Archive for November 30, 2011

Romney vs. Not-Romney

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Today’s Talking Points Memo reports on a Campaign 2012 phenomenon that the Denizens have recently commented on: the persistent competition between Mitt Romney and “Not Romney.” Here’s the guts of Eric Kleefeld’s take on the poolling in key early primary and caucus states, which depict Romney’s stagnation amidst an ebb and flow of Not-Romneys:

As has been noted many times, the Republican contest has gone through a cycle of one candidate or another gaining a sudden, massive amount of support against Romney, only to collapse after a combination of blunders and media scrutiny — see Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. The big question, then, is whether any candidate will be able to put up a stable anti-Romney front, or if the competition are too flawed, and Romney can take it by default. (Newt Gingrich, you’re now up at bat.) And if Herman Cain should now drop out of the race — he suggested on Tuesday he was ‘reassessing’ things — that could mean a sudden turn to a much rougher road for Romney. The numbers suggest Gingrich would be much more the beneficiary of a Cain departure than Romney.

So what do we make of this situation?

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Cain’s Collapse: Was No One His Brother’s Keeper?

Herman Cain's campaign has gone much further than intended and controversy will help it sink.

Herman Cain’s meteoric rise and fall in the GOP presidential nomination race will be a subject of sustained inquiry for some time. Chris Cillizza does some early prognosticating for the Washington Post over who is likely to benefit if and when (likely when) Cain withdraws in the wake of the Ginger White extramarital affair story that broke Monday.

But some larger questions require some attention, beyond the inevitable “he said / she said” and the “how does this affect the horse race?” chat. We ought to consider how a Herman Cain candidacy got as far as it did, given its unconventional candidate and campaign approach.

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Herman, Herman, Herman: C’mon Man!

Herman Cain\’s Campaign \”Reassessing\”

Herman Cain’s campaign has gone much further than intended and controversy will help it sink.

Everyday lately, we have been subjected to some new story about Herman Cain or some inkling of a new scandal. Before that we were given a steady diet of non-traditional tactics from his campaign. In reality, we haven’t gotten too much from his campaign. Cain doesn’t have much of a campaign.

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Few Were as Frank as Frank

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When Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) announced yesterday that he would not seek reelection, retiring from Congress after 31 years of representing Massachusetts’ 4th District, he signaled the end of three decades of polarizing public rhetoric and, like him or loathe him, audacious and tireless public service.

Frank will be remembered as a unique character in American politics.

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Living With Legacies of the Civil War (Race & Inequality)

As was the case with many American wars, Blacks fought in the Civil War with hopes of equality afterward only to see the nation miss such an opportunity.

As was the case with many American wars, Blacks fought in the Civil War with hopes of equality afterward only to see the nation miss such an opportunity.

As I mentioned in a past post, there are currently missed opportunities to improve our nation. This is nothing new. When it comes to race, wealth and inequality in American politics and society; American history is littered with missed opportunities. The Civil War and it’s aftermath serve a one of many major moments of missed opportunity. After the war, which was fought in great part over the issue of slavery, reconstruction was prematurely halted and Blacks were given no opportunity to work on a level playing field when it came to working towards equality of opportunity in the political arena, economic arena and the social arena.

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Obama’s “God-less” Thanksgiving Address

TDS Godless Thanksgiving

Ever the intrepid media watchdog, Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show made note of President Obama’s online Thanksgiving video address, as well as the reaction from FOX News:

 

Some brief thoughts:

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Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks for America

If Ben Franklin had his way, this may be a Turkey with the Flag

This weekend as we transition from being thankful by eating more than we need to preparing for the birth of Jesus by spending money we may not have on things we may not need, we need to think about some of the good of America. So many times we focus on the bad. We focus on debt, political polarization, mulitiple wars, crime, hunger and other problems. What about all that has gone right in the United States and continues to go right?
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Black Politics In America: In Need of an Accelerator

Soledad O'Brien's latest piece can serve as inspiration for new tactics in encourage up and coming Black political leaders.


This brief holiday weekend has allowed me to catch up on some shows that have been sitting on my DVR for a while. I must admit that I watched some mindless material before getting to recordings with some substance. As I sat here watching CNN’s “Black in America: The New Promised Land- Silicon Valley” I was brought back to thoughts I have had a number of times in recent years about preparing Black folks and other underrepresented minority groups for the political arena. We need organized and systematic programs to accelerate the learning curve in politics and make access easier to come by for young people of color with drive, ambition and ideas.

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Why Polls are for Nerds… Usually.

Battleground Logo- 220x220

OK, Point 1 on why polls are for nerds, at least usually: it’s the day after Thanksgiving, I read a Washington Post blog article on some recent polling from the Tarrance Group for Politico and George Washington University that I think has limited usefulness at best, and I proceed to start writing about it immediately. That’s nerdy.

But while there is much we can learn from public opinion polls, especially in politics, it’s important to keep them in perspective — particularly the perspective of media framing and institutional norms of journalism that are usually all but allergic to a long view.

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A New Political Landscape?

Sometimes the Denizens just want to pass along someone else’s analysis that makes a lot of sense. With the groggy post-turkey semi-coma at work, this is one of those times. In yesterday’s online New York Times “Campaign Stops” opinion section, former Treasury Secretary Robert Reich comments on the possibilities for the American political landscape, given the likelihood of continuing economic distress. This is a great, nonpartisan analysis — check it out.

A teaser: the anti-establishment core shared by both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, coupled with the low probability of bipartisan moderation in federal policymaking, will make things really interesting.