Campaigning in New Hampshire this morning, President Barack Obama said that Mitt Romney “whiffed” on trying to sell his tax plan in their second debate on Tuesday. Obama says that Romney is trying to sell the American people a “sketchy deal.”
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC: PASS THE BANANAS.
** QUICK HITS. I’m hearing some good news for President Barack Obama on new polls of Midwestern battleground states Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio. … Governor Jerry Brown held a rally today at Sacramento City College with 500 students in favor of the Prop 30 revenue initiative. He has some choice things to say, which I’ll get into tomorrow. … Still no clarity on the true source of mega-millions funneled through a shadowy Arizona super PAC thence through the “Small Business” Action Committee laundry into the No on 30 and Yes on 32 (anti-public employee union) campaigns.
** NEW POLL: SWING STATE FEMALE VOTERS HAVE GENDER SPECIFIC CONCERNS. A new Gallup Poll survey indicates that women voters in swing states have gender specific concerns that, in my view, are problematic for conservative Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
This, as the latest Gallup tracking poll gives Romney a 7-point lead over President Barack Obama, higher than before Obama’s debate win. Even as the Gallup job approval rating for Obama is going up, to 50% and more.
The Gallup track is simply wrong. I’m sure it has to do with changes in sampling, which has been the case in the past with this poll.
Women in the 12 key swing states have starkly different responses from men when asked in an open-ended format to name the most important issues for their gender in the 2012 election. A plurality of female registered voters offered abortion (39%) as the most important issue for women, followed by jobs, healthcare, the economy, and equal rights. In contrast, men see jobs (38%) and the economy (37%) as the two most important issues facing men. …
The vast majority of male voters in the swing states see economic and financial issues such as jobs, the economy, and the federal budget deficit as the most pressing matters for men. While all of these issues affect men, none are highly specific to men. On the other hand, while female voters in the swing states share concerns about jobs and the economy, they also mention two issues that are highly specific to women in their top five responses — abortion and equal rights. …
Now, Romney may win over the waitress mom vote, a new buzzword for key swing voters, with his program of cutting their capital gains taxes (which he amusingly actually hauled out as a centerpiece of his plan to save the middle class). But I rather doubt it.
** NEW SURVEY: A BIG NEW SURVEY INDICATES THAT JUST OVER 3 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE NOT HETEROSEXUAL. A new Gallup Poll survey indicates that 3.4% of Americans are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
Perhaps this is why so few women believe me when I tell them that 80% of women are bisexual.
Questions of sexual orientation are still very charged, as is humor on the topic, so I’ll just lay out what Gallup’s big survey indicates.
The inaugural results of a new Gallup question — posed to more than 120,000 U.S. adults thus far — shows that 3.4% say “yes” when asked if they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. …
These results are based on responses to the question, “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?” included in 121,290 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2012. This is the largest single study of the distribution of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population in the U.S. on record. By comparison, the General Social Survey, a project of NORC at the University of Chicago, asked a sexual orientation question in its 2008 and 2010 survey of about 2,000 adults in each year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Survey of Family Growth asked a sexual orientation question of about 12,000 young adults aged 18 to 44 in 2002 and of more than 20,000 adults in its 2006-2010 survey. The 3.4% figure is similar to a 3.8% estimate made by one of the authors of this study (Gates), averaging a group of smaller U.S. surveys conducted from 2004 to 2008. …
Nonwhites are more likely than white segments of the U.S. population to identify as LGBT. The survey results show that 4.6% of African-Americans identify as LGBT, along with 4.0% of Hispanics and 4.3% of Asians. The disproportionately higher representation of LGBT status among nonwhite population segments corresponds to the slightly below-average 3.2% of white Americans who identified as LGBT. …
Although the difference is not large, women are slightly more likely to identify as LGBT than are men (3.6% vs. 3.3%) — a finding that is consistent with other surveys. Put differently, more than 53% of LGBT individuals are women. …
Adults aged 18 to 29 (6.4%) are more than three times as likely as seniors aged 65 and older (1.9%) to identify as LGBT. Among those aged 30 to 64, LGBT identity declines with age — at 3.2% for 30- to 49-year-olds and 2.6% for 50- to 64-year-olds. …
Gallup’s analysis shows that identification as LGBT is highest among Americans with the lowest levels of education — contrary to what other, more limited, studies have shown. Among those with a high school education or less, 3.5% identify as LGBT, compared with 2.8% of those with a college degree and 3.2% of those with postgraduate education. LGBT identification is highest among those with some college education but not a college degree, at 4.0%. …
LGBT identification is slightly higher in the East (3.7%) and the West (3.6%) than in the Midwest (3.4%) and the South (3.2%). This slightly higher incidence on both coasts could be a product of two factors. More accepting regions may attract LGBT people to move there. But it may also be the case that social acceptance in the East and West means that LGBT people are more willing to self-identify, because they feel less stigmatized by their identity. …
NOTE: PART OF THIS EDITION SUFFERED FROM GLITCHING WHICH WIPED OUT THE MORNING PORTION.
Conservative Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is complaining that Obama spends more time talking about problems with the Romney agenda than talking up his own second term agenda.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington, New Hampshire, and New York City.
Obama left the White House early this morning on Air Force One and flew to Manchester, New Hampshire.
There he spoke at Veterans Memorial Park in Manchester.
Following that, he flew to New York City, where he taped The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at Comedy Central Studios.
He then attended a fundraiser at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
At 4:55 PM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks at the 67th Annual Alfred. E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf Towers.
At 7:35 PM Pacific, Obama departs New York City on Air Force One en route Joint Base Andrews.
At 8:30 PM Pacific, Obama arrives Joint Base Andrews, where he boards Marine One.
At 8:45 PM Pacific, he lands on the South Lawn of the White House.
Former President Bill Clinton joins Bruce Springsteen today campaigning in Ohio, where Obama holds the lead and which no Republican who has gone on to win the presidency has ever lost.
Vice President Joe Biden is campaigning in Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada.
Congressman Paul Ryan is campaigning in Florida.
Mitt Romney is off the trail until his speech tonight at the Al Smith Dinner in New York.
Former Senator George McGovern, age 90, is reportedly unresponsive and near death at a South Dakota hospice center. The 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, whose anti-Vietnam War crusade of a campaign lost to Richard Nixon in a huge landslide but sparked a generation of Democrats, may be the most successful loser in political history.
I met the World War II hero-turned-man of peace in Iowa in 1984, where it was my job to defeat him. He is quite a striking man. Certainly not right about everything, but definitely right about the Vietnam War. More to follow. Sadly.
The new Reuters poll shows President Barack Obama beating conservative Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in last night’s debate by a wide margin, 48-33. That sounds about right. Well, a little on the low side, actually, but it’s a polarized country.
Another battleground states poll has Obama winning the debate by 53-35.
Syria’s 19-month conflict can set the entire region ablaze, international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warns. “The green grass and the dry grass will all burn,” says the UN diplomat.
Obama is monitoring several geopolitical crises involving the Arab Awakening, Iran and Israel, Syria, Iraq, AfPak, and the South China Sea.
Military Crisis Zone Times: The Persian/Arabian Gulf is ten hours ahead of Pacific time and Afghanistan is eleven and a half hours ahead of Pacific time. The time in Manila, on the South China Sea, is fifteen hours ahead of Pacific time.
** OBAMA TAKES DEBATE 2: SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? If President Barack Obama had performed in the Denver debate as he did last night in Long Island, this election would already be over. But it’s not, so what happens next?
Well, three fundamental things at the very least, two of them good for Obama, the third not good in the least. A new survey indicates that unemployment is continuing to head down and Obama gets the deeply geopolitically challenged Romney — who couldn’t even handle a trip to London on Olympics eve without an international incident — in a final debate on foreign policy. But Romney’s super PAC allies are unleashing an unprecedented avalanche of advertising. More on these in a moment.
One of the great mysteries of this campaign is what happened to Obama in Denver. My suspicion is that he resented debating Mitt Romney, thinking little of him, preferring instead to stick to the distracting work of being president rather than practice debate ping-pong. At the time, Obama was moving aircraft carrier strike groups into the South and East China Seas countering Chinese moves (here is my archive on the geopolitical pivot), dealing with the aftermath of the Benghazi disaster, and working to tamp down the violent anti-American protests that erupted across the Islamic world after the infamous Innocence of Muslims video.
As to this debate, I agree with my old friend Steve Schmidt, the John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign director, who says that Obama scored heavily at the end by driving home Romney’s infamous fundraising comments about on 47% of Americans being lazy layabouts reliant on socialism. And that Obama scored again on the Benghazi disaster by correctly pointing out that he had called the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans an act of terrorism and by essentially shaming Romney for implying that Obama was simply playing politics around the death of an ambassador he’d sent in harm’s way with a mission beginning last year in then war-torn Libya.
Romney blew the response to Benghazi in near real time, as I wrote here on September 19th in “How Romney Should Have Attacked Obama: Anatomy of A Geopolitical Crisis,” when he attacked foolishly Obama for supposedly sympathizing with the people who attacked the US embassy in Cairo and US mission in Benghazi.
And he blew it again last night, operating live on global TV.
Prior to the debate, on my New West Notes blog, I asked whether the Ambien-fed Barack Obama of Denver would show up on Long Island or the amphetamine-fueled Joe Biden of last week? Or something in between?
Definitely something in between, though far speedier, as it were, than the Denver version.
It was hard for me to believe that Obama would again be any less than he was in 2008, when he was certainly good enough for John McCain and Hillary Clinton. And that that would make him more than good enough for Mitt Romney.
That proved to be the case, as Obama won the debate with an impressive performance. Snap polls show it, and my gut made it clear from the get-go.
Romney wasn’t bad, but he was not as good as in the first debate.
Actually, Romney seemed to have let his clippings get to his head, imagining that he has somehow morphed into a fellow wearing a cape with an “S” on his chest.
He let Obama get to him early on with his depiction of Romney as a latter day sort of financialized robber baron. He endlessly asserted his positioning as a champion of job creation and saving the middle class without discussing policies that would do that. Aside from lowering the capital gains tax, a notable non sequitur.
His most detailed domestic policy was his championing of the old fossil fuel economy, especially coal.
And he thoroughly muffed his attack on Obama on the Benghazi disaster, again!
For his part, Obama was especially impressive on Benghazi, though Romney made it relatively easy, saying that while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility for diplomatic security, it is his responsibility as he appoints the ambassadors and sends them out around the world, and feels deeply the loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens.
“We are going to hunt them down,” said Obama of the perpetrators of Benghazi, just as others have been hunted down throughout his administration. Including, of course, Osama bin Laden, a mission that Romney called unnecesssary before the Al Qaeda leader was taken down by Navy SEALs.
Romney also came off a bit oddly at times, challenging moderator Candy Crowley rather petulantly and aggressively using his bulk on one or two occasions to begin to challenge Obama.
And then there was his claim, as a belated show of bona fides for female voters despite his opposition to the equal pay act, that, realizing that he was appointing almost all men as governor, he instructed his staff to give him “binders full of women” whom he might appoint.
I didn’t know women came in binders. Nor that appointing women was such an obvious afterthought for him and his team that he had to order them up in such a way.
So what’s next? …
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Sacramento and Northern California.
At 12 noon, Brown appears at a rally at Sacramento City College for the Prop 30 revenue initiative.
Sac City College is best known for being the place at which the 10-second barrier in the 100 meter dash was first broken, in the famed “Night of Speed” on June 20, 1968 at the US track and field championships at Hughes Stadium.
Oakland’s Jim Hines did it first, with a 9.9 second performance, and was matched by Charles Greene and Ronnie Ray Smith. Hines matched his new world record a few months later with a gold medal performance at the Olympics in Mexico City, where he, Greene, and Smith were joined by Mel Pender in a world record-setting 400 meter relay in 38.2 seconds.
The sub-10 100 is a much harder feat than the fabled 4-minute mile, which barrier was first broken by Sir Roger Bannister in 1954 at Oxford University in England. Hundreds and hundreds of men have gone sub-4 in the mile, but only 80 have gone sub-10 in the 100.
Moving back from the sublime to the ridiculous …
Nothing new to report on the “Small Business” Action Committee political laundry receiving another $11 million in contributions, this time from a shadowy outfit in Arizona, to use against California’s Prop 30 revenue initiative and for the Prop 32 anti-public employee union measure.
A newly hired spokesperson for the SBAC, which is used as a laundry to avoid state law requiring that major funders be revealed on ads (and which has suddenly raised nearly $35 million in the past couple months after raising only $60,000 in the first half of the year), says she has no idea why the money came in. Or what the folks involved are about.
Generally, professional people in politics like to make sure that they are not receiving money from suspicious characters. Coming from Phoenix, who knows where that money’s been.
Conservatives are such trusting people.
A little joke.
** GEOPOLITICS: OBAMA FACES BIG CHALLENGES DESPITE DEBATE WINNER ROMNEY’S LATEST POLICY WHIFF. … From my October 9th essay.
** JERRY BROWN GETS AN OCTOBER SURPRISE. … From my October 8th feature.
** RECALLING TOTAL RECALL: SCHWARZENEGGER’S COMEBACK PROCEEDS WITH A BIG (NATURALLY) BOOK. … From my October 5th essay.
** BOND AT 50: DR. NO IS A TIME CAPSULE FROM THE EARLY MAD MEN ERA. … From my October 4th essay.
** OBAMA PASSES THROUGH THE MINEFIELD OF U.N. WEEK (BUT SETS UP A POTENTIAL EXPLOSION NEXT YEAR). … From my September 28th essay.
** IS POST-PARTISANSHIP PASSE? SCHWARZENEGGER AND COMPANY (AND BILL CLINTON) SAY NO. … From my September 26th column.
** DETHRONED: MAD MEN‘S DOWN SEASON OPENED THE DOOR FOR A SUPERLATIVE HOMELAND. … From my September 24th column.
** JERRY BROWN: GEARING UP A CAMPAIGN AT LAST? … From my September 22nd feature.
** HOW ROMNEY SHOULD HAVE ATTACKED OBAMA: ANATOMY OF A GEOPOLITICAL CRISIS. … From my September 19th essay.
** FROM GOVERNATOR TO MOONBEAM. … From my January 3rd, 2011 feature.
** OBAMA: RIDING WITH HISTORY. (NOTE: As Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States, this column was the featured column on the top of the front page of the Huffington Post.) … From my January 19th, 2009 Huffington Post column.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM AL JAZEERA. With the US entangled in major military operations in the region, and the Arab awakening underway, it’s valuable to keep up with news and perspectives from the leading Middle Eastern-based TV news network. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer. The NWN live link to AJ does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer from the Russia Today channel. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the state-run channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND NATIONAL ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Having crashed over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, 2008, crude oil is trading around $92 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $58 from the low of $34 per barrel prior to enactment of the Obama economic recovery program, reflecting a low point in global economic activity, and down about $22 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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