In Case You Were Wondering

10 07 2014

Your Blogmeister’s Desk

todd

I’ve been telling you that I haven’t finished spilling all the beans because certain people have kindly requested that I hold back until the timing is right.  What I knew but didn’t say myself here is that “right timing” meant that Todd wanted to tell his side of the story, and he wanted to do that first.  I highly suspected that his side of the story was going to be in book form.  A theory which was proven right yesterday when a brown truck delivered me an author-autographed copy of this book.

The way I figure, it won’t be long until it goes on sale to the general public that I’ll get the okay to spill the final bean, that is, why he didn’t drop out of the race.  That is something this book does not really cover.  There is a subtle hint on the cover of this book:  The words “party bosses.”  A few weeks ago, I dropped another hint, that is, if you were paying attention.

What it does do most crucially, I think, is show that the huge mistake was acknowledging the remarks at all.  I remember thinking to myself the Monday after that the whole thing would blow over by the end of the week.  I should have paid closer attention to myself; if I would have, I would have yelled and screamed at everyone to ignore this thing, not to say anything about it in public, not to fuel the non-troversy, and it probably would have blown over.  It wasn’t until the middle of November when it was all over anyway that this conclusion of what I and we should have done hit me like a ton of bricks.  Todd’s mentality is that his apology fueled and in fact endorsed the smear and the paranoia, and he’s right about that.  It’s just that I go one step further:  The apology would not have happened without our acknowledgment, and that’s what really added fuel to the fire.





Gerrymandering Schmarrymandering

27 01 2014

USA

Turns out the conventional wisdom parroted by both the political class and yours truly about the 2011 gerrymanders helping the Republicans in the House in 2012 was mostly fatuous. The takeaway is that the study did lots and lots and lots of simulations of the November 2012 Congressional vote based on differing Congressional districts, and found that it was virtually impossible to draw a map that would have delivered the House to the Democrats.

We get a mention:

The results were not encouraging for reform advocates. In the vast majority of states, our nonpartisan simulations produced Republican seat shares that were not much different from the actual numbers in the last election. This was true even in some states, like Indiana and Missouri, with heavy Republican influence over redistricting. Both of these states were hotly contested and leaned only slightly Republican over all, but of the 17 seats between them, only four were won by Democrats (in St. Louis, Kansas City, Gary and Indianapolis). While some of our simulations generated an additional Democratic seat around St. Louis or Indianapolis, most of them did not, and in any case, a vanishingly small number of simulations gave Democrats a congressional seat share commensurate with their overall support in these states.

Except in terms of Presidential politics in 2012, Missouri was not “hotly contested.”  That Romney was going to win it was a foregone conclusion that both the Romney and Obama campaigns drew in the spring of 2012.  If you lived in St. Louis or Kansas City media markets during the fall of 2012, you didn’t see one Presidential media buy.  That’s because those media markets cover three states that were foregone conclusions:  Kansas (Romney), Missouri (Romney), Illinois (Obama).

As far as I know, Indiana wasn’t really contested, either, in terms of Presidential politics.

As far as Congressional redistricting, one big giant X-factor that the author of this piece doesn’t mention is this:  Blacks.  Gerrymandering to help white liberals in order to hurt white conservatives also hurts blacks.  This is why during the 2011 redistricting process here in Missouri, the politics of which took place in the very building in which I am currently writing this blog post, Republicans and black Democrats teamed up to give us our current map, because the current map benefits Republicans and black Democrats.  And besides, why are white liberals bitching?  It’s not as if a black Democrat member of Congress is going to vote against white liberal hobby horse issues anyway.

If the white partisan split in House elections overall was around 51 R 49 D, then the liberal Democrats would have a point about gerrymandering.  But in reality, it’s around 60-40, and that means that even favorable Democrat gerrymanders wouldn’t make much of a difference.

UPDATE

Consider last year in Virginia.  Democrats eked out the statewide offices, but Republicans won 67 of 100 seats in the State House (House of Delegates).  However, considering the generic vote, Republicans got more votes than Democrats, significantly more, when examining House of Delegate elections alone.  The Democrats that won statewide only won because of the big margins they ran up among Federal workers, blacks and immigrants in suburban D.C., Richmond and Norfolk.  But there was probably no way to draw a map of the House of Delegates to engineer anything close to a Democrat majority.





Evitable

12 01 2014

Arlington, Virginia

The Hill, on the Clinton, Inc. making a list and checking it twice:

When the Clintons sat in judgment, Claire McCaskill got the seat closest to the fire. Bill and Hillary had gone all out for her when she ran for Senate in Missouri in 2006. But McCaskill seemed to forget that favor when NBC’s Tim Russert asked her whether Bill had been a great president, during a “Meet the Press” debate against then-Sen. Jim Talent in October 2006.

“He’s been a great leader,” McCaskill said of Bill, “but I don’t want my daughter near him.”

Instantly, McCaskill regretted her remark; the anguish brought her “to the point of epic tears,” according to a friend. She knew the comment had sounded much more deliberate than a forgivable slip of the tongue. So did Hillary, who immediately canceled a planned fundraiser for McCaskill.

A few days later McCaskill called Bill Clinton to offer a tearful apology. Bill was gracious, which just made McCaskill feel worse. After winning the seat, she was terrified of running into Hillary Clinton in the Capitol. “I really don’t want to be in an elevator alone with her,” McCaskill confided to the friend.

But Hillary, who was just then embarking on her presidential campaign, still wanted something from McCaskill—the Missourian’s endorsement. Women’s groups, including EMILY’s List, pressured McCaskill to jump aboard the Clinton bandwagon, and Hillary courted her new colleague personally, setting up a one-on-one lunch in the Senate Dining Room in early 2007. Rather than ask for her support directly, Hillary took a softer approach, seeking common ground on the struggles of campaigning, including the physical toll. “There’s a much more human side to Hillary,” McCaskill thought.

Obama, meanwhile, was pursuing her too, in a string of conversations on the Senate floor. Clearly, Hillary thought she had a shot at McCaskill. But for McCaskill, the choice was always whether to endorse Obama or stay on the sidelines. In January 2008 she not only became the first female senator to endorse Obama but she also made the case to his team that her support would be amplified if Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Janet Napolitano came out for him at roughly the same time.

McCaskill offered up a small courtesy, calling Hillary’s personal aide, Huma Abedin, ahead of the endorsement to make sure it didn’t blindside Hillary.

But the trifecta of women leaders giving Obama their public nod was a devastating blow. Hate is too weak a word to describe the feelings that Hillary’s core loyalists still have for McCaskill, who seemed to deliver a fresh endorsement of Obama—and a caustic jab at Hillary—every day during the primary.

And why did all these prominent women break early for Obama over HRC?  Because…Reverse Queen Bee Syndrome aka Female Crabs in a Bucket Syndrome.

As someone who was on the other side of Claire McCaskill’s ledger in 2012, from my vantage point, she got absolutely no help from Clinton, Inc. that year.

Many of the other names on the traitor side of the ledger were easy to remember, from Ted Kennedy to John Lewis, the civil rights icon whose defection had been so painful that Bill Clinton seemed to be in a state of denial about it. In private conversations, he tried to explain away Lewis’s motivations for switching camps midstream, after Obama began ratcheting up pressure for black lawmakers to get on “the right side of history.”

Lewis, because of his own place in American history and the unique loyalty test he faced with the first viable black candidate running for president, is a perfect example of why Clinton aides had to keep track of more detailed information than the simple binary of for and against. Perhaps someday Lewis’s betrayal could be forgiven.

Ted Kennedy (another seven on the hit list) was a different story.

He had slashed Hillary worst of all, delivering a pivotal endorsement speech for Obama just before the Super Tuesday primaries that cast her as yesterday’s news and Obama as the rightful heir to Camelot. He did it in conjunction with a New York Times op-ed by Caroline Kennedy that said much the same thing in less thundering tones. Bill Clinton had pleaded with Kennedy to hold off, but to no avail.

John Lewis is easy to explain — Race race race race race.  Ted Kennedy endorsing Obama over HRC is harder to figure, but I think I know the answer, though it might be an answer he took to his grave so we’ll never be able to confirm in this world — One hint to the answer is the use of the word “Camelot” here.  The only Kennedy that was ever President was John, and only for 1,036 days.  If HRC would have been elected President in 2008, it would have meant that the Clintons would have instantly become more of a credible Democrat Presidential dynasty than the Kennedys, by definition of two different Clintons winning the White House as opposed to just one Kennedy.  If I’m right, look for either an above or below the surface jihad from the remaining living political Kennedys to bring down HRC when the Presidential campaign season begins in the second half of next year going into early 2016.

Other reasons why I don’t think HRC is inevitable in 2016.





Junior Partner

3 11 2013

Boston

I’ve never believed the notion that some of our favorite websites have been pushing that Romney picked Paul Ryan as a running mate at the behest of consultants, barnacles and donors.  I’ve tended to the theory that Romney elevating younger “talent” like Ryan up the ladder ahead of what is considered normal schedule was a feature of his managerial style in the world of business.

Drudge today has been splashing heavy this Time expose mainly about what scared the Romney campaign away from Krispy Christie, but in passing, my sensibilities have been confirmed:

Mitt meditated on the choice that now seemed inevitable: Ryan. Beyond all the political pros and cons, Romney felt comfortable with Paul. He reminded Mitt of junior partners he used to work with at Bain: eager, earnest, solicitous, smart and not at all threatening. Bob White had a phrase for these buttoned-down go-getters, which he applied to Ryan: “client-ready.”

That will get missed, but at least the good news is that dirty laundry is starting to show up re Christie.  Not soon enough to keep him from winning a second term as New Jersey Governor on Tuesday, but this will very likely seriously hurt his Presidential chops.

And as a Jeff Sessions guy, that suits me just fine.

UPDATE

Now on the heels of this, Romney comes out and says that Krispy Christie can win the Republican nomination in 2016 and save the party.

Great idea, nominate a northeastern moderate.

If Romney loves Christie so much, why did he pick Ryan instead of Christie?  The first link in this story answers all.





But I Repeat Myself

10 10 2013

America

Ever since IRSgate broke, I’ve been very skeptical of the theory that it influenced 2012 by depressing Republican turnout.  First off, the TPM was never hot for Romney, second, Romney had plenty of money on his own to do GOTV.  His losing is entirely his fault.  Hell, the Romney campaign’s election day GOTV software base was so bad and untested that the sonofabitch crashed when the Romney campaign tried to crank it up on the morning of election day.

But we have a lame quantitative attempt to “prove” that:

Study finds IRS suppression of Tea Party swung 2012 election

A new study by the American Enterprise Institute — “Do Political Protests Matter? Evidence From The Tea Party Movement” — finds that the movement boosted Republican turnout by three to six million votes in the 2010 election. This effect was blunted in the 2012 election, though, because growth in the movement stalled.

That slowdown happened, co-author and AEI economist Stan Veuger notes, at the same time that the IRS began coming down hard on these groups. He argues in a RealClearMarkets.com article that this most likely had a major impact in the 2012 election.

“The founders, members, and donors of new Tea Party groups found themselves incapable of exercising their constitutional rights, and the Tea Party’s impact was muted in the 2012 election cycle,” Veuger said.

He added: “The data show that, had the Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010, and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5 to 8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.”

Given those numbers, it is reasonable to be suspicious of the IRS targeting, Veuger said.

The AEI study was done by Veuger, Andreas Madestam of Stockholm University, and Daniel Shoag and David Yanagizawa-Drott, both from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

The big problem with this study?  As the investment commercials always tell us, past returns are not automatically indicative of future results.

I can believe that the TPM efforts boosted Republican turnout in 2010 over 2008 by a 3-6m delta.  What I cannot automatically be made to believe is that it would have kept on bringing in more voters, 5-8.5m delta on top of that, in 2012 over 2010, had Obama and the RINOs combined not sicked the IRS on it.  What is very possible is that the TPM in 2009 and 2010 plucked a lot of sweet easy low hanging fruit, but there was no fruit to be had any higher on the tree.





Affirmative Obama

18 09 2013

Chicago

obamastaffcropped

Washington Examiner:

Book: Black donors forced nearly all-white Obama campaign to recruit black aide

In April 2012, the Obama re-election campaign posted a photo of a staff meeting on its Tumblr account. The aides in the picture were young, casually dressed, and enthusiastic — and nearly all white. The campaign took heat on the Internet for a remarkable lack of diversity, particularly since the staff was working to re-elect the first black president in U.S. history.

Now, a new book filled with inside information from the campaign reports that top Obama aides were also taking heat from key donors and supporters. In The Message: The Reselling of President Obama, author Richard Wolffe writes that influential black supporters were unhappy with the lack of black aides in top campaign roles. The supporters were so unhappy that they forced the campaign to search for African-Americans to fill senior roles in the effort. After months of searching, the campaign found exactly one.

Obama need not have bothered.  What, did anyone think he wasn’t going to get almost 100% of the black vote from a black turnout that wasn’t going to be at least as high as 2008?  (Higher, as it turned out.)  The only people who were so delusional as to be in that category were race pandering lamestream conservatives.  Why buy a cow when you’re getting the milk for free?





Eight Point Four Percent

3 06 2013

America

Wow.  The voting wave of the future. Hispanics were a big 8.4% of the 2012 electorate.

Remember that NYT slider-calculator a month or two ago that showed that even if Romney got 70% of the Hispanic vote, holding all other things equal, he still wouldn’t have won? Remember, that was based on exit polling data that we now know overhyped and overstated the Hispanic vote. I now think that Romney still would have lost even if he got 100% of the Hispanic vote.

Meanwhile, 700,000 more white votes in four states, and Romney is President right now.

Sailer notes that the really crucial fulcrum demographic for Obama last year was elderly black women.  Sociologically, that alludes to the matriarchial nature of traditional black African societies.  That also confirms what I have observed both first hand and second hand from trusted sources, that black voters are disproportionately upper middle aged to elderly black women.  Sure, the emaciated blonde in South Florida keeps touting out the hobby horse that 20% of black men under 30 voted Romney (hint, Ann — that means 80% voted for Obama), but young black men hardly vote.  If 100% of black men under 30 voted Republican, it would not change the outcome of one state’s Electoral College votes, one Senate race, one Congressional race, or even as much as one race for dog catcher.








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