Sunday, September 30, 2012

Greatest Orioles of All-Time

The greatest Baltimore Orioles of them all: Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Earl Weaver, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer. This was taken in Baltimore on Saturday night for the unveiling of the statue honoring Brooks. Got to see 'em all play (or manage) with O's. (Associated Press photo).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pew Research Survey - Obama vs. Mitt (9/12-16, 2012)

Polling can lend great insight into how candidates who are running for office are viewed by the American people.  This Pew Research Center survey indicates the gap which exists between Mitt Romney and President Obama in many areas critical to the electorate.  This survey, along with the outrageous 47% video, reinforces my view that Mitt Romney may be the worst Presidential candidate in quite some time. 

A CNN blog today by Gloria Borger bottom lines Romney from my perspective.  "Romney has a businessman's approach to politics. Which means: He sizes up a situation (or an audience). He figures out what he needs to do to cut the deal. Then he does it, and expects it to work. Ergo, Romney speaks to a group of conservative GOP fat cats, and tells them what he thinks they want to hear so they will cough up the dough. Belief is almost beside the point. He was closing the deal."

BINGO, Gloria Borger. I know many think America can be run like a business. A business is run to maximize shareholder value. America is run by a leader who's able to carve together a coalition from a mosaic of different people, cultures, and interests with a wide range of needs and objectives. Very different skill set from businessman. (That's why Perot, Trump, Iacocca-types don't work).

This should continue to be an interesting election cycle.  The best out thing to come out of this election cycle is the fact that we seem to be starting to have a national conversation about what and who we are as Americans as it relates to our responsibility to each other and the nation.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Job Growth

We have now had 30 consecutive months of private sector job growth.  This comes on the heels of a loss of 750,000 jobs the last month of the previous administation.  It follows the largest economic turndown since the Great Depression.  The clear question is will we continue on this path of recovery or whether we will return to policies which contributed to the severe economic turndown of 2008.  Yes, we've had an increasing number to leave the workforce altogether, but this is inevitable in a transitioning global economy.  If what the Romney campaign is proposing worked, George W. Bush would have been the keynote speaker at the Republican convention.  He was nowhere to be found.  Stay engaged and VOTE.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lester Maddox......... And a Brief Thought

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1: 9

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day Two at the DNC - Elizabeth Warren Rocked

Next to the speech by Bill Clinton, which Alex Castallonos said will likely deliver the race to Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren was my favorite speaker.  They following is a good example of her meaningful message:

"No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And all that matters. That matters because we don't run this country for corporations, we run it for people. And that's why we need Barack Obama."

Good stuff. Another good night for the Democrats.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Few of My Observations from Night One at the DNC

"What a night at the DNC. The orchestration, the content, the intelligence, the quality, the enthusiasm and energy is amazing. And to see the 'mosaic' which is America across the audience is right and good. If it is possible to get a "bounce" from one night of a convention, they get one, big time. Michele so personalized it, so humanized it."

"David Gergen says two more nights like this and Obama could break the race wide open. Unbelievable night at DNC."

"Michelle Obama’s Tuesday night speech about her husband and the Obama family at the Democratic National Convention drove 28,003 tweets-per-minute at its peak, nearly double the 14,289 mark reached by Mitt Romney‘s acceptance speech at the Republican convention last week."

"Mayor Castro was just as good as it gets. The future of America is in very good hands."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Elon U. Poll and Panel at The Democratic National Convention

I was fortunate to be in attendance at the press conference yesterday where the current (Aug. 21-25, 2012) Elon U. poll was released.  A panel discussion was lead by my friend John Robinson.  The heavyweight panel included David Gergen, Charlie Cook and Rob Christensen. As you can imagine, it was a very high level, informative political discussion.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Presidential Campaign's Most Important Hour

According to David Gergen, the Dean of Presidential political analyists, the most important hour of a Presidential campaign, by far, is the 10 o'clock hour on Thursday night of the nominee's convention.  This is the prime time hour meant to introduce the candidate to the American people.  It is meant to humanize and reveal to the American people "the person" who wishes to spend four years 'in our living room', not necessarily his policies.  David Gergen, who I was fortunate to hear during a panel discussion at the release of the Elon University Poll at the DNC in Charlotte today, said that the Romney campaign could not have done a worse job with this critical task during the final night of the 2012 GOP convention in Tampa.

The opportunity which was lost with the Clint Eastwood fiasco and the complete lose of control of that hour on Thursday night in Tampa cannot be regained, according to Gergen. The debates are not meant to humanize or personally 'connect' the candidate with the American people like that Thursday night hour.  The debates are about substance and policy.  That is not Romney's weakness.  His weakness is likability, a lack of human 'connection'.  That was the point of the lost hour on Thursday night at the convention.  The Romney campaign has been as poorly run as any in memory. 

Gergen told a great story of the the introduction of Jimmy Carter at the 1976 Democratic Convention.  He said it was genius, and the Ford campaign, of which Gergen was a major contributor and advisor at the time, never recovered.  He said the 10 o'clock hour at the DNC was a beautifully orchestrated production, which included a film followed the introduction of a very warm candidate who connected perfectly with the an American people who were "taken" with the candidate.  He said that Gerry Ford fail 30 points behind immediately following the convention and never was able to catch up from that experience.

One last related point.  A panelist today pointed out that the most "likeable" Presidential candidate ALWAYS wins.  The one exception was Nixon in 1972, according to a "light" moment from Gergen.  If you think back to about 1928, that is exactly the case.  That bodes well for Barack Obama, who is way ahead in the likeability area.  But again, this is a unique year, so we'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The GOP and the Empty Chair Fiasco

And here's the best quote regarding the Clint Eastwood empty chair fiasco:

"The Democrats should put an empty chair on the stage for their entire convention, and when someone asks who it belongs to, they can say Osama bin Laden." ~Chris Rock

Some Final Thoughts on 2012 GOP Convention

Well, the GOP Convention is behind us.  It will be interesting to see if any poll "bounce" results for the ticket.  The Clint Eastwood empty chair fiasco is dominating press coverage.  Mitt did not mention the Afghanistan war, foreign policy, nor our troops.  According to all accounts, this was the first time since 1952 that a GOP nominee has not mentioned war or our troops in an acceptance speech.

At this point in the campaign, I like how my friend, Professor Laura Roselle, Distinguished Professor at Elon University and Visiting Professor at Duke puts the race (Laura was a student assistant to Condi Rice at Stanford where she got her PhD and was an early director of the Carter Center in Atlanta):  "This is what I see: under Bush 13 months of job losses - under Obama 27 months of job growth -- .... under Bush DOW 7000, now 13000
.... under Bush my retirement earnings had crashed, now recovered ..... under Bush auto industry crashing, under Obama back on their feet ... and let's not get into Osama bin Laden .... Sure we all want things to recover faster - Maybe if members of Congress - especially the Republicans -- had tried to work together rather than seeking only short term points, we would be further along what promises to be a long recovery. I don't think Americans are stupid - I think we all want things to be better sooner rather than later and we forget what an absolute disaster Obama inherited."

I do not see this as "blaming Bush."  I see this as intelligently reminding ourselves where we have been, and where we are.  The choice for me is simple: 'Do we continue to move forward with this administration, or do we go back to policies from which we are attempting to recover?'  Pretty easy choice for me.  We'll see how the Democratic Convention goes.  I look forward to being in Charlotte on Monday for the release of a Elon University Poll and a panel discussion at the Charlotte Observer building lead by friend John Robinson. 

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