Mitt Romney had a lunch date with Barack Obama while Republicans rejected the first proposals from the White House
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Mitt Romney had a lunch date with Barack Obama while Republicans rejected the first proposals from the White House
The data processors could learn a thing or two about presidential campaign coverage from old masters like Alistair Cooke, who wrote so eloquently when JFK achieved the White House
It’s ironic, putting it mildly, to find the BBC posting 900 of Alistair Cooke’s great old Letters from America online just as a new America votes. The gulf in style and focus couldn’t be starker. Take Cooke on the JFK campaign trail, the mellowest, most eloquent boy on the bus, and contrast him with Team Media 2012. This year’s coverage hero: Nate Silver, blogger and mathematician, for sifting the polling data and getting the result exactly right. This year’s most tweeted moment: when Karl Rove, arch guru of the right, denounced Fox News for conceding defeat too early. This year’s big event: the TV debates, of course. Cue social media analysis and all that digital stuff. Forget human beings with notepads. You can still be relevant as a writer if you take the polling data and chomp it around, adding slants from across the spectrum. But reporting, gently reflecting on what’s going on? Forget it.
Good reportage at election time is a dodo discipline, in the UK as well as the US. We don’t really report elections any more. Reporters don’t talk to voters: they wait for a poll to tell them what’s going on and then hang out the bells and whistles of instant analysis. Don’t look for perception, eyes wide open. Just crunch the numbers, eyes screwed shut.
Meanwhile, the special Golden Donkey award for best, most indefatigable coverage of the US election by a visiting British presenter goes to Jim Naughtie, who anchored away brilliantly for Radio 4 through Mitt Romney’s longest ordeal. Jim also gets a special prize for the best horse laugh of the night for declaring after Mitt had conceded that: “Now the president is going to say a few words.” Obama? A few words? That’s like billing Superstorm Sandy as a light drizzle.
■ What’s local news for a local newspaper? That, after 20 years, the Barnet Press editorial offices are moving – to Barnet. Goodbye Enfield, we must leave you and the Enfield Gazette. Sir Ray Tindle, patron saint of local news, is delighted. So is his publishing director, who is entranced to find roots back in the “heart of the community”. As, for that matter, is Barnet’s mayor. And why is this news of any sort? Because most of the time, these days, “local” means anywhere within a radius of 100 miles.
Mitt Romney’s candidacy put his former profession in the spotlight. KKR’S Ken Mehlman is trying to make sure the industry doesn’t get burned.
Read the original: Private equity: Kinder and gentler?
During the presidential campaign, Republican challenger Mitt Romney said Obama had waged a war on the coal industry during his first term.
Continue reading here: The Obama backlash in coal and energy stocks
Voters to render verdict in close White House race
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney face the verdict of U.S. voters on Tuesday after a long and bitter White House campaign, with polls showing them deadlocked in a race that will be decided in a …
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President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney to Debate Foreign Policy and Security Concerns on October 22
Our panelists advise Romney on how he can improve his appeal to female voters through rhetoric and policy
Naomi Wolf: ‘The Romney team has managed rather brilliantly to obfuscate his position on every issue’
The trouble is that Romney’s image is too good with female voters! Obama had an 18% gender gap in his favor with women in April – and has lost it all. Equal numbers of women and men are now saying they support Romney in the last Gallup poll. This is a disaster because Democrats can only win with the traditional gender gap, which is usually in the double digits.
The Romney team has managed rather brilliantly to obfuscate his position on every issue – very few women know that if you go to his website, you find out that he does not support a woman’s right to abortion except in cases of rape or incest. Ryan is even more drastic in his extremism: supporting ending Planned Parenthood, for instance – which provides health care to 3 million Americans – and in favor of punitive transvaginal probes for women who dare to choose abortion. Women are not aware, I think, of how invasive the Republican agenda is for their most personal healthcare decisions. The paradox is that the Republican message of ‘smaller government’ (get the state out of schools, out of healthcare, out of welfare) is reversed in Romney’s radical plan for the far right vis a vis women’s most intimate reproductive rights decisions. (To see a satirical take on the GOP agenda, one can watch the hilarious yet also tragic Funny or Die video, “Republicans, Get in my Vagina”.)
As for Romney’s first executive order, should he win the presidency, must be to close Guantánamo. His next policies should involve the repeal of the Patriot Act, the closing of the Department of Homeland Security and the demise of the National Defense Authorization Act. Any equality women have achieved has come about through human rights activism and democracy protections. Paying attention to any other issue before freedom is restored in America is like legislating on the Titanic.
Naomi Wolf is a regular columnist on Comment is free and author of Vagina: a New Biography
Jill Filipovic: ‘Romney needs to talk to women like we’re people with rational political interests’
To appeal to women voters, Romney needs to talk to women like we’re people with rational political interests, and knock off the condescension. So far, his understanding of women seems to center on his wife – instead of talking to us himself, he uses Ann as a sort of ambassador to a culture he clearly doesn’t understand and doesn’t particularly respect.
He could speak to us directly about the economy and recognize that the recovery has disproportionately benefited men (even adjusting for the fact that job losses disproportionately impacted men). He could realize that we exist in our bodies, and the physical needs of 50% of the population aren’t “special” or negligible. He could appreciate that we’re a population as diverse as men, and that our interests extend beyond our roles as mothers and care-takers. And he could prove that he has, at any point, considered women to be equal players in society.
Even his story (or “lie“, as it’s also known) at the last debate about soliciting “binders full of women” to fill cabinet positions is telling: A man who was a consultant and a businessman for decades didn’t know any qualified women? That speaks volumes about his views on half the population, and those views are reflected in his strongly sexist policy positions.
Other than the things he definitely shouldn’t do that he’s already pledged to do on his first day – overturning Obamacare and reinstituting the deadly Global Gag Rule – I would love to see any president propose a Bill of Women’s Rights, ensuring the basic things women require for equal participation in society: universal health care coverage (including contraception, abortion, pre-natal and well-baby care); equal pay; federally-mandated parental leave; subsidized high-quality childcare with well-paid workers and comprehensive assistance to low-income families. But that’s about as likely as Romney legalizing the kind of drugs one would need to believe a “pro-family, pro-life” Republican president would support legislation that actually helps women, men, children and families live better lives.
Jill Filipovic is a freelance writer and blogger at Feministe, and a practicing lawyer in New York City
Tamara Winfrey Harris: ‘Romney has learned little from leafing through binders of women’
For female voters like me, a candidate’s image comes as a result of actions. That is why there is very little Mitt Romney can do before election day to convince me that his presidency would be good for women. His actions tell me just the opposite. For instance, the candidate has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood; voiced support for the Blunt Amendment, a bill introduced to restrict access to birth control and said that he supports overturning Roe v Wade. For anyone concerned about reproductive healthcare, Romney’s stance should chill the blood.
But healthcare isn’t the only area where Romney fails to demonstrate the love for the ladies his wife crowed about during the Republican National Convention. While advisers say that, as president, Romney would not repeal the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he did oppose the measure when President Obama signed it in 2009, giving women better opportunity to sue over pay inequities. His running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan – the man Ledbetter herself says “scares me to death” – opposed the Act.
If his positions on women’s bodies and our ability to work for fair pay are any indication, Romney has learned little from leafing through “binders of women”.
But perhaps the candidate’s rhetoric does not reveal his true intentions. Maybe he’s simply rallying his conservative base and a real Romney presidency wouldn’t be so radical. The first 100 days of a Romney administration could be very enlightening. A clue as to his authentic objectives may come from what a President Romney doesn’t do in its early days. As a candidate, Romney has pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act “on day one“, cutting off millions of women and families from preventative care and ending no-cost birth control benefits. Ignoring the hyperbole in the pronouncement (rolling back the Act wouldn’t be that easy), keeping the Affordable Care Act intact and not working toward its demise would be a first step in convincing me that Mitt gives a whit about women.
Tamara Winfrey Harris is a blogger on What Tami Said, and editor of New Demographic’s Anti-Racist Parent
DeeDee Garcia Blase: ‘[Romney] will have to pick a side and stick with it to the end’
It will be very hard for Mitt Romney to improve his image with women voters because he has reversed his stance on the pro-choice/pro-life issue too many times. His reversals make him appear like a populist politician driven by polls. Remember, Romney gave an oath to protect a woman’s right to choose until he decided to run under the Republican presidential ticket. How can a pro-choice woman trust Romney after he went back on his word? On the other hand, how can a pro-life woman trust him when his campaign recently stated that abortion “should be an option” in certain cases?
In order for Romney to garner the trust of women voters, he will have to pick a side and stick with it to the end, else mistrust will continue to pile up. Right now, women do not know what his real conviction on the issue, and we become much more considerate of politicians who stick to their convictions. As it stands, we still do not know where his heart is really at.
A woman has never served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS); therefore, any president promoting women to the JCS within his first 100 days would give many of us a sigh of relief and encouragement. So many women in the US are related to sons, daughters or relatives currently serving our armed forces, and we are feeling apprehensive and pressure with regard to the multiple wars we have been engaged in. It would be helpful knowing that more women are part of the “advisory committee”, which helps plan joint operations and resolutions of military problems because, as it stands, there appears to be too much testosterone fueling those key decisions. It would be helpful for us to see balance at a strategic leadership level.
DeeDee Garcia Blase is founder of Somos Republicans, and the president of the National Tequila Party Movement, which promotes Hispanic Get Out the Vote initiatives
Heidi Moore: ‘it may be useful for Governor Romney to get the basics out of the way’
If the current polls are to be believed, Mitt Romney is in line to draw the votes of roughly half the country. The question is: which half? What does Mitt Romney’s half look like, and how do they picture the economic future under a Romney presidency?
Governor Romney was correct in his “binders full of women” speech that America will not be on the road to economic recovery until women are sharing space in hiring decisions alongside equally qualified men. Unfortunately, the conversation around women in the workplace still seems to center around the most pragmatic basics being treated as romantic political dreams. For instance, it’s difficult to picture a woman who will rush to the polls, full of passionate vigor, in support of the idea that it’ going to be possible for her to one day have a good day at work and get home in time to pitch in for dinner or tuck in her kids. So it may be useful for Governor Romney to get the basics out of the way: we know that corporations respond to tax breaks. Would they also respond to tax incentives for businesses that show they pay their women as equally as they do men?
You have to start rebuilding the economy somewhere. Start at the bottom with equal wages, and see if the economy soon looks to be on firmer ground.
Heidi Moore is the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace, from American Public Media
Cheri Jacobus: ‘Whatever Mitt Romney is doing to move women to his side, he should keep doing it!’
Barack Obama won the women’s vote in 2008 by a 13-point margin. Recent polls show Mitt Romney rapidly closing the gap and the president has been losing women for nearly a year. Romney has surged to an average 4-point lead in key swing states due in large part to women supporting him, thus sending the Obama campaign in hyperbole overdrive. The ensuing panic by the left has resulted in the ridiculous, patronizing “War on Women” meme, followed by the insulting, “vote like your lady parts depend on it” that served only to turn women off Obama and move towards Romney.
So excuse me if I find the question posed as a bit biased since it is President Obama who needs to change his tune with women. Whatever Mitt Romney is doing to move women to his side, he should keep doing it! He is leading in the popular vote 52% to 45%, and for the first time in this campaign, now leads in the electoral college.
While women in the Obama White House make less than the men, as governor of Massachusetts, of Mitt Romney’s 20 cabinet positions, ten were held by women. In fact, his record from the 1990′s is better than the top current Democratic governors and the upper echelons of Massachusetts government, and more representative of the female population than any state in the natio, according to a 2004 State University of New York, Albany study. It is my prediction, too, that Obama letting two high-ranking women in his administration, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, take the fall for his incompetency regarding the Benghazi attack that led to the murders of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans – and his subsequent cover-up – will heat up as an issue for women in these weeks before election day.
That Obama and his cheerleaders in the media are overplaying their hand on the awkward “binders” phrasing as if it is a gaffe, is telling: Romney is trending upwards, and the Obama campaign has even had to abandon large chunks of their firewall strategy as Mitt Romney pulls close, even or ahead in states they thought were reliably Obama’s. Once women and men got to see Mitt Romney in the debates without the biased media filter, they saw a man quite different than the one Obama and the left described. And they like him. Binders and binders full of women like and trust him. Obama is finding out the hard way that women vote with their brain and their wallets, and that’s very bad news for him.
A President Romney should repeat his stellar record of hiring women from his time as governor. And unlike President Obama, he can pay women what he pays the men, leading by example, whereas Barack Obama talks the talk, but won’t walk the walk. Romney is also onto something big by pointedly addressing the growing number of women in poverty under Obama. His personal history of helping people combined with his business success and saving the Olympics can be put to good use by tackling this problem, rather than just putting more women on welfare and food stamps as has been the case in the Obama presidency. A President Romney should take the problem seriously. He would be a hero.
Cher Jacobus is a Republican political strategist, pundit and writer
Politician Mitt makes promises that Bain Mitt would have never made.
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