Politics. At times, we all get tired of politics.
Politicians, partisanship and spin. Even pundits like myself can get tired of defending the indefensible and making sense of the nonsensical. And “jabberwocky” has more truth than most talking points.
I get annoyed with the media preference for melodrama, especially when it turns otherwise rational people into Chicken Little panic-bots.
After a less-than-stellar debate performance, some Democrats decided they must be desperate. But being frustrated with President Obama follows the media’s playbook, which is part of Mitt Romney’s game plan. But, to continue the analogy, the Democrats have a superior, agile quarterback and a much better game plan.
Polls repeatedly demonstrate that Democrats at all levels strongly support the president. Yet after Obama’s debate fumble, a handful of progressive bloggers began crying, “The sky is falling!” This is exactly the same refrain Romney heard from the majority of Republican professionals for weeks. Ann Romney felt compelled to make a public plea: “Stop. This is hard.” Peggy Noonan, a Republican columnist for The Wall Street Journal, called Romney’s campaign “a rolling calamity” just six days before the debate.
It’s a rare game without a turnover. And campaigns often require course corrections.
The Romney campaign went through the political equivalent of a fumbling turnover a week ago. It will do so again. And Obama has been through this before. Remember August 2008? Democratic professionals were thrashing Obama for not hitting the McCain campaign hard enough. Obama agreed, and came out swinging.
Not surprisingly, the elite media fell for Romney’s latest spin — that his 2-point rise in the polls is earth-shaking. I say “not surprisingly” because reporters have unabashedly allowed themselves to be manipulated by Romney’s strategists. As Politico columnist Roger Simon wrote: “When Barack Obama was up by 4 percentage points in the polls, the media said the race was a dead heat ... Now that Obama is down by 4 percentage points in the polls, the media say he is dead meat.”
No one plays the political game without sustaining injuries, (though most are self-inflicted — ask Romney and Biden). Every so-called gaffe makes headlines and candidates’ words are taken out of context and used to fit an existing narrative.
Obama is a competitor who came out of the cauldron of Chicago politics. News professionals and opponents who gloss over his Chicago toughness grossly underestimate him.
The polls show this race remains highly volatile. It can change on a dime. The real news story after the first debate is that the race remains within polling error — a dead heat. Obama’s slip was only that: a slip — not a fall.
Internal polls show that Obama has not lost supporters to Romney. The debate did cause some independents to take a second look at Romney; they’re still wary of him, though, and still not quite ready to pull the lever for either candidate.
The National Journal quoted Obama’s Ohio statewide chairman, state Sen. Eric Kearney, that Obama’s post-debate handling “(has) been a healthy exercise in how to regain enthusiasm and momentum. There is now a renewed spirit to pull the oar.” Kearney added, “The question I hear everywhere is ‘What more can we do?’”
After the debate, volunteers flooded headquarters across Ohio in greater numbers than before. The “It’s in the bag” mentality vanished, and people began to feel as needed as they did in 2008.
A handful of liberal dissidents want Obama to focus on Romney’s dishonesty. But remember what happened during the GOP primary, especially in Florida. Newt Gingrich grew increasingly frustrated with the onslaught of negative ads sponsored by Romney’s super PAC allies. He even called media attention to Romney’s campaign character, using the word “liar” on CBS and CNN. The media shrugged. Rick Santorum, a devoutly religious man, held a news conference to say Romney was “lying to the American people” about his Massachusetts health care plan. Santorum got nowhere with the truth. The media didn’t follow up. Nailing Romney on his fabrications is like nailing Jell-O to the wall.
President Obama has to do two things to regain momentum: First, he needs to get tough with Romney on his many distortions of Obama’s record, press Romney on his flip-flopping and pin him down on specifics. The list of issues where Romney has planted his feet firmly on both sides of the fence is overwhelming. Romney has engaged in so many twists and turns, he could attend a Halloween party dressed as a corkscrew.
But President Obama must also talk to the American people, explaining how the next four years will be different. What now? The good news is more Americans perceive the president as honest and trustworthy.
Can we give President Obama a little time to exhale? Obama, be yourself. Give your innate optimism and idealism full reign.
Politics. At times, we all get tired of politics.
Bill Allain rose above nasty campaign
The announcement of former Mississippi Gov. Bill Allain’s death this week at the age of 85 brought back memories of the time 30 years ago when Mississippi and the rest of the nation waded through one of the more bizarre chapters in the state’s political history and perhaps the dirtiest campaign seen in this state before or since.
State at bottom of list in solar friendly laws
On a sunny day this past summer, Germany produced a world record of 24 gigawatts of electricity per hour. That’s equal to 20 nuclear power stations. At its peak that day, solar panels produced a quarter of the entire electricity consumed in the nation.
Gov. Bryant’s mulishness costing state
It’s obvious that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant erred terribly when he blocked Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney from setting up a state-run health-insurance exchange.
With voter ID now law, we must protect right for all who are eligible
Voter ID is now a reality in Mississippi. The state plans to begin issuing free voter identification cards in early 2014, just months before the first election in which people will be required to show photo IDs at the polls.
Obama resilient in face of polls
For a guy whose presidency was supposed to be on life support, Barack Obama has certainly had a productive couple of weeks. With his poll numbers sinking toward George W. Bush territory — 53 percent in a recent CNN survey said he’s not a strong or decisive leader — Obama took bold action on two issues that dramatized the power of the presidency.
Lure of home was strong for author
Today she looks like a beautiful Indian princess, like Walt Disney’s Pocahontas, her thick black braid rapunzeling down the back of her tunic of red, the color in which her mother dressed her “Mimi.”
Rural homeless less obvious
As we transition from the traditional Thanksgiving feast into the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget that there are those for whom Thanksgiving and Christmas are just another day.
Budget can kicked down road
Many people take pride in defying the conventions of society. Those conventions of society are also known as civilization. Defying them wholesale means going back to barbarism. Barbarians with electronic devices are still barbarians.
State should make vendor access easier
It’s too hard for companies to track down information on how to sell goods and services to state government and Mississippi should make it easier to do business with the state, a legislative watchdog group said.
MSU to host historic reunion game
Over the Thanksgiving holidays, the eyes of many Mississippi sports fans will be on the 86th renewal of the Egg Bowl football game between the 7-4 Ole Miss Rebels and the 5-6 Mississippi State University Bulldogs.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Bill Allain rose above nasty campaign