Published for Sun News Network, November 7, 2012
Published in Politico’s ‘The Arena’, October 04, 2012
In October 1984, on the day before the second debate, Lee Atwater proposed a counteroffensive if President Reagan lost the debate and Walter Mondale won. “Create a fog machine. Don’t claim victory, but deny that we lost. If it’s clear that the president did badly, then it’s our job to obscure the result.” Well Ronald Reagan won that debate and Atwater’s fog stayed in the can.
Now in October 2012, even an Obama full fog machine cannot divert from this transparent debate disaster. Gov. Mitt Romney exceeded beyond what he needed to do in demonstrating presidential stature and clarifying specific policy prescriptions for job creation in the American economy.
Forget the presidential referendum frame on Obama; Mitt Romney co-opted the choice argument tonight too. President Obama lost it. And by not embracing it, Obama has lost his entire re-election premise with less than a month to go.
Prediction, Obama’s first fog counter theme: We Will Still Win. After tonight, that’s not a certainty.
Published in Politico’s ‘The Arena’, October 1, 2012
All the recent political media fury and sound around Mitt Romney’s chief strategist Stuart Stevens has gone way beyond anything I have witnessed in my 30-plus years of professional national politics. Yet maybe it’s the pro in professional that needs distinguishing here.
Stuart Stevens is a consummate political pro and has earned his present position by hard work, ingenuity, creativity, wicked smarts – and trust.
Say what you will, but Stuart and his fellow business partner Russ Schriefer have done the toughest statewide political races in the country over the years. They haven’t won every one, but have surely won most of them – and above all, they’ve been out there fighting for conservatives and Republicans.
Through their direct participation in campaigns at the senior level, not so obvious is the fact that Stuart and Russ haven’t done it to get subsequent speaking fees, lucrative corporate work, or to go on television (as many who self-claim the adjective strategist do).
Published in Politico’s ‘The Arena’, September 19, 2012
When one reviews the 2012 Obama v. Romney trend lines, Mitt Romney’s positive incline in late May is telling for multiple reasons, yet a central one was Romney’s shift to the future tense with a theme around: Day One. Job One.
Those series of ads and earned messaging plans said it all regarding the need for Romney specifics. On Inauguration Day, Romney would submit a five-pronged Jobs/Economic package imposing upon Congress to act immediately within 30 days, matched by a five-pronged series of executive orders – within the same time frame – getting the government out of the American economy’s way.
Moving Congress off the dime, breaking gridlock and immediacy to lead is the key. So rather than relegate this theme to the side margins in an issues column of a campaign website, get it back up and out.
Reprise Day One. Job One.
Published for www.politico.com/arena, June 5, 2012
Does Tuesday’s victory put Wisconsin in play for the GOP in November? Yes, of course it does.
On the other hand tonight’s outcome should serve more than just that, it ought to once and for all alter a central tenet in Democrat labor union politics: class warfare.
When did state public employees become the entire middle class, while private workers are somehow not? When did eliminating a $3.6 billion budget deficit with spending reductions, helping to create private sector jobs become synonymous with losing middle class jobs? When did the cancelation of collective bargaining for state employee unions mean the middle class will be voiceless? When did state employee unions, above everyone else, lay claim to the concerns of the middle class? And when did government employee unions, by extension, become the sum total of the middle class?
Well the middle class has spoken in Wisconsin. The defeat of Gov. Scott Walker’s recall should commend the great American middle class and clearly announce – all private workers can apply.
And maybe now, anyone can join.
Published for www.aljazeera.com, May 31, 2012
Mitt Romney finally clinched the Republican nomination on Tuesday, by clearing the benchmark of 1,444 delegates.
Even though polling day is more than five months away, the general election campaign has already been in full swing for weeks, with both campaigns running a litany of attack ads.
Barack Obama’s campaign has focused on Mitt Romney’s career with the private equity firm Bain Capital, arguing it acted like a vampire, sucking the life out of companies and destroying jobs.
And Romney’s campaign has run equally tough adverts highlighting what they would deem the failures of the Obama presidency.
Some on the right of the Republican Party, including Donald Trump, are also trying to reignite the so-called birther controversy, arguing that there are doubts that Obama was born in the US.
All of this, of course, feeds the unrelenting American news cycle, as the news anchors chew over the latest controversies with little examination of policy.
When Obama was elected in 2008 many thought his presidency would hail a new kind of politics – so what happened to hope and change?
During the Republican primary campaign, the Democrats were almost making fun of the Republican candidates, saying that none of those candidates were any match for Obama, yet now the presidential race is very close.
The Real Clear Politics website has averaged seven recent national polls, giving Obama, with the support of 45.9 per cent of registered voters, a 2.3 per cent lead over Romney’s 43.6 per cent.
Published for www.politico.com/arena/, May 23, 2012
This is what makes politics such a great sport.
The Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee are positively focused and ready to respond to the personal, misleading attacks Joe Biden is leveling on behalf of the president. But how can it be a waste of time when Biden is so gaffe prone, it’s rare to not have something Team Romney can proactively push after each of the VP’s interviews or speeches. That’s an added bonus – and in sports parlance – it’s advantage Romney every time Biden utters an accusatory word.
Published for The Arena, August 31, 2011
Rather than invite President Obama to speak on Sept. 8, Speaker Boehner should choose the “purely coincidental” date of Sept. 9, the date in 2009 when Obama detailed his vision for ObamaCare in his second address to a joint session of Congress. Instead of waiting two full years now, that’s the date when Obama should have delivered his jobs speech.
It’s no wonder why the country has him tuned-out. And many of the 32.1 million viewers who watched the ’09 address may “coincidentally” be looking for something else to do that evening, like finding a job – or a new president.
Published for The Arena at Politico.com, August 14th, 2011:
The current system for retirement savings is broken. Despite ever greater regulatory burdens, Americans have found their life savings wiped out and small businesses still can’t obtain credit. The current system forces middle class investors into a narrow set of investment choices and makes it nearly impossible for smaller companies to raise cash.
While our financial regulators have received ever more power and funding, middle class workers have seen their savings disappear. With pensions largely unavailable, workers rely on their 401(k)s for retirement. But 401(k)s give access to only a small handful of investments (publicly listed stocks and bonds), and workers are limited to contributing only $16,500 a year.
Under the current system, unless a person is a multi-millionaire he or she has no opportunity to invest in companies like Facebook or Twitter, and can only invest in companies like Google after the exponential start-up profits have been taken by Wall Street. By the same token America’s entrepreneurs have no hope of getting credit absent convincing a bank to give them a loan. Listing stock publicly is an option only for a fraction of the largest, already established companies.
Currently regulation is driven by the notion that government knows best. Fixing it will require a bold reimagining of how markets are regulated, as well as the overturning of Wall Street and Washington’s monopoly on the financial markets.