2012 Vote National

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lauded for running a brilliant campaign, Obama adviser says it can't be duplicated if the candidate isn't special

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

David Plouffe
  • David Plouffe
The executive campaign committee for Team Obama — David Plouffe, Jim Messina and David Axelrod — joined by campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter, held a conference call with reporters on Thursday afternoon to review the results from Tuesday night's presidential election, and a couple of interesting nuggets came out of the half-hour call.

One is that of all the vast statistics coming from the exit poll data, the piece that Plouffe and Axelrod were most interested in touting was the fact that President Obama received votes from 56 percent of the public who identified themselves as moderate. Plouffe said that was particularly important, since pre-election polls and the exit poll showed Mitt Romney winning that battle, which many analysts thought was the key to the whole election.

"What's clear is his position on taxes, on education, on some of these social issues that really spoke to these voters," Plouffe said, referring to Obama winning crucial swing-counties known for being stocked with moderate voters, like Hillsborough County (where the president did even better here than in 2008).

The other salient item was Plouffe's push back of the notion that their brilliant model used to get out the vote under challenging circumstances could easily be duplicated by any Democrat in 2016.

"You can't just transfer this," he said insistently. "People aren't going to spend hours away from their families and their jobs contributing financially when it's hard for them to do it, unless they believe in the candidate."

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Asian-Americans make big gains in 2012 election

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Mazie Hirono
  • Mazie Hirono
Although most of the talk about the United States' changing demographics and how they don't favor Republicans has concentrated on Latinos, the clout of Asian-Americans needs to be highlighted in the wake of Tuesday's general election.

For starters, President Obama took home 73 percent of the Asian vote, 11 percentage points better than his showing with that group in 2008, and 42 percent more than Bill Clinton received in 1992.

For all the discussion about Hispanics, the number of Asian-Americans in this country grew faster than them throughout the past decade. According to the Census Bureau, the number of Asian-Americans jumped from 11.9 million in 2000 to 17.3 million in 2010, a 46 percent growth rate.

On Tuesday, Hawaii elected Democratic Rep. Mazie Hirono to the U.S. Senate, making her the first Asian elected to that body.

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Sorry Jeb, but a majority of Americans still blame your brother for the struggling economy

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 12:37 PM

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Throughout this presidential campaign, Jeb Bush took President Obama to task for continuing to blame his predecessor, George W. Bush, for the struggling American economy.

"It's kind of like a kid coming to school saying, 'The dog ate my homework,'" Florida's former governor said back in June. "It's childish. This is what children do until they mature. They don't accept responsibility."

Although Bush certainly has a point about taking responsibility, the fact is most Americans still blame his brother more than the current president for our economic woes, perhaps one other reason why the country was willing to give Obama four more years.

Exit polls show that 53 percent of the public still blames George W. Bush for the country's economic problems, 36 percent blame Obama.

Last week's decent jobs report that included 171,000 jobs that were added in September prompted some business writers to state that whomever the next president, he'd inherit a stronger economy than the one Obama had to contend with in January of 2009.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reliving Karl Rove's Fox News meltdown as he refused to give Ohio to Obama

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 12:13 PM

It may seem like the 2012 presidential election results came in much later in the night than those in the 2008 election, but in fact it was only 12 minutes later. In 2008, the networks — waiting until the polls closed in California — all announced simultaneously that Barack Obama had won the White House at 11 p.m. EST.

Last night, even though there was a lot of early night drama, most of the networks called it for Obama at 11:12 p.m.

As I monitored Fox News throughout the night — which continued to grow more and more somber, and all the key battleground states, one by one, began falling for the president — I was curious to see how Bret Baier, Megan Kelly and the commentators at Fox would discuss these developments.

What then happened was unprecedented: Karl Rove, a key factor in spending hundreds of millions of dollars in negative Obama ads in his role with the super PACS American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, refused to give in to the network's "decision desk," in his role as a commentator. Watch:

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Smoking weed is now legal in Colorado and Washington state. So what do the feds do?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 9:23 AM

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Apparently California isn't always ahead of the curve when it comes to social progress.

Two years ago, voters in the Golden State rejected a measure that would have legalized marijuana under state law. However, last night in Colorado and in Washington state, the people voted to legalize it.

But what does this really mean? The fact is that for more than a decade, the federal government has cracked down on some aspects of medical marijuana in California, and still lists pot as a Schedule One drug.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed the measure, said, "The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. This is a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly."

Legalizing marijuana did fail in Oregon.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

In HD-68 race in Pinellas, Democrat Dwight Dudley beats Frank Farkas in what he calls a "despicable" campaign

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Dwight Dudley at the Coliseum in St. Pete on Tuesday
  • Dwight Dudley at the Coliseum in St. Pete on Tuesday
Pinellas County attorney Dwight Dudley has beaten former GOP state legislator Frank Farkas in the extremely competitive House District 68 race, 51-44 percent. Independent Matthew D. Weidner received 5 percent of the vote.

Dudley targeted much of his campaign against Farkas for his 2006 vote in the legislature for voting for SB 888, which allowed utility companies like Progress Energy to charge ratepayers for construction costs of nuclear plants regardless of their completion. That vote was nearly unanimous in the legislature at the time, but the public has a much more critical view of it now than it did then, and Dudley was smart in attacking Farkas for that vote.

Farkas went after Dudley for, well, being an attorney. A criminal defense attorney.

That angered Dudley, who told CL earlier Tuesday that it revealed a lack of understanding of the U.S. Constitution on the part of Farkas, who is a chiropractor.

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AP calls Bill Nelson the winner in U.S. Senate race in Florida

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 8:30 PM

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Apparently Florida political reporters won't be writing the story Connie Mack predicted they would come Wednesday.

The Associated Press is reporting that with all of the polls closed (or somewhat closed, as there maybe some people still waiting in lines across the state), Bill Nelson has won re-election to a third term for U.S. Senate in Florida, defeating his Republican challenger, Connie Mack IV.

On Monday in Tampa, CL asked Mack what he made of the fact that, though a Mason-Dixon Poll taken over the weekend showed Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama by six points in the Sunshine State, the same pollster showed Mack losing to Nelson, 49-43 percent. Mack had said his fortunes would echo how well Romney did at the top of the ticket.

Mack said he didn't buy the polls. None of them that showed him losing, saying, "When you over sample Democrats by six points, it makes it difficult for us to win, but Democrats are not going to be six points higher on election day than Republicans . In fact, its never happened in the state of Florida … this race is either tied or we're up by a point or two, that's where we are. The day after the election you're all going to be writing stories about how the turnout model were all wrong in the polls and that Republicans turned out in record numbers."

Well, Republicans may end up tonight turning up in record numbers, but it won't be for Mack.

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BBC at USF: The Brits meet the Tea Party

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Best sort-of-local media moment so far this Election Night: BBC's live simulcast on WUSF from the University of South Florida's Marshall Center, sadly lasting only an hour, from 6 to 7 p.m.

It was fun to hear the bemused Brits talk wonderingly about how excited we Americans get about our presidential elections. The anchor managed to seem both respectful and unimpressed by his roundtable guests, including a woman he cheerily addressed as "Pam" (that would be Iorio).

Expat TV producer Mal Young, interviewed by phone in L.A., allowed that the election was fun, but "not quite as enthralling as something written by Aaron Sorkin."

But the best part was when a decidedly skeptical BBC reporter interviewed a rep of the Tea Party of Florida. The reporter tried valiantly to conceal his incredulity as the TPOF guy expounded on his fears that the U.S. was going to break up into multiple dueling states à la the Soviet Union. Then he asked him, if the TPOF is so concerned with the deficit, whether he was worried that Romney's across-the-board tax cuts and expanded military budget might actually add to the deficit. (Good question, Mr. BBC.) Somehow Mr. RPOF's answer brought John F. Kennedy into the discussion, referring to him, I think, as having been the U.S. Senator from New York.

The BBC is continuing its coverage of the election into the wee hours; it's five hours later over there, so they're pulling an all-nighter. Check it out online.

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Why Rombama & Company spent all that money

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 6:09 PM

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By this time tomorrow, America (we hope) will have elected a new president.

And the two main candidates (and their most dedicated boosters, the super PACs) will have spent well over a billion and a half dollars in their efforts to sway the 19 people in the country who hadn’t made up their minds who they were going to vote for while sitting at the family dinner table when they were 8.

A billion and a half dollars. It’s a conservative estimate.

It’s also 24,000 times the nation’s average annual household income. It’s five of the world’s most expensive private jets, the $300 million Airbus 380. It’s 100,000 new Volkswagen Jettas. Eight million train trips from Tampa to Chicago and back. Eighteen million tickets to see Aerosmith at the St. Pete Times Forum next month. One and a half billion bags of freakin’ ramen.

Spent by two men. Each of whom was trying to tell the world he would be better at balancing the country’s budget than the other. On a popularity contest.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

In Ybor City, Jeb Bush defends Chris Christie against conservative attacks

Posted By on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Jeb Bush speaking at La Segunda Bakery in Ybor City Saturday morning
  • Jeb Bush speaking at La Segunda Bakery in Ybor City Saturday morning
Jeb Bush knows natural disasters.

As governor in his second term in Florida, Bush had to handle no less than seven major hurricanes ripping through the Sunshine State in 2004-2005, and knows how the state had to work with the federal government for relief. So he's got little patience for conservative columnists and talk-show callers who have been blasting New Jersey GOP Governor Chris Christie this week for his praise of President Obama in trying to help the Garden State through its time of challenge in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

"That's wrong," the Governor told CL outside La Segunda Bakery in Tampa's Ybor City early Saturday morning, where he was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and Congressional District 14 candidate E.J. Otero in a tour of local areas to get out the vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket in Florida.

"I know what it’s like to do what Governor Christie is going through right now," Bush continued, looking clearly pained to hear the criticism of the New Jersey Governor by Romney partisans.

"I know we're in the middle of an election, but you get elected to serve. To say to the President of the United States 'no, you can't come to my state?' It would be completely wrong," he said, shaking his head.

Among Christie's harshest critics has been the Daily Caller's Matt Lewis, who wrote on Friday that while Christie's embrace of the president this past week may pave the way for his re-election as governor in New Jersey next year, it complicates any future aspirations to win the GOP nomination for president.

Saying he gives Christie great credit, Bush said that people have to accept the fact that "it's not all about politics all the time," and said during a time of crisis when people are fearful and in need "you want people to put aside the partisan differences, so I don’t know why people always feel there’s a political angle to everything."

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