Friday, August 31, 2012

Mitt Romney: GOP Megatron (Friday LINKS)

Acknowledging the ideological leanings of the source, I thought James Carville had an interesting description of Mitt Romney's speech and the general feel of the GOP Convention:

"Romney's speech had George W. Bush's economic policies, Dick Cheney's foreign policies, and Rick Santorum's social policies."

While that may appear as a slight to Democrats, I'm not so sure Republicans would, or can, run away from it.  Overall, I think it is unfair to say that the Romney-Ryan ticket has the fiscal policies of any administration other than their own.  This plank is the most unique and most repeated.  But as I noted yesterday, I think it is fair to say that this Administration would be prosecuting a neo-conservative foreign policy and a hard right set of policies on social issues.

This quote wrapped up a week where Republicans were talking about how amazing every speech was and Democrats...were talking about how amazing every speech was (for different reasons).  I would expect to see Romney receive a 4 point bump in the National Polls over the next week and solidify his footing in some of the GOP leaning states like North Carolina. 

As for "Independents", I wonder how much of this week was for them.  The key speeches were late and there weren't too many unique or distinctive "announcements" of policy to carry the news day.  In fact, I think Republicans should be very concerned that the foolhardy decision to put 82-year-old Clint Eastwood on stage to riff with an empty chair will be the most memorable event of the last three days (it is for me).

The best thing Republicans did was distill their message, which should be an objective for any well run convention.  That message is "The economic policies of this President have been fully executed and failed.  The correct path is clear and we have the map."  From my perspective, I would have liked a little more meat on those bones, and some semblance of a concordance between economic and foreign policy (check out how the Federal Government handled war spending in WWII before you start saying "We gotta do what we gotta do").  But at the end of the day, we learned nothing new.  If you were excited about this Candidate before, you are more so today.  If you did not like this Candidate before, I'm not sure much changed. 

The bad thing for the GOP is that the President gets a rebuttal and sits atop a campaign known for imaging, message, and "Hollywood" -- three things that are the most important for a Party Convention.  Said otherwise, don't expect a Clint moment from this Candidate.  Republicans will have to hope that their message of "all hat no cattle" stays true. 


The big news locally is that Delegate Liz Bobo is retiring in 2014, leaving her seat open for what she hopes will be a "liberal Democrat from Columbia."  Many have suggested that this retirement was prompted by party divisions stirred up by her endorsement of challenger Alan Klein in the Council District 4 primary of 2010 and the meshing of Districts 12A and 12B in the subsequent Delegate redistricting process, putting large swathes of Ellicott City and Elkridge in the new District 12.  I think Liz still could have won District 12 (easily), but she would have faced a nasty primary.  In addition, I admire any politician that gets to go out on their own terms.  It is extremely rare.  One of the saddest things I've heard about politics is that most political careers end in failure or shame.  You either lose your job or are removed.  As for who fills that spot -- who knows

The Corner is one of my all time favorite books about public policy.  This semi-obituary of DeAndre McCullough showed that not much has changed in the 20+ years since the book was published.

O's Win as Adam Jones's bat heats up and Taylor Teagarden shows that all he knows how to do as an Oriole is hit home runs.  The birds head into a series against New York looking at a chance to tie up the Division with a sweep.  This series will show whether this team has the mettle to make any noise in the Playoffs (or sustain their winning ways to get one of the last spots).  I think a sweep is too much to ask, but if they take 2 out of 3, look out.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: Sarah looks at Aging in Place in Howard County, which is a critical issue for all of us interested in government and community to pay attention to.  It has been a high priority for the Columbia Association and an honor for our community to have so many people that want to continue to live here well after seeing their kids off to start their own lives.

That's all for today.  Surprisingly light news day.

Have a great Friday doing what you love AND a great Labor Day Weekend!