Chris McMurray of Crumb and Get It does not agree with Obama Administration policies
These are my links for August 15th through August 16th:
Radford business owner declines Joe Biden’s request to stop in store– Would you say no to the Vice President?This might happen more than you think from both political parties, most businesses just don’t talk about it. The owner of “Crumb and Get It” – did.Chris McMurray’s bakery has been open only since May, barely three months.Wednesday morning, advance teams for Vice President Joe Biden walked in.
“I approached her she said Joe Biden is coming to town today,” McMurray said.
“Crumb and Get It” is a mom and pop store. Literally. Chris and his wife Kelly run the place and need all the business they can get.
McMurray said the Vice President’s entourage got to the point and made its pitch.
“She said they have selected ‘Crumb and Get It” to be his stop on his way to Blacksburg and was wondering if that was ok.”
Here’s the part that might make other business owners crazy.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime but essentially I said ‘No offense to you or the campaign but I just decline you guys coming in here. At that time she said ‘Are you sure? There’s going to be a lot of press, a lot of activity,’” McMurray said.
Why in the world would a new business owner say “no” to a photo op with the Vice President of the United States?
McMurray said it was President Obama’s recent remarks about small business and who built what.
“Very simply, ‘you didn’t build that’” McMurray said. “Speaking of small businesses and entrepreneurs all across this country and actually last night my wife was up all night. No sleep, she’s worked a full 24 hours.”
Shooting spurs heated debate on gay rights, ‘hate group’ label– The shooting of a security guard Wednesday at the Family Research Council (FRC) has spurred a torrent of heated accusations from both sides of the gay rights debate about claims that the conservative organization is a “hate group.”The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), one of the nation’s leading opponents of same-sex marriage, told The Hill the shooting was a direct result of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s decision in 2010 to place the FRC on its list of hate groups for its rhetoric on gays.Brian Brown, the president of NOM, pointed to a recent blog post by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of the largest gay-rights groups in the country. The post, “Paul Ryan Speaking at Hate Group’s Annual Conference,” called attention to the vice presidential candidate’s scheduled appearance at the FRC’s national summit next month.“Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” Brown said in a statement issued following the shooting.
“For too long national gay rights groups have intentionally marginalized and ostracized pro-marriage groups and individuals by labeling them as ‘hateful’ and ‘bigoted.’”
Why the Doctor Can’t See You– Are you having trouble finding a doctor who will see you? If not, give it another year and a half. A doctor shortage is on its way.Most provisions of the Obama health law kick in on Jan. 1, 2014. Within the decade after that, an additional 30 million people are expected to acquire health plans—and if the economic studies are correct, they will try to double their use of the health-care system.Meanwhile, the administration never seems to tire of reminding seniors that they are entitled to a free annual checkup. Its new campaign is focused on women. Thanks to health reform, they are being told, they will have access to free breast and pelvic exams and even free contraceptives. Once ObamaCare fully takes effect, all of us will be entitled to a long list of preventive services—with no deductible or copayment.Here is the problem: The health-care system can’t possibly deliver on the huge increase in demand for primary-care services. The original ObamaCare bill actually had a line item for increased doctor training. But this provision was zeroed out before passage, probably to keep down the cost of health reform. The result will be gridlock.
Take preventive care. ObamaCare says that health insurance must cover the tests and procedures recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. What would that involve? In the American Journal of Public Health (2003), scholars at Duke University calculated that arranging for and counseling patients about all those screenings would require 1,773 hours of the average primary-care physician’s time each year, or 7.4 hours per working day.
Eric Holder’s uphill battle: Huge public support for voter ID– While the Obama Justice Department, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, uses its authority to block some state voter ID laws (Texas), and investigate others (Pennsylvania), a newly-released poll shows overwhelming public support for laws requiring voters to present identification before casting a ballot. That support crosses party lines, racial lines, economic lines, educational lines, and just about every other line in the electorate at large.In the survey, the Washington Post asked, “In your view, should voters in the United States be required to show official, government-issued photo identification — such as a driver’s license — when they cast ballots on election day, or shouldn’t they have to do this?” Among all adults, 74 percent said voters should present ID, versus 23 percent who said they should not. Among registered voters, the numbers were 75 percent to 23 percent.When something has the support of 75 percent of the voters, plus the approval of the Supreme Court, which by a six-to-three vote in 2008 upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, one might think the Justice Department would give up trying to stop it. So far, that’s not the case with Attorney General Holder.The Post poll found support for voter ID extends far and wide. Seventy-six percent of men support it, as do 73 percent of women.
General Motors Is Headed For Bankruptcy — Again– President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again. The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market.Right now, the federal government owns 500,000,000 shares of GM, or about 26% of the company. It would need to get about $53.00/share for these to break even on the bailout, but the stock closed at only $20.21/share on Tuesday. This left the government holding $10.1 billion worth of stock, and sitting on an unrealized loss of $16.4 billion.Right now, the government’s GM stock is worth about 39% less than it was on November 17, 2010, when the company went public at $33.00/share. However, during the intervening time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen by almost 20%, so GM shares have lost 49% of their value relative to the Dow.It’s doubtful that the Obama administration would attempt to sell off the government’s massive position in GM while the stock price is falling. It would be too embarrassing politically. Accordingly, if GM shares continue to decline, it is likely that Obama would ride the stock down to zero.
The GOP’s Medicare Advantage– Predictably, Democrats went after Mitt Romney’s new running mate immediately, describing Paul Ryan as a “certifiable right-wing ideologue” whose views are “extreme” and “radical.” They focused on Medicare, warning that Republicans “would end Medicare as we know it,” making it “a voucher system” that costs seniors “thousands of dollars in health care costs.”Some Republican hand-wringers moaned. They failed to consider that Democrats were going to level these charges no matter whom Mr. Romney picked as his running mate. And they ignored the ammunition the party has to turn the issue against Democrats.For one thing, the GOP doesn’t cut Medicare spending. This fiscal year, Medicare outlays will total $503 billion. Even under the House GOP budget—considered the most parsimonious plan out there—Medicare spending would be $855 billion annually 10 years from now. That just 3% less than what President Obama proposes, hardly enough to justify Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that Republicans are “gutting Medicare.”
There Is No California– Driving across California is like going from Mississippi to Massachusetts without ever crossing a state line.Consider the disconnects: California’s combined income and sales taxes are among the nation’s highest, but the state’s deficit is still about $16 billion. It’s estimated that more than 2,000 upper-income Californians are leaving per week to flee high taxes and costly regulations, yet California wants to raise taxes even higher; its business climate already ranks near the bottom of most surveys. Its teachers are among the highest paid on average in the nation, but its public school students consistently test near the bottom of the nation in both math and science.
Why The Screwed Generation Is Turning To Paul Ryan– GOP Congressman Paul Ryan—the tireless, wonky, 42-year-old workout freak—has made history by becoming the first member of our generation to join a presidential ticket. It should come as a surprise to no one that his calling card is reforming entitlements.We hear incessantly about how members of today’s screwed generation face the prospect of less prosperous lives than those lived by their parents. But the maiden generation to stare down that gloomy prognosis was Generation X, the tiny slice of America born between about 1965 and 1980. (Ryan was born in 1970.) We were the first generation to be told we would never get Social Security or Medicare even though we would be forced to pay into these programs.When many X-ers graduated from college, stocking shelves at the Gap was considered a career choice, as jobs were few and far between amidst a major economic downturn. I won’t bore you with the horror show of the low-paying and miserable jobs I had for the first three years after college.Unfortunately, the future looks as bleak for today’s young people. No amount of coddling by their well-provided-for Boomer parents can save Generation Y and the Millennials from the dire economic conditions they face, including criminal levels of educational debt. Pensions have gone the way of the horse and buggy. You want to retire with health-care benefits, as both my professor parents did? Good luck. As the 1994 movie turned Gen-X mantra has it: Reality Bites.
Executive order from Governor Jan Brewer blocks IDs, benefits for illegal immigrants– Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday ordered state agencies to deny driver’s licenses and other public benefits to young illegal immigrants who obtain work authorizations under a new Obama administration policy.After the order was issued, supporters of the program and the DREAM Act took to the streets of Phoenix in protest. Video from Air15 showed the protesters carrying signs and walking down Central Avenue toward the State Capitol.In an executive order, Brewer said she was reaffirming the intent of current Arizona law denying taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification to illegalYoung illegal immigrants around the nation on Wednesday began the process of applying for federal work permits under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Americans Continue to Give Obama Low Marks on the Economy – Three months before the election, President Barack Obama gets good marks from Americans for his handling of terrorism, fair marks for education and foreign affairs, but poor marks on immigration and three big economic issues: the federal budget deficit, creating jobs, and the economy generally.
Media Refuse to Connect the Dots on Violent Leftists– So far, the media has done nothing but blame the wrong people. At the first site of violence in Colorado, ABC’s Brian Ross turns to the Tea Party because apparently that’s the only template he knows. He could not have been further from the truth.If police reports are accurate, the violence at a Conservative lobbying group in Washington DC was perpetuated by a radical leftist whose motive was purely political. He said so. He reportedly said he shot up the place because of what it stood for. It doesn’t get more clear than that. It’s like a guy going into a US Military Base yelling “Allahu Akbar” and the media still wondering what the motive is. Wait, that happened as well and the motive was ignored. “We don’t know why Major Hasan did this,” is what most media observers said.An honest media is necessary to expose the motives behind these violent leftists. No, this is not equal on both sides. Not even close.
Ryan abandons part of Ryan plan– Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s signature achievement in Congress is his plan to bring runaway federal spending, particularly the skyrocketing cost of Medicare, under control. With Ryan under Democratic fire for his Medicare proposals, columnist Charles Krauthammer suggested Ryan simply declare his plan “history” and move on. “The details of the Ryan plan have some things that don’t mesh with what Romney is running on, and are a little harder to defend,” Krauthammer said Tuesday on Fox News. “I think what Ryan has to say is, look, I proposed the plan in Congress, a congressional plan. It was rejected by the Democratic Senate and by the president. It’s now history.”Ryan is already doing that, at least in part. In his interview with Fox’s Brit Hume Tuesday, Ryan said he has abandoned his plan’s provision to take about a half-trillion dollars out of current Medicare funding in order to shore up the Medicare trust fund for the future (as opposed to the provision of Obamacare that takes about $700 billion out of Medicare to pay for health coverage for currently uncovered people). Romney’s proposal is not to take the money out at all, so Ryan has abandoned his old position and now supports Romney’s
Chicago Dream Relief in Demand – 50K Line Up in Chicago– The turnout for Wednesday’s Dream Relief workshop in Chicago was so strong that organizers began turning people away.The line of undocumented students wrapped around Navy Pier and at one point across the Chicago River to apply for deferred action to allow them, at least in the short-term, not to worry about deportation. As many as 50,000 lined up for the program, according to estimates.Following a major immigration policy change about two months ago, the Dream Relief workshop helps children who were illegally brought into the United States apply for a work permit and even a driver’s license.Five thousand people initially signed up for the workshop, and as the 9 a.m. start time came and went, the crowds kept filing toward the lake. Organizers said they would be able to provide full services for 1,500 people today and partial services to another 6,000.
The new policy announced by President Barack Obama this summer took effect Wednesday and will allow more than 75,000 young undocumented immigrants in Illinois and 1.7 million across the country the temporary right to live and work openly in the United States.
How Tommy Thompson’s win in Wisconsin changes the Senate majority fight – Former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson’s narrow victory in Wisconsin’s Republican Senate primary on Tuesday not only bolsters his party’s chances of winning the seat in the fall election but also betters the GOP’s chances of re-claiming the majority in the chamber this November.
In Florida, 17% Change Vote Because of Ryan VP Pick; Vote Changers by 4:3 are Drawn To Romney– 17% of registered voters in the state of Florida say they will change who they will vote for in the election for President as a result of Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as Vice President, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted statewide for WFLA-TV in Tampa.Of those who will change their vote, 57% say they are more likely to vote for Romney, 42% say they are less likely to vote for Romney. The state of Florida is one of the most important swing-states in the country. Florida’s 29 electoral votes are critical to Romney.Reaction to the Ryan pick breaks along party lines. 82% of Republicans, 91% of Tea Party members, and 86% of conservatives say the selection of Ryan is excellent or good. 57% of Democrats and 51% of liberals say the Ryan selection is bad or very bad.75% of Republicans say Ryan would be ready to step-in as President if Romney were unable to serve, compared to 28% of Democrats who say Ryan would be ready.
Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 640 adults from the state of Florida 08/13/12. Of the adults, 590 were registered to vote. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (70% of registered voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (30% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, laptop or other electronic device.
‘Dreamers’ Line Up For Legal Status– After a lifetime of fearing deportation, being banned for legal work and fighting to stay in the country they grew up in, thousands and thousands of young undocumented immigrants could get a reprieve today as the federal government begins accepting applications for deferred action permits.Immigrants who are under the age of 31 and were brought into the country before their 16th birthdays are eligible for the permits, which will allow them to stay in the country legally for two years. According to the Migration Policy Institute, up to 1.76 million could be eligible.”I have been waiting for this day and will be in line early,” Jose Cabrera, a 23-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, told ABC’s Gina Sunseri in Houston. “I hope this means someday I can be a real citizen.”
These are my links for July 25th through July 26th:
Obamacare falling short already– The unintended, convoluted and costly consequences of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law are about to be realized. Obamacare was rushed through Congress in 2010 despite almost no one knowing what the 2,700-page law provided, apart from a vague promise to make health care more affordable and accessible.This week, the Congressional Budget Office said that, because the U.S. Supreme Court, in ruling last month to validate most of the Affordable Care Act, allowed states to opt out of the law’s expansion of Medicaid, about 3 million fewer people will end up insured than originally estimated. This is guesswork because the CBO admits no one knows how many states will opt out. We believe many, if not all, states controlled by Republican legislatures and governors will opt out.
Government Did Not Build Your Business – “If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” declared President Barack Obama at a campaign stop last week in Virginia. Evidently, the president believes that economic growth and job creation are largely the result of actions taken by benevolent government agencies. But while it is certainly the case that good governance is essential, entrepreneurs engaging in voluntary cooperation coordinated through competition in free markets is what actually creates wealth and jobs. In the Virginia speech, the president also observed, “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.” As parts of “this unbelievable American system” that “allowed” businesses to “thrive,” the president cited “a great teacher” and that “somebody invested in roads and bridges.” With regard to building a business, the nebulous “somebody” who “made that happen” is, of course, government.
Shifting Dynamics Favor G.O.P.– Since 2006, members of the House have faced electoral waves that swept away scores of incumbents.But the 2012 struggle for control of the House is shaping up less as a partisan surge than as a series of squalls, in which the outcome will largely depend on individual survival skills rather than a national movement.In New York, Dan Maffei, a Democrat, hopes to snag back a seat he lost two years ago, while Representative Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who won in a special election last year, is trying desperately to hang on. In California, a nonpartisan primary and an expensive member-against-member contest between two Democrats, Brad Sherman and Howard Berman, have muddled the outlook in a state where Democrats had high hopes.
No Building Permits for Opponent of Same-Sex Marriage– But denying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation. Even when it comes to government contracting — where the government is choosing how to spend government money —the government generally may not discriminate based on the contractor’s speech, see Board of County Commissioners v. Umbehr (1996). It is even clearer that the government may not make decisions about how people will be allowed to use their own property based on the speaker’s past speech.And this is so even if there is no statutory right to a particular kind of building permit (and I don’t know what the rule is under Illinois law). Even if the government may deny permits to people based on various reasons, it may not deny permitsAmendment rights. It doesn’t matter if the applicant expresses speech that doesn’t share the government officials’ values, or even the values of the majority of local citizens. It doesn’t matter if the applicant’s speech is seen as “disrespect[ful]” of certainpeople’s rights to express such views without worrying that the government will deny them business permits as a result. That’s basic First Amendment law — but Alderman Moreno, Mayor Menino, and, apparently, Mayor Emanuel (if his statement is quoted in context), seem to either not know or not care about the law.
Chick-fil-A Blocked From Opening Second Chicago Store– A Chicago politician said he will block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in his ward, following anti-gay marriage remarks by the fast food chain’s president.Alderman Joe Moreno, who represents Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, plans to use his aldermanic privilege, a Chicago tradition in which City Council members defer to aldermen on local matters, to block the restaurant’s permit.”It’s a very diverse ward– economically, racially, and diverse in sexual orientation,” Moreno told ABCNews.com. “We’ve got thriving businesses and we want more but at the very least don’t discriminate against our LGBTQ folks.”Moreno is not alone in standing up to the fast food restaurant, whose president Dan Cathy came under scrutiny after he told the Baptist Press he was “guilty as charged” when it came to supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
The Battle for Ballot Integrity in Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania is, for the moment, ground zero in the battle over voter fraud. In March, Pennsylvania’s legislature enacted a law that requires identification for voting. The ACLU has sued to enjoin enforcement of the law; a trial on its lawsuit began today and is expected to last for around a week. This illustrates how low the ACLU has fallen. Voting illegally–that’s a “civil right!” But how about not having your vote canceled by the ballot of an illegal voter? Is that a civil right? Naahh.
Conservatives urge Cantor to push spending fight into 2013– House conservatives urged Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to back a stopgap spending bill that would extend into 2013 and take the issue of government funding off the table during the election and the jammed lame-duck session this fall.Cantor attended a meeting Wednesday of the conservative Republican Study Committee, where lawmakers voiced support for passing a long-term continuing resolution when federal funding runs out at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.While conservatives led a fight for deep spending cuts in a continuing resolution in 2011, they are worried that Democrats will draw them into a battle that could lead to a government shutdown in October, right before the November elections. They also want a stopgap measure to extend beyond the end of the year so that Democrats cannot use it as leverage in a broader fight over expiring tax rates and automatic spending cuts.
Pat Buchanan wants Palin to speak at convention– Echoing Jim DeMint, it’s Pat Buchanan, after Greta Van Susteren asked Wednesday night whom he’d like to speak at the Republican convention.Buchanan:”I’ll tell you who I like — your buddy and my favorite, Sarah Palin.I would say to Governor Romney at the convention: ‘Look, let’s not have a boring convention…. why don’t you bring in all the voices of the party and say ‘Look, you may not agree with this folks and that folks, but we are all united behind Governor Romney’.”
Three Different Ways to Look at the 2012 Campaign– Last week, I wrote about the standings in the presidential race and said it looked like a long, hard slog through about a dozen clearly identified target states, much like the contests in 2000 and 2004. Call it the 2000/2004 long, hard slog scenario.But I said there were other possible scenarios. I can think of three.
President Obama’s auto task force pressed General Motors and Chrysler to close scores of dealerships without adequately considering the jobs that would be lost or having a firm idea of the cost savings that would be achieved, an audit of the process has concluded.
Mitt Romney’s mantra: Avoid John McCain’s mistakes– Mitt Romney and his top aides are building a strategy, partly by design and partly because of circumstance, around what they consider John McCain’s disastrously run campaign in 2008.The strategy: whatever McCain did, do the opposite.
Obama Ad To Attack Romney On Bain Years– A new ad critical of Mitt Romney’s years as the leader of a private equity firm is set to air in five battleground states starting on Monday, according to The Associated Press.The ad is part of a larger effort by the Obama campaign to attack one of Romney’s strengths: his business career. In addition to the two-minute ad, a longer six-minute web video can be found on a new interactive website, romneyeconomics.com, that criticizes Romney’s record. The Obama campaign will also hold a press conference call later Monday announcing the effort.The two-minute television ad focuses on the fate of a steel mill in Kansas City, Mo., allowing laid off workers to tell their stories. “They made as much money off of it as they could. And they closed it down,” says Joe Soptic, a steelworker for 30 years, in the ad. Jack Cobb, another worker, adds: “It was like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us.”
The ad will air in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.
Six in 10 Say Obama Same-Sex Marriage View Won’t Sway Vote – A majority of Americans, 60%, say President Barack Obama’s newly announced support for same-sex marriage will make no difference to their vote. Twice as many say it will make them less likely to vote for Obama as say more likely, though roughly half of the “less likely” group are Republicans who probably would not support Obama anyway.
Gay Marriage Reversal Means Cash For Obama– President Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage carries a political cost, but it also means floods of cash from wealthy gay donors and disillusioned young people eager to be inspired by him again.After three years of political compromise on issues from health care reform to spending cuts, Obama delivered a surprise gift to what many of his core supporters view as the civil rights issue of the day, simply by saying what everyone assumed he believed. But the distinction between implying a change and saying it outright will more than symbolic in the crucial area of campaign fundraising. Already, gay donors, mostly men, reportedly constitute 1 in 6 of Obama’s top fundraisers known as bundlers. And in the first 90 minutes after the news broke Wednesday, the campaign received $1 million in spontaneous contributions, a Democrat told BuzzFeed.“This is beyond unifying — it’s electrifying,” said Eugene Sepulveda, a former top bundler who withdrew to take a non-political job early this year. “This man stands for right, despite the political consequences.”
And for a class of disillusioned progressive mega-donors, many of them gay, the completion of Obama’s “evolution” is an invitation reason to return.
“I think the people who were disappointed by the president’s failure to support marriage quality will now have that barrier removed for them,” said Jeff Soref, a longtime Democratic activist in the gay community.
A gay marriage political crisis, not ‘evolution’– There is a lot of fawning media coverage of President Obama’s new support for gay marriage. There is serious discussion of how he “evolved,” and there are serious timelines being prepared by the Obama apologencia that earnestly track his “evolution.” The only problem is they don’t put “evolution” in quotation marks to highlight the cynical doubts that Obama’s conversion deserves. There is every reason to believe that this decision was made because Obama thinks it serves his current selfish political interests. He characterizes his politically expedient flip-flop as a theological “evolution.” The reality is, his political trajectory has stalled and he “evolved” into a desperate political situation.The path to his final “evolution” and telling the truth about how he really feels about gay marriage don’t ‘t just reveal his changed thinking, it perfectly matches his political needs at every step of his ambitious career. Let’s pause before we do any planning for an expansion to the eventual Obama monument on the Mall.Reality check: Obama manipulated gay voters, kept them at a distance and hoped they would settle for the occasional wink and a nod. But he has found himself in a campaign with dwindling enthusiasm and a narrowing electoral map; he needs this group’s enthusiastic support and high turnout in November.
Obama gay marriage support seen as world precedent– President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he supports gay marriage boosted the hopes of gay rights groups around the world that other leaders will follow his example, though opponents denounced his switch as a shameless appeal for votes.Several countries, including Canada, Spain and Argentina, allow same-sex marriage, but far more countries ban it and dozens even prohibit consensual same-sex relations. Gay-rights groups hope Obama’s views will inspire more change.”This is incredibly important, it’s excellent news. The United States is a global leader on everything, and that includes gay rights,” said Julio Moreira, president of the Rio de Janeiro-based Arco-Iris gay rights group. “This will force other nations like Brazil to move forward with more progressive policies.”
Vatican and other religious officials didn’t comment, but political leaders and others opposed to gay marriage excoriated Obama. In particular, politicians tied to Pentecostal and Catholic churches have spoken out strongly against same-sex marriage in Latin America.
The Facts: Gay Marriage Didn’t Tilt 2004 Election – President Obama’s stand today in support of gay marriage has unleashed much conversation surrounding the political impact of his statement and the effect it could have on the electoral map and election this November. And part of this discussion has repeated a myth that I have tried to dispel before and will try again.
The gay marriage initiatives in 2004 on the ballot in 11 states had no discernable effect on turnout among conservatives. Yes, that’s right, none. Not even in Ohio, which was a swing state in 2004 won in a close contest by former President Bush.
Today, the myth is repeated over and over that Bush beat Kerry in Ohio in part because of the gay marriage initiative on the ballot. The facts and data simply do not support that conclusion.
Yes, conservative turnout was up in Ohio by five percentage points. It was also up five percentage points nationally. And if you look at the conservative turnout increase in the 11 states verses the other 39 states that didn’t have gay marriage on the ballot, the conservative turnout was up exactly the same.
President Obama jumps off the gay marriage fence– President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he was done “evolving” and now supports same-sex marriage was, in retrospect, inevitable. Vice President Joe Biden made it so Sunday, when he remarked almost casually that he had grown “comfortable” with gay marriage.Biden’s comfort level made Obama the nation’s least comfortable politician, tied up in a knot of convoluted positions that he had hoped voters on both sides would overlook.He opposed state laws like the one passed in North Carolina this week denying same-sex couples the right to wed. But even as he opposed anti-marriage laws, he didn’t support pro-marriage laws.
Biden blamed; politics drove timing– Joe Biden just might go down in history as the guy who forced Barack Obama to publicly announce his private support for gay marriage.But the vice president is no hero in the West Wing, and administration officials are struggling to cast Obama’s truly historic — and risky — announcement as something more than an election-year shotgun wedding.
Romney stands by his opposition to gay marriage– Mitt Romney on Wednesday reaffirmed his view that marriage should be restricted to one man and one woman, highlighting a sharp contrast with President Barack Obama.Obama declared his unequivocal personal support for same-sex marriage during an interview with ABC News. Reporters asked Romney about the issue after a campaign event in Oklahoma City.”My view is that marriage itself is between a man and a woman,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told reporters. He said he believes that states should be able to make decisions about whether to offer certain legal rights to same-sex couples.
Obama’s Marriage Act– Congratulations to President Obama for matching his public policy with what everyone already knew were his private beliefs. His statement Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage spared the public the ruse of waiting until after the election to state the inevitable.First his Justice Department refused to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, and then Mr. Obama had said his views on the subject were “evolving.” The Beltway chatter now is that Vice President Joe Biden’s public support this week for gay marriage had cornered Mr. Obama into his own change of heart. But as with pretty much all Presidential actions lately, you don’t have to be a cynic to wonder about Team Obama’s political re-election calculations.Everyone agrees that the election’s number one issue is the U.S. economy. Insofar as it’s not really possible for Mr. Obama to change that subject, he can at least give the chattering classes something else to write about. This qualifies. During a political cycle when few besides Rick Santorum wanted to talk about social issues, Mr. Obama has now reinserted one of the hottest into the debate.
One school of political thought holds that gay-rights issues typically hurt the person who raises them first. But perhaps the Obama campaign calculates that in a close election he will need a passionate base and that this will drive liberal and youth turnout in such important and evolving states as Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire and New Mexico. On the other hand, Mr. Obama looks like he has just solved that problem Mitt Romney supposedly has with rousing cultural conservatives.
Obama gay marriage stance could win younger voters, lose others –– President Obama’s unexpected announcement on Wednesday that he supports gay marriage ignited his political base but risks a backlash with independent voters in swing states.Supporters on the left were particularly fired up by Obama’s shift, but political observers pointed to Tuesday night’s vote in North Carolina, where voters overwhelmingly opted to define marriage as legal only between one man and one woman, as proof the decision could come back to haunt the president.
Another Ohio Poll Shows Obama, Romney Tied– In its second look at the presidential race in the pivotal battleground state of Ohio this month, a Quinnipiac University poll released early on Thursday confirms that President Obama and Mitt Romney are in a virtual tie in the Buckeye State.Obama leads Romney in the poll by a single point, 45 percent to 44 percent, well within the poll’s margin of error. Twelve percent of voters would vote for another candidate, would not vote at all, or are undecided. In last week’s poll, Obama led Romney, 44 percent to 42 percent.