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July 1, 2012

Politics A-Plenty

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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So we started June with a quote from President Obama, “The private sector is doing fine.” What did he say that for. Clearly, Republicans jumped all over it, but, at no point were any of their retorts to the statement founded in any facts. They just continue to sound angry and accusatory.

Here’s the fact: We all knew what PBO meant when he said it. At least those of us who have worked in corporate america for a major, multi-national corporation knew what he meant. If a corporation is only making one million dollars instead of 10 million dollars in profits, BUSINESS IS BAD! I have experienced this first hand…

Mike Huckabee said on This Week: Companies are in business to make money and as a product of making money they are able to create more jobs. The problem with this sentiment is that, they never feel like they’re making enough money, so, they constantly defer adding more jobs.

The banking industry proved that to us. They got a bail out from the federal government for the purpose of mitigating their mortgage losses and continuing to find ways to pay that forward to consumers. However, the banks decided – after they took the money – they needed to continue being cautious and NOT extend the benefit to consumers. So consumers still can’t get a loan at a bank.

So, in theory, its a great plan – Let private industry manage and grow themselves without government intervention and the trickle-down will correct the economy. But, we actually need private industry to do that. They’re happy to have BIG government step in when they need money, but, want them to butt out when they don’t. I believe this is called hypocrisy…

We also got word from Moody’s that after a careful review of Mitt Romney’s proposed economic plan, they believe it would slow economic recovery. Is that why when asked about what he would do to fix the economy, we don’t get a real answer?

BUT, I could almost say the same for PBO. His team spends so much time on the defensive that they often miss the mark on complete information. PBO has to get away from glittering generalities and outline the realities of his work as president and his plan moving forward as president.

For instance, the answer to why the economy has not recovered faster is as simple as making it real for the voters. Ask every voter if they have debt and how fast its getting reduced. Use that as a litmus test for how long it takes to reduce debt – then double it for the national debt! I bet every voter would understand that logic…

PBO and Romney were campaigning in OH at the same time; PBO in Cleveland and Romney in Cincinnati. This was interesting because, PBO should have no problem winning Northeast Ohio because it’s a more urban area. His trouble is in the more middle-America areas, like Cincinnati. The Christian right… conservative rural and mid-western voters. Not PBO fans. These are Romney fans. Likewise, he needs to get to convincing people in big cities – rich or not, liberal or not – that he’s not completely uninformed about progressive thinking.

Part of the current M-O for Romney is also who he’ll pick as his VP running mate. It appears that the plan this go-round is to pick a solid choice from a state that is critical in the election, like OHIO. Word is Rob Portman, Congressman, is on the list as the OHIO possibility; Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida; Bob Mcdonnell, Governor of Virginia.

Other names mentioned have been Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana; Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota; Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin. I can get rid of three right away: Jindal, Rubio and Ryan are not good choices.

When there was talk of Bobby Jindal running for President, Mrs. Jindal made it perfectly clear that SHE wants no part of that and THEY are not leaving Louisiana. End of story. Marco Rubio is too young and not enough of a draw to steal the Latino vote from PBO. He’s also said he’s not interested. And Paul Ryan doesn’t bring a critical state to the table, is too young and is too far to the right to help Romney.

My choice for Romney: Tim Pawlenty. He’s likable in a way that Mitt is not. For as crass and rude as it may have been, when Newt Gingrich called Mitt Romney a liar, it had teeth. EVERYONE paused for a moment to consider. There’s a ring of truth to that statement that every voter is STILL pondering. Tim Pawlenty might be able to help with trust and believability AND, he does have executive experience.

Rob Portman is a good second choice because of Ohio, but, I don’t think he’s well-known enough to help. And little is known about his experience. I’m from Ohio and Portman does nothing to sway my vote one way or another. Tim Pawlenty could make a difference…

To wrap this up, I want to point out something a young person said as a man-on-the-street interview about the election. He said: “The candidates need to convince us they can dream big like Kennedy did with “A man on the moon.”

Problem is, PBO did dream big. Now he’s paying for not being able to get to his dreams for cleaning up 43’s mess. I guess we have to decide as voters if we believe that he wants to get to those dreams. I don’t know if Mitt Romney has any dreams because he hasn’t said he has any.

Romney biggest current problem: He needs to get his story straight about his time as Governor of Massachusetts. I realized, the reason he doesn’t talk about it is because, he might not have been the best statesman. He’s better at being corporate – for all that means – than being a statesman. Being President is about being a statesman. Hmmmm…

Now that Obamacare has been upheld, it’s put more of a spotlight on the Affordable Care Act of Massachusetts, which, is akin to Obamacare. Romney put it in place as Governor and now he’s being asked to differentiate the two. I’ve only seen him deflect when questioned. Interesting how we keep coming back to the subject of his Governorship and getting no information. That’s a bad sign for Republicans…

Let’s visit the Supreme Court upholding Obamacare and how it resembles Affordable Care in MA next time. I’m looking forward to hearing how Romney’s gonna get himself out of this…