I am writing this on Tuesday well before the polls have closed, but confident that Obama is re-elected President. I go by numbers. There were 16 polls released in the past week, in the four 'battleground states' that form Obama's firewall - Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nevada. If Obama wins these four, he is safely reconfirmed with margin to spare. And as all four of these states have been solidly in the Democratic column in almost every poll released most of the year, and the margin is strong now, you do have to believe in miracles to assume all those polls were wrong. There is no 'Romney momentum' into the last week. Any Romney momentum that was measurable after the first debate, had died by the third, and Romney's support was in decline long before there was a Hurricane Sandy hitting US shores.
Romney's peak was about 2% in the average of national polling three weeks ago. It is now nearly 1% in favor of Obama. So, if you go by the numbers, yes, Obama may win a 'narrow victory' of only 277 Electoral College votes to Romney's 261. Or the current latest polls from the past few days suggest Obama with a considerable margin taking 303 EC votes to Romney's 235 (if that sounds familiar, it was my prediction a week ago). The states of Virginia, Colorado and Florida are very close. Obama could win Florida too, and that would push the margin to 332 to 206.
If there is a big surge in voter turnout, even North Carolina might slip late late on a long count, and by a few tens of thousands of votes or less, to Obama and make the margin as big as 347 EC votes to 191. But this is an Obama victory party, there is no polling-based view to a Romney victory.
Which introduces an interesting set of thoughts. What changes after today? Well, first and perhaps foremost, treasure those memories of Barack Hussein Obama's passionate and compelling persuasive speeches in elections. He gave his last election speech yesterday in Iowa. That is over. We have seen perhaps the greatest orator in US politics, ever, and definitely the greatest in our lifetimes, at his peak, and entertain us for two full election cycles, from 'No Two Americas' to 'Yes We Can' to 'Romnesia'. That is over. Yes, we'll still get three more 'State of the Union' speeches and his victory speech now, and his inaugration speech, but the regular stump speeches, those are now done. Forever. Just compare to anything we hear from the other politicos now, from Romney or Ryan, or Joe Biden, Obama was in a totally different class. And that is over. We return to 'regular' level of speech-making in US politics. We never know how good it was, until its there no more.
The speeches in 2016 will seem to us somewhat hollow and weak. Yes, we were blessed to be treated for such a long run of this master at his best. Yes, ex-President Obama will of course love to speak and come to stump for future Democratic politicians in years and elections to come, much how Bill Clinton was seen now so often speaking for Obama. But it won't be the same.
And we can say good riddance to the hollow shell that was Willard Mitt Romney. He will vanish from the US political sphere faster than you can say 'Corporations are people, my friend'. Romney was never one on the inside of Republican politics. He was at best tolerated. He has no base there, and after this loss, he will be remembered as a loser. Worse than that, as the loser who threw a sure-thing victory away.
What happens to Paul Ryan? No losing VP candidate has ever become President, but it doesn't stop them from trying. You have to have a lot of ambition to want to take the VP slot, and Ryan no doubt wants to be President (and incidentially, for those who didn't like the 'extremely conservative' version of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan is more severe than even that. If you don't like your US Presidents as super-extrimists, you will not want Ryan ever to win the election; but also, don't worry, he can't become President. He may well win the nomination and be the Republican Party's nominee, but he would lose by much more than Romney did).
Romney will not be offered a talk show slot at Fox News (I am pretty sure) but Paul Ryan would be strongly welcomed by the right-wing media. He may well want to resign his seat in the Congress, and do something for a few years to build his base - become a professor, write a book, to prepare for his run for President in 2016. The good thing is, he gets all of Romney's money contacts now. No doubt, some of them will say in private, they would have preferred the ticket to be reversed, that a Ryan on top of the ticket would have been more to their liking. Ryan has only strengthened his position as the heir-apparent to the Republican party true soul and leadership. He's a kind of Reagan-in-waiting. And until Ryan loses in his Presidential election some day (he might not with the nomination next time yet, but is young enough to run many times and grow stronger doing that), he'll become ever more the power in the party.
What of Michelle Obama? She's young, she's super-smart, and she showed a lot of ambition especially in her speech at the Convention. I would not be surprised to see her start the prep work to move into politics, after Obama has ended his term in 2016. Senator Michelle Obama from Illinois, perhaps? Expect Barack to offer his wife plenty of opportunities to be in the spotlight during these next four years, and to be seen achieving and accomplishing things..
What the Grand Old Party learns from this loss depends very much on how painful the loss will be. If it is a nailbiter under 1% in the popular vote, or a close election at under 2%, then the Republicans can take solace in the excuses, that it was Hurricane Sandy or the Chris Christie endorsement or some tactical mistakes like the Jeep ad in Ohio. The Tea Party wing can belive that if only Romney had been a true conservative, they would have won. If the election is very close, unfortunately, the Republicans will not be able to learn the lesson they have to learn, that to win, the Republican Party currently is becoming too isolated and alien to the US electorate. Like Senator Lindsey Graham said, they are not able to produce enough old white men to support the party.
George Bush 2 made a valiant effort to court the Hispanic vote. That is a dangerous trend for the Republicans, part of the demographic wave, that the white voter will become less than half of the electorate in a few election cycles. And the Democratic Party is far preferred by the Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans already. This is one part of the contest, where the Republicans have to now embrace the concept of the 'large tent' and invite others, non-Christians, gays, women, the youth, and yes, non-whites. The Republicans have to learn, that they have moved too far away from the center of the nation, and cannot win the Presidency at this political positioning. It is the lesson the Democrats learned when Mondale lost all but one state.
Here is where I am very curious about David Axelrod's last move in this year's election, the get-out-the-vote efforts that he and his team have planned for the past 4 years, and are the costliest ever done. What is in his bag of magic tricks. The polling says that among registered voters today, Obama is preferred by anything from 7 to 9 point margin, yet the election is rated by the pollsters, by Likely Voter screens, as anything from 3 points to a tie (or even one point for Romney according to Rasmussen, they will not look very smart after today haha). So there are maybe from 4 to as many as 6 points more of a margin for Obama and the Democrats, if theoretically the Obama campaign - Axelrod - is somehow able to activate them all.
Lets say he can do half, and we add 3% to the victory margin. Now rather than a 2% race, we may see a 5% race. And now its nearly as bad a drubbing as Obama gave McCain. That would force the Republicans to take stock and seriously consider how did they get it so wrong. I think this would be healthy for the party and they will have to do that anyway, sooner or later, and the more they embrace the delusion and extrimist policies and produce extrimist candidates (like Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock) the more they will damage themselves and lose elections they were supposed to win. But the sooner they discover that by abandoning extremist views, and tolerating and welcoming centrist views, with a little bit of - yes - compromise - the Republican party can become very strong - just look at all the Democrats Reagan was able to attract to support the party just a few decades ago. But Reagan was not afraid to raise taxes, to support the poor, etc.
The next Republican nominee will be an interesting one. Can you imagine being any of the big names who decided to sit this election out, like Bobby Jindal and Rob Portman and Jeb Bush and Chris Christie and Condi Rice. If someone said one year ago, that the weekend going into the election, Now in November, the last unemployment report will say unemployment is still at 7.9% (no sitting president has ever been re-elected if the unemployment was above 8%) and the president's job approval record is still under 50% and has not hit 50% once in the year since (which is usually taken to mean, the incumbent cannot get more votes than his approval rating), and the 'right track/wrong direction' polls are 12% or more against the President? You'd WANT to be that Republican candidate.
This should have been a slam dunk election, the Republican should be winning at least 55/45 and with a strong candidate, as much as 60/40 by now. Romney didn't lose because of Hurricane Sandy. He was one of the worst candidates ever to run on a major ticket, combined with one of the most confused election messages ever, and that combined with definitely the most inept campaign ever seen. Romney the candidate lost early to McCain last time - while massively outspending the near-bankrupt war hero at the time if you remember. McCain who went to lose 7 points to Obama. Then this time, Romney was having a hard time defeating a field of nincompoops - Governor Oops, Senator College is for snobs, Congresswoman wacko, Mr 999, and Captain Moonbase. And the only way Romney defeated that field of mental midgets, was through a war of attrition in carpet-bombing them with negative ads, often full of lies. And that took months and months. Romney was not a strong candidate.
But what of his message? What WAS his message? If this was James Carville running his campaign, it would have been 'its the economy, stupid' on day 1 in November of 2011, and it would still be the economy now on November 6, 2012. Same story. Repeat. Rinse. And repeat. Economy, economy, economy. And Romney should be touting his Bain experience and his job-creation and his Olympics turn-around and his Massachussetts Governorship, and all tied to the economy, every time. Not all this nonsense, every week its something else, if its not Libya or Israel, its fighting the war on women or hiding from questions about his taxes. And the Convetion with a whole day wasted on the 'you didn't build that' nonsense? A major message of the candidate, that was so 'useful', only weeks since it was forced into every speaker's convention speech, its since been dropped and forgotten. Or now the Jeep lies. This is the worst economy ever faced by an incumbent US President at re-election, that he somehow was able to win? And the rival was a 'businessman' ? A multi-millionaire 'self made' businessman? Who couldn't defeat this President in this economic situation? That is pathetic.
And if the message was a mess, the campaign has been, literally the worst I've ever seen. From Clint Eastwood talking to the chair, to not releasing those tax returns immediately and getting it over with, to not answering the fair pay question or letting blatant lies-filled ads sit on their website collecting ridicule, to allowing the Jeep ad get so toxic, that Jeep, Chrysler and GM have all taken the exceptional position of refuting a political ad. The Republican field of the best talent can see with considerable frustration, that if they had been in this race, it would have never been even close. Yet their guy, Mitt Romney, threw this race away. The people behind this campaign will not be in high demand in the Republican party haha..
If you wanted to re-establish credibility and trust of the electorate, after this moral vacuum that was Mitt Romney, the next Republican candidate should appear as Mr Honest. Honest Abe. Mr Truth. Mr Trustworthy. Like the old John McCain, do you remember, back in year 2000, his first run against George Bush 2, when he had his 'Straight Talk Express' bus. He was not afraid to challenge Republican dogma and he was frightfully honest and truthful and - centrist - at the time. That is what a winner needs now. To openly admit Obama is not a socialist, he's been a good president and there are many good accomplishments he's done, including Obamacare (by 2016 it will be so well ingrained into law, it can't be effectively repealed anyway, and as Obama can't run for President anymore for a third term in 2016, better for a Republican to appear fair-mined by thanking and recognising the outgoing President than give too much praise to your new Democratic opponent at that time).
A Republican candidate who won't hide his taxes, the moment the first rival in the primaries asks for them, release 20 years immediately, the next day. If any 'fact checker' finds some fault in some ad, remove the add, revise and correct it, and issue a statement on the website that this ad has been corrected - with reference and links to the fact-checker! Honesty! Credibility! If a campaign manager says something clearly suggesting they're going to do something deceitful, like 'we're going to etch-a-sketch the issue in the future' - you fire that person immediately! Immediately! And make a huge deal about your commitment to honesty.
Answer questions from reporters and be known for telling the truth. It was like Carter after the incredible deceitfulness of Richard Nixon, Carter came in as the altar-boy, Mr Honest. That is the right move now, for a Republican. To be brave, take on the silliness of the party extrimists - no, you do not support overturning Roe vs Wade (ie abortion). If some Tea Party nut says something like legitimate rape, or rape children are gifts from god, then immediately call a press conference and denounce that person. If a radio talk show host like Rush Limbaugh calls some woman supporting the other side a slut, then call Rush out on it, immediately. And embrace science and facts! Don't denounce global warming.
Can you imagine Chris Christie in that role? Of course you can. Or Colin Powell. Or Jeb Bush. A moderate Republican. Someone who still believes in small government and lower taxes and a strong military and gun protection and freedom of religion. But not the wingnut crazy stuff that gets the voters in the middle to mistrust you. And not the hateful stuff against women and science and gays and Hispanics and the poor...
So the race will be intersting on the Republican side. There will be plenty of resentment towards Chris Christie for his positive words now, but Chris Christie will play very well in the early electorate in retail politics of Iowa and New Hampshire and quickly establish his place among the front-runners. Paul Ryan will be the favorite of the fiscally conservative wing as well as the social conservative wing. Will Mike Huckabee want to make another run? Will some General jump in. Which of the Governors will be in the races, Jindal, Bush, Portman, McDonnell, etc. I do think, the winner will be someone perceived as 'the anti-Romney' very very honest and truthful and beyond flip-flopping, who will be enough of his own man (or woman) to also stand his ground against extremists and who will be seen a genuine moderate. Yeah, I think Christie is the obvious early front-runner now.
Who will then lose to Hillary.
Because we know No-Drama Obama. This administration is uncapable of the mismanagement of the Bush 2 administration, and won't fall prey to personal problems a la Bill Clinton. Obama will just enjoy an ever improving economy, distribute a peace dividend into the economy and probably bring the deficits near to zero towards the end of his tenure. His Obamacare will have hit fully by then, and he'll have one or two Supreme Court Judges appointed too. And no matter how much Fox News wants to invent birther conspiracies and scandals, in reality there won't be any 'Iran Contra' or Watergate style scandals. This is one of the most competently run administrations we've seen and Obama now is only working to ensure he goes down in history as one of the greatest Presidents of all time.
And that then is the environment in which Hillary Clinton gets to run for President in 2016. With probably a revised campaign funding environment (expect the Super PAC contribution laws to be ammended strongly by bipartisan support - it was partly those Super PAC contributions that allowed Romney to carpet-bomb his primary rivals) the fund-raising that is the Clinton machine will be back in power. Hillary will have the unprecedented pair of surrogates of two past Presidents stumping on her behalf, both of whom are fantastic speakers. Meanwhile the Republican candidate can't even get Romney or Bush 2 to appear on stumps to help in the campaigns. And McCain will be quite the old grumpy old man by then of very marginal utility.
If you thought the 2008 enthusiasm for Obama was enormous, imagine what Hillary will do with women in 2016? Women already account for 52% to 53% of the electorate. And there is no equivalent Republican woman politician to even match up to her - Condi Rice, yeah, but she's more the VP choice at this level, not at the top of the ticket. And if you compare her speech at the Republican Convention to that of say Chris Christie, there is the level of 'fire' and passion which is missing from her - but one that Hillary obviously has.
COMMUNITIES DOMINATE BRANDS
We saw Romney try the '100% marketing bullshit' approach to an election. Where the candidate stood for nothing, was an empty vessel, to which today's message was loaded. Where are we? What is today's message. Do I like teachers today or hate them. Am I for abortion today or against it. Branding without any value included. In fact, haha, Romney was 'brands' not one brand. He was many things to many audiences, almost all things to all. He was nothing that could be defined. He went so far, as to explicitly say, he won't tell us how his budget cuts will work, that will only be revealed after you voted him to be President (isn't that the ultimate statement of arrogance and conceit by a candidate?)
And against that he met Communities. Not one community of Democrats, but multiple communities, from the Hispanics, to the women, to the students, to the teachers and fire-fighters and policemen; to the labor, to the car manufacturers, to the fact-checkers, to the AARP and the elderly, to the Afghanistan active duty military, to returning war veterans, and to the 47%. Romney's brands met a determined field of communities. And the communities won.
What I don't know at this point, is how big the winning margin is for President Obama. If its close, you can say it was one or two small things that decided it in the end. If its a rout, if the margin is near 5% in the popular vote and Obama wins 332-to-206 or even 347-to-191 in the Electoral College votes, then it is certain, that Romney lost in many ways, to many issues, and many communities. He should have easily won this election. Any reasonably competent Republican candidate, running the economic message from day 1, and on a competent campaign, would have won today at least 55/45 (or at least, against this Obama, which to me, has not really been truly bothered to campaign at full speed, see below). But Romney was losing this race already in the summer.
What killed it for him, however, was that 47% video. That sealed his fate. (I wrote about why in my blog at the time, when I said that now the race was over). Everything since then has been pretending, he was never going to recover from that. Even the debate performance bump was only an illusion, Romney was never going to become President and win the votes of half the nation, after what he said - quite clearly being fully honest for once - to those campaign contributor millionaires in that private meeting. That as a multi-millionaire, talking to other fellow millionaires, he feels that 47% are just leetching off the rich people, are not worth supporting, and that Romney isn't going to bother to care about them.
That, combined with all other statements of similar direction, from 'I like to fire people' to tax cuts for the 1%, to cutting student funds, firing teachers, cutting FEMA and Planned Parenthood and turning Medicare into a voucher.. Suddenly all those bizarre statements have a true core reason and Romney's real philosphy is exposed. He does believe, like Paul Ryan, in an Ayn Randian way of survival of the fittest and the weakest be damned. That video of the 47% ended Romney's political career. He couldn't be elected rat catcher of Beverly Hills with that video out.
But spare a thought for the Mittster? He's been the celebrity and top guest at all major events he's visited this past year. Fellow millionaires have thrown - literally - hundreds of millions at him and his campaign either directly or through Super PACs. And he's had his secret service bodyguards and everybody wanted to take pictures with him and shake his hand etc. From Wednesday he is a nobody. What will Willard do next? He's already run Bain to make massive millions, it is no longer a challenge for him to play businessman. He was Governor once but knew he couldn't be re-elected. He tried to run for Senate and lost. He ran the Olympics, saved that, but there ain't no Olympics coming the USA's way any year soon, and he probably became bored of it the first time.
What next? He cant' run for President anymore (he could, with his own money, and lose badly, but nobody in their right mind would fund him another Billion-dollar campaign again, not after this debacle). Write a book yeah, but who wants to buy a loser's book? You know what, I do think he is a honest believing Mormon and enjoyed his time as a part-time priest, he might devote his remaining life to the Mormon Church as some kind of major 'bishop' or whatever senior posts they have. That might be his next 'challenge' but this is one of the biggest downers you can possibly have, to run for President and lose. Look at Al Gore, look at Bob Dole, look at Walter Mondale. Or return to your old life and there is a huge danger you become truly an embittered old man like John McCain in the Senate. At least if you're the losing VP, you can get a TV celebrity job like Sarah Palin.
OBAMA IN 2017?
So then what becomes of the 44th President after he leaves office in a little over four years from now? Yes, all Presidents have huge egos and prefer to have their faces cut into the rock face of Mount Rushmore, but assuming the Republicans in Congress will still be able to make his life miserable from now and then, what does Obama do next? He'll spend the next two years ensuring that the Democrats get back in control of Congress (assuming that today that won't happen, I am confident the Senate stays safely in Democratic hands judging by recent polls, but the House is pretty well out of reach).
After that, for his final 2 years, what? The economy is roaring, the Afghanistan war is over, the deficits will be coming down and are nearing zero, thanks in part to the Peace Dividend, in part to the growing economy with higher tax income and in part, due to whatever grand bargain Obama will have struck with Congress by then. And Obamacare will be so well launched, nobody can stop it anymore. His name is in the history books for many reasons, but he's still a young man.
When Barack Obama leaves office in January of 2017, he will be only 56 years of age! Gosh, Reagan was 69 years of age when he was sworn INTO office. In fact, one of the youngest ever to leave office as a 2-time President, while also having a high approval rating (not like Clinton with the Lewinski scandal, or worse, Bush 2 with the lowest approval ratings of any President to complete the 2 full terms). Reagan had very high approval ratings when he left office but he was old and feeble by then, Altzheimer's was taking its toll and he was becoming forgetful etc. But Obama is a young man and he's done perhaps the toughest job haha..
What next? Secretary General of the United Nations? Well, Obama would be one of very very few US politicians who would have a chance to win the votes to get that job, but after being US President, its twice the hassle for much less than half the power, and yet, its arguably the second most powerful elected office on the planet in terms of world politics at least. No. Probably not. Would be a significant step down.. Same for other such posts like the World Bank.
Write a book? Sure, he'll write his memoirs which will be a massive global bestseller, but thats nothing really, he's already written two autobiographies, so this is not even a challenge haha.. A hobby, yes, to do part-time. But what to do? He could start something like Clinton or Carter with their foundations to help people here or there, but that is more like, Carter or Clinton. It doesn't really 'seem' like Obama, does it? He'll definitely do some speaking on the speaker circuit, and no doubt command the biggest speaker fees ever paid, but even that is not really what would be 'Obama'.
Here's a thought. He studied law at Harvard and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. His wife is a lawyer. He's served in Congress as a Senator, so he's been involved in writing laws, and he's served as President in the administrative branch. What about Supreme Court Justice Barack Obama? That is a lifetime appointment and I could see Obama wanting to become Chief Justice too, at some stage - although Chief Justice Roberts is very young, only 57 years of age, 6 years older than Obama, so that might not happen, but it could. I am not a scholar of US Presidential history, but I don't remember that any US President had ever been named to the Supreme Court after being President (and none of the Justices would run to become President haha).
That would be an unprecedented triple-play, a hat trick if you will, being the first man to be part of all three branches of government (at the highest possible level, I mean). That might be Obama'esque. And considering his background and exceptional experience by that time, and as he really is not the extreme liberal communist marxist that Fox News portrays him as, but rather he's quite the centrist, he'd probably even have a good chance to be nominated by the Republicans, if this deal was well set up, and Obama played nice with them towards the end of his term. It would be an easy promise by Hillary to Obama, in return for her being given the State Department job and for Obama coming to support Hillary in her run for President in 2016. As the Supreme Court Justices are nominated by the President and approved by the Senate, even the troublesome Republicans of the Congress could not really block this, if we think that far into the future..
I want to mention one other peculiar thing. Remember when the Republicans had their endless series of debates, the deathmatch? When every week they made ever more outlandish promises and claims? And accusations? All on television. And all the pundits said, that will come back in an Obama TV ad one day.. Where are they? Why didn't we see those in ads? They were 'obvious'. Like now in the debates, we see Romney saying something totally opposite of what he said weeks earlier. Why not use Newt Gingrich saying on camera that if Mitt Romney is willing to lie in the election, he will also lie to the US people when in office. Then after that, show Romney saying something in the debate that 'I never said...' and then run the video of Romney saying exactly that. There is tons of video of various Romney opponents not just now in 2012, but even in 2008 saying such stuff, Romney the well-oiled weather vane. McCain, Huckabee, Cain, Perry, Santorum etc - AND their surrogates at the time, plus plenty of Republican pundits on Fox News lamenting various dirty tricks Romney used against their friends...
Why didn't Obama run those powerful Republican celebrity comments in the anti-Romney ads? Why not? We have heard from Axelrod that he's had some ads made, that Obama himself has decided that they won't run. We don't know why. But I am 100% certain, that the Obama TV ad team has created samples of such ads - come on, the Daily Show runs bits like that almost every week, its not rocket science. Why not? This has puzzled me. And we might - might - know tonight. If those are the most powerful ads against your opponent, and you are not running them, why is that?
The only real reason is, if you know you are winning by a safe margin. And a 0% or 1% or even 2% race is not a safe margin, even if you have Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada 'in the bag'. I think it is that Axelrod Final Act, that plays in the voting today, and we'll see the results tonight, and we'll start to hear about it tomorrow, how it was done. If the vote margin today is 1% or 2% or even 3% in favor of Obama, then this theory is meaningless. But, if the polls said this should be a 1% race, and Obama gets say 4% or 5% of the popular vote, and we find out tomorrow - that was done with the 'ground game' or 'get-out-the-vote' effort by Obama's campaign - THEN we know why.
I am certain that Axelrod and Plouffe and Messina and Rohm Emanuel - and Obama - have cooked up some 'secret weapon' that will be decisive. I think so, why? Because Axelrod knew in 2008 that they had built the best ground game ever, that bested Hillary Clinton's machine, and bested anything the Republicans could do with McCain. And Axelrod knew that they'd have 4 years to fine-tune and hone and improve and build on that knowledge and knowhow, to deliver something spectacular in 2012. AND - the campaign finance disclosure info reveals, that Obama has spent far less on TV ads than the Romney campaign - where Obama has spent more than the TV ads, on its ground game (And the Romney campaign has not).
Something is coming, but we don't know what, and we don't know how powerful it is. But we will see the results tonight. If there is a massive surge of votes beyond what the polls said, only for the Democrats, and it is in the scale of +2 or +3 points (or even more) - then - THEN - we know, that Obama and Axelrod were holding a secret weapon. That was the source of their ultimate confidence and the no-panic aspects of the race, even after they lost the popular vote lead after the first debate. So this is mere speculation but I am so curious, why didn't we see those ads featuring prominent Republicans saying nasty things about Romney, then followed by Romney's own words doing exactly what the Republicans warned he's prone to do... Why not?
The Democratic supporters would have gone wild for such Obama ads. They would have been thrilled. They would have been powerful in convincing moderates that Romney is unelectable, if fellow Republicans accused him of the nastiness, which he then, Romney himself, is seen in video as doing and saying. I want to hire more teachers. No, we should not hire more teachers. I don't want to end Planned Parenthood. I'll end the funding for Planned Parenthood. etc etc etc..
Such ads would infuriate Republicans as the dirtiest trick imaginable. They would have been livid. All Republicans used in those ads would rush to Fox News to say they didn't mean it, and Romney is a good guy, etc. Fox News and the Wall Street Journal etc would be full of vitriol against the President like we've never seen. And it would not be forgotten. Every one of the Republicans featured in such ads would bear a grudge against Obama all through the rest of his second term and the relationship with the Republicans would be near impossible. It would be something your candidate and campaign do, if you really want to win, but are falling behind, and are desperate, with time running out (like the Jeep lies by Romney). That we never saw them from the Obama campaign, says, they never felt it was even close.
Let me repeat that. The only reason those ads, the most powerful anti-Romney ads imaginable - if the tables were turned, you know Karl Rove would have run exactly such ads and saturated the airwaves with them. Teh only reason Obama didn't run such ads, is that they were confident all along, that there was no danger of them losing. That it was never even close! And why is that? I do think there is a surprise coming tonight, in the popular vote being far bigger than any polls suggested.
Unfortunately, in this year's political climate, that will not translate to more Electoral College votes, however. If Obama wins by 2% or 6%, he won't win one more state beyond North Carolina. For Obama to contest in Arizona, Indiana and Missouri, he'd have to win nationally by something near 10%. And even the 'Registered Voter' polls do not suggest such an enormous lead for Obama haha.. At best they suggest 7% or 8% and I am sure, even Axelrod cannot get every one of those people to the polls today. But yes, first, if there is a surprisingly large turnout for Democrats, this theory has merit, as a hypothesis. What is the truth, we may know at some point when the analysis comes out, the campaign workers reveal their secrets on Rachel Maddow or in a book etc.
FEW OTHER NAMES
Pelosi? She'll lose her race for her 'Drive for 25' and fall short in taking back the Congress. She'll quietly retire and hand over her duties for a younger Democrat. Boehner will continue at the helm of the Republicans in the House but have less hostile Tea Partiers in his extreme wing, and will be able to do some sensible governing now.
Harry Reid will cherish his gavel in the Senate. Rohm Emmanuel, he wants something far more than just being Mayor of Chicago, he may join a late cabinet position in the Obama White House later on, or perhaps Hillary's cabinet. I see Rohm running for President still, in the years to come, at least as a candidate in the Democratic primaries - with strong elements of the Obama Chicago machine to run his campaign, disciples of Axelrod and gang.
And this Chris Christie support after Sandy, it was a bit over-the-top, even for a flamboyant camera-hungry fat kid from Jersey. I would not be surprised, if there is some clever gig coming Christie's way in the Obama administration, something that is kind of safe, so not a cabinet position, but say, chair of some FEMA oversight redesign commission or something. Could be Ambassador (would be very useful for Christie to get foreign policy experience for his run for President) like Jon Huntsman.
I kind of think the same about Mayor Bloomberg except he's so rich that there isn't anything he'd want that he can't buy, except becoming President haha.. But don't be surprised if there is some very prestigious post or award or honor that Bloomberg picks up in the coming months, gosh, I don't know, Chairman of the Fed or something at that level. We know his endorsement came via a call from Joe Biden - they are friends - and I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't some particular perk or reward, that they would give eventually, six months or a year from now, in return. Bloomberg definitely did his calculation, he would not have endorsed Obama if there was a chance Obama will lose the election, but this was a highly coveted endorsement, both sides had pursued it.
Obama talked about Lincoln inviting his rivals to join in his cabinet. Obama did invite Hillary to be his Secretary of State and Joe Biden to be his VP. Obama did also appoint some Republicans and nominted others (who then decided not to stand for fear of political reprisals by their colleagues). I did sense that Obama did try to woo McCain but he was too gutted and bitter about his loss, he wouldn't play nice with Obama. What I am very certain of, from all the reporting and reading between the lines, that Obama truly despises Romney and we can be sure, that Obama will never be offering Romney any postings in his cabinet haha.
And sorry to say this, but Ms 'I am entitled to be first lady' Ann Romney. I am so happy we won't have to tolerate that arrogant condescending b*tch on the world stage. Compare her to Michelle Obama, gosh what an elegant first lady. Did you catch the comment Romney made that when he tried to talk to Ann about whether he, Mitt, should be running, she would have none of that, her response was 'talk to the hand'. This race with Romney running has been something Ann Romney has planned for, and demanded of her husband. It may well be, that she wanted it more than he did. And just her attitude rubs me the wrong way, I am personally happy, we don't have to see her representing the USA for the next years.
Paul Ryan? I would think he's smart enough to know he can't win an election being the extremist he is by nature, and he'll start a gradual metamorphosis towards a mid-ground Republican (not really moderate, but not that extreme either). Expect some surprising statements of moderation coming from him in the coming months after the loss, as Ryan prepares for his own run to become President, and gets some advice especially from non-Romney campaign guys, who give the 'you shoulda done this' type of advice he'll hear from most Republican insiders.
Hillary? She might quit as she suggested earlier, to focus on her next run, but actually, I think she's that much the calculating fox, she knows she now has the foreign policy credentials, she'll want some other Cabinet level posting to further strengthen her position. Where is the weakest position now in her portfolio? Economy? Military? Secretary of Defense Hillary Clinton? Would you want to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and face off against Hillary debating merits of the next drone strike? Or Secretary of Treasury (or Commerce) could be a good job now in the next four years as the economy keeps mending? Take credit for that 'automatic success' and leave the foreign policy and military quagmire just before Iran and Israel get seriously tangled in their nuclear stand-off...
Will Joe Biden still try to make a run against Hillary at his age? Might Colin Powell join the Obama administration? What will be the next conspiracy that Donald Trump can think of about Obama? Will Michelle Obama enter politics after they leave the White House?
Which Romney runs next to lose in the Presidential Elections, to follow grandfather and dad? Will it be Tagg, Ben, Josh, Craig or Matt? At least they will know not to let Detroit go bankrupt, talk about the 47%, and to make sure there is nothing hiding in their tax returns...
I wonder how many months it will be, until we see the first headline of the first preliminary poll of a potential Hillary vs Ryan vs Christie matchup?
PS - my guide to watching the US Election Results on TV, including the battleground states in order they are likely to be called, and their latest polls, 2008 results, latest TV ad buys, candidate visits etc etc etc all here: TV Guide to US Election-Watching