Thursday, August 30, 2012

Romney's Record Speech

   Tuesday night, Ann Romney shined. She has been commended and she has been panned, but whatever any of the talking heads say, they cannot take away that she was positively brilliant. She reached out to women and men alike. Through her words, it was made clear to voters that her and Mitt are grounded people. Last night Paul Ryan was very serious and all business. It was an excellent contrast to the lighter tone of Mrs. Romney. He was straight forward, factual, and showed a readiness to get things done.

   Tonight is Governor Romney's chance to pick up where they left off, and secure his victory. I've said it before and I'm saying it now, Mr. Romney currently has between 302-322 electoral votes. With the right words and story arc he can shore up that number, and potentially add to it.

   It is clear that the Obama camp strategy is to reach female voters. His approach is 100% reproductive rights and women's healthcare. This tactic is being used to the extent that Sandra Fluke is a prime time speaker (Really?). In my post earlier this week I covered why this strategy will not work, now I am going to tell you what will work.

   If Mitt Romney asked for my advice, this is what I would tell him...  To create real, and lasting separation in a path to the White House, you should crush the Obama camp's plan to target women right out of the gate.  Immediately, after the pleasantries and niceties that begin most speeches, you should swing for the fences.Your open should be along the lines of...

   "My opponent is campaigning on women's reproductive rights and the idea that there is a war on women. He wants your taxes to pay for their medical care and contraception. Then, when people disagree with the taxpayer carrying the burden for this, his proxies say that there is a war on women. To President Obama and all of his surrogates, I say this... There is most definitely a war on women. A silent war with a jarring amount of casualties. Since president Obama took office, 780,000 more women are unemployed. That is a war of attrition on women in the workplace, on their financial stability, and on their freedom to pursue their goals and aspirations. I will make it my job, to create jobs, so that women can have the career they want, and the opportunities they want. The kind of jobs that come with benefits like healthcare, so that THEY can choose the doctor they want and buy the contraception that they think is best for them!"

   From here Mr. Romney should drop any mention of the sitting President, less is more. He should transition into talking about himself, giving a highlight reel autobiography. To get into particulars, he should focus on his executive experience, and his successes. Tom Stemberg, the founder of Staples, is going to give a prime time speech about Mitt. This is going to be a great foundation for the success dialog. If you don't know the Mitt Romney Staples story, you may want to tune into CSPAN or your cable news channel of choice to watch. Mr. Stemberg will be on after 8 PM EST. Following Tom will be the former Massachusetts Lt. Gov, and the former Secretary of Workforce, both who served under Governor Romney. Mitt should build on what these people, and others have said by briefly recounting these experiences through his eyes. Next, he should add his involvement in the Olympics, and whatever accomplishments he is the most proud about. Then he should move into what he wants to do for America, and HOW he will do it. Americans are wanting a real record, and not just empty elocution. Governor Romney has a history of doing well for companies, events, and a state, but tonight is his chance to seal the deal on helping one specific person into an early retirement. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Paul Ryan; You Heard It Here First

   The biggest speech of Paul Ryan's career to date, is tonight. He goes on after 10 PM EST. There is no way to overstate the importance of these 20-45 minutes. More than ever, the vice president plays a large role in the White House, and everyone knows it. More people will be watching him now, than at any other time in his career, and possibly at any other point in the campaign. The Romney/Ryan ticket is facing two looming issues: Who is Mitt Romney? and Who is Paul Ryan?

    Voters are making up their minds about Congressman Ryan, and they are doing it swiftly. Just a few hours ago, Gallup released a poll on Paul Ryan. In less than two weeks the never heard of/no opinion group has dropped from 58% to 26%. Unfortunately the wording of the poll makes it impractical to separate that final 26%, but what we can be sure of is that many people are making their decision. His favorable stat jumped from 25% to 38%, while his unfavorable moved from 17% to 36%. Common wisdom (much different from common sense) would tell you that means he had a net gain of -6% and that people don't like him, and the elderly are scared, and that he's an extremist. All of this would be incorrect.

   I'm putting it in writing, right here, and right now; following Ryan's speech tonight the gap of favorability will open up widely in his favor. Additionally, over time it will widen out drastically and in my estimation land at 54 percent or higher by election day. He has a unique knack for expressing policy details without droning on, he is intelligent, he is confident, and he is the definition of articulate. People will gravitate towards him and his clear communication on how to handle the problems of the day.

   He will also showcase what kind of an executive Mitt Romney is. People will see what kind of decisions Mitt Romney makes first hand. Mitt has been successful with Bain, the Olympics, and politics, but those are all relatively ancient history in our 24/7 news cycle. They can also be spun and relegated in non-factual ways. As you read this, our deficit and debt are decisions starring directly at all of us. In a few short hours, Romney's most recent success, and his decision making adroitness will be starring us right in the face, and this time, we will be starring right back.

Big Media's Big Mistake

   Hey gang, just a short one here.

   After writing my last post, something dawned on me. Network news coverage, at the time I'm writing this, has made a critical error. FULL DISCLOSURE: I work for a branch of NBC Universal, however we do not cover hard news.

   Last night, NBC, CBS, and ABC will only covered one hour of the RNC Convention. Currently, that is the plan for the entire convention, and for the DNC Convention next week as well. Enough people are upset that even The Hollywood Reporter covered the dismay, and their main focus is the business of entertainment. Now, not everybody is a political junkie like yours truly, but it is a big event and most people do want to see the conventions and the big speeches. The people who MOST want to see the conventions are the undecideds and independents, the core block that will choose the winner this November.

   This is a good time for the networks and everyone else to be realistic. Nobody wants to watch the whole thing, unless they are being paid to do it. What people do like to do is record it, and then scan through for who they want to see (and yes they scan through the commercials, but at least there is a chance they will see YOUR commercials). Additionally, they are telling everyone, all voters, "We are not covering it, go out there and find your own sources to watch these events." That is a bad, bad, bad business model.

   All three of these networks have big news departments, they all have accomplished journalists, and they have compelling talent. They spend piles of money on advertising their morning news, nightly news and special report shows, and they spend even more dough producing these shows. Why on earth they would shy away from something with so much gravity in the world of news is beyond me. I came to terms with the fact that most news is reported in a myopic manner a long time ago, but the decision to do this on the business end baffles me. After the viewers find a different source they like, how many will return?

   What could be so important that they are not covering these once every four years events? We can all speculate and come up with quite a few ideas. The obvious one would be possibly ratings; do they think too many outlets are covering it, and they want to stick to their own original programming? Do they not take the Presidential conventions seriously? Could it be that the events are straight forward, and project the respective party lines, which in turn minimizes their opportunity to spin it? What ever the reason, they should be covering at least a respectable two hours.

   In the event that some of the viewers do return, how much seriousness and respect will they give to the networks? This decision really hurts all of them at the same time. Viewers have consistently been gravitating towards cable news. This decision will change the intensity of the departure from a migration to an exodus.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

REMINDER: RNC Convention Begins Tonight

Just a quick reminder that the RNC convention begins tonight. You can see the full schedule here.

You can also watch the convention on a live internet feed here or here.

The big speeches tonight will likely be Ann Romney and Gov. Chris Christie. Both of them come on after 10 PM EST.

Tomorrow, the whole shindig does not start until 7 PM EST. Condoleeza Rice and Paul Ryan will be on after 10 PM EST.

Thursday Gov. Mitt Romney will speak after 10 PM EST.

Also, this could be something or nothing, but according to the Order Of Business for the convention, there is still a TBA on the speaker schedule.

See you soon....

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Female Vote

   A sample cross section of nightly political talk shows reveals an intense interest in the female vote. Some of the commentary is correct, some of it is wrong.

   In Presidential Elections, women tend to vote more democratic and men tend to vote more republican. However, a crucial difference is that a republican candidate can win the Presidency without the female vote, while a democratic candidate has yet to do so in the modern era. Modern era is commonly accepted as being 1980 to current day. For the sake of this post, we will deal with 2000 - current day. The reason being the explosion of the internet and the resulting access to information.

   Why is the female vote so important? According to exit polls, in 2000 52% of the voters were women, in 2004 it was 54% and in 2008 it was 53%. In 2000, women voted 55% for Gore and 43% Bush. In 2004, women voted  51% for Kerry and 48% for Bush. In 2008, 56% of women voted for Obama and 43% voted for John McCain. Exit polls are really more of an approximation than an exact science. With phone polling people tend to be more honest, and you can use different tools to weight the results more accurately. Still, between exit polling, actual voter turnout, and voter registration it is clear that more women vote than men. Using very accurate turnout numbers, in 2008 nearly 10,000,000 more women voted than men, and the exit polling spread of 53-47 is consistent enough. Clearly, this is a big deal. Now we have to figure out the female voter.

   Female voters are motivated by different things than male voters. Women tend to be more involved with real world, day to day decisions than men. Who handles the medical care for the family? Who has the most input in large purchases like the house and furnishings? Who handles groceries, clothing, and the bills? All of this is just a sample, and while there are of course exceptions to the rule, this is the reality of many female voters lives. Additionally, women think quite differently than men. Men are more numbers and abstract concept driven than women. Women are more detail oriented and empathetic than men. HOWEVER, we all want essentially the same things: good schools, good jobs, safe places to live, and a sense of stability. So, to reach the female voter, you have to deliver the same message, just in a more intelligent fashion. (If you want to know the exact details of this, I am for hire). In an earlier post I commented that campaigning on reproductive rights to get the female vote was not going to work, and all of this is a big reason why. In addition, despite what you may hear on the news, this is really a non-issue meant to scare women into voting. In my analysis, the female voter is far, far too canny to fall for this. Most people are pro-choice, and it's not something that will be - or should be, especially considering the current economy - on the itinerary to be addressed.

   So how do you get the female vote? It's actually quite simple, all you have to do is give them an explanation. Explain to them what it is you want to do, how you plan to do it, and do so in a smart and reasonable manner.

   As a reminder, the RNC Convention in Tampa, Florida this week. For you, my loyal readers, I will watch, analyze, and report on anything that will have an effect on the election. Unless things change more due to Hurricane Issac, the notable speeches will most likely be Ann Romney (Tuesday), Chris Christie (Tuesday), and VP Nominee Paul Ryan (Wednesday). Hmm, I wonder what's going on Thursday?...


Thursday, August 23, 2012

"How" Romney Can Win

   In my last post I covered Obama's Big Advantage, today I am going to break down what the Romney campaign must do to overcome it.

   With 75 days left until the election there is a lot of noise, but one very quiet area - policy specifics. President Obama's policies are a known quantity. Some people know the details, some people know enough to understand them, and others are still forming their opinions. Point being, they are public domain. The same cannot be said for Mitt Romney. Sure, ads are out there about what he wants to do, but there is very little "How" or "What". This is a huge issue. You can go to the campaign site where there are a few videos or to his YouTube channel where there are almost 200 videos. We are hearing about "Mitt Romney's Plan" but we aren't hearing the plan. It is impossible to underscore the importance of this distinction.

   Initially, it is paramount that they pull back on the negative ads. Currently the majority of commercials are attacks. We as voters have been exposed to negative ads for so long now that they no longer have the impact they once did. The voter is more intelligent and discerning than many in politics believe. Furthermore, it frees up money and ad space for more important communications. Sure there are some effective negative ads such as Our Time and A Clear Choice, but they are effective because they end on a positive note and set the stage for further ads by the Romney campaign. The shift in message needs to move to commercials like Believe In Our Future and The Right Kind of Leadership. These highlight the difference between the two candidates, and they begin to offer an idea of what he plans to do, and how he plans to do it. New ads underscoring the "How" must follow on the heels of these.

   "How" Governor Romney plans do "What" he plans to do must start to be part of the dialogue, sooner than later. Right now, Medicare and personal attacks dominate the discussion, but this will change. Recent Gallup Polls of Swing State Voters and U.S. Economic confidence show a likely approaching electoral tidal wave. The economic confidence is "stable at a low level", meaning that it's low, has been low and is likely to stay low. Exacerbating the situation is the opinion in the swing states; more voters are blaming President Obama than President Bush (43), and of course a sizable portion blame both. Now guess who they don't blame - Mitt Romney. It is imperative that he start to put his plan out there to develop the substance that so many are expecting after picking a policy and budget guy like Paul Ryan.

   Mitt's original plan included 59 Policy Proposals in a 160 page document. Clearly not many people read that. Recently they have moved to a more visually attractive and reader friendly Big 5 style plan. For message purposes, this is enough. Unemployment has been on the rise in 44 States, Gallup shows Romney leading 47 - 44 and Rasmussen has Romney leading 45-44. A quick note on why these polls matter - two words, "historical accuracy." Over time both have been shown to be consistently accurate, and in 2008 Rasmussen was the most accurate of all public data. What is most telling about both of these is President Obama's inability to get over 50% in the past three months. Additionally, the President's campaign has been on a big spending streak since mid April, yet they have seen no positive upturn. Still, Romney must start into the substance as soon as he can. Yes, what Romney is doing is working for now, but the shift is necessary to solidify, and enlarge his lead. Without this substance, the support will begin to wane.

   On August the 31st, Governor Romney can start to spend the treasure trove of cash that his campaign and the RNC have amassed. Going forward, Mitt should start to sound like a broken record: "middle class, jobs, job training programs, small business tax cuts" and then to back it up, tell America "How."

Questions or comments? Feel free to post here or email me at

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Obama's Big Advantage

   Fundraising letters since June sent directly from the Obama Reelection Campaign have been stating the need for more money, and how Gov. Romney will out spend the Obama campaign. This past Friday, one came from President Obama with the title of "This Is Critical" and Monday morning one came from Joe Biden promoting the contest to go the the DNC Convention. Both campaigns appear to be intensely focused on the money aspect right now. If all trends continue, this will be the first time that a sitting President has raised less funds than his challenger. Right now the Romney campaign is nearing the halfway mark to their goal of $800,000,000 and they have about $190,000,000 on hand.   Much of this they cannot spend until Gov. Romney is the official nominee, so expect the intensity to kick up a little bit after August 30th.

   So how important is all this in the grand scheme of President Obama's reelection campaign? It's not really important at all. Many people love to tout these numbers, but they are not a real world indicator of success or failure. Do you need a boat load of money to run a Presidential campaign? Hell yes, but you only have to raise enough to produce efficacy.

   What many lose sight of is the real purpose behind a political ad. The entire point is to get your message to the voters. In this realm quality is king, not quantity. Sometimes we can see an ad for something 100 times and not be intrigued by it. For me a very specific example is a certain fast food chain that considers themselves to be burger royalty. I live in California, and in our market this self appointed autocracy keeps advertising a Memphis BBQ sandwich. No, no, and a side of no. I would have to be a hostage before I ate this. And that is how many people are with political candidates.

   In Presidential elections 41-43% of the voting population will vote for the candidate with the D next to their name, and 41-43% will vote for the candidate with the R next to their name. There are of course exceptions to the rule, Perot taking votes in 1996 and 1992, and other odd cases, but in relation to this cycle the math will hold due to the lack of a viable 3rd party candidate. So the goal becomes wooing 7.1% to 8.1% of that undecided vote.

   This translates to allocation of funds to very specific areas. States like California, New York, and Maryland, the Obama campaign will not need to spend anymore than the obligatory amount. Sans an epic event for the ages, these are solidly in their electoral column. Based on the most accurate current data available, President Obama has a very safe 216 electoral votes in his column, and my estimate is conservative. Keep in mind that 270 is the magic number, which leaves only 54 necessary to win his second term. Florida (29 electoral votes), Pennsylvania (20 votes) and any other state will do the job. Of course there are other combinations of states that would do it, but this is the big one. PA looks to be going Obama and FL is a toss up. So the efforts, and funds can be concentrated into just a few states. A few other factors help trump the money advantage.

   President Obama ran and won in 2008, that network is largely still there. The ground presence and grassroots efforts have been in place, and they are likely effective at what they are doing. This can be a very important part of the process. It does not matter how many people WOULD vote for a candidate only how many actually do vote for them. Another, and possibly the biggest advantage, is the bully pulpit. The sitting President has more free coverage through the press than any other human in the world. He can use this to get his message out, for free, on a daily basis. He can address what he wants, how he wants, when he wants, and the White House press corps (that literally travels with him every where) will cover it all, it will be printed, it will be talked about in the news, and all this will happen at a moments notice. Ads, on the other hand, can take significant time to get placed, and they typically get less exposure.

   Don't get too comfortable, we still have 76 more days until the election, and it will really heat up after the conventions. Stay tuned, in a later post I will address why the money and even the bully pulpit may be non-factors for both candidates. Message content will decide the election.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

You Didn't Build That, but I Did Write This

  Currently political news is still covering a speech made by President Obama last month where he addressed small business owners saying "You didn't build that", in regards to their businesses. A lot has been made about what he said and what he meant. Friday night Bill Maher covered the topic with his guests, who included billionaire Mark Cuban. Mr. Maher did get it right in saying that President Obama was referring to roads and bridges directly in his statement. However, if you assess his words and actions as a whole, you know that he was indirectly addressing the concept of who created the success.

  We are all familiar with the "spread the wealth around", "tax the rich to help the economy", "prosperity has never trickled down... prosperity has always come from the bottom up"  comments from our President. It's that last comment and the "you didn't build that" which I want to walk through and diagram in an indirect manner. I could analyze ad nauseum the subtext of the approximate 9 minutes of video here, most specifically the psychological underpinnings of President's Obama's comment, and how it possibly shows a subconscious awareness that he has done very little on his own. Or, I could analyze how the internet limped along at sub 56k speeds for decades until opening it up to commercialization in 1989 which pushed it into 45/mbit/s within 2 years, which makes it a horrible example of government efficiency. However, I will stick to the philosophical differences being debated.

   Follow me down the rabbit hole... Literally, a rabbit hole. Would you tell the rabbit he didn't build that? Would you tell the queen bee she did not build her hive? Would you tell the beavers that is not their dam? Of course not. Did they receive help along the way? Of course. Suppose the rabbit is an independent owner and operator, the honey bees a corporation, and the beavers a partnership. Rabbit burrows lead to other rabbit burrows that create the literal rabbit hole. What one does in his own work helps the group survive. The queen bee has thousands of workers, but she is the architect and brains behind the operation that brings forth the honey. The hive doesn't happen without her. It is worth noting that this bee corporation is also an absolute necessity for pollination that supports all life on this planet. The beavers labor tediously and tirelessly, all day long, to achieve their goal of building a dam, as it is crucial to protect themselves and create a food source. Once again, many other animals benefit from the wetlands that are created by the beavers' hard work. The rabbits receive help from each other, and nature creating the spots for them to burrow. The bees receive help in the form of protection by using trees, and help in the form of resources from the nectar of flowers they use to make honey. Beavers get help from each other in the design and construction, and they receive help from trees. Some of the trees they harvest themselves, but much of their dams are built from loose lying timber that is doing nothing else. These three natural and daily occurring examples highlight the important stroke of this topic: there is always some form of assistance. However, that does not mean that the vision and work of an individual or group did not build the end result.

   We are all helped along the way in some form or fashion. Saying you were helped and then alleging that it was due to the government and it's construction of roads is flawed logic of the highest order. This line of reasoning and debate shows a gross misunderstanding of resource allocation and utilization. Just like our animal friends are in an ecosystem, so too are we. The government would never have been able to build roads and bridges, and hire firefighters, and defend the country, and do anything else that it ever does without the tax revenue of the people who built those businesses and who risked what they did to utilize their resource allocation to create the successful outcome they did. The entrepreneur came before the government, and before the taxes, and before the roads. Without their tax money the government would never have been created and it would not exist today.

   A lot of people have had great teachers along the way. I had many, but none of them have ever cosigned a loan for me. It's easy to look at someone's success and say they can share a little more if you have no understanding of risk and reward. Many, many, many more small businesses have fallen to the risk side and gained no reward than the ones that have been successful. However, people that have never assumed any real risk, and by function no responsibility, fail to see the reality of the situation. The rabbit must choose wisely or be eaten, the bee must work and protect at all times to preserve the hive, and the beaver must succeed or starve to death.

   These three micro examples expand to the macro and are part of our human DNA and evolution. We as a species are alive and thriving because our ancestors risked losing physical traits for different ones, and because we risked travel and experimentation to better feed and protect us and our offspring. Those who didn't, perished. That same law of nature applies in business. Sam Walton took risk, after risk, after risk. He encountered many different obstacles that others in his field had, but he persisted. The outcome was an amazing reward. Did he have help? Of course. His wife was supportive, his employees were, and his investors were, but could anyone else have done that? Only a few, and maybe none to his extent. Roads and bridges? It likely would have made no difference to him. If it was 1860 in Northwest Arkansas, where he founded Wal-Mart, he would have made a trail or found one, and been selling rabbit stew, honey mead and beaver hats - all resourced from the unsuccessful of the species.

   This leaves us with two schools of thought: those who accept and operate in natural order, and those who seek to circumvent it and claim it's success as their own. In politics that translates to either you believe that the free market allows the opportunity for businesses to succeed or fail, or that the government and it's proxy community helps businesses succeed. The latter here presents a unique problem, if the government helps businesses succeed, does that mean that it helps them fail? This topic is never addressed, and the omission of it from the conversation logically leads to the sum that businesses succeed in spite of the government. Further it follows that if the government cannot help businesses in the micro, that it is also ineffectual in the macro, or in popular terms "the economy." Due to the lack of risk/reward, the government by it's design cannot make a profit, therefore it cannot stimulate the economy. It's only positive action is inaction, and to leave resources (read tax money) in the private sector where it can benefit from risk and reward.  

   Are you wondering where your fellow Americans fall into these two categories? Let me give you some HELP. According to a Gallup Poll in September of 2011, even the most optimistic of American adults believe that the federal government wastes 44 cents of every dollar it spends.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Joe Biden Is Not A Racist

   Joe Biden is not a racist, he's just not. No matter how much people try to explain it that way. That's the good news, the bad news is that he is not smart either. At no time will there be any academic award named after this guy. What he said in Danville, VA on Tuesday August 12th was astoundingly insensitive and idiotic, but he didn't mean it in a racist way. He meant it as a political pander in an attempt to scare people into voting.

   That is his move, it's his go to for everything. This man has been in office since 1973 and it looks as though he is still campaigning the same way, the evidence suggests he might even think it's a couple decades ago. This guy is using rabbit ears in a broadband world. Adding to the antiquated voter relation method (how he campaigns) this guy has another huge, looming, epic issue - his gaffes. My father had a very eloquent phrase that is useful to anyone: "Put your brain into gear before you put your mouth into gear." Clearly Mr. Biden was never advised so astutely. The lights are on, the doors are open, and the sprinklers are running, but nobody is home. Maybe it was a mental foreclosure?

   His gaffes are so frequent and ample that one is led to wonder a few things. Who is letting him off his chain, and is it intentional? How will this affect the political climate and discourse? Does this help or hurt the Obama/Biden reelection bid? Let's cover these shall we.

   Who is letting him off his chain? It has to be President Obama and the top people in the campaign, David Axelrod and Jim Messina. I mean it HAS to be. Joe Biden is that friend's spouse everyone worries about when they talk. You know, that guy or girl that manages to make the whole room uncomfortable. So for it continue it has to have blessings from above. Why? That is really anybody's guess. It could be intentional to keep the conversation in a certain arena. It could simply be that it is not that big of deal in the campaign. Or it could be that the way the decision makers see it, he is the VP and he has the right to talk. What can be determined is how it affects multiple things.

   Political climate wise, currently this has very little effect, if anything it's a relief. Right now voters in all states and especially the swing states are seeing regular negative ads. The closer we get to November, the more there will be. By November 6th it will dwarf the ads we all see for medicine. Points of similarity: watching too many of either can cause you to think you have a condition that you don't, and both will have you focused on health care. So with all that, Biden keeps things funny. The way many people respond to it can be funny too. As for the discourse, it leeches attention away from real topics. We all make verbal mistakes, most of us daily, he just always has a camera on him.

   With Joe always having a camera on him, and his love of improv, does that hurt his bosses bid for reelection? It absolutely does. All day long we go through life making judgements about everything, whether fair or not, and just like that spouse that makes people cringe President Obama will be judged on his VP. I use cringe very intentionally, because that is what happens in so many of his mistakes. Before the laughter, you cringe. To some the voters still trying to make up their mind, that could be an integer in their voting decision equation. The biggest negative is that it makes it almost impossible to take this man seriously and to believe that he has the answer for anything. There is really no way to spin this in a positive light, Joe Biden is the medical condition that Obama's White House should see a doctor about, and it just so happens that the dictor is ready to see them.

   The following is my diagnosis of what the Obama campaign could and should do to treat "Bidenitis." Drop him, drop him now. You have time, you will get more money into the campaign, and you have the bully pulpit. What the campaign cannot handle is the appearance of not being serious and making bad decisions, this guy is a bad decision. He's probably a nice guy, but that does not get votes. It will be easy, and after 7 or 8 days it will be done. Say it's for medical reasons. Everyone will just assume it is Alzheimer's disease, or an aneurysm. You could appoint him as ambassador to North Virginia, and tell him it's a promotion, he'll believe you. There are plenty of reasons that will work, just pick one and commit to it. My personal choice would be that it was necessary to move forward. Then follow with a strong replacement. Hillary Clinton would be my personal choice. Yes, yes I know Sarah Palin said the same thing, but sometimes even a blind pit bull in lipstick can find a squeaky toy.

   The addition of Hillary Clinton would be a game changer, which is what the campaign needs. She's intelligent, articulate, experienced and attracts her own voters. The current method of campaigning to women over reproductive rights, or the supposed threat to them, is not working and will not work (stay tuned, I may blog about this topic on it's own in a later post). Hillary would be a strong statement to the female voters that women do have a voice in the administration. As for capability, nobody would question her ability to step into the role of President. Even Biden thinks Hillary is more qualified than him. And that is what is really important here, the VP needs to seem and be very capable. If worse came to worst, Biden would blunder through everything, Hillary would lead.

   Hillary's intelligence will also help the huge hurdle coming up on October 11th: Paul Ryan. The cold reality of the situation right now is that Ryan debating Biden will be like the Green Bay Packers playing a Wilmington Delaware Pop Warner team.. It will not be nice or pretty and what ever folksy charm added with generic talking point Biden displays, it will wear thin within minutes. Hillary can handle her own with anyone. People might not agree with her, but they at least know that she knows what she is talking about. To further the Hillary case, people know that she is no pushover, while Biden looks like a yes man. Discerning voters don't want to think that there is a yes man in the Oval Office stroking the President's ego.

   Most importantly, dropping Biden and picking up Hillary will show strength. Doing the deed will not be easy, but it is necessary. It shows the ability to make the tough decision when it needs to be done. The campaign could practically be built around that. Going forward the tone would completely change and the campaign would have a fighting chance. While I know it is early, my appraisal of election data shows 322 electoral votes in the Romney camp right now. There will definitely be many posts to follow on this, and electoral college prediction updates along with the WHY I changed it, if I do.

   It is worth noting that while writing this post, I came across an article by Ed Klein saying that Hillary declined to consider the VP spot. He cites two reasons: one that she does not want to be associated with his liberal politics for a 2016 run, and two that if he loses she does not want to be associated with a loser. You can read the article and draw your own conclusion. Much of it is sound, but again it is always hard to know what people are thinking. Since I offered so much on why she is the right choice for the campaign, it is only fair to say that not running would be the right choice for her. She has dedicated her life to public service and a vacation never hurts.


In the spirit of fairness, the good doc will do a check for the Romey/Ryan ticket as well. Since my soapbox is for dealing with reality, right now we will address only the strategy with Biden as VP. (If President Obama, Mr. Axelrod or Mr. Messina are reading this and are inspired to make the switch, and IF they convince Hillary to do it, then we will revisit the approach).

  Treat Biden like the albatross he is. You have 20 days until President Obama has to love the one he is with and 8 weeks until the debate. On September 7th, start up the ads about Biden's competency. Hammer him. Put on the pressure. Make it clear that he is one heartbeat, indictment, or catastrophe away from running the whole country. Then double down on it by highlighting Biden as the poster child for Barack's decision making. It was his first Presidential choice, show how questionable it is, then follow with a few other gems of his. By the time Biden gets to his debate he'll be rattled, and it is likely that President Obama would be, too.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Inaugural Post

Get it?...
So with this being my first post online, as opposed to my emailing thoughts in a random non-congruent pattern that I expect people to follow, I am going to organize my analysis for this blog and create a static yet living entry for those interested to follow. And today as a bonus to anyone willing to read this, I am going to go double on the topics. From my viewpoint, both work together as a couple to help establish the current political weather. The topics are: Part 1 - Voter Tonality, Part 2 Rep Paul Ryan as a VP pick - Thumbs Up or Down?

Voter Tonality
   It's not a common phrase, a quick Google search shows no results. It should be. Let's look at the Merriam Webster definition of "tonality" - "the organization of all the tones and harmonies of a piece of music in relation to a tonic." So now that we have established a basic understanding of Voter Tonality, it's time to move onto WHY does the voter tonality matter. A common response I've received is, "that doesn't matter we have polls!". Speaking as someone who loves and adores polling, that response couldn't be more wrong. Numbers don't lie, but the people collecting them, correlating them, and explaining them do... Often and egregiously. Many times they are often lying to themselves. I've done it myself. You sit down, write the poll and do not realize that you have a bias in it. It could be that your science is bad, it could be a subliminal influence, regardless, it does not matter what caused the tilt, only that it is there. More importantly, numbers can be impossible to understand unless used contextually. This February in Superbowl XLVI during the first half Tom Brady completed 14 passes in a row breaking Joe Montana's record that had stood since 1990. He threw for 2 touchdowns and Eli Manning, the opposing QB, only threw for one. However, the Patriots lost by three points. 50% off sounds great, but what was the mark up? If Melania Trump is happy about 50% off her Hermes handbag that was originally $15,000, would you think it was a good deal? Most directly to this topic, in 1992 Bill Clinton only received 43.01% of the popular vote. He must have lost right? Of course you know the answer is no. He picked up 370 electoral votes, a surplus in the world of Presidential campaigns. Here's a bonus for you, the common myth is that 2008 was the highest turnout ever for a Presidential election and therefore a historic one. Wrong. It was the largest meaning the most people, but the highest was 1960 Nixon vs. Kennedy with 62.77% of the voting age population turning out. That is more than 5% over 2008. So to come full circle on this thought, context matters and tonality (voter mood, movement and message planning) is a part the contextual framework.

   Nobody is discussing the framework. It is all being treated with the cold numbers from a polling house and to make matters worse, these polls are being treated as stand alone and completely accurate. They are not either of those.  To understand what flesh and blood real life human beings will do you must at the least know in what tone they are communicating.  On a social commentary note, this in my opinion is what is so wrong about so many things. How polls are analyzed, how campaigns are run, how people are treated and many other issues. It is very clear that certain people view the voters as nothing more than a simple input to further what they want. Respect and humanize the voters, and they will return the favor. Hey would you look at that, what a good lead into....

Rep Paul Ryan as a VP pick - Thumbs Up or Down?
   Forget what you are hearing on all the news channels and most of the radio talk shows. Paul Ryan was not a risky pick, he was the best pick in a very, very long time. Most political pundits have a penchant for citing history and being myopic on current situation awareness. They love to talk about 1980, 1960, 19XX and pretend like it is some kind of a determinate for right now. It's a baseline, nothing more. Correlation is not relation. They are stuck in the news of the moment while looking back fondly at something that happened in a year they liked, or something that they liked that happened in a year they know of. This is a bad position to be in. It's also why the attacks, that are completely unfounded, have started.

   Staying away from the politics of Paul Ryan, I'll follow up on that shortly, it is very clear that he is a brilliant guy, but people are already attacking his intelligence. This morning on the way into work while listening to The Stephanie Miller Show, they made a comment about Paul Ryan being seen doing P90X in a Denver Hotel. The following comment was: "Oh zero percent body fat, zero percent intelligence." This wasn't tongue in cheek, they were saying that Ryan is not a smart guy. Erskine Bowles the former Chief Of Staff for Bill Clinton disagrees, and the main criticism of Ryan is that he is too much of a policy wonk. I'll get to the point, they don't have anything good to use against the guy. They are so empty on ammunition (and on their own policies) that they are attacking him at the worst place possible. They speak in generalities, he is speaking specifics. They are using emotions, he's using logic (big plus in my book).

   He uses logic, but he also emotionally addresses the issue while speaking in a matching tone to the constituents he's addressing. I can't tell yet if it's strategic or organic, but my guess is organic since no one else thinks like me. If it is organic, that is even more compelling because voters that aren't already blind or haven't already made a decision for one reason or another (I'll get to them in another post), can tell, and that sways them.

  The bottom line, Ryan has won election and re-election for 14 years in a row in a very, very blue district. That is not a fluke. Obama carried his district in 08 with about 57%, Ryan took 66%. He has a knack for explaining thins in a real world way that voters identify with.

   Earlier I said that we should all stay away from his politics for now. What I mean by that is, everything is fluid, the policy marriage between Romney's plan and his plan is still coming together. Give it until the night of August 30th when the convention is done. By then they will (or IMO should) have it fleshed out, and then we can start to talk about it. Sure it will look very similar to the current two plans, but it could have crucial differences as well. Romney is known for taking action, and Ryan is known for having plans. Right now all of this is coming together very nicely for the GOP ticket.

   In sum, and in honor of a classic movie's 40th anniversary, the Obama/Biden ticket is "going to need a bigger vote."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

83 Days Until The Election

Including today, that makes for a full 12 weeks of news, strategies and numbers that will be ripe for consumption.. Stay tuned for analysis.