As "The Hill" reminds us today, there are just 200 days left until the general election in November. On the one hand, that's an eternity. In political terms, countless things could happen that could effect the campaign and the candidates' standing with the voters. On the other hand, 200 days are like a mere blink of the eye. I guarantee that President Obama and Governor Romney think 200 days are nothing. They both have a mere six months to make their cases to the American people.
Timing of presidential campaigns follows a usual pattern. Many Americans don't focus on the election until the party conventions occur at the end of the summer and once Labor Day is past. It's at that point that they begin to watch the presidential debates and start to notice the polling. In many ways, presidential elections are fought in the final two months. But national campaigns need national strategies, precise and constant communications, and big money. Developing those things takes time. More than two months' worth...which is why Obama has been going all political guns blazing since last year (some might argue he never stopped campaigning) and why Romney is now full-tilt into general election mode.
200 days is both an eternity...and a nanosecond. We've now officially entered the political Twilight Zone.
First-time jobless claims spiked last week to 386,000. Last week's number was revised UP to 388,000. The trend is headed in the wrong direction.
Employers added just 120,000 new jobs to their payrolls in March, the fewest since October.
Team Obama is starting a program in some states in which people can "test" out a job...while still collecting unemployment benefits. Work AND get unemployment insurance. Now THAT'S a deal!
Investigations into the GSA party-animal abuse of taxpayer money and the Secret Service's Colombian adventure continue.
A new Quinnipiac poll shows that while Obama holds a slim lead over Mitt Romney, on economic issues---jobs, growth, gas prices---Romney has a commanding 18 point lead.
This president has been an epic failure. The challenge for Romney going forward is to not simply tear down his opponent---as bad as his opponent is. Romney's challenge will be to keep the focus on Obama's abysmal record while offering voters a positive reason to vote FOR him, rather than just against Obama.
Romney can do it. He's already doing it. And the early polling is reflecting its success.
As more and more details emerge about the Colombian adventure of several members of the Secret Service, the story keeps getting raunchier...and more outrageous.
In addition to the 20+ hookers with whom the agents allegedly---ahem---"partied," we're now learning that when the hotel staff entered the room the next morning, it looked like it had been trashed by the Sex Pistols at the height of their fame. Whisky bottles strewn about, beds rumpled, garbage all over the place...and what looked like cocaine on a glass table. Of course there was cocaine. They were in Colombia, for goodness sakes, surrounded by street walkers.
This scandal indicates a much deeper cultural problem at the Secret Service, which has two jobs to do: 1. Protect the president, and 2. Be discreet about their actions and about the whereabouts/behavior/movement of the president. These agents reportedly had the hookers in the room in which they had Obama's schedule laying about for any stranger's eyes to peruse. So not only did they jeopardize the life of the president, they were appallingly indiscreet.
The Secret Service clearly needs a major overhaul: the Director, Mark Sullivan, needs to be fired, and many others up and down the chain. The corruption needs to be rooted out, and as everybody knows, the fish rots from the head.
But this scandal points to something else: the federal government has grown so big and bloated and soft that these outrages are now par for the course. The GSA abuse of taxpayer dollars with wild trips to Vegas and Hawaii, the Solyndra bankrupcy scandal, the nearly trillion dollars of taxpayer "stimulus" money blown on things like gang tattoo removal and relocating shrubs....all of these things point to a systemic problem of abuse of power and public money. When the government is this big and unwieldly, many folks in government just don't care.
And you end up paying for hookers and coke and solar panels and clowns.
Come November, we're going to do our OWN housecleaning, and the number of politicians and government workers who will find themselves out of work will be staggering. And if you're out of work, you can't afford hookers and coke. Just ask the 13 million people still out of work in the Obama Economy, who I'm pretty sure aren't partying it up.
On this Tax Day, here's a little reminder of where your hard-earned money has gone recently:
Several members of President Obama's Secret Service security detail partied up a storm in Cartegena, Colombia before he arrived, boozing it up and picking up some hookers. Since the Secret Service is paid for by the taxpayer and since the agents' salaries are paid for by the taxpayer, we can assume that we actually paid for the expensive whisky and the ladies of the night.
Workers at the General Services Administration (the GSA), responsible for "taking care" of the executive branch, have also been "taking care" of themselves. They have also partied up a storm recently, taking multiple jaunts to Vegas, Hawaii and Palm Springs, hiring clowns, mindreaders, and dining on only the best food and drink. No word on whether there were hookers involved. Yet.
A shrub recently had to be moved out of the way of a "stimulus" project (just getting underway 3 and a half years after the "stimulus" passed). We paid over $200,000 for somebody associated with some union to relocate the bush.
I bring you these nuggets of fiscal responsibility on Tax Day to remind you that our federal government is completely out of control and that it has ZERO respect for our money. More important, the feds have no respect for us, the taxpayers. After all, they need 'hos and trips to Sin City.
So said top Democrat operative and frequent White House visitor Hilary Rosen about Ann Romney, setting off a firestorm.
"She has never worked a day in her life."
If that were true about Ann Romney, then she has the same resume Barack Obama had in 2008.
Team Obama immediately fled to Twitter to flash its "disappointment" with Rosen's comments. David Axelrod and Jim Messina, the two big Obama re-election enchiladas, tweeted distance from her remarks. Other Dems followed suit, including President Obama, who saluted stay-at-home moms, even as he said that he and Michelle didn't have the "luxury" of having Michelle be one. Never miss an opportunity to spin ANYTHING into a slam of the evil 1%!
Of course, the reason they all rushed for the exits is because they remember the damage done when that other Hillary said in 1992 that she "wasn't some Tammy Wynette, standing by her man" and that she guessed that she could've "stayed home and baked cookies and had teas" but chose to pursue a "profession."
Flash forward to this week, when another left-wing Hilary showed the Far Left's true colors yet again. A few points:
1. Ann Romney should take this as a big compliment. If Team Obama weren't threatened by her and her influence with women, they wouldn't have attacked her. She is dynamite out there on the campaign trail---and Team Obama knows it. They know she's Mitt's secret weapon, especially with women. Therefore, she must be discredited and diminished and destroyed: just as strong conservative women who have come before her. Just ask Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, who also threatened to chip away at that core Democrat constituency. If you come near, they will tear your eyes out. But when they try, it indicates just how big a threat they think you are. Ann Romney's power here is immense.
2. This comment is a turning point in this campaign. In 2010, Republicans won a majority of women, setting off fire alarms in every Democrat precinct from the White House on down. They cannot win without the chicks. So, Team Obama dropped the HHS mandate on contraception into the campaign like a grenade and watched gleefully as they GOP shot itself in the foot while they spun it as a "war on birth control," and later, a broader "war on women." Both, of course, were totally bogus, but enough women fell for it to give Obama and the Dems a gender gap lift, according to at least one major poll in some swing states. Hurrah! The Dems succeeded in getting a lot of women back into the victimhood and dependency fold!
Until Rosen's comment, which insulted stay-at-home moms, and frankly ALL parents, who know that raising children is the toughest job on the planet. Ann Romney, by the way, managed to raise 5 well-adjusted sons, none of whom have been in jail or rehab. Now if that's not a job, I don't know what is. And she raised these 5 normal, high-achieving sons while battling MS and breast cancer. She is superwoman. But to Rosen and Team Obama, she's someone to be targeted, polarized, mocked and humiliated. Or so they thought.
This comment and the ensuing backlash may have reversed all of the gains the Dems made with their phony "Republican war on women," as more and more women realize that it's the Democrats ACTUALLY waging that war.
3. This IS the Left. They run on identity politics: class, race, gender. They clump us in groups, because groups are more easily controllable and because individuals are so unwieldy with those silly minds of their own. The Left is also a bunch of elitist, arrogant, dismissive, power-hungry snobs who believe that they need ever-more power and ever-more of your money because you can't manage either. And oh yeah: they have utter contempt for traditional America and the values we hold dear.
Ladies---and gentlemen---start your engines. As of today: game on.
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From the moment the Democrats began nailing together their Frankenstein socialized medicine bill, the vast majority of Americans rebelled against it. From the Tea Party revolt to the raucous town hall meetings to the 2009 and 2010 Republican victories in Congress and governorships and state houses around the nation, Americans held up their collective hand and said, "Enough!"
President Obama and the Democrats didn't care what the people they're supposed to represent wanted. They steamed ahead, ramming through ObamaCare on a strictly party-line vote and patting themselves on the back for seizing more freedom from the American people.
From the start, ObamaCare has polled badly. Many more people opposed it than supported it. And a big majority always supported its full repeal.
Today, the Washington Post and ABC News released a new poll showing opposition to ObamaCare at a record high (at least for their polling) 53%. Support for it is at a record low of 39%.
The reason for this is two-fold: contrary to the Democrats' hope that the more we saw of this monstrosity, the more we'd like it, the more we see of it (its massive new taxes and regulations, its rationing, its unaccountable government control, its costs, its restrictions on access, its overall destruction of health care), the more we hate it.
And the second reason is that we heard the arguments before the Supreme Court. Even the administration's own lawyers had no real defense for it. The very fact that it's before the Supreme Court is reason enough for most thinking people to realize that ObamaCare is a giant, freedom-sucking, unconstitutional, socialist stinkbomb.
If the Supreme Court doesn't kill it, then we must drive a stake through its heart by electing a Republican president and Congress to strangle this anti-American piece of legislative garbage once and for all.
President Obama's entire political career has been based on smoke and mirrors, finely spun imagery, and fantasyland projections. Governing, however, has been a rude awakening---for him and for us. Reality has a way of intruding uninvited and upsetting the most delicately arranged illusion.
Witness: On ObamaCare, a new study reports that, contrary to the White House's contention that it would reduce the deficit, it will actually add up to $530 billion to the national debt over 10 years. It's shocking---shocking!---that we are now hearing that it's going to cost so much more. I mean, really! Nobody warned about that! Of course nationalized health care is going to cost a heck of a lot more than what the CBO or the Dems initially projected. No government program in the history of mankind has come in below initial cost estimates----and health care is the big enchilada. Government is already deeply involved in health care, and the existing programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, are going broke and threatening to bankrupt America. To those existing programs, the Dems added ObamaCare which is going to add WAY more than $530 billion over the next decade. That's actually a low-ball estimate. Just take a gander at Medicare to see what's going to happen, and then multiply that by a gazillion.
Witness: gas prices. It's true that no president has full control over what the price at the pump is, but Obama is getting the blame for high prices, particularly because his policies over the past 3 and a half years have contributed to them: he has methodically blocked drilling, exploration, slow-walked permitting, and killed the Keystone pipeline. High gas prices are politically toxic, but Obama doesn't seem too worried about bringing them down. You're paying $4 a gallon? Too bad.
Maybe he doesn't much care because he's seen today's Washington Post/ABC poll showing his job approval up. But there are also worrisome numbers in that poll for him, particularly on gas prices and the economy. In the end, it doesn't matter how "likeable" he is. It will matter how Americans feel about their own personal economic situation and the situation of the country. And this poll also shows nearly 70% believe the country is on the wrong track. So he's very vulnerable, although the White House and the press try---somewhat successfully---to spin it otherwise.