Obama vs. Romney
Okay, enough with the Jefferson Airplane reference.
Fact is, Fact Checker got it’s facts wrong. Mitt was right, they were wrong.
Last month, PolitiFact selected its “Lie of the Year.” Given PolitiFact’s dubious record of singling out Republicans for lying far more often than Democrats, you probably could have guessed the winner of this particular sweepstakes was a Mitt Romney campaign ad:
It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.
And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.
“Public expressed collective outrage”? That’s essentially wishcasting on the part of PolitiFact, nor are they accurately representing what Mitt Romney said in the ad. In fact, here’s PolitiFact’s original “fact check” on the matter:
[Mitt Romney] Says Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs.
Ok. Now here’s what the Reuters reported earlier this week:
Fiat (FIA.MI) and its U.S. unit Chrysler expect to roll out at least 100,000 Jeeps in China when production starts in 2014 as they seek to catch up with rivals in the world’s biggest car market. …
“We expect production of around 100,000 Jeeps per year which is expandable to 200,000,” [Chrysler CEO Sergio] Marchionne, who is also CEO of Chrysler, said on the sidelines of a conference, adding production could start in 18 months.
So, yes, it’s confirmed that Jeep will be producing cars in China. According to the Toledo Blade last November:
Currently, Jeeps sell in more than 120 countries around the world, including China. They’re nearly all built in factories in the United States.
By expanding Jeep production to China, instead of increasing Jeep production in the U.S., it’s safe to say Jeep (or more properly, Fiat, which now owns Chrysler) is choosing to create more jobs overseas instead of in America where taxpayers bailed the company out.
Even if they had been right, the Lie of the Year had to be Obama’s contention that “asking the rich to pay their fair share” could solve the massive spending problem.
On the just-concluded National Review post-election cruise, I began things with Scott Rasmussen and Ralph Reed, discussing the results of the election; it was obviously pretty depressing. But we followed it up with our panel of economic experts, talking about the outlook for the coming year . . . and then their assessment was depressing. The following day Bing West talked about the state of the world and threats to U.S. national security . . . which was depressing. (West thinks March 2013 is the time period to watch for an Israeli strike on Iran.)
But then we had the panel on media bias . . . which stirred up everyone’s fury, and was depressing. Then we had the traditional “Night Owl” after-dinner session, spotlighting National Review’s funniest voices Jonah Goldberg, Rob Long, illustrator Roman Genn, James Lileks, with Peter Robinson along as the moderator/designated driver, and the opening question was . . . “Are we doomed?”
By this point, we probably sound like the Voyage of the Damned. But the cruise was full of good spirits. And by that, I mean full of rum, vodka, and bourbon.
No, as the week went on, it became clear that life will go on, that the country turned to Obama to rescue it from a seemingly endless recession, and in return for their judgment received additional announcements of layoffs, a steadily sliding stock market, and the death of the Twinkie. As Jonah said quoting Ed Koch, “The voters have made their decision, and now they have to be punished.”
Mitt Romney now joins the long list of the kinds of presidential candidates favored by the Republican establishment: nice, moderate losers — people with no coherently articulated vision, despite how many ad hoc talking points they may have.
The list of Republican presidential candidates like this goes back at least as far as 1948, when Thomas E. Dewey ran against President Harry Truman. Dewey spoke in lofty generalities while Truman spoke in hard-hitting specifics. Since then, there have been many reruns of this same scenario, featuring losing Republican presidential candidates John McCain, Bob Dole, Gerald Ford, and, when he ran for reelection, George H. W. Bush.
Bush 41 first succeeded when he ran for election as if he were another Ronald Reagan (“Read my lips, no new taxes”), but then lost when he ran for reelection as himself – “kinder and gentler,” disdainful of “the vision thing,” and looking at his watch during a debate, when he should have been counterattacking against the foolish things being said.
This year, Barack Obama had the hard-hitting specifics — such as ending “tax cuts for the rich” who should pay “their fair share,” government “investing” in “the industries of the future” and the like. He had a coherent vision, however warped.
Most of Obama’s arguments were rotten, if you bothered to put them under scrutiny. But someone once said that it is amazing how long the rotten can hold together, if you don’t handle it roughly.
Any number of conservative commentators, both in the print media and on talk radio, examined and exposed the fraudulence of Obama’s “tax cuts for the rich” argument. But did you ever hear Mitt Romney bother to explain the specifics which exposed the flaws in Obama’s argument?
On election night, the rotten held together because Mitt Romney had not handled it roughly with specifics. Romney was too nice to handle Obama’s absurdities roughly. He definitely (more…)
The most striking change in the results this year involved a precipitous and alarming decline in voter participation, a drop-off that stemmed from a deliberate strategy by the Obama campaign and almost certainly provided the president with his margin of victory. Meanwhile, much of the conventional wisdom about the results has been fatuous and unsubstantiated, ignoring the troubling reality of disillusioned voters.
For instance, there’s no basis for the common claim Obama won through a superb, unprecedented, supremely effective get-out-the-vote effort by the Democrats. Even downcast Republicans have hailed the opposition’s turnout operation as magnificent, but they fail to note that it resulted in far fewer voters showing up for President Obama.
The president drew 7.6 million fewer votes than he did in the hope-and-change election of 2008. His vote total, 61,911,000, is far closer to the numbers in Sen. John Kerry’s losing bid in 2004 than to his own triumphant support four years ago. Even the reviled President George W. Bush earned more raw votes, from a much smaller potential electorate, in his own reelection bid than Obama did in his.
It’s also not true that a powerful surge of new black and Latino support powered the president to victory. Exit polls showed that Obama got a slightly smaller percentage of the black vote than last time and that turnout was sharply down, delivering at least 1.5 million fewer African-American ballots for the Democrats. A slightly enlarged Latino electorate and an increase in the president’s percentage of Hispanic voters, to 71 percent from 67 percent, did provide him an additional 700,000 votes, but the falloff in black support still meant that overall “minority votes” for Obama went down, not up.
As to the claim that Obama pulled out a win in this highly competitive election cycle by building up his backing among working-class whites in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other key battlegrounds, the evidence shows the president losing, not gaining, ground with this badly battered segment of the population. Among white voters overall—still 72 percent of total ballots, down from 74 percent in 2008—Obama lost to Mitt Romney in a devastating landslide, 59 percent to 39 percent. Four years ago, he also lost the white vote, but by a far more modest margin of 12 percentage points rather than the 20-point blowout this year. Compared to his Election Day performance in 2008, Obama lost more than 7 million white votes.
How, then, did the president manage to prevail over a confident, well-funded, united opposition at a time of economic anxiety and 7.9 percent unemployment?
He and his supporters succeeded in discouraging and disillusioning the Republican and independent voters Romney needed for victory. In post-election comments, GOP strategist Karl Rove argued that the Obama campaign succeeded by deliberately “suppressing the vote,” a response to Democratic accusations of Republican “voter suppression” schemes. Although most opinion leaders dismissed Rove’s observation as the sour grapes whining of a notably sore loser, it’s impossible to argue with his numbers: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan drew 1.3 (more…)
I’ve been getting emails about an election conspiracy — how could it be that Mitt got fewer votes than John McCain in 2008? First, Obama got fewer votes than in 2008.
But Team Romney flopped big time with its get out the vote software, named Orca.
It crashed along with millions of conservative hearts.
What is Project Orca? Well, this is what they told us:
Project ORCA is a massive undertaking – the Republican Party’s newest, unprecedented and most technologically advanced plan to win the 2012 presidential election.Pretty much everything in that sentence is false. The “massive undertaking” is true, however. It would take a lot of planning, training and coordination to be done successfully (oh, we’ll get to that in a second). This wasn’t really the GOP’s effort, it was Team Romney’s. And perhaps “unprecedented” would fit if we’re discussing failure.
The entire purpose of this project was to digitize the decades-old practice of strike lists. The old way was to sit with your paper and mark off people that have voted and every hour or so, someone from the campaign would come get your list and take it back to local headquarters. Then, they’d begin contacting people that hadn’t voted yet and encourage them to head to the polls. It’s worked for years.
From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of “rah-rahs” and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame.
Working primarily as a web developer, I had some serious questions. Things like “Has this been stress tested?”, “Is there redundancy in place?” and “What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?”, among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success.
On one of the last conference calls (I believe it was on Saturday night), they told us that our packets would be arriving shortly. Now, there seemed to be a fair amount of confusion about what they meant by “packet”. Some people on Twitter were wondering if that meant a packet in the mail or a pdf or what. Finally, my packet arrived at 4PM on Monday afternoon as an emailed 60 page pdf. Nothing came in the mail. Because I was out most of the day, I only got around to seeing it at around 10PM Monday night. So, I sat down and cursed as I would have to print out 60+ pages of instructions and voter rolls on my home printer. Naturally, for reasons I can’t begin to comprehend, my printer would not print in black and white with an empty magenta cartridge (No HP, I will never buy (more…)
…everybody is jumping on Romney’s chain today, getting in his chili. Look, he may have not been the most optimal candidate, but he’s a fine man. He would have been great for this country. Mitt Romney and his family would have been the essence of exactly what this country needs. But what was Romney’s recipe? Romney’s recipe was the old standby: American route to success, hard work. That gets sneered at. I’m sorry. In a country of children where the option is Santa Claus or work, what wins? And say what you want, but Romney did offer a vision of traditional America. In his way, he put forth a great vision of traditional America, and it was rejected. It was rejected in favor of a guy who thinks that those who are working aren’t doing enough to help those who aren’t. And that resonated.
The Obama campaign was about small stuff. War on Women, binders, Big Bird, this kind of stuff. The Romney campaign was about big things, was about America. It’s mind-boggling to go through these exit polls. You want to hear a statistic that is somewhat surprising? Romney received two and a half million fewer votes than McCain did. Now, who would have called that? Who in the world would have? I think Obama’s vote tally was down ten million from 2008, and we still lost. We lost 50 to 48 nationally. We were not able to build a turnout model that looked like 2004. Very puzzling.
Something else. Just stream of consciousness here. The usual suspects are out, and they’re saying, “Rush, we gotta reach out now to the Hispanics and reach out to the minorities, blacks.” Okay, let me remind you of something. Just ask you a question. And we will be getting your phone calls of course today, you weigh in on this, 800-282-2882 is the number. Let me take you back to the Republican convention. We had Suzanne Martinez, female Hispanic governor, New Mexico. We had Condoleezza Rice, African-American, former secretary of state. Both of those people imminently qualified, terrifically achieved. They have reached the pinnacles of their profession.
We had Marco Rubio. We had a parade of minorities who have become successful Americans. And they all had a common story: up from nothing, hard work, their parents sacrificed for them. Now, why didn’t that work, folks? The answer to that is our future. Why didn’t it work? Some people say, “Well, Rush, we pandered.” No, we didn’t pander. Everybody says that we need to reach out to minorities. We have plenty of highly achieved minorities in our party, and they are in prominent positions, and they all have a common story. They all came from nothing. Their parents came from nothing. They worked hard. They told those stories with great pride. Those stories evoked tears. It didn’t work. And don’t tell me that people didn’t watch the convention or people didn’t see it. I mean, there’s a reason it doesn’t work.
President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times Tuesday, eking out a second term with a fraction of his 7.3% margin of 2008, in a polarized country with the opposition GOP retaining and still dominating the House. Given that second Presidential terms are rarely better than the first, this is best described as the voters doubling down on hope over experience.
Mr. Obama’s campaign stitched together a shrunken but still decisive version of his 2008 coalition—single women, the young and culturally liberal, government and other unions workers, and especially minority voters.
He said little during the campaign about his first term and even less about his plans for a second. Instead his strategy was to portray Mitt Romney as a plutocrat and intolerant threat to each of those voting blocs. No contraception for women. No green cards for immigrants. A return to Jim Crow via voter ID laws. No Pell grants for college.
This was all a caricature even by the standards of modern politics. But it worked with brutal efficiency—the definition of winning ugly. Mr. Obama was able to patch together just enough of these voting groups to prevail even as he lost independents and won only 40% of the overall white vote, according to the exit polls. His campaign’s turnout machine was as effective as advertised in getting Democratic partisans to the polls.
Mr. Obama also benefitted from his long run of extraordinary good luck. Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast a week before Election Day, letting him rise for a few days above the partisanship that has defined his first term. The storm changed the campaign conversation and blunted Mr. Romney’s momentum. The exit polls show that late-deciders went for the incumbent this year when they typically break for the challenger.
The President owes a debt as well to a pair of Republican appointees in government—John Roberts and Ben Bernanke. By joining four liberals on the Supreme Court in upholding ObamaCare in June, Chief Justice Roberts provided a salve of legitimacy to the President’s deeply unpopular health-care law. It also helped him unify his party around something to protect in an otherwise aimless second term.
As for the Federal Reserve Chairman, Mr. Bernanke’s latest round of quantitative easing was an invaluable in-kind contribution to the President in the final election weeks. It helped to lift asset prices, including the stock market, which contributed to rising consumer confidence and helped to counter the damage to investment and hiring from Mr. Obama’s policies.
Mr. Romney is one of the least natural politicians of our era, but he is a laudable man who ran a spirited campaign on a reform agenda, especially after the first (more…)
To those Jews planning to vote for Obama:
Are you prepared to explain to your children not the principles upon which your vote is cast, but its probable effects upon them?
Irrespective of your endorsement of liberal sentiments, of fairness and “more equal distribution,” will you explain to your children that top-down economic policies will increasingly limit their ability to find challenging and well-paid work, and that the diminution in employment and income will decrease their opportunity to marry and raise children?
Will you explain (as you have observed) that a large part of their incomes will be used to fund programs that they may find immoral, wasteful and/or indeed absurd? And that the bulk of their taxes go to no programs at all, but merely service the debt you entailed on them?
Will you tell your children that a liberal government will increasingly marginalize, dismiss and weaken the support for and the safety of the Jewish state?
Will you tell them that, in a state-run economy, hard work may still be applauded, but that it will no longer be rewarded?
Will you explain that whatever their personal beliefs, tax-funded institutions will require them to imbibe and repeat the slogans of the left, and that, should they differ, they cannot have a career in education, medicine or television unless they keep their mouths shut?
Will you explain to them that it is impossible to make a budget, and that the basic arithmetic we all use at the kitchen table is not practiced at the federal and state level, and to suggest that it should be is “selfishness?”
Most importantly, will you teach them never to question the pronouncements of those in power, for to do so is to risk ostracism?
Are you prepared to sit your children down and talk them through your vote on the future you are choosing for them?
Please remember that we have the secret ballot and, should you, on reflection, vote in secret for a candidate you would not endorse in public, you will not be alone.
I had no idea what “stiff-necked people” meant. It’s from the Torah.
I wondered if anyone else noticed this. Karen Lingefelt did:
I’m so excited now!
For months I’d been feeling too bummed by the stagnant economy and demoralized by the polls to consider voting! I didn’t feel there was any point! Until Obama gave me a point! An exclamation point!
According to AP, Obama’s campaign slogan is getting a boost: “NASHUA, N.H. – Obama’s campaign added an exclamation point to placards and banners bearing the campaign’s motto. Instead of a stoic period at the end of the single-word slogan, the signs now read ‘Forward!’”
That’s right! Not the cheap political points Republicans are always trying to score, but an EXCLAMATION POINT!
An exclamation point denotes excitement! It’s bright! It’s shiny! It dazzles! It distracts! But best of all, it excites!
Until now, Barack Obama tried just about everything to win my vote! Free stuff! The Lily Ledbetter Act, that gives me more time to sue my boss for discriminating against me! More free stuff! Cash for my clunker that I can put toward one month’s payment on the principal for a Chevy Volt! And good grief, even more free stuff!
And the one Putin did.
My favorite quip:
You have to wonder how Obama thinks he can get away with misrepresenting recent history. Does he think everyone is stupid?
President Obama doesn’t give many interviews these days outside Comedy Central, so it caused a stir Wednesday when editors at the Des Moines Register managed to pin him down and even elicit some news. Specifically, Mr. Obama said he wants to pursue immigration reform in a second term, as well as a budget “grand bargain” with Republicans that includes tax reform.
This will come as a surprise to voters reading the President’s just-released 20-page brochure on his second-term agenda, which makes little or no mention of these priorities. Perhaps that’s why the White House first demanded that the interview be off the record, making the transcript public only after the Register editor objected in a public blog post.
But the larger reason to be skeptical concerns Mr. Obama’s answer to another Register question: Whether he regrets pursuing ObamaCare and other liberal social priorities in his first two years rather than focusing on the economy.
“Absolutely not,” Mr. Obama told the Iowa journalists. “Remember the context. First of all, Mitch McConnell has imposed an ironclad filibuster from the first day I was in office. And that’s not speculation.”
Whoaaaa there, big fella. Mr. McConnell was then and still is the Senate Minority Leader, and in 2009 he had all of 40 votes. Mr. Obama could have pursued any agenda he wanted, and the Des Moines editors wanted to know why he didn’t focus on the economy first. Yet Mr. Obama’s instinctive reaction is to blame Republican obstructionism that never happened.
In those first days of progressive wine and roses, Mr. Obama managed to peel off three Republican votes for his stimulus blowout in February 2009. He got five Republicans for the trial-bar gift known as the Lilly Ledbetter bill and nine for an expansion of the state children’s health program, both in January. That was some ferocious filibuster.
By spring 2009, when Minnesota’s Al Franken was seated, the White House had 60 votes and a GOP-only filibuster wasn’t even possible. “We have the votes. F– ‘em,” declared then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, according to the first-100-days chapters of Bob Woodward’s new book.
The President is also missing the larger import of the Register’s question. As Mr. Obama likes to remind voters now, in 2009 the economy had suffered a financial heart attack and needed to be nurtured back to health. That required careful management and attention to reviving consumer and business confidence.
Yet rather than work with both parties to fashion a growth agenda, he went all-in for a Keynesian spending blowout and subcontracted the details to House Democrats. And rather than wait to see how strongly—and even whether—the economy then recovered, he dove headlong into fighting to pass 40 years of pent-up liberal social policy.
It wasn’t merely ObamaCare. The President also tried to impose a cap-and-tax on carbon energy production, end secret ballots for unions via card check, while promising to raise taxes in 2011 until he was stopped when voters elected a GOP House in 2010.
Mr. Obama likes to say he inherited “the most severe economic emergency we’ve had since the Great Depression,” but then he claims that it didn’t matter that he staged a two-year fight to remake one-sixth of the economy and threatened to remake another four-sixths.
If recessions following financial crises really are worse than normal, as the President also told the Iowa editors, then why didn’t he take special care to postpone legislation that would add new costs to business, undermine confidence and thus weaken the recovery?
Mr. Obama didn’t really answer the Register’s question, so we will. He didn’t focus on the economy because he didn’t and still doesn’t understand how the private economy works. He doesn’t understand that incentives matter, or how government policies and regulation can sabotage growth. He really believes that government is the engine of economic prosperity.
Anyone who thinks the second term will be different should consult Mr. Emanuel’s incisive counsel above.
The creep who likes to be called “The Donald” (I reserve that honor for one with greater dignity, namely Donald Duck) apparently plans to call attention to himself by revealing that Barack and Michelle once came close to divorce.
Trump has dumped so many wives I cannot keep track.
Ann Althouse noted:
Unless there is a revelation of some significant misbehavior, this isn’t big at all. It mainly makes Trump look small. And it’s not helpful to Romney’s cause for Trump to claim the spotlight, in the last 2 weeks of the campaign, over this.
Who cares about the internal workings of a political marriage? I always assume there’s some phony PR to it. But the fact is they are together, they’ve played the public role of married couple, and they have 2 very real little girls who don’t deserve to be hurt. And because of that, Trump’s news, if this is what it is, will only make moderate, middle-of-the road voters feel compassion for Obama.
Trump should crawl back into his hole right now, before he does any damage.
That said, it worth recalling that Barack Obama’s path to becoming senator was cleared by just such scandal mongering against his GOP opponent Jack Ryan. In Obama’s case, he had the Tribune company doing his dirty work, successfully suing to open sealed divorce records.
Someone must have gotten to the Donald and asked him to stifle it. His “huge” announcement is just a retread of a challenge to Obama to release his college transcripts.
At the third and final presidential debate Monday night, Mitt Romney accused Barack Obama of reducing the number of ships in the U.S. Navy. President Obama responded, “Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.” Does the U.S. military still use bayonets much?
The Marines aren’t the only branch of the military to equip its soldiers with bayonets.
While the bayonet dates to the 17th century, it has evolved through technological innovations over the years. In 2003, the Marine Corps replaced its standard-issue bayonet with a longer, sharper model, the OKC-3S. The new model, designed by New York’s Ontario Knife Co., was also more effective when brandished as a hand knife—not to mention more ergonomically correct. Perhaps more vitally, the blades were also better able to pierce body armor, a concern particular to modern warriors. More than 120,000 bayonets were commissioned to supply one to each Marine, at an estimated price of $36.35 each, or $4,362,000 total. In addition to potential use in hand-to-hand combat, bayonets are said to be useful for keeping prisoners under control and for “poking an enemy to see whether he is dead.”
Yes. All Marines learn to use bayonets during their basic martial arts training. Some of this training takes place on the Bayonet Assault Course, upon which Marines are unleashed to bayonet everything in sight. Learning proficiency in basic bayoneting techniques is part of qualifying for a tan belt, which is required of every recruit. Marines are expected to learn to attach and remove the bayonets from their rifles quickly, so that they might swiftly initiate a charge…
“Making education and training a national priority; building on our manufacturing boom; boosting American-made energy; reducing the deficits responsibly by cutting where we can, and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. And ending the war in Afghanistan, so we can do some nation-building here at home. That’s the right path.”
At this point, his pitch is self-refuting.
…hands up against the wall, clutching for the light switch of leadership and he just can’t find it.
A soon to be released report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute shows that President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has increasingly collected more electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes throughout the 2012 campaign cycle.
From February through June this year the GAI findings reported that the Obama campaign collected $175,816.26 in electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes. One month later, the campaign raised $411,369.55 through such donations and $197,464.59 in August.
By the end of September, the Obama campaign raked in $2,199,204.38 – thanks to donations from non-existent ZIP codes.
The upcoming GAI report suggests the Obama campaign is allowing fraudulent donations to be accepted because the president isn’t employing proper safeguards against fraudulent donations. GAI leaves open the possibility that the Obama campaign “may have experienced data-collection problems,” but argued “given the Obama campaign’s technological sophistication, the fact that the campaign consistently reports higher amounts of erroneous data month-to-month casts doubt on that explanation.”
…liberals, as you probably know, are in a tizzy (or at least claim to be) because Mitt Romney talked about having “binders full of women” at hand when he was governor of Massachusetts, an obvious reference to binders full of women’s resumes which he used to hire some of them.
Everybody, even the goofiest feminists knew what he meant. But they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to liken this to a white racist calling a black guy a you-know-what. Leaving out the word “resumes” amounted to a crime against humanity for these ninnies.
I personally witnessed more than a few Democrats on TV whine about how demeaning Romney’s comment was to women. But it wasn’t only Democratic operatives who were trying to make more of this than it deserved. It was also the president and vice president – understandably because they’ll do anything to change the subject from their dismal economic record of the last four years.
Then he busts conservatives for busting Obama:
But conservatives can be just as cynical – and come off looking just as foolish.
Which brings us to President Obama’s comment in an interview with Jon Stewart that “If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.”
This set off a lot of conservatives, including lots of opinion people on Fox. They found the remark beneath contempt. Some free advice to my conservative friends: Knock it off! You’re acting just like those crazy lefties over the binder comment.
Mr. Obama didn’t come up with the word “optimal” all by himself. In his question to the president about the administration’s handing of the Benghazi attack, Stewart said, “I would say, and even you would admit, it was not the optimal response – at least to the American people as far as all of us being on the same page.”
That’s when the president made his “If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal” comment.
The president made a mistake. When interviewed, you don’t let the interviewer put negative words in your mouth. But that’s all it was: a mistake. It wasn’t a sign of disrespect; he wasn’t belittling the death of four Americans. And conservatives know it!
I’m tired of this faux outrage designed only for political gain. I’m tired of it when goofy liberals play the game — and I’m just as tired of it when cynical conservatives play the same crummy game.
One thing: Obama’s “bumps in the road” comment adds context.
Remember the stories about how comedians could not find ways to make jokes about Obama?
Well, Mitt Romney and his joke writers certainly blew that idea to bits. Every comic who’s laid off Obama should be embarassed.
The topic is supposed to be foreign policy, but the loony Iranian has done Mitt a favor by underscoring the connection between national debt and global power.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted the impending downfall of the “US empire,” blaming the collapse on a combination of the country’s massive debt and its loss of legitimacy within the international community, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported Thursday.
“How long can a government with a $16 trillion foreign debt remain a world power?” he asked at a press conference with Kuwaiti media personnel. “The Americans have injected their paper wealth into the world economy and today the aftermaths and negative effects of their pseudo-wealth have plagued them.”
Mr. Romney was trying to make the point that both his and Mr. Obama’s investment funds probably include investments in China — something the president has attacked Mr. Romney for.
“‘Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?’ Mr. Romney said.
“‘You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours, so it — it doesn’t take as long,’” Mr. Obama retorted. His reply prompted laughter in the debate hall where the two men were squaring off — but across the way in the separate room where the press was stationed, a brief round of applause broke out.”
Reporters who cover baseball games aren’t allowed to cheer for their team while in the press box. It’s just not tolerated. Even journalists who dwell in the world of sports know that reporters aren’t supposed to take sides.
But here we are – not at a baseball game – but at a presidential debate and the reporters are clapping for their guy. Memo to so-called mainstream media: Umpires can’t root for one of the teams.
As for Romney’s point, CNBC:
“Let me give you some advice: Look at your pension. You also have investments in Chinese companies, you also have investments outside the United States,” he said.
On that score, Romney is likely correct.
Many public pension funds have a diversified foreign investment portfolio that includes China. For instance, the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, recently announced a $530 million investment in two real estate funds that target China.
Most other public pension funds have directed increasing allocations to emerging markets and alternative investment classes to generate returns and bridge exploding funding gaps.
As far as size?
From the standpoint of a public pension, Obama is well-heeled.
In addition, Obama may be due a nice pension for the eight years he served in the Illinois Legislature as a state senator.
Illinois is infamous for its lavish pension planfor former lawmakers. A Freedom of Information Act request for Obama’s pension amount submitted Wednesday to the General Assembly Retirement System of Illinois was not immediately answered, nor was a call to the Obama campaign.
But what about Romney?
It’s extensively documented that Romney is, well, a rich guy. He earned untold millions —though famously circumspect about releasing tax returns — while leading private equity giant Bain Capital and has a substantial retirement plan.
His Individual Retirement Account could be worth in the neighborhood of $87 million, as documented in an extensive report from the Washington Post.
But as for a strictly public pension? Zip, zero.
Romney only served one term as governor of the Bay State and did not take a salary, so he is eligible for nothing.
So while Romney appears headed for a happier retirement financially, he’ll be footing his own bill — unless, of course, he wins next month. In that case, his nest egg will be even that much bigger than Obama’s.
UPDATE: PolitiFact, the fact-checking arm of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has confirmed that Obama does participate in the Illinois pension fund, which was organized in the Cayman Islands and has interests in China.
As president, he will receive $191,300 annually for life — win or lose in next month’s election — and receives a travel allotment as well as mailing privileges. Should Obama lose, his presidential pension kicks in immediately after leaving office.
Given that the president enjoys a normal life span, the pension allotment would be worth upwards of $6 million.
The federal budget spends about $3 million annually for the four living ex-presidents. Obama also will get Secret Service protection.