Davis last night with Greta Van Susteren:

I’m going to vote for Governor Romney. … I think he has the potential to be a very good president in this country.

You leave a party because on the whole range of issues you just don’t feel the comfort, you don’t feel the home anymore. That’s where I am but I’m not alone. Millions of Americans who supported the Democratic Party four years ago have left because they no longer see their views and their common sense represented in the Democratic Party.” – Artur Davis

On May 29, 2012 Davis wrote:

…[T]his is not Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can’t say it). If you have read this blog, and taken the time to look for a theme in the thousands of words (or free opposition research) contained in it, you see the imperfect musings of a voter who describes growth as a deeper problem than exaggerated inequality; who wants to radically reform the way we educate our children; who despises identity politics and the practice of speaking for groups and not one national interest; who knows that our current course on entitlements will eventually break our solvency and cause us to break promises to our most vulnerable—that is, if we don’t start the hard work of fixing it.

On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way—it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.

May 30, 2012 – Davis was interviewed by FOX News’ Neil Cavuto:


A Harvard educated lawyer, Davis represented Alabama’s 7th Congressional District 2003-2011. He was the first Congressional member outside of Illinois to throw his support behind Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 run for the presidency. Davis was a Co-Chairman for Obama’s campaign and, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, was the guy who seconded the official nomination of Obama. These last two points are why his support for Governor Romney is especially noteworthy.

To Artur Davis, we say WELCOME!

UPDATE: Davis Hits the Road for Romney

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

‘Words-Matter-Obama’ Debates Himself: “I cut govt employees. No, I didn’t.”

Photo - Associated Press

Remember back in February 2008 when Obama was running for president and he proudly proclaimed words matter? “Don’t tell me words don’t matter! Just words? Don’t tell me words don’t matter!”

Fast forward to Friday, June 8, 2012…

President Obama on Friday called a special press conference to let Americans know the private sector is doing fine. Yes, he said that.

Obama also went on to say:

Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government – oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government…”

I guess Obama forgot his spiel in Albany, NY on May 8, 2012:

The only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me. So I make that point — I make that point just so you don’t buy into this whole bloated government argument that you hear.”

Major word oopsie doopsie.

Three hours after Obama’s presser, he tried to ‘walk back’ his statement (oh, those sticky words that matter...). Weekend news reports were peppered with appearances from David Axelrod and others from Team Obama spinning for the President faster than a whirligig caught in a Chicago gale force wind.

The evidence via YouTube… Obama debates himself:

• Ryan Williams, Romney campaign spokesman:

“President Obama may think the private sector is ‘doing fine,’ but he can’t seem to get his story straight on the public sector. Last Friday, he said the real weakness in the economy was state and local government employment – yet a month earlier, he touted the fact that government employment had fallen on his watch. Americans deserve a president who understands how to grow the economy and has a real plan to get our country back to work.”

• A reminder of Obama’s horrible, terrible, no good week comes from ABC News’ Rick Klein; he says Obama has lost his swagger:

First went the mood. Next, the muscle failed. Finally, to close out a horrific week for President Obama’s reelection bid, went the message. The first week of June began with a monthly jobs report that solidified a sense of an anemic economic recovery. Then a Democratic loss in Wisconsin, coupled with staggering Romney campaign fundraising figures, revealed the strength of political organization on the right. The week was punctuated by the most prominent voice in the party short of the president himself undercutting key Obama campaign messaging. To round out the rough patch, the president tried to turn the story lines around, but wound up delivering the kind of line that’s tailor-made for his opponents to make famous. “The private sector is doing fine,” President Obama said Friday, at a press conference organized because it most certainly isn’t, at least in the minds of most Americans…This was about more than losing a few news cycles, or inspiring a few Web videos. Taken together, the beginning of June 2012 may be remembered as a time period that shook the pillars of the Obama reelection effort. If nothing else, it’s shown the 2012 landscape to be so different from 2008 as to make assumptions based on four years ago seem worthless.

• On the same day we were told about our swell economy, FOX News’ Neil Cavuto had this to say:

Obama’s Missed Opportunity

President Obama just lost the election today.” – Neil Cavuto

Cavuto will be correct only if we double down to do the hard work needed to help elect Governor Romney and get others to do the same. Get involved. Donate to his campaign. Make calls from home!

-Cartoon by Michael Ramirez-


Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Lanny Davis Down on Obama’s Trashing: “Vicious People Work for the President”


Lanny Davis

Another well-known Democrat has joined the ranks of others who say the mechanics of Obama’s campaign aren’t working.

Lanny Davis, former Special Counsel to President Bill Clinton and liberal commentator for FOX News, has a big gripe with the Obama campaign. Not happy with the way Mayor Cory Booker (D- Newark, NJ) has been treated by the Obama campaign, Davis is disgusted with their method of operation. He says “vicious people are working for the President.”

The following statement about Booker elicited Davis’ ire:

“He’s dead to us,” one ranking administration official said of the prevailing feelings at the White House and Obama headquarters in Chicago. – New York Post


Video recording June 8, 2012

Davis @ :48: ”We’re both concerned [referring to himself and Clinton] about the tactics that his campaign is employing and we’re both urging him [Obama] to do what Tom Friedman has urged him to do [seize the high ground, not attack Bain Capital], what Cory Booker has urged him to do, which is to talk about his record rather than blaming the previous administration or going negative on Mitt Romney.”

Davis @ 1:50: “And you have vicious people who are working for the President – it’s not the President – who are saying that Cory Booker – one of the great supporters of President Obama’s policies is quote “dead” because he’s giving the President good advice – disagreeing with the Kool-Aid drinking people in the campaign who think the way to win the presidency is to trash the other guy, rather than to defend your own guy’s record.”

Interviewer @ 2:35: “Lanny, you’ve been in a lot of campaigns, as I have. This looks to me like meltdown to me.

Davis: Well, there is a very serious problem within the Obama campaign and you’ve just described it. It may be meltdown unless they come to their senses.”

Davis @3:08: “Can you imagine anyone in Chicago, on background, whispering in reporters’ ears – and I know the the reporters ‘cuz they’re telling me – describing anyone who disagrees with their tactics of trashing Mitt Romney – when you had John Heilemann in New York Magazine actually dropping ‘F’ bombs by people in the Obama campaign about Mitt Romney. The ten percent of the people in this country that are undecided don’t want to hear ‘F’ bombs. They want to know where does Barack Obama stand.


Lanny Davis’ verbal tongue-lashing on Team Obama is further evidence of the klutzy, clunky gear-grinding going on in the President’s campaign. I agree.

Davis implies that Obama isn’t responsible for the contemptible clatter – that he is simply rattling along in obedience to anonymous advice-givers. I disagree.

Obama cut his teeth on radical clap-trap. In my opinion, he not only consents to the blame game, but helps conjure up the the next move. He thinks America just misunderstands his bumbling.

But, hey. Keep it up.

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Donate $5 to be automatically entered for the chance to be Mitt’s special guest on the road.

Wisconsin Portends Romney Win & Obama “House of Cards” (Noonan/Rove)

Twelve days ago, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said this on CNN “State of the Union”:

Governor Walker -- Photo: Associated Press

“I think Tom Barrett will pull this out,” she added, “but regardless it has given the Obama for America operation an opportunity to do the dry run that we need of our massive, significant, dynamic grassroots presidential campaign, which can’t really be matched by the Romney campaign or the Republicans, because they’ve ignored the ground operations.”

Let me guess — the “massive, significant, dynamic” Democrat “dry run” was tripped up, rolled over, and crushed by the Republican operation that blind-sided the Democrat machine. No matter, it was just a “dry run,” right? Think again. Wasserman Schultz made another colossal blunder in prognostication; isn’t she supposed be an expert at taking the political pulse? Let’s just call it hubris gone awry.

The Tea Party Express had a significant impact in the Wisconsin race, both in funds spent ($400,000) and the passionate, organized ground game, along with grass-roots calling, etc. Other like-minded Tea Party groups were likely involved as well.

The Wall Street Journal published three outstanding columns yesterday about the significance of the Wisconsin recall election — one by Neil King Jr. and Colleen McCain Nelson, one by Peggy Noonan, and one by Karl Rove.

Rove:

We’ll be talking about Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall election for a long time to come.

The results were a historic setback for organized labor, which failed to oust Gov. Scott Walker in a citadel of modern progressivism. And how it must have stung that 38% of union households voted for Mr. Walker, up a point from 2010 when he was first elected.

King/Nelson:

Republicans have seized on Tuesday’s results, including a surge of 400,000 more votes than in 2010, to show they can dramatically out-raise and out-organize the once-powerful labor unions in a large industrial state, a show of muscle they hope to replicate elsewhere.

Noonan:

People wonder about the implications for the presidential election. They’ll wonder for five months, and then they’ll know.

President Obama’s problem now isn’t what Wisconsin did, it’s how he looks each day—careening around, always in flight, a superfluous figure. No one even looks to him for leadership now. He doesn’t go to Wisconsin, where the fight is. He goes to Sarah Jessica Parker’s place, where the money is.

There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration.

So what happened? According to Rove,

There are two possible answers why the “best grass-roots campaign in modern American political history” failed to deliver victory. First, Team Obama’s vaunted get-out-the-vote effort was simply a facade. That’s not likely, since Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate, did receive 158,482 more votes than he did in losing to Mr. Walker in 2010.

The other possibility is the Democrats were out-hustled by the Republicans.

Noonan mentions the ground game, grass-roots work, and funding in her editorial, but credits a sea change of sorts:

But organization and money aren’t the headline. The shift in mood and assumption is. The vote was a blow to the power and prestige not only of the unions but of the blue-state budgetary model, which for two generations has been: Public-employee unions with their manpower, money and clout, get what they want. If you move against them, you will be crushed.

Mr. Walker was not crushed. He was buoyed, winning by a solid seven points in a high-turnout race.
[...]
Mr. Walker didn’t win because of his charm—he’s not charming. It wasn’t because he is compelling on the campaign trail—he’s not, especially.[...]

But on the big question—getting control of the budget by taking actions resisted by public unions—he was essentially right, and he won.

As to Obama’s “house of cards?”

It became apparent some weeks ago when the president talked on the stump—where else?—about an essay by a fellow who said spending growth is actually lower than that of previous presidents. [...] But you know, why would he go out there waving an article that could immediately be debunked? Maybe because he thought it was true. That’s more alarming, isn’t it, the idea that he knows so little about the effects of his own economic program that he thinks he really is a low spender.
[...]
Any president will, in a presidential election year, be political. But there is a startling sense with Mr. Obama that that’s all he is now, that he and his people are all politics, all the time, undeviatingly, on every issue. He isn’t even trying to lead, he’s just trying to win.

Most ominously, there are the national-security leaks that are becoming a national scandal—the “avalanche of leaks,” according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.[...]

This isn’t the usual—this is something different. A special counsel may be appointed.

And where is the president in all this? On his way to Anna Wintour’s house. He’s busy. He’s running for president.

But why? He could be president now if he wanted to be.

It just all increasingly looks like a house of cards. Bill Clinton—that ol’ hound dog, that gifted pol who truly loves politics, who always loved figuring out exactly where the people were and then going to exactly that spot and claiming it—Bill Clinton is showing all the signs of someone who is, let us say, essentially unimpressed by the incumbent. He defended Mitt Romney as a businessman—”a sterling record”—said he doesn’t like personal attacks in politics, then fulsomely supported the president, and then said that the Bush tax cuts should be extended.

His friends say he can’t help himself, that he’s getting old and a little more compulsively loquacious. Maybe. But maybe Bubba’s looking at the president and seeing what far more than half of Washington sees: a man who is limited, who thinks himself clever, and who doesn’t know that clever right now won’t cut it.

Because Bill Clinton loves politics, he hates losers. Maybe he just can’t resist sticking it to them a little, when he gets a chance.

King/Nelson:

Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, called the recall, which was initiated by labor groups, a “blunder of epic proportions.” He said Mr. Obama, who endorsed Mr. Barrett but did little to help him, may find that Wisconsin Democrats are still somewhat dispirited in the fall.

“Anybody who self-identifies as a Democrat and who voted yesterday for Barrett will of course vote for Obama in November,” he said. “But will they be willing to do anything more than just vote? It will be hard to regain the enthusiasm. It’s like getting kicked in the stomach.”

Rove:

If the Wisconsin results are cause for concern among Democrats, they provide a call to action for Republicans, especially in battleground states. To beat Mr. Obama, Republicans must duplicate the ground game deployed by the GOP in Wisconsin that registered, persuaded and produced a massive turnout.

This won’t be easy. But Republicans are fortunate to have outstanding leadership at the Republican National Committee in Mr. Priebus and also at Romney headquarters in Boston. Their challenge will be to gather the necessary resources and generate the passionate commitment to the ground game at the grass-roots level that was so evident in Wisconsin.

I’m betting they will.

[emphasis added]

I strongly believe the Wisconsin recall election will go down in history as one of the most significant turning points in American politics.

Links to Op-Eds:
“GOP Looks for Post-Wisconsin Boost” — By Neil King Jr. and Colleen McCain Nelson
“What’s Changed After Wisconsin” — By Peggy Noonan
“Wisconsin and the GOP Ground Game” — By Karl Rove

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Why is President Obama worried? Why are pundits now asking Democrat politicians across the country if the Obama administration is panicking? Why do we read “desperate” and “Democrat” in the same sentence almost daily now? Check this table to see how Democrat turnout is shrinking from 2008. This table below the fold tells the story ——–> (more…)

Democrats Believe Obama Can Lose, Worry Warts Growing

What are those little bumps growing on Democrats?

Check out the first paragraph of Mark Halperin’s article today on Time.com:

Between the Lines

With five months until Election Day, Barack Obama faces a grim new reality: Republicans now believe Mitt Romney can win, and Democrats believe Obama can lose … Last week’s anemic job-creation and economic-growth data was sandwiched between two Bill Clinton specials: in one television interview, the 42nd President lauded Romney’s business record as “sterling”; in another, he veered from the Obama line on the extension of Bush-era tax cuts … The failure to unseat Wisconsin’s Republican governor Scott Walker in a recall election was another bad sign for Democrats since it will rev up conservatives nationwide, including the kind of millionaires who gave big bucks to Walker’s effort … Veteran Democratic strategists from previous presidential bids and on Capitol Hill now wonder if the Obama re-election crew is working with the right message … The White House remains on a rough political trajectory, with a potentially adverse Supreme Court decision on the Obama health care law looming, additional bad economic news from Europe coming and more worrisome polling pending … Another danger for the President: the media freak show. Stalking that circus’ center ring is Matt Drudge, whose caustic website continues to help drive the news cycle with an emphasis on negative, mocking items about Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and their wives. The latest sign of Drudge’s potency: Ed Klein, the author of the virulently anti-Obama book The Amateur, was barred from major TV appearances and mostly ignored by the mainstream media, but the book’s prominence on Drudge’s website propelled it to the No. 1 slot on the New York Times nonfiction list.

(emphasis added)

Besides former President Bill Clinton, other Democrats are ringing the warning bell: Gov Ed Rendell (D-PA), retiring Rep Barney Frank (D-MA), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Chris Coons, (D-DE), ex-Rep Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN), Mayor Cory Booker (D- Newark, NJ), former Rep Artur Davis (D-AL), Sen Mark Warner (D-VA), former Obama Economic Adviser Steve Rattner, and Obama bundler Don Peebles.

Yes, it’s early. Yes, a lot can and will happen in five months. And, Americans worried about the direction America is going must work harder than ever to elect Governor Mitt Romney. But…

The next time you see Obama or Axelrod, look closely.

Worry warts are growing.

Caused by growing woes... Worryoma Warticus.



Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Romney the Leader vs. Obama the Figurehead

Todd S. Purdum of Vanity Fair published an article yesterday regarding President Obama’s cabinet titled, “Team of Mascots.” It is quite good though I believe he misses some obvious points regarding both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Unfortunately many writers presume that just because one is elected to higher office, that person must be a leader. Barack Obama is a perfect example in which this is not the case.

Images all from Getty Images

Just four years ago, when it was clear that he would be the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama famously declared that, if elected, he would want “a team of rivals” in his Cabinet, telling Joe Klein, of Time magazine, “I don’t want to have people who just agree with me. I want people who are continually pushing me out of my comfort zone.” His inspiration was Doris Kearns Goodwin’s best-selling book about Abraham Lincoln, who appointed three men who had been his chief competitors for the presidency in 1860—and who held him, at that point, in varying degrees of contempt—to help him keep the Union together during the Civil War. To say that things haven’t worked out that way for Obama is the mildest understatement. “No! God, no!” one former senior Obama adviser told me when I asked if the president had lived up to this goal. There’s nothing sacred about the team-of-rivals idea—for one thing, it depends on who the rivals were. Obama does have one former rival, Hillary Clinton, in his Cabinet, and another, Joe Biden, is vice president. Mitt Romney would have fewer options. Can anyone really imagine Romney making Rick Santorum his secretary of health and human services, or Herman Cain his commerce secretary, or Newt Gingrich the administrator of nasa? Well, maybe the last, if only so Romney could have the satisfaction of sending the former Speaker—bang! zoom!—to the moon! For the record, Gingrich has said he’d be unlikely to accept any position in a Romney administration, and Romney himself has given almost no real hints about whom he might appoint. In light of his propensity to bow to prevailing political pressures, his Cabinet might well be, as he described himself, “severely conservative.”

While Purdum makes some great points throughout his piece, it is clear he has not done his homework on Governor Romney. Our Jeff Fuller reminded me as I prepared for this post:

“Romney’s history as Governor was to have weekly lunch meetings with the Democratic Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House of the Massachusetts legislature to discuss issues and work out plans.”

Barack Obama is the opposite of Governor Romney in this regard. Much has been written on background about Obama’s involvement with members of either house of Congress. He has very little desire to lower himself into any trench with some congressman from Podunk, Kansas to work anything out, let alone subject himself to veteran Senate and House negotiators for the purpose of compromise! In my opinion, the whole “team of rivals” was a crock — campaign window dressing for the obvious self-emulation to the Lincoln association — nothing more. To Jeff’s Fuller’s point to me, “How often does Obama meet with Boehner? Obama can’t stand to be challenged … that’s the biggest issue for him…”

In my opinion, Barack Obama lacks the self-confidence that would allow himself to be challenged in any meaningful way. As the most prominent world “PM” I consider him to be most insecure in this regard (see previous post on Obama’s narcissism). For this reason, among many others, I do not consider Barack Obama to be “a leader” at all. If I ever refer to President Obama as “a leader” it is rare; his lack of leadership experience is now legendary.

Purdum continues,

Obama has surrounded himself mostly with a team of loyalists. They range from the very competent (Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security) to the perennially controversial (Eric Holder at Justice) to the underwhelmingly anonymous (could anyone but a union leader pick Labor Secretary Hilda Solis out of a lineup?). In the main, Obama relates to his Cabinet the way he relates to the rest of the world. “He’s a total introvert,” the former adviser told me. “He doesn’t need people.”

The days when presidential Cabinets contained the likes of Thomas Jefferson as secretary of state, or Alexander Hamilton as secretary of the Treasury, are long since gone (and those early Cabinets displayed a fractiousness that no modern president would be likely to tolerate)

Though a President Romney probably would not tolerate “fractiousness,” that is true, Americans will likely be surprised to see the stature of those he appoints. Governor Romney knows strong leadership better than most. He has met often with many of America’s greatest leaders and thinkers over the years and has formed many strong relationships among them. Though it is not in Mitt Romney’s DNA to telegraph to the public who would make up his cabinet, his leadership style is such that he is far more likely to surround himself with strong leaders to challenge his own thinking. Any serious student of Romney’s leadership knows this.

By any measure, Barack Obama is a very weak leader and I believe he knows it — he is therefore insecure in this regard. The opposite is true of Mitt Romney. He is highly secure and confident in his ability to take the lead in any setting among the strongest of contemporary leaders.

Purdum ended with this,

Lincoln’s choice of William H. Seward at State, Salmon P. Chase at Treasury, and Edward Bates as attorney general were far from universally applauded. “The construction of a Cabinet,” one editorial admonished at the time, “like the courting of a shrewd girl, belongs to a branch of the fine arts with which the new Executive is not acquainted.” Lincoln’s Cabinet did solve one political problem but it created others—Lincoln had to fight not one but two civil wars.

For fear of placing the cart in front of the horse, I am very reluctant to start a discussion of Romney’s possible cabinet choices. That said, I know two things in this regard: 1) Every cabinet level leader President Romney selects will be a tested and proven executive whose leadership is highly respected, and 2) Each one of these appointees will be a strong leader in the sense of assertively challenging President Romney in a team mentality to build a better America. It would not be surprising to any person that knows Governor Romney’s leadership record if his cabinet includes great American leaders that are Democrat — a true “team” of rivals.

Click here to read: The entire TEAM OF MASCOTS article by Todd S. Purdum

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Eyes on GOP Primaries: CA, MT, NJ, NM, SD – Romney Supports Walker in WI Recall

Governor Mitt Romney speaks with supporters of Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker before making phone calls on his behalf at a phone bank in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. March 31, 2012 (Photo Darren Hauck/Reuters)


Romney supporters are tuned in to today’s lively political action.

Primary elections in five states, and a recall election with national implications in another state, are spurring voters to the polls.

Governor Mitt Romney officially became the GOP presidential nominee last week and voters will award additional delegates in California (172 delegates), Montana (26 delegates), New Jersey (50 delegates), New Mexico (23 delegates), and South Dakota (28 delegates).

We encourage Romney supporters to cast their votes in The Five today and show The Gov a lot of love with a resounding across-the-board victory!

Eyes are on the contentious recall effort (which began last November) against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. After months of acrimony over needed public union restrictions, which Walker campaigned on and enacted, the rematch with Milwaukee’s Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett (who Walker bested in a GOP sweep of the state in 2010), will be determined by voters today in The Badger State.

A couple of months ago, Governor Romney, accompanied by Rep. Paul Ryan, expressed his support for Walker during stops in Wisconsin:

Mitt Romney used a Wednesday tele-town hall with Wisconsin voters to give a strong endorsement to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican who is fighting off a recall effort led by Democrats.

“Gov. Walker is, in my opinion, an excellent governor,” Romney said, according to a report by ABC News.

“And I believe that he is right to stand up for the citizens of Wisconsin and to insist that those people who are working in the public sector unions have rights to affect their wages but that these benefits and retiree benefits have fallen out of line with the capacity of the state to pay them.”

“And so I support the governor in his effort to rein in the excesses that have permeated the public sector union and government negotiations over the years,” Romney said.

Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, also talked about other states that have passed legislation aimed at curbing collective bargaining.

“The state of Indiana, even my home state of Massachusetts, has reined in the collective bargaining excesses associated with retirement benefits for future retirees,” Romney said.

Governor Romney praised Gov Walker as he traveled through small towns and cities across Wisconsin. He also stopped by a phone bank in Fitchburg, WI, and made calls on the embattled Governor’s behalf.

In U.S. News Weekly, Mary Kate Cary writes about three reasons why the Walker recall election matters:

First reason:

Walker is proving that struggling states can turn their economies around, and that fiscal conservatism works.

Walker eliminated a $3.6 billion deficit and balanced the budget without raising taxes. He did it by asking public employees to contribute, like the rest of us do, to their healthcare costs and pension funds—a move which prevented teachers, firemen, and police from being laid off. Unemployment in Wisconsin is below 7 percent for the first time since 2008, and joblessness there is now below the national average. Plus Wisconsin’s public employee retirement system is now fully funded. Unfunded pensions are a big deal in many states, and could cost taxpayers in many states millions in new taxes.

…[R]ecently polled Wisconsin voters … found overwhelming support for many of Walker’s policies:

72 percent favor asking public sector workers to increase their pension contributions from less than 1 percent to 6 percent of their salaries.
71 percent favor making government employees pay 12 percent of their own healthcare premiums instead of the previous 6 percent.
Police and firefighters were exempted from the pension and healthcare adjustments but 57 percent of taxpayers say they should not have been.
65 percent say public sector workers receive better pension and health care benefits than private sector workers.

When asked what state and local officials should do if pensions and health benefits are underfunded, 74 percent favor requiring government employees to pay more for their own healthcare and retirement benefits. In sharp contrast, 75 percent oppose cutting funding for programs like education and 74 percent oppose raising taxes to help fund government worker benefits.

Second reason:

The recall election spells big trouble for unions, especially public employee unions.

When recall supporters first garnered nearly a million signatures in order to get on the ballot, the unions were ecstatic. They’ve poured millions into the state and bussed in thousands of volunteers, but as the issues in the race became clear, the union position came across as greedy and unreasonable. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told Politico that if Walker wins, it will be “a significant blow to the labor unions,” and will definitely embolden other Republican governors to take on labor unions in battles over collective bargaining. There’s a chance Democrats will win one of four state Senate recalls, which will give them control of the state Senate and a way to put the brakes on Walker. But no matter what happens in the Senate, Walker’s success has already sparked a round of recriminations between union leaders and top-level Democrats, who are avoiding the state. Obama endorsed Walker’s opponent the night he won the primary, but other than that has remained silent; the Democratic National Committee has refused to give the state party any money for the cause.

Third reason:

The recall fight exposes the flaws in the Obama campaign strategy.

Here’s how Kelly Steele, a strategist for We Are Wisconsin, the leading union-backed anti-Walker coalition put it a few months ago to Politico: “Scott Walker lied his way into office, and has since launched unprecedented attacks on Wisconsin’s working families, dividing the state like never before,” Steele said in an E-mail. “This historic recall is a … victory for Wisconsinites united to take their government back from wealthy special interests who bought and paid for Scott Walker and are dictating the terms of his extreme agenda.”

Sound familiar? Might as well be a page out of an Obama speech about Mitt Romney. Instead of defending the public employees unions’ position, We Are Wisconsin’s website now has talking points about the GOP “war on women.” Good grief.

The left in Wisconsin is pitching an angry, populist message to voters. So is Obama.

Scott Walker is a canary in a coal mine. If he wins, we’ll know that at least one state’s voters now view budget-balancing as something reasonable that needs to be done right. And we’ll know how they feel about the unions’ intransigence and angry rhetoric on entitlement reform. We’ll all be watching that canary on June 5 to see if it flies.

Walker’s Lt. Gov Rebecca Kleefisch, and three Republican state senators are also part of the recall election today. A fourth state senator targeted for recall resigned; a candidate from each party is vying for her empty seat. Democrats only need to win one seat to gain the majority in the State Senate.

Ten days ago, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (shrill Chair of the democratic National Committee) admitted the Wisconsin recall is a test run for the presidential election this fall. Sensing a possible defeat, Obama distanced himself from the brouhaha, but managed to chirp a tweet today.

The good news is Governor Walker is polling at about 7 points ahead of his opponent. Today’s results in The Badger State depends on which side has the best ground game and voter turn-out.

Best wishes today to both of these great guys!

Romney supporters are invited to join us on MRC’s chat forum this evening’s exciting election results.

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer