Archive for Mitt Romney

You Lie!

Yesterday, we defended Mitt Romney from disgraceful charges of racism in his concession call to Obama in 2012.

We shouldn’t have bothered:

Garrett Jackson, the Romney aide whose phone Romney actually used to call the president that night, exclusively told The Daily Caller that “I know it didn’t happen because I was right next to him there.”

The New York Daily News reported Wednesday on a shocking claim in Axelrod’s new book. According to Axelrod, Obama told Axelrod after the call that Romney said, “You really did a great job of getting the vote out in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee.” Obama, allegedly angry, thought that Romney was referring to “black people.”

But Axelrod’s claim is nonsense.

“I just got pissed off. It was infuriating,” Jackson told The Daily Caller. “It was totally absurd. I know it didn’t happen because I was right next to him there. Hell, I was the one who called the president on my phone.”

“I was with the [Romney] family all night. We were looking at state results. We never got down to the nitty-gritty of cities, so for Mitt to bring that up when talking to the president is absurd and not who he is.”

“I’m just hopeful that this lie was concocted by Axelrod and not the president,” Jackson said. “Axelrod, the guy is obviously just trying to make some money on his book.”

“We walk with Mitt into the side room off the suite. I called Marvin and said is his boss available? I hand the phone to Mitt. It was a quick call. He said, ‘Congratulations to you Mr. President and your team on a hard-fought victory.’ There was a pause. Mitt didn’t have him on speaker phone. It was brief whatever [Obama] told him. Mitt responded, ‘I know there are some hard decisions ahead and some tough issues facing the country. I’m here to help in any way because it’s very important.’ The president had a quick response to that. Mitt said, ‘Ann and I are praying for you and the First Lady daily.’”

“I remember it so vividly,” Jackson said. “I knew I was witnessing a historic moment.”

“I guess we shouldn’t expect anything less from David Axelrod,” Jackson added. “The obsession that Barack Obama and his team have with Mitt Romney just fascinates me. Here we are two years away from the campaign and Axelrod is still coming out with lies that distort who Mitt Romney is? It’s sad in my opinion.”

Even if Romney had said what Axelrod (or Obama) dishonestly claimed, so what? He credited his opponent for getting out the vote in two close swing states. He didn’t say “black people”; that’s Obama’s (or Axelrod’s) interpolation.

But it’s all a lie. Another in a long, long line.


In Other Words

Yesterday, we congratulated the WSJ’s Bret Stevens for his description of the current president as a “peevish and callow potentate”. That’s a lot classier than our usual fare of “doofus” and “a-hole”.

But sometimes an a-hole is just an a-hole:

President Obama was shocked and irritated by Mitt Romney’s concession call in the 2012 presidential election — and claimed Romney insinuated that Obama won only by getting out the black vote, according to a new book by presidential campaign strategist David Axelrod.

Obama was “unsmiling during the call, and slightly irritated when it was over,” Axelrod writes.

The president hung up and said Romney admitted he was surprised at his own loss, Axelrod wrote.

“‘You really did a great job of getting the vote out in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee,’ in other words, black people,'” Obama said, paraphrasing Romney. “That’s what he thinks this was all about.”

Romney conceded his defeat, and Obama was irritated? [Bleep] him.

“In other words, black people.” No, those are your words, not Romney’s. Bogus accusations of racism may be worse than racism itself. Racism is universally condemned; accusations, founded or not, stain uniformly and eternally.

But let’s look at the evidence.


According to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s website, President Obama won the popular vote in Ohio with 50.67% of the vote over Mitt Romney in second place at 47.69%, a Democratic victory margin of 2.98%.

President Obama still wins Ohio by over 166,000 votes.

What about Cleveland?

Cuyahoga Country — Obama 420,953; Romney 184,475

Obama won Ohio, a key swing state, in Cleveland alone. So Romney was right.

What about Wisconsin?

When all ballots were counted, Obama won 52.83% of the vote to Romney’s 45.89%, a 6.94% margin of victory.

Popular vote 1,620,985 — 1,407,966

That’s not as close, but Wisconsin was still considered a swing state, not least because Paul Ryan, the Republican VP candidate, hails from there.

And Milwaukee?

Milwaukee County — Obama 332,438; Romney 154,924

Hey, that’s not enough to account for the victory! You lie, Romney!

Oh wait.

Dane County — Obama 216,071; Romney 83,644

That’s Madison, as moonbat a community as there is. So, between Milwaukee and Madison, left-wing bastions, Obama more than made up for Romney’s strength in much of the rest of the state.

Elections have results: Obama won. But he won exactly the way Romney said he did: by getting out the vote in his strongholds.

Elections also have consequences (as Aggie reminds us): this peevish, callow potentate—doofus, a-hole, whatever—is still our president.


Romney Got It Right – All Of It.

Iraq, Russia, the economy, health care…

Almost every day, it seems, brings a headline demonstrating how right 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was, and how wrong President Barack Obama was, on the critical issues facing America.

In 2012, Romney warned that Obama’s failure to secure an agreement to keep a residual military force in Iraq would threaten the U.S. gains made at such a high cost in American lives and treasure. “America’s ability to influence events for the better in Iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence,” Romney asserted.

The chaos in Iraq today supports Romney’s view. With no U.S. military presence to constrain Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Shiite politician persecuted Sunni leaders and gutted Sunni participation in government and the military. Worse, it set the stage for Sunni sympathies to turn to the fanatical Islamic State in Syria and Iraq that has conquered a significant part of the country and waged genocide against religious minorities. Obama has had to order U.S. air strikes to protect U.S. personnel in the Kurdish region and to support Kurdish militia to keep ISIS from capturing all of northern Iraq.

In the 2012 debates, Obama mocked Romney for calling Russia America’s top geopolitical foe. Today, Russia has stolen Crimea from Ukraine, funds and provides weapons and men to Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and even threatens an invasion of the country. President Vladimir Putin meddles in the Mideast, seeks to expand Moscow’s clout in Latin America, and harbors renegade Edward Snowden.

On domestic issues, Romney in 2011 advanced the idea of giving veterans a voucher to obtain medical care they could not get at a Veterans Administration hospital. This year saw the VA scandal reveal that long waiting lists for hospital treatment were hidden. Legislation Obama signed this week allows vets to seek help outside the VA system.

Romney understood that the nation’s outdated, complex tax code encourages U.S. corporations to park assets overseas and invest in other countries. He recommended tax reform to keep that money and business in America and boost the economy. Obama does nothing about reform but demagogues as “unpatriotic” corporations pressured by the tax code to seek profits and better returns for shareholders overseas.

More at the link. Read it and weep.

– Aggie

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Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

What’s Romney up to these days?

We followed family tradition this year by taking 5 of our 22 grandkids, ages 10 through 13, on a trip through the American West. My Mom and Dad began the tradition, showing their grandchildren the majesty of our country and teaching them about the sacrifices and character of the pioneers. We visited Goblin Valley, Spooky Gulch, Peekaboo Slot Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce National Park, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Rainbow Arch, Grand Canyon, and the four falls in the Havasupai Reservation. All totaled, we hiked over 50 miles: quite a feat for the young—and for Ann and me.

With the grandkids a captive audience, we taught them about their own ancestors: Ann’s side played instrumental roles in the foundation of the country, including William Bradford and Grover Cleveland. Mine were key to the establishment of our Church and the settlement of the American West.

The adventures were more than we had planned, with unexpected obstacles during our nine hour hike down the Subway trail of Zion National Park, a breathtaking descent to Mooney Falls in the Havasupai Reservation, and a very close encounter with a rattlesnake.

We came away more appreciative of the landscape God gave us, of the sacrifices of the pioneers, and of the comforts of air conditioning and home cooked meals!

We were also sobered by the tragic events in Ukraine and Israel. True is the principle that guided America’s founders: united we stand, divided we fall. As we experienced the grandeur of the West, our hearts went out to those millions in the world who suffer.


How absolutely normal. We could have had a sane person at the helm.

– Aggie


Black President Watch

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President.”

There are millions of stories like this in Obamacaria.

This is hers:

Hannah Orestis has no health coverage, despite her best efforts. The 27-year-old nurse from Marlborough selected a plan that was supposed to start in January through the Massachusetts Health Connector Authority, which runs the state’s insurance marketplace. She mailed a check Dec. 24, but it was never cashed.

Orestis has spent hours on the phone with state customer service representatives trying to find out what happened and how to fix it. She said she has been told repeatedly to expect a call from a supervisor that never comes. She has asked for help from the governor’s office, with little effect.

The botched relaunch of the Connector’s website last fall, done to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act, left state leaders scrambling to get people the insurance they need, including moving tens of thousands of people who may qualify for subsidies into temporary plans. But an untold number of people who, like Orestis, applied for Connector plans without financial assistance have not gotten coverage, because their payments were lost or somehow never linked to their accounts.

For Orestis, whose previous health plan expired in December, being uninsured means paying the $600 monthly cost of medication to manage her Crohn’s disease, more than she can afford.

“It’s really sad,” she said. “I’m worried about my health.”

In’t that the perfect epitaph for the namesake of Obamacare’s signature achievement? Historic President Elected—Twice—People “Sad”, “Worried”.

Mitt Romney’s answer to the charge that he couldn’t criticize Obamacare because he had signed Romneycare was that these sorts of byzantine matters were better left to the states to administer for their own citizens, rather than imposed from a distant, uncaring federal government. Say what you will about Romneycare (very little), Romney was right.

PS: Crohn’s disease, from which this poor woman suffers, can lead to diarrhea and blood in the stool. An apt image for Affordable Care Act.

PPS: I usually do this for you, but just occasionally look up the NHS (Britain’s socialized medicine system) in Google News. Deaths, debts, and deterioration await any who walk down that road.


Heads and Tales

Oscar Levant once noted: “Strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood and you’ll find the real tinsel underneath.”

Same goes with Barack Obama:

On the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving, Barack Obama sat in the office cabin of Air Force One wearing a look of heavy-lidded annoyance. The Affordable Care Act, his signature domestic achievement and, for all its limitations, the most ambitious social legislation since the Great Society, half a century ago, was in jeopardy. His approval rating was down to forty per cent—lower than George W. Bush’s in December of 2005, when Bush admitted that the decision to invade Iraq had been based on intelligence that “turned out to be wrong.” Also, Obama said thickly, “I’ve got a fat lip.”

That morning, while playing basketball at F.B.I. headquarters, Obama went up for a rebound and came down empty-handed; he got, instead, the sort of humbling reserved for middle-aged men who stubbornly refuse the transition to the elliptical machine and Gentle Healing Yoga. This had happened before. In 2010, after taking a self-described “shellacking” in the midterm elections, Obama caught an elbow in the mouth while playing ball at Fort McNair. He wound up with a dozen stitches. The culprit then was one Reynaldo Decerega, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. Decerega wasn’t invited to play again, though Obama sent him a photograph inscribed “For Rey, the only guy that ever hit the President and didn’t get arrested. Barack.”

Oh the wit! The banter! The bons mots! And with a gratuitous swipe at George Bush. This could only be The New Yorker (or Harper’s, or The Atlantic, The New Republic, or every other glossy magazine).

Usually, Obama spends Sundays with his family. Now he was headed for a three-day fund-raising trip to Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, rattling the cup in one preposterous mansion after another. The prospect was dispiriting. Obama had already run his last race, and the chances that the Democratic Party will win back the House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections are slight. The Democrats could, in fact, lose the Senate.

Obama spent his flight time in the private quarters in the nose of the plane, in his office compartment, or in a conference room. At one point on the trip from Andrews Air Force Base to Seattle, I was invited up front for a conversation. Obama was sitting at his desk watching the Miami Dolphins–Carolina Panthers game. Slender as a switch, he wore a white shirt and dark slacks; a flight jacket was slung over his high-backed leather chair.

Let me quote another wit, and contemporary of Oscar Levant, Dorothy Parker: “And it is that word ‘hummy,’ my darlings, that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader fwowed up.”

“Preposterous” mansions, “dispiriting” prospects—the poor lad flies in unmatched comfort to be feted by the high and mighty, and still lays his head on his own pillow that night. Oh, and about his spending Sundays with his family? That’s if he got a round of golf in on Saturday. If not, it’s hasta la vista, babies.

I don’t have no journalistic training, but it seems to me that a behind the scenes, warts and all profile might want to include a few warts. (“Slender as a switch”? Gag. How about “Skinny as a bean pole”?)


A new documentary about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney premiered Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. The film, “Mitt,” is an extraordinarily intimate look at the former Massachusetts governor as he ran for president twice, in 2008 and 2012.

[F]or viewers who follow politics closely, especially for Republicans who desperately wanted to defeat Barack Obama, there is a revelation in “Mitt” that is not just unexpected but deeply disheartening. At a critical moment in the campaign — the two weeks in October encompassing the first and second general election debates — the Romney portrayed in “Mitt” struggled with a nagging pessimism and defeatism, unable to draw confidence even from a decisive initial debate victory over President Obama. Deep down inside, the Romney seen onscreen in “Mitt” seems almost resigned to losing to Obama in those crucial showdowns.

Then came the debate. Romney gave a dominating, near-perfect performance, while Obama struggled. The president didn’t even hit Romney on “47 percent.” It was a smashing victory, a big, big win for Romney.

Such a clear-cut triumph would seem a huge confidence-builder, but afterward, Romney seemed mostly concerned that Obama would come back and beat him badly the next time. “Sitting presidents have a very hard time in these debates,” Romney told the family. “They feel like, who is this whippersnapper coming up here who knows nothing? And so they don’t prepare, and they just think they can waltz through it. Then they get crushed in the first debate, and then they come back.”

“He’ll be better next time,” Ann said, as always trying to build her husband’s confidence. “But you can be better next time, too.”

Romney wasn’t buying it. Instead, he went into an extended monologue on how his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, was a better man than he will ever be. As he spoke, Romney held the notes he had made during the debate (candidates are not allowed to bring any notes with them to the stage, but are allowed to make them during the debate). Romney pointed out that in every debate he began by writing “Dad” at the top of the paper.

“That’s what I start with: ‘Dad,'” Romney explained. “I always think about Dad and about I am standing on his shoulders. I would not be there, there’s no way I would be able to be running for president, if Dad hadn’t done what Dad did. He’s the real deal …”

“You’re the real deal,” said one of Romney’s sons.

Romney didn’t pause. “The guy was born in Mexico. He didn’t have a college degree. He became head of a car company and became a governor. It would have never entered my mind to be in politics, how can you go from his beginning to think, I can be head of a car company, I can run for governor, I can run for president?”

Romney wasn’t finished. “The gap — for me, I started where he ended up. I started off with money and education, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School. For me it’s moving that far” — Romney held two fingers close together — “for him, it’s like that,” Romney said, holding his arms wide apart.

Do you think Obama has those same feelings about his father? Do you think he has any feelings about his father? Bill Ayers did, but Obama?

This humanizes Romney, but it also greatly disappoints. I often said of him that he was every Republican’s third choice; but at the end, he was the party’s choice. We needed—deserved—a better showing.

And he knew that better than anyone:

“I cannot believe that [Obama] is an aberration in the country. I believe we’re following the same path of every other great nation, which is we’re following greater government, tax rich people, promise more stuff to everybody, borrow until you go over a cliff. And I think we have a very high risk of reaching the tipping point sometime in the next five years. And the idea of saying ‘it’s just fine, don’t worry about it’ — no, it’s really not.”

That was the case to make, Mitt, and you didn’t make it. History is made of great eras and great men and women. The decline of America hastened by Obama needed a great man to reverse it. We didn’t have one in Mitt Romney. Sadly, he knew that better than anybody, too.


The Three Funniest Words in English

Melissa Harris Perry:

MSNBC panelists on Monday faced criticism after poking fun at a photo of Mitt Romney, his wife and their nearly two dozen grandchildren, zeroing in on the Romneys’ recently adopted African-American grandchild, Kieran.

During the segment, which appeared on the show “Melissa Harris-Perry,” the panelists made jokes about the infant standing out.

Asked Sunday to come up with captions for the photo as part of a game they were playing, one of panelists, actress Pia Glenn, started singing lines from the song popularized by Sesame Street: “One of These Things Is Not Like the Others.”

Another panelist, comedian Dean Obeidallah, said the picture “really sums up the diversity of the Republican Party.” (Obeidallah appears frequently on CNN and writes a regular opinion column for

Harris-Perry described the baby as “gorgeous,” before predicting Kieran would one day marry North West, the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

“Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?” Harris-Perry said, drawing laughs.

Ha-ha-ha! Ho-ho-ho! Journalism’s loss would be stand-up comedy’s gain.

Typically humorless, this is how that mother of all white men announced the addition to the family:

Our 22nd grandchild was officially adopted today: Kieran James Romney. cc: @AnnDRomney
4:33 PM – 20 Sep 2013

I don’t get it. Where’s the joke?


Turnabout is Fair Play

Given the routine beatings we give Detroit, it’s only fair to take this beating from a Detroit News columnist:

Yes, Obamacare is more than a website — it is more premium hikes, more government deficits, more waiting to get care. How do we know?

Because Obamacare is modeled after Massachusetts’ 2006 health care law. Indeed, President Obama will be in Boston Wednesday singing its praises. But for the last seven years, Romneycare has failed in its promise of lower costs, better care access and universal coverage.

Passed by Republican Gov. Mitt Romney and a Democratic legislature, Romneycare pioneered Obamacare’s now familiar individual mandate, government-built health exchanges, and Medicaid expansion. Defensive about his signature gubernatorial achievement being the model for his presidential rival’s unpopular reform, Romney in 2012 said that reform should be state-based and not centrally-planned from Washington, D.C.

Within two years of its launch, the program’s costs were exploding.

“Coverage for the uninsured in the state exchange was more expensive than estimated,” says Josh Archambault, director of Health Care Policy at Massachusetts’ Pioneer Institute, of 20 percent cost over-runs that necessitated tax hikes. To control costs, he adds, Massachusetts also doubled down on exchange regulation, reducing customers’ choices.

Massachusetts’ health entitlement spending ballooned to 40 percent of its budget (and you thought Michigan’s 25 percent was out of control). But didn’t all this spending lead to universal health coverage in Massachusetts? No. The state already had an unusually low 6 percent of its population uninsured. Romneycare has cut that number in half, mostly with hundreds of millions in government subsides. But coverage is still not universal.

Meanwhile, access to health care has declined.

If Romneycare predicted Obamacare’s high costs, it warns of worse: growing physician shortages as regulations drive caregivers from the market. A 2011 survey “by the Massachusetts Medical Society reveals that fewer than half of the state’s primary care practices are accepting new patients, down from 70 percent in 2007,” reports Anne-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute. “The average wait time for a routine checkup with an internist is 48 days. It takes 41 days to see an OB/GYN, up from 34” in one year.

This doctor shortage, driven by poor government reimbursement for health services, also has increased hospital emergency room visits, contradicting Obama’s — and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s — claim that Medicaid expansion will reduce uncompensated care. Just 53 percent of internists and 62 percent of family physicians, for example, will see Massachusetts Medicaid patients.

“Insurance rates have continued to increase with more mandates like fertility coverage,” says Paul Bachman, director of research for Boston’s Beacon Hill Institute. “So now the governor has approved price controls that dictate that health costs can’t increase more than inflation.” That means more doctor shortages.

As Romneycare shows, the future does not fulfill John Dingell’s promise. The Affordable Care Act is unaffordable.

I forget what Romney’s excuse was for the consequences of his signature bill. He had one, more than one maybe, but I forget. Funny, though: As Romney went, so goes Obama.

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Miss Me?

I don’t, not really, even though I voted for him. But he has a point:

Ten months after Mitt Romney shuffled off the national stage in defeat — consigned, many predicted, to a fate of instant irrelevance and permanent obscurity — Republicans are suddenly celebrating the presidential also-ran as a political prophet.

From his widely mocked warnings about a hostile Russia to his adamant opposition to the increasingly unpopular implementation of Obamacare, the ex-candidate’s canon of campaign rhetoric now offers cause for vindication — and remorse — to Romney’s friends, supporters, and former advisers.

“I think about the campaign every single day, and what a shame it is who we have in the White House,” said Spencer Zwick, who worked as Romney’s finance director and is a close friend to his family. “I look at things happening and I say, you know what? Mitt was actually right when he talked about Russia, and he was actually right when he talked about how hard it was going to be to implement Obamacare, and he was actually right when he talked about the economy. I think there are a lot of everyday Americans who are now feeling the effects of what [Romney] said was going to happen, unfortunately.”

It is a testament to Romney’s lack of charisma and inability to connect with voters that he has all but disappeared from the political scene. When you try to think of Republican leaders, his name doesn’t even come up. Even John McCain has more relevance, and his incompetence helped usher in a President Obama in the first place.

And yet… how many people would switch their votes if they could?

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The 47% Solution

Mitt Romney was not only correct, he correctly predicted his own demise:

If you doubt there’s an American welfare state, you should read the new study by demographer Nicholas Eberstadt, whose blizzard of numbers demonstrates otherwise. A welfare state transfers income from some people to other people to improve the recipients’ well-being. In 1935, these transfers were less than 3 percent of the economy; now they’re almost 20 percent. That’s $7,200 a year for every American, calculates Eberstadt. He says that nearly 40 percent of these transfers aim to relieve poverty (through Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and the like), while most of the rest goes to the elderly (mainly through Social Security and Medicare).

By all means, let’s avoid the “fiscal cliff”: the $500 billion in tax increases and federal spending cuts scheduled for early 2013 that, if they occurred, might trigger a recession. But let’s recognize that we still need to bring the budget into long-term balance. This can’t be done only by higher taxes on the rich, which seem inevitable. Nor can it be done by deep cuts in defense and domestic “discretionary” programs (from highways to schools), which are already happening. It requires controlling the welfare state. In 2011, “payments for individuals,” including health care, constituted 65 percent of federal spending, up from 21 percent in 1955. That’s the welfare state.

It turns out all the things we’ve been crying wolf over have already happened. The receivers outnumber the givers, and vote accordingly. (Many argue that the Latino vote also lined up for the Democrats due not to amnesty, but welfare.)

Yet, the subject is virtually taboo. Because Americans disapprove of government handouts, we don’t even call the welfare state by its proper name, preferring the blander term “entitlements” (the label used by Eberstadt). Mitt Romney’s careless comment about “the 47 percent” receiving government benefits — implying they’re all deadbeats — squelched any serious discussion in the campaign. Interestingly, his figure is probably low: More than 50 percent of Americans may already receive benefits. Obamacare will raise this, because families with incomes up to four times the federal poverty line ($91,000 in 2011 for a family of four) qualify for insurance subsidies.

Granting the welfare state’s virtues — the safety net alleviates poverty and cushions the effects of recessions — it’s time to pose some basic questions. Who deserves support? How much? How long? How much compassion can society afford?

Paul Ryan tried having this discussion. Should we means test Social Security and Medicare, phasing in changes over years, if not decades, so that no one currently receiving (or soon to receive) benefits would be effected? What are we to do about the demographic tsunami of retiring baby boomers, and the 2.1 children (at latest count) we expect to pay for their golden years (decades more like)?

This was how the Democrats responded, if you don’t remember:

Such imbecility demonstrated a fundamental abdication of responsibility or seriousness. AKA: Obama’s second term.

Finally, there’s a moral cost. It encourages “gaming” the system to maximize benefits. It devalues the ethic of “earned success.” There’s tension between helping the truly needy and fostering dependence on government and helplessness.

The welfare state’s great contradiction — the reason its politics are so messy — is that what seems good for the individual is not, when multiplied by thousands or millions of cases, always good for society. Politicians appeal to individuals who vote, but in doing so may shortchange the nation. Most obviously: The welfare state’s costs may depress economic growth.

Yeah, Romney didn’t win many people over with his 47% line. But he was right. And it left him only 53% of the people from whom to pick up 50.1% of the vote. It was a tall order, too tall.


Still Trying to Make Sense of It [UPDATED]

I accept—reluctantly—that President Obama won reelection. What I can’t figure out is how.

Some pundits blame (or credit) Sandy; others credit (or blame) negative advertising. But that’s all conjecture and ass-covering. If I told you, however, that President Obama would lose more than 10 million votes from his 2008 results—finishing this time with fewer votes than John McCain had last time—wouldn’t you have told me that he had lost?

Similarly, I would have guaranteed that Mitt Romney would retain every McCain voter, and added to that tally. Yet he finished with three and a half million fewer votes than McCain.

So when the pundits tell you the election was about turnout, they’re only half right. It wasn’t about Obama’s turnout, it was about Mitt’s lack thereof.

So, what happened? The population of our country has grown steadily, yet the last time so few people voted for president was 2000.

James Taranto points out one clue:

Americans just re-elected Barack Obama but also gave Republicans an only minimally diminished House majority, thereby ratifying a status quo that hardly anyone finds satisfactory. The answer is that as almost all of the big swing states–North Carolina is the lone exception, with Florida still too close to call–went Democratic in the presidential race, they sent GOP majorities to Congress.

Here’s how the new House delegation breaks down for each swing state with 9 or more electoral votes, with Republicans counted first: Colorado 4-3, Florida 17-9 (with 1 yet uncalled), Michigan 9-5, North Carolina 9-3 (1 uncalled), Ohio 12-4, Pennsylvania 13-5, Virginia 8-3, Wisconsin 5-3.

Add it up, assuming Democrats hold their leads in the uncalled races (including for Florida’s 29 electoral votes), and Obama beat Romney in these eight states 115-15, while Republican House candidates beat Democratic ones 77-37. That’s enough to account for both Obama’s margin of victory and, in all likelihood, the Republican margin in the House.

[I]f you look at the maps of the other swing states, most of the districts look reasonably drawn. What you see is similar to those old maps showing the 2000 presidential results by county: little islands of blue in vast seas of red. Which is to say that most swing-state House Democrats come from big cities, while most suburban and rural swing-state districts elect Republicans.

Cities, of course, tend to have very concentrated populations of blacks, Hispanics, unmarried women and other components of the “emerging Democratic majority.” Suburban and rural districts are more politically diverse, meaning they are not as Republican as the urban districts are Democratic. They’re Republican enough to elect GOP House members, but not enough, at least this year, to outnumber the Democrats statewide.

Obama’s victory obviously vindicates his strategy, about which we were skeptical in July, of making calculated appeals to the fear or self-interest of these population subgroups, from the “war on women” nonsense to the overhyped quasi-amnesty for certain illegal aliens.

This year alone Obama made two cynical (to me) overtures to demographic groups: his “evolution” on gay marriage, and his fiat granting amnesty to certain illegal aliens. Even someone who supports these moves has to allow that they were made for purely political reasons. (Else why not make them earlier?) The “war on women”, the “Julia” video, and all the rest—they were calculated to appeal to his base and his base alone, and on that basis they succeeded. He lost ten million voters, but he held on to the cities where his base lives.

But those ten million voters didn’t vote for Mitt. They, and another four and a half million voters (and a few more, given population growth), stayed home. I still don’t know why.

In crunching the numbers, Allahpundit cites this observation by John Podhoretz:

As I write, Mitt Romney has 57.4 million votes. John McCain ended up with 59.9 million. It’s a little noticed fact that in two weeks following every presidential election, votes continue to be reported…by the millions. As I recall, Barack Obama got something like four million more votes in the weeks after election day, while John McCain got two or three million. It’s likely that by Thanksgiving, the final vote tally will show Romney very close to or even slightly exceeding McCain’s total.

That may explain our confusion, Judi (who wonders about this in the comments).

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The Differences Between Mitt And Barry

Four years ago, we elected a guy who spent his high school years high on weed, who bragged about cocaine use, who dances and sings well, who had spent part of his childhood outside of the United States in various non-standard family configurations. He is apparently loosely aligned with a black power Christian church, although in the past four years, you can count the number of times the family attended.

The guy running against him today doesn’t smoke cigarettes or dope, doesn’t drink soda or coffee, just guessing but might not sing or dance well, attends church regularly and functioned as a pastor in his community for a number of years. He grew up in a standard issue two parent household in the United States.

Whether Romney pulls it off or not, it is interesting to see how sick we are of our love affair with hipness.

– Aggie

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