No, really, it’s too early for DOOM.
30% chance of rain and 100% chance of 40,000 empty seats force Obama to move his speech to arena.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) September 5, 2012
IT IS TOO EARLY FOR DOOM. We can still lose.
This is one of the more amusing factoids that you’re going to read this morning: “According to a BuzzFeed analysis of campaign finance data, 88% of the people who gave $200 or more in 2008 — 537,806 people — have not yet given that sum this year. And this drop-off isn’t simply an artifact of timing. A full 87% of the people who gave $200 — the sum that triggers an itemized report to the Federal Elections Commission — through April of 2008, 182,078 people, had not contributed by the end of last month. It’s a factoid that is subject to some interpretation, of course. Certainly the Obama for America campaign is in full-fledged meltdown/spin mode on the subject; they’re pointing out that those people could be contributing less than $200*. Which could very well be true.
It’s also true that most of these people will end up pulling the lever for the Democrats in November, too: roughly 45% of the vote will go to Obama even if a dinosaur-killer asteroid hits the earth between now and Election Day**. So the goal here is probably not to get these folks to see the light in that regard… and, honestly, it’s not their voting habits that we want to change; it’s their contribution habits – because changing those will probably also change their phone banking/door knocking/letter writing habits. Remember, every dime that Barack Obama has to spend on paying people to canvass for him is one less dime that he can’t spend aggressively. (more…)
If I’m not actually outraged at this exhibition of amazingly bad judgement – and, not to mention, taste – by Florida Democrats:
…it’s because amazement and entertained scorn have already taken up all the available emotional space in my head. Somebody in general thought that it was a good idea to take an American flag and replace the stars with Obama’s head. Somebody in the Lake County, Florida Democratic party thought that it was a good idea to put up that flag at their headquarters. And, of course, someb – no, wait, we have a name for this one – Lake County Democratic party chair Nancy Hurlburt thought that it was a good idea to actually argue with a bunch of ticked-off military veterans who stopped by to complain. (more…)
There’s a lot of damned nonsense even in the portion of the interview that I watched before the eye-rolling got too bad – Cornell West was in it and not being constantly mocked, to give you an idea of how non-serious the whole thing was – but Tavis Smiley did in fact raise one interesting point:
“This White House,” Smiley observes, “more than any in recent memory to me at least, this White House does not like being critiqued. They don’t like being criticized. They’re very temperamental about this. Especially from black folks.”
No! Really? Sorry about the sarcasm, there – but the truth of the matter is that the current President of the United States has never had to learn how to handle either critiquing or criticism; and he’s surrounded himself with people who don’t know how to do it for him, either. So of course he and they are bad at either. (more…)
…just for the novelty value.
Let me note, in passing: thank GOD that I don’t have the job of trying to convince the American people that this current administration couldn’t have been replaced with a rapidly oxidizing cast-iron skillet and the country still would have been better off overall. That’s a job that would almost demand heavy alcohol consumption in order to stay sane – and I’m not twenty-three anymore; my liver wouldn’t hold up under the strain.
The background: Politico did an article on how Democrats across the land who have tough battles ahead in 2012 are kind of… avoiding… the President these days. The quote below comes right after the article in question noted that most sitting North Carolina Democrats were distinctly unwilling to get within camera range of Barack Obama:
“[Obama] may end up being Walter Mondale of 1984,” said Raleigh-based Democratic strategist Brad Crone, recalling how the only elected official who risked being seen with the party’s nominee that year was the longtime agriculture commissioner.
Man. Those ag commissioners are afraid of nothing, huh? Must be all that contact with genetically engineered food. No, really: I hear that the latest generation of GM corn has taken to carrying around switchblades and hassling the rutabagas. (more…)
Alternate title: The Silence of the Unicorns.
Politico wrote an entertaining enough article on the way that Obama’s 2008 bundlers aren’t going to be Obama’s 2012 bundlers, for various and sundry reasons (including a certain disillusionment with the President); but they made one big howler in the third paragraph: “Campaign officials deny that there’s any “enthusiasm gap,” and indeed the new operation appears to be on track to raise as much money as Obama did in his record-setting 2008 campaign.” If you click the link, it’s to an older Politico article that gives a number of $86 million for Obama’s second quarter fundraising. Jim Geraghty goes off on this being representative of the President being on track: if trends continue Jim calculates that “[Obama] will raise $602 million, significantly less than the $750 million he raised in the 2008 cycle.”
But even that’s not true. The real number – the one that you have to use if you want to compare it to the $750 million total from the 2008 election cycle – was more around 47 million (the rest represents the DNC). Punch those numbers in (and assume equal distribution*) and Obama is currently looking at a $375 million dollar haul. That number will change – if for no other reason than the President’s total-to-date reflects a later absolute starting date this cycle, compared to the last cycle**8 – but for right now he’s in the hole.
*A counter-argument at this point is that the President is going to replicate the flow of his fundraising – which is to say: 14% of his total will occur in the first year, and the remainder in the second. With that metric: if it happens, then he is barely going to come within spitting distance of $750 million (note that Politico would then be correct by accident, given that they’re conflating DNC money with OfA money in their original post). To which I laconically reply: if.
**While simultaneously being an extremely early starting date for an incumbent. Welcome to politics: here’s your accordion.
My post Saturday on the obama as a unit of measurement (found here and here) had a bad math error that rather drastically overstated the amount of hypocrisy typically shown by Democrats about big contributor money when Obama is compared to Tim Pawlenty (they’re only being 588x as hypocritical, not 10,000x) . This was brought to my attention, and the data has been since corrected.
My apologies for any inconvenience.
…to a – sorry, words are failing me. Jim Geraghty:
At the president’s news conference, ABC News’ Jake Tapper just asked Obama if he was willing to make cuts to this year’s budget, as a “down payment” on future budget cuts.
Obama says he wants to work with Republicans, but that he doesn’t want to make “a series of symbolic cuts this year that endanger the recovery.” He talks about the danger of “tens of thousands of layoffs in state and local government” or poor performance in the “core functions” of the government.
“Let’s use a scalpel, not a machete,” Obama says.
…Destroyer of Worlds.
Via Drudge, which unaccountably fails to point out that Newsweek has casually declared the President to be in the process of destroying the universe itself. This is undoubtedly the harshest criticism of Obama that I have seen all year, even inadvertently*.
Meanwhile, while looking for more on this topic, I came across this:
Wow. I’m going to have to start reading The Cat in the Hat to my kid, again. Who knew that it was an allegory for Nataraja?… and if the rest of the world did already know that, please make sure that I get those memos in the future, OK?
*Judging from the cover, the article associated with it will apparently try to argue that the job of the Presidency is too big for one man; which is of course the standard excuse that Democrats use when one of its Presidents has come down with a case of raging incompetence.