I don't think about it too often. But lately, I've been traveling through swing state Appalachia. Wheeling, West Virginia, St. Clairsville, Ohio, Pittsburgh, PA. Let's see. Eastern Ohio and Western, PA. Pretty much ground zero for today's election. Romney's even making a last ditch appearance in Pittsburgh. I think it's purely for the nationwide optics. But I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Everywhere I look, I see the same signs...
These signs are very effective, but also incredibly disingenuous. Has it ever occurred to ANYONE that the "war on coal" is simply the result of a natural gas glut. Not to mention the increased oil demand from China, India and everywhere else. This "War on Coal" snippet is easily rebuked. I'm amazed the Obama team just lets them get away with this narrow discourse. When one sector of the energy market surges or takes a hit, the other sectors generally respond inversely. Maybe there isn't a war. Maybe it's just the good 'ol Republican capitalistic marketplace at work. If Obama somehow loses this thing, I'd say these signs played a significant role. They are real. They are tangible. And they are everywhere.
I also think Obama's team should have been relentless on the pro-choice issue. They did a half-hearted job with it. Trust me, abortion being outlawed in cases of rape and incest is not a mainstream position. On the flip side, I'm surprised Romney didn't gripe more about gay marriage. It's a net winner, especially with older voters in the swing states.
So the big 2012 election has finally arrived...
Bill the Butcher is right! It is election day. Incidentally, Daniel Day Lewis is one of the best, low profile actors in all of Hollywood. I never go the movies. Lincoln could prove an exception. Anyhoo, here's my thoughts...
If I were part of the inner Romney circle (which I'm not), here's what I'd have done. I would have constructed a last minute, negative political commercial. Hitting him hard over the Benghazi incident. Showing a split screen of him at a Beyonce/Jay Z fundraiser the following evening + rebels dragging our dead Libyan ambassador through the streets. Then, I'd show another split screen of him jetting off on the campaign trail after a quick photo-op + desperate people, huddled in blankets in Hoboken and Staten Island.
You need to merge that condescending Obama smile and his stilted dance moves with images of suffering Americans and foreign aggressors. Hit him where it really hurts.
I would have gone overboard with the split screen images. Totally fair game with inadequate time to respond. It might have been just enough to foster the sufficient resentment. But I doubt Mitt Romney's team had enough creative vision and rapid response assessment to figure this out. I envision Mitt runs his campaign like a poll driven, "dictatorial bureaucracy." If you're trying to portray yourself as a scrappy underdog, this ain't a recipe for success. Instead, he closes with the "oh beautiful, spacious, amber waves of grain" refrain. Mitt, sorry to break the news.... Independents are usually cynical when exposed to that nonsense.
So Saf, I guess you're voting for Obama again. WRONG.
I've decided to vote for the libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. Our country must break this 2 party death grip. The only way... some of those fringe parties (Libertarian, Constitution, Green, etc.) need to reach that 5% threshold to get the federal matching funds. And they needs to be real parties with grassroots activism, not just wealthy egomaniacs (Trump, Adelson, etc.) or people with good intentions like Ross Perot.
Honestly though, If I lived in Ohio or Pennsylvania, I'd vote for Obama/Biden. The Obama ticket is definitely the lesser of two evils. Whereas, Romney/Ryan is the definition of evil, arrogance and ambivalence. However, I live in northern, WV and our state is a solid shade of Romney red. So I've decided to maximize the power of my vote and go with Johnson.
And this Gary Johnson guy is a complete bad ass. 2 term, respected Republican governor of New Mexico. Screwed out of the debates for the likes of Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann. Would it have killed Fox News and the Republican party to have someone with a different perspective in those zany, right-wing primary debates? Yes, I believe it would have. He speaks out against the war on drugs. He wants a substantive overhaul of a draconian prison system which jails a greater percentage of its citizens than any civilized country on the planet. It's a modern version of slavery. He opposes an imbecilic, interventionist, nation building foreign policy. He's a man who created REAL construction jobs, instead of Romney who disposed of them. In other words, he created real prosperity, not just paper money at the expense of the middle class. Johnson also brings a wealth of knowledge regarding border state immigration issues. He's a consistent Ironman competitor. Then, he breaks his leg. So what better an idea than to climb Mt. Everest?
So if you reside in WV or a state that has already been predetermined, I'd encourage a vote for a gutsy visionary like Gary Johnson. Over the past 2 years, Obama has kind of let me down in these two areas. As far as Romney goes, he has neither "guts" nor "vision." I do give him credit for relentlessly campaigning for the last 8 years. He knows how to accept and spend those campaign donations. At least he got that part right. Funny how he only spent about $500,000 (out of his vast personal 300+ million dollar fortune) on his own campaign. But... I believe he does want the job. Of course, he also wants a car elevator. What Mitt wants, Mitt usually gets. But can he buy the presidency??? That's a toughie.
I also think Obama should have pushed the following argument. Do you want someone who's a BOSS or do the American people want a LEADER? The word "boss" or "owner" carries negative implications. The word "leader" implies movement and progress. And I do give the Obama team credit for devising a strong, overriding campaign theme... FORWARD.
One final thought. There are virtually no Obama signs or bumper stickers in Wheeling. There are a few Romney/Ryan ones here and there, but nothing noteworthy. I still see more "W" bumper stickers. Come to think of it, I'd be reluctant to put up an Obama yard sign, especially if I lived on a busy roadway. You're virtually begging to be a victim of senseless vandalism.
Oh yeah, and the empty chairs are out in a few places. You'd think that Clint Eastwood routine at the RNC would have been a source of humiliation and embarrassment. Wrongo. Not around here. Wealthy West Virginia Republicans tend to truly embrace the Fox News propaganda machine and general themes of "dumbshitedness." They're unmatched. It's almost as though this recessive strain of hillbilly blood seeps through their arteries.
Alright, enough blabbering. I'm off to perform my civic duty.
My advice isn't too popular these days, but I'm specifically pushing for the following candidates:
Erikka Storch - (R) House of Delegates
Tom Burgoyne - (D) Sheriff
Joe Manchin - (D) Senate
Patty Levenson - (R) Commissioner
Letitia Chafin - (D) WV Supreme Court
Brian Savilla - (R) Secretary of State (he's going to lose by a wide margin)
Sue Thorn - (D) House of Representatives (she's going to lose by an even wider margin)
Saf, what about the WV gubernatorial race? Yeah, what about it? Tomblin or Maloney? I'd rather choose between vegan pastrami and kosher spam. Perhaps, I'll take my own "break the gridlock" advice and cast a vote for the Mountain party. Odd that I'd still be undecided with regard to my choice for governor while I'm consistently adamant about my choice for dog catcher.