Update, 9/9/12: On Meet the Press, David Gregory asked Romney specifically about not mentioning Afghanistan, as opposed to not mentioning the troops -- an understandable choice, but one that regrettably makes it difficult to compare with his answer to Baier.
--The correct picks in my Fabulous Primary Predictions contest, assuming unofficial results hold up, were Golnick, Bielat, Ives, Toomey, Lovely, Adams, Welch, Barrett, Martinez, Rogers, Decker, Keefe, Jubinville, Devaney, and Campatelli. By my count, there were two entries tied with 10 right out of 15. For the tie-breaker of Keating's vote percentage in CD9, believe it or not one of the two guessed 59 and the other guessed 60 -- and at last look the unofficial tally was at 59%.
Heading into the Democratic National Convention, much is being made of the classic Presidential campaign question: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"
A lot of the discussion about this misses the important point that the question is a personal one, not a group one. That particular measure is about how people feel concerning their own household circumstances, not the broad guages of the nation's welfare.
Mitt Romney chose to ignore my advice to not bother trying to get people to like him, and it sure looks like he made a bad move.
So far, polling suggests no more than a small "convention bounce," leaving the national race essentially tied going into this week's Democratic convention. If Obama gets just a decent bounce, of four or five points, that leaves Romney in a hole heading into the final two months.
[Note: written midday Thursday, but due to technical problems did not post until after Thursday night's proceedings]
The underwhelming first two days of
speechifying at the Republican National Convention was the almost
inevitable result of several factors.
For one thing, the Republican Party has
very, very few pols who are popular, or even palatable, to the
general American public.
TAMPA--So there I was, at around 1:30am, with a reasonably good (free) gin & tonic at the Buzzfeed party in the Florida Aquarium, with pettable penguins circulating in a little wagon-cage and mermaids swimming in one of the big tanks, when a somewhat prominent conservative columnist whom I had met roughly 120 seconds earlier and who doesn't know me from Adam began arguing very earnestly with me about whether Paul Ryan's criticism of Barack Obama's failure to act on Simpson-Bowles was fair given Ryan's role in opposing Simpson-Bowles.
Quick reactions to Ann Romney's convention speech:
--I totally wanted her to come out on Rafalfa. Oh well.
--After a bit of a nervous (but not bad) start, she was very good. Simple, solid, well-written speech, with some good lines, delivered in a talkie rather than speechy way. And, without coming on too strong so as to seem like she was trying to sell something not believable.
TAMPA--I was already through the doors and into the lobby of the Hyatt yesterday afternoon before it clicked, and I went back out and asked the woman at the curb if she was Martha Zoller, congressional candidate from Georgia. She was (which tells you something about my obsession with this topic), and she was nice enough to speak me for a few minutes, even though her ride was just pulling up.
TAMPA--Isaac increasingly seems like a really big problem for the Romney campaign. Cancelling Monday's convention schedule over local logistical concerns is no big deal. But yesterday it became increasingly evident, if not much discussed, that the tropical storm-cum-hurricane could imperil the impact of this convention.