Desperation in the air ...
... but it seems to be mainly emanating from the right wing at the moment.
We’re still waiting for the DNC to get into full swing and for gonzo bulletins from John Cole and his merry crew, among others. The weekend hangover from the GOP Convention has been mild by comparison with previous years, and the anticipated poll bump for the Romney campaign seems all but immeasurable among the statistical noise, if indeed there’s been one at all—if indeed it hasn’t been a negative “bump.”
In case you missed it, yesterday—Labor Day to many—was also National Shouting At Chairs Day, where the Drudge-led Romney camp’s online desperados took to their front lawns (la-de-da!) to display chairs (la-de-da—more than one!) in solidarity with Clint Eastwood, who by now is probably hoping nobody ever offers him a chair ever again, and to display to each other photographic evidence of their genius. That’ll rustle up the Independents, I’m sure.
Meanwhile, if there’s no great tensions around the DNC yet, by gum, the media’s going to have to invent some.
The results highlight the depth of voter dissatisfaction confronting Obama as he makes his case for a second term at this week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
They also strongly suggest Democrats need to convince voters the election should be a choice between Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, rather than a referendum on the president.
Obama’s biggest problem remains voter unhappiness with his handling of the economy.
“What is this thing called Pulse Opinion Research?”, you may ask. Answer: It’s Rasmussen in drag:
Pulse is a “field service” spun off of of Rasmussen Reports that conducts their well known automated, recorded-voice surveys.
I probably don’t need to point out that anyone who trims their sails according to a Rasmussen’s outfit’s findings at this stage in an electoral cycle is likely to be rolling in the deep pretty damn quick.
Then there’s National Review’s The Corner, whose brief summary of a Democracy Corps poll that’s now mysteriously not to be found anywhere other than Google cache is exciting the likes of Doug Ross at failed gimp porn outlet DirectorBlue:
According to a new poll conducted by Democracy Corps (the James Carville/Stan Greenberg-founded firm), Mitt Romney is leading by 16 points among independents, 54 percent to Barack Obama’s 38 percent. Twenty-six percent of independents think the country is going in the right direction; 68 percent think it is going on the wrong track. Forty percent of independents approve of Obama, while 56 percent disapprove.
The overall poll isn’t a terrific win for Romney — he’s at 47 percent to Obama’s 49 percent — but if he’s opened up a gap anywhere near this large among independent voters, that’s certainly a hopeful trend for him.
Losing is the new winning, and outliers of dubious provenance polled during the height of the holiday season are Gospel, naturally.
Ross spins this into a grand fantasy worthy of Tolkien or Col. Mustard in his pomp—”That Roar You Hear in the Distance May Be a Tidal Wave Building”—and cites five straws encapsulated in that “may” for the Borg to clutch:
• Obama doubles field offices in “leans Dem” New Mexico (what the hey, I’d imagine they want to win it and aren’t taking any chances)
• Losing the Independents (citing that Democracy Corps poll and nothing else whatever)
• Number of Republicans in America Reaches Record High (still only 37.6% self-identifying, though)
• Boston Globe: Predictive Model Yields Romney Landslide (a “predictive model” from IHS Global Insight, developed by Yale University economist Ray Fair, who’s quoted: “the current race is ‘too close to call’ and advised against relying on any prediction too closely”)
• Scaled-Back DNC Due To Fundraising Shortfalls
That last one’s a hoot: If last week demonstrated anything, it’s that the positive electoral effects of a national convention nowadays, in the era of social media, and especially after a particularly interminable primary run-up that’s taxed everybody’s patience (even the media are getting on their own nerves, according to Politico), are questionable and uncertain, to say the least. Indeed, if you believe some, the Democrats have been forced to make plans to bus in massed armies of thugs to fill the stadium for President Obama’s acceptance address. If you do believe them, I think various trolls would like to offer you bridges for your perusal. All the evidence I’ve seen is that local groups are taking advantage of the opportunity to witness the last time the president will make an acceptance speech.
Meanwhile, the electoral college stats still stubbornly favor Obama and offer little or no comfort for Romney. The jobs report at the end of the week will probably have more overall impact than either convention, and the media will do doubt do their best to make it so.
And among all this, the New York Times‘s Bunnyboiler-in-Chief Jodi Kantor is at the amateur mindreading again. Having spent all of 24 minutes in the Obamas’ company a few years ago, obsessed to a troubling degree by Michelle’s inner dialog, and for some reason never granted an interview since, Kantor portrays President Obama as “arrogant” and “a perpetually aspiring overachiever” whose constant striving at times grates on those around him. Given her track record—last covered on this blog for beclowning herself with some ridiculous ginned-up outrage over “Halloweengate”—that’s one I’ll file under “Meh,” but it keeps the RW tattlemills churning.
As does the other Great Behind-The-Scenes DNC Tension: Will Bill Clinton shiv Obama during his speech at the convention to clear the way for a Hillary run in 2016? SteveM’s done his usual stalwart job of covering that base, so I don’t have to trouble you with it.
In other news, GQ excitedly reveals that Paul Ryan’s Secret Service codename is “Bowhunter,” and his wife Janna’s is “Buttercup.” Contrary to all expectations, Mitt’s isn’t “Asshole” or “Croesus.” It’s “Javelin.” No, me neither.
So what have I missed?
More: And another one bites the dust. Related to the Bill Clinton shivving Obama for Hillary non-story mentioned above was the wannabe gotcha scoop doing the rounds that longtime close Clinton adviser and “top Hillary aide” Doug Band was going to vote for Mitt Romney. An actual journalist, Joe Conason, checked it out:
Speculation in the media about the “feud” between the Obama and Clinton political camps cannot be quelled, no matter how much assistance the former president offers to the current one, or how many miles the secretary of state logs in service to this administration. Discredited hacks like Ed Klein continue to be published, so long as they are willing to invent Clintonian conspiracies to regain power at any price.
And as Democrats in Charlotte await Bill Clinton’s nominating speech for Barack Obama on Wednesday night, such silly gossip has even reached the pages of the New Yorker magazine, under the byline of the usually accurate Ryan Lizza.
Lizza doesn’t attempt to suggest any doubt about whom the Clintons – Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea – will choose when they vote on November 6. But in the final paragraph of a story on the much improved Bill-Barack relationship, Lizza cites two sources claiming that Doug Band, the longtime counselor to Bill Clinton, has said he will vote for Mitt Romney, supposedly as a means to advance Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions in 2016.
Band, who rarely talks to journalists, may have inadvertently encouraged this notion by declining to comment on his private political decisions when Lizza asked him about this tale. Privately he has described it as “such BS” to friends and today, as he boarded a plane to Charlotte with President Clinton, he told National Memo on the record.
“There shouldn’t be any doubt that I will vote for Barack Obama,” said Band, pointing out that his support dates back to the spring of 2008, within weeks after the primaries ended, when he started to mobilize Clinton supporters and donors behind the Democratic nominee. traveled the country for months with President Clinton to Obama events and in recent months has sat in critical strategy meetings with Clinton and top Obama campaign officials. In fact, he has worked on strategy and policy issues with the White House since President Obama was elected.