Obama is winning

Bad news for Republican in the electoral college:

*** Romney leads in CO, but Obama’s ahead in VA and WI: Last week, President Obama campaigned in Florida and Ohio — just as new Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS polls showed him leading (and above 50%) in those two states. But today, as he begins a two-day swing through Colorado, the same polling outfit shows him trailing Romney among likely by five points in the state, 50%-45%. That said, new Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS surveys also show Obama leading in Virginia (49%-45%) and Wisconsin (51%-45%). So out of the six battleground states that Quinnipiac has polled in the past two weeks — Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin — Obama leads in five of them. And speaking of polls, a new national Washington Post/ABC survey finds that Romney’s fav/unfav is still underwater at 40%-49% versus Obama’s 53%-43%. In fact, ABC adds that Romney “is laboring under the lowest personal popularity ratings for a presumptive presidential nominee in midsummer election-year polls back to 1984.”

via First Thoughts: The final three – First Read.

I don’t know about that last point.  I know lots of people who would give Romney an unfavorable rating while still voting for him.  Still, I thought it was the economy, stupid!  Why, despite everything, is Obama still doing so well?

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.

  • Trey

    Look at Rasmussen it is more accurate. It doesn’t look at registered voters, but likely voters.

  • Trey

    Look at Rasmussen it is more accurate. It doesn’t look at registered voters, but likely voters.

  • Tom Hering

    “It’s the economy, stupid” rang true twenty years ago, when people thought the President could do something about it. Now they’re aware that the economy is a global economy, and that the President isn’t President of the world. People rightly blame Congress for our domestic woes. “It’s the obstruction, idiots.”

  • Tom Hering

    “It’s the economy, stupid” rang true twenty years ago, when people thought the President could do something about it. Now they’re aware that the economy is a global economy, and that the President isn’t President of the world. People rightly blame Congress for our domestic woes. “It’s the obstruction, idiots.”

  • reg

    If the Republican party were still the center-right party rather than a party of the more extreme right party it would fare better. Then it would appeal to moderates like me who are stuck voting Democratic more out of fear and loathing of Republicans than love of Democrats.

  • reg

    If the Republican party were still the center-right party rather than a party of the more extreme right party it would fare better. Then it would appeal to moderates like me who are stuck voting Democratic more out of fear and loathing of Republicans than love of Democrats.

  • Carl Vehse

    John Hinderaker commented on a Michael Ramirez cartoon, “The Democratic Leadership” (apologies for implied insult to swine):

    “There was a time when a person of good will and reasonable intelligence could be a Democrat, simply because he or she was a little lacking in understanding of the issues. Those days are, I think, gone.”

  • Carl Vehse

    John Hinderaker commented on a Michael Ramirez cartoon, “The Democratic Leadership” (apologies for implied insult to swine):

    “There was a time when a person of good will and reasonable intelligence could be a Democrat, simply because he or she was a little lacking in understanding of the issues. Those days are, I think, gone.”

  • DonS

    It’s time for Republicans to relax a bit, while still recognizing that Obama is willing to do anything to win. He has gone all negative, including the recent despicable ad by one of his SuperPacs which is full of outright lies concerning a woman who died of cancer. Although Obama’s campaign made a similar ad based on the same family in May, they are now claiming they cannot comment on this particular ad because they don’t know anything about the family at issue. This kind of rotten stuff has impacted Romney’s favorable ratings,, moving things in the wrong direction for him over the last couple of weeks, but the numbers are nowhere near as dire as they appear. Polls, except for Rasmussen, which shows a basically tied race, are still based on registered, rather than likely voters, and are mostly way skewed toward Democratic samples, which are not reflective of the composition of the electorate in this election.

    In a sense, these early attacks reflect desperation in Obama’s campaign, and “price in” the impact of attack ads against Romney. His job is to pick a VP, have a strong convention, and continue to strongly rebut the negativity flowing out of the Obama campaign.

  • DonS

    It’s time for Republicans to relax a bit, while still recognizing that Obama is willing to do anything to win. He has gone all negative, including the recent despicable ad by one of his SuperPacs which is full of outright lies concerning a woman who died of cancer. Although Obama’s campaign made a similar ad based on the same family in May, they are now claiming they cannot comment on this particular ad because they don’t know anything about the family at issue. This kind of rotten stuff has impacted Romney’s favorable ratings,, moving things in the wrong direction for him over the last couple of weeks, but the numbers are nowhere near as dire as they appear. Polls, except for Rasmussen, which shows a basically tied race, are still based on registered, rather than likely voters, and are mostly way skewed toward Democratic samples, which are not reflective of the composition of the electorate in this election.

    In a sense, these early attacks reflect desperation in Obama’s campaign, and “price in” the impact of attack ads against Romney. His job is to pick a VP, have a strong convention, and continue to strongly rebut the negativity flowing out of the Obama campaign.

  • larry

    I would not sweat it too much. But to say the republican party has gone further right when MR is the presumptive candidate and BO is sitting in the office shows just how far to the left the entire Rep/Dem party complex has shifted. It would be like complaining the democrats have gone extreme left with GW as their candidate.

  • larry

    I would not sweat it too much. But to say the republican party has gone further right when MR is the presumptive candidate and BO is sitting in the office shows just how far to the left the entire Rep/Dem party complex has shifted. It would be like complaining the democrats have gone extreme left with GW as their candidate.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@2 is empirically wrong, at least based on the recent “empirical” political “science” on the issue. Though some scholars are willing to attribute “campaign factors”–advertisements, gaffes, public image, etc.–to a given candidate’s success or failure, there is a broad consensus among observers that structural and systemic variables, in particular “the economy” broadly understood, are overwhelmingly responsible for causally affecting the outcomes of presidential elections. Campaign factors only matter at the margins. A President who happens to preside over a shoddy economy is unlikely to win, no matter his party. Neither party “owns” the issue of the economy–that is, while Democrats are more trusted with, say, social welfare and Republicans are more trusted with national defense in the minds of the average voter, neither party is more likely to be chosen to respond to a sick economy.

    If Obama manages to win, it will be on account of one of the following reasons: 1) The economy discernibly improves by election day; this is unlikely, however: gas prices are rising, along with inflation and unemployment. 2) Romney runs such a piss-poor campaign that voters don’t perceive that he’ll be able to “respond” to the economy any better than Obama.

    I think Option 2 is quite possible this time around, given what a poor candidate Romney is. That said, while presidential voting decisions aren’t so viscerally simplistic as “ECONOMY BAD = PRESIDENT BAD,” evidence shows that it’s almost this simple. Even though, yes, the President cannot guide the economy. Even though, yes, this means most voters are basically stupid.

    All this to say, I expect that, barring a major scandal or radical transformation of the economy for the better, Romney will, at the very least, win the popular vote.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@2 is empirically wrong, at least based on the recent “empirical” political “science” on the issue. Though some scholars are willing to attribute “campaign factors”–advertisements, gaffes, public image, etc.–to a given candidate’s success or failure, there is a broad consensus among observers that structural and systemic variables, in particular “the economy” broadly understood, are overwhelmingly responsible for causally affecting the outcomes of presidential elections. Campaign factors only matter at the margins. A President who happens to preside over a shoddy economy is unlikely to win, no matter his party. Neither party “owns” the issue of the economy–that is, while Democrats are more trusted with, say, social welfare and Republicans are more trusted with national defense in the minds of the average voter, neither party is more likely to be chosen to respond to a sick economy.

    If Obama manages to win, it will be on account of one of the following reasons: 1) The economy discernibly improves by election day; this is unlikely, however: gas prices are rising, along with inflation and unemployment. 2) Romney runs such a piss-poor campaign that voters don’t perceive that he’ll be able to “respond” to the economy any better than Obama.

    I think Option 2 is quite possible this time around, given what a poor candidate Romney is. That said, while presidential voting decisions aren’t so viscerally simplistic as “ECONOMY BAD = PRESIDENT BAD,” evidence shows that it’s almost this simple. Even though, yes, the President cannot guide the economy. Even though, yes, this means most voters are basically stupid.

    All this to say, I expect that, barring a major scandal or radical transformation of the economy for the better, Romney will, at the very least, win the popular vote.

  • Tom Hering

    Tom is always right, empirically and otherwise. Some regular commenters, well known here for their odd views, are just too pig-headed to admit it.

  • Tom Hering

    Tom is always right, empirically and otherwise. Some regular commenters, well known here for their odd views, are just too pig-headed to admit it.

  • Steve Billingsley

    2 comments.

    1. No poll matters much until after two weeks or so after both conventions, when both candidates’ post-convention bounce washes out. Then the only polls that really matter are likely voter (not registered voter) screen samples in swing states – because 35-40 of the states are already pretty much decided and the true swing voter is also a low information voter who likely hasn’t been really paying much attention.

    2. The Quinnipiac Polls, for whatever reason (they have generally been a very reputable outfit) are horrible this round. When you look at the cross-tabs they have so far oversampled Democrats in Virginia, Florida and Ohio as to render this data next to meaningless. They are assuming a voter mix with Democrats outperforming their turnout and registration of 2008 – which was the best Democratic year since 1964. Then, inexplicably, the make the opposite mistake in Colorado, putting a sample mix out there that assumes a ridiculous Republican over-performance. If you correct their samples to replicate the voter mix in turnout and registration in a way that is closer to 2000-2006 – then essentially all of these states are a toss-up (which is probably where the election stands anyway). I haven’t dug into Wisconsin yet (I haven’t had the time). BTW, market research and polling is what I do for a living, so sampling methodology is very interesting to me. You can skew the results of almost any quantitative survey by fat fingering the sample mix. It happens all of the time. IMO, Gallup and Rasmussen are the best pollsters going right now nationally – while there are local state players that do a good job in various states/regions. Quinnipiac is generally pretty good, but for whatever reason these polls are horrible.

  • Steve Billingsley

    2 comments.

    1. No poll matters much until after two weeks or so after both conventions, when both candidates’ post-convention bounce washes out. Then the only polls that really matter are likely voter (not registered voter) screen samples in swing states – because 35-40 of the states are already pretty much decided and the true swing voter is also a low information voter who likely hasn’t been really paying much attention.

    2. The Quinnipiac Polls, for whatever reason (they have generally been a very reputable outfit) are horrible this round. When you look at the cross-tabs they have so far oversampled Democrats in Virginia, Florida and Ohio as to render this data next to meaningless. They are assuming a voter mix with Democrats outperforming their turnout and registration of 2008 – which was the best Democratic year since 1964. Then, inexplicably, the make the opposite mistake in Colorado, putting a sample mix out there that assumes a ridiculous Republican over-performance. If you correct their samples to replicate the voter mix in turnout and registration in a way that is closer to 2000-2006 – then essentially all of these states are a toss-up (which is probably where the election stands anyway). I haven’t dug into Wisconsin yet (I haven’t had the time). BTW, market research and polling is what I do for a living, so sampling methodology is very interesting to me. You can skew the results of almost any quantitative survey by fat fingering the sample mix. It happens all of the time. IMO, Gallup and Rasmussen are the best pollsters going right now nationally – while there are local state players that do a good job in various states/regions. Quinnipiac is generally pretty good, but for whatever reason these polls are horrible.

  • Cincinnatus

    What Steve said. It’s way too early to be drawing electoral conclusions from polls, even if you think polls are good for anything.

    Wisconsin may very well go Obama, but I will be very surprised if Virginia does.

  • Cincinnatus

    What Steve said. It’s way too early to be drawing electoral conclusions from polls, even if you think polls are good for anything.

    Wisconsin may very well go Obama, but I will be very surprised if Virginia does.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    As to Polls: Earlier this year, in the Alberta election, all but one of the reputable polling outfits gave the Wild Rose Alliance a majority win – the single dissenter suggested a close result. The Alberta PC’s were essentially written off.

    Then on election day, the PC’s won 61 seats compared to Wild Roses’s 17.

    (Actual vote count:
    PC – 567 060
    WR – 442 429
    Lib – 127 625
    NDP – 126 752 )

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    As to Polls: Earlier this year, in the Alberta election, all but one of the reputable polling outfits gave the Wild Rose Alliance a majority win – the single dissenter suggested a close result. The Alberta PC’s were essentially written off.

    Then on election day, the PC’s won 61 seats compared to Wild Roses’s 17.

    (Actual vote count:
    PC – 567 060
    WR – 442 429
    Lib – 127 625
    NDP – 126 752 )

  • Jonathan

    But “it’s [not] the economy, stupid.” For the Republicans, it’s still the gays, the Dream Act, contraception, the morning after pill, repealing the ACA, etc. That promised laser-like focus on jobs? Not there. You can’t beat Obama by merely saying, “I’m not Obama, and forget Romneycare.”

  • Jonathan

    But “it’s [not] the economy, stupid.” For the Republicans, it’s still the gays, the Dream Act, contraception, the morning after pill, repealing the ACA, etc. That promised laser-like focus on jobs? Not there. You can’t beat Obama by merely saying, “I’m not Obama, and forget Romneycare.”

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@12:

    Have you seen a Romney commercial lately? It’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs. So are Obama’s ads. These guys recognize that the economy is the issue that matters. In fact, that’s probably one reason Republican elites chose Romney: he has no meaningful record on social issues, and he doesn’t want to talk about them.

    Of course, these ads to which I refer are vague fluff. But the point is that the very thin platform Romney is publicizing is an economic platform.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@12:

    Have you seen a Romney commercial lately? It’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs. So are Obama’s ads. These guys recognize that the economy is the issue that matters. In fact, that’s probably one reason Republican elites chose Romney: he has no meaningful record on social issues, and he doesn’t want to talk about them.

    Of course, these ads to which I refer are vague fluff. But the point is that the very thin platform Romney is publicizing is an economic platform.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Cincinnatus @ 13
    RE: @12
    I hope you aren’t just fighting “invincible ignorance”. But I suspect you are.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Cincinnatus @ 13
    RE: @12
    I hope you aren’t just fighting “invincible ignorance”. But I suspect you are.

  • Cincinnatus

    Steve Billingsley@14:

    My apologies, but your nested “@” references confused me. Am the invincibly ignorant one, or someone/something else?

  • Cincinnatus

    Steve Billingsley@14:

    My apologies, but your nested “@” references confused me. Am the invincibly ignorant one, or someone/something else?

  • Steve Billingsley

    My apologies for not being clear.

    No, I am afraid that your attempts to enlighten Jonathan @12 are a waste of time.

    I generally find you comments informative and well-reasoned – regardless of whether I agree with every conclusion or not.

    Some other commmenters….not so much.

  • Steve Billingsley

    My apologies for not being clear.

    No, I am afraid that your attempts to enlighten Jonathan @12 are a waste of time.

    I generally find you comments informative and well-reasoned – regardless of whether I agree with every conclusion or not.

    Some other commmenters….not so much.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Oops, too many “m”s on commenters.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Oops, too many “m”s on commenters.

  • helen

    Then it would appeal to moderates like me who are stuck voting Democratic more out of fear and loathing of Republicans than love of Democrats.

    Sometimes I think one party is dominated by accessories to murder and the other by accessories to theft.
    And sometimes I’m not sure which is which.

  • helen

    Then it would appeal to moderates like me who are stuck voting Democratic more out of fear and loathing of Republicans than love of Democrats.

    Sometimes I think one party is dominated by accessories to murder and the other by accessories to theft.
    And sometimes I’m not sure which is which.

  • Jonathan

    Cin @13
    You’re forgetting Romney’s latest ad about “Obama’s War on Religion,” a reference to birth control. But on the whole, I agree with you that Romney’s ads have been economically centered, though not on what he’d do, but what Obama either has done or won’t do. Given his collapse in the polls, however, I suspect Romney will soon turn toward a more open culture war agenda; his VP pick will handle much of that attack, I suspect.

    Will we ever see Romney’s tax returns?

  • Jonathan

    Cin @13
    You’re forgetting Romney’s latest ad about “Obama’s War on Religion,” a reference to birth control. But on the whole, I agree with you that Romney’s ads have been economically centered, though not on what he’d do, but what Obama either has done or won’t do. Given his collapse in the polls, however, I suspect Romney will soon turn toward a more open culture war agenda; his VP pick will handle much of that attack, I suspect.

    Will we ever see Romney’s tax returns?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Could someone please explain to me why so many people in the US are wanting to see a politician’s tax returns?? Some things are just private. Would you want to know if he had a cold in the last 10 years? How often he sleeps with his wife? Did he once break his elementary school’s rules? Tell an off-colour joke??

    Seriously, what is going on over there????

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Could someone please explain to me why so many people in the US are wanting to see a politician’s tax returns?? Some things are just private. Would you want to know if he had a cold in the last 10 years? How often he sleeps with his wife? Did he once break his elementary school’s rules? Tell an off-colour joke??

    Seriously, what is going on over there????

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@19:

    I haven’t seen the Obama’s war on religion ad, to be fair. I’m in a swing state (Wisconsin), inundated by Romney ads, but all his ads–as opposed, perhaps, to those published by special interest groups not directly affiliated with Romney–are about jobs.

    His VP candidate, I suspect, will be solidly conservative socially, but will not make a “big deal” about it. Someone like Paul Ryan or Rob Portman: a solid fiscal conservative who just happened to be socially conservative also. And, as I noted above, the “culture war” isn’t a winning strategy this election cycle.

    That said, I think cultural issues are hugely important. Gay marriage matters–to both sides. So does abortion, religious freedom, etc. But I’ll be very surprised if the campaign is “about” those things this year. It will be a bunch of fluffy nonsense about “strengthening the middle class,” “creating jobs,” and otherwise “rebuilding” the economy.

    Speaking of distractions, why do we need to see Romney’s tax returns? Is this like a birther thing from the left? Obama’s cabinet is chock-full of tax genuine tax cheats–which apparently hasn’t disturbed the electorate too much–so why would we care about Romney’s taxes?

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@19:

    I haven’t seen the Obama’s war on religion ad, to be fair. I’m in a swing state (Wisconsin), inundated by Romney ads, but all his ads–as opposed, perhaps, to those published by special interest groups not directly affiliated with Romney–are about jobs.

    His VP candidate, I suspect, will be solidly conservative socially, but will not make a “big deal” about it. Someone like Paul Ryan or Rob Portman: a solid fiscal conservative who just happened to be socially conservative also. And, as I noted above, the “culture war” isn’t a winning strategy this election cycle.

    That said, I think cultural issues are hugely important. Gay marriage matters–to both sides. So does abortion, religious freedom, etc. But I’ll be very surprised if the campaign is “about” those things this year. It will be a bunch of fluffy nonsense about “strengthening the middle class,” “creating jobs,” and otherwise “rebuilding” the economy.

    Speaking of distractions, why do we need to see Romney’s tax returns? Is this like a birther thing from the left? Obama’s cabinet is chock-full of tax genuine tax cheats–which apparently hasn’t disturbed the electorate too much–so why would we care about Romney’s taxes?

  • Cincinnatus

    KK@20:

    I was too late, I see. I agree with you. We already know Romney (like Obama) is filthy rich. And if he hasn’t paid all his taxes, that’s a matter for the IRS. I can’t imagine why his returns are remotely relevant to anything (anything we don’t already know, anyway).

    And amusingly enough, those who are demanding most loudly that Romney publicize his tax returns–for example, Nancy Pelosi–are refusing to release their to their own voters. Partisanship knows no bounds.

  • Cincinnatus

    KK@20:

    I was too late, I see. I agree with you. We already know Romney (like Obama) is filthy rich. And if he hasn’t paid all his taxes, that’s a matter for the IRS. I can’t imagine why his returns are remotely relevant to anything (anything we don’t already know, anyway).

    And amusingly enough, those who are demanding most loudly that Romney publicize his tax returns–for example, Nancy Pelosi–are refusing to release their to their own voters. Partisanship knows no bounds.

  • Jonathan

    @20 Klasie.
    Three chief reasons: (1) custom. US presidential candidates have released years of tax returns for at least a couple of decades. It’s expected, so when one adamantly refuses to release more than 1 year, it raises questions even among staunch Republicans. (2) Romney is the richest man ever to run for US president, possibly 50 times richer than Obama. People want be know how he much he’s worth and what tax rate he pays. From the one year, we know it’s a lower rate than anyone earning a salary pays. It’s possible, using tax loopholes, to pay no taxes. Did Romney do this? Does he give to charity? (3) Income and tax disparity in the US is huge. Romney’s running on a trickle-down platform, to lower taxes on the rich to spur job creation. How would he profit from his own platform? How would it affect his off-shore accounts?

    Since the Wall Street Journal and National Review hound Romney to release the returns, it’s a big deal.

  • Jonathan

    @20 Klasie.
    Three chief reasons: (1) custom. US presidential candidates have released years of tax returns for at least a couple of decades. It’s expected, so when one adamantly refuses to release more than 1 year, it raises questions even among staunch Republicans. (2) Romney is the richest man ever to run for US president, possibly 50 times richer than Obama. People want be know how he much he’s worth and what tax rate he pays. From the one year, we know it’s a lower rate than anyone earning a salary pays. It’s possible, using tax loopholes, to pay no taxes. Did Romney do this? Does he give to charity? (3) Income and tax disparity in the US is huge. Romney’s running on a trickle-down platform, to lower taxes on the rich to spur job creation. How would he profit from his own platform? How would it affect his off-shore accounts?

    Since the Wall Street Journal and National Review hound Romney to release the returns, it’s a big deal.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@23:

    Your point #2 is simply false. John Kerry is wealthier than Romney.

    To pretend that Romney’s wealth is somehow remarkable and unprecedented, or something that sets him apart in any way from Democratic candidates–simple-souled men of the people though they may be–is ludicrous. Everyone running for national office, especially President, is a made man (or woman), rich beyond the wildest dreams of ordinary Americans.

    Also, Romney gives far more proportionally to charity than Obama ever has–if you count the Mormon Church as a charity.

    I have no interest in defending Romney, just in fending off the more ridiculous idiosyncrasies of partisan “discourse.” Seriously, Jonathan. Oppose Romney all you want–be my guest. But can you pick a less feckless, boring way of doing so? Something a bit more substantive, maybe?

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@23:

    Your point #2 is simply false. John Kerry is wealthier than Romney.

    To pretend that Romney’s wealth is somehow remarkable and unprecedented, or something that sets him apart in any way from Democratic candidates–simple-souled men of the people though they may be–is ludicrous. Everyone running for national office, especially President, is a made man (or woman), rich beyond the wildest dreams of ordinary Americans.

    Also, Romney gives far more proportionally to charity than Obama ever has–if you count the Mormon Church as a charity.

    I have no interest in defending Romney, just in fending off the more ridiculous idiosyncrasies of partisan “discourse.” Seriously, Jonathan. Oppose Romney all you want–be my guest. But can you pick a less feckless, boring way of doing so? Something a bit more substantive, maybe?

  • Jonathan

    @24 Kerry released his tax returns.
    Kerry’s great wealth, as I understood it, was attributable mainly to his wife, the Heinz heiress. I’m curious how you know how much Romney gives to charity, since his returns haven’t been released. Whatever you know about Obama comes by the fact that he did release returns. So be it, let’s call Romney one of the two richest men to ever run for president.

    This thread is about why Romney is falling behind, given the poor economy. My rather “boring” suggestions have certainly lit a fire under your seat.

  • Jonathan

    @24 Kerry released his tax returns.
    Kerry’s great wealth, as I understood it, was attributable mainly to his wife, the Heinz heiress. I’m curious how you know how much Romney gives to charity, since his returns haven’t been released. Whatever you know about Obama comes by the fact that he did release returns. So be it, let’s call Romney one of the two richest men to ever run for president.

    This thread is about why Romney is falling behind, given the poor economy. My rather “boring” suggestions have certainly lit a fire under your seat.

  • Steve Billingsley

    That’s the thing about conspiracy-theory style, “gotcha” political points. (i.e. – Obama is really a Kenyan-born, Communist with a secret agenda to ruin America because of his father’s anti-colonialism or Romney’s nefarious tax returns) – they are completely unnecessary. The reasons one would need to support or oppose Obama or Romney are pretty much out there for the whole world to see. They both have pretty extensive public political records (Obama’s first term, his tenure in the Senate and and in Illinois state politics, Romney’s run for the Senate in 1994, his term as Governor of Massachusetts, his run for the Presidency in 2008 and the primary campaign of this go-around), their policy proposals (and in Obama’s case – his first-term policy record) and their long catalog of public speeches. That’s plenty for anyone to make a reasonably informed decision as to which would be the better choice – given one’s political point of view, of course.

    I don’t care about Romney’s tax returns (or Obama’s college record or whatever). If there is anything really that bad about either of them that is an automatic “disqualifier” – it probably would have already come out – or it will soon enough. But even if it doesn’t, who doesn’t already have enough info to make up their mind? Really?

  • Steve Billingsley

    That’s the thing about conspiracy-theory style, “gotcha” political points. (i.e. – Obama is really a Kenyan-born, Communist with a secret agenda to ruin America because of his father’s anti-colonialism or Romney’s nefarious tax returns) – they are completely unnecessary. The reasons one would need to support or oppose Obama or Romney are pretty much out there for the whole world to see. They both have pretty extensive public political records (Obama’s first term, his tenure in the Senate and and in Illinois state politics, Romney’s run for the Senate in 1994, his term as Governor of Massachusetts, his run for the Presidency in 2008 and the primary campaign of this go-around), their policy proposals (and in Obama’s case – his first-term policy record) and their long catalog of public speeches. That’s plenty for anyone to make a reasonably informed decision as to which would be the better choice – given one’s political point of view, of course.

    I don’t care about Romney’s tax returns (or Obama’s college record or whatever). If there is anything really that bad about either of them that is an automatic “disqualifier” – it probably would have already come out – or it will soon enough. But even if it doesn’t, who doesn’t already have enough info to make up their mind? Really?

  • Steve Billingsley

    Jonathan @ 25
    Weak…

  • Steve Billingsley

    Jonathan @ 25
    Weak…

  • Cincinnatus

    @25:

    If there’s a “fire under my seat,” it’s precisely because you’re pretending–I hope not actually believing–that Romney’s “failure” to release a sufficient number of tax returns to meet your rigorous standards is an actual, legitimate, worthwhile campaign issue. Really? And if Romney were to lose, do you really think it would be because he won’t have released enough tax returns?

    It doesn’t matter. There are actual issues to discuss–not this birther-lite nonsense.

    /Romney gave an average of 15% of his earnings to charity over the past two years; Obama 1%. According to the tax returns he has actually released. Not that it matters, and not that two years of returns is enough for you.

  • Cincinnatus

    @25:

    If there’s a “fire under my seat,” it’s precisely because you’re pretending–I hope not actually believing–that Romney’s “failure” to release a sufficient number of tax returns to meet your rigorous standards is an actual, legitimate, worthwhile campaign issue. Really? And if Romney were to lose, do you really think it would be because he won’t have released enough tax returns?

    It doesn’t matter. There are actual issues to discuss–not this birther-lite nonsense.

    /Romney gave an average of 15% of his earnings to charity over the past two years; Obama 1%. According to the tax returns he has actually released. Not that it matters, and not that two years of returns is enough for you.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, Jonathan, for your edification, here is a list of the 10 wealthiest men ever to run for President, in ascending order:

    10. John Edwards ($45 million)
    9. Rudy Giuliani ($65 million)
    8. Jon Hunstman ($70 million)
    7. Hillary Clinton ($85 million)
    7. Bill Clinton (ditto)
    5. Al Gore ($100! million)
    4. John Kerry ($240 million)
    3. Mitt Romney (now $250 million, so currently more than Kerry)
    2. Steve Forbes ($450 million)
    1. Ross Perot–of course ($1.5 billion)

    These are recent. Adjusted for inflation, John F. Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington would be wealthier than Romney. Johnson, both Roosevelts, Jackson, and Hoover were also fabulously wealthy. And if you think Obama’s $12 million is anything to sneeze at, I want some of what you’re smoking.

    The point is that both parties, at the elite level, are crowded with establishment aristocrats who know nothing of and probably care nothing for the experience of “average Americans.

    Which means I care even less about Romney’s tax returns. Both candidates are wealthy ingrates. What more do I need to know?

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, Jonathan, for your edification, here is a list of the 10 wealthiest men ever to run for President, in ascending order:

    10. John Edwards ($45 million)
    9. Rudy Giuliani ($65 million)
    8. Jon Hunstman ($70 million)
    7. Hillary Clinton ($85 million)
    7. Bill Clinton (ditto)
    5. Al Gore ($100! million)
    4. John Kerry ($240 million)
    3. Mitt Romney (now $250 million, so currently more than Kerry)
    2. Steve Forbes ($450 million)
    1. Ross Perot–of course ($1.5 billion)

    These are recent. Adjusted for inflation, John F. Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington would be wealthier than Romney. Johnson, both Roosevelts, Jackson, and Hoover were also fabulously wealthy. And if you think Obama’s $12 million is anything to sneeze at, I want some of what you’re smoking.

    The point is that both parties, at the elite level, are crowded with establishment aristocrats who know nothing of and probably care nothing for the experience of “average Americans.

    Which means I care even less about Romney’s tax returns. Both candidates are wealthy ingrates. What more do I need to know?

  • fjsteve

    I want to vote for president a man who can’t manage to build his net worth above $200k. That, to me, screams success!

  • fjsteve

    I want to vote for president a man who can’t manage to build his net worth above $200k. That, to me, screams success!

  • Jonathan

    @28 Yes, if Romney loses without releasing his returns, the Republicans (whose opinion will matter) will blame the loss, in part, on that. But the party will mainly blame the loss, as in 2008, on the failure to nominate a true conservative and will work hard to avoid a repeat in 2016, a year in which no candidate will dare not release returns. Personally, the returns don’t interest me much.

  • Jonathan

    @28 Yes, if Romney loses without releasing his returns, the Republicans (whose opinion will matter) will blame the loss, in part, on that. But the party will mainly blame the loss, as in 2008, on the failure to nominate a true conservative and will work hard to avoid a repeat in 2016, a year in which no candidate will dare not release returns. Personally, the returns don’t interest me much.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I usually find myself agreeing with Cincinnatus on things, but I actually find myself drawn in on this tax-return issue. Maybe I’ve been living on the Left Coast too long. Maybe it’s the constant droning on my Facebook feed from my left-leaning friends. Maybe it’s that I’m really not engaged this election, and the aforementioned Facebook posts have comprised most of my political reading — okay, skimming — of late.

    Whatever, the issue doesn’t seem to be (or, if you will, seem to be framed as) whether Romney’s rich or not. It’s more a question of whether he paid his “fair share” in taxes. That is to say, if the unreleased tax returns show that he paid $0 (or some ridiculously low effective tax rate), if they show that he was sheltering his money in ways that benefitted him but not the country, well, he’ll come off as un-American.

    Americans can (and, obviously, do) tolerate rich people leading their governments, but I think there’s the assumption that they’re paying taxes, as well. I can’t blame a rich guy for wanting to maximize his money, but if he does so in a way that detracts from his perceived fairness or love of country, well, he may have to deal with that when he runs for office.
    Curiously, while Romney has released two recent returns (I believe), he hasn’t even released the returns from the last time he ran for office. I think that’s odd.

    There’s also the added irony that his father was the presidential candidate who started this whole tax-return-releasing business. People love irony.

    Anyhow, Cincinnatus said (@28), “There are actual issues to discuss–not this birther-lite nonsense.” But are there? Are there, really? By which I mean to say, who here isn’t decided how they’re going to vote this November, at least for President? There’s me, and … Cincinnatus? Maybe?

    The rest of you, are you still gathering information, weighing the issues, unsure of how you’ll vote? If not, then it’s understandable why trivia like this makes such headway. We’re all just biding our time, talking trivia, until the election.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I usually find myself agreeing with Cincinnatus on things, but I actually find myself drawn in on this tax-return issue. Maybe I’ve been living on the Left Coast too long. Maybe it’s the constant droning on my Facebook feed from my left-leaning friends. Maybe it’s that I’m really not engaged this election, and the aforementioned Facebook posts have comprised most of my political reading — okay, skimming — of late.

    Whatever, the issue doesn’t seem to be (or, if you will, seem to be framed as) whether Romney’s rich or not. It’s more a question of whether he paid his “fair share” in taxes. That is to say, if the unreleased tax returns show that he paid $0 (or some ridiculously low effective tax rate), if they show that he was sheltering his money in ways that benefitted him but not the country, well, he’ll come off as un-American.

    Americans can (and, obviously, do) tolerate rich people leading their governments, but I think there’s the assumption that they’re paying taxes, as well. I can’t blame a rich guy for wanting to maximize his money, but if he does so in a way that detracts from his perceived fairness or love of country, well, he may have to deal with that when he runs for office.
    Curiously, while Romney has released two recent returns (I believe), he hasn’t even released the returns from the last time he ran for office. I think that’s odd.

    There’s also the added irony that his father was the presidential candidate who started this whole tax-return-releasing business. People love irony.

    Anyhow, Cincinnatus said (@28), “There are actual issues to discuss–not this birther-lite nonsense.” But are there? Are there, really? By which I mean to say, who here isn’t decided how they’re going to vote this November, at least for President? There’s me, and … Cincinnatus? Maybe?

    The rest of you, are you still gathering information, weighing the issues, unsure of how you’ll vote? If not, then it’s understandable why trivia like this makes such headway. We’re all just biding our time, talking trivia, until the election.

  • Steve Billingsley

    @ 31
    “Personally, the returns don’t interest me much.”

    Sure, that’s why you brought them up in the first place. Because you are so uninterested.

  • Steve Billingsley

    @ 31
    “Personally, the returns don’t interest me much.”

    Sure, that’s why you brought them up in the first place. Because you are so uninterested.

  • Steve Billingsley

    tODD @ 32
    At least you recognize that it’s trivia and you’re not pretending to not care about it while bringing up the subject in the first place.

    But, on the bright side – we have 3 more months of this to go. I personally can’t wait for the next conspiracy theory. My favorite recent ones are that Obama hates suburbs and Romney murders the wives of company employees that Bain downsizes.

    I am hoping that we get more juicy rumors soon – something involving steamy affairs or membership in a New World Order group that secretly runs the world from Chick-Fil-A’s or the Koch brothers secret corporate retreat center housed in a supposedly dormant volcanic island in the Pacific somewhere. Complete with sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads.

  • Steve Billingsley

    tODD @ 32
    At least you recognize that it’s trivia and you’re not pretending to not care about it while bringing up the subject in the first place.

    But, on the bright side – we have 3 more months of this to go. I personally can’t wait for the next conspiracy theory. My favorite recent ones are that Obama hates suburbs and Romney murders the wives of company employees that Bain downsizes.

    I am hoping that we get more juicy rumors soon – something involving steamy affairs or membership in a New World Order group that secretly runs the world from Chick-Fil-A’s or the Koch brothers secret corporate retreat center housed in a supposedly dormant volcanic island in the Pacific somewhere. Complete with sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads.

  • Jonathan

    @33, I said @25, “This thread is about why Romney is falling behind, given the poor economy.” Veith himself headlined the thread “Obama is winning.” Why is that? I suggested that Romney’s stubborn refusal to release the returns is hurting him. You obviously disagree. Fair enough.

  • Jonathan

    @33, I said @25, “This thread is about why Romney is falling behind, given the poor economy.” Veith himself headlined the thread “Obama is winning.” Why is that? I suggested that Romney’s stubborn refusal to release the returns is hurting him. You obviously disagree. Fair enough.

  • The Jones

    It’s the Olympics, stupid.

  • The Jones

    It’s the Olympics, stupid.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@32:

    I see your point, but it still seems like a “gotcha!” issue to me. If Romney were a serial tax cheat–like, say, Tim Geithner–with millions in back taxes, shady tax shelters, and any number of illegal financial transactions, that would be one thing. And it would also be a thing for the IRS and law enforcement system, not something to be discovered or solved by releasing his forms to the public.

    But if the forms show that he hasn’t paid his “fair share” in taxes…well, my first question would be what you mean by “fair share.” If Romney paid few taxes–which wouldn’t be at all surprising–because he has much of his money in offshore accounts, or other tax-free holdings, or because he paid capital gains rather than wage taxes, or [fill in the blank with legally acceptable loopholes], you can’t claim he didn’t pay his “fair share” if he acted within the law. Your standards–and voter standards–for fair would be entirely arbitrary, providing fodder for nothing more than the kind of empty, personalistic rhetoric I’m criticizing here. If I released my tax forms, you would find that I’ve exploited every possible loophole and deduction–so I probably pay less than others in my bracket. Does that mean I haven’t paid my fair share or that I’m not “committed” to America? Should I be excluded from eligibility for office?

    Is it “odd” that Romney hasn’t released all his tax returns? Sure, I guess. It’s also odd that Obama refused to release his long-form birth certificate. But, with all due respect, only small minds treat these as major campaign issues. Surely you can find some other, more substantive reason to oppose Romney.

    /and yes, I’m still undecided–as in, I haven’t decided whether I’ll vote at all, or write in. And if I had to hold my nose and vote for one of the two major candidates, I don’t know which one it would be.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@32:

    I see your point, but it still seems like a “gotcha!” issue to me. If Romney were a serial tax cheat–like, say, Tim Geithner–with millions in back taxes, shady tax shelters, and any number of illegal financial transactions, that would be one thing. And it would also be a thing for the IRS and law enforcement system, not something to be discovered or solved by releasing his forms to the public.

    But if the forms show that he hasn’t paid his “fair share” in taxes…well, my first question would be what you mean by “fair share.” If Romney paid few taxes–which wouldn’t be at all surprising–because he has much of his money in offshore accounts, or other tax-free holdings, or because he paid capital gains rather than wage taxes, or [fill in the blank with legally acceptable loopholes], you can’t claim he didn’t pay his “fair share” if he acted within the law. Your standards–and voter standards–for fair would be entirely arbitrary, providing fodder for nothing more than the kind of empty, personalistic rhetoric I’m criticizing here. If I released my tax forms, you would find that I’ve exploited every possible loophole and deduction–so I probably pay less than others in my bracket. Does that mean I haven’t paid my fair share or that I’m not “committed” to America? Should I be excluded from eligibility for office?

    Is it “odd” that Romney hasn’t released all his tax returns? Sure, I guess. It’s also odd that Obama refused to release his long-form birth certificate. But, with all due respect, only small minds treat these as major campaign issues. Surely you can find some other, more substantive reason to oppose Romney.

    /and yes, I’m still undecided–as in, I haven’t decided whether I’ll vote at all, or write in. And if I had to hold my nose and vote for one of the two major candidates, I don’t know which one it would be.

  • Cincinnatus

    Als0, just speculation here, but I wonder if Romney is withholding his returns because they remind everyone that he has, in fact, donated bajillions to the Mormon Church. This could be a turn off for his base and opponents.

    I can’t imagine that there would be anything else that would be shocking or surprising in those returns that we don’t already know or suspect. That rich people are rich, and that they pay lower rates than their employees is old hat for now, and applies just as much to Obama as to Romney. No minds would be changed.

  • Cincinnatus

    Als0, just speculation here, but I wonder if Romney is withholding his returns because they remind everyone that he has, in fact, donated bajillions to the Mormon Church. This could be a turn off for his base and opponents.

    I can’t imagine that there would be anything else that would be shocking or surprising in those returns that we don’t already know or suspect. That rich people are rich, and that they pay lower rates than their employees is old hat for now, and applies just as much to Obama as to Romney. No minds would be changed.

  • Jonathan

    @38, Tax rates apply equally, but the difference is in the kind of income not the amount. Romney’s, unlike Obama’s, is exclusively investment income, which is taxed at a lower rate.

  • Jonathan

    @38, Tax rates apply equally, but the difference is in the kind of income not the amount. Romney’s, unlike Obama’s, is exclusively investment income, which is taxed at a lower rate.

  • Tom Hering

    There’s speculation that the reason Harry Reid, a Mormon, is pressing for Romney to release more returns is because they’ll show that Romney did not, until recently, tithe to the LDS church the way he should have. Supposedly, Reid’s inside source on this is also Mormon.

    If Romney wins, then, it’s possible Mormon infighting will add another layer to government dysfunction.

    Ain’t rumors fun? :-D

  • Tom Hering

    There’s speculation that the reason Harry Reid, a Mormon, is pressing for Romney to release more returns is because they’ll show that Romney did not, until recently, tithe to the LDS church the way he should have. Supposedly, Reid’s inside source on this is also Mormon.

    If Romney wins, then, it’s possible Mormon infighting will add another layer to government dysfunction.

    Ain’t rumors fun? :-D

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@37), sure, maybe it’s a “gotcha” issue, although it seems the definition of that term might just be “something below my interest threshold”.

    my first question would be what you mean by “fair share.”

    Well, I certainly mean “greater than $0″ — and, if Sen. Reid’s claims are at all accurate (not a guarantee, I realize), then it’s possible Romney paid something close to that for many years in a row. That certainly would be hard to spin for a guy running for President.

    I can only speak to my own interest in this topic, but I don’t think tax-free holdings or paying capital gains rather than wage taxes would make for much of a story. Offshore accounts, on the other hand, really wouldn’t look so great. There’s taking advantage of the tax laws as they are written, and then there’s simply trying to hide your money from your own country. Sure, lots of rich people do the latter, but there is a political price to pay for doing so, if any of those rich people want to run for office. Romney’s trying to have it both ways, it would seem.

    only small minds treat these as major campaign issues

    Bit of a straw man, isn’t that? Who’s treating this as a “major” issue? It’s just something to talk about on a Friday afternoon. If you want, we could talk about a truly major issue, like … yeah, I don’t really want to talk about them, either.

    Myself, I’m pretty dead-set against voting for Obama. I really don’t see myself voting for Romney either, though. But I’ll keep an eye out. And if I write in, it doesn’t really matter who I write in, does it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@37), sure, maybe it’s a “gotcha” issue, although it seems the definition of that term might just be “something below my interest threshold”.

    my first question would be what you mean by “fair share.”

    Well, I certainly mean “greater than $0″ — and, if Sen. Reid’s claims are at all accurate (not a guarantee, I realize), then it’s possible Romney paid something close to that for many years in a row. That certainly would be hard to spin for a guy running for President.

    I can only speak to my own interest in this topic, but I don’t think tax-free holdings or paying capital gains rather than wage taxes would make for much of a story. Offshore accounts, on the other hand, really wouldn’t look so great. There’s taking advantage of the tax laws as they are written, and then there’s simply trying to hide your money from your own country. Sure, lots of rich people do the latter, but there is a political price to pay for doing so, if any of those rich people want to run for office. Romney’s trying to have it both ways, it would seem.

    only small minds treat these as major campaign issues

    Bit of a straw man, isn’t that? Who’s treating this as a “major” issue? It’s just something to talk about on a Friday afternoon. If you want, we could talk about a truly major issue, like … yeah, I don’t really want to talk about them, either.

    Myself, I’m pretty dead-set against voting for Obama. I really don’t see myself voting for Romney either, though. But I’ll keep an eye out. And if I write in, it doesn’t really matter who I write in, does it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@38):

    I wonder if Romney is withholding his returns because they remind everyone that he has, in fact, donated bajillions to the Mormon Church.

    Huh? Wouldn’t that require that most people are ignorant of his being Mormon? Do you think that’s the case?

    But if they do know, why would they be aghast at his giving money to that church? I’d be willing to bet that most Americans, ignorant as they are about religion, know he’s Mormon but don’t know much about that faith’s tenets, and as such, he’d just look like a charitable guy. Assuming he was, in fact, mailing bajillions to Salt Lake City.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@38):

    I wonder if Romney is withholding his returns because they remind everyone that he has, in fact, donated bajillions to the Mormon Church.

    Huh? Wouldn’t that require that most people are ignorant of his being Mormon? Do you think that’s the case?

    But if they do know, why would they be aghast at his giving money to that church? I’d be willing to bet that most Americans, ignorant as they are about religion, know he’s Mormon but don’t know much about that faith’s tenets, and as such, he’d just look like a charitable guy. Assuming he was, in fact, mailing bajillions to Salt Lake City.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@41:

    [M]aybe it’s a “gotcha” issue, although it seems the definition of that term might just be “something below my interest threshold.”

    It is certainly below my interest threshold. But, particularly put in historical perspective, it still remains in the objectively “gotcha” category to me. Pretend that the income tax existed in the 18th and 19th centuries. As dirty and trivial as campaigns in that time often became, can you imagine voters demanding to see John Adams’ tax return? Or Monroe’s? Or even someone more recent, like FDR? It’s just so silly!

    Well, I certainly mean “greater than $0″

    Sure, but if Romney were literally paying $0, Warren Buffett et al. would be banging down his door for tax tips. Anything more than $0 gets into the “gotcha” category: some flash in the pan outrage, maybe, but it’s not going to change anyone’s mind. Obama played the Tea Party by dragging out the birth certificate “issue.” Romney can play the OWS crowd with this issue. And I care not a fig for what the scoundrel Reid has to say about anything.

    Offshore accounts, on the other hand, really wouldn’t look so great.

    Eh, I guess. My perceptions cloud this issue, because I don’t care on whit if someone has an offshore account. I wish I had one. It would be, at best, a temporary issue, though. There’s nothing illegal about having an offshore account. It just shows that Romney is rich. Which, again, we already know. No one’s mind will be changed.

    As for the Mormonism thing, which do you think would bother more voters? [non-rhetorical question] A candidate who doesn’t tithe–literally tithe all 10%–to his church, of whatever denomination, or a candidate who not only tithes, but tithes to what many people regard as a fringe, heterodox, fundamentalist, uber-conservative cult? That Romney may not tithe to the temple may bother a few voters in Utah–who will still vote Republican anyway. Otherwise, failure to tithe doesn’t seem to be a serious stain on one’s public character: Obama, the “born-again” Christian, doesn’t even go to church. Ever. But I suspect that more “average” voters will be more concerned that that Romney ceded almost 20% of his multi-multi-million dollar earnings to the Mormons in 2011 (and perhaps every year before that too). Swing voters know what the Mormons use that money for: secret underwear and, more importantly, divisive political campaigning (e.g., against Prop. 8). Mormonism is a red herring, of course, but it could be a pretty big one if Romney’s not careful.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@41:

    [M]aybe it’s a “gotcha” issue, although it seems the definition of that term might just be “something below my interest threshold.”

    It is certainly below my interest threshold. But, particularly put in historical perspective, it still remains in the objectively “gotcha” category to me. Pretend that the income tax existed in the 18th and 19th centuries. As dirty and trivial as campaigns in that time often became, can you imagine voters demanding to see John Adams’ tax return? Or Monroe’s? Or even someone more recent, like FDR? It’s just so silly!

    Well, I certainly mean “greater than $0″

    Sure, but if Romney were literally paying $0, Warren Buffett et al. would be banging down his door for tax tips. Anything more than $0 gets into the “gotcha” category: some flash in the pan outrage, maybe, but it’s not going to change anyone’s mind. Obama played the Tea Party by dragging out the birth certificate “issue.” Romney can play the OWS crowd with this issue. And I care not a fig for what the scoundrel Reid has to say about anything.

    Offshore accounts, on the other hand, really wouldn’t look so great.

    Eh, I guess. My perceptions cloud this issue, because I don’t care on whit if someone has an offshore account. I wish I had one. It would be, at best, a temporary issue, though. There’s nothing illegal about having an offshore account. It just shows that Romney is rich. Which, again, we already know. No one’s mind will be changed.

    As for the Mormonism thing, which do you think would bother more voters? [non-rhetorical question] A candidate who doesn’t tithe–literally tithe all 10%–to his church, of whatever denomination, or a candidate who not only tithes, but tithes to what many people regard as a fringe, heterodox, fundamentalist, uber-conservative cult? That Romney may not tithe to the temple may bother a few voters in Utah–who will still vote Republican anyway. Otherwise, failure to tithe doesn’t seem to be a serious stain on one’s public character: Obama, the “born-again” Christian, doesn’t even go to church. Ever. But I suspect that more “average” voters will be more concerned that that Romney ceded almost 20% of his multi-multi-million dollar earnings to the Mormons in 2011 (and perhaps every year before that too). Swing voters know what the Mormons use that money for: secret underwear and, more importantly, divisive political campaigning (e.g., against Prop. 8). Mormonism is a red herring, of course, but it could be a pretty big one if Romney’s not careful.

  • fjsteve

    Tom, #40, are you being sarcastic? That doesn’t make sense. The Mormon vote isn’t enough to take him over the top so it doesn’t hurt him that he didn’t donate much to the LDS church. On the other hand, if he donated an obscene amount to charity and almost exclusively to the LDS church, it may make some wonder about his loyalties. Personally, I don’t think it will matter either way.

  • fjsteve

    Tom, #40, are you being sarcastic? That doesn’t make sense. The Mormon vote isn’t enough to take him over the top so it doesn’t hurt him that he didn’t donate much to the LDS church. On the other hand, if he donated an obscene amount to charity and almost exclusively to the LDS church, it may make some wonder about his loyalties. Personally, I don’t think it will matter either way.

  • Tom Hering

    Ah, but if a guy would cheat his own church, what kind of a President would he be? Can you spell values issue? I know you can.

  • Tom Hering

    Ah, but if a guy would cheat his own church, what kind of a President would he be? Can you spell values issue? I know you can.

  • SKPeterson

    Jonathan @39 – We probably should go there. Investment income is taxed at a lower personal rate but a much higher effrctive rate. Investment income is subject to a morally dubious if not outright evil double taxation where Romney got to pay a nice, high (one of if not the highest) corporate income taxes on the companies he owns, then again at that horrible “lower” rate as an individual.

    What I’d like to know is how a community organizer who labored for all of about six months and has been in relatively modedt paying public positions for the last 10 years or so has amassed a tidy $12 million. Maybe he got commodities trading advice from Hilary.

  • SKPeterson

    Jonathan @39 – We probably should go there. Investment income is taxed at a lower personal rate but a much higher effrctive rate. Investment income is subject to a morally dubious if not outright evil double taxation where Romney got to pay a nice, high (one of if not the highest) corporate income taxes on the companies he owns, then again at that horrible “lower” rate as an individual.

    What I’d like to know is how a community organizer who labored for all of about six months and has been in relatively modedt paying public positions for the last 10 years or so has amassed a tidy $12 million. Maybe he got commodities trading advice from Hilary.

  • Stephen

    SKP @ 46

    I’ve read, though I don’t have a source handy, that Obama has accumulated his wealth largely from the sale of his books. They’ve sold quite well.

    And as to Romney’s taxes, this was interesting:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/08/opinion/canellos-kleinbard-romney-taxes/index.html

  • Stephen

    SKP @ 46

    I’ve read, though I don’t have a source handy, that Obama has accumulated his wealth largely from the sale of his books. They’ve sold quite well.

    And as to Romney’s taxes, this was interesting:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/08/opinion/canellos-kleinbard-romney-taxes/index.html

  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering
  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@43):

    Which do you think would bother more voters? … A candidate who doesn’t tithe … to his church, of whatever denomination, or a candidate who not only tithes, but tithes to what many people regard as a fringe, heterodox, fundamentalist, uber-conservative cult?

    Given only those two choices, sure, the latter, but again, not releasing your taxes is a really bizarre strategy for trying to downplay the fact that you’re Mormon. Which, I would argue, is about as well known as a fact can get. I’m not saying that what Mormons believe is well-known — it’s not, which is why I would argue that the fact that he’s Mormon won’t, itself, make that much of an impact. But the amount he gave to the church doesn’t really have an impact on how the church’s teachings are viewed. And that’s all a tax return would tell us.

    Having typed that, perhaps what you’re really going for is that maybe most people assume that he, like they, isn’t terribly devoted to his nominal religion. Seeing some serious zeroes on his deduction worksheet might make people realize he’s quite serious about their teachings. Or, you know, he might just come off as a good, upstanding guy, just like most Mormons do (at least in their capacity as Mormons).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@43):

    Which do you think would bother more voters? … A candidate who doesn’t tithe … to his church, of whatever denomination, or a candidate who not only tithes, but tithes to what many people regard as a fringe, heterodox, fundamentalist, uber-conservative cult?

    Given only those two choices, sure, the latter, but again, not releasing your taxes is a really bizarre strategy for trying to downplay the fact that you’re Mormon. Which, I would argue, is about as well known as a fact can get. I’m not saying that what Mormons believe is well-known — it’s not, which is why I would argue that the fact that he’s Mormon won’t, itself, make that much of an impact. But the amount he gave to the church doesn’t really have an impact on how the church’s teachings are viewed. And that’s all a tax return would tell us.

    Having typed that, perhaps what you’re really going for is that maybe most people assume that he, like they, isn’t terribly devoted to his nominal religion. Seeing some serious zeroes on his deduction worksheet might make people realize he’s quite serious about their teachings. Or, you know, he might just come off as a good, upstanding guy, just like most Mormons do (at least in their capacity as Mormons).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And our conversation here capitulates the political dialog at large: on a thread nominally about Obama, we’re all talking trivial negatives about Romney.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And our conversation here capitulates the political dialog at large: on a thread nominally about Obama, we’re all talking trivial negatives about Romney.

  • Jon

    I hope Romney does release his returns and that it says zero taxes paid. Can you imagine the ire of the lefties who believe that he hasn’t paid “his fair share”?

    I say no one should be made to pay the government more than they legally have to. I applaud anyone who can legally pay zero–whether you want to call it a loop-hole. Such a person has more money available to actually fuel the economy than to just let it get sucked into the government’s belly where it does no good.

  • Jon

    I hope Romney does release his returns and that it says zero taxes paid. Can you imagine the ire of the lefties who believe that he hasn’t paid “his fair share”?

    I say no one should be made to pay the government more than they legally have to. I applaud anyone who can legally pay zero–whether you want to call it a loop-hole. Such a person has more money available to actually fuel the economy than to just let it get sucked into the government’s belly where it does no good.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jon@51:

    Nice troll. I give it an 8/10. 2 point deduction for getting a little too excited about the “trickle-down” effect.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jon@51:

    Nice troll. I give it an 8/10. 2 point deduction for getting a little too excited about the “trickle-down” effect.

  • Jon

    Can you cheat tithing and still get a Temple Recommend? I thought you have to present your tax returns to the LDS for review in order to get the TR. Anyone know if Mitt’s carrying a card? Surely he’s not releasing because he’s afraid the LDS will find out he’s not in good standing for tithing.

  • Jon

    Can you cheat tithing and still get a Temple Recommend? I thought you have to present your tax returns to the LDS for review in order to get the TR. Anyone know if Mitt’s carrying a card? Surely he’s not releasing because he’s afraid the LDS will find out he’s not in good standing for tithing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jon (@51):

    I say no one should be made to pay the government more than they legally have to.

    Um… And I say that white is the whitest color.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jon (@51):

    I say no one should be made to pay the government more than they legally have to.

    Um… And I say that white is the whitest color.

  • Jonathan

    It’s odd that Romney would rather lose the presidency than release his taxes.

  • Jonathan

    It’s odd that Romney would rather lose the presidency than release his taxes.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@55: You haven’t been paying attention, have you? That Romney hasn’t released his taxes–yet–is absolutely not going to cost him the Presidency. If Romney loses, see my comment@7 for why.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@55: You haven’t been paying attention, have you? That Romney hasn’t released his taxes–yet–is absolutely not going to cost him the Presidency. If Romney loses, see my comment@7 for why.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Obama is doing so well because he has an excellent running mate. Mitt Romney.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Obama is doing so well because he has an excellent running mate. Mitt Romney.

  • Joe

    Others have made the same suggestion in editorials etc, but I think Romney should consider a statement that he’ll release his tax returns when Obama releases his transcripts etc from Columbia.

    I have no idea what is in them or why Obama is so hell bent on keeping them out of the press. I don’t really even care what is in them. But if Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns means he must be hiding something re: his taxes; then Obama must be hiding something re: college years.

    Oh, the other day I was talking with this guy and he told me that Obama applied for and received student aid on the basis of being a foreign student, so that is probably why he’s hiding his college transcripts. No, I can’t say if this is true or not, but that’s what this one guy said. I’m just saying.

  • Joe

    Others have made the same suggestion in editorials etc, but I think Romney should consider a statement that he’ll release his tax returns when Obama releases his transcripts etc from Columbia.

    I have no idea what is in them or why Obama is so hell bent on keeping them out of the press. I don’t really even care what is in them. But if Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns means he must be hiding something re: his taxes; then Obama must be hiding something re: college years.

    Oh, the other day I was talking with this guy and he told me that Obama applied for and received student aid on the basis of being a foreign student, so that is probably why he’s hiding his college transcripts. No, I can’t say if this is true or not, but that’s what this one guy said. I’m just saying.

  • Jon

    Romney should announce his VP now ahead of the convention, give them something else to look at.

  • Jon

    Romney should announce his VP now ahead of the convention, give them something else to look at.

  • larry

    KK@20;

    You are right on the money. No everyday guy really cares. If his records showed nothing then those supporting before still will, and those that didn’t will basically tag onto something such as “see how richness is “. If something did show up lets imagine, it will probably be so convoluted in the tax system that supporters before hand will see it as a badge of honor, and again those against any Rep. Will of course rub the back of each others necks saying, “I will ‘now ‘ never vote for MR ” as if the possibility ever existed. Same thing with Obamas records.

    These are basically no game changer needy inside baseball games that the average voter could care less about.

  • larry

    KK@20;

    You are right on the money. No everyday guy really cares. If his records showed nothing then those supporting before still will, and those that didn’t will basically tag onto something such as “see how richness is “. If something did show up lets imagine, it will probably be so convoluted in the tax system that supporters before hand will see it as a badge of honor, and again those against any Rep. Will of course rub the back of each others necks saying, “I will ‘now ‘ never vote for MR ” as if the possibility ever existed. Same thing with Obamas records.

    These are basically no game changer needy inside baseball games that the average voter could care less about.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I think it’s a bit odd that Americans would rather stick with the status quo than change things when the economy is so weak and unemployment is so consistently bad.

    Obama got his stimulus loaded down with payoffs to donors, graft and fraud. He’s also had a simpatico Federal Reserve putting inflationary pressure on commodities/securities since 2009. So economic policy of the old-fashioned Keynesian sort has been tried. Keynesianism doesn’t work in a Globalized post-industrial economy.

    Now this antiquated Obama policy has had the logical effect of depressing the labor market and the service sector of the economy for the last 3 years.

    I’m not suggesting Romney will fix any of this but why waste another 4 years with a President whose is disinclined to change course in response to his mounting failures on economic and fiscal policy?

    It’s a shame Republicans didn’t go populist with a candidate that would favor small businesses over the financial sector and propose serious efforts to retrain the mega-banks unlike Dodd-Frank’s limp wrist slap.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I think it’s a bit odd that Americans would rather stick with the status quo than change things when the economy is so weak and unemployment is so consistently bad.

    Obama got his stimulus loaded down with payoffs to donors, graft and fraud. He’s also had a simpatico Federal Reserve putting inflationary pressure on commodities/securities since 2009. So economic policy of the old-fashioned Keynesian sort has been tried. Keynesianism doesn’t work in a Globalized post-industrial economy.

    Now this antiquated Obama policy has had the logical effect of depressing the labor market and the service sector of the economy for the last 3 years.

    I’m not suggesting Romney will fix any of this but why waste another 4 years with a President whose is disinclined to change course in response to his mounting failures on economic and fiscal policy?

    It’s a shame Republicans didn’t go populist with a candidate that would favor small businesses over the financial sector and propose serious efforts to retrain the mega-banks unlike Dodd-Frank’s limp wrist slap.

  • Michael B.

    “Still, I thought it was the economy, stupid! Why, despite everything, is Obama still doing so well?”

    But is there a single person on here who isn’t voting for Obama, but would vote for him if the economy were doing well right now?

  • Michael B.

    “Still, I thought it was the economy, stupid! Why, despite everything, is Obama still doing so well?”

    But is there a single person on here who isn’t voting for Obama, but would vote for him if the economy were doing well right now?

  • Grace

    Michael B.

    The point is ‘the economy isn’t doing well, it’s a mess, he hasn’t a clue as to how to fix anything, except to raise taxes for the rich and upper middle class. Obama even made a suggestion just this week, that Michael as First Lady should receive some sort of salary – can you imagine such arrogance, when so many have no job?

    Obama isn’t doing well, it’s all hype, the media feeds from it, regurgitates itself and then hands it to whomever will listen. I see very little analyzing, comprehending, or deciphering Obama’s mistakes, his inability to think (teleprompter, to name just one) He’s inept as a leader, in fact his abilities are zero, to match his career (if you can call it that) and background.

    Romney is no prize. We just heard that he will state who he has chosen for his running mate tomorrow. That should be a ‘choice bit of news. Everyone can chew on that one for two and half months.

  • Grace

    Michael B.

    The point is ‘the economy isn’t doing well, it’s a mess, he hasn’t a clue as to how to fix anything, except to raise taxes for the rich and upper middle class. Obama even made a suggestion just this week, that Michael as First Lady should receive some sort of salary – can you imagine such arrogance, when so many have no job?

    Obama isn’t doing well, it’s all hype, the media feeds from it, regurgitates itself and then hands it to whomever will listen. I see very little analyzing, comprehending, or deciphering Obama’s mistakes, his inability to think (teleprompter, to name just one) He’s inept as a leader, in fact his abilities are zero, to match his career (if you can call it that) and background.

    Romney is no prize. We just heard that he will state who he has chosen for his running mate tomorrow. That should be a ‘choice bit of news. Everyone can chew on that one for two and half months.

  • Basset Horn

    I think part of the reason Obama still is polling well, is there are large parts of the population that if January the Wonder Ass, Mr. Ed or Goofy the Dog were on the ballot and had a (D) after their name people would vote for them.

  • Basset Horn

    I think part of the reason Obama still is polling well, is there are large parts of the population that if January the Wonder Ass, Mr. Ed or Goofy the Dog were on the ballot and had a (D) after their name people would vote for them.

  • Tom Hering

    FOX News confirms that Romney will announce Paul Ryan as his running mate this morning, and I’m really likin’ it. First, because Ryan will eclipse Romney just as Palin eclipsed McCain, and no one votes for Vice President. Second, because Ryan is the MediScare [sic] guy, and a lot of likely voters are seniors. Whee! :-D

  • Tom Hering

    FOX News confirms that Romney will announce Paul Ryan as his running mate this morning, and I’m really likin’ it. First, because Ryan will eclipse Romney just as Palin eclipsed McCain, and no one votes for Vice President. Second, because Ryan is the MediScare [sic] guy, and a lot of likely voters are seniors. Whee! :-D

  • SKPeterson

    Ryan is better to have in the House. His selection and the political calculus behind it essentially underscores the bankruptcy of thought in the Rep. establishment. Ryan is good and a threat in many ways to certain Rep. sacred cows; what better way to sideline reform than to send one of the main reformers into the great good night of irrelevancy either thru losing the election (see! reform can’t win!) or the ascent to the most useless position of political (non)power in the US?

  • SKPeterson

    Ryan is better to have in the House. His selection and the political calculus behind it essentially underscores the bankruptcy of thought in the Rep. establishment. Ryan is good and a threat in many ways to certain Rep. sacred cows; what better way to sideline reform than to send one of the main reformers into the great good night of irrelevancy either thru losing the election (see! reform can’t win!) or the ascent to the most useless position of political (non)power in the US?

  • Tom Hering

    I wonder if the thinking was that having Ryan on the ticket would make it easier for the author of Romneycare to take on the author of Obamacare. (“See? He’s really changed!”) Plus, there’s the Wisconsin battleground thing, but I don’t think Wisconsinites outside Ryan’s district are wildly fond of him.

  • Tom Hering

    I wonder if the thinking was that having Ryan on the ticket would make it easier for the author of Romneycare to take on the author of Obamacare. (“See? He’s really changed!”) Plus, there’s the Wisconsin battleground thing, but I don’t think Wisconsinites outside Ryan’s district are wildly fond of him.

  • Cincinnatus

    Though Ryan was a predictable choice–I called it months ago–I have mixed feelings about whether he was a prudent choice, in contrast to the unanimously (and surprisingly!) unmixed feelings expressed in this thread so far. Some things to consider, and some responses to Tom et al.

    1) Ryan may (temporarily) overshadow Romney. But this isn’t the “Palin Phenomenon” all over again. Palin overshadowed McCain because, quite frankly, she was a moronic attention-hound, utterly unqualified for the job. So was Biden, but the media, we learned, is sexist. Ryan is no moron, and he’s classically qualified.

    2) Ryan may, actually, carry Wisconsin for Romney. For those like Tom who haven’t stepped outside their Milwaukee neighborhoods, you’ll be surprised to know that Wisconsin feels very Republican lately–and I’m not just talking about election results. Ryan is widely popular here.

    3) The “MediScare” thing is a legitimate concern. Democrats are going to make hay out of it. Why pick the one Republican who has made his career on dismantling MediCare? Yes, everyone knows MediCare needs serious reform, but both Democrats and Republicans are too gutless to do anything about it, and would rather attack anyone who dares mention it. And they will.

    That said, though, presidential platforms these days are all about image. Ryan provides a facade of decisive “fiscal conservatism” to Romney’s campaign, even if the VP has nothing whatsoever to do with anything in practice.

    4) SKPeterson’s concerns about neutering Ryan’s “powerful” role in the House are overstated. CongressCritters aren’t that powerful on their own, and if Ryan was the only conservative brain in the House, we were doomed whether he was there or not. The fact that the G.O.P. is willing to endorse his ideas at the highest level–even if only nominally–is an encouraging sign. Too bad they didn’t feel the same way when selecting an actual presidential candidate.

    Anyway, all this to say that I think Ryan is a fairly strong choice. I can think of lots of other equally appealing choices, but none that are decisively better for Romney.

    I still won’t vote for him, though.

  • Cincinnatus

    Though Ryan was a predictable choice–I called it months ago–I have mixed feelings about whether he was a prudent choice, in contrast to the unanimously (and surprisingly!) unmixed feelings expressed in this thread so far. Some things to consider, and some responses to Tom et al.

    1) Ryan may (temporarily) overshadow Romney. But this isn’t the “Palin Phenomenon” all over again. Palin overshadowed McCain because, quite frankly, she was a moronic attention-hound, utterly unqualified for the job. So was Biden, but the media, we learned, is sexist. Ryan is no moron, and he’s classically qualified.

    2) Ryan may, actually, carry Wisconsin for Romney. For those like Tom who haven’t stepped outside their Milwaukee neighborhoods, you’ll be surprised to know that Wisconsin feels very Republican lately–and I’m not just talking about election results. Ryan is widely popular here.

    3) The “MediScare” thing is a legitimate concern. Democrats are going to make hay out of it. Why pick the one Republican who has made his career on dismantling MediCare? Yes, everyone knows MediCare needs serious reform, but both Democrats and Republicans are too gutless to do anything about it, and would rather attack anyone who dares mention it. And they will.

    That said, though, presidential platforms these days are all about image. Ryan provides a facade of decisive “fiscal conservatism” to Romney’s campaign, even if the VP has nothing whatsoever to do with anything in practice.

    4) SKPeterson’s concerns about neutering Ryan’s “powerful” role in the House are overstated. CongressCritters aren’t that powerful on their own, and if Ryan was the only conservative brain in the House, we were doomed whether he was there or not. The fact that the G.O.P. is willing to endorse his ideas at the highest level–even if only nominally–is an encouraging sign. Too bad they didn’t feel the same way when selecting an actual presidential candidate.

    Anyway, all this to say that I think Ryan is a fairly strong choice. I can think of lots of other equally appealing choices, but none that are decisively better for Romney.

    I still won’t vote for him, though.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, you still think I live in Southeastern Wisconsin? That’s funny. I’m in the state’s heartland, and believe me, the majority here aren’t Ryan fans. As for calling it months ago, you called it for Portman or Pawlenty as late as June 23.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, you still think I live in Southeastern Wisconsin? That’s funny. I’m in the state’s heartland, and believe me, the majority here aren’t Ryan fans. As for calling it months ago, you called it for Portman or Pawlenty as late as June 23.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@69:

    1) What is Wisconsin’s “heartland”? There’s Milwaukee, there’s Madison (aka, Latte-Sipping Liberal-land), a brief band of old-style German Social Democrats/Farmer-Laborers up around Eau Claire. And then there’s everywhere else. They’re Republicans. Solidly. Like, more Republican than my old Southern hometown.

    Apologies at a personal level for mistaking your location, though. Anyway, where is this magical Republican part of Wisconsin where the voters also hate Ryan?

    2) I was calling it for Portman or Ryan. If I were Romney, I would have gone with Portman precisely because no one scream “MediScare!”

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@69:

    1) What is Wisconsin’s “heartland”? There’s Milwaukee, there’s Madison (aka, Latte-Sipping Liberal-land), a brief band of old-style German Social Democrats/Farmer-Laborers up around Eau Claire. And then there’s everywhere else. They’re Republicans. Solidly. Like, more Republican than my old Southern hometown.

    Apologies at a personal level for mistaking your location, though. Anyway, where is this magical Republican part of Wisconsin where the voters also hate Ryan?

    2) I was calling it for Portman or Ryan. If I were Romney, I would have gone with Portman precisely because no one scream “MediScare!”

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus my friend, in the “Romney’s Vice-Presidential pick?” thread, you said @ 15, “I’m fairly convinced by the narrative speculating that Romney will go for someone like [Rob Portman].” And @ 38 you said, “My supposition is that he will choose either Pawlenty or Portman.”

    There’s a county smack dab in the center of Wisconsin that’s always been a Democratic stronghold. Keep guessing. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus my friend, in the “Romney’s Vice-Presidential pick?” thread, you said @ 15, “I’m fairly convinced by the narrative speculating that Romney will go for someone like [Rob Portman].” And @ 38 you said, “My supposition is that he will choose either Pawlenty or Portman.”

    There’s a county smack dab in the center of Wisconsin that’s always been a Democratic stronghold. Keep guessing. :-D

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@71:

    1) My mistake. Ryan has been on my mental list for potential Romney VP picks for many, many months now. I guess I just didn’t state it in that thread. Oh well. The point is that I’m unsurprised by this choice.

    2) I don’t care where you live specifically, and it’s none of my business. If I had to guess, somewhere around Portage County. The relevant fact is that you’re in a Democratic county talking to your Democratic friends. Find me a group of ordinary Republican voters who hate Ryan and I’ll grant your point.

    Ryan is a rising star in the Republican party, and he has what most would consider fiscally “conservative” views. My politically illiterate parents in Virginia know who Paul Ryan is, and they like him. A congressman. From Wisconsin. That’s saying something.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@71:

    1) My mistake. Ryan has been on my mental list for potential Romney VP picks for many, many months now. I guess I just didn’t state it in that thread. Oh well. The point is that I’m unsurprised by this choice.

    2) I don’t care where you live specifically, and it’s none of my business. If I had to guess, somewhere around Portage County. The relevant fact is that you’re in a Democratic county talking to your Democratic friends. Find me a group of ordinary Republican voters who hate Ryan and I’ll grant your point.

    Ryan is a rising star in the Republican party, and he has what most would consider fiscally “conservative” views. My politically illiterate parents in Virginia know who Paul Ryan is, and they like him. A congressman. From Wisconsin. That’s saying something.

  • Tom Hering

    Yup, Stevens Point. Come on up for a beer sometime. I bet we’d have fun arguing in person. :-D

    I never said there were Republican Wisconsinites who hated Ryan. Just that Wisconsinites outside his district aren’t wildly fond of him. So I’m skeptical he’ll swing the state for Mitt. Older Wisconsinites, including the Republicans, like their Medicare as much as anybody.

  • Tom Hering

    Yup, Stevens Point. Come on up for a beer sometime. I bet we’d have fun arguing in person. :-D

    I never said there were Republican Wisconsinites who hated Ryan. Just that Wisconsinites outside his district aren’t wildly fond of him. So I’m skeptical he’ll swing the state for Mitt. Older Wisconsinites, including the Republicans, like their Medicare as much as anybody.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@73:

    I’ll let you know next time I’m up that way!

    As for Ryan, sure, I never claimed that Wisconsin unanimously bows at the feet of the gentleman from Janesville. Wisconsin, I predict, will still go for Obama, but Ryan is Romney’s best chance for averting that result.

    And there are 49 other states. Ryan is popular with Republicans in all of them, especially the ones who are disgusted with the choice of Romney.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@73:

    I’ll let you know next time I’m up that way!

    As for Ryan, sure, I never claimed that Wisconsin unanimously bows at the feet of the gentleman from Janesville. Wisconsin, I predict, will still go for Obama, but Ryan is Romney’s best chance for averting that result.

    And there are 49 other states. Ryan is popular with Republicans in all of them, especially the ones who are disgusted with the choice of Romney.

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, great!

    I can’t believe we’re the only ones here this morning, talking about this. Where’d SK go?

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, great!

    I can’t believe we’re the only ones here this morning, talking about this. Where’d SK go?

  • Cincinnatus

    Apparently, Tom, other people have actual lives on the weekend.

    Anyway, the more I think about this, the more I think that Ryan is a strong choice for Romney. More importantly, the choice of Ryan has made this campaign about something other than personalities.

    Here’s what I mean: prior to the VP pick, Romney’s campaign was essentially about nothing–literally–and Obama’s campaign was about Romney. But here’s the Romney campaign’s statement regarding Ryan:

    In the campaign to come, Republicans will present economic solutions “that are bold, specific and achievable,” Romney said as he presented his political partner. “We offer our commitment to create 12 million new jobs and bring better take home pay to middle class families.” [taken from an AP bulletin]

    It’s all shallow BS, of course, but it implicates actual issues. In fact, there might even be the glimmer of a platform here! Who would have expected it? Romney himself was a waffling cipher. The addition of Ryan essentially allows Romney, the consummate empty suit, to import a platform for himself whole-cloth.

    Yes, the Democrats are going to demagogue the AARP set like no tomorrow. Will that trade-off be worth it for Romney? It’s always dangerous to make one’s campaign about something.

  • Cincinnatus

    Apparently, Tom, other people have actual lives on the weekend.

    Anyway, the more I think about this, the more I think that Ryan is a strong choice for Romney. More importantly, the choice of Ryan has made this campaign about something other than personalities.

    Here’s what I mean: prior to the VP pick, Romney’s campaign was essentially about nothing–literally–and Obama’s campaign was about Romney. But here’s the Romney campaign’s statement regarding Ryan:

    In the campaign to come, Republicans will present economic solutions “that are bold, specific and achievable,” Romney said as he presented his political partner. “We offer our commitment to create 12 million new jobs and bring better take home pay to middle class families.” [taken from an AP bulletin]

    It’s all shallow BS, of course, but it implicates actual issues. In fact, there might even be the glimmer of a platform here! Who would have expected it? Romney himself was a waffling cipher. The addition of Ryan essentially allows Romney, the consummate empty suit, to import a platform for himself whole-cloth.

    Yes, the Democrats are going to demagogue the AARP set like no tomorrow. Will that trade-off be worth it for Romney? It’s always dangerous to make one’s campaign about something.

  • Dan

    Regarding why Obama is winning now – sure the negative ads have been effective at defining Romney in the swing states and sure the polls are skewed and sure it’s early. I agree with all of that to some degree.

    Here’s another consideration. From the primaries, it seems like Romney’s personality, as it is presented on the political stage, runs somewhere from the kind of lukewarm you want to spit out to significantly off-putting to voters. Republicans kept casting about, hoping they could find another option. It took a while for people to say, “Ok, fine, there’s no better option. We’ll go with Romney.” I wouldn’t be surprised if either 1) it takes general election voters a while to warm to Romney or 2) they never do.

    Regarding the tax returns – McCain said there was nothing in the 20 years of returns given him four years ago. That’s led some to wonder if Romney took a financial loss when the market crashed and didn’t may much if anything that year (that would be a year McCain did not see). Given the way the US taxes that would be “fair,” legal, and also potentially politically damaging, given the level of discourse in our country. Dems would love to add to their overall tax argument that middle class families paid more in taxes than Romney just a few years ago.

    I agree the issue is irrelevant to the actual election, but it is interesting to discuss why Romney has not released more from a strategic point of view.

  • Dan

    Regarding why Obama is winning now – sure the negative ads have been effective at defining Romney in the swing states and sure the polls are skewed and sure it’s early. I agree with all of that to some degree.

    Here’s another consideration. From the primaries, it seems like Romney’s personality, as it is presented on the political stage, runs somewhere from the kind of lukewarm you want to spit out to significantly off-putting to voters. Republicans kept casting about, hoping they could find another option. It took a while for people to say, “Ok, fine, there’s no better option. We’ll go with Romney.” I wouldn’t be surprised if either 1) it takes general election voters a while to warm to Romney or 2) they never do.

    Regarding the tax returns – McCain said there was nothing in the 20 years of returns given him four years ago. That’s led some to wonder if Romney took a financial loss when the market crashed and didn’t may much if anything that year (that would be a year McCain did not see). Given the way the US taxes that would be “fair,” legal, and also potentially politically damaging, given the level of discourse in our country. Dems would love to add to their overall tax argument that middle class families paid more in taxes than Romney just a few years ago.

    I agree the issue is irrelevant to the actual election, but it is interesting to discuss why Romney has not released more from a strategic point of view.

  • Steve

    Obama is “winning?” I’m not buying it & given the fact that all these polls are from Leftist leaning organizations who heavily weigh Democrats statistically and also focus on registered voters instead of the more accurate likely voters category makes me believe they are not so much reflecting public opinion but rather are seeking to shape it.

    BTW – Can Obama really be “winning” when Richard Trumka, the former president of the United Mine Workers can’t even deliver his old union buddies to support the POTUS?

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/coal-miners-union-sits-out-presidential-race-20120809

    Stay tuned boys & girls for an election of landslidable proportions.

  • Steve

    Obama is “winning?” I’m not buying it & given the fact that all these polls are from Leftist leaning organizations who heavily weigh Democrats statistically and also focus on registered voters instead of the more accurate likely voters category makes me believe they are not so much reflecting public opinion but rather are seeking to shape it.

    BTW – Can Obama really be “winning” when Richard Trumka, the former president of the United Mine Workers can’t even deliver his old union buddies to support the POTUS?

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/coal-miners-union-sits-out-presidential-race-20120809

    Stay tuned boys & girls for an election of landslidable proportions.

  • Steve

    Half empty rooms at $51 dollars per ticket?
    What happened to the big crowds that Obama use to draw?
    Here’s just some of the crowd sizes from 2008.
    September 17th, Las Vegas, Cashman Field – 14,000
    October 7th, Cincinnati, Ault Park – 15,000
    October 9th, Portsmouth, Ohio Shawnee St. Univ. – 10,000
    October 18th, Kansas City, Mo. Liberty Memorial Park – 75,000
    October 18th, St. Louis, Mo. Arch Grounds – 100,000
    October 20th, Orlando, Fl Outside of Amway Arena – 50,000
    October 21st, Miami, Fl Bicentennial Park – 30,000
    October 25th, Albuquerque, N.M. Johnson Field – 40,000
    October 27th, Pittsburgh, Pa Mellon Arena – 17,000
    November 2nd, Cincinnati, Oh Nipper Stadium – 27,000
    November 2nd, Columbus, Oh Ohio State House Steps – 60,000
    November 2nd, Cleveland, Oh Outdoor Mall (city park) – 80,000
    November 3rd, Manassas, Va Prince William County Fairgrounds – 80,0000
    Now he’s playing to crowds in high school gyms, and he can’t fill a room for a fund raiser at $51 dollars a pop?
    That sure doesn’t look like winning to me.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/obama-holds-fundraiser-to-half-empty-room/

  • Steve

    Half empty rooms at $51 dollars per ticket?
    What happened to the big crowds that Obama use to draw?
    Here’s just some of the crowd sizes from 2008.
    September 17th, Las Vegas, Cashman Field – 14,000
    October 7th, Cincinnati, Ault Park – 15,000
    October 9th, Portsmouth, Ohio Shawnee St. Univ. – 10,000
    October 18th, Kansas City, Mo. Liberty Memorial Park – 75,000
    October 18th, St. Louis, Mo. Arch Grounds – 100,000
    October 20th, Orlando, Fl Outside of Amway Arena – 50,000
    October 21st, Miami, Fl Bicentennial Park – 30,000
    October 25th, Albuquerque, N.M. Johnson Field – 40,000
    October 27th, Pittsburgh, Pa Mellon Arena – 17,000
    November 2nd, Cincinnati, Oh Nipper Stadium – 27,000
    November 2nd, Columbus, Oh Ohio State House Steps – 60,000
    November 2nd, Cleveland, Oh Outdoor Mall (city park) – 80,000
    November 3rd, Manassas, Va Prince William County Fairgrounds – 80,0000
    Now he’s playing to crowds in high school gyms, and he can’t fill a room for a fund raiser at $51 dollars a pop?
    That sure doesn’t look like winning to me.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/obama-holds-fundraiser-to-half-empty-room/

  • Grace

    SHARED? SOCIALISM ANYONE?

    Obama: “A New Vision Of An America In Which Prosperity Is Shared”
    August 13, 2012

    “Too many folks still don’t have a sense that tomorrow will be better than today. And so, the question in this election is which way do we go?” President Obama asked at a fundraiser in Chicago on Sunday.

    “Do we go forward towards a new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared?” Obama asked. “Or do we go backward to the same policies that got us in the mess in the first place?”

    Real Clear Politics Video

    READ THE REST : http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/08/13/obama_a_new_vision_of_an_america_which_prosperity_is_shared.html

  • Grace

    SHARED? SOCIALISM ANYONE?

    Obama: “A New Vision Of An America In Which Prosperity Is Shared”
    August 13, 2012

    “Too many folks still don’t have a sense that tomorrow will be better than today. And so, the question in this election is which way do we go?” President Obama asked at a fundraiser in Chicago on Sunday.

    “Do we go forward towards a new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared?” Obama asked. “Or do we go backward to the same policies that got us in the mess in the first place?”

    Real Clear Politics Video

    READ THE REST : http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/08/13/obama_a_new_vision_of_an_america_which_prosperity_is_shared.html


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