History Revisited? 1980 Perspectives from Carter-Reagan…Obama-Romney?


In January 1980, ABC News and Harris Survey’s released the following headline - Carter Now Far Ahead of Both Reagan and Bush, with the introduction statement: “President Carter so dominates the American political scene now that his margin over Ronald Reagan in a post-Iowa trial heat has risen to an overwhelming 65-31 percent. And against George [HW] Bush, the GOP candidate who finished first in the recent Iowa caucuses, Carter leads by only a slightly lower 62-32 percent.”

A chart of the 1980 polls leading up to the election, recently published by Forbes, offers some additional insights to some of our failed memories.

Fortunately for America, the polling wasn’t reflective of reality. Will history repeat itself? The video posted by Vic Lundquist (here) of Bill O’Reilly’s talking points provides further substance to the argument, and is worthy of watching.

Current polls, in reflection upon 1980, are interesting.

Some comparative statistics, 1980-2012, are equally revealing (see below). The key statistical similarities tell their own story, but when you further juxtapose Jimmy Carter’s philosophical want and solution for bigger government vis-a-vis Ronald Reagan’s return to smaller government, lower taxes and empowerment of private enterprise; and Obama’s Carter-minded approach vis-a-vis Romney’s Reagan-minded approach, the question arises - will history repeat itself? In addition to statistical analytics and philosophical divides, you also have similarities in the incompetence factors of Carter and Obama against the leadership/experience competency of Reagan and Romney.

As if this historical perspective is not enough, compound the analysis with Obama’s oppressive $5,000,000,000,000 of additional US debt (more than all previous US Presidents combined), consecutive trillion dollar deficits to support reprehensible spending, nearly $16,000,000,000,000 in borrowings that exceed our annual GDP, Obamacare taxation, and a fractious divide unmatched in recent history - the argument becomes even more compelling for change.

Even so, it is still July and with historical perspective, the real campaign won’t engage until after Labor Day. Presently, Obama seems to be flailing and spending like a drunken sailor. He is wanting to engage Mitt Romney on every other subject but the economy and his record. Obama’s continued and constant attacks on character, competence, class warfare and experience reflect a campaign without substance, purpose or message. On the other hand Mitt Romney continues to be measured and focused on what matters; remaining resolute in his key message about the economy. After all, by every measure, it is the economy that matters to so many.

This will be a campaign where discipline, character and competence matter. Yes, Mr. Obama’s likability factors are high and people seem to like him for the time being (as they did Carter) - but when push comes to shove and economic pressures are prevailing; when real unemployment and reported unemployment remain at 14.9% and 8.2%, respectively; when home foreclosures remain at all time highs; when poverty indicators remain at all time highs; when median incomes decline by $4,600; when people are just plain tired of being tired and fighting the daily battle for survival; and when consumer confidence is at an all-time low amid uncertainty at an all time high - likability is less consequential to the electorate. This is an election about competence and restoring our Belief in America; that better days are ahead!

I personally take comfort in an historical perspective and even more so in Mitt Romney. A man who has been prepared for this day, and whose capacity to lead America to better days ahead is unparalleled to any who have preceded him in our lifetime. Fortunately our nation has, through its history, seen men and women arise amid uncertainty, trial and tribulation to lead with principle in our nation’s defining moments. This is such a time, and Mitt Romney is such a man!

Follow David Parker on Twitter @dparkersrs

David Parker’s latest book.

Illegal Immigration: Rick Perry Punches Himself, New Website

After Rick Perry’s sophomoric attack on Mitt Romney’s credibility on illegal immigration at last night’s presidential debate, which was a ploy to draw attention away from his own liberal stance on illegals, I’m sharing some of today’s commentary on Perry.

And, it all leads up to an attention-getting new website from Romney for President

Romney’s Still the Man to Beat

Romney’s patience and endurance was tested to the limit as he was subjected to a series of vicious attacks on immigration, health care and jobs policy. But Romney, who has emerged this year as one of the most polished and able political debaters in recent memory, ended the evening still on his feet without any of the others able to say they had floored him.

The nastiest attack came from Rick Perry, who seemed to be a different man than the sleepy and unfocused performer in four previous debates. Perry was much improved over his previous tries, but that is not the same thing as saying he helped himself all that much. Perry’s aggression was certainly what his team wanted to see, but he overreached when he repeated a smear about Romney personally hiring illegal aliens. That charge fell flat in the face of Romney’s explanation, and it didn’t help that Perry kept repeating it. It was an obvious attempt on Perry’s part to distract conservatives from his more liberal stands on illegal immigration. It’s doubtful many bought it.

Later in the debate, we were reminded of Perry’s previous debate problems when he attempted to make a point about the United Nations and its role in facilitating Palestinian efforts to evade the peace process. Perry knew what he wanted to say but couldn’t quite spit it out and wound up sputtering when he could have made a strong argument. Even at his best, and this was the best we’ve seen of him, Perry still doesn’t sound presidential or that focused. He may get a bump in the polls, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever retrieve the lead he lost last month.
[...]
This evening was feistier than the previous debates and rougher sledding in many ways for Romney. But it merely confirmed the same conclusion: despite the fireworks, this race is still Romney’s to lose.

National Review Online - Kathryn Jean Lopez:

Governor Romney showed some of the passion Tuesday night I think people have been hoping to see. And smart to even get a little legitimately testy with a smile. He took command of the stage on more than one occasion.

He also had to further defend his health-care plan and made some headway.

And he may have benefitted from some low blows and pettiness along the way. (Perry on the lawn issue was low. Gingrich mandate issue was petty.)

Pat Gray, radio commentator (filling in for Glenn Beck, begins @1:14):

Romney gives Perry a debate beatdown

… Whoever is advising Rick Perry should be fired for encouraging Perry to take on Romney over illegal immigration. Perry dug up the same claim from the 2008 campaign – the one that was thoroughly examined and dismissed. Perry doubled down on his mistake by trying to interrupt Romney as he explained it (again) — and looked terrible in the process. Check out the clip and reaction on radio today.

“Another win; I mean, another Romney win. He just beat him [Perry] senseless. Rick - just a piece of advice: Shut up about immigration, ‘k?” - Pat Gray

Hugh Hewitt:

There’s a lot of focus online and in the post-debate shows on the immigration exchanges, but Governor Perry’s decision to throw the old and discredited lawn care company charge against Governor Romney seems at best an odd choice, and one that simply will not go down well with GOP voters used to seeing such attacks peddled by the MSM. What that specific attack did do is create enough heat to leave the definite impression that there are really only two choices on the stage. It was the most fiery exchange of the evening, and the one that has already replayed and replayed across the screen. A Romney-Perry moment like that makes it a Romney-Perry debate which in turns defines it as a Romney-Perry campaign.

The second tier of candidates made a huge miscalculation in turning their fire on Romney before dispatching Perry completely from the field. Rick Santorum, especially, seemed to believe that his long-shot path went straight through Romney when there are in fact two obstacles before him in the persons of Herman Cain and Rick Perry. The former Pennsylvania senator chose to turn his fire on Romney and not Perry and ended up with Perry walking off the stage with a second lease on a campaign.

Forbes - E.D. Kain:
In Vegas Debate Perry Take the Gloves Off but Romney is Still King

Last night’s CNN GOP debate in Las Vegas has been widely described as the most heated of the debates so far, and the gloves really came off when Texas governor Rick Perry accused Mitt Romney of hiring undocumented workers – illegals, as he put it – in the past and then interrupted Romney several times instead of allowing him to finish.

Romney … easily deflected Perry’s aggression, turning it back on him and chuckling the whole time. Romney is practically dancing on the grave of Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions[.] …

(emphasis added )

I was pleased to see Romney for President release a new website, CareerPolitician.com, in an effort to provide voters with the facts about Rick Perry’s record as a career politician. Voters can access this website to find Governor Perry’s support for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, his proposal that would dismantle Social Security, his real record on job creation, and his history of distorting facts during the short time he has been in the Republican Primary.

The ad that illustrated Rick Perry’s inability to string a couple complete sentences together without a teleprompter was pulled due to a copyright claim by CNN, but you can still see much of it in the following Morning Joe clip:

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McCain-Romney: It Makes Economic Sense

That’s what Forbes writer Paul M. Murdock says:

A McCain-Romney ticket makes sense for both men. McCain gets a boost on economic issues and Romney gets a seat next to McCain in the White House—assuming they manage a victory in November. The increased exposure would serve Romney well should he choose to seek the presidential nomination in the future. Considering John McCain’s age, Romney’s chance could come as soon as 2012 if a victorious McCain decided to only serve one term.