Monday, October 29, 2012

The Romney Campaign Prepares for Election Eve in Massachusetts – Worcester Telegram and Gazette Endorses Romney

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney with Presidential Candidate, Incumbent President Barack Obama - Image New York Times

On Election night November 6, 2012, Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, former Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be in Boston, Massachusetts, waiting for the results which could propel a Massachusetts man into the Presidency. Although some might argue, that Romney is not a “native of Massachusetts”, it goes without saying that Mitt Romney spent a good portion of his life in Boston, from college, to his marriage and early family life, up to his Governorship of the Bay State. The Commonwealth, where a Revolution began that would challenge a mighty world power, and allow for the formation of the nation which became a beacon of hope for the world, has had a history of sending leaders to the White House – from Adams, to Coolidge to John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

What of Massachusetts, the “bluest state”? Will the Commonwealth elect a former Republican Governor, or take the expected and anticipated path of casting its collective vote for the Democrat, in this case incumbent President, Barack Obama? That remains to be seen, although, again, logic dictates that this will be the case. Logic also dictated that this would be the case in 1980 and 1984, however, in both instances, one Republican, Ronald Reagan, turned conventional wisdom upside down, and watched Massachusetts turn “red”. A snapshot of the Commonwealth on a state level would have one believe that there is little to no chance of a Republican prevailing. The State House and Senate are overwhelmingly Democrat as is the Governor’s office, however, that is, in large part, due to the lack of candidates identified as Republican on the ballots. 2010 was an usual year in which there were over 227 Republican’s on state ballots, and more Republican’s won seats in the Legislature than in past elections, yet the number did not make a significant dent, as it did elsewhere in the nation. Those running for National Congressional seats on the GOP ticket were also denied, but, and here is the big but, not at the margins that were forecast by those pundits who appear to know the state. Those wins by incumbent Democrats were not at the 75% projected, but at margins much tighter – 2% to 11%. Understanding that a loss is still a loss, this was an indication of the angst, just two years ago, of a growing percentage of the electorate here in Massachusetts.

There are three concentrations of population in the Commonwealth – The eastern portion of the state, with Boston, and the north and south shores, holding the largest portion of the population in that sector, followed by Worcester County, and then Western Massachusetts west to the New York Border. If one looks at the polling to date, geographical, the pollsters have been targeting the Western Massachusetts area, the area of the state that has the lowest population, and the most Democrat leaning population – one poll giving that section of the state 40 plus percent of the total poll, and Worcester County a mere 15%. It is therefore, difficult to take the polls coming out of Massachusetts much credence, with the exception of the last PPO poll with the President at 14% (most show a 30% advantage), which, was over-weighted with Democrats, at 43% (the actual, according to the Secretary of State’s office, at 34%),noted that Romney had gained momentum, and is resonating with Independents – (which make up 51% of the States electorate) – this brings Massachusetts, into what one might call a state that elected then Candidate Romney to the Governor’s office, moving to the right. It may, in this opinion, based on what is clearly flawed polling data, may be a closer race than prevailing logic dictates.

Although in today’s media consumption, the endorsements by newspapers may not appear to be all that influential with younger consumers or consumers in general, as the competition from new media, see’s those who don’t agree with the style of editorialized news from traditional media, shopping elsewhere for news that is not “slanted” one way or the other (an impossible task.) – However, those that continue to read, or listen/watch these types of media, might be surprised at the Worcester Telegram Gazette, who heartily but with, what appears to be much thought, endorsed Mitt Romney for President.

The headline “Romney for president” with a subtitle “The experience and leadership America needs” released in the Sunday paper, reads as follows:

Four years ago, Americans placed the nation’s highest office in the hands of a largely untested senator from Illinois, granting him both the awesome responsibilities and the tremendous opportunities that come with the presidency of these United States. There can be no doubt that the economic challenges faced by this nation and the world during the recent recession were more severe than many realized. But the prescriptions offered over the last four years — on both the domestic and foreign fronts — have fallen disappointingly short of what is needed to restore America’s economy at home and rebuild our standing overseas.

The decision to turn an incumbent president out of office is never one to be undertaken lightly by voters. But good intentions, repeated promises and lofty rhetoric are no substitute for sound economics and a foreign policy grounded in realism and strength. It is time once again for change in Washington, and we strongly believe that Mitt Romney offers the right combination of experience, vision, leadership and moral grounding to reinvigorate the nation’s economy, bring a measure of control to the ocean of debt threatening to engulf us, and lay out a foreign policy that has the clarity and force needed to deter aggression while promoting international stability.

In sharp contrast to his opponent, Mr. Romney’s bid for the presidency carries the weight of a lifetime of repeated and proven success in business, as a management consultant, cofounder of the successful Bain Capital equity investment firm, and head of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

As governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Romney balanced the state budget through a combination of closing tax loopholes, raising fees and cutting state spending. Critics are right when they charge that some of his actions as governor shifted the financial burden onto cities and towns, but the fact remains that Mr. Romney was willing and able to use his political capital to make hard choices in a state dominated by Democrats. Similarly difficult choices will face whoever occupies the White House next. We believe Mr. Romney is far more likely to make those choices.

President Barack Obama has had ample time to transform the “hope and change” of the 2008 campaign into positive results. The results have been deeply disappointing, and the tenor of his re-election campaign gives us no cause to hope a second term would offer anything better.

Many Republican and independent voters concur that former President George W. Bush made a series of costly blunders in his second term, spending far too much and doing too little to curb the excesses in the banking and housing industries that contributed so much to a deep recession.

But Americans are weary of hearing this president blame his predecessor. The trillions spent in bailouts, stimulus plans and subsidies have served mainly to deepen our debts. Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate, while finally below what it was when Mr. Obama took office, understates the weakness of the job market. Fewer Americans are working, and too many have settled for part-time jobs or lower wages.

On energy, Mr. Obama’s anti-growth policies have sought cover behind increased private-sector production.

By contrast, Mr. Romney, while retaining federal investments and regulations, would place private-sector capitalism ahead of a government-first approach.

On tax policy, the president has waged a relentless campaign against wealthy Americans — one that will punish small businesses and the middle class.

But Mr. Romney understands that the path to higher revenues lies not in choking our key economic engines, but in expanding opportunity for all.

And no issue better illustrates the contrasts between Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney than health care.

Unlike Mr. Romney, who brought universal health care to Massachusetts by working with the other party, Mr. Obama spent a year to win razor-thin passage of a divisive law that has spawned fights over expensive mandates, new taxes and infringement of religious liberties.

Even on foreign policy, Mr. Obama has turned positives — an early appeal for understanding with the Muslim world, and the killing of Osama bin Laden — into negatives, with a policy unraveling through artificial deadlines in Afghanistan, dangerous naivete with regard to Iran, and a failure to protect American lives in Libya.

The decision before voters on Nov. 6 is critical and clear. Mitt Romney has earned the opportunity to lead America for the next four years.

One must understand, that Worcester County is, by far, the most “conservative” of the Bay State sectors, yet, the endorsement by a major Massachusetts paper is non-the-less stunning. The Globe had endorsed President Obama, and the Herald, Mitt Romney. The Springfield Republican’s endorsement is, at this time unknown. In 2008, Western Massachusetts’ largest newspaper endorsed then candidate, John McCain at the last moment. This gives an overview of political differences in the press, let alone within the general electorate.

One might conclude therefore, that the state is not necessarily as blue as one might think (not to mention one Senator Scott Brown, seen by the national press as an anomaly, but in the Bay State, regardless of the over-hyped and downright nasty 2012 contest between Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren and similar polls to the national polls above), and it may, in the end, and once again, surprise a nation and a candidate for the Presidency.

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