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The Sunday Political Brunch – Sept. 9, 2012

This week's political nuggets!


It’s good to be home after two weeks on the road at the Republican National Convention in Tampa and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The fall campaign is now in full-swing and it’s going to be a fight to the finish. Here are some post-convention observations:

Eight is Enough – The news was not good for the Obama administration the morning after his acceptance speech. The economy created only 96,000 new jobs in August, far short of the projected 160,000. With two months to go before the election, the employment numbers don’t bode well for the incumbent. But the unemployment rate dipped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent. My prediction is this: if unemployment remains at 8 percent or higher, Mitt Romney wins; if it drops to 7.9 percent or lower, Barack Obama wins. Eight seems to be the magic number.

Debate Watch – I think the debates will matter a lot this year, more than any other year I can remember. The last time debates really turned a presidential race was in 1980. Jimmy Carter was still leading Ronald Reagan after Labor Day, until their first debate in late September. By the time of the final debate, Reagan had pulled even in the polls and was gaining momentum daily. He won in a landslide. What was the famous line from those debates? “Are you better off today that you were four years ago?” The presidential debates are October 3, 16 and 22. The vice presidential debate is October 11.

Best Lines – Speaking of good one-liners, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) probably had the best line of both conventions when he said, “Ask Osama Bin Laden if he is better off today than he was four years ago.”

What Goes Around Comes Around – In various radio, TV and webcast interviews I have been asked a lot about my prediction that this is now a one-state race, and that Iowa and its six Electoral College votes will be the decider in this election. Polls consistently indicate it to be the closest of the toss-up states. Right now President Obama holds a .2 percent lead in the polls. This week I spoke with State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald (D-Iowa), who has been in office thirty years and has seen a lot of elections. Fitzgerald said, “Boy it’s going to be exciting in Iowa. Both sides are going to be right on our doorstep. And Iowans, just like we started the election [with the caucuses], we’re probably going to finish it.” Who was in Iowa the morning after the DNC ended? Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Mitt Romney!

Bounce Back – Before the conventions, President Obama had a 1.3 percent advantage in the national composite poll. The poll averages last week gave Mitt Romney about a 3 percentage point bounce coming out of the RNC. And this week, it looks like Barack Obama got a bounce back of approximately 3 percent. Again – after being exactly tied on Thursday – the composite poll once again shows Mr. Obama with a 1.3 percent lead. In essence, the conventions neutralized each other.

The 'Ayes’ Have It! (Or Do They?) – The oddest moment in the Democratic National Convention this week was when the Convention Chairman – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – decided to re-vote on platform language that would add references to God and Jerusalem back into the platform. When he called for a voice vote, it was clear that the “nays” were equally as loud as the “ayes.” But the Chairman said in his opinion that the “ayes” represented two-thirds of the vote, and the “nays’ only one-third. CNN’s Don Lemon did a great job dissecting this Saturday night, including the stunning revelation that the two-third vs. one-third vote outcome was already written into the teleprompter – in advance – for Mayor Villaraigosa to read! (The teleprompter screen is huge, and in a place where I estimate 80 percent of the delegates could read it!) Talk about a preordained outcome! While some analysts thought the crowd was booing the language about God and Jerusalem, I believe what they were really booing was an obviously rigged vote and a decision that was ultimately stolen from their hands. Wow!

As always your comments and opinions are welcome at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com

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Small Change September 11, 2012 at 02:33 AM
The fact that the majority of the delegates loudly shouted down reference to God highlighted a difference between the two conventions. The Republicans made an effort to keep the radicals from dominating - no Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, no speech after speech playing to a cheering crowd about Right to Life, etc. Maintain the objective - focus on jobs and the economy. It seemed that every other speech at the Democratic convention called for gay marriage, to a loud cheer which brought the house down, and about a dozen speeches contained the line 'You should be able to defend the country you love no matter who you love.' Though it certainly played well in that hall, frankly, given the battleground states- Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, it would probably have been a better strategy not to emphasize issues which would not be particularly popular in those areas. As with removing God from the platform - which President Obama quickly realized was a mistake,but which the delegates did not want to correct- the delegates seemed more interested in backslapping each other than in electing their candidate.
Ted Geisel September 12, 2012 at 04:38 PM
It's interesting to note that at the DNC they displayed Russian ships during their tribute to veterans. http://www.navytimes.com/mobile/news/2012/09/navy-russian-warships-displayed-dnc-veterans-tribute-091112
Robert E September 12, 2012 at 05:18 PM
What did the RNC display in their tribute to veterans? Oh, thas right they didn't have one. At first, "this felt like making something out of nothing," And then "Romney offered his justification." Dismissing America's troops part of a "laundry list" was bad. But Romney's glib remark "contrasting them with 'things that you think are important'" made him sound like an uncaring jerk. "Mitt Romney didn't mention the troops in his speech because he wanted to focus on important things"
Ted Geisel September 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Actually Robert here is what he said: "I only regret you’re repeating it day in and day out. When you give a speech you don’t go through a laundry list, you talk about the things that you think are important and I described in my speech, my commitment to a strong military unlike the president’s decision to cut our military. And I didn’t use the word troops, I used the word military. I think they refer to the same thing. " I'd rather have no tribute than have vets go up there and literally behind their back display pictures of Russia's warships.
fine wine September 13, 2012 at 05:10 PM
interesting views.....

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