South Carolina's glitzy governor must be so pleased with her high jobless rating that she's now wanting to dampen the Democratic National Convention by participating in a GOP knock-off convention.
Sure, Democrats had some spokespeople wandering around Tampa, Fla. But Republicans plan to bracket Democrats? Charlotte, N.C., convention with an unprecedented counter-convention right outside the gates of the Time Warner Cable Arena, where Democrats will gather after Labor Day.
As many as 50 ?communicators? will travel straight from the Republican convention, which wrapped up Tuesday in Tampa, up to Charlotte, where Democrats kick off their convention in earnest on Tuesday, according to a plan provided to ABC News.
Primetime speakers from the Republican event who will travel up to Charlotte include RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and Govs. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma. They?ll hone in on a theme ? ?Obama Isn?t Working? ? and offer rapid response, daily videos to counter the Democrats? message.
This summer has been the cat summer for us. Sushi had to be treated for his hyper-thyroid before our summer vacation and our cat girl (Nasdaq) had surgery just after our vacation. She's now recovering but has the dreaded collar, not to mention bandages on her neck and back.We have a checkup with the vet later today to see how the healing process is going but she really dislikes the collar and...
Poor George [Bush], he can't help it.
He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.
Born September 1, 1933
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I'd like to be able to sing "my bags are packed and I'm ready to go", but my bags are NOT packed and I'm NOT yet ready to go, but I do have my list, and I will be on the road to Charlotte Sunday morning. Here are the coverage logistics:
Twitter: Back in 2008, I live tweeted election day. I think there were something like 11 followers. Now, between the official DCW feed, Oreo's feed and my two feeds, we're close to 2,000 followers. Twitter itself has changed: its much easier now to tag, link and post photos. If you don't follow the DCW feed, please add it, as all tweets will come via that feed. It will also be the best place to see photos. I'll be traveling with an iPhone and an iPad, and neither makes it easy to get photos to the blog, but incredibly simple to directly tweet photos. So if you want to see photos of the trip down, that first shot of my media credential, immediate photos of the people I meet, add the DCW twitter feed. For you techies, this is my big experiment of traveling without a laptop to see if it IS possible to live exclusively on an iPad on the road!
DCW Blog Posts: I plan to blog as often as possible. That requires WiFi, and while there appear to be a lot of places with WiFi available, it's not possible to be there all the time, so expect intermittent posts, in groups.
Facebook: I'll be posting to the DemConWatch Facebook Feed. If you currently follow my personal FB feed, there will be a daily note there redirecting you to that feed.
Want to meet me? I want to meet you too. Commenter tsal is a delegate, and we're planning on finding one another in Charlotte. Four years of comments back and forth, and finally, we've exchanged real names! A number of DCW lurkers will be in attendance, and I'm planning on hooking up with all of you who've contacted me also. Going to Charlotte? Drop me a line with your handle, name and cell phone and we'll find a time and place!
Want to see me? Morning Joe will be broadcasting live, and I'm planning on being in the audience on Tuesday. Details to follow.
Matt and Oreo will be posting from their respective home bases. They'll make sure that you have the live feed of the convention itself and everything else they find important!
Local (PA) Press Coverage: If you live in the Philadelphia area and read the Daily Local, they are linking to DCW from their main page starting Sunday night.
What I'm looking forward to: it's a long list, but topping the list is breakfast with Madeleine Albright (and like a hundred other people), the NJDC panel discussion, the DNC Women's Caucus meeting and the DNC Senior Council meeting. I also have some surprises planned for you! Above all, I'm looking forward to that first moment in the convention center, Monday morning. I expect to have the awe of a young child.
I've written more times than I can count about the importance of the party platforms. The platforms (despite the fact that I'm not convinced anyone reads all of them, except yours truly) define a party: what it stands for, where it's going. Being in Charlotte is being "amoungst my people" for whom our platform is written. A chance to celebrate that ours is the party of the people, by the people, and for the people. I look forward to being on the ground as my party shows the world who we are, and how we differ from the party of racist old white guys and their concubines.
Tampa showed the world the worst of America: the über rich partying as the Gulf flooded, again. A wizened and seemingly senile Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair. Who but the senile would show such utter disrespect for the office of the President of the United States? A place where token blacks were on the stage, but nowhere to be found in the audience. A litany of speakers who spoke about themselves, and told voluminous lies, but couldn't find a way to speak kindly of their candidate, except as a passing line at the end. The candidate's wife who dissed all women who were not mothers.
Charlotte, I'm sure, will show the world the best of America: a love of all the people, a party committed to moving forward, and the party that kept America from falling into an insurmountable abyss in the face of a GOP dedicated to stopping all efforts. People committed to the ideal that education, health care, the environment and actual science matter more than moving our country back a couple centuries. There will be bbq and craft beer in lieu of truffles and pâté. Funky hats and buttons in lieu of designer duds. Real people instead of mannequins. You know.
And so I'm off. I'll be celebrating a birthday in Charlotte. I generally never celebrate, and I never want anything. Except this year, I want three things. The first is to be in Charlotte to get a year older. (Check!) The second is my 23,000 project. I'm asking everyone I know to get me five committed voters this year, and to ask their five to each get five committed voters. And so on until hitting the magic number of 23,000. I'm up to 900+, but there are still two months to fulfill my wish, and it's on track. And finally, and I don't know about this one - if Keith Olbermann is in Charlotte, I want to find him and shake his hand!
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Amid all the hoopla of the Republican Convention there were a couple of people who played a rather large role in Republican politics in the last few years, but were totally ignored at the convention -- by the delegates and by all of the convention speakers. They are Michael Steele and George W. Bush. The party would like to just put both men in the closet and act like they don't exist -- at least until after the election.
George Bush said he had been invited to the convention, but declined to go. If you believe that, I've got some ocean-front property here in Amarillo that I'll sell you real cheap. George Bush presided over the worst recession this country has experienced since the Great Depression, and his "trickle-down" economic policies were the primary cause of that recession. The American people still blame Bush more than anyone else (including Obama) for the continuing economic mess in this country.
The Republicans are still trying to blame President Obama for the poor economy (even though they have blocked nearly all of his efforts to improve the economy). The last thing they needed at the convention was a reminder that they are still following the failed trickle-down economic theory that threw this country into a jobless recession -- and that's just what Bush showing up at the convention would have done. Romney is trying to sell that policy (deregulation of Wall Street & corporations and massive tax breaks for the rich) again to the voters, and he didn't need Bush reminding voters what happened the last time that policy was pursued.
But it was just Bush's absence (obviously requested) at the convention. Except for one fleeting reference to the "Bush administration" by Condi Rice and a sad attempt by Jeb Bush to rehabilitate his brother's image, none of the convention speakers even mentioned Mr. Bush. The impression that was left was that the last Republican president was Ronald Reagan -- and I think that's exactly the impression Romney and his Republican cohorts wanted.
The other unmentionable was Michael Steele, who was neither seen nor heard from or about in the entire convention. Steele was chosen as the token head of the Republican National Committee in an ill-fated attempt to convince voters (especially minorities) that the Republicans were a "big tent" party that welcomed them. That failed miserably, mainly because the policies of the party were clearly anti-minority. In addition, Steele's tenure tended to anger and alienate the racist teabagger base of the party.
It was part of the reason the teabagger movement turned against the established leaders of the party. And no one wanted a reminder of him at their convention. In fact, Steele told Jon Stewart that he had not been given any convention credentials, and in fact, had not been invited to the convention -- a clear slap in the face for the last party chairman.
There was a third entity barely mentioned at the Republican Convention -- the "tea party". Some of the media seemed to think this meant the party was turning its back on the teabaggers, and they were losing support in the party. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are the party. The teabaggers now control the Republican Party. All you have to do is look at the list of speakers to know that (like Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Newt Gingrich, Janine Turner, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Paul Ryan, etc.).
The truth is that the teabaggers and the Republican Party are no longer separate entities. The teabaggers make up the largest part of the party's base (and congressional delegation). To speak of the teabaggers as though they were a separate element would be to deny reality, and would really be a moot point They are the face of the Republican Party.
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Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.
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A couple of months ago the talk about Willard Mitt Romney (aka Wall Street Willie) was that once he had the nomination, he would start to move toward the center to appeal to a larger group of voters (beyond his white teabagger base). There was even an image brought forth by one of his campaign gurus -- the etch-a-sketch. It was thought that Romney would give his campaign a "shake", and then begin to draw a different (and more inclusive) picture of his views and positions.
I have always thought that was a dangerous strategy for a couple of reasons. In this computer age, it's much harder to instantly change a candidate's image since all of his stances took during the primary can instantly be recalled and used to make him look like a flip-flopper (an image that already dogs Romney too much). Second, his base voters still don't completely trust Romney, and a move to the center could cost him as many votes as it would gain (if it gained any to begin with).
It now looks like Romney and his campaign managers have now realized that "move to the center" strategy won't work. They are casting their hopes in a new direction -- appeal only to whites and get the base out in droves. It started with the choice of Paul Ryan to be the vice-presidential candidate. There's simply no way to move to the center with Ryan in tow. If anything, Ryan drags Romney even further to the right.
The idea now is that with a very good GOTV effort and their subliminal appeals on race (like their attacks on welfare), they can get enough white voters to the polls (and win enough of the white vote) to out vote Obama's very large appeal among minorities. Of course, this assumes that most whites will abandon the president and the Republican teabagger base will show up and vote for Romney. Neither of those is a certainty, but it looks like that's what they are now counting on.
In a recent post, Nate Silver (a very well-respected poll analyst) also thinks this is now the Romney strategy. And he wonders if it can be successful. Here is some of what he has to say on his own blog, FiveThirtyEight:
The argument for a base strategy is something like this: there are very few undecided voters left, and hardly anything has moved the polls. With the election being so close, the contest will come down to turnout. So get your voters as motivated as possible.
A risk for Mr. Romney, however, is that even with a favorable turnout, the Republican coalition may have become slightly too narrow for him to win, given that the party is struggling with Hispanics and other minority voters. . .
Mr. Obama?s share of the white vote will probably not be as strong this year as it was in 2008 (when it wasn?t all that strong to begin with). There is also evidence that the Republican base is more motivated to vote than the Democratic one.
So suppose that the turnout demographics this year look like 2004, when 77 percent of the electorate was white. Furthermore, suppose that Mr. Romney receives the same proportion of the white vote that George W. Bush did in 2004.
However, we?ll assume that Mr. Obama does retain one advantage from 2008. Although fewer minorities turn out, those that do vote for him in the same proportions as 2008, meaning that he gets about 95 percent of the African-American vote, and about two-thirds of the vote from Hispanics, Asians and other racial minorities.
These assumptions yield a very close election ? but Mr. Obama wins the popular vote. Specifically, he wins it by about 1.7 percentage points.
Interestingly, that is almost exactly the margin by which Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney among surveys of likely voters right now. . .
Turning out your base may not be a sufficient strategy if your base has become too narrow. In 2004, Mr. Bush had an excellent base turnout ? but he also captured about 40 percent or 45 percent of the Hispanic vote, a share that Mr. Romney is unlikely to reach. Without that relatively strong performance among Hispanics, the election would have been a tossup.
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Political Cartoon is by Bill Day at caglecartoons.com.
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