Friday, October 12, 2012

Biden-Ryan 2012 Debate – A Draw for the Bases– CNN Poll – Ryan 48% to Biden 44% - What of the Independents? Polling Continues in MA for Obama.

V.P. Joe Biden and V.P. Candidate, Paul Ryan - Ryan Wins Over Independents - image:

The 2012 Vice Presidential Debate held last night in Danville, Kentucky between Vice President, Joe Biden and GOP Vice-Presidential Candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan has been considered a draw by the U.S. media. A CNN/ORC poll taken immediately following the debate indicated the following:

  • Ryan won the debate by 48% to 44% - with the margin of error at 5% (normally 4%) indicates a tie

  • 50% suggested the debate made no difference in their vote for the top of the ticket, 28% said the debate made them more likely to vote for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and 21% said the faceoff made them more likely to vote to re-elect President Barack Obama.

  • By a 50%-41% margin, debate watchers say that Ryan rather than Biden better expressed himself.

  • (CNN)

    The polling sample used was smaller than average at under 400 surveyed, and CNN indicated that CBS polling gave Biden by a large margin, however, one might suggest it depended a great deal on the make-up of the viewership, and how each individual saw the exchange. From this perspective, Biden came across as more aggressive in answering questions, and, as one CNN Focus Group participant suggested (paraphrasing) following the debate, “he did better than Obama in the last debate” (which gave him the win for that man). On the flip side, Ryan came across as confident on the one hand, while being respectful of the office of the V.P. when Biden repeatedly interrupted Ryan, and allowed Biden to get away with a lot more than time, most likely allowed for Ryan to rebut. In total, it appeared to be a draw for both, a draw whereby the base on either side of the aisle would feel that their candidate won. That said, it was the independents who should have been the focus and that has not been discussed at any great length. Those watching CNN (chosen over other networks as it is not perceived to be either left or right, as in the case of MSNBC or FOX and for political junkies, has all the bells and whistles) were able to watch a focus group react to the debate in real-time. This focus group was made up of independents, using the usual dial approach, made up of male and female respondents. (The aforementioned is one of the bells and whistles.) Overall, the line was up over the bar whenever Vice President Biden spoke about appealing to the “middle-class”, however, as soon as he turned to campaign mode, it plunged, while Ryan enjoyed a steady stream of positive to flat when explaining issues, and had more ups than downs than his opponent. What was most interesting was that the females appeared to respond more positively to Ryan than to Biden.

    It is the practice of rating on performance and points, and for that Ryan gets the nod for the win overall. He was not overly aggressive with Biden, nor the moderator, while Biden clearly was agitated and bombastic when asked questions that made him obviously uncomfortable, specifically the issue with the Libyan embassy attack. He answered the questions posed as clearly as possible, with the exception of one, and that was the challenge by the moderator to both men that they tell the voting public what each would personally bring to the office. Biden used the time to attack the Romney Campaign and Ryan defended Romney as well as reiterated the campaign messaging. Although neither candidate gave a direct answer, Ryan may have been able to define his relationship to those in his district and suggest that his bi-partisanship and record proved him the better V.P. That said, it is easy for anyone, the pundit or the opinionated, to “Monday-morning quarterback”. What to take away, Ryan won on points in the debate arena, not on “feelings”. Although others, (a conservative, a Democrat-liberal-turned independent and a staunch, right-leaning Republican) – all felt otherwise and gave the nod to Ryan overall. Granted that is an extremely small sample, but it does indicate that four people watching the same debate on different networks come away with a different point of view. Given the CNN after poll and the CNN real time independent polling, one would think that Ryan gave a bonus to the Mitt Romney team by appealing to more Independent voters than Biden. The polls taken over this weekend, however, are likely to indicate a total draw.

    Worst moment for Biden: Looking into the camera and asking the public “Who are you going to Trust?”, Best Moment, speaking about Scranton and the middle class background. Ryan, steady, no one particular moment that was a negative, overall he appeared confident, if, and this is a note, he did appear on edge (either that or the man was extremely thirsty). Best moment for Ryan: his closing statement. It was that last statement that gave clarity and made the absolute difference clear between both camps. Biden’s laughter also was a bone of contention for some, however, one must understand that he had to appear more aggressive, the pressure was on from the Campaign to be aggressive, and he most decidedly overdid it, perhaps not for the base, but the base does not win an election.

    The next debate is this coming Tuesday between President Obama and Govenor Mitt Romney, one might expect that Romney’s performance will remain status quo, given his ability, while President Obama is expected to be more aggressive. That said, Obama has to top expectations across the board, and the bar has been set pretty high, perhaps too high. Should the President have to defend his record, with Romney standing opposite, it will be a repeat of the first debate. (Which, in the first debate, is what derailed the President in the first five minutes of the first debate and Romney ran with it.) Should that happen and the final jobs numbers for September be revised upward to 8.2% due to the sudden revelation that a large state was not included in the mix, then this close to an election, with polls as they now stand and a draw with the VP debate for the base, while a win for Ryan with the Independents, one might suggest that Romney will remain in the lead through the finish.

    One thing of note: During the debate, the VP referred to the Romney campaign as “not competing in Massachusetts”, which is not necessarily true, given the Campaign headquarters in Boston, and a very high profile Senate Race (Brown-Warren) in the equation. There have been several polls over the past three to four weeks, which focus exclusively on the Presidential race, another taken last night based on the Obama-Romney matchup, including questions for union members, such as: have you been approached by your Union to vote for President Obama, have you been called by a union member about voting for President Obama, do you think Mitt Romney or President Obama has the more negative ads, and so on.

    This would suggest, with the focus so heavily leaning towards the President and union members, in Massachusetts, that there is indeed a need to secure the state by the Obama Campaign. The calls were made on the 11th, between 5 and 8 p.m., received at approximately 6:00 pm in Western Massachusetts households. At first neighbors were flattered, simply because no one, ever polls Massachusetts, now they are simply suspicious that there is more going on with the state and the Obama campaign specifically. To be fair, the area in which this is taking place in primarily Independent (or designated Unenrolled), the support and nod are going to Romney/Brown, but further west and north in the Western end of the state which is much less populated, the support should, by logic, be going to Obama. If this is occurring in a scenario similar to the 2009 special election, then the unthinkable may happen – Massachustts would, temporarily and on the surface be a red state. These are big if’s, the biggest being turnout for the Democrats (who can miraculously pull 30,000 votes out of a hat in under 13 hours), and the level of national interest in the Senate race, keeping eyes on the state (which would then make that 30,000 miraculous votes a bit more difficult to achieve –as was the case in the 2009 race for the “people's seat”. Suffice it to say, it may appear that the Romney Campaign may not be competing in Massachusetts (other than the television ads, and some door to doors, and phone calls which may be third party) but the Obama campaign certainly is.

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Brown-Warren MA Senate 3rd Debate – Brown Wins Handily – Media bases Warren Win on Audience Participation!

    The third debate between Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Democrat Candidate for Senate, Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Professor, was held last night in the City of Springfield in Western Massachusetts. The debate attracted an audience of 2600, the amount of seats available for the event and the fact that the debate was sold out, was hyped by the media, including traffic reporting about where to park! Not for nothing, but if Springfield is going to be the site of a casino, hold concerts at the Mass Mutual Center, and generally attract people to events in the downtown area, and make a dime, it is hoped they can attract more than 2600 individuals. One has to just love the hype over, just about anything.

    It was a feisty debate as dubbed by most of the media, however, the clip below from WWLP local NBC affiliate, might be the best show of bias in local media. Although the audience was equally divided (See entire debate via C-Span, link provided below), watching the news clip from the affiliate, one sees a different debate: one clip of boos for Senator Brown, two clips of applause for challenger Warren and finally an analysis that the debate was won by Warren on crowd response. Of course, the local is counting on the fact that no-one has watched the debate earlier, most likely a safe bet – but, what is the audience share of the evening news in a small market, which has three network affiliates vying for a limited viewership, and finally, does the individual viewer actually trust the source? That’s debatable.

    From, Brown decidedly wins the debate with Warren (overview included with timeline). The reasoning given was simple – content and delivery of questions asked and answered. One thing is certain, Elizabeth Warren has her talking point of “Billionaires” down, in fact, she has it memorized, and that appears to be about the extent of her “experience”. That and the woman can outright lie, but that fact, of course, is considered an “attack” if pointed out by Scott Brown or anyone else. One cannot dispute the facts, however, and Warren, who is outside her depth when it comes to the economy and foreign policy, how Brown voted (apparently she hasn’t visited the Congressional Record), and her own resume.

    It is difficult to support a candidate who is so flawed, period, and Warren takes the cake. Warren released an ad in the market depicting one sympathetic woman who had lost her husband due to asbestos exposure, the premise of the ad being Brown lied about Warren’s roll in the entire case, noting that Warren too the case to the Supreme court for the people! (Apparently the same firm that made the Obama-PAC video featuring the man who insisted Mitt Romney gave his wife cancer, somehow, six years after he lost his job.) Warren worked for the Asbestos firm, period. She was a lawyer for that firm, and well, that would give one the impression that if she went to the Supreme Court to fight, it would have been for her client – the asbestos firm.

    But, apparently spouting endless quips about Billionaires – is brilliant.

    Brown, in an attempt to point out Ms. Warren’s less than honest claims, is called out for attacking the poor woman.

    What is, frankly amazing, are the polls showing the large percentage of undecided’s in this case, however, one can hazard to guess those undecided’s will go down along party lines. As much as the state has been polled in the last few weeks, compared to other months, and several of those polls have focused solely on the Presidential race, one might have the impression that the Brown-Warren matchup isn’t the only hotly contested race in the Bay State. The release of polling data to date shows the President leading Romney handily in the Bay State, with the majority of the polls either University or performed by Public Policy Polling, but one poll, in a congressional race, with a solid makeup of current voters, tells a different story, and that poll was taken in a county that went heavily for Obama in 2008, who is now, within one point of former Governor Mitt Romney – in Massachusetts. That poll, conducted in September, before the Presidential Debate, showed Brown with a double digit lead over Warren and Romney in a statistical tie with the President. Looking at the questions, they were not leading, the makeup of the electorate was spot on, and the district polled is a microcosm of the Commonwealth. On one hand, for Progressives and the Obama Campaign, it is critical that Warren appear to be winning, due to the huge amount of polling (non-Senate) being taken in Massachusetts. Point: Massachusetts offers up a few more electoral college votes than say, New Hampshire. Massachusetts is the last bastion of Progressive think, or so it’s portrayed, however, the 51% of registered unenrolleds, may have something to say about the matter. They did in the Presidential races in 1980 and 1984, an anomaly to be sure, they did so again in 2009 in a special election. It is the unenrolled who will decide who wins or loses the Massachusetts senate race and the electoral votes.

    Of course, there’s always ballot stuffing and the usual bag of tricks, however, in the first Brown Special Election, all eyes were on Massachusetts, and the five point final lead (some suspect it may have been higher) Brown had over Coakley was decisive. Once again, all eyes will be on Massachusetts, as this is being billed nationwide as the one Senate race to watch, a fact apparently, lost on the Commonwealth’s Progressives, and local media. Not having a crystal ball, but being a tad pragmatic, one might see the race come down with similar results in 2012, with the Western part of the state giving the majority of votes to the Progressives, with a few exceptions (Brown lost heavily in Springfield, Northampton and points west throughout the hill towns, expect nothing more or less), and then cleaned house in the balance of the Bay State. Should those unenrolled vote a straight ticket, fueled by either Romney or Brown it will be an historic event for Massachusetts. Those are big if’s, considering the level of hi-jinks that is displayed in elections in the Commonwealth, but it would not be an anomaly for Brown and Romney to defy the polls and the pundits and pull out a win, a miracle by virtue of the media spin, but not an anomaly.

    Clips below.

    WWLP News at 11 segment on the debate, watch this first, then watch the actual debate

    Sen. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren’s 3rd Senate debate

    The entire debate on C-Span is available at www.c-spanvideo-org/program/MassachusettsSenateDebat Not yet available for embedding, clips only.

    A few of many resources available

    Asbestos Victims Travelers Insurance Elizabeth Warren, “Asbestos legal work could taint Elizabeth Warren”(The Boston Globe)

    Warren’s work for other firms, including Travelers (ABC News)

    ElizabethWarren’s Law License Problem (Legal Insurrection) – Apparently Warren was not Licensed, however practiced law without.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Of Big Bird, Desperation and Romney Touch of Humor – Democrats early Signs of MDS (Mitt Derangement Syndrome)

    Chris Matthews, Obama Supporting MSNBC Host, lampooned on Jay Leno - or art imitates life - image the

    The Obama Campaign was told to cease and desist using the Bid Bird character from Sesame Street in its advertising yesterday. (ABC News) The ad was in response to Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s suggestion that savings to the Federal Government could be made by cutting program such as aid to the PBS during the first of three Presidential debates. Romney’s suggestion apparently was the one thing in the entire debate that the Obama team thought might be worth taking a “shot at”. However, they may have wanted to pick a program where the programming does not make millions of dollars from sales of merchandise, with management salaries up in the 6 figure range(, which may be why Romney feels that the network could be commercially viable without tax-payers dollars. For the past week the Obama campaign has been using the “taking Big Bird away by cutting funding” approach to bolster the President after his horrifically poor performance at the same debate. Romney for his part, speaking at a campaign event suggested: “"You have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird," he said. "I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs." (Politico) Point, counter-point.

    Elsewhere, in Virginia Democrats who are so heavily vested in “saving” the Obama campaign, have taken to using box cutters to take down Romney signs on Private Property, used human excrement to throw at Romney sings in private yards, stolen signs from businesses in broad daylight, and screamed at people who were holding a political rally (Video-Washington Times). Of course, yelling to support one’s “team” so to speak is not out of the norm, however, yelling, ripping up signs while doing so, and walking back and forth in what appears to be utter frustration may be a sign of trouble to come.

    Trouble – after George W. Bush was elected to a second term, there was an acute case of what became known as Bush Derangement Syndrome(Desert News) and although it was noted in jest, there were those that took to bed for three weeks after the election, refused to speak to friends and family suspected of voting for George W. Bush, and otherwise display erratic behavior.

    Granted, this blogger is in no wise, a Therapist, or mental health professional of any sort, however, the MDS symptoms have begun to appear early (see Washington Times article in Paragraph II), and even in Massachusetts family friends have been chased down the street by avid supporters of the President and Elizabeth Warren (the lefts perceived next Obama and Senate Candidate in MA), and nearly assaulted, by screaming campaign volunteers who cannot comprehend why anyone would support either Mitt Romney or Scott Brown as a candidate. When one goes to those extremes in Boston, image the statewide shock if a)Mitt Romney takes Massachusetts contrary to polling data which oversamples the left side of the Commonwealth by a 50% margin, and Warren looses despite the usual dead voting, ballot stuffing, miraculously finding 30,000 extra votes tactics which are normal for the Commonwealth. Additionally, if it can happen in Massachusetts and Virginia, this early in the game, imagine what might take place after there is a President Romney? There is the alleged potential for rioting according to the Examiner article “Obama supporters on Twitter threaten to riot if Romney wins election”. All semi-jesting aside, be kind to your friends, families and neighbors who are so heavily vested in a candidate that they display any of the associated syndrome, and get them professional help as soon as possible, especially those so heavily vested in a candidate it appears they may participate in a “riot”.

    Tuesday, October 09, 2012

    2012 Update Romney Delivers Rousing, Sensible Foreign Policy Speech, Obama Campaign Response Ad Weak

    2012 Presidential Candidate, former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, gave a solid foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute on Monday – the video appears below via C-Span. The New York Times editorialized the event in it’s headline “Mitt Romney Speaks Harshly but Treads Fine Line on Foreign Policy”, with an opening paragraph outline Romney’s “attack” on Obama and go on to cite their own editorial. (Read entire article here.).

    Romney on Foreign policy approach.

    Not sitting idly by, the Obama Campaign released an ad in response to Romney’s speech, the ad rehashes Romney’s trip abroad this past summer, visiting England, Poland and Israel. In the eyes of the media, as well as some “Republican’s”, Romney had made foreign policy “gaffes” on his trip. The ad continuously cites the New York Times as evidence of these gaffes, and notes “even Republican’s” without naming one. (Of course, 30 seconds is not enough time to get in all points, or the alleged gaffe for that matter.) Romney was in Israel for the fourth time, in Poland he was endorsed by Lech Walesa and in the UK, Romney was asked and answered questions about the U.K.’s preparedness for the Olympic Games, something he’s familiar with. After giving his opinion, which was a review that noted problems with the preparedness, he was roundly criticized in the UK and US press. Other than that, one is hard pressed to find an actual gaffe, if that is a “gaffe”. Included in the mix was Romney’s jump on the President over the attacks on our embassy in Libya. The ad appears below.

    Obama anti-Romney foreign policy speech

    Romney’s speech, ideas and basic foreign policy outline given in the speech, has to have the Obama Campaign a bit nervous after the drubbing Romney gave Obama on Economic Policy during the first debate. To understand that what the average American has seen on Romney’s foreign policy is mere clips by a less than friendly media, once Romney takes the debate stage, there is no way to hide his depth of knowledge, nor to control the environment for the President. It remains to be seen, of course, how well Romney will deliver during the foreign policy debate, however, if it is a tenth of what he showed in the speech at the Virginia Military Institute, there will be no “do-over’s” for the Obama Campaign going forward.

    Note on Romney and foreign policy, specifically Iran. As the 2009 Green revolution and attack on those demonstrators by the Theocratic government in Iran began, there was little to no US coverage of unfolding events. For days the brutality against peaceful demonstrators went unchallenged, all communications coming through Twitter and video’s posted to YouTube and other sites. It was heartbreaking to watch half a nation stand up and beg for help, while the U.S. with troops in Iraq and in Afghanistan, stood by silent. It was heartbreaking to watch as CNN International finally began reporting, after so many lives were lost and demonstrators imprisoned. It was heartwarming to know that that Canadian’s and Italian’s were taking in demonstrators, trying to help the best they could while the Iranian Government had to hire mercenaries to kill and contain the Iranian freedom seekers. It was embarrassing that the US did nothing until several weeks later, and it was nothing but a condemnation of the government in “harsh” tones. A perfect opportunity lay before us, to deliver peace to the region by merely showing signs of support, and yet, nothing. Of course, Russia has particular interest in Iran – go figure.

    Romney, to his credit, understood the revolution, and the opportunity that this peaceful revolution had presented. There were, of course, mentions of other issues that had taken place or are taking place now, however, to this mind that comment was worth more, perhaps than the others. It is of course, easy to “Monday morning quarterback”, on any given event or subject, but it appears to have the ability to grasp the import is critical.

    Monday, October 08, 2012

    Left Counting on Biden in Debate to Keep Obama Campaign Afloat – Biden Takes Six Days To Study Debate – Updated Predictions from the UDenver: Romney Wins – Grab the Popcorn

    Image from the Guardian UK - One might anticipate this expression on Ryan's face while Biden is either a) telling an uncomfortable truth, or b) (pick an outrageous statement or expletive

    From the Daily Beats Headlines: Joe Biden’s Turn to Take down Paul Ryan, can only be characterized as denial. It is apparent, of course, that this particular blog is “carrying water” for the Obama Administration, and anyone knows that Biden is fine in the debate area – however, fine against Paul Ryan is not going to cut it. The Daily Beast goes on to say that Ryan has zero experience in debate in front of millions, rather has spoken only to a few hundred here and there. Apparently forgetting about that Convention in August, where he as indeed in front of millions, granted that was the convection. One might also understand that Ryan is used to being in debate, as he is in the Congress, and spends, just like Biden, the majority of his time, debating legislation, one way or the other.

    From the other side of the political spectrum, the Weekly Standard is reporting Joe Biden takes 6 days off campaign trail for debate prep. The Weekly Standard notes the following:

    For this weekend, the White House provided the following guidance: "The Vice President will be in Wilmington, Delaware. There are no public events scheduled."

    As for the next three days, Biden will remain in Delaware. "On Monday through Wednesday, the Vice President will be in Wilmington, Delaware. There are no public events scheduled." – (Weekly Standard)

    On the Paul Ryan Watch Raw Story reports Ryan taking three days to prep for the debate with Joe Biden Ryan spent the day yesterday with with his family, away from debate prep,(Minneapolis Star Tribune. Apparently Ryan, who is , from some points of view, not only a policy “wonk’ but an outright genius may have all facts, figures, and taking point down in 3 days, rather than the 6 days it might take V.P Biden. Biden may have to learn not to tell the truth or be outrageously over the top, something that has dogged the Obama campaign every time the V.P. is out campaigning. Biden can at one time appear reasonable, then Biden the truth-teller shows up in his remarks about the middle class suffering since 2008, or the other Biden may show up – making claims about Romney putting people in chains. – Either or, it’s going to be worth the price of admission.

    Ryan, for those who have only seen him on the clips, might want to go back through c-span footage and take a look at how he handles the Congress, one might also want to take a look at Ryan’s ability to resonate with all voters, despite the election partisan hype – he was the very few GOP Congressional Rep in 2008 that won reelection in his district. One might say so what? –True, Ryan’s winning his own district, may be a big so what? – However, his district voted for Obama, by a smaller percentage overall than for Ryan – and that District favors the Democrats disproportionately.

    That’s something to chew on.

    Of course, just like Mitt Romney’s first debate with Barack Obama, in which Romney’s performance can only be characterizes as stellar, the Pres will be “fact checking” fast and furiously (pun intended) Ryan’s’ every word. And every word of it, not unlike Romney’s, will be “suspect”. Of course, when reading or listening to these articles or newscasts, there is not specific reasoning for the statements to be suspect, except they were “fact-checked”. Which brings up the question, if one can debunk the Romney fact checkers in less than 30 seconds, how much more quickly can on debunk the “fact checks” against Ryan.

    Romney did not lie in his debate, the statements he made and the programs he offered were just not in agreement with the narrative of the sleeping Obama, so the press had to jump in.

    Meanwhile, over at the University of Denver, there are some science wonks – they deal in numbers and statistics especially when it comes to predicting who will win the Presidential race. Previously it was Romney, and it is still Romney only this time, Obama lost 5 more points. The new prediction gives Romney 330 Electoral votes to the Presidents’ 208. They will update that model again before the election. This model has been accurate for the last several elections. Of course, not to be outdone, Cambridge, offers a variety of Election models to contradict –they are available at,.

    On things is certain, models, polls and the like are grabbing attention – but the question remains whose? Most of those living and breathing polls are the pundits and the media, while the general public is generally not either buying it, or too financially depressed to care.

    The VP debate is this Thursday. The next Presidential debate will be held on Foreign Policy – one would think that is the President’s bailiwick, as the media has portrayed Romney as a dolt when it comes to foreign policy – that said, SoundBits and carefully parsed phrase, can indeed make one appear less knowledgeable. However, unless the moderator has a stun gun pointed at Romney, the general public will be allowed to hear his plans and policy in their entirety, and so will the public. At the same time, one might ask if the President, taken off his stride by the sheer knowledge of Romney unleashed, might go into his Denver State of Mind (unlikely as he’ll be fighting for his life), but regardless, Romney will be prepared. For those who look for lively debates, all three offer a bit of something, no matter to which side of the aisle one is politically wed.

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