October 15, 2012 by BWOnDD

VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 15

									October 15, 2012

Charles Krauthammer has more on Romney's first debate.
No mystery about the trajectory of this race. It was static for months as President Obama held a
marginal lead. Then came the conventions. The Republicans squandered Tampa; the
Democrats got a 3- to 4-point bounce out of Charlotte.

And kept it. Until the first debate. In 90 minutes, Mitt Romney wiped out the bump — and maybe
more.

Democrats are shellshocked and left searching for excuses. Start with scapegoats: the hapless
John Kerry, Obama’s sparring partner in the practice debates, for going too soft on the boss;
then the debate moderator for not exerting enough control.

The Obama campaign’s plea that the commander in chief could find no shelter under Jim
Lehrer’s desk did not exactly bolster Obama’s standing. Moreover, the moderator’s job is not to
control the flow of argument, but to simply enforce an even time split.

Lehrer did. In fact, Obama took more time than Romney — 41 / 2 minutes more — while actually
speaking 500 fewer words. Romney knew what he thought and said it. Obama kept looking
around hoping for the words to come to him. They didn’t.

After the scapegoats came the excuses. ...



Streetwise Professor explains Iraq and "sunk costs."
"Regardless of what you think about the prudence-or even sanity-of invading Iraq in 2003, if you
are rational you have to understand that sunk costs are sunk. You can’t undo the past. You
can’t bring back those who died in 2003-2008. You can’t retrieve the hundreds of billions spent.

So when becoming president in 2009, the arguments for or against invading Iraq and fighting
the insurgency in the years following should have been beyond irrelevant in determining the
correct policy going forward. By 2009, post-surge, Iraq was relatively stable. It was-is-the
keystone of the Middle East. It borders Iran. It is vulnerable to Iranian influence, and has
represents a threat to Iran. It has large oil production, but its reserves are immense, making its
future potential even greater. So even if the cost of invasion and fighting 5+ years of civil war
were not worthwhile in retrospect, those costs were sunk in 2009. The cost of maintaining a
military presence going forward would have been relatively modest, and the potential
geopolitical and strategic benefits would have been great. Perhaps not so great as to justify the
expenditures in life and treasure 2003-2008, but those costs were sunk by 2009.

But Obama was so obsessed with Iraq that he made withdrawal-on any terms-a priority. So he
bugged out, leaving a vacuum in Iraq. A vacuum that local radicals and Iran have filled. So now
Iraq permits overflights of Iranian weapons to Syria, and supplies fuel to Syria. The country is
being pulled into the Iranian orbit.

And Obama thinks this is a marvelous accomplishment. A major part of his legacy."
The NY Times finally figures out Benghazi is going to be part of this campaign.
The Obama administration’s handling of the Libya attack has opened a new front in the
presidential campaign just weeks before Election Day as Republicans seize on it to question the
president’s performance as commander in chief.

The dispute over the episode escalated after Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said during the
debate on Thursday night that “we weren’t told” that Americans in Libya wanted security
bolstered, despite Congressional testimony that the administration had turned down requests.
Mitt Romney’s campaign on Friday accused the vice president of trying “to mislead the
American public.”

The conflicting statements over security came after the administration’s fluctuating assessments
of the attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens
and three other Americans. For President Obama, who had counted on foreign policy as a
political strength, the issue has put him on the defensive, while Republicans who had focused
on the economy now see a chance to undercut his credibility with the public on national security.

In a sense, the issue goes beyond foreign policy, which has not been a top priority for voters this
year, polls show. Instead, Republicans are framing the matter as a larger indictment of Mr.
Obama’s leadership and transparency, presenting him as unable to create enough jobs at home
or protect American interests abroad, while trying to shift the blame to others. Democrats
counter by accusing Republicans of politicizing a national tragedy.

Mr. Romney wasted little time in criticizing the vice president for contradicting testimony about
security concerns in Libya. “He’s doubling down on denial,” Mr. Romney said during a rally in
Richmond, Va. “And we need to understand exactly what happened, as opposed to just having
people brush this aside. When the vice president of the United States directly contradicts the
testimony, sworn testimony, of State Department officials, American citizens have a right to
know just what’s going on, and we’re going to find out.”

Two officials in charge of security in Libya told a House committee this week that they asked for
more security officers but were rebuffed by the State Department. Asked about that on Thursday
night during his debate with Representative Paul D. Ryan, Mr. Romney’s running mate, Mr.
Biden said: “We weren’t told they wanted more security again. We did not know they wanted
more security again.”

The White House tried to explain Mr. Biden’s comments by saying that diplomatic security
requests were handled by the State Department, not the White House. ...


Matthew Continetti on Ryan's debate.
Hold it, I’m confused. I watched all of the vice presidential debate last night, and someone did
not show up. Vice President Joe Biden was there—how could one miss him, with all the
grinning, grunting, interrupting, and sneering. But where was the Ayn Rand-worshiping, rape-
redefining, fanatically exercising zealot who wants to throw grandmothers off of cliffs and whose
budget plan is, according to the president, “thinly veiled Social Darwinism” that is “antithetical to
our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility”? That Paul Ryan was nowhere
to be found.

What America saw instead was a young and likable and knowledgeable conservative worried
about the current trajectory of fiscal, monetary, foreign, and social policy. Where Biden
harrumphed, Ryan calmly litigated President Obama’s failed record. Twice in eight days, the
caricatures against which President Barack Obama and Biden are purporting to run have been
exposed as grotesque exaggerations. The liberal attempt to frighten America with the illusory
specter of an extremist Republican ticket dissolved on first contact with, well, the actual ticket.
The reality principle asserted itself once again. We have an open race.

Perceptions matter. Why did 67 million people watch the first debate? One reason may have
been that Americans, open to an alternative to the incumbent, wanted to know who the
Republican nominee actually was. They only had vague knowledge of Mitt Romney going into
the Denver bout—and their impression was not favorable.

What they knew was largely limited to the messages of $217 million in negative advertising from
Obama and his allies: Romney was rich, secretive, out of touch, paying little in taxes, hiding his
tax returns, stashing money in the Cayman Islands, singing out of tune, shipping jobs overseas
with little thought of the lives he affected, dismissing out of hand 47 percent of the country, in
favor of raising middle-class taxes and health-care costs for seniors, and waging a “war on
women” with Todd Akin to “turn back the clock” on women’s rights. ...


Here's Howie Carr's latest on Scott Brown and the harpy.
... One candidate has $14.7 million worth of investments, but when asked on MSNBC which
equities she owned, insisted that she didn’t have any stocks, only “mutual funds.”

One candidate couldn’t name the two years the Red Sox won the World Series in this century,
and predicted that the team would win 90 games this year. (They won 69.)

One candidate has a daughter who’s trying to make it as a singer. The other candidate has a
daughter who runs a George Soros-backed organization that sued the state to send out prepaid
voter registration forms to every welfare recipient in Massachusetts, including illegal aliens.

One candidate has supporters who in Dorchester made Indian war whoops and tomahawk
chops like Jane Fonda used to do at Braves’ games, after which he was denounced for allowing
“hate speech.” Another candidate’s supporters made anti-gay slurs at a supporter of the other
candidate. The Globe pooh-poohed that incident as “inappropriate.”

One candidate has season tickets to the ballet, is a “longtime” member of the Museum of Fine
Arts, and once described growing African violets as one of her “favorite pastimes.”

Ask yourself this: Does Mass-achusetts really need a senator who’s even phonier than John
Kerry?
Washington Post
The Big Bird counterattack
by Charles Krauthammer

No mystery about the trajectory of this race. It was static for months as President Obama held a
marginal lead. Then came the conventions. The Republicans squandered Tampa; the
Democrats got a 3- to 4-point bounce out of Charlotte.

And kept it. Until the first debate. In 90 minutes, Mitt Romney wiped out the bump — and maybe
more.

Democrats are shellshocked and left searching for excuses. Start with scapegoats: the hapless
John Kerry, Obama’s sparring partner in the practice debates, for going too soft on the boss;
then the debate moderator for not exerting enough control.

The Obama campaign’s plea that the commander in chief could find no shelter under Jim
Lehrer’s desk did not exactly bolster Obama’s standing. Moreover, the moderator’s job is not to
control the flow of argument, but to simply enforce an even time split.

Lehrer did. In fact, Obama took more time than Romney — 41 / 2 minutes more — while actually
speaking 500 fewer words. Romney knew what he thought and said it. Obama kept looking
around hoping for the words to come to him. They didn’t.

After the scapegoats came the excuses.

●Obama had a bad night. He was off his game.

Nonsense. This is Obama’s game. Great at delivering telepromptered addresses to adoring
Germans and swooning students. But he’s not very good on his feet.

His problem is that he doesn’t think so. He not only believes his own press, he believes his own
mythology. He actually said (in 2007): “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my
speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And
. . . I’m a better political director than my political director.”

Obama is a man of considerable intelligence. But he’s not half as transcendently smart as he
thinks he is.

He needs a servant in his chariot reminding him that he’s not an immortal. Of course, after the
debate the entire Democratic Party told him he’s a dud. Wrong again. He’s neither lord nor
commoner. He’s just an above-average politician who needs a very good night in one of the
next two debates.

●He was weighed down by the burdens of office.

Ah yes, the burdens of office. Like going on “The View” while meeting with not a single foreign
leader at the United Nations. Like flying to a Vegas campaign rally the day after a U.S.
consulate is sacked and the ambassador murdered. Like rushing off to New York for a night with
Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Rocky Mountain altitude is a better excuse than that. (Thank you, Al Gore.)

●Reductionism.

Stephanie Cutter and David Axelrod both said (amazing coincidence) that Romney won on
“style points.”

So, the most charismatic politician since Pierre Elliot Trudeau was beaten by an android — on
style? I concede that Obama’s reaction shots were awful. But he lost on radio too. And in print.
Read the transcript. This wasn’t about appearances. Romney didn’t win on style. He won on an
avalanche of substance, on a complete takedown of six months of Obama portraying Romney
as enemy of the middle class, friend and footman of the rich.

That was the heart of the Obama campaign. After all, with crushing debt, chronically high
unemployment and the worst economic recovery since World War II, Obama can’t run on
stewardship. Nor on the future. He has no serious agenda. Nothing on entitlements, nothing on
tax reform, nothing on debt, nothing on the fiscal cliff.

So when Romney completely deflated that six-month “kill Romney” strategy — by looking
reasonable, responsible, authoritative in demonstrating how his policies would help the middle
class by stimulating economic growth — what did Obama have left?

Big Bird. The stupidest ad in memory. Has any president ever run an ad so small and trivial?
After an unprecedented shellacking in a debate about very large issues, this is his response?

The Middle East is ablaze, the country drowning in debt, the fiscal cliff looming — and Obama’s
great pitch is that only he can save the $130 million enterprise that is the Sesame Workshop?

An inspiring second-term agenda: subsidies for Big Bird and free contraceptives for Sandra
Fluke.

Obama has two debates to come up with something better. If he can’t, he will double down on
his “Romney the menace” line. It might still work. But a word of advice: Your administration
having prevaricated unceasingly — and scandalously — about the massacre in Benghazi, I’d be
cautious about the “he’s a liar” line of attack.


Streetwise Professor
Sunk Cost Fallacies: Obama Foreign Policy Edition
by Craig Pirrong

Obama blasted Romney on Middle East policy, most notably Iraq:

President Barack Obama charged on Tuesday that Mitt Romney favors a foreign policy that
“gets us into wars with no plan to end them” and that if the Republican had his way American
combat forces would still be in Iraq.
“Governor Romney said it was tragic to end the war in Iraq. I disagree. I think bringing our
troops home to their families was the right thing to do,” Obama told some 15,000 cheering
supporters on the campus of Ohio State University.

“If he’d gotten his way, those troops would still be there. In a speech yesterday, he doubled
down on that belief, he said ending that war was a mistake. After nine years of war, more than
$1 trillion in spending, extraordinary sacrifices by our men and women and their families, he said
we should still have troops on the ground in Iraq,” Obama said.

Regardless of what you think about the prudence-or even sanity-of invading Iraq in 2003, if you
are rational you have to understand that sunk costs are sunk. You can’t undo the past. You
can’t bring back those who died in 2003-2008. You can’t retrieve the hundreds of billions spent.

So when becoming president in 2009, the arguments for or against invading Iraq and fighting
the insurgency in the years following should have been beyond irrelevant in determining the
correct policy going forward. By 2009, post-surge, Iraq was relatively stable. It was-is-the
keystone of the Middle East. It borders Iran. It is vulnerable to Iranian influence, and has
represents a threat to Iran. It has large oil production, but its reserves are immense, making its
future potential even greater. So even if the cost of invasion and fighting 5+ years of civil war
were not worthwhile in retrospect, those costs were sunk in 2009. The cost of maintaining a
military presence going forward would have been relatively modest, and the potential
geopolitical and strategic benefits would have been great. Perhaps not so great as to justify the
expenditures in life and treasure 2003-2008, but those costs were sunk by 2009.

But Obama was so obsessed with Iraq that he made withdrawal-on any terms-a priority. So he
bugged out, leaving a vacuum in Iraq. A vacuum that local radicals and Iran have filled. So now
Iraq permits overflights of Iranian weapons to Syria, and supplies fuel to Syria. The country is
being pulled into the Iranian orbit.

And Obama thinks this is a marvelous accomplishment. A major part of his legacy.

So, evaluated rationally, Romney has a valid point. A very valid point: he is looking forward not
backwards. Obama, conversely, is an ideologue obsessed with the past, and is proud-proud-of
succumbing to the sunk cost fallacy.

Another comparison is apposite: Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a strategic backwater, and a
logistical nightmare. If it is worthwhile to maintain 100,000-and until recently, 130,000-troops in
Afghanistan, it is a no brainer to maintain 10,000-30,000 troops in Iraq. The cost in Iraq is
lower. The logistical burden is lower. The intensity of the conflict is lower-now. The strategic
benefit is far greater. But Obama persists in fighting in a half-assed way in Afghanistan: too few
troops to achieve anything, and there’s not a lot to achieve in any event, but more than enough
troops to consume billions of dollars and risk many lives.

Obama blasted Romney for advocating wars with “no plan to end them.” Well, what’s his plan in
Afghanistan? His plan, such as it is, is a strategic purgatory. It is a recipe for pointless,
purposeless deaths of American (and other NATO) military personnel.

No rational person can justify abandoning Iraq and continuing the slog in Afghanistan. But
Obama can.
But this is just a piece with the bizarre and inane Obama foreign policy, especially in the Middle
East. I have few illusions about Romney, but I know he can’t be worse. At least he isn’t proudly
in thrall to the sunk cost fallacy.



NY Times
New Front in Campaign as G.O.P. Seizes on Libya Attack
by Peter Baker and Trip Gabriel

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s handling of the Libya attack has opened a new
front in the presidential campaign just weeks before Election Day as Republicans seize on it to
question the president’s performance as commander in chief.

The dispute over the episode escalated after Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said during the
debate on Thursday night that “we weren’t told” that Americans in Libya wanted security
bolstered, despite Congressional testimony that the administration had turned down requests.
Mitt Romney’s campaign on Friday accused the vice president of trying “to mislead the
American public.”

The conflicting statements over security came after the administration’s fluctuating assessments
of the attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens
and three other Americans. For President Obama, who had counted on foreign policy as a
political strength, the issue has put him on the defensive, while Republicans who had focused
on the economy now see a chance to undercut his credibility with the public on national security.

In a sense, the issue goes beyond foreign policy, which has not been a top priority for voters this
year, polls show. Instead, Republicans are framing the matter as a larger indictment of Mr.
Obama’s leadership and transparency, presenting him as unable to create enough jobs at home
or protect American interests abroad, while trying to shift the blame to others. Democrats
counter by accusing Republicans of politicizing a national tragedy.

Mr. Romney wasted little time in criticizing the vice president for contradicting testimony about
security concerns in Libya. “He’s doubling down on denial,” Mr. Romney said during a rally in
Richmond, Va. “And we need to understand exactly what happened, as opposed to just having
people brush this aside. When the vice president of the United States directly contradicts the
testimony, sworn testimony, of State Department officials, American citizens have a right to
know just what’s going on, and we’re going to find out.”

Two officials in charge of security in Libya told a House committee this week that they asked for
more security officers but were rebuffed by the State Department. Asked about that on Thursday
night during his debate with Representative Paul D. Ryan, Mr. Romney’s running mate, Mr.
Biden said: “We weren’t told they wanted more security again. We did not know they wanted
more security again.”

The White House tried to explain Mr. Biden’s comments by saying that diplomatic security
requests were handled by the State Department, not the White House. “The vice president was
speaking about himself, the president and the White House,” said Jay Carney, the White House
press secretary. “He was not referring to the administration.”
Mr. Carney was pressed repeatedly by reporters to explain what the president and the vice
president knew and when they knew it, but he declined to answer in detail. Mr. Carney would
not say whether Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden were specifically informed about the security
concerns in Libya.

Mr. Carney accused Republicans of hypocrisy for voting against diplomatic security spending,
singling out Mr. Ryan. “I find it rich that charges are made about concern over diplomatic
security by those who routinely slash funding for diplomatic security to pay for tax cuts,” he said.

The government spent $2.43 billion on diplomatic security in the 2010 fiscal year, when
Democrats last controlled both houses of Congress. The figure then fell to $2.29 billion in 2011
before rising to $2.37 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The administration asked for
$2.84 billion for 2013, but House Republicans whittled that down to $2.62 billion. A State
Department official testified that the budget played no role in deciding on security in Libya.

Mr. Biden was expecting tough questions in the debate about the Benghazi attack and security
concerns at the American mission there, according to people familiar with his preparation. But
he still seemed caught off guard when the moderator, Martha Raddatz of ABC News, pressed
him on whether American diplomats had requested additional security in Libya.

Senior administration officials said Mr. Biden’s answer was accurate because while the
embassy in Tripoli requested an extension of duty for 13 military or diplomatic security officers
— which the State Department denied — it did not request additional guards for the mission in
Benghazi. Moreover, they said, the request did not reach the White House.

The Libya attack has risen to the forefront of the campaign even as other foreign policy issues,
like the war in Afghanistan and the building confrontation with Iran, have remained secondary
topics. The administration at first attributed the deaths of Mr. Stevens and the others to an
opportunistic attack during protests against an anti-Islam film. Officials eventually termed the
assault a terrorist attack tied to Qaeda sympathizers and played down the protest angle.

“First they blame a YouTube video and a nonexistent riot,” Mr. Ryan told supporters in
Lancaster, Ohio. “Then when the country’s getting upset about it, they blame Romney and Ryan
for getting people upset about it.”

How much the issue has influenced voters remains uncertain. Approval of Mr. Obama’s
handling of foreign policy fell from 54 percent in August to 49 percent last month after the
Benghazi attack, while disapproval rose from 40 percent to 46 percent, according to a survey by
NBC News and The Wall Street Journal at the end of September.

At the same time, Republicans are focusing attention on national security even as they worry
that the economy may not offer as much traction as they once thought. Polls have shown some
increasing optimism about the economy as unemployment has fallen to 7.8 percent, the lowest it
has been during Mr. Obama’s presidency.

Mr. Romney ratcheted up his criticism of the president over Benghazi all week, but he has
intentionally stayed one or two steps behind fiercer Republican critics in Congress, his advisers
said. He has not joined Congressional Republicans in accusing the administration of playing
down a terrorist link to the attack to save the president from embarrassment close to the
election.

The campaign wants to avoid a repetition of its first hasty response to the attack, when Mr.
Romney accused the administration of apologizing to protesters, a statement widely criticized as
irresponsible. Mr. Romney began the week with a foreign policy speech at Virginia Military
Institute that was intended to offer a reset on his credibility as a commander in chief. The effort
will continue at the second presidential debate on Tuesday, the first time foreign policy will be a
topic between him and Mr. Obama.



Free Beacon
The Reality Principle
Column: Obama and Biden were winning—until they faced actual opponents
by Matthew Continetti

Hold it, I’m confused. I watched all of the vice presidential debate last night, and someone did
not show up. Vice President Joe Biden was there—how could one miss him, with all the
grinning, grunting, interrupting, and sneering. But where was the Ayn Rand-worshiping, rape-
redefining, fanatically exercising zealot who wants to throw grandmothers off of cliffs and whose
budget plan is, according to the president, “thinly veiled Social Darwinism” that is “antithetical to
our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility”? That Paul Ryan was nowhere
to be found.

What America saw instead was a young and likable and knowledgeable conservative worried
about the current trajectory of fiscal, monetary, foreign, and social policy. Where Biden
harrumphed, Ryan calmly litigated President Obama’s failed record. Twice in eight days, the
caricatures against which President Barack Obama and Biden are purporting to run have been
exposed as grotesque exaggerations. The liberal attempt to frighten America with the illusory
specter of an extremist Republican ticket dissolved on first contact with, well, the actual ticket.
The reality principle asserted itself once again. We have an open race.

Perceptions matter. Why did 67 million people watch the first debate? One reason may have
been that Americans, open to an alternative to the incumbent, wanted to know who the
Republican nominee actually was. They only had vague knowledge of Mitt Romney going into
the Denver bout—and their impression was not favorable.

What they knew was largely limited to the messages of $217 million in negative advertising from
Obama and his allies: Romney was rich, secretive, out of touch, paying little in taxes, hiding his
tax returns, stashing money in the Cayman Islands, singing out of tune, shipping jobs overseas
with little thought of the lives he affected, dismissing out of hand 47 percent of the country, in
favor of raising middle-class taxes and health-care costs for seniors, and waging a “war on
women” with Todd Akin to “turn back the clock” on women’s rights.

The stories told about Romney in the media were no more flattering. Casual consumers of the
news would have learned that the former governor of Massachusetts once bullied a child at his
prep school; had catered to the most extreme wing of his party in pursuit of the GOP
nomination; had insulted the highly sensitive and excitable Brits on the eve of the London
Olympics; was gaffe-prone; had jumped the gun in his response to the attacks in Benghazi and
Cairo; was either micro-managing or had little control over his campaign; was changing strategy
on the fly; and was such a hopeless loser that the election basically was over. Obama had it in
the bag. How could he not? Romney was trash—wealthy, radical, belligerent refuse.

Imagine the surprise when Romney took the stage and revealed himself to be nothing like the
cartoon that had been shown again and again to the American electorate. This unmediated
Romney was approachable, warm, in command of facts and logic, fluent, direct, and appropriate
to the office of the presidency. He claimed the mantle of bipartisanship and pledged to reform
taxes and entitlements, reduce the deficit, and cut alternative energy handouts instead of
education. He seemed eager to tackle the manifold problems of American democracy.

Obama on the other hand was peevish, tired, frustrated, absent. He regurgitated his lines from
the campaign trail. His grand plan for a second term is hiring more teachers. He kept casting
aspersions on Romney’s ideas and made accusations that Romney simply said were not true.
The television split screen showed the president smirking as his challenger spoke, as if Obama
found it almost humorous that Romney was so utterly different from the way he, Romney, had
been portrayed. Even before the debate was over, though, it was clear that this was no laughing
matter.

Seventy million people watched as the Romney mannequin in which the Obama campaign had
invested so much money burst apart at the seams. For much of the year Obama and his team
had been remarkably successful at creating and maintaining the perception that the Republican
ticket was unworthy of power. The conceit was widespread but paper-thin. All that was
necessary to puncture it was 35-or-so minutes of Romney addressing the president as an equal.

So committed are liberals to the notion that Romney and Ryan stand at the vanguard of a
militant libertarian cabal that they haven’t a clue what to do when confronted by an actual
conservative. The difference between Obama during the debate and Obama on the stump the
next day was instructive. In contrast to his listless and weak performance against Romney, once
on the trail, the New York Times reported, the president “went straight at the challenger, arguing
forcefully that Mr. Romney’s moderate words masked extreme conservative policies.”

What explained Obama’s recovered willingness to attack? He was back where he feels secure:
alone on the stage, addressing a fevered crowd, performing a soliloquy of his own construction.
Freed from the constraint of having to address a living, breathing opponent in real time, Obama
could return to setting aflame the Republican straw men he carries around in his head.

In this case an additional piece of hay was added to the president’s battered Romney doll.
Obama ascribed his failure on stage to the fact that he had not expected Romney to lie so
effectively; he had not anticipated Romney to mask his extremism behind a “moderate” cloak.
But here too the president was jousting with an apparition. Romney’s “lies” were nothing more
than statements of fact in conflict with and inconvenient to liberals. And the “moderate” Romney
is no different from the man who has been “pitching that plan for an entire year.” Romney’s
domestic policy message, his “five point plan,” has been remarkably, even frustratingly,
consistent over time. What it differs from is the bloodthirsty, avaricious, and ambitious demon
with whom Obama has been fictively arguing.
Thus Biden had a heavy burden going into Thursday’s vice presidential debate. The left was
outraged at Obama’s failure. It was up to the vice president to calm their fears and regain their
enthusiasm. His clownish and angry performance was catnip to the Democratic base. But he
also ran the risk of alienating independents and swing voters who are distressed at the
economic condition of the country and are looking for specific solutions to the twin crises of jobs
and deficits. For Biden’s performance, like Obama’s, was grounded in the idea that Republicans
like Romney and Ryan are monsters—an idea that could not withstand examination in the light
of Ryan’s strong, reasoned, confident showing.

Romney and Ryan have found a political opportunity in the gulf separating liberal perceptions of
conservatives from the lived reality of conservatives. All they needed to do was show
independent and undecided voters who they are, demonstrate that they are not so scary after
all, and emphasize the administration’s lackluster record. Which is what they did.

Obama and Biden should know better. Spend all your time boxing shadows, and there’s a
decent chance that, when faced with a real opponent, you will be knocked out.



Boston Herald
Lies come home to roost

by Howie Carr

Here’s a bulletin: Granny Warren is not middle class. She is a snob’s snob, a 1-percenter from
way back. There is only one Scrooge McDuck-like plutocrat in this fight, and it’s not Scott
Brown.

Check out the candidates’ two houses.

Brown lives in Wrentham, and bought his house for $307,000 in 1995. It’s now assessed at
$511,000.

Granny lives in the People’s Republic of Cambridge, and bought her Victorian for $447,000 in
1995, the year she drifted into Massachusetts. It’s now assessed at $1,749,000. The mansion
itself is so incredibly posh that last year, when a magazine writer wanted to interview Warren
there, the campaign insisted that the house itself was “off the record.”

During the past four years, the Warrens have averaged $845,000 a year in income. The Browns
have averaged $428,000 over the last six.

This woman has a lot of gall, calling out people who are worth a lot less than her as “millionaires
and billionaires.” But then, she still won’t release her employment applications to Harvard and
Penn so we can confirm her claims that she never benefited from falsely claiming minority
status.

Education: Scott and Gail Brown have a total of three college degrees, zero from the Ivy
League. Granny Warren and husband Bruce Mann, another Harvard professor who can’t park a
bicycle straight, have a combined seven degrees, including two from Brown and three from
Yale. (Those Ivy creds come from Bruce Mann, whom Granny brags is a 13th-generation
Massachusetts native; even John Forbes Kerry knows better than to brag about such Brahmin
antecedents.)

Elizabeth Warren exhorted her supporters to “talk to the person in line behind you at the cheese
store.” The only cheese store Scott Brown knows is the deli counter at Market Basket.

One candidate has simultan-eously bragged about providing the “intellectual foundations” of the
Occupy movement and to have been told by a Wall Street billionaire that only she could “save
capitalism.”

Scott Brown brags about how many miles he had on his old truck.

One candidate has $14.7 million worth of investments, but when asked on MSNBC which
equities she owned, insisted that she didn’t have any stocks, only “mutual funds.”

One candidate couldn’t name the two years the Red Sox won the World Series in this century,
and predicted that the team would win 90 games this year. (They won 69.)

One candidate has a daughter who’s trying to make it as a singer. The other candidate has a
daughter who runs a George Soros-backed organization that sued the state to send out prepaid
voter registration forms to every welfare recipient in Massachusetts, including illegal aliens.

One candidate has supporters who in Dorchester made Indian war whoops and tomahawk
chops like Jane Fonda used to do at Braves’ games, after which he was denounced for allowing
“hate speech.” Another candidate’s supporters made anti-gay slurs at a supporter of the other
candidate. The Globe pooh-poohed that incident as “inappropriate.”

One candidate has season tickets to the ballet, is a “longtime” member of the Museum of Fine
Arts, and once described growing African violets as one of her “favorite pastimes.”

Ask yourself this: Does Mass-achusetts really need a senator who’s even phonier than John
Kerry?

								
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