Election 2012 is ON!

And so it begins. Everything I’ve been predicting of late is coming true. Governor Romney is now on American soil again, and with that he begins his election campaign in earnest. Check out his new ad:

Negative ads can’t beat this message. And all Obama has is negative ads. Desperation and panic hangs heavy on his entire campaign. After having the press do his bidding while Romney was overseas, and barking after him like little the yippie little lapdogs dogs they are on the final day in Poland, the best Team Obama can do is a play from George W. Bush’s 2000 playbook. Pathetic.

The damage is done, folks. Romney’s overseas trip was a success and you can tell by the ridiculous plants in the media that desperately try to lessen the impact.

That the media is even playing along with this is telling enough. Need I remind them that THEIR approval rating is a mere 19.6%, thus anything they’re trying to make the public believe is a hard sell, at best? About 15% of Americans trust the press to be independent, and only 16% expect them to deal fairly with all sides. Their numbers are on par with Congress’s approval rating, perhaps the most despised group of people in America today. But go ahead. I’ll cheer them on, because the lopsided bias in the press will only help Romney sell his message. The only people buying their product are already drunk on kool-aid.

Meanwhile, Obama’s done so much damage to his brand going negative that morning radio has taken to making fun of him:

(h/t myiq2xu @ The Crawdad Hole)

So now Harry Reid has gotten into the game with some elusively placed gossip he heard on the phone some time ago… alright, grandpa, thanks for reporting from the country store. I mean, seriously, guys. Tax returns still? Really? Do you really think THAT can beat the message Romney is now selling? If you do, your worldview is more skewed and isolated than I ever could have guessed.

We’re now 27 days out from the Republican National Convention. Continue reading

Obama’s Bigoted Campaign

Remember this speech from the 2004 Democratic National Convention? My how times have changed. Obama has evolved on whether or not there’s a united America, I suppose. Now we live in no less than five or six different Americas going by Team Obama’s divisive campaign strategies this year. But that’s not what he promoted when he was introduced to the country eight years ago. He’s what he said then:

It is that fundamental belief — it is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: “E pluribus unum,” out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.

There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?

And here we are this year, when he and his campaign are doing just what he said “the spin masters, and negative ad peddlers…and the pundits” shouldn’t do: slicing and dicing us into blue teams and red teams, using poll-tested strategies to keep us confined to our identifying groups. Now his campaign plays by the “politics of anything goes.” Team Obama plays the most intolerant game in recent memory.

President Obama peddles bigotry, plain and simple. If you don’t like his work or his vision, you’re a racist. Likewise if you want free and fair elections where every vote counts. If you’re a conservative, you hate women. If you like a certain brand of fried chicken, you hate gays. If you want secure borders, you’re a xenophobe. If you care about the economy and want a change, you’re low-information and vote against your own interests. If you worry about the defense of our nation against the backdrop of spiking violence the world over, you’re a terrible person and bigoted towards Muslims. If you support Israel, you’re anti-peace. Warmonger. That’s not even to mention the increasing religious bigotry coming from progressives, channeled, no doubt, through the Obama Campaign. Continue reading

Does This Mean We Get Our Press Back?

Just over a week ago the New York Times published a rather interesting article about how some politicians handle quotes with newspapers these days. Most notable in the practice is the Obama campaign, and the article mainly focused on that.

The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative.

They are sent by e-mail from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name.

Most reporters, desperate to pick the brains of the president’s top strategists, grudgingly agree. After the interviews, they review their notes, check their tape recorders and send in the juiciest sound bites for review.

The verdict from the campaign — an operation that prides itself on staying consistently on script — is often no, Barack Obama does not approve this message.

This is one thing President Obama didn’t invent. In my lifetime, the practice goes back to Nixon, who was pretty well known as a handler of the press. But after him came Carter and Reagan, both of whom were pretty open with the media, especially Reagan, who loved to have a raucous exchange with correspondents before the cameras. H. W. Bush was a bore to reporters and the nation alike, and his administration just tended to keep a pretty tight lip. Clinton also would get out there in front of the cameras and field questions, at least until the Monica Lewinsky affair.

But the person who really changed it all was Geo. W. Bush, who even as governor of Texas was well-known for confronting reporters in open but private settings and whose presidential administration would freeze out correspondents they thought were not friendly enough, even going so far as to call up their bosses and give them a stern talking to. He also held strictly controlled press conferences in which he rarely fielded questions from the media. That’s who Obama follows and it’s who he impersonates in the office of the presidency and its handling of the press.

But then a funny thing happened. Continue reading

Update on Romney Democrats Ad Buy

I started an ad campaign on Facebook six days ago to promote the new Romney Democrats page. The idea is not only to get more likes on the page and get the conversation going, but to get the words “Romney” and “Democrats” and the concept of switching in front of people so they can at least consider the idea. I started with $50 of my own money and got a matching donation via my paypal account. With the matching donation, I was able to expand from Ohio to Wisconsin.

Since we expanded our reach into Wisconsin, our stats have gone off the chart. Check out our stats!

Keep in mind that this campaign is only 6 days old as of today, and those stats are from yesterday. Over 10,000 people have now seen our ad and our reach and actions are increasing. I’m incredibly excited about the movement. AND I just got another $150 donation (thank you!), so I’m expanding to Pennsylvania, Virginia and Michigan as of today! I also extended the campaign another 2 weeks. More donations mean more swing states and more time! I’ll try to keep you updated by the week on this.

Next up is three weeks off in between the summer and fall semester at my job. I’m considering having some Romney info printed up and striking out on my own to Dayton and Cincinnati OH for a couple of days and just going door to door to talk to people about it. Does that sound crazy? Maybe. But doing something to help this campaign out is better than sitting around on the internet and getting fatter. I have no idea what’s come over me, but suddenly I’m invested. And it feels good.

The Case for Mitt Romney

I came to be a Mitt Romney supporter by way of my anybody-but-Obama inclinations. That is no longer the case. Now I am firmly in the pro-Romney camp, and that change is the result of me taking the time to get familiar with his record, thinking about the major problems facing America today, and what he can bring to the job. Now I’m of the mind that Mitt Romney is the right man for the right job at the right time. This makes him unique in presidential politics, and offers us the compelling chance to vote our consciences, instead of for the lesser of two evils.

Words I would use to describe Mitt Romney: Moderate. Moral. Man of his word. Business acumen. Leadership skills. Political experience. No modern president of the United States can lay claim to all these descriptors, and they provide a stark contrast to what President Obama has brought to the job. These might seem like vague terms, but once I’m finished presenting the case for Mitt Romney, I think you might be inclined to agree. I’ve broken this down into the three major issues that I think take precedence over everything else in America right now: The economy, jobs, and budgets.

The Economy

Mitt Romney is a good choice for the economy because of his record producing financial growth. This record extends from the time he graduated from Harvard with a dual Law/MBA degree. Shortly thereafter he went to work for Bain & Company, a management consulting company, where he worked for 7 years, from 1977-1984. There he and his peers created what was eventually called “the Bain way,” which was more than just offering advice, but actively working with companies to implement recommended changes. He became Vice President of the company one year after being hired.

In 1984, with the blessing of Bill Bain, creator of Bain & Company, Romney started an offshoot of the business, the private equity firm Bain Capital. This firm would buy into companies, creating a greater stake than merely consulting on management. According to the LA Times, which hired Stanford economics lecturer Alex Gould to review Bain’s prospectus, the company averaged an 88% rate of return on investment (ROI). To put that in perspective, the current average ROI for hedge funds is 40-50%. Gould made the point that if an investor had gotten in on the ground floor with $1 million dollars in 1984 and left that money there until Romney left for the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympics in 1999, the compensation payout would have been $12 billion dollars. Imagine our economy if Mitt Romney could do that for America.

But let’s look more closely at his record at Bain Capital. You’ve most likely heard the stories of factories that Bain Capital had to close down. But did you know that that Bain company successfully salvaged 80% of the troubled companies they bought into? From the NYT:

The private equity firm, co-founded and run by Mitt Romney, held a majority stake in more than 40 United States-based companies from its inception in 1984 to early 1999, when Mr. Romney left Bain to lead the Salt Lake City Olympics. Of those companies, at least seven eventually filed for bankruptcy while Bain remained involved, or shortly afterward, according to a review by The New York Times.

Everyone and everything can’t be saved all the time, especially in a struggling economy and with companies that have had a history of making poor choices. So while seven companies went under, 33 companies were saved, and many of their employees got to keep their jobs. On balance, I’d prefer this record over Obama’s current record.

In 1999, Romney left Bain Capital to preside over the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics. When Romney took over, the games were plagued by scandals that had rocked the world gaming community and threatened the sponsorships on which every Olympics relies to fund events. Through his leadership abilities, Romney was able to restore honor and cooperation among sponsors, gained new sponsors, closed a $370 million dollar shortfall, and successfully pulled off a memorable Winter Olympics that saw a profit of $100 million, at least $40 million of which was set aside for maintenance of the newly built Utah Olympic Park. This is an extraordinary feat considering that most Olympic games result in debts, not profits. So Mitt Romney came on board with a $370 million deficit, raised enough to spend $1.2 billion on the games, and turned a $100 million dollar profit. Imagine if he could do that for America.

In 2003, Mitt Romney became the 70th Governor of Massachusetts, one of the bluest states in the union. His governance of the state economy also suggests that Romney has what it takes to lead America back to prosperity. In his inaugural address, he said he’d bring a “lighter, more agile bureaucracy.” And he did. When he took office, the state faced a $3 billion budget deficit. Over his tenure, he eliminated $1.5 billion in debt via cuts and fee increases. This is the strategy roughly espoused by current economic thinking, except instead of fees, they’d like to see taxes raised. As a taxpaying American voter, I’d prefer to see fees increased, as fees are often voluntary where taxes are not. But he also cut spending by $1.6 billion, partly by restructuring government. Between the restructuring, spending cuts, and fee increases, Massachusetts generated $501 million in new income in his first year in office, more than any other state in the union. Midway through his first term, the state started showing surpluses for the time in decades. He did all of this with a hostile state legislature comprised of 85% Democrats. Imagine if Mitt Romney could bring these dynamics to play in Washington.

It appears as if Mitt Romney has the golden touch when it comes to smart fiscal policy and economic growth. Through careful planning, sound policy, and the ability to persuade those of an opposing view point to his side, he has created economic growth in every job he has held. Mitt Romney is the man we need to restore prosperity to our economy, and in that, most Americans can benefit. Continue reading

Romney Democrats UPDATED!

Jobs. The economy. Massive debt. Like us if you care enough to vote your conscience.

UPDATE! We just received  a matching donation, so I expanded the campaign to Wisconsin! Woohoo! Thank you, you know who you are. 🙂 So far 2,700 people have seen our ad, generating five clicks and five new likes. That may not seem like much, but I think it will grow as we move along and expand. And that’s impressive for just two days.

***

In 2008 I made my first ever political donation, to Hillary Clinton in the primaries. I continued to donate for the rest of the year in order to help retire her debt, and even gave a few dollars to McCain as a reward for picking Sarah Palin. This year I have given some dollars to Mitt Romney, even though my family is struggling. I first donated on the day of the SCOTUS ruling because I wanted to help make the point that this was not acceptable, and I would do everything in my power, including doing without lunch, in order to put a stop to this nonsense. And I did go without lunch that week, as that is how tight our budget is. If I get a boon or freelance work here and there, I will still donate to Romney’s campaign, but I’ve decided there’s a better way to spend my money this year. Honestly, he doesn’t need my paltry help right now.

Saturday I started a new Facebook page called Romney Democrats. The button to like it is in the right side bar if you’re interested. Clicking on the image above will also take you there. After 36 hours, the page already had 51 likes, and only 8 of them were people I knew personally. My P&L fan page (also to the right) has only 46 likes, and it took me 8 months to work up to that. The difference suggested to me that there is a market for Democrats crossing over, and I want to capitalize on that. So today I placed my first Facebook ad. Social media seems such a no-brainer.

Our ad looks similar to the image above, but the words “Romney Democrat” are at the top, and it is a clickable link to the page. It’s a small campaign for which I could afford only $50, and to do that I will have to make certain sacrifices. I don’t mind making them and it’s certainly doable on my family’s current budget. Bringing my lunch to work, buying cheaper products for things like the dishwasher, and foregoing a family outing or two will add up. For this ad I targeted the swing state of Ohio, right next door to me here in Indiana. The ad targets people in that state who are 18 or over, interested in politics or healthcare, and are in a relationship, married, or engaged. I’m paying by the click. I like the idea of being able to target like this, and I think I made smart choices. Time will tell. I’ll keep you updated.

If the ad campaign is successful, I will be making these sacrifices the rest of the campaign season and will target a new swing state each month until November. Next up is Pennsylvania, followed by Wisconsin, Virginia, and Colorado. I’m doing this because it’s my small way to fight back against the intra-policing dynamic I’ve been writing about recently, and to start opening moderate Democrats up to the idea of being okay with switching sides, at least for this presidential election. The Romney campaign can’t really start making these appeals until the convention, but there are little things we can do to pave the way. This is one of them.

I mention this because I’m only one person, and while I am committed to going in this direction, I realize there are people who, if they had the resources and knew how, would help. And I do have a PayPal account that can be contributed to. This is not a blegging post. I don’t need the money. I will do this with or without other people. But if you have some dough to spare and trust me to use your cash on these campaigns, you can donate by clicking this link or the button in the right sidebar. All funds raised through this account between now and the end of October will be used toward these swing state campaigns. I would be happy to give you credit in a blog post, or you can remain anonymous, your choice.

If you were looking for a way to help make a people-powered impact this election year, this might be the choice for you. If I can get help with this, I can expand the footprint to other swing states, like Michigan, Iowa, Nevada, and Florida. Something to think about. Thank you.

Rock Steady

While many of the folks who are of the anybody-but-Obama persuasion continue to freak out on both sides of the aisle, I continue to hold steady. Why? Two reasons.

1) Romney, I am convinced, would not even attempt this election if he didn’t have promising internals and a strong plan for dealing with the Barack Obama we’ve all come to know and dislike. Just about everything I have read about him–and I have read volumes over the last five or six months in my quest to determine if he was worthy of my support–suggests Romney is at once a disciplined man of his word, who is also both shrewd and calculating. For example, after his loss to Ted Kennedy in 1994, in agonizing pain over what he perceived as his own mistakes, he told his brother he never wanted to lose again. And he hasn’t, not in an actual election. For Romney, politics became like his investments, and he carefully chooses what battles he can win.

Even his time at Bain and the current controversy suggest this is his character. He ran Bain from 1984 to 1999, fifteen years, and by all accounts those were prosperous, uncontroversial years. Not a single piece of evidence from those years has been offered that Romney or the company ever did anything untoward. All evidence suggests that Bain took a turn for the worse after he left. That Team Obama would focus on the three years when Romney’s name was necessary but his presence wasn’t tells you all you need to know about the truthiness of the controversy they are trying to manufacture. They’re simply ignoring fifteen years of history.

2) Team Obama is totally off their game. They’re desperate and flailing, and it’s rather obvious. Here’s why. What has been Team Obama’s Romney strategy so far? To oscillate back and forth between the only two pieces of opposition research they have that they think could possibly be effective: Bain and tax returns. It’s been three solid months of these two issues back and forth. It’s becoming rather like a rondel, a 14th century form of poetry that no one has written in for several hundred years precisely because it’s so childish and boring. If they had anything else, they would play it. Even all their grand spring plans regarding the so-called War on Women and Congressional obstruction have fallen by the wayside as they’ve lost focus of the bigger picture and it’s all hands on deck to save the president.

There is video evidence to support my assertions about Team Obama flailing. Let’s start with this video of Stephanie Cutter (Team Obama) and Kevin Madden (Team Romney) on Meet the Press yesterday. Watch Cutter as she grows increasingly frustrated with the limits of her own arguments and the maintenance of Madden’s composure. As the interview goes on, her breath quickens and she stumbles as she gets deeper and deeper into her complicated talking points, and desperately tries to take as much of the available time by continuing to talk and talk and talk. These two are a case study of what this election looks like to the public right now, virtual mirrors of their own campaigns.

Who comes off as desperate here and who comes off as calm and in command? Cutter knows this is only a winning argument if she can get the public to latch onto her hysteria over an obscure and complicated financial matter, and the chances of that are rather remote. She also knows she’s lying, and it’s obvious.

Now, let’s compare the campaign ads over who’s attacking whom. Here’s Romney’s ad:

Now comparing it to the Obama ad on Romney:

Now which ad is more compelling? Which ad is more likely to resonate?

Finally, we come to the coup de grâce of this post: evidence that suggests Team Obama is simply out of ideas.  Continue reading