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Old 01-07-2011, 04:26 PM   #141
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Nate Silver's take:

Quote:
Optimism for Obama Should Come With Caution
By NATE SILVER

For as poorly as President Obama’s Democrats performed on Nov. 2, you can find several assessments of his re-election chances that seem doggone optimistic.

The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone, in a careful analysis, suggests that Mr. Obama won’t be easy to defeat. Karl Rove, meanwhile, recently made comments to Fox News about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s electoral future, which seemed to imply that he expected Mr. Obama would still be president in 2016.

There are a lot of things that casual attempts at political science tend to get wrong, but one thing that observers seem to understand relatively well is that a poor performance by the president’s party at his first midterm election hardly dooms him. That is no doubt because of the recent experience with Bill Clinton as well as Ronald Reagan, both of whom witnessed their parties lose badly at the midterms and both of whom eventually won re-election by wide margins. Mr. Obama’s Democrats lost a few more seats in Congress than Mr. Clinton’s Democrats did — and more than twice as many as Mr. Reagan’s Republicans. On the other hand, Mr. Obama’s approval ratings are slightly better than Mr. Clinton’s or Mr. Reagan’s were at a comparable point in time, being in the mid-to-high 40s rather than in the low 40s.

There may be some risk in over-learning these lessons, however: Mr. Clinton and Mr. Reagan, though they are two recent examples, are nevertheless just two examples, and they were both once-in-a-generation political talents.

Still, it’s worth reflecting on what, if anything, we might have learned about Mr. Obama’s re-election chances during the past couple of months — both based on what happened on Nov. 2 and what has happened since.

Has the public taken on a more favorable view of Mr. Obama since the Democrats’ defeat? The evidence here is mixed, but for the time being points toward “no.” Mr. Obama’s Gallup approval rating reached 49 percent late last week — the highest it had been since July — but other surveys show it about flat, and the overall trend shows little change.

On the other hand, Mr. Obama’s approval rating had already been “stuck” at about 45 or 46 percent several months ahead of the midterms and had not been declining; most of the damage to Mr. Obama and the Democrats had come in 2009. Given how hardened partisan attitudes have become, it may be that Mr. Obama’s approval ratings are liable to fluctuate within a relatively narrow range.

Perhaps the question should be, then, whether Mr. Obama would win re-election if an election were held tomorrow. His approval ratings right now are quite similar to where George W. Bush’s were at the end of 2004. Mr. Bush won re-election, albeit very narrowly and against a relatively weak Democratic nominee.

Then again, the set of prospective Republican nominees is also perhaps rather weak. An average of polls conducted since Nov. 2 show Mr. Obama leading Mitt Romney by an average of 2 or 3 points, and Mike Huckabee by 3 or 4 points. Some people aren’t fond of looking at head-to-head matchups so far in advance of an election, and indeed, they are very rough gauges. With that said, both Mr. Romney and Mr. Huckabee are quite well known to the public, so these results might be more meaningful than they would be for a candidate who is not yet identifiable to the public at large, like a John Thune or a Tim Pawlenty.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama continues to enjoy a very large advantage — about 14 points, on average — over Sarah Palin. However likely Ms. Palin is to win the Republican nomination — and I can’t help but think that, if her numbers remain this poor, it will eventually become less likely — this essentially represents pure upside for Mr. Obama: what poker players would term a freeroll.

So if an election were held tomorrow, Mr. Obama would be a clear favorite against Ms. Palin, and probably about even money (although perhaps a very slight favorite) against a less divisive Republican nominee.

Fortunately — because I could really use the rest — an election won’t be held tomorrow. Do we have any inkling yet about whether Mr. Obama’s standing with the public is likely to improve or decline by 2012?

The state of the economy, undoubtedly, will be a huge part of the equation. The vast majority of economists expect it to continue to grow through 2012; the forecasts, in fact, have become slightly more optimistic over the past several weeks. The bad news for Mr. Obama is that the forecasts are more optimistic about G.D.P. growth than they are about unemployment: economists also expect the employment picture to improve, but at a sluggish pace, with the unemployment rate most likely being in the low 8 percentage point range at the time voters go to the polls in 2012. How voters might react to this situation — one in which the employment picture has improved, but is still rather poor in an absolute sense — is an open question, and one for which the historical evidence is of relatively little use.

How about the Democrats’ performance during the lame-duck session of Congress, when they were able to pass several important bills like the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, to the surprise of many observers?

One needs to be careful not to unintentionally damn Mr. Obama and the Democrats with faint praise; yes, they got a lot done, but all of the measures they passed were quite popular. Once the Republicans take over in the House, Mr. Obama will be engaged in some big showdowns with them over issues like the budget and his health care plan. Mr. Obama will be fighting from a defensive posture on health care, which remains unpopular with the public. How the public feels about the budget, where it has little faith in either party, is less clear.

Ultimately, however, Mr. Obama is more popular than the Republican Congress — an advantage that Bill Clinton did not have after 1994, nor Ronald Reagan after 1982. With the equally unpopular Democratic Congress largely being marginalized, that may work to his advantage. And — although I hesitate to endorse such a wishy-washy concept — the Democrats’ successes during the lame-duck session may provide him with some “momentum” headed into these battles, which will begin very early in the new Congress.

The political futures market Intrade puts Mr. Obama’s re-election chances at about 58 percent, which seems about as reasonable an assessment as any. Until we get a better sense for how the dynamics between Mr. Obama and the Republicans will play out — or in which direction the economy is headed — I would be skeptical of analyses that seem to express a significant amount of confidence on either side of that figure.

Optimism for Obama Should Come With Caution - NYTimes.com
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:13 PM   #142
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Just as a heads up to GOP supporters, your party has tried to estimate your average intelligence and has decided to name their health care repeal effort the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act".

House Moves Toward Vote on Health Care Repeal - NYTimes.com
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:24 PM   #143
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Oh, my good lord, are you kidding me *Puts head in hands*?

Quote:
But actually repealing the health care law that Mr. Obama signed last March has no chance of taking effect. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said on Thursday that he would not bring up the bill. And Mr. Obama, of course, would veto any such act.
Which, of course, then begs the question: WHY ARE THEY EVEN BOTHERING TO DO THIS, THEN?

Try not to waste any more of our time and taxpayer money, Republicans, please?

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Originally Posted by iron yuppie View Post
From experience, I can say that Wisconsin's liberal reputation is almost completely derived from Milwaukee and especially Madison. The rest of the state is quite conservative. The new governor, for instance, is a hard, hard-line conservative.
Huh. I stand corrected, then.

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Old 01-07-2011, 05:27 PM   #144
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^

The Republicans are not serious leaders, they are petty children. That goes without saying. No serious, responsible adult would name a bill any such thing. It's absurd and befitting of junior high kids.

As for unemployment and the election, there is an excellent article, of which I'll post excerpts. It outlines very important facts that I think are not being stated outloud because it sounds "bad" politically.

Quote:
"The story runs as follows. Before the financial crash, there were lots of not-so-useful workers holding not-so-useful jobs. Employers didn't so much bother to figure out who they were. Demand was high and revenue was booming, so rooting out the less productive workers would have involved a lot of time and trouble -- plus it would have involved some morale costs with the more productive workers, who don't like being measured and spied on. So firms simply let the problem lie.

Then came the 2008 recession, and it was no longer possible to keep so many people on payroll. A lot of businesses were then forced to face the music: Bosses had to make tough calls about who could be let go and who was worth saving. (Note that unemployment is low for workers with a college degree, only 5 percent compared with 16 percent for less educated workers with no high school degree. This is consistent with the reality that less-productive individuals, who tend to have less education, have been laid off.)

In essence, we have seen the rise of a large class of "zero marginal product workers," to coin a term. Their productivity may not be literally zero, but it is lower than the cost of training, employing, and insuring them. That is why labor is hurting but capital is doing fine; dumping these employees is tough for the workers themselves -- and arguably bad for society at large -- but it simply doesn't damage profits much. It's a cold, hard reality, and one that we will have to deal with, one way or another."
Rest here:

10 Percent Unemployment Forever? - By Tyler Cowen and Jayme Lemke | Foreign Policy
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:31 PM   #145
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are you kidding me? Is the gop's handbook 1984? "Job Killing Heath Care". They'll say it enough to where idiots will think it's true.

Fact: The bill will create more jobs, even if it's in the evil healthcare industry
Fact: Repealing the healthcare bill will run up the deficit, but gop states this shouldn't count....Much like the wars overseas
Fact: Repealing this bill will take coverage away from 30 million people, and potentially killing some of those whose coverage could have prevented such incident.

I think democracy is done
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:33 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonlit_Angel View Post
Try not to waste any more of our time and taxpayer money, Republicans, please?
only the democrats do that.



although, won't repealing the health care act buy another three weeks in iraq? let's do it!
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:41 PM   #147
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Today there was an interesting segment on NPR.

When polled close to 50% of the population wanted "Obamacare" repealed.

When polled about specific sections like pre-existing conditions, children up to age 26, so on and so on an overwhelming majority supported it.

Republicans have done a good job with branding. They know the intelligence level they are aiming for...
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:14 PM   #148
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I just hope Michael Steele doesn't make a run for any position. Did you see him at the RNC conference the other day? ("My favorite book is War and Peace...It was the best of times it was the worst of times)
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:44 PM   #149
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Ugh, yes, I saw clips of that on TV. That was truly pitiful.

My favorite part was the girl who got confused about the book question and started talking about her favorite bar instead ('cause, you know, hearing the person before her list a book apparently didn't tip her off...). And then later she mentioned having 16 guns. What a great combination !

(And naturally, of course, your ability to run things properly is determined by the amount of guns you have)

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolian2 View Post
only the democrats do that.



although, won't repealing the health care act buy another three weeks in iraq? let's do it!
Bingo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anitram View Post
The Republicans are not serious leaders, they are petty children. That goes without saying. No serious, responsible adult would name a bill any such thing. It's absurd and befitting of junior high kids.
Oh, absolutely. It just amazes me that more people don't seem to realize that. How can anybody watch that aforementioned RNC conference and still think, after all that, "Yeah, these people look like pretty good potential leaders"?

That article you shared is pretty well spot on, my mom's said the same thing, in essence. I still think it kind of sucks, though, that those with only a high school education are more likely to be let go from jobs. Sure, there are some whose lack of continued education hurts them job-wise, but I've only got a high school degree and I can be just as productive as somebody with a college degree.

I know it's not always easy or affordable to train and educate new employees on the tasks at hand, but if that's the case, then businesses need to quit whining that they have a hard time keeping people on the payroll-if they're not willing to do that, then don't be surprised if some people decide to go elsewhere. Or they need to start changing their attitudes and decide that training people is worth the effort if it means they'll have employees for a longer period of time. Everyone has to start somewhere, and how are you going to learn the tasks if nobody teaches them to you?

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Old 01-07-2011, 08:56 PM   #150
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A college degree, even an associate degree, is the new high school degree. Not too surprising considering some of the community colleges out there. They're like holding pens for high schoolers who scraped by to remain in arrested development for another six years to get that general studies degree.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:29 PM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iron yuppie View Post
From experience, I can say that Wisconsin's liberal reputation is almost completely derived from Milwaukee and especially Madison. The rest of the state is quite conservative. The new governor, for instance, is a hard, hard-line conservative.
Quote:
Originally Posted by corianderstem View Post
This native Wisconsonian says "Yes, I do believe you're right."
I know a lot of Catholics and Union members (who are also avid hunters and gun rights supporters) in central Wisconsin who vote Democratic. It's an odd State.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:47 PM   #152
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It's an interesting pool for the (R) I've heard an interview of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann that would lead a person to think that's she is considering a run for the nomination.

Although her nomination into the Intelligence Committee is an oxymoron - dontcha think? It does beef up her resume.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:38 AM   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemon_drop View Post
It's an interesting pool for the (R) I've heard an interview of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann that would lead a person to think that's she is considering a run for the nomination.

Although her nomination into the Intelligence Committee is an oxymoron - dontcha think? It does beef up her resume.
I heard on local radio (Minnesota) someone arguing for Bachmann's run for President--something like, "She has far more legislative experience than President Obama and has private sector experience which Obama doesn't."



If Bachmann runs as the "anti-Obama," I don't think I or anyone here would disagree with that.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:30 PM   #154
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Anti-Obama? Yeah, that would be right - but have you heard her interviews? Okay I won't go into some of her "anti-American" go get 'em remarks a'la McCarthy of the 1950's - that shit is scary stuff.
How well known is she outside of people that follow politics as sport?
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:31 PM   #155
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Huffington Post

GOP strategist Karl Rove recently needled potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over the health care system he signed into law while governor of Massachusetts, saying that he would effectively have to admit wrongdoing in pursuing the program.

In 2006, then-Gov. Romney worked to implement a new health care system that, among other reforms, pioneered the individual health insurance mandate, a staple of the national overhaul passed last year that congressional Republicans vehemently opposed.

Now, Rove says, the only way Romney can save face, considering the current GOP bluster -- including from Romney himself -- over repealing President Obama's "overreaching" and "unconstitutional" health care reform, is if he publicly recognizes his past as a "problem."

Here's the discussion between Karl Rove and conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt:

HH: All right, let's get to the presidential stuff. In the first hour of tonight's program, Dick Morris, with whom I'm appearing tomorrow night at the Nixon Library, said flatly Mitt Romney cannot get the presidential nomination because of Massachusettscare. Do you agree with that?

KR: I think it's too early to make that declarative sentence. But I do agree that this is the principal challenge that Mitt Romney's candidacy would face if he were to become a candidate. But look, my view is this year is a year in which every candidate gets a chance to recognize their challenges, to recognize their strengths, and to overcome their challenges, and to bolster their strengths. And if Mitt Romney recognizes that his answer on why on what they did in Massachusetts looks so much like what Obama tried to do to the country, if he recognizes that is a problem, then he'll work his way out of the problem. If he doesn't, he doesn't. But right now, everybody, it's better to describe the challenges they each face, than to make judgments about how they're going to handle those challenges over the next six or seven months. If somebody says look, I think this is so and so's challenge, and I don't think they're going to be able to overcome it, I don't think that they're going to be able to find an answer, that's one thing. But to say look, it's over right now, I'm not certain I would be that definitive.



While Rove seems to suggest that Romney simply repent for what is now considered a political sin by many on the right, Steve Kornacki wrote at Salon last year that Romney, who at the time was railing against the Democratic health care reform package, would be better off coming up with a different solution.

But Romney can never admit [he was wrong]. He's the early front-runner for the 2012 GOP presidential nod and the party's base is convinced that Obama's reform package represents some kind of Marxist plot. So Romney must be against it -- really against it. It's as if he believes the combination of heat and volume in his response to the House vote will cause Republicans to ignore his own Massachusetts record.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:44 PM   #156
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it is interesting that Obama has already neutered his likely GOP challenger.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:50 PM   #157
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Mittens is very good at being against things after he was for them, being for things after he was against them. Don't count Mittens out

Plus he has great hair-and unlike Obama I bet he never dyes it. OMG, Obama dyes his hair. I was heartbroken after I read that on Yahoo today. I wish he would grow it out and dye it green, like Chia Obama.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:36 AM   #158
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Tim Pawlenty: Courage to Stand
A Film by J.J. Abrams
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer

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Old 01-29-2011, 11:17 AM   #159
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I guess if you're not particularly charismatic on your own and have to compete with Obama, then making overblown movie trailers infused with HOPE is your best bet.

Remember those days when the Republicans constantly ripped into Obama for behaving like a Hollywood star? No? Neither do they.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:22 PM   #160
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Quote:
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I guess if you're not particularly charismatic on your own and have to compete with Obama, then making overblown movie trailers infused with HOPE is your best bet.
^This is what an empty suit Pawlenty is. NO accomplishments to speak of.

I think the only thing that makes him a credible GOP candidate at this point is that he doesn't have any major screw-ups or gaffs. Low bar.
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