Mitt’s Software Is Malfunctioning Badly

Bret Baier of Fox News kindly tried to give Mitt a chance to express regret about his failure to mention our troops in his convention speech.

Mitt used the opportunity to insert his other foot  into his mouth by saying that when you give a speech, “you talk about the things that you think are important.”  You know, stuff like more tax cuts for the rich.

So Mitt doesn’t think our troops are important.  He never served and neither did any of his five strapping sons.  Can’t you just picture him as Commander in Chief?  Me either.


The Clinton Convention

I think the most significant speech of the convention was far and away Bill Clinton’s.

He said things that neither Biden nor Obama could say without sounding as if they were whining or making excuses.

He said things that wouldn’t have had the same impact if they’d come from a senator or a governor.

Clinton stood there with the aura and authority of a former president, someone whom everyone knew had serious clashes with Obama during the ’08 campaign that left deep wounds and resentments.  It really meant something to have him come out and make the anti-Mitt, pro-Obama case in such blunt and aggressive and stark terms.

Biden’s speech was more impressive and powerful than I expected.  He gave the speech that only he could give as the Veep working closely with Obama, just as Clinton did from a different perspective.

I thought Obama’s speech was fine, although not his finest hour.  I think they chose to be subdued rather than grandiose given the state of the economy.  The speech got better as it went along and built to a strong finish.  He certainly made a convincing case that even if you’re not thrilled with him, you sure as hell don’t want to vote for the other guy.

Overall, about as good as the Dems could have done or hoped for this week.

This Is What You’ve Got? Really?

Former NH Governor and Mitt surrogate John Sununu claims that the Obama campaign is lying about the price of the Tracy Reese dress Michelle Obama wore for her convention speech, which they said was about $350.

Whatever it cost, it was so much chicer than Ann Romney’s frumpy, fifties $2,000 Oscar de la Renta.

UPDATE — Tracy Reese has said that the dress, which was custom-made for Mrs. Obama, will soon be available for the rest of us and will cost less than $500.

Mitt Today, Ryan Tomorrow

From George Packer, “Just Forget It,” The New Yorker:

“If the Republican argument for firing Obama were to be broken down, it would consist of equal parts truth, omission, chutzpah, and lies.  Unemployment remains high and the recovery has been sluggish at best, and that may well get the President defeated.  But, the moment that Obama was sworn in, the Republicans united to thwart his every effort to stimulate demand and create jobs, in order to lay responsibility for the recession at his door.  The Party’s silence about its own obstruction can be heard in every pause of the campaign.  The Republican answer to Obama’s policies — deregulation, tax cuts, limited government — has been the conservative position for decades.

“As for falsehoods, they are a staple of campaign politics on both sides.  But the flow of distortions and lies came so thick and fast from the podium at the Tampa Bay Times Forum that it seemed as if the Republicans required them to justify the full measure of their contempt for the President.

“At one point, Ryan movingly told the Convention that, after his father’s early death, his mother ‘got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode forty miles to Madison.  She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business.’  An ideologue like Ryan doesn’t let himself trip over the thought that a bus, a road, and a public university helped his mother build it.

“But the [Ryan] speech was written without benefit of shame or fact-checking.

Ryan will be the Party’s next leader because his style is perfectly suited to its demands:  purist, inflexible, combative, and untroubled by any complicating fact.”  Emphasis added.

GOP — “Job Creators” for Prostitutes

From “Strip clubs, prostitutes don’t expect much of a business boom from Democratic convention,” Callie Moran, Capitol Hill Blue:

While the sex and pornography business thrived in Tampa during last week’s Republican convention, strip clubs and escort services in Charlotte don’t expect much of an increase during the Democratic confab in their city.

“Democrats aren’t so upright about sex so they don’t have to sneak around and pay for it,” Connie Allerton, a sexual therapist, tells Capitol Hill Blue.  ”If a Democratic delegate wants sex, he or she will just  seek it with another delegate.”

A telephone survey of escort services in the Charlotte area finds no plans to bring in “extra talent” to serve the Democrats when they come to town this week.

“Honey, it’s business as usual,” says Danielle, who answered the phone at Uptown Cabaret in Charlotte.

In Tampa, escort services brought in “talent” from Miami and New Orleans to handle increased business and some services told Capitol Hill Blue they were booked solid during the convention.

But a spokesman for Charlotte VIP Escorts said they had “plenty of openings” for the week.

“Looks like a normal week,” said a woman who answered the phone but refused to give her name.

So much for the GOP “family values” hypocrites when the media aren’t watching.

Obama and the Big Dog (Not Bo)

From “The Comeback Vegan,” Maureen Dowd, NYT:

“The two tall, left-handed, silver-tongued baby boomers both grew up not knowing their fathers. But while the disciplined Barry became self-reliant, with little patience for neediness or insincerity, the undisciplined Bill became self-indulgent, a maw of need and maestro of faux sincerity.

“Obama doesn’t like to share the stage with other politicians or even campaign for House Democrats. He thinks of himself as a singular force, a unique brand, and his narrative has always begun and ended with him. He thinks he did build it himself. But now — because of his own naivete, insularity and arrogance — he needs Clinton to rev up the disillusioned faithful and donors and lure independents and white working-class men.

“Bill, hailed by some as the first black president, must expand Barry’s narrative to reach back and link Obama’s roiling tenure of wars, debt and partisan-fencing to Clinton’s restful stretch of prosperity. You know you’re in trouble when you’re seen as less capable of taming the House Republicans than an ex-president who was impeached by the House Republicans.

“And what does the Big Dog get? Resurrection, redemption, relevance, a reflected patina of Obama integrity and fidelity; the chance to outshine the upstart who outmaneuvered his wife and, by extension, him in 2008. And a possible ticket back to the Oval, this time as the first First Man, a vegan gnawing on Michelle’s vegetable garden.

“It’s not a bromance, like Romney and Paul Ryan. It’s a transaction. Obama needs his Democratic predecessor to reassure jittery voters that the future can look like the past, with a lower deficit, plenty of jobs and the two parties actually talking. In return, Bill will have the capital to try to ensure that the past can look like the future, with Hillary as Obama’s successor.

“What a wild twist. Instead of ushering in the post-Clinton era, as intended, Obama has ushered in the pre-Clinton era.”  Emphasis added.

Nate Silver on Why Mitt Will Lose

Over at the FiveThirtyEight blog at the NYT, Nate Silver explains why he gives President Obama as 76.3% chance of winning with Mitt at 23.7%:

1. Polls usually overrate the standing of the candidate who just held his convention.
2. Mitt Romney just held his convention. But he seems to have gotten a below average bounce out of it. The national polls that have come out since the Republican National Convention have shown an almost exact tie in the race.
3. If the polls overrate Mr. Romney, and they show only a tie for him now, then he will eventually lose.

Wednesday at the Convention

In the 10-11 EDT hour, Elizabeth Warren and Bill Clinton will speak.

Near the end of the 8-9 hour, Sister Simone Campbell from the “Nuns on the Bus” social justice movement will speak.

Near the end of the 9-10 hour, three former employees from companies controlled by Bain will speak.  One of them is named Randy Johnson, but I don’t think it’s that Randy Johnson.


Off to a Great Start

The Dems had a great first night.  It was nice to see delegates who actually look like this country instead of all the pasty faces at the GOP.  The music was a whole lot better, and the crowd was enthusiastic and moved.

It was a night of excellent speeches.  Michelle Obama was just wonderful — very powerful, very personal.  She wore a glamorous dress, as opposed to Ann Romney’s June Cleaver 50’s shirtwaist.

Fired-up Deval Patrick, over-the-top Ted Strickland, earnest Julian Castro — all very effective in building the anti-Mitt, pro-Obama case.

Comparing Tampa and Charlotte, it’s clear who “The Other” is in this election, and it’s not the guy in the Oval Office.

It was a pleasure to hear some truth after all the lies of last week.  It was a pleasure to be addressed as a middle class person with genuine concern rather than condescension.  It wasn’t Bill Clinton’s night yet, but there was a lot of “We feel your pain,” as opposed to the “We’re pretending real hard to feel your pain, but it’s tough when you’ve been rich your whole life” we got in Tampa.



Tonight’s Dem Highlights

The big speeches start at 10 EDT.

The keynote address is tonight, given by Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, who is considered a rising star, as President Obama was when he gave the keynote in Boston in 2004.

Michelle Obama will speak after Castro.

I’m sure the Dinosaur Riders will make a big deal that the Kenyan Muslim Communist chose a guy named Castro to deliver the keynote.