Monday, October 29, 2012

Cruising the Web

Andrew Ferguson watches the Obama campaign and notices how similar it is to the last desperate days of George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Ross Douthat puts forward his explanation of why Obama's support among female voters has been declining. The Obama campaign assumes that women vote mostly on social issues rather than economic issues.

Jonah Goldberg finds and ridicules the inherent contradictions in Obama's approach to technological innovation, the economy, and his derision of Romney's defense plan just being a game of Battleship.

Frank Bruni, a liberal and Obama supporter, examines why Obama isn't doing as well as he should be in this election. He discounts the usual explanations and argues that Obama had massive advantages in this election and he squandered them.
The main cause for this contest’s closeness is arguably Obama — and the ways in which he has disappointed, confused and alienated some of the voters who warmed and even thrilled to him four years ago. During his first term, he at times misjudged and mishandled his Republican opposition. As a communicator, he repeatedly failed to sell his policies clearly and forcefully enough.

His tone is markedly changed from 2008, a tactical decision that may not be the right one. And his moments of genuine oratorical transcendence are interspersed, as they’ve always been, with spells of detachment, defensiveness, disgruntlement. Denver wasn’t the first or only time that he seemed put out by the madness of the political merry-go-round, even though it’s a whirl he himself elected.
And that is what a supporter says about him. Imagine what the rest of us are seeing.

This seems a pretty accurate prediction of what we may hear if Romney wins.

Jonah Goldberg dissects the Panetta doctrine that we shouldn't "deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on." As Goldberg points out this would mean that we would never use forces to repel a surprise attack. That's a heck of a message to send terrorists.

The former head writer from "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" recalls how an applause meter used while asking the audience whom they were supporting had better predictive value than the polls in 1980, 1984, and 1988. It's also pleasant to remember when a late-night comedy show really was non-partisan.

Jay Cost examines the polls and pinpoints Obama's problem - he is losing independents to Romney. Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post sees the same problem for Obama but thinks it is because independents aren't really independent and GOP-leaning independents are more fired up than Democratic-leaning independents.

My younger daughter who lives in Maryland pointed me to this story demonstrating the economic theory of Bootleggers and Baptists by how West Virginia casino owners and anti-gambling groups are uniting to oppose spreading gambling in Maryland.

Brad Smith explains why, as a libertarian, he's voting for Mitt Romney.

Here is a reminder of what the Ohio polls looked like at this point in 2004. I'd forgotten how nerve-wracking that was back then.

When will Democrats understand that Obama's vision of women is demeaning and patronizing? We are much more than our "ladyparts."

This shows how very serious the Obama campaign is about going "Forward!". They've taken the extraordinary step of adding an exclamation mark.

David Axelrod can't defend the negativity of Obama's campaign except by attacking Romney and Republicans. They're ignoring the conventional wisdom that the last weeks of a campaign should be stressing the positive reasons to vote for their guy rather than the negative reasons to vote against the other guy.

This is amusing - see how a Republican and a Democrat would annotate the other side's PR memos about how well their side is doing in Ohio.

Bob Krumm has a typically insightful and data-driven post debunking the optimism of the Obama team.

Jonathan Last ponders whether the "collective, public freak out" on the left after the first debate in this age of Twitter might have harmed Obama more than the actual debate. I've been thinking that, sometime after the election if Romney wins, I should rewatch that debate and see if the CW that quickly congealed about it was worse for Obama than it should have been.

Surprise! The much touted plan of President Obama to reduce college costs is still a mirage.