Thursday, May 24, 2012

MBC/Marist polls show Obama leads in 3 key swing states

Three new polls from NBC News/Marist show Obama with leads in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. The polls show Obama leading by 6 points in Ohio and 4 points in both Virginia and Florida.

This is not good news for Romney who needs to win at least two out of three of these states to get to 270 electoral votes.  All three of these states were won by former President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, but switched to the Democrat Barack Obama in 2008.

Bush needed all three of these states in 2000 and two out of three in 2004 to pull out close electoral victories.  He won with 286 electoral votes in 2004 and 271 electoral votes in 2004.  McCain lost all three in 2008, and only received 173 electoral votes.

The polls showed that Obama benefited in all three states from a belief that the economy is improving, and that the worst is behind us.  A healthy majority also believe that Obama inherited the tough economic circumstances when he took office in January, 2009.

Romney continues to have problems with the female vote in all three states.  Although Romney holds a slim lead among men, he trails Obama by double digits among women.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

Buzz and I felt like we were watching Casablanca, particularly the part where Captain Renault closes down Rick's Cafe Americana for gambling, as we watched Republicans last week doing back flips over President Barack Obama's political use of the killing of Osama Bin Laden

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" Renault says as he is handed the gambling winning for the evening. Claude Rains' line has become the classic line that symbolizes hypocrisy.

In the alternative universe that is Fox News and most of talk radio, we heard constant references that Obama was "spiking the football," and that such action on the part of the President was totally inappropriate. Obama was acting un-Presidential.

Lost in the clamor and faux outrage was the May Day 2003 "Mission Accomplished" spectacular of former President George W. Bush.  Bush donned a Naval aviator suit, hopped aboard a Lockheed S-3 Viking, and landed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.  He then gave a speech in which he declared that "major combat operations in Iraq (had) ended."  Behind him, was a large banner which read "Mission Accomplished."

It is ironic and tragic that the Iraq war continued for another eight plus years.  In fact, more than 90 percent of US casualties occurred after the "Mission Accomplished" moment. In other words, Bush spiked the ball before the game really started.

If Obama touting his actual "mission accomplished" in the killing of Bin Laden was un-Presidential, we will have to work on a term to describe Bush's 2003 "Mission Accomplished" moment.

We believe what is really troubling those on the Republican side of the spectrum is that fact that most Americans are very satisfied with Obama on foreign policy and national defense.  Foreign policy and national defense have traditionally been a Republican issue, and they have not been shy about waving the flag and claiming that the Democrats' policies were downright dangerous to America.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that Obama has a 17 point lead on Romney on Foreign Policy and a seven point lead on handling terrorism.  Both of these issues have been reliable strongholds for the Republicans in recent history.

Obama has neutralized the "strong on defense" issue for the time being.  It will be extremely difficult for Republican soon-to-be Presidential nominee Mitt Romney to claim that Obama is soft on terrorism, not that he won't try.   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Buzz and I aren't gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) but we support gay marriage

President Barack Obama has completed his evolution and come out in full support of same sex marriage.  Buzz and I applaud his decision on the civil rights issue of our time.  Whether it will hurt him or help him politically is yet to be seen, but the President has come down on the right side of this issue.

We are reminded of President John Kennedy's declaration in June, 1963 that Civil Rights for African-Americans is a moral issue.  It was not, at the time, an easy decision.  Kennedy needed the support in Southern states in a 1964 re-election bid, and in 1963 a majority of Southerners stood right by Alabama Governor George Wallace when he said "segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

Public support has finally breached the 50 percent threshold in Gallup's latest survey. This is the first time Gallup has shown a majority in favor of legalization of same sex marriage.  Support has risen from 27 percent support in 1996 to 53 percent support in the May, 2012 survey.

32 states have adopted some sort of same sex marriage ban over the past ten years, including Tuesday's North Carolina constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage, but a number of these same sex marriage bans were adopted when public opinion was not very gay friendly.

Republicans say Obama's announcement is a flip flop and done solely for political reasons, but then again, that's what they say about every Obama decision these days.  Obama's announcement was a long time coming, but his actions over the past few years have shown the Obama's support of gay rights is a lot more than just words.

Obama has instructed the justice department not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act and repealed the military Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.  His same sex marriage announcement is certainly not a flip flop, and it is certainly not the politically safe move.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has taken a polar opposite position, not only opposing gay marriage, but also opposing the more moderate "civil unions" stance.  If anyone is taking a political expedient position, it is Romney, who still has luke warm support from the conservative wing of the GOP.

As far as a flip flop, in 1994, as Romney was seeking the Log Cabin Republican's endorsement (the gay and lesbian GOP group,) he sat down with Richard Tafel, the group's founder.  "I'm with you on this stuff," Tafel recalled Romney saying. "I'll be better than Ted Kennedy."

Time will only tell if Obama's announcement helps him politically, but the May 9, 2012 declaration of Obama's support for same sex marriage will go down in history as a momentous and courageous moment in Civil Rights.

Fifty years from now, Americans will look back at Obama's announcement just as many look back at John Kennedy's 1963 Civil Rights speech, and say "what's the big deal."