Post Election Comments / Veteran’s Day

After every election, the losing party usually asks, “What went wrong?”  The pundits have put in their two-cents worth, so I guess I’ll put in mine.

Regardless of what the analysts say, Mitt Romney was not the strongest candidate that the Republicans could have fielded.  Candidates were fielded, debated, self-destructed, and otherwise failed the test.  The only one left standing was Mitt Romney.  There were other names / people that were approached for running for the Republican nomination, but they weren’t interested (at least at that time).

Mitt Romney had his baggage, and the Obama campaign did their best to capitalize on it.  Obama has his too, especially his lackluster performance for his first term, but not enough was made of that by the Romney campaign.  And both campaigns spent obscene amounts of money for ads in their respective efforts.

For a rather comprehensive lists of reasons for the election turning out the way it did, here’s a link to the Real Clear Politics article, “21 Reasons for Obama’s Victory and Romney’s Defeat

Tom’s Place salutes our Veterans, for without their service and sacrifice, we wouldn’t have elections or the freedoms that we still have.


Election 2012

We are now two days away from electing the next government of the United States.  Will the voters reelect the current administration, or change the administration?  At this point in time, it is too close to call.

Criteria should be more performance based than on the mudslinging ads and snarky comments of the candidates.  For me, the overriding questions that I have are:

  1. Are you better off now than four years ago?
  2. Have the politician’s in office kept their promises and taken responsibility for any and all actions & decisions?

For both of the above questions, my answer is a resounding “NO!”  Let me explain:

Four years ago, I was employed by Chrysler which was on the verge of collapse.  I took a buyout, and was promised a job elsewhere.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, the job offer was withdrawn, and I spent the next ten months looking for a job in a depressed job market that was getting worse each week.  I finally found a position that would compensate me at a rate 25% below that of my previous position and am working longer hours as well.  On top of that, my wife lost her job two years later, and is not able to find employment anywhere else due to the soft economy.  So no, my household is not better off than what it was four years ago – in fact, it’s worse.

Our chief politician in chief, Barack Obama, has made many, many promises concerning the economic policies of his administration and how he was going to reform government to work better and for the people.  His campaign promises and the reality are as far apart as can be.  For instance:

  • One of the reasons stated for passing the massive stimulus bill was that it would keep unemployment below the 8% mark.  In fact, unemployment has remained at or above 8% for all but the last two months of this president’s term.
  • Another reason for passing the stimulus bill was that there were a number of “shovel-ready” jobs just waiting for funding.  However, two years later after passage, President Obama admitted that there were no such jobs.
  • President Obama promised to work with members of the opposition party, but has done little or nothing but antagonize and shut out the Republicans with the the words “We won” as the reason for steamrolling bills and laws through Congress without Republican support.
  • President Obama vowed to cut the national debt by half.  Instead, the national debt has skyrocketed, and the credit rating of the United States has been downgraded as a result.
  • A promise of transparency in government was a plank in Obama’s platform.  Yet, when there was a majority of Democrats in both Houses of Congress and in the White House, deals concerning national healthcare (aka ObamaCare) were held behind closed doors, earmarks and pork were rampant, and a 2,700-page bill was passed virtually unread.
  • The further promise of listening to the People was also ignored as evidenced by multiple outcries during various townhalls discussing ObamaCare.  A statement during one of the townhalls was this one:

“I look at this health care plan and I see nothing that is about health or about care. What I see is a bureaucratic nightmare, Senator. Medicaid is broke, Medicare is broke, Social Security is broke and you want us to believe that a government that can’t even run a cash for clunkers program is going to run one-seventh of our U.S. economy? No sir, no!”

  • Then there is the apparent cover-up of the Benghazi situation of where al-Qaeda apparently is alive and well despite the killing of Bin-Laden and the Administrations statements to the contrary

Readers of this blog know that I am no fan of President Obama, but I try to be objective concerning any president of either party.  I did not agree with President Bush’s actions concerning Iraq or Afghanistan, and I flamed President Clinton for not keeping it in his pants.  I will give credit where credit is due, but the bottom line is that this sitting President has not done enough in keeping his campaign promises or upholding the Constitution of the United States to keep his job.  After all, he stated in 2009 concerning reviving the economy:

“You know, a year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress but there is still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

Hold President Obama to his statement – vote for his opposition, Mitt Romney, who has both a plan and the experience to make it happen.

The Election Campaign

I’m slacking – I have not watched the last debate between Obama and Romney although I do have it recorded.  But no matter – the pundits are doing an adequate job of dissecting the debate and the candidates.

What does matter is that both candidates are bombarding the swing states with every campaign ad possible – dirty or not – in that last-minute effort to get the undecided voters to cast their ballot for them.  My wife was visiting an Aunt in Findley, OH, and every TV commercial break was full of campaign ads.  I imagine it’s the same in each swing state.

[Which is understandable, especially since I heard that Obama’s re-election campaign has raised over a billion dollars toward that end.  I’m not sure what Romney’s campaign has raised for his bid, but make no mistake – it is absolutely obscene that this kind of money is being spent on electing politicians to a public office.]

I’m not sure how the Benghazi debacle is going to play out in the election.  Rather, I think it’s going to be the economy, and how Obamacare is going to affect everyone’s wallet when the “premiums” take effect next year, and that’s if anyone is thinking ahead.  The polls so far have the candidates at a statistical dead heat, although Real Clear Politics show this morning that Obama has the lead in the Electoral College count.

We’ll have to see what happens in this next week before the election – who will make a mistake, and who will shine.

That’s Debatable (Cont.)

Having watched the second Presidential debate, Obama is really getting under my skin more and more.  He certainly has picked up some of Joe Biden’s debate tactics.

What I found offensive is this:  During a segment that Romney was speaking, Obama made comments in the background, breaking the decorum (and rules) of the debate.  He did this constantly, and finally Romney started doing the same.  Nothing like being uncivil to make your point, eh, Mr. President?  The second thing that Irked me was that Romney challenged Obama directly at least twice (possibly three times) with questions that Obama delayed, dodged, and weaved in answering (if he could or did at all).

And all of this happening with an obviously biased toward Obama moderator.  And the media outlets wonder why the public is abandoning them as an information source.

Last were the whoppers that Obama told.  Michael Ramirez had this one that summed up two of my sticking points:

There were others, but the above summed up with a relevant punch line.

The next debate subject is going to be on foreign policy, something that I feel that Obama has botched tremendously and Romney must attack Obama’s record.  The Arab Spring is rapidly turning into an Arab Nightmare with Islamic radicals dominating governments of the Mideast.  Iran is closer to a nuclear bomb (and folks, sanctions aren’t going to do a damn thing to deter the mullahs from acquiring a means to turn Israel into a sea of radioactive glass).  Obama has alienated many of our allies (including Great Britain and Israel), and tried unsuccessfully to woo our enemies with apologies and foreign aid dollars.  If anything, the region is more unstable than when Obama took office.  And then there is the Benghazi fiasco:

If Obama has repeatedly stated that he will protect American interests, but cannot provide protection for our Ambassadors and Embassies, then how good is his word?  Not very good, I expect…He’s proved that several times, in my opinion.

From his performance in the second debate, Obama didn’t do very well with confrontational questions from Romney.  In some respects, that showed me that he wanted to stay on script (both candidates answered the questions with as many talking points as possible) rather than answer any questions directly.  It will be interesting to see what spin he puts on (and how he weathers) some tough questions by the moderator and his opponent.

But I’m not holding my breath…

That’s Debatable…

Having watched the first Presidential and the Vice-Presidential debates, I can only walk away from the TV and shake my head in amazement and disgust.  You’ll understand as you read further into this post.

The First Presidential Debate

The impression that I had from this debate is that Mitt Romney was the winner, an opinion borne out by the various pundits and commentators.  Obama looked and acted like he wanted to be somewhere else.  I’ll not go into the various points and topics as those have been discussed and rehashed by the many political commentators ad nauseum over the past couple of weeks.

The Vice-Presidential Debate

The impression that I had from this debate is that it was a tie.  Paul Ryan stayed on topic and put his clearly rehearsed points forward wherever he could (which was most of the time).  Joe Biden hit back, questioning constantly the statements that Ryan made.  But he did so in a very undignified manner, interrupting constantly in a manner that one could call rude and bullying.  There was a spirited give and take, and Ryan was not a pushover by any means, but credit must be given to Ryan for not rising to the bait and telling Biden to shut up.

My Impressions

If you are of one political party or another, chances are that the debates would not make you change your mind about who you would vote for.  After all, being a member of a political party usually means that you are going to vote for the party’s nominee.

However, if you are not affiliated with a political party, or you do not follow in lockstep with your party’s platform or nominee, then the debates are a way to observe and evaluate the candidates free of the media’s sound bites.  And to me, a person that would like to think of themselves as open minded and not affiliated with either party, this is a rare opportunity to really see the candidate’s character.  And yes, I truly believe in voting for the best person for the job regardless of their political party affiliation.  And I’ve done it.

During his debate, Romney showed the leadership qualities that made him a success in the boardroom.  I saw glimpses of the person that would drive the important agendas forward.  Yes, you may or may not believe that Bain Capital was a good company, but one needs to remember that the purpose of the company is to make a profit.  Romney, as the head of that company, had a duty to the company’s shareholders to make the company successful and return interest on the money invested in the company.  And he was successful at it.  The impression that he gave is that he would do the same with the Presidency – successfully lead the United States out of the current economic depression.

During his debate, Obama seemed to be disinterested, not following or defending points raised during the debate.  I do not believe that he looked at Romney once during the debate, looking down or at the moderator instead (I have no idea why, although I suspect that he was looking at the moderator for help).  He did not appear to be a leader, much less the President.  There was no commanding presence emanating from him.

Given the above, it’s no wonder that Romney was declared the winner of the first debate.

During the Vice-Presidential debate, the part that I found to be most disturbing was that Biden was constantly grinning, smirking, belittling, chuckling, and otherwise being rude and disrespectful of not only of his opponent, but of the moderator and the solemnity of the debate.  True, he was definitely more animated that Obama during his debate, but this was so over the top it made one wonder who this person was.  After all, this person is the next person in line to lead the country should something happen – and this is the best person that could be found?

For staying on topic and treating the debate with the seriousness and dignity of discussing issues, this debate should go to Ryan.  For treating the debate like a joke, Biden needs to take a time out in the corner.

An Opinion

Romney and Ryan appear to be seriously taking the responsibility of the campaign and the implications of being elected seriously.  They appear to be non-nonsense, let’s get it done for the American People.  Their images have been boosted by the compare and contrast provided by the debates, and their talking points are spot-on (at least from my perspective).

Obama and Biden cannot rest on their accomplishments over the past four years.  Their overall performance has been dismal, and the debates did not show independents many reasons for supporting them for the next four years.  Yes, they passed the stimulus for non-existent shovel-ready jobs, a 2,700-page healthcare reform that is mind-boggling in its scope and negative economic impact, and are overseeing a floundering economy with multiple foreign relations disasters.

I wasn’t sure about the Romney-Ryan ticket, but I feel better about these two being better able and capable of leading this country than the current administration.  I know there is pain coming, but which is going to be better for the long run?  And if you, the voter, seriously think about the past non-accomplishments of the current administration (which ran on the “Hope and Change” mantra and no specifics) vs. the stated plans of the challengers, I believe that the right choices would be for the challengers.

As a side note, the series that I was planning on writing will not make it in time for the elections.  However, it will be coming out in drips and drabs over the next few months.  I just have no time nor the number of followers to make it a priority.