Even before we know the final result(s), Lessons of Election 2012; Also, Politico: Romney nearly picked Christie for Veep
So here we are, under 24 hours before Election Day, the polls have most of the battleground states as tight as can be, and Florida already seems to be demonstrating its inherent inability to hold a flaw-free election.
I hosted a debate of the candidates for Delaware's Lieutenant Governor, Friday night. In some respects, I found this debate to be the most interesting of the bunch. I appreciate the candidates' willingness to go beyond the stump speeches.
Two stories to ponder this Election Eve from Politico:
The first, on the early lessons of Election 2012. (Note the reference to Mike Castle's defeat in 2010's G.O.P. Senate primary here in Delaware.)
The second, on how it was nearly a Romney--Christie ticket.
(Considering Governor Christie's embrace of President Obama in the wake of Sandy - and how some Republicans think Christie went overboard - this is indeed interesting!)
Meanwhile, Delaware's senior U.S. Senator Tom Carper now stands poised to set a Delaware record for the MOST statewide wins (in various offices). Celia Cohens' column in DELAWARE GRAPEVINE recalls all the times Carper has been the target of personal attacks...
I think all this stuff about Christie is overstated. Visiting states hit by natural disasters is something routine that all presidents do, and naturally the governor of such a state is going to put aside political differences with that president for that moment. As a radical right-wing, neocon, Bible-totin' evangelical, Tea-Party Republican, I don't see that Christie has treated Obama any more favorably than he would treat a Republican president in the same position, nor does it constitute an endorsement of Obama's re-election.
Sorry Allan, but this doesn't even pass as news for me.
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 7:30am
It may indeed be overstated except for three points:
(1). For whatever reason, the President got the "embrace" from the Republican, Governor Christie... NOT from New York's Democratic Governor Cuomo NOR from New York City's independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg (although Bloomberg ended up endorsing Mr. Obama, primarily on the global warming issue!)...
(2). I've talked to some national journalists with sources within the Romney campaign who think Christie went out of his way to embrace the President...
Incidentally, two schools of though have arisen on that point. One, that Governor Christie absolutely feels for his state; was personally affected by the devastation; and would embrace ANYONE who was helping the cause. And to the extent that there WAS a political calculation, it was that Christie could best help his party and himself by appearing to be above politics and partisanship during a time of devastation and suffering.
Or two, that Christie was pulling a thoroughly Machiavellian maneuver: Help himself, facing re-election in an odd election year in a still-Democratic majority state, by positioning himself above politics for New Jerseyans and connecting himself to President Obama; and, at some level, looking ahead to his OWN Presidential bid for 2016, undermining Governor Romney this time.
Perhaps, within the recesses of Governor Christie's mind - maybe not even clear to Christie himself, but only to God - ALL these considerations were swirling around to produce the Governor's emotional embrace of the President.
(3). If Governor Romney continued to enjoy a slight upward tick of momentum through late October (that is debatable), Romney's momentum absolutely stalled with Sandy... although that may have had more to do with the hurricane's devastation dominating national media coverage in that vital final full week before the election, than Governor Christie per se...
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 8:09am
I may be being a bit naive, but I believe that Governor Christie absolutely feels for his state; was personally affected by the devastation; and would embrace ANYONE who was helping the cause. Obama was doing what a President should do during such a situation like Sandy, and Christie needs those federal dollars to help get the state he's lived in his entire life, plus the state he's the Governor of, back to normal. So Gov. Christie is doing what he needs to do; this is beyond politics.
As a native Wilmingtonian, who's lived here my entire life other than the four years I served in the US Air Force during the Viet Nam War, I can easily relate to how Christie must feel. If I were the Governor, I'd be thankful and grateful to anyone who was able to help fix Delaware if our state had suffered as the Garden State did, even Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell, so yes I can totally understand Gov. Christie's actions and the GOP needs to get over itself; this is beyond and should be beyond politics; it's about helping hurting people, who have no heat, no food, no water, no gas, maybe have lost everything, etc., in the NJ/NYC metro get their lives back to normal. I'd like to believe that if this were to happen to Delaware and a President Romney came here, etc., as Obama did in NJ, that Gov. Markell would embrace Mr. Romney as a public sign of thanks for his help and that the DEMS wouldn't get all crazy about it.
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 11:10am
Forgive me if you've covered this in a previous post and I've just missed it. But as someone who does more political and current events research than any 5 people I know, do you have any thoughts or feedback about the 538 blog at the NY Times, which is currently saying Obama has about an 85% chance of re-election, despite all the claims that the race is too close to call? 538's formula is to basically ignore national polls, looking only at state polls. And they average and weight different polls to come up with their statistics. They believe that anyone who calls this race "too close to call" isn't fully in touch with the facts, or has an interest in stirring the pot right to the last minute. Yes, the popular vote results will be close. But looking at the electoral college math, Obama should easily reach the 270 threshold.
I stand to be corrected, but I think there are too many imponderables to call this election with such certainty.
One is whether Republican enthusiasm could top Democratic enthusiasm. Another is whether the Obama forces can produce the same - or better turn-out among younger voters, African-American & Hispanic voters. The hurricane devastation has introduced another imponderable in terms of the popular vote.
Then too I don't think we have a handle on how many would-be voters will be frustrated from voting.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 3:11pm
Here is an endorsement from the Jewish Press for Mitt Romney.
Is Putin already testing Russia's "flexibility" with the United States?
"A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine cruised within 200 miles of the East Coast recently in the latest sign Russia is continuing to flex its naval and aerial power against the United States, defense officials said."
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 8:46pm
I don't even think an embrace is that big of a deal. The Soviet dictators always embraced the U.S. president and gave a kiss on each cheek (remember the pictures of Brezhnev and Nixon?).
Yeah, I do think the Obama people used the NJ visit as part of a photo-op strategy, but with that said, I'm concerned that Republican strategists and talk show hosts have become too cocky and overconfident the last few days. I'm approaching the election of Romney with a "believe it when I see it" attitude while remaining mentally prepared for 4 more years of what Frank Gerace might call "unmentionable in polite society".
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 8:32am
My polling place was busy this morning at 7am, with a good turn out. So, hopefully this will be a solid victory for Romney rather than a razor thin one where the DEMS will be ranting that the GOP stole the election as I've been hearing from my DEM friends since 2000 with Bush Jr. vs Gore.
The same could and should be said in reverse, if Obama wins, let it be a solid win also, so we won't have to endure months of legal actions to determine who our President will be no matter which man wins.
As we here at Allan's blog, have all spent months here talking about it, today is the day to put those words into action. GO VOTE. It's the American thing to do, even if you vote for the "other guy". This is the day the PEOPLE get a say. In either case of who wins, the people's voice is heard today.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 8:34am
The Black Panthers are back again in Philly at polling places and now GOP poll workers have been blocked...why?
Don't forget, folks, you have 2 other choices. Don't like Barry and Mittens? Check out Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. Their chances of winning are exactly zero, but don't let that stop you if you like their positions better than the the DEMs and REPs. The only way we'll get out of the typical R/D gridlock is by finally realizing we have other choices.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 9:36am
I'm definitely for Mittens but am realistic enough to know Barry will carry Delaware.
Gary Johnson does have a decent platform (I like Romney's better) and I'm surprised someone like Teatime isn't voting Libertarian.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 10:12am
If one of you guys has access to Facebook (I don't at work) link that Black Panther story on FB to get the word out, so the "drive by media" (to use a Rush phrase) can't ignore it. They should not be allowed to get away with this again. It will be interesting to see if CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR or PBS, CNN report this.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 12:47pm
How busy were the polls for others here? Mine in the Pike Creek area had no lines at 11am but it was still pretty busy...one of the poll workers told me they had been rather busy earlier in the morning...and anticipate many more after work hours.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 12:58pm
Mike: I too am at work and can't do Facebook...here is yet another link/story about Philly and the forced removal of court-approved GOP monitors.
"Court-appointed Republican poll inspectors are being forcibly removed from voting stations in some Philadelphia wards and replaced in some cases by Democratic inspectors and even members of the Black Panthers, according to GOP officials."
It is a sad, indeed tragic, reflection of how partisan and petty our society has become: people who automatically take sides with a party, irrespective of whether that party is right or wrong. And, even worse, a castigation of people who speak out for what is right, in lieu of blindly backing a party line.
Case in point: Conservative Republican and Mitt Romney supporter Governor Chris Christie.
During a horrific tragedy which befell New Jersey, Governor Christie and New Jerseyans received help from President Obama. Obama provided all federal resources to help with the response, gave federal money to communities to rebuild, and he personally visited the storm victims to offer solace.
Governor Christie expressed a deep appreciation and acknowledged what a great job President Obama did in helping the people of New Jersey.
However, the right wing lunatics wanted to politicize this tragic storm. The right wingers were incensed that Christie thanked somebody from "the other party." The right wing said Christie should've flipped the bird, decline any federal assistance and say "Screw you, Mr. President, I'm not accepting your help because you're from the Democratic Party."
Very sad. Indeed, tragic.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 3:01pm
And, a final word before the polls close on Election Day 2012.
During the past 11 years, I have heard many people say and many signs state, "support our troops." Yes, it's a cliche. Many times, the words ring hollow and, sometimes, they echo hypocritically.
Mitt Romney would certainly say "support our troops" for political reasons to get himself elected. But what would be his actions if he had the power as President of the United States?
It's 100 percent clear from Romney's public statements, especially during the presidential debates, that he would start a war with Iran and perhaps some other nations as well. If he were empowered with the presidency, Mitt Romney would take actions that would lead many 18-year-old servicemen coming home to their parents in body bags. If Mitt Romney becomes president, it will mean many of troops will spend the rest of their lives without arms or legs.
When I arrived in the parking lot of my polling place today, I thought how much I support our troops and what an ordinary citizen like me can express my gratitude for all they have done in service of our country.
Then, I did something to support our troops. I walked inside the polling booth, pulled the curtain behind me and pressed an "X" next to the presidential candidate who will keep our troops safe, and ensure these 18-year-old men and women will be able to live long fulfilling lives and see their children and grandchildren grow up.
Today, I did something to support our troops. Did you?
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 3:36pm
Both EarlGrey and Teatime make valid points, yet the other doesn't acknowledge the valid point of the other.
Above EarlGrey has laid out with backup links the farse of DEMS/Black Panthers openly violating election laws with what seems to be impunity, Teatime blows it off, because he's voting DEM this time around.
On the other hand, Teatime tells of the GOP hypocracy in getting upset with Gov. Christie for thanking and saying Obama did a good job helping the people of NJ, EarlGrey ignores that.
How about both acknowledging the others good valid point. It makes your own individual stand look phony when you are willing to overlook the crap your particular party is doing while complaining about the other party's faults (kind of what Jesus said about seeing the splinter in the other guys eye while ignoring the log in your own eye).
This is one reason why I'm an Independent, because BOTH parties are corrupt, and phony. I went and voted for whom I believe will do the best job. You've all heard my rantings here, so I won't bore you all with more on why I voted as I did. But my point is, if either party wants to be taken seriously by those of us who are not marching in lock step with your particular party, then this crap needs to end. About 1/3 of the electorate nationally are Independents now, that ought to tell the DEMS and the GOP leadership something.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 3:56pm
Mike: I said in an earlier post I believe ANY president would have done exactly what Obama did (and I think he was right to do it). I have refrained from speaking about Mr. Christie's motives because I don't personally know what he was thinking during "the hug"... I think Christie would have hugged ANYONE who was going to help his state. I also think "the hug" picture was used as propaganda for Obama...and Christie was willing to be used if it helped his state of NJ. I can't count the number of Left-Wing sites I read that proclaimed "that picture" would save Obama and help him win in a landslide.
The reality has sunken in for the thousands still homeless and unable to find gas, food or water...big government doesn't work as well as smaller government, churches and communities working together.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 4:04pm
As to the GOP's hypocrisy...I agree they were being hypocrites and think both Obama and Christie did the right thing, I just think Christie did for the good of his state and Obama did it to get re-elected. It was a great PR photo one week before the election.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 4:37pm
@Earl: But there are those rose-colored glasses again! You're a conservative, so you automatically think the fellow conservative did it for the common good, while the liberal did it selfishly. If we had a Republican in office right now, and everything went EXACTLY the same way with Sandy and the presidential visit to NJ, would you be so quick to accuse said Republican president of doing it for a photo op? Of course not! You'd say it's all about helping his fellow Americans! So why the double standard? Why are you SO anti-Obama, that you immediately think anything and everything he does is for self-serving purposes?
Sure, Obama used the picture as a campaign photo op. But ANY president in a tight re-election battle would have done the EXACT same thing, regardless of the party. To believe otherwise is just... well, silly.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 7:19pm
Teatime: Yep. I did something to support our troops as well. I voted for Romney and everybody else Republican running for office in Maryland. I'm not going to be fooled by these traitors as you've been.
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 9:06pm
" If we had a Republican in office right now, and everything went EXACTLY the same way with Sandy and the presidential visit to NJ, would you be so quick to accuse said Republican president of doing it for a photo op?"~Shawn
Actually...yes I would accuse a Republican president, if the photo op was as obvious as this one. I know that ALL politicians need and use good photo ops to help their PR but sometimes it is so blatantly obvious (like this photo) that it should be called out as such.
As to Christie...yes I did give him the benefit of the doubt in this case (I do believe he truly cares for his state) but I am not actually a fan of his. I’m very happy that Romney picked Paul Ryan as his VP over Christie.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 10:57pm
EarlGrey: I agree that Gov. Christie would have hugged anyone that was going to help his state. You're correct, none of us know either Christie's or Obama's motives or thoughts, so in this kind of situation I just try to give them the benefit of the doubt, that they were doing it for the best reason, to help the people of NJ. Granted, any Prez in a tight race would use the photo in their campaign ads.
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