Archive for election campaign

The 2016 elections "will be crazier than Norman Bates on peyote riddled with corn fungus"

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Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:

PARTY PURITY PRICKS PRAGMATISM

And now, this week’s freshly updated, highly speculative, oddly prescient, extremely long- range, totally indispensable, magically delicious, 2016 Presidential Campaign Alert. Pay no attention to that bilious sensation you are experiencing. It is simply sweet anticipation swelling into full bloat boogie as the race for the White House floats tantalizingly around the corner. Admittedly, a wide corner. Multiple lanes. Many laps to come. Think Talladega, baby.

Putatively premature perhaps, but hey, it’s the only game in town. What else you got inked on your critical political calendar? The upcoming Arkansas Gubernatorial election? And come on, Arkansas guber? How redundant is that? Like saying Hollywood façade? Or New York attitude. North Dakota drowsy. Congressional disappointment.

Part of our fascination with the upcoming Presidential replacement process is a termed-out incumbent insures competitive action on both sides of the aisle will be crazier than Norman Bates on peyote riddled with corn fungus. Exactly why for the next 38 months we can count on machinations wilder than a singles bar rest room during the zombie apocalypse. Motives more convoluted than press releases from Alex Rodriguez.

Democrats seem intent and content to hurtle headlong, arms akimbo, down the path of least resistance, envisioning some sort of loosely recollected Clintonian squishy soft landing. While over on the GOP side, the road promises to be just a tad rockier with immense and immovable internal obstacles to be negotiated. And no, we’re not talking about Chris Christie.

At least a baker’s dozen GOPers have had their names bandied about as prospective suitors for the top slot of their party’s ticket. Rand Paul, Christie, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Mike Beebe. Then don’t forget the old stand byes- Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. And it would be most unwise to write off a possible spontaneous Cheney incursion.

This particular nomination process is primed to probe identity: party purity pricking the pragmatists. The true believers versus the moderates. Ideologues taking up arms against those who do what ever it takes to assist their constituents, even if it means consorting with Democrats. You know, traitorous toads.

Threats of boycotts and arguments over government shutdowns and distractions involving dual citizenships have already filled the air like Syrian shrapnel, making it impossible for any individual candidate to gain traction.

Then you factor in further slippage on all the mud being tossed at each other by Christie and Paul, the party’s version of the Battling Bickersons. Added onto the slippery slope created by absolutely everyone tarring absolutely everyone else as a RINO and it’s a miracle any conservative is still standing.

Desperate to throw a positive spin onto things, Reince Priebus, chair of the RNC, said these “debates” are good for the Party. Yeah. “Good,” which is national party chairman code for “you’re killing us here.” Also, to call these barbed attacks “debates” is like calling a sledge hammer- the finger massage.

So, put on your Kevlar aprons kiddies, because it’s only going to get hotter in the GOP kitchen. This war is just beginning and looks destined to culminate in nothing less than a fight for the very heart and soul of the Republican Party. Although, many folks would be willing to debate whether either of those objects actually exist.

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Catch 5 time Emmy nominee, Will Durst’s new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” every Tuesday until November, at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… themarsh.org for more info. Or willdurst.com.

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"Welcome to Extreme Campaigning. 24/7": GOP calls Hillary "too old. That’s right. Republicans. The party of Reagan."

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Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I watched about two minutes of the above Meet the Press segment before literally screaming "STFU!" at the Tee Vee Machine and turning the channel. This 3+-year-long election coverage and endless, pointless speculation turns my stomach when I think about all the actual news and events of the day that go unreported.

With that, today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:

LET THE PANTS SUIT DANCE

It’s time to address the burning question singeing the lips of every American this summer: What will happen to Bryan Cranston’s pork pie hat after Breaking Bad ends its run? Okay, maybe that’s number 2. The big one is who’s going to be the Democratic Presidential candidate in November of 2016? 38 months and counting.

Having gone almost a year without the least meager of Presidential Race morsels to munch on, journos are doing whatever it takes to jump- start a tasty plate of appetizers. Also, it’s August, which means politically, there’s less going on in Washington than a vacuum in a crater at the southern most base of Neptune’s thirteenth moon.

If you suspect this might all be a bit premature. YES. INDEED. YOU BET. Your instincts are correct sir. This sort of speculation normally doesn’t kick into gear until a year and a half out; two years, tops, but the accelerated pace is today’s norm. Rapid is the new sauntering. Welcome to Extreme Campaigning. 24/7.

Of course, they do have a point. President Barack Obama’s second term has already entered its 7th month. It is more than an eighth over. The guy is history. Spent. Taking up space. Got the “How Can We Miss You If You Won’t Go Away” Blues. Way beyond lame duck, he’s a differently-abled turducken. A quadriplegic platypus. His goose is undergoing severe cookage.

Barack could nip the suspense in the bud by stepping down and giving Joe Biden a leg up. Because the job will not be Biden’s for the taking. He’s going to need a crowbar the size of Idaho to pry the nomination from a certain someone who’s already spent 8 years in the White House. Albeit, in the East Wing. And not baking cookies thank you very much.

Even the GOP considers that former tenant their major threat since they’ve launched a couple preemptive strikes against the Clinton of Hillary. And isn’t it refreshing to see them get past their internal squabbles to concentrate on what’s really important to the Party?

They’ve threatened to boycott NBC and CNN if the networks run planned specials on the Former First Lady and have taken to calling her… too old. That’s right. Republicans. The party of Reagan. Same guys that ran Bob Dole whose campaign slogan was “hey you punks, get off my lawn.” Can’t wait for them to charge her with being too white as well. And too rich.

Last time Hillary was the front-runner, it didn’t turn out too well and other names being bandied about are: Andrew Cuomo, Rahm Emanuel and Cory Booker, who just locked up the Democratic slot for the New Jersey Senate special election to fill the seat vacated by the late Frank Lautenberg.

Booker may be the biggest wild card. Imagine Ms. Hill is sweating like a squad of Sumos in a sauna just thinking about a young charismatic fast-track black guy serving less than one full term in the Senate hijacking her coronation ceremony. Again.

His staff encouraged Bill Clinton to be Bill Clinton, with, “Let the Big Dawg Eat.” This time, it’s more of a “Let the Pants Suit Dance.” And everyone better start paying attention or the handicapping of the 2020 race will begin as well. My money’s on Chelsea.

5 time Emmy nominee, Will Durst’s new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” every Tuesday, at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… themarsh.org for more info. Or willdurst.com. Also info on other gigs like the Humor Times benefit @ the Sierra II Theater in Sacramento on August 23.

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Letter: "I am a Republican. This year I voted Democrat. Why? It was their attitude."

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Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Obama again: Swing states seal second term,” Nov. 7

I worked as a poll worker in Santa Fe Springs for 15 hours on election day.

I was elated to see the young and middle-aged men and women, senior citizens and the physically challenged with their wheelchairs, walkers and canes — all taking the time to come to the precinct and vote.

I translated in Spanish for about 30 people, some first-time voters. Some were immigrants who had recently become U.S. citizens. One woman from Ecuador had tears in her eyes and thanked me for assisting her in voting.

Near the end, an older gentleman arrived with two young men. He told me: “They have to stop playing their games or watching TV. They need to come to vote. They are the ones who will inherit this country.”

Juanita Meraz
Santa Fe Springs

***

I am a Republican and have been for the last 30 years. However, I am an American first. This year I voted Democrat. Why?

Because the Republicans became the “Republi-cants” and “the party of no.”

I expect the Republicans to work with the Democrats. Not doing so is anti-American, and I am an American first. So if they want to know why they lost — it was their attitude.

Elliott Brender
Villa Park

***

It was with a deep sense of shame that I watched fellow Americans have to wait two to three hours to cast their votes. I waited five minutes to vote. This is a problem easily fixed by adding polling stations.

Doubly shameful is the use of the electoral system — antiquated and unfair to voters of all parties, a system that makes the votes of those in “swing states” more valuable than the rest of the country.

I suspect that these issues will not be dealt with until the day before the next election.

Robert Shapiro
Long Beach

***

Though I'm not ready to accuse the mainstream media of contriving a too-close-to-call presidential contest in order to bolster audience attention, I will affirm that my faith in American democracy has been fortified by the reelection of President Obama.

After all, how could anyone who has been awake the last four years not be aware of our president's hard-earned accomplishments?

As the campaign slogan said: Osama bin Laden is dead; General Motors is alive. One doesn't have to be a fastidious fact-checker to acknowledge that truth.

Indeed, with 303 electoral votes compared with Mitt Romney's 206, this contest wasn't even a particularly close one. Thank goodness.

Now the president can get back to the business of governing our nation without the distraction of a seemingly endless, often inane campaign.

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

***

Cheerleading for the failure of an American president and just saying no in Congress are not winning political strategies.

The silent majority spoke, and Republican/“tea party” extremism was rejected soundly. This is not a center-right country.

Alan Segal
San Diego

***

Some claim Romney lost because of the 47% remarks and Superstorm Sandy. During his concession speech, I could see the real reason he lost — there was no diversity among his supporters.

More than the dismal economic and social policies he wanted to implement, failing to recognize that the time of white control of government and politics is over alienated the new majority.

If the GOP continues to be led by the nose by the tea party, it will be as irrelevant nationally as it is in California. That's just fine with me.

Raul Valdez
Alhambra

***

If there were ever a case to be made for campaign finance reform, the amount of money spent on this election is it.

How many homeless shelters could have been provided? How many Head Start programs could have been funded? How many unsafe bridges could have been repaired or replaced? How many college scholarships could have been funded?

What a waste of money on all that campaign literature that went straight from my mail box directly into the recycle bin, unread.

The time for meaningful campaign finance reform is now. And it should come from a citizens committee because the politicians have no objectivity or interest in making meaningful changes.

Ed Hieshetter
San Diego

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How do you solve a problem like Mitt Romney?

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Via twitpic @Lis_Smith Director of Rapid Response, Obama for America @DemGovs Alum.

Via

Today is Willard Romney Humiliates Himself Day! I can't keep up with this whirling dervish of a candidate. He's too quick for this blogger, boy howdy!

First we had Mitt Romney’s Oopsies-in-New Hampshire Tour: Teleprompters, dueling airplanes, Q & A refusal, and flubs.

Then Mitt Romney’s big Pennsylvania switcheroo.

Now this (H/t: Livewire):

That's the note wacky, zany Willard left for the traveling press pool that rides along with him on his big campaign bus. Oh my, hahahahaha, somebody help me, hahahaha, what a riot. Ha. Ha. Ha.

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Mitt Romney's big Pennsylvania switcheroo

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First we had Mitt Romney’s Oopsies-in-New Hampshire Tour: Teleprompters, dueling airplanes, Q & A refusal, and flubs. You'd think that would have been enough embarrassment for one campaign, but no-o-o. Remember, this is Willard we're talking about.

Via First Read:

QUAKERTOWN, Penn. -- Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney did a switcheroo Saturday afternoon – moving his early afternoon event from one gas station to another in the same town.

That's because more than 100 protesters showed up to greet him. So what's a coward to do? Run away:

With no explanation to the press, the campaign switched venues as the motorcade was en route and diverted everyone a couple miles away to another Wawa store.

Yes, he even flip flops on campaign venues. Willard the WaWa flipper:

I understand I had a surrogate over there already, so we decided to pick a different place. My surrogate is former Gov. (Ed) Rendell, who said we could win Pennsylvania. I'm happy to hear that so we're happy to be here and see some folks here."

What a jokester that Mitt is. And what did that last sentence even mean? Anyone?

So that was that. He Wawa'd around his new surprise location eating meatball hoagies –for all of 10 minutes. That's about all a lightweight like lack-of-core Willard could handle.

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Mitt Romney's Oopsies-in-New Hampshire Tour: Teleprompters, dueling airplanes, Q & A refusal, and flubs

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Poor Willard Romney. He had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad small-town New Hampshire tour.

Per the L.A. Times, so many things didn't go as Team Romney expected, their candidate must have been tearing his expensively well-coiffed hair out.

First there was, as the Times so aptly put it, "the hostile plane — 'Romney's Every Millionaire Counts Tour,' its red banner screamed", which  "seemed to be chasing the friendly one with a more mundane message: 'Romney for President 2012.' Round and round they went." Imagine Mitt's annoyance at the dueling airplanes and all their background noise cutting into his carefully contrived stumping.

Not at all what he had in mind, you can be sure.

Then he hit another stumbling block: President Obama's announcement that his administration would stop deporting many undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children. Romney tried as only he could to ignore that one for hours, but finally had to come out with a statement of his own.

Of course, he was non-committal, failing to offer any specific option of his own, because he's now stuck having to appeal to more moderate voters. His previous self-deportation inanities and more radical anti-immigration positions are a problem for him now and he knows it.

Then he did this:

After making his statement on immigration, Romney refused to take questions, in keeping with his campaign's meticulous staging of the events that opened his tour, which will also take him to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan.

It goes without saying that it's vital that Willard avoids Q and A, because then he'd be clashing head on with all the message control, lies, and staging money can buy. Needless to say, this is a guy who doesn't like surprises:

Leaving little to chance, Romney spoke with the aid of a teleprompter.

Wait, what? Wasn't the the one who said this to Glenn Beck back in 2008?

"You know, it’s one of the things that’s most troubling to me is that the Democratic party has selected a nominee who has not been tested. He’s an intelligent guy. That you can tell. He speaks well. He reads the TelePrompTer well. But he has not been tested under fire."

If you have to orchestrate and regulate every single move in your presidential campaign, leaving no room for spontaneity or glimpses into the "real" Mitt, how can you be tested under fire? And who knew you were so into regulation?

Finally, there was one more departure from what he was hoping would be a well-scripted campaign swing: The flub by New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a potential running mate, as she borrowed the president's "driving the country into a ditch" metaphor:

"It's time to make sure we are on the wrong road," she told the crowd. 

If there is one person who'd be compatible with this abysmal Republican presidential candidate, it's a veep who'd want to make sure we're on the wrong road.

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Peek Inside the Obama Re-Election Machine

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Taegan does a nice little round up of what's going on with Obama '12.

President Obama's "fledgling reelection campaign is building a volunteer network with the audacious goal of contacting every single person who voted for him in 2008, as part of a reinvented voter outreach that will be as focused on smart phones in 2012 as it was on text messages last time," Mike Allen reports.

"Strategists plan to customize videos and other messages for the iPhones and other mobile devices of targeted groups of voters. They also envision 'virtual networks' among supporters' friends and families, so that millions of people will feel a personal connection to the campaign... Obama himself will not begin extended barnstorming until 2012."

Also interesting: "Democratic officials are intently focused on three states that Obama won last time -- Virginia, Colorado and Nevada -- that provide different paths to victory as an alternative to the traditional dependence on Ohio and Florida. But they are also trying to replicate the bold map strategy of 2008 by eyeing Texas, Arizona and Georgia - three states he lost last time - as potential targets."

Lynn Sweet: "The first Obama 2012 staffers will be sent to the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada in May. ... Pushing back against Republicans in those primary states also gives Obama 2012 volunteers tasks to do in the run-up to the general election."

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