It’s the likability, stupid

The economy is in the toilet, unemployment is over 8%, our foreign policy is a mess, and President Obama’s approval ratings are dismal.  And yet, polls show him still running neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney, if not a little bit ahead.  How can that be?

You might recall my theory–articulated, for example,  here, in which I predict an Obama victory– that in our postmodern times the majority of the American people vote for a candidate not primarily because of ideology, policy ideas, nor issues of any kind.  Such appeals to objectivity and even to pragmatism are the stuff of modernism.  In a postmodern democracy, the main factor is which candidate voters “like” the best.   That is, the candidate voters consider to have the most pleasant personality.

Consider the winners over the last few decades:  Obama vs. McCain; Bush II vs. Kerry; Bush II vs. Gore; Clinton vs. Dole; Clinton vs. Bush I; Bush I vs. Dukakis; Reagan vs. Mondale; Reagan vs. Carter.  Doesn’t my theory hold?  Now before that, the theory doesn’t apply, since in those modernist days Carter could beat the more likeable Ford, and Nixon could beat the more likable McGovern and Humphrey.  Of course, not everyone agrees in whom they like, but this also explains the antipathies that also are factors in elections:  Lots of people just cannot stand George W. Bush, a visceral feeling that goes far beyond rational assessment, associated with feelings about privileged rich kids, frat-boys, and smug right-wing Texans.   Obama’s cerebral, detached, professorial personality makes some people dislike him while making others like him.

My theory in the past has been somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but now there is actually data to support it!  From Karen Tumulty, writing in the Washington Post:

If you believe the polls, it would appear there is one big factor standing in the way of Mitt Romney being elected president: Americans don’t like him as well as they do Barack Obama.

That was confirmed again in a new USA Today-Gallup survey in which respondents gave Romney higher marks on the economic issues, which voters say they care most about this year. But President Obama crushed Romney — 60 percent to 30 percent — on the question of which of the two was more likable.

In April, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found an even larger gap, with 64 percent of those surveyed describing Obama as the friendlier, more likable candidate, and only 26 percent saying that about Romney. . . .

In every presidential election for the past two decades, the candidate viewed as more likable was the one who won.

via Romney’s problem: Americans don’t like him as much as Obama, polls say – The Washington Post.

Romney is just hopeless when it comes to social graces.  He goes to England for the Olympics and instead of the glad-handing pleasantries that are called for on such an occasion insults his hosts by worrying about security and labor problems and wondering if the country is ready to put on the show.  Never mind that the British people have been expressing the same concerns, but this is just a social awkwardness that Romney keeps showing.

It has become campaign dogma that “It’s the economy, stupid,” and there is evidence that economic conditions are the major factor in the elections, above.  I hope that’s the case, that the American people will look to objective considerations of some kind, but I wonder if they will.  Then again, the likability of Obama as compared to Romney might be a close call.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Rose

    Likeability trumps competence because women are often more concerned with relationships than principles:
    From www. churchformen.com/how-were-off-the-mark/does-a-lack-of-men-lead-to-liberalism
    “Women tend to be more politically liberal than men. They are more likely to vote Democratic and to support government programs to help the poor. …
    But there’s a second more subtle reason female-led churches will always move to the left. It has to do with a fundamental difference in the way the sexes see the world. Men tend to put rules first; women tend to put relationships first.
    When a group of men is grappling with a dilemma, their first question is, “What do the rules say?” But a group of women will ask, “How will this decision affect our relationships?”

  • Rose

    Likeability trumps competence because women are often more concerned with relationships than principles:
    From www. churchformen.com/how-were-off-the-mark/does-a-lack-of-men-lead-to-liberalism
    “Women tend to be more politically liberal than men. They are more likely to vote Democratic and to support government programs to help the poor. …
    But there’s a second more subtle reason female-led churches will always move to the left. It has to do with a fundamental difference in the way the sexes see the world. Men tend to put rules first; women tend to put relationships first.
    When a group of men is grappling with a dilemma, their first question is, “What do the rules say?” But a group of women will ask, “How will this decision affect our relationships?”

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    An old Baptist pastor once said that “People get the kind of government they deserve.” I’m afraid he’s right.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    An old Baptist pastor once said that “People get the kind of government they deserve.” I’m afraid he’s right.

  • Ray

    Or it could be that Romney, a centrist technocrat, is about as inspiring as Bob Dole.

  • Ray

    Or it could be that Romney, a centrist technocrat, is about as inspiring as Bob Dole.

  • Tom Hering

    He goes to England for the Olympics and instead of the glad-handing pleasantries that are called for on such an occasion …

    And he messes up any future role as Middle East peacemaker by going to Israel and saying the Palestinians are culturally incapable of matching Israel’s economic success. Never mind all the restrictions Israel imposes on the daily life of Palestinians.

    Poland is next. It won’t be easy for Romney to top Obama’s “Polish death camp” comment, but at this point, I have every confidence he’ll manage to do it.

  • Tom Hering

    He goes to England for the Olympics and instead of the glad-handing pleasantries that are called for on such an occasion …

    And he messes up any future role as Middle East peacemaker by going to Israel and saying the Palestinians are culturally incapable of matching Israel’s economic success. Never mind all the restrictions Israel imposes on the daily life of Palestinians.

    Poland is next. It won’t be easy for Romney to top Obama’s “Polish death camp” comment, but at this point, I have every confidence he’ll manage to do it.

  • Random Lutheran

    And here’s the funny part: even knowing this to be true (the Republicans know their poll numbers well) they still run quite unlikable candidates against an otherwise fairly unlikable, and somewhat of a cold fish Democrat but, then again, the Dems did this for years: Mondale? Dukakis? Gore? Kerry?). The President has been extremely fortunate to have run against first a neutered and toeing-the-party-line McCain (had he been able to run as himself, things might have been much different), and now against the Alpha Nerd Romney.

  • Random Lutheran

    And here’s the funny part: even knowing this to be true (the Republicans know their poll numbers well) they still run quite unlikable candidates against an otherwise fairly unlikable, and somewhat of a cold fish Democrat but, then again, the Dems did this for years: Mondale? Dukakis? Gore? Kerry?). The President has been extremely fortunate to have run against first a neutered and toeing-the-party-line McCain (had he been able to run as himself, things might have been much different), and now against the Alpha Nerd Romney.

  • Joe

    I’m sot sure when it started (Obama did it, did others before him?) but I hate this trend of candidates taking overseas trips. Nothing good comes from it.

  • Joe

    I’m sot sure when it started (Obama did it, did others before him?) but I hate this trend of candidates taking overseas trips. Nothing good comes from it.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Rl @ 7: “Alpha Nerd”. Now that is funny.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Rl @ 7: “Alpha Nerd”. Now that is funny.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 6, I suppose it started when campaigns got really expensive. Romney wasn’t in London just to prove his qualifications by showing how well he can perform on the international stage (not too well it seems), but to attend two fundraisers. He raised $1 million in Israel.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 6, I suppose it started when campaigns got really expensive. Romney wasn’t in London just to prove his qualifications by showing how well he can perform on the international stage (not too well it seems), but to attend two fundraisers. He raised $1 million in Israel.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Americas’s union controlled, leftist public school system, and American leftist media (for the most part), have painted Republicans as mean and greedy and Democrats as wonderful, caring people.

    Is it any wonder that they are neck and neck?

    Anyone with a ‘D’ next to their name has a shot at winning.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Americas’s union controlled, leftist public school system, and American leftist media (for the most part), have painted Republicans as mean and greedy and Democrats as wonderful, caring people.

    Is it any wonder that they are neck and neck?

    Anyone with a ‘D’ next to their name has a shot at winning.

  • David M

    I’m curious: What about Obama is likeable? I understand what made Clinton likeable, as well as George W. But Obama seems just as much a wet fish as Romney to me. If I were out for an afternoon with them, I would expect Romeny to be boring and tell bad jokes while Obama would talk about himself alot and be preachy. Neither one seems very likeable.

  • David M

    I’m curious: What about Obama is likeable? I understand what made Clinton likeable, as well as George W. But Obama seems just as much a wet fish as Romney to me. If I were out for an afternoon with them, I would expect Romeny to be boring and tell bad jokes while Obama would talk about himself alot and be preachy. Neither one seems very likeable.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    This is how I see it. When a guy has to spend as much money as Romney did to beat out other republican candidates, who were perhaps not very likeable themselves, then that man has little chance of going against Obama.
    Now the thing is Obama’s likeability has fallen considereably since he became president. He is more known these days. Some how the great orator, can’t put a speech together any more either. He is almost worse than George Bush II these days. And I think people are starting to see him as an elitist idiot, more than a likeable guy who gives great speeches. Yet, he still has not fallen in likeabilty so far as to be at the point where Romney is starting.
    But even likeability aside. I’m not sure either one will be any better than the other in office.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    This is how I see it. When a guy has to spend as much money as Romney did to beat out other republican candidates, who were perhaps not very likeable themselves, then that man has little chance of going against Obama.
    Now the thing is Obama’s likeability has fallen considereably since he became president. He is more known these days. Some how the great orator, can’t put a speech together any more either. He is almost worse than George Bush II these days. And I think people are starting to see him as an elitist idiot, more than a likeable guy who gives great speeches. Yet, he still has not fallen in likeabilty so far as to be at the point where Romney is starting.
    But even likeability aside. I’m not sure either one will be any better than the other in office.

  • helen

    Joe July 30, 2012 at 9:18 am
    I’m sot sure when it started (Obama did it, did others before him?) but I hate this trend of candidates taking overseas trips. Nothing good comes from it.

    Amen!

    But when people take their money overseas, the top politicians go to get some of it back. [So do Congressmen...later, on junkets during recess.]
    So Israel gave Romney a million! We the taxpayers have given Israel multibillions every year. They continue to foment trouble, steal land, and bribe our politicians to keep the money flowing.
    Who profits!?

    [Someone will have to explain to me why Poland is a campaign stop.]

  • helen

    Joe July 30, 2012 at 9:18 am
    I’m sot sure when it started (Obama did it, did others before him?) but I hate this trend of candidates taking overseas trips. Nothing good comes from it.

    Amen!

    But when people take their money overseas, the top politicians go to get some of it back. [So do Congressmen...later, on junkets during recess.]
    So Israel gave Romney a million! We the taxpayers have given Israel multibillions every year. They continue to foment trouble, steal land, and bribe our politicians to keep the money flowing.
    Who profits!?

    [Someone will have to explain to me why Poland is a campaign stop.]

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    There is something to be said for Obama’s likeability–quite frankly, I never have liked him. Maybe because I’m reading what he says instead of seeing it on TV, I tend to see through him better than the rest of the country?

    But personally, I like Romney better after his Olympics “gaffe.” He is, after all, the guy who rescued Salt Lake City’s Olympics, and thank God somebody is noting that the most over budget Olympics in history is in trouble.

    (and Mitt’s not the only one saying this)

    We need people who will say unpopular truths, I think. I like that.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    There is something to be said for Obama’s likeability–quite frankly, I never have liked him. Maybe because I’m reading what he says instead of seeing it on TV, I tend to see through him better than the rest of the country?

    But personally, I like Romney better after his Olympics “gaffe.” He is, after all, the guy who rescued Salt Lake City’s Olympics, and thank God somebody is noting that the most over budget Olympics in history is in trouble.

    (and Mitt’s not the only one saying this)

    We need people who will say unpopular truths, I think. I like that.

  • helen

    We’ve got a great choice:
    Do you want a President taking his cues from Tel Aviv (not Jerusalem, sorry, Mitt!)
    Or from Planned Parenthood? (which, if you look behind the curtain, is a distinction without much of a difference!)

    The age range differs, but, either way, people are going to get killed.

  • helen

    We’ve got a great choice:
    Do you want a President taking his cues from Tel Aviv (not Jerusalem, sorry, Mitt!)
    Or from Planned Parenthood? (which, if you look behind the curtain, is a distinction without much of a difference!)

    The age range differs, but, either way, people are going to get killed.

  • Tom Hering

    He is, after all, the guy who rescued Salt Lake City’s Olympics …

    Was it the mayor of London who quipped it’s just a teensy bit harder to organize the Olympics in one of the world’s greatest cities than it is in some American backwater? :-D

  • Tom Hering

    He is, after all, the guy who rescued Salt Lake City’s Olympics …

    Was it the mayor of London who quipped it’s just a teensy bit harder to organize the Olympics in one of the world’s greatest cities than it is in some American backwater? :-D

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Salt Lake a backwater?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Salt Lake a backwater?

  • Tom Hering

    Someone will have to explain to me why Poland is a campaign stop. (helen @ 12)

    The two-day trip is intended to remind everyone of “U.S. support of Poland as a captive nation during the Cold War,” as well as President Ronald Reagan’s support of the Solidarity movement in the 1980s that helped end communist rule, Romney foreign policy adviser Ian Brzezinski, a deputy assistant defense secretary under former President George W. Bush, told McClatchy Newspapers. (UPI)

    So it’s likely he’ll say something that offends the Russians, rather than the Poles. We have a bright foreign relations future ahead of us if the man wins the White House in November. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Someone will have to explain to me why Poland is a campaign stop. (helen @ 12)

    The two-day trip is intended to remind everyone of “U.S. support of Poland as a captive nation during the Cold War,” as well as President Ronald Reagan’s support of the Solidarity movement in the 1980s that helped end communist rule, Romney foreign policy adviser Ian Brzezinski, a deputy assistant defense secretary under former President George W. Bush, told McClatchy Newspapers. (UPI)

    So it’s likely he’ll say something that offends the Russians, rather than the Poles. We have a bright foreign relations future ahead of us if the man wins the White House in November. :-D

  • kerner

    Bror:
    To the mayor of London, the entire North American continent is probably a backwater.

  • kerner

    Bror:
    To the mayor of London, the entire North American continent is probably a backwater.

  • Ray

    I’m still waiting for someone to explaing to me where Romney was wrong in his Olympics comments.

  • Ray

    I’m still waiting for someone to explaing to me where Romney was wrong in his Olympics comments.

  • Tom Hering

    The point, Ray, concerns Romney’s ability to be diplomatic, and maintain good foreign relations. Not whether he’s right or wrong.

  • Tom Hering

    The point, Ray, concerns Romney’s ability to be diplomatic, and maintain good foreign relations. Not whether he’s right or wrong.

  • Joe

    The trip to Poland is to remind us that the US and Poland negotiated and signed a treaty for the US to base components of the anti-missile defense shield in Poland. Poland took a big risk by agreeing to work with us in that project — it gets the vast majority of its natural gas from Russia. This was supposed to be a huge step forward of bringing Poland out of the Russian sphere of influence and into Western Europe. Obama unilaterally cancelled the plans to put the missile defense shield components in Poland. And, in doing so left Poland’s leaders in a bad spot, they had sold the plan on the idea that they were risking their trade relations with Russia because it was the dawning of a new and better friendship with the US. I am sure that Mitt will assure the Poles that he will be their friend (and that he knows the concentration camps that were physically located in Poland were run by the Nazis).

  • Joe

    The trip to Poland is to remind us that the US and Poland negotiated and signed a treaty for the US to base components of the anti-missile defense shield in Poland. Poland took a big risk by agreeing to work with us in that project — it gets the vast majority of its natural gas from Russia. This was supposed to be a huge step forward of bringing Poland out of the Russian sphere of influence and into Western Europe. Obama unilaterally cancelled the plans to put the missile defense shield components in Poland. And, in doing so left Poland’s leaders in a bad spot, they had sold the plan on the idea that they were risking their trade relations with Russia because it was the dawning of a new and better friendship with the US. I am sure that Mitt will assure the Poles that he will be their friend (and that he knows the concentration camps that were physically located in Poland were run by the Nazis).

  • helen

    If Romney is going to Poland to remind us that he is in the “party of Reagan”, he will just remind me that’s where we began running handsome heads, instead of Eisenhowers!

  • helen

    If Romney is going to Poland to remind us that he is in the “party of Reagan”, he will just remind me that’s where we began running handsome heads, instead of Eisenhowers!

  • DonS

    The polls are lagging indicators, because they are still measuring registered voters, rather than likely voters, thus failing to account for voter intensity on each side. The mainline polls are still weighting for party identification at 2008 levels, which is ridiculous. This is most definitely not 2008.

    I think Romney is ahead by 2-5 points. The Rasmussen poll, which measures likely voters and is weighting party identification at a midpoint between 2008 and 2010, and has proven its accuracy in prior elections, is showing this consistently. Today’s track, for example, shows Romney up by 3. Look beneath the poll numbers trumpeted by the media, whose sentiments are clear, to the demographics, and whether the poll is of registered or likely voters (some even poll “adults”, an even more absurd measure). A poll of registered voters tends to swing Democratic by 2-3% or more over a poll of likely voters, for example. Also, look at party identification, if the poll reports it. For this election, we can expect independents to be about 25% of the electorate, with D’s about 35% and R’s about 30% (they don’t equal 100% because some won’t reveal). A recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll had D’s at 36% and R’s at 25%, which is absurdly more tilted than were the actual exit polls in 2008!

    As for the Olympics, Romney was right, and he has the qualifications to make the comments he did. Already, many problems are emerging, such as thousands of empty seats in theoretically full venues, and his public relations issues will dissipate as those problems continue, and he is proved correct.

  • DonS

    The polls are lagging indicators, because they are still measuring registered voters, rather than likely voters, thus failing to account for voter intensity on each side. The mainline polls are still weighting for party identification at 2008 levels, which is ridiculous. This is most definitely not 2008.

    I think Romney is ahead by 2-5 points. The Rasmussen poll, which measures likely voters and is weighting party identification at a midpoint between 2008 and 2010, and has proven its accuracy in prior elections, is showing this consistently. Today’s track, for example, shows Romney up by 3. Look beneath the poll numbers trumpeted by the media, whose sentiments are clear, to the demographics, and whether the poll is of registered or likely voters (some even poll “adults”, an even more absurd measure). A poll of registered voters tends to swing Democratic by 2-3% or more over a poll of likely voters, for example. Also, look at party identification, if the poll reports it. For this election, we can expect independents to be about 25% of the electorate, with D’s about 35% and R’s about 30% (they don’t equal 100% because some won’t reveal). A recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll had D’s at 36% and R’s at 25%, which is absurdly more tilted than were the actual exit polls in 2008!

    As for the Olympics, Romney was right, and he has the qualifications to make the comments he did. Already, many problems are emerging, such as thousands of empty seats in theoretically full venues, and his public relations issues will dissipate as those problems continue, and he is proved correct.

  • SKPeterson

    The sad thing is that this shouldn’t even be close. Obama has been so abysmally poor in his performance in office, the economy is lagging despite every “best” effort by Federal Reserve and President, (over)regulation has proceeded apace, and standards of living are largely moribund outside the Administration’s cosseted cronies at the big Wall Street banks. Any Republican that wasn’t an Establishment blessed automaton should/would be up by 10+ points and the only speculation would be how many October surprises would be generated by the Obama campaign out of desperation prior to the election.

  • SKPeterson

    The sad thing is that this shouldn’t even be close. Obama has been so abysmally poor in his performance in office, the economy is lagging despite every “best” effort by Federal Reserve and President, (over)regulation has proceeded apace, and standards of living are largely moribund outside the Administration’s cosseted cronies at the big Wall Street banks. Any Republican that wasn’t an Establishment blessed automaton should/would be up by 10+ points and the only speculation would be how many October surprises would be generated by the Obama campaign out of desperation prior to the election.

  • Brant

    I think this theory might not be pomo enough. I think it was Ken Myers who said that pre-modern art was about the art, modern art became about what the artist was saying and pomo art is now what the reaction of the viewer is (so much that there’s an art gallery with no paintings, just descriptions to read).

    Following those lines, it won’t even be who we like more, but rather who we think makes a better statement about US. And there’s just no good statement Romney makes about me. Obama, on the other hand, has a bunch to pick from: “I’m not a racist”, “I’m an intellectual”, etc.

  • Brant

    I think this theory might not be pomo enough. I think it was Ken Myers who said that pre-modern art was about the art, modern art became about what the artist was saying and pomo art is now what the reaction of the viewer is (so much that there’s an art gallery with no paintings, just descriptions to read).

    Following those lines, it won’t even be who we like more, but rather who we think makes a better statement about US. And there’s just no good statement Romney makes about me. Obama, on the other hand, has a bunch to pick from: “I’m not a racist”, “I’m an intellectual”, etc.

  • Grace

    This from The Weekly Standard

    Carville: ‘We’re Gonna Have to Go Through Hell and High-Water to Win this Damn Thing’

    Jul 29, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER

    “I wish I had good news for you,” Carville begins the pitch. “I want to tell you that President Obama has a second term in the bag. I want to tell you that the Koch Brothers are giving up their plot to buy the election.”

    “But here’s where things really stand: We’re gonna have to go through hell and high-water to win this damn thing. It’s gonna be hard. Every big-oil billionaire and Republican Super PAC is throwing the kitchen sink at President Obama.

    If we don’t fight back, it’ll be over long before November.

    Contribute $3 or more to back up President Obama with a Democratic majority. Get your donation in today and it’ll get matched >>

    Every dollar we can muster will go straight to the front lines — organizers on the ground and ads on the air hitting Republicans where it hurts.

    If you’re with us, then give what you can today:”

    READ THE REST: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/carville-we-re-gonna-have-go-through-hell-and-high-water-win-damn-thing_649095.html

  • Grace

    This from The Weekly Standard

    Carville: ‘We’re Gonna Have to Go Through Hell and High-Water to Win this Damn Thing’

    Jul 29, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER

    “I wish I had good news for you,” Carville begins the pitch. “I want to tell you that President Obama has a second term in the bag. I want to tell you that the Koch Brothers are giving up their plot to buy the election.”

    “But here’s where things really stand: We’re gonna have to go through hell and high-water to win this damn thing. It’s gonna be hard. Every big-oil billionaire and Republican Super PAC is throwing the kitchen sink at President Obama.

    If we don’t fight back, it’ll be over long before November.

    Contribute $3 or more to back up President Obama with a Democratic majority. Get your donation in today and it’ll get matched >>

    Every dollar we can muster will go straight to the front lines — organizers on the ground and ads on the air hitting Republicans where it hurts.

    If you’re with us, then give what you can today:”

    READ THE REST: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/carville-we-re-gonna-have-go-through-hell-and-high-water-win-damn-thing_649095.html

  • Grace

    helen @ 22

    ” 22 helen July 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm
    If Romney is going to Poland to remind us that he is in the “party of Reagan”, he will just remind me that’s where we began running handsome heads, instead of Eisenhowers!”

    This isn’t about “handsome” >>

  • Grace

    helen @ 22

    ” 22 helen July 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm
    If Romney is going to Poland to remind us that he is in the “party of Reagan”, he will just remind me that’s where we began running handsome heads, instead of Eisenhowers!”

    This isn’t about “handsome” >>

  • SKPeterson

    I seriously have to wonder how many times you can play the “Big Oil” and “Greedy Rich” bogeymen before people realize how bogus those tropes have become coming from the the Big Union-Big Bank-Big Entertainment cabal.

  • SKPeterson

    I seriously have to wonder how many times you can play the “Big Oil” and “Greedy Rich” bogeymen before people realize how bogus those tropes have become coming from the the Big Union-Big Bank-Big Entertainment cabal.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 27 – “This isn’t about “handsome” >>”. True. It’s about what sort of ugly you’re willing to live with.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 27 – “This isn’t about “handsome” >>”. True. It’s about what sort of ugly you’re willing to live with.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson

    “It’s about what sort of ugly you’re willing to live with.”

    WOW, that’s a news flash I hadn’t thought of! LOL

  • Grace

    SKPeterson

    “It’s about what sort of ugly you’re willing to live with.”

    WOW, that’s a news flash I hadn’t thought of! LOL

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Tom: I’d turn the Lord Mayor’s view on its head. If you’ve got to organize events for ten thousand athletes and hundreds of thousands (millions?) of spectators present, would it be easier to do so in a city with one million people (2 million metro), or in a city with eight million people (13 million metro)?

    Either way, I think that when a guy who has managed these things well, as Mitt has, says “watch out!”, maybe you swallow your pride at the perceived “lack of diplomacy” and see whether he’s got a point, and whether your people are dealing with the issue well. I’d like to see MORE of this, not less.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Tom: I’d turn the Lord Mayor’s view on its head. If you’ve got to organize events for ten thousand athletes and hundreds of thousands (millions?) of spectators present, would it be easier to do so in a city with one million people (2 million metro), or in a city with eight million people (13 million metro)?

    Either way, I think that when a guy who has managed these things well, as Mitt has, says “watch out!”, maybe you swallow your pride at the perceived “lack of diplomacy” and see whether he’s got a point, and whether your people are dealing with the issue well. I’d like to see MORE of this, not less.

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith remarked: “Doesn’t my theory hold?”

    No, I don’t believe it does. The economy is in the toilet- Obama has not delivered, he doesn’t have the apptitude to change the tide – worse yet, he’s so pumped up over himself, he can’t see how inept he really is. His approach is clumsy, the man doesn’t have anything to offer, except to further trash the United States – I ask you, WHY would Obama want to do that? Has anyone pondered that question?

    Wall Street Already Betting On Who Wins in November

    Published: Monday, 30 Jul 2012
    By: Jeff Cox
    CNBC.com Senior Writer

    “With just 100 days left until the U.S. presidential election, investors are beginning to make bigger bets on which candidate will carry the day.

    One analysis concludes that last week’s sharp three-day market surge can only mean that Wall Street is banking on a victory from Republican Mitt Romney.

    That’s the logical interpretation one can draw from a rally amid conditions that otherwise would demand a selloff, Morgan Stanley chief U.S. equity strategist Adam S. Parker said in an analysis that asserts there is no other reason now to like stocks than a Romney win.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48400076

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith remarked: “Doesn’t my theory hold?”

    No, I don’t believe it does. The economy is in the toilet- Obama has not delivered, he doesn’t have the apptitude to change the tide – worse yet, he’s so pumped up over himself, he can’t see how inept he really is. His approach is clumsy, the man doesn’t have anything to offer, except to further trash the United States – I ask you, WHY would Obama want to do that? Has anyone pondered that question?

    Wall Street Already Betting On Who Wins in November

    Published: Monday, 30 Jul 2012
    By: Jeff Cox
    CNBC.com Senior Writer

    “With just 100 days left until the U.S. presidential election, investors are beginning to make bigger bets on which candidate will carry the day.

    One analysis concludes that last week’s sharp three-day market surge can only mean that Wall Street is banking on a victory from Republican Mitt Romney.

    That’s the logical interpretation one can draw from a rally amid conditions that otherwise would demand a selloff, Morgan Stanley chief U.S. equity strategist Adam S. Parker said in an analysis that asserts there is no other reason now to like stocks than a Romney win.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48400076

  • Tom Hering

    Well, of course you wouldn’t mind more of this, Bike. You’ve got no reason to be offended by Romney’s diplomatic gaffes – you’re an American, not a Brit or a Palestinian. And you can’t understand why the citizens of inferior countries should mind being straightened out on a few things. Right?

  • Tom Hering

    Well, of course you wouldn’t mind more of this, Bike. You’ve got no reason to be offended by Romney’s diplomatic gaffes – you’re an American, not a Brit or a Palestinian. And you can’t understand why the citizens of inferior countries should mind being straightened out on a few things. Right?

  • Grace

    Tom

    There is more to it than you might think. Business owners have suffered greatly.

    Games turn London into ‘ghost town’
    By James Pickford and Jim Pickard

    July 30, 2012 8:50 pm

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0767327a-da6d-11e1-902d-00144feab49a.html#axzz229ZcqA4O

  • Grace

    Tom

    There is more to it than you might think. Business owners have suffered greatly.

    Games turn London into ‘ghost town’
    By James Pickford and Jim Pickard

    July 30, 2012 8:50 pm

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0767327a-da6d-11e1-902d-00144feab49a.html#axzz229ZcqA4O

  • Michael B.

    @SKPeterson

    “Any Republican that wasn’t an Establishment blessed automaton should/would be up by 10+ points”

    Like who? Bear in mind, this is claiming that you are better are winning elections than the RNC.

  • Michael B.

    @SKPeterson

    “Any Republican that wasn’t an Establishment blessed automaton should/would be up by 10+ points”

    Like who? Bear in mind, this is claiming that you are better are winning elections than the RNC.

  • FoC’er

    Both are elitists–one a county-club republican and the other a limousine democrat. It wasn’t always this way, but it often is this way. Put not your trust in princes…

  • FoC’er

    Both are elitists–one a county-club republican and the other a limousine democrat. It wasn’t always this way, but it often is this way. Put not your trust in princes…

  • Grace

    FoC’er @36

    “Both are elitists–one a county-club republican and the other a limousine democrat. It wasn’t always this way, but it often is this way. Put not your trust in princes…”

    No, both are not “elitists” – one is highly educated, bright, and very successful – the other is a ‘wanna-be. Neither one is a “prince” – I doubt any thinking person, who truly is a Believer in Christ Jesus, puts their trust in either one of these men.

  • Grace

    FoC’er @36

    “Both are elitists–one a county-club republican and the other a limousine democrat. It wasn’t always this way, but it often is this way. Put not your trust in princes…”

    No, both are not “elitists” – one is highly educated, bright, and very successful – the other is a ‘wanna-be. Neither one is a “prince” – I doubt any thinking person, who truly is a Believer in Christ Jesus, puts their trust in either one of these men.

  • passing throgh

    What Grace said.

    Obama=highly educated, bright, and successful.

    Romney=wannabe. And a polytheist. Yuck.

  • passing throgh

    What Grace said.

    Obama=highly educated, bright, and successful.

    Romney=wannabe. And a polytheist. Yuck.

  • Grace

    passing throgh @ 38

    “Obama=highly educated, bright, and successful.

    Romney=wannabe. And a polytheist. Yuck.”

    No dear, you have it backwards – obviously on purpose. What makes you think they aren’t both “polytheist” ?

    It isn’t a matter of “Yuck” as the kids like to blurt out 5 to 10 years ago, it’s where one goes when they die. They either believe in Christ as their Savior, HE, and only HE alone are their Salvation through faith, or they are lost………….

  • Grace

    passing throgh @ 38

    “Obama=highly educated, bright, and successful.

    Romney=wannabe. And a polytheist. Yuck.”

    No dear, you have it backwards – obviously on purpose. What makes you think they aren’t both “polytheist” ?

    It isn’t a matter of “Yuck” as the kids like to blurt out 5 to 10 years ago, it’s where one goes when they die. They either believe in Christ as their Savior, HE, and only HE alone are their Salvation through faith, or they are lost………….

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) in his song, “Thick as a Brick” has this brilliant line:
    “I may make you feel but I can’t make you think.”
    This could be the motto of the medium of television which still is dominate. (see Marshall Mcluhan) Maybe the only way to judge any candidate aright is to turn off the tube and read what they have said and have done.

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) in his song, “Thick as a Brick” has this brilliant line:
    “I may make you feel but I can’t make you think.”
    This could be the motto of the medium of television which still is dominate. (see Marshall Mcluhan) Maybe the only way to judge any candidate aright is to turn off the tube and read what they have said and have done.

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    correction: it should read @ #40 “dominant”.

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    correction: it should read @ #40 “dominant”.

  • larry

    This idea “likeability” is getting close to the issue but still misses it. It’s not likeability, really. It’s more “respectability” and that is gained by not being a more or less pliable nose. To some degree all politicians are “pliable” its in the nature of their “DNA”, but there’s a vast difference in that versus someone who is more or less utterly pliable and this begets or not respectability (what is now being, wrongly, identified as likeability). One can respect their enemy per se but one cannot respect a pliable person. Liberal politics were in direct opposition to Ronald Reagan, yet many respected him. Similarly with Obama, he is dogmatic liberal, and conservative politics are similarly in direct opposition to him, but he does garner a certain respectability in that he is exactly who he is and not a pliable nose. The same occurred with Churchhill and Thatcher, respectable though their political opponents did not like their politics at all.

    Bror’s getting close to the idea speaking of the primaries. Yes, many of the other candidates were “unlikeable” but all were more respectable than MR. It’s not that MR is not likeable he is not respectable. And the reason he is not respectable is he is utterly pliable. On this ground, respectability, the sitting president beats him albeit barely.

    Publically most conservatives are hand in pocket ‘whistling in the dark’ walking past the graveyard when it comes to MR hoping nobody will notice or if they do if we just ‘wish hard enough’ in public venues like Dorthy clicking her hills and MR will more or less accidently win. However, the dirty rotten secret in conservative circles, and every conservative voter knows it and speaks about it in hushed coffee discussions with fellow conservatives, is that MR does not inspire enough even of the base to be elected let alone cross over votes, because, why, he is not respectable and he’s not respectable because his politics are utterly pliable.

  • larry

    This idea “likeability” is getting close to the issue but still misses it. It’s not likeability, really. It’s more “respectability” and that is gained by not being a more or less pliable nose. To some degree all politicians are “pliable” its in the nature of their “DNA”, but there’s a vast difference in that versus someone who is more or less utterly pliable and this begets or not respectability (what is now being, wrongly, identified as likeability). One can respect their enemy per se but one cannot respect a pliable person. Liberal politics were in direct opposition to Ronald Reagan, yet many respected him. Similarly with Obama, he is dogmatic liberal, and conservative politics are similarly in direct opposition to him, but he does garner a certain respectability in that he is exactly who he is and not a pliable nose. The same occurred with Churchhill and Thatcher, respectable though their political opponents did not like their politics at all.

    Bror’s getting close to the idea speaking of the primaries. Yes, many of the other candidates were “unlikeable” but all were more respectable than MR. It’s not that MR is not likeable he is not respectable. And the reason he is not respectable is he is utterly pliable. On this ground, respectability, the sitting president beats him albeit barely.

    Publically most conservatives are hand in pocket ‘whistling in the dark’ walking past the graveyard when it comes to MR hoping nobody will notice or if they do if we just ‘wish hard enough’ in public venues like Dorthy clicking her hills and MR will more or less accidently win. However, the dirty rotten secret in conservative circles, and every conservative voter knows it and speaks about it in hushed coffee discussions with fellow conservatives, is that MR does not inspire enough even of the base to be elected let alone cross over votes, because, why, he is not respectable and he’s not respectable because his politics are utterly pliable.

  • Tom Hering

    Larry, you can begin to like a pliable candidate by becoming more pliable yourself:

    Mitt Romney, the Liberal Swine Conservatives Love

  • Tom Hering

    Larry, you can begin to like a pliable candidate by becoming more pliable yourself:

    Mitt Romney, the Liberal Swine Conservatives Love

  • larry

    Tom again its not about “likability”. MR is “likeable” enough, he’s simply not respectable to many and like it or not that will surpress the vote. Whether its enough that he looses or wins, well see, I’m not loosing sleep over it either way. As it is about respectability and that is due to pliability, to become “more pliable” one’s self, as you put it, is the equivalent to becoming “less respectable” one’s self. Which is the whole point.

  • larry

    Tom again its not about “likability”. MR is “likeable” enough, he’s simply not respectable to many and like it or not that will surpress the vote. Whether its enough that he looses or wins, well see, I’m not loosing sleep over it either way. As it is about respectability and that is due to pliability, to become “more pliable” one’s self, as you put it, is the equivalent to becoming “less respectable” one’s self. Which is the whole point.

  • Tom Hering

    Larry, I wasn’t suggesting conservatives should become more pliable in order to get behind a pliable candidate. But that seems to be what’s happening, according to the opinion piece I linked to.

  • Tom Hering

    Larry, I wasn’t suggesting conservatives should become more pliable in order to get behind a pliable candidate. But that seems to be what’s happening, according to the opinion piece I linked to.

  • larry

    Oh, my misunderstanding Tom, my apologies.

    The article reminds me of my kids at the dinner table and some vegetable item they hate. One of them always says to the other, “mmmm, this is good”, I of coarse saw that they didn’t really taste any. But they are trying to get their sibling to try it and watch their reaction as to whether they should or not. That’s what seems to be going on in the Rep. house now days. “Mmmm, boy this MR is good try some….”.

  • larry

    Oh, my misunderstanding Tom, my apologies.

    The article reminds me of my kids at the dinner table and some vegetable item they hate. One of them always says to the other, “mmmm, this is good”, I of coarse saw that they didn’t really taste any. But they are trying to get their sibling to try it and watch their reaction as to whether they should or not. That’s what seems to be going on in the Rep. house now days. “Mmmm, boy this MR is good try some….”.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Tom; it’s not that anyone in other nations is inferior. It’s simply that the Games are 4x over budget, tickets are not being sold, about a division of the Royal Army has been diverted to provide security, and more.

    There is a time for being diplomatic, but there is also a time for simply telling the truth.

    Besides, if you want to talk about being undiplomatic, let’s talk about Bibi Netanyahu being told to come into the White House through the servants’ entrance. Let’s talk about denying that we have a special relationship with the British, and returning the bust of Churchhill. Let’s talk about hanging the Poles out to dry by canceling an anti-ballistic missile system. Far more significant, IMO, than a warning about the Olympics from a guy who is in a seriously good position to know.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Tom; it’s not that anyone in other nations is inferior. It’s simply that the Games are 4x over budget, tickets are not being sold, about a division of the Royal Army has been diverted to provide security, and more.

    There is a time for being diplomatic, but there is also a time for simply telling the truth.

    Besides, if you want to talk about being undiplomatic, let’s talk about Bibi Netanyahu being told to come into the White House through the servants’ entrance. Let’s talk about denying that we have a special relationship with the British, and returning the bust of Churchhill. Let’s talk about hanging the Poles out to dry by canceling an anti-ballistic missile system. Far more significant, IMO, than a warning about the Olympics from a guy who is in a seriously good position to know.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    I don’t like Obama’s policies, but I hope Romney looses. Both are bad for the country; Romney is bad for Christendom.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    I don’t like Obama’s policies, but I hope Romney looses. Both are bad for the country; Romney is bad for Christendom.

  • Tom Hering

    Bike, I haven’t argued that Obama is a foreign relations superstar. So I don’t know why you’re trying to persuade me he’s not.

    Now, explain to me how it’s appropriate for an American politician to visit a foreign country and tell them what a lousy job they’re doing. (“Thank you very much, Mr. Olympics Expert, but we’re well aware of it. Now bugger off you bloody sod.”) It’s like you going to a friend’s house and commenting on how poorly they’re raising their children. It wouldn’t be appreciated because it’s undiplomatic – or, to put it simply, bad manners.

  • Tom Hering

    Bike, I haven’t argued that Obama is a foreign relations superstar. So I don’t know why you’re trying to persuade me he’s not.

    Now, explain to me how it’s appropriate for an American politician to visit a foreign country and tell them what a lousy job they’re doing. (“Thank you very much, Mr. Olympics Expert, but we’re well aware of it. Now bugger off you bloody sod.”) It’s like you going to a friend’s house and commenting on how poorly they’re raising their children. It wouldn’t be appreciated because it’s undiplomatic – or, to put it simply, bad manners.

  • Grace

    Pastor Spomer @48

    “I don’t like Obama’s policies, but I hope Romney looses. Both are bad for the country; Romney is bad for Christendom.

    Obama is no better than Romney in regards to “Christendom” – they both have fallen into the ditch. They were both most likely always there.

  • Grace

    Pastor Spomer @48

    “I don’t like Obama’s policies, but I hope Romney looses. Both are bad for the country; Romney is bad for Christendom.

    Obama is no better than Romney in regards to “Christendom” – they both have fallen into the ditch. They were both most likely always there.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Romney is a moderate liberal and Obama is a corporatist with fascist tendencies.

    Obviously I’m going to vote Romney as the lesser of two evils. What I wonder is when things get so bad that the elites gets sent to the sandbox and a populist figure takes control.

    The biggest banks are much bigger now then when Obama was elected. His stimulus consisted of payoffs to elite Democratic groups and not ordinary Americans. So he’s clearly not a populist I wonder with corporate domination of America if a true populist can rise in DC.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Romney is a moderate liberal and Obama is a corporatist with fascist tendencies.

    Obviously I’m going to vote Romney as the lesser of two evils. What I wonder is when things get so bad that the elites gets sent to the sandbox and a populist figure takes control.

    The biggest banks are much bigger now then when Obama was elected. His stimulus consisted of payoffs to elite Democratic groups and not ordinary Americans. So he’s clearly not a populist I wonder with corporate domination of America if a true populist can rise in DC.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, what sort of populist would you like to see arise? Theodore Roosevelt? Robert M. La Follette, Sr.? Huey Long? George Wallace? Ross Perot? Ralph Nader?

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, what sort of populist would you like to see arise? Theodore Roosevelt? Robert M. La Follette, Sr.? Huey Long? George Wallace? Ross Perot? Ralph Nader?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There are so many tough questions.

    Do we want truth or pretty lies?

    Some x% are fine with pretty lies.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There are so many tough questions.

    Do we want truth or pretty lies?

    Some x% are fine with pretty lies.

  • larry

    “I don’t like Obama’s policies, but I hope Romney looses. Both are bad for the country; Romney is bad for Christendom.”

    That’s spot on the money pastor. The danger here ultimately is not the politics (which are more worldly concerns, true concerns, but still worldly) but the religious. MR is being smuggled in more or less under a conservative cloak with silent implication that he is a Christian. Silence sometimes is louder than words. That is not the case with the president who we have to say is minimally a Christian, whether or not he disavows it or is simply confused that’s difficult to tell for certain.

  • larry

    “I don’t like Obama’s policies, but I hope Romney looses. Both are bad for the country; Romney is bad for Christendom.”

    That’s spot on the money pastor. The danger here ultimately is not the politics (which are more worldly concerns, true concerns, but still worldly) but the religious. MR is being smuggled in more or less under a conservative cloak with silent implication that he is a Christian. Silence sometimes is louder than words. That is not the case with the president who we have to say is minimally a Christian, whether or not he disavows it or is simply confused that’s difficult to tell for certain.

  • SKPeterson

    Heard on the radio this morning – a take off on the old Johnny Carson, Karmak the Magician routine.

    A: The American People

    Envelope please.

    Q: Who will be the biggest loser after the November election.

  • SKPeterson

    Heard on the radio this morning – a take off on the old Johnny Carson, Karmak the Magician routine.

    A: The American People

    Envelope please.

    Q: Who will be the biggest loser after the November election.


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