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Tags: Democratic National Convention

How About That 2016 Democratic Convention in Brooklyn?



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New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, having stood so closely to the anti-police protests that the city’s police forces no longer trust him, now is calling for all protests to be suspended until after the slain officers’ funerals.

Now that the mayor has played with fire and gotten burned, he’s making a request that almost certainly won’t be honored — after all, the protest movement rejects the police’s lawful authority, so they’re not just going to salute and obey the mayor — and that is, for obvious reasons, completely unenforceable.

Please, please, please, Democrats. Do as Bill de Blasio wishes and hold your 2016 National Convention in Brooklyn. Perhaps no politician better symbolizes the consequences of the Left’s shortsighted, shamelessly opportunistic thinking than the mayor.

The new face of Democrats.

For obvious reasons, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, are looking like much better options today.

Tags: New York City , Bill de Blasio , Police , Democratic National Convention

The Rice Withdrawal: The Best News for the GOP Since November



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Susan Rice’s decision to withdraw from consideration as secretary of state is the best news for Republicans since Election Day.

First, a quick reminder of why the Rice nomination mattered to Republicans: Opposition to Rice would have been garden-variety if not for Benghazi, which strikes many Republicans (and too few Americans as a whole) as a major scandal and a series of egregious, deadly misjudgments. Three major questions remain: why the requests for additional security were rejected in the weeks before the attack; precisely what actions were taken that night to rescue our staff in Benghazi; and why the explanations in the first days after the attack were erroneous.

The defense from Rice — I was only saying what I had been told by the intelligence community — doesn’t fly because the “error” aligned all too perfectly with the Obama campaign’s need at that moment: to dissuade the public from the notion that we had witnessed a major terror attack on September 11, and to assert that it was all the fault of some filmmaker who is now imprisoned by U.S. authorities on a probation violation.

Rice may have only been a minor player in the effort to insist that the events in Benghazi were not terrorism, but her role was sufficient to make any promotion to secretary of state an outrage. Her confirmation would be a brazen declaration that a U.S. official can lie to the public about life-and-death issues without consequence.

Now, indisputably, Benghazi has had a consequence for the administration. Not the consequence many on the right wanted, but at least the post-attack spin derailed the career ambitions of at least one participant.

An unexpected side effect of this decision is how much this turn of events is infuriating Obama’s allies. Both last night and today on Morning Joe, NBC News Andrea Mitchell reported, “A lot of Democrats are saying that the president did not show enough loyalty. A lot of women in the administration are very angry tonight, and I’m saying this at a very high level. Angry because they feel that she was not treated with respect, she was not given the support she needed and she was left to twist in the wind.”

Ruth Marcus, this morning (I’m quoting the print version; the online version is slightly different):

But, really, Mr. President, either nominate her or pick someone else — like, two weeks ago. Don’t leave her out there, fending for herself.

Thursday’s humiliating denouement fooled no one who has been around Washington for more than a minute and a half. If the president wanted Rice, her withdrawal never would have been accepted.

It never should have been allowed to come to this. On that score, Mr. President, I’ve got a problem with you.

Obama’s allies made two assumptions in recent weeks: First, that his victory in November would mean he would get what he wants in most ways in the coming years; second, that what they want is what he wants. Both of those assumptions were always destined to be disproven, but for liberals and fans of Rice, it’s like awakening to a bucket of cold water to see them disproven so soon.

There’s an argument that Republicans should be careful what they wish for, contending that Rice had a more hawkish outlook on foreign policy than John Kerry did. But the philosophical distance between the two figures is not that decisive, and in the end, the foreign policy will ultimately reflect the decision-making of President Obama — and he’ll make a lot of decisions Republicans will oppose and some they will support. (Of course, this discussion presumes there is still such a thing as a Republican foreign-policy consensus.)

Tags: Democratic National Convention , Barack Obama , GOP , John Kerry , Ron Barber

Romney Pollster: Ignore the ‘Sugar High’ of Democrat Convention



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The Romney campaign just distributed this open memo from the campaign’s in-house pollster, Neil Newhouse:

TO: Interested Parties

 FROM: Neil Newhouse, Romney for President Pollster

 RE: State of the Race

 DATE: September 10, 2012

Don’t get too worked up about the latest polling. While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly. ;The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama Presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race.

In his acceptance speech, President Obama did not ;offer any solutions for the millions of Americans unemployed or underemployed. But his convention speech was not the only big letdown to voters, as Americans also dealt with yet another dismal jobs report last week. President Obama is the only president in modern American history to stand before the American people asking for re-election with this many Americans struggling to find work. The key numbers in this election are the 43 straight months of 8% or higher unemployment, the 23 million Americans struggling to find work, and the 47 million Americans who are on food stamps.

Today, there is no question: Americans are not better off than we were four years ago, and that is why President Obama has struggled in this race. The truth is that some of President Obama’s allies are claiming victory, but others are acknowledging the unsustainable position in which they find themselves. This is evidenced in a recent quote in& The New York Times by an Obama Administration official saying, “It’s certainly not what I would call the position we wanted to be in at this point in the race . . . He’s going to have to make the case that we wouldn’t even be at 8 percent if it weren’t for him.”

Consider the following points:

The Obama Economy: ;The stakes are very high in this election, and voters understand the future of our country is on the line. This may be lost on those living within the hyper-political world in and around the Beltway, but it is not lost in communities in battleground states. In short, the Romney-Ryan campaign understands Americans struggling in the Obama economy will determine the outcome of the race, and once the preponderance of information about the President’s failed policies – combined with Mitt Romney’s vision to strengthen the middle class – are communicated, ;our nation will move in a different direction.

All Signs Point to a Tight Race: Those watching the daily tracking polls know that, while the President has seen a bounce from his convention, his approval has already begun to slip, indicating it is likely to recede further. In eight states, Pollster.com’s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts the margin between the two candidates at less than three points, virtually guaranteeing a tight race.Next, the battlefield has actually expanded, not contracted. Note that Wisconsin is now in play and our campaign is now up with ads in that state, while the latest poll numbers from the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico show the race closing there. And this tightening is not an anomaly. Consider the traditional Democratic strongholds of New Jersey and Connecticut, won by President Obama in 2008 by margins of 15 points and 22 points, respectively. In both states, Pollster.com’s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts Obama’s lead at only seven points in each of these states.

In North Carolina, fresh off of hosting the Democratic National Convention, the Obama campaign is laying the groundwork for a stealth withdrawal. In a state the President won by a mere 14,000 votes in 2008, all one has to do is look at the Obama campaign’s television buy in the state to understand how they view their chances there. The Obama campaign’s North Carolina television buy has dropped 35% compared to June, and they have ru more than twice as much advertising over the past two weeks in Rochester, Minnesota (hitting a small slice of Iowa), than they have in any North Carolina market.

Historical Data: Political campaign historians will recall President Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan by a near double digit margin late in the fall in 1980. In that race, the voters made their decision based on the key issues confronting the nation and it determined the outcome. On the economy, the most important issue of this race, Mitt Romney leads by 51%-45%, according to the most recent CNN/ORC poll.

Targeted Campaign: The Romney-Ryan campaign is running deeply local and targeted efforts in each of the states focusing on the voter groups that will make the difference on Election Day. Anyone asserting a “one-size-fits-all-campaign” effort is being put forward is simply misinformed, as evidenced by the 15 different ads released by the Romney Ryan campaign this past Friday and now running in nine states, including Wisconsin.

New Money Advantage: All of this is not possible without resources, and the Romney-Ryan campaign and the Republican Party have a real advantage. In August alone, the Romney Victory effort raised more than $111 million, marking the third straight fundraising month of more than $100 million, putting us on a very strong financial footing for the final two months.

Energy and Enthusiasm: CNN/ORC’s most recent polling shows that 62% of Republicans are “extremely” or “very” excited about this election, while only 56% of Democrats report being “extremely” or “very” excited. This Republican enthusiasm advantage has manifested itself in an unprecedented and historic grassroots effort that will have a significant impact on turnout in battleground states on Election Day. For instance, as of today, Victory volunteers have already knocked on more doors than during the entire 2008 campaign. (2.72 million in 2012 through September 8 compared to 2.43 million overall in 2008.)

Romney’s Ground Game: During last weekend’s “Super Saturday,” we crossed the 20 million volunteer voter contact threshold. Also, the Romney campaign knocked on more doors last week than in any week during the 2008 campaign. ;More than 55,000 volunteers have knocked doors or made phone calls for Victory this year and that number is growing by the week. And volunteers have collected person-to-person identification information on nearly 1.7 million swing voters in battleground states thus far. And the numbers are even more startling when one looks at individual states. For instance, in Ohio alone, five times more phone calls and 28 times more door knocks have been made than at this time in 2008. This past Saturday, more than 100,000 doors were knocked on by Victory volunteers in the Buckeye State. And in Wisconsin, five times more phone calls and 72 times more door knocks have been made than at this time in 2008. And the list goes on and on.

Mitt Romney will be the next President. The outcome of this race will ultimately be determined in favor of Governor Romney because he has the better leadership skills, the better record, and the better vision for where he wants to take the country. These advantages are being fueled by the commitment and determination of volunteers and voters to change direction and move our country on a path toward economic growth and job creation. In short, the combination of having the superior candidate, being in a margin-of-error race with an incumbent President, having a cash advantage, and having an unprecedented grassroots effort and a winning message on the economy ensure that Americans will make a change in leadership in Washington on November 6.

Tags: Barack Obama , Democratic National Convention , Mitt Romney

‘The Government Is the Only Thing We All Belong To’



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It was kind of the Democrats to begin their national convention with a statement that will be featured in Republican ads for weeks to come:
 

Isn’t . . . the nation itself, and our national identity, a better description of what binds us all? Aren’t the values described in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution a better summary of what we “belong” to, as opposed to “the government”? (Although I suppose one could argue that many, many Americans no longer feel any sense of belonging to “the values described in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.”)

A poorly written bit of narration for some standard-issue filler convention video? Or a revealing moment of their core philosophy?

If it is merely a poorly expressed comment, one that creates a false impression, it is rather amazing how often these things happen to the Democrats: “You didn’t build that.” “The private sector is doing fine.” “Our plan worked.”

Tags: Democratic National Convention

The Democrats’ Platform, Quiet About the Budget



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Looking over the Democratic party’s 2012 platform, I count 15 references to “budget.”  Almost all of them are references to the budget passed by House Republicans, or boasts of spending more money.

The first use of the word “budget” is thus: “The Republican budget plan would end Medicare as we know it.” Hey, look, it’s PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2011!

Then we read about the GOP’s plan to “balance the budget on the backs of the middle class”; their “lopsided budget”; the accusation that “Republicans in Congress have introduced a budget that would gut rural economic programs.” “We reject the Republican budget plan.”

Then we see a reference to “pay-as-you-go budget rules” — this would be the same pay-as-you-go budget rules that have been waived at least 26 times between 2007 and 2010.

Then there’s a reference to the citizens of Washington D.C.’s “right to have the law and budget of their local government respected without congressional interference.”

“When President Obama took office, forty eight states faced the prospect of budget deficits in the next fiscal year.” So they’re worried about state-government deficits, at least.

The word “budget” comes up in the context of pointing to where the administration has spent more money:

“President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have also sought to increase the budget for the Peace Corps.”

“Despite budgetary constraints, the President has worked with Congress to increase security assistance to Israel.”

“With his latest budget, the President is fulfilling his historic commitment to request $4 billion over three years for the Global Fund . . .”

By the way, why is it a historic commitment to request a lot of money? Wouldn’t the Global Fund and other efforts against AIDS prefer to see actual allocations of money?

“In our current fiscal environment, we must also make tough budgetary decisions across the board — and that includes within the defense budget. The Budget Control Act enacted by Congress last year, with the support of Republicans and Democrats alike, mandates reductions in federal spending, including defense spending.”

Naturally, the one area of government spending that Democrats can find to cut is at the Pentagon.

Tags: Democratic National Convention

The Hatch Act Isn’t Keeping Hillary From Charlotte



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Over at ABC News, they write that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not be speaking at this year’s convention because “federal statute and the State Department’s ethical guidelines prohibit Clinton from participating in political activities such as a party convention. Other cabinet secretaries, such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Attorney General Eric Holder, will also not be in Charlotte for the same reasons that will keep Clinton away.”

But several members of Obama’s cabinet are scheduled to speak in Charlotte: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Small Business Administration administrator Karen Mills, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

The U.S. State Department may have guidelines that prevent Clinton from speaking, but the Hatch Act permits it — as long as the cabinet member doesn’t use his current title. Thus, the above five cabinet members are referred to as “the honorable” on the official program. The rules:

When engaging in political activity (i.e., activity directed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group), such as speaking at a political campaign event, may a Cabinet secretary use the title “Secretary?”Answer: No. Hatch Act regulation states that an employee may not use his or her official title while participating in political activity. 5 C.F.R. § 734.302(b)(1). Accordingly, a Cabinet secretary may not use the official title “Secretary” when engaging in political activity, such as speaking at a political campaign event. However, a Cabinet secretary may use a general form of address, such as “The Honorable,” when engaging in political activity, as such address does not identify his or her position. 5 C.F.R. § 734.302, Example 1.

The fun question will be if anyone forgets and introduces the cabinet figures by referring to them as “Secretary.”

Tags: Democratic National Convention , Hillary Clinton

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