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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Obama Democrats who gather in Charlotte this week have a big advantage over Tampa’s Romney Republicans: Last week’s GOP convention gave President Obama a peek at Mitt Romney’s playbook. Combining the lessons of this highly public briefing with what’s already known about the Romney strategy defines the Charlotte Imperative.

Several things are obvious. Romney has been stung by the attacks on his career at Bain Capital and knows he has a serious likability problem. That’s why so much time in Tampa was spent countering these liabilities. Democrats will continue to exploit them.

The Republican nominee also signaled that he intends to couple harsh assaults on Obama with a more in-sorrow-than-in-anger approach aimed at voters who still like the president but are disappointed he didn’t live up to their hopes. The best lines in both Romney’s and Paul Ryan’s speeches spoke to the disenchanted. Obama will have to speak directly to them, too: explaining why the economy isn’t where it should be, arguing that his path forward is still more promising than Romney’s, and linking his second term plans with the hopes of 2008. These goals lie behind Obama’s “Forward” slogan.

Even conservatives have conceded that Romney left a huge opening by doing little to specify what he would do in office. Obama will define the Romney agenda himself, but he’ll also have to offer his own plans as a contrast to Romney’s vagueness. Since Romney accused Obama of “divisiveness,” Obama will have to explain why the division in the country was caused primarily by the GOP. He’ll be helped in this by the behavior of Republicans in Congress — they’ll be star players in Charlotte rhetoric — and by the caustic character of so many Tampa speeches.

Romney has found real traction on one issue: his broadside against Obama for allegedly ending the work requirement in the nation’s welfare program. The fact that the charge is based on a lie — Obama is not dismantling the work requirement — has not stopped Romney from running a series of advertisements that cast Obama as the friend of freeloaders.

Welfare has been a racially tinged issue for over four decades, and Romney’s ads are clearly aimed at wooing white working-class voters who may not like Obama much but mistrust Romney as an out-of-touch, upscale investor who gives little thought to their interests. What’s maddening for Democrats is that whenever they point out the racially charged nature of Romney’s assault, Republicans piously cast themselves as victims, accusing Democrats of “playing the race card.” The GOP reply is disingenuous but effective.

  • ryueire

    I think the President can and will address all of these valid points, and he will do it well. The RNC basically was reinvigorating their base, the ones who have already decided to vote for the GOP ballot. There was little of substance to convince the independent, intelligent voter.
    I think Obama can be too subtle at times when he articulates, he speaks eloquently and professorially, albeit with a candor and humor that is more real than what many other politicians are able to match, whether democrat or republican.
    But this time, soaring oratory has to come with nuts and bolts grounding, most Americans are weary of rhetoric and may be able to accept concrete plans, good and bad, as long as facts and having a way forward is shown.

    • President Obama has a clear opportunity to draw a distinction between empty rhetoric and nefarious, not so well hidden, plans to destroy the middle class and an agenda designed to put an end to the misery caused by engaging in two wars with borrowed money and hiding that debt in a cavernous Monopoly scheme, trickle down economics, deregulation that paved the way for the ENRON, AIG, JP Morgan, and Bernie Madoff abuses and the BP oil spill, and an irresponsible tax break that benefitted mostly the top 1% at the expense of mainstream America and removed the revenues we need to pay for the social services we need and the investment that is critical to lower our rate of unemployment.

    • The RNC Will Go Down In History As The Biggest Group Of LIARS Ever To Grace One Stage!!! Clint Eastwood Was Made A Laughing Stock Out Of !!! Now Romney Cut Him From The RNC Video Just Like He’s Going To Cut The People Who Vote For Him He Going To Dump Them Also!! Use Them Then Dump Them He Only Will Help The Wealthy!! That’s What Trickle Down Polices Do It Only Helps The Wealthy!!!

    • sigrid28

      For all of the president’s challenges in showing the way forward in a less than booming economy, he has one great advantage over Romney, in particular. Few people who are struggling (especially women) want to see a supercilious, self-righteous, rich white guy, maybe a tax cheat, pointing his finger at them and telling them what to do–they know that is exactly what he means when he says, “I know how to fix this problem.” We’re not fooled. We know Romney and his party see people who are struggling as the “problem.” Most of us realize that for people like Romney and the other 1% the fix has been in for a long time. Really desperate members of the middle class and working poor see through the con involved in the “what a shame Obama could not succeed” disappointment soft sell, familiar on used car lots: “What a shame your old Chevy just couldn’t make it any more. I think I can help you get into a new ride.” We know better than to sign on that line.

      Obama’s greatest advantage is his ability for Americans to understand that he cares about them, first and foremost. It is, I think, a God given gift, not the kind of smarmy soft or xenophobic hard sell Republicans now specialize in. Having overcome the hurdle of believability, Obama has the opportunity to “speak truth to power,” as Melville put it, no matter how complicated or far-reaching, as long as it is the truth.

  • What the Republican convention showed me is that their rhetoric is as empty as the chair they showcased. I don’t blame them, however, for not talking about Romney’s tax plan to eliminate the mortgage and college expense deductions, or Ryan’s plan to dismantle MEDICARE for those under 55, which would destroy the system for everyone else due to lack of funds; or a platform that has as its centerpiece more tax breaks for the rich, the repeal of ACA, which would deny 32 million fellow Americans the medical care they need and would result in seniors not getting rid of the doughnut hole and benefitting from lower lower RX copays. Clint Eastwood did a magnificent job at highlighting the hypocrisy of a party that offer panaceas and plans the de facto destruction of the American middle class and the poor…with women and minority rights in between. Let’s hear an ole, ole, for the Grand Ole Plutocracy!

    • middleclasstaxpayer

      All the ideas Obama has have been tried in places like Greece & France with disasterous results. Even with a 75% tax rate, Greece cannot keep up with providing all the “free” services like healthcare. And since workers CANNOT be fired from their jobs, businesses are unwilling to hire ANY new folks for fear they will be stuck with them for a life time. Why on earth do you think citizens of Greece are RIOTING?? Their government is BROKE & BANKRUPT and cannot keep up with the “giveaways” but the population doesn’t know how to fend for themselves so they RIOT for MORE GIVEWAYS….their govt has backed itself into a corner with NOWHERE TO TURN….it’s a great recipe for disaster which Obama fails to admit. Or maybe that’s what he wants…to turn the USA into a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, so we are just like everyone else??? Then his govt can control us all, as we’ll be unable to control ourselves?? If you think it cannot happen, just look overseas…..

      • atc333

        The bottom line is Romney and Ryan want to try trickle down economics “one more time”, with the unproven claim that “this time it will work, unlike the three prior GOP Administrations, which proved proved it does not work, rather, simply redistributes more wealth to the non performing job creators who simply buy more stuff, all the while createing more deficits, shrink the Middle and higher paid working classes. and create an ever increasing number of Americans living in poverty.

        It is almost as though Romney and Ryan want to give us another demonstration of “insanity”, doing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting a different result. My question, is our economy, and Nation resilient enough to suffer though 4 or 8 years of failed GOP tax cuts for job creators, deregulation, combined with massive Federal spending cuts, cuts in entitlements,( including converting Medicare to a “voucher system”, following which the program can be phased out with annual cuts in the amounts of the voucher, ending Medicare, the real long term goal of the GOP) safety nets, tax increases for the Middle Class, all made necessary to provide additional revenues to offset “tax cuts for job creators”. Then combine that with the economic slowdown resulting from laid off Federal workers, and the additional layoffs of the Private Sector and the result will be a Second GOP Recession.

        No Thank You!

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          The ONLY one tampering with Medicare is Obama with his 700 BILLION + removal from it to fund his scheme of Obamacare. And NOWHERE is it shown that because one person is successful, it takes away success from someone else. These are “communist inspired ideas”….our country was BUILT on hard work & success to ANYONE willing to do it! This is why we are considered the “land of opportunity”..why do you think illegals risk thier lives to break in thru our borders? Wake up before we end up like Greece or France….or is that your “ideal”? Everyone “equal”…all of us in the dumpster of life?

          • atc333

            “The ONLY one tampering with Medicare is Obama with his 700 BILLION + removal from it to fund his scheme of Obamacare”

            That particular claim has been disproven, as this 700 billion was savings to Medicare as a result of “Obamacare”, and was not taken from funds for payment of services to beneficiaries. Too much Romney/Ryan distortions of truth. Take the time to go to the various “factchecker sites”, you know, the ones the GOP claims are interfering with its message and are not necessary, as “Truth in a political campaign is not important”..
            Or, to put it another way, for you and the GOP, the ends justifies the means, and who cares if we distort facts as long as we win in the end.

            Did you bother to check out tax rats for the top 2% back in the 60s and 70s?

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            You conveniently “forget” that the mess we’re in was caused by the liberal idea that “everyone” deserves to own a single-family home, despite the fact that they may have a very low OR NO downpayment to offer. When things got rough, these “beneficiaries” of liberal thinking simply said, what have we got to lose, we’ll simply “walk away” from our legal mortgage obligations. The payments we may have made were just like “rent” and we won’t lose our initial investment (downpayment) as there wasn’t any. 99% of the foreclosures are from “low” or NO downpayment mortgages! Another Great Liberal Idea!! Do you think you guys can come up with MORE great ideas in the future??? LOL!

          • The mess we are in was caused by irresponsible tax breaks that wiped out a budget surplus in less than one year, engaging in crusades paid for with borrowed money and hiding those expenditures to pretend our deficits were not as large as they were, and INVESTMENT BANKS losing billions of dollars when they engaged in the subprime scheme and derivatives. The TARP was not designed to bailout mortgage institutions, we bailed out investment banks. The real estate collapse was the result of out of control development, supplies exceeding demand, and greed. The percentage of defaults associated with properties sold as part of the affordable housing program was minimal, most of the foreclosures involve houses people coould not afford…and nobody forced them to buy them or forced banks to lend money to people who could not pay the mortgages.

          • atc333

            Once again, too much Faux News. Go back and take time to read the several reports which dealt in detail why we had the Bush II meltdown. For the most part, it was because there was too little regulation by the bush Administration, both legal, and defacto, the blind eye kind, as the Bush Administration deliberatly did not want to slow down the economy’s growth by clamping down on mortgages. No where in any legislation you so was there a directive to banks and mortgage brokers to loan up to $400K to a borrower, just on the strength of his credit score. No employment checks, no references, no asset check, just a good Beacon score. The banks did not care if this was a first or second home, or strictly for flipping. If you had a good credit report, you were a homeowner!

            A second problem which belongs only to the GOP and Bush is their revamping of the Bankruptcy Code. That legislation removed the power of the Bankruptcy Courts to do a “Cramdown”, or by Court Decree, reducing the total amount of the mortgage on the property securing the mortgage to its current actual value, instead of the purported value before the meltdown, and allowing the Bankrupt to continue making payments, reduced in amount, equivalent to the reduced value. Instead, the new Bankruptcy rules prevented that option, the banks forclosed, they refused to negotiate downwards, to the real value of the property, despite being bailed out themselves, evicted the homeowners, some of who could have made the payments, and with the glut of vacant homes on the market, drove the price of housing downward. Then, you have banks owning property including condominiums, which the banks are not required to pay the maintenance fees, resulting in condo assessments going up, and owners who were just able to pay the old fees, could no longer pay the new increased fees because of the banks, The result, some owners lost their condos,

            There is nothing wrong with the concept of allowing a person with a job, references, and stability, to buy a home with very little down, if they are vetted. The banks and mortgage brokers did not vet their borrowers, many who were looking to make a quick buck to flip this house, Somewhat like the GOP not vetting Romney, as McCain did, and who then chose Ms. Palin.

          • Obama proposed reducing PROJECTED MEDICARE expenditures over the next 10 years to prevent that program from going broke and to eliminate duplication brought about by the deployment of ACA in 2014. Rep. Paul Ryan and Republicans in the House enthusiastically embraced the idea and wrote legislation to that effect. The savings involve better control over what service providers charge to MEDICARE and the elimination of duplication caused by identical coverage under ACA. Seniors will actually benefit inasmuch as the doughnut hole is being eliminated and RX copays will be dramatically reduced.
            Compare that to Ryan’s plan to dismantle MEDICARE for people under 55 which, if implemented as writted would deprive MEDICARE of the funding it needs to provide coverage for seniors covered by that program.
            The former is trying to save the system, the latter plans to destroy it.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            A very rosy picture but WHY is Obama’s own democrat-controlled CBO (Congressional Budgetr Office) predicting MASSIVE cost overruns in Obamacare that will soon have it lacking Trillions in deficits? This is HIS OWN CBO estimates, not the republicans?????

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Something else to consider….no one is talking about how our government will “collect” the penalty from those of us who cannot, or will not, pay it for lacking an “approved” healthcare policy. Fact is, our government will simply TAKE the penalty amount from any tax refund we are entitled to, or worse, from our relied-upon monthly Social Security checks…that’s when the Greek Riots will come to the US, and that’s when it will dawn on the unknowing (and unbelieving) that the end is near for the USA as we know it. Government control over our healthcare means government control over our very lives. Anyone who has come here from a Communist country will tell you what that is like.

      • DetectiveJoeFriday

        Why don’t you look overseas a little more carefully. Then take the time to analyze more about our systems here in this country. It seems as though you are just spewing more empty rhetoric from the far right who get their skewed facts from Fox. You should be embarrassed.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          Are you suggesting that GREECE is a success? They are bankrupt exactly because of attempting to give everything to everybody, And they may take all of Europe with them in their eventual collapse….is that your idea of “success???” Is that what you want for America? Riots because we had to stop the “giveaways?” Real smart!

          • DetectiveJoeFriday

            I didn’t even mention Greece. You did. And Greece isn’t the only country in Europe. And mention of riots here in the U.S. Sounds like fear mongering to me. If we had riots here they should be done by the middle class since we are the ones getting fleeced by the elitists here who want more and more money. And that comes out of our pockets not theirs.

          • You are correct, Scandinavian ountries and Gemany are doing very well, in spite of the fact that most European countries have socialized medicine, education, transportation, and worker rights that make ours look like something out of the ice age. There is no question that Greece is having horrible problems, and that other European countries, such as Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy are too, but many of their problems stem from invetment bank defaults, similar to ours, and the effects of a weak global economy. An example involves the $65B Spain had to borrow to bail out their investment banks. The most important part to consider, however, is that our system is not even remotely similar to those in Europe and trying to make a comparison only convince those who have never visited Europe and are unfamiliar with their socio-economic system.

      • Would you care to mention a single idea put forth by President Obama that even remotely reflects the socio-economic system in Greece, France and other European countries. If you are thinking about the Affordable Care Act, and the mandate that requires all Americans to get medical coverage from FOR PROFIT INSURANCE COMPANIES and you believe it emulates the medical plans that are in place in most European countries you should visit the countries you are talking about and do a comparison based on facts rather than Limbaughesque claims. An accurate model of socialized medicine is the British system. British doctors, nurses, radiologists and all other medical providers are government employees, the government ows the hospitals and labs, the government administers the system, and the British people like it so much they highlighted it as a major accomplishment during the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremonies. Our medical personnel are all private practice professionals, most of our hospitals and labs are private enterprise, and the system is administered by for profit insurance companies. Our medical system is the anti-thesis to those in Europe, and the exact opposite to socialism, regardless of what the right wing talking heads are feeding the empty chairs.

      • Listen Dumbo the reason Greece and France were a disaster is that Germany
        with its Euro dollars dictated Europe’financial situation, with it’s austerity
        program of no spending and tax cuts (ie)no growth that’s the diaster.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          You are VERY FAR off the mark….France has a 75% tax rate and STILL can’t keep up with the Liberal policies and their associated costs. They attempted EXACTLY what Obama & liberals are proposing here, and we can all see the results. Ditto + for Greece. This is where WE WILL BE if liberals have their way. Period.

      • The ideas attempted in Greece was austerity only – they reduced entitlements WITHOUT stimulating the economy. Very simular to the Ryan budget and not at all simular to the progressive budget. They reduced government assistance without improving their employment. How long have you lived in America; people are fired and laid off all the time, hence unemployment above 8%! The situations in Greece and America are vastly different. Your comments indicate you don’t have a good grasp on the economies of either.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          The US has NOT had sustained unemployment of over 8% for this long in over 30 years. We have NOT improved our unemployment since Obama took office. Any fall in the unemployed numbers has been almost universally the fact that more unemployed are GIVING UP looking.

      • Maynard

        All modern economies, and thanks to us even Iraq, have universal health care. So, why do you mention only Greece and France? Cuba, that hated thorn in our side, is world renowned for its successful universal health care system. Canada is another example of a superior health care program.
        But, the fact is that sick people are going to cost us one way or another. Allowing them to deteriorate and die is not only disheartening to their loved ones, but the skills and talents they have acquired may actually benefit the rest of us if they were treated early and recovered.
        Furthermore, when people wait for an emergency to get health care which they cannot afford, two disadvantages result. Their problem may be much harder to cure but eventually they will go to an emergency room, anyway, where they cannot be turned down. The extra cost of the emergency room is passed on to the consumers of medical care and the taxpayers.
        Furthermore, the larger the pool of potential patients the more per capita costs are driven down. That’s part of the reason Obama’s Medicare costs went down while services to the elderly increased. Providers agreed to charge smaller fees because there will be more patients. Think how much more your fast food would cost if the volume of customers were lower, as a way of understanding this phenomenon.
        Of course, our medical costs would go down even further if we would mind our own business, as Ron Paul advocates, and stop fighting foolish unnecessary wars to benefit war profiteers and to divvy up a country’s oil among big oil companies as we have done in Iraq.

    • middleclasstaxpayer

      If Clint Eastwood was talking directly to Obama instead of an empty CHAIR, he’d simply be talking to an EMPTY SUIT! What’s the difference???

      • The difference is that the image of an old man, past his time, delivering an incoherent diatribe to an empty chair, is a perfect depiction of what the Gran Ole Plutocracy has become. In fact, I believe DNC strategies would miss an opportunity if they don’t use it as a caricature to depict the GOP, with Akin, Allen West, Tom Smith, Murdouch, and Michele Bachmann holding pitch forks in the background.
        Incidentally, if President Obama is an empty suit, should we assume you don’t have a problem with the legislation he has signed since Inauguration?

      • jarheadgene

        BY EMPTY SUIT, I know you mean Willard Romney !

    • jarheadgene

      Let’s not forget R & R want to shut down MedicAID….Voucher for Medicare, nothing is said of Medicaid….kind of suspiscious….like when Romney and Ryan get questioned on their income tax..they always spin the question and don’t use the word “Income” shhhhh…they
      purposefully talk about paying lots of taxes….but never as income.

  • Recoloniser

    Here’s an idea for those who worry about the affordability of Medicare in the future:

    “A dollar in time, saves nine.”

    PPACA foresees more spending on preventative healthcare than has hitherto been the case in American history. Do I need to spell out the rest?

    I thought not.

  • tampajim

    All Mr. Obama has to do is to hit hard the truth that Republicans have hated Medicare since it was enacted and now they want to abolish it! Never trust a Republican when they offer to “fix” anything, that is always shorthand for doing away with it.

  • atc333

    “:Or maybe that’s what he wants…to turn the USA into a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, so we are just like everyone else???”
    If you bother to look at the distribution of wealth in the US by Administrations, beginning in 1960, for both GOP and Democratic, including tax rates, and creation of Federal Deficits, you will discover that the GOP has done exceedingly well by itself in turning the US into a Banana Republic with very small very rich very politically powerful upper class who now own 44% of everything, , a smaller shrinking middle class, and a very large group of citizens living at or below the poverty level.
    Compare the distribution today, with that of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s. along with the tax rates, and deficits created.

  • howa4x

    Mostly all the democrats have to do is go to the video tape. Let’s see Romney saying “we don’t need more cops and firemen” or “I will repeal Roe/Wade the 1st day in office,” or “Corporations are people too” or “We have too much regulation” or “I will not support the dream act” or I wasn’t really the governor of Massachuttes(just kidding on that one), or telling the NAACP he will eleminate all social programs, and of course the rich need another tax cut, and global warming isn’t real, saber rattling with Iran and wants to stay in Afganistan
    Better yet combine them with Ryans votes, both unfunded wars, the unfunded drug program for seniors, creating the deficit, and his bill banning abortion and talking about forceable rape, co sponsored by Tood Akin, or his vote against Simpson-Bowles debt reduction plan, tax cuts for the rich, rebulid the strongest military on earth.
    The funny thing is now they are trying to pretend who they weren’t. Romney a very moderate governor passed health care reform, supported Gay rights, Pro- Choice for women, was pro enviornment and was extremely concerned about climate change,
    Ryan – A devotee of Ayn Rand, Anti abortion under any circumstances, voucherize medicare, eleimate home mortgage deductions. Privatize social security

    I don’t know why they are running against Obama when they can run against themselves

  • ObozoMustGo

    In honor of the sheet show about to begin in Charlotte…. the city has decided to erect a roof over the stadium… the perfect roof for all of you leftist turds to worship your messiah!

    [click image to enlarge]

    Have a nice day!

    “I don’t think your boss should get to control the health care you get. I don’t think insurance companies should control the care that you get. I don’t think politicians should control the care that you get. I think there’s one person to make these decisions on health care and that is you.” – Guess who said it

    • jcbsdriver

      Are you and Jerryhulick the same person? Your both ignorant.

    • Why dont you stick your head in your toilet bowl and flush it? You are the biggest jackass I have come across. Have you noticed that noone ever ‘Like’s your posts. So just shut up and go away, please.

  • Kenneth Bailey

    It seems to me the GOP is dividing this country and disenfranchising minorities with the voter ID push in Red States. By implementing the voter ID regulation it causes likely voters to be turned away from voting booths because of their socioeconomic conditions and their lack of birth records as some minorities were born at home under the Jim Crow days, the black mark on America, and the GOP is exploiting this dark spot in America’s history. The GOP are the dividers and not the harmed.

  • Kenneth Bailey

    The GOP is a losing proposition except for the WASP and Evangelicals hope for the good old days of Jim Crow. It is time they ate some Crow! I hope the SCOTUS rules all voter ID laws are nothing short of a poll tax and are racially motivated.

  • jjrjon

    Mr. Mitt Romeny, you talk about your plans, but you never mention how you will accomplish them. Please tell us how you will make the changes and what sector of the Middle-class will lose their jobs and/or part of their retirement pay as a result to your cost saving measures. Will you create additional Ponzi Schemes that will benefit the Government and make the Government look Whole? Will you stop the Federal Reserve from printing of Fiat currency? Since Corporations are People will you insist they pay their fair share of taxes to the Homeland? While you’re at it please give advice on how to maintain Off Shore Bank Accounts while paying little or no Taxes to the Homeland. Your expeditious response will be appreciated 😉

  • middleclasstaxpayer

    Thanks for your insights….However, in citing Canada as having superior healthcare, WHY IS IT that when a Canadian has a serious or emergency health issue, they cross into the US and pay out of pocket for OUR health care support? Apparently if Canadians have a pressing health crisis, they CANNOT WAIT for the superior care available in their own country. This is what US doctors are predicting here….good care for most, but at the cost of having to “wait your turn,” serious illness or not. We will fix one problem by nationalizing healthcare, while creating MANY more!

  • ayayaboy

    Americans will not elect a tax-Judas as president. Romney’s tax problem is a warning about Romney’s deceitfulness.

  • CAThinker

    Looking forward to the speeches this week and caught a little of the preamble on MSNBC this morning – heck, even Joe Scarborough seemed excited. Definitely a different tone from last week’s, somber desperation to this week’s excited celebration. Last week’s fear mongering was very reminiscent of the entire Bush presidency – and like Obama’s election, this week just seems so much more hopeful, more inclusive and less resentful. I think it’s going to be a good week for the Dems (coming from an independent) and it will be a great launching point for the debates. If either candidate sticks to their recent history the debates will show Romney as the back-walking blubbering fool and Obama as the cool and reasoned professor. I can’t wait for Romney to try out one of those smug lies (lately presented in the comfort and safety of the RNC and Faux News) and hoping that Obama calls him out with vicious counter-punches.

  • widollar

    Mitt Romney is just not a likeable guy and comes across as very insincere when he tries to show his warm side. This man has no warm side. He is cold and calculating and would be horrible as Commander in Chief. Bottom line, he is a total FAKE!