Tuesday, September 11, 2012

State of the Race - Post Convention Edition

Well, its been a few months since my last post - the demands of the practice of law can be brutal, and this summer was no exception.  But to my defense, there was really nothing to blog about politics-wise once Romney wrapped up the nomination. . .oh, wait, did I blog about his pick of Paul Ryan? No? Crap.

Okay, okay, there has been a lot going on, and I haven't said enough.  But just as Bill Clinton can come back and remind us why he was one of the best stewards of the economy ever, I am can actually write a few words on the state of the race (particularly that the conventions are done and we're in the homestretch).

The Paul Ryan Pick for VP: If I had bothered to blog back when Romney made this pick, I would have said - See! See! Romney is beholden to the right-wing, he can never have a Sister Souljah moment! - and I would have been right.  Paul Ryan is an ideologue pure and simple.  And since he's never run for more than a House seat Paul Ryan can be as partisan and ideological as he wants (see Bachmann, Michelle).

With that said, Romney's selection of Ryan wasn't awful - Ryan doesn't have to have his hand held at all times (*cough*Sarah Palin*cough*), he won't say anything that will truly embarrass Romney, or try to overshadow Romney.  So, generally, this would be a good pick-up, except. . .

Bubba Killed It at the DNC: One word everyone - arithmetic.  And with that one word, Bill Clinton destroyed every single argument the GOP made during their convention.  No one, not even Obama, can match Bubba when he gets on a role when it comes to policy.  When Obama is at his oratorical best, he makes you want to follow him into the Gates of Hell, but with Clinton, you end up agreeing with every word he says.  Arithmetic.

The Conventions: Well, given that I'm talking about Bill Clinton's speech, and not Romney's, you can tell that the RNC did not go as planned (and I'm not talking about the chair).  Romney had a three-day infomercial to tell the American people what he would do as President and he blew it.  At best he got a 1% bounce.  Now, keep in mind that the very best polls have a margin of error of 3-5% - meaning that whatever bounce Romney got was statistically insignificant.  Moreover, guys like Chris Christie of New Jersey spent their time talking about themselves rather than Romney.  That's the kind of thing that happens when the speaker thinks there will be an opening for President in the next election cycle (which, if Romney wins, there won't be).

Compounding Romney's woes was Ryan's speech which, instead of being a light of truth, it was light on truth.  Three hour marathon my ass.  Little wonder Romney has started playing the "Obama is a not a real American" bullshit as soon as the RNC was done.

At the DNC, all of Romney's chickens came home to roost - Obama looked human, Clinton was electric, and Michelle Obama rocked it.  Oh, and Sasha's facial expressions once again completely humanized her father.  And ultimately, the "Obama is not a real American" thing never works because Obama, if anything, is more normal than Romney.  He grew up middle class, is a huge sports fan (he even has a fantasy football team, which I do not), and his kids try to weasel out of school when he gives big speeches.

Of course, there's more to it than just Obama is normal - Romney is not normal.  There is a difference between the very, very rich and the rest of us.  Who else buys a horse for "therapeutic" purposes that then is entered into the Olympics?  Who else has a car elevator at his 5th or 6th house? What teams does Romney root for?  I have no idea.

Worst of all, his fucking campaign staff is awful.  Telling a reporter that Romney's positions are written on an Etch-a-Sketch?  Changing what Romney said hours after he said it?  Who does this?  Well, given that Romney went overseas and immediately insulted Britain during the Olympics, Romney doesn't do so well on his own anyway.   The guy can't be trusted to campaign on his own, and his staff sucks.

So, coming out of the conventions, the only thing that can change the tone of the campaign is the debates.  With the assumptions by many Republicans that Obama is an idiot,* the onus will be on Romney to kill Obama at these debates.  But I don't think he can.  Obama may not be as capable of being the Explainer as Bill Clinton is, but he isn't the idiot the GOP makes him out to be.  Either way, the pressure will be on.

*For the life of me, I can't figure out the whole teleprompter attacks on Obama.  Yes, he reads his speeches from a teleprompter - like every other President ever.  The dude went to Harvard Law, and was President of the Harvard Law Review.  Even if he got in due to affirmative action (which there's no proof of), he drops from being super-ridiculously smart to ridiculously smart.

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