If You Can’t Run a Campaign, Can You Run the White House?


For sixty years of my life, I have volunteered on political campaigns.  I was just three years old when I first rang a doorbell for the late, great Sen. Paul Simon (D-IL).  Since it was the only time in my life that my father showed me some love, I became addicted to politics hoping to get just one more hit of his love.  It never happened.

In time, I discovered the hook and started being more circumspect about the candidates I support.  Everybody wants me on their team because I’m damned effective.  But, they want me to do it for free and have a penchant for forgetting who I am once they are in office.  Pres. Bill Clinton is an exception.

The Republican’s real priority wasn’t to put Americans back to work.
It was to put Pres. Obama out of work.
– former Pres. William Jefferson Clinton

The best campaign ever was Gov. Bill Clinton’s run for the White House in 1992.  Leadership guru Warren Bennis in Organizing Genius called it a “great group” of creative collaborators.  I agree.  James Carville was a brilliant strategist, and Pres. Clinton was a phenomenal president despite the Republican’s vicious attempts to derail his forward momentum.

On Face the Nation this morning, Pres. Bill Clinton said that no president could “magically” fix the economy in one term.  One of the reasons I initially supported Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in 2008 rather than Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) was that she had a proven track record of cleaning up the fiscal and economic mess created by twelve years of Republican rule.  Yet, Sen. Obama won because he ran a better campaign.  As Secretary of State, Ms. Clinton is doing an awesome job.

I was very concerned that some voters would expect impossible magic from Pres. Obama.  Based on personal experience, I knew that even Pres. Clinton didn’t magically bring everybody back to work during his time in the White House.  And, Pres. George W. Bush had dug us into a deeper hole than his daddy.  I am realistic enough to know that it isn’t likely my career will rebound again.  I will have to find a way to hire myself and pray my safety net remains intact after the election.

Suzan DelBene

To this end, I rang doorbells in Lake Stevens yesterday for Suzan DelBene, who is running for Congress in Washington’s 1st Congressional District.  Her campaign staff is better than James Carville’s well-oiled machine in 1992.  Her opponent, on the other hand, is the least effective member of the Snohomish County Council.  I have witnessed and experienced his misogamy as well as his callous indifference to domestic violence.  So, I was highly motivated to scrutinize his likely opponents and to back someone I believe will whip his behind in November.

I knew yesterday that I had made a wise choice in Suzan DelBene.  She effectively duked it out in the executive ranks at Microsoft, and I think she’ll be equally effective at breaking the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C. after her election.  As an added bonus, she put a roof over the heads of domestic violence survivors as a YWCA volunteer.  It was her opponents’ job, but he thought we deserved to be homeless.

Let the 47% eat cake!

Mitt Romney has made it abundantly clear that his first priority will be to dismantle his father’s HUD legacy.  I wonder if the man has a bad case of patricide because he certainly is pissing on his father’s legacy.

He won’t release his tax returns, he wants to scuttle HUD, and he thought Detroit should go bankrupt. He opined in the New York Times:

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed. . .

A managed bankruptcy. . .would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs.

Cong. Ryan, we are literally in your debt.
– Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking member of the budget committee

This is Mitt Romney’s motus operandi.  He built his fortune by collecting huge consulting fees to bankrupt companies and cut jobs while paying executives huge bonuses:

Mitt  Romney likes to say he won’t “apologize” for his success in business. But what  he never says is “thank you” – to the American people – for the federal bailout  of Bain & Company that made so much of his outsize wealth possible.

He intends to do the same with the U.S. treasury.

He will slash the safety net (housing, health care, and food) before he eliminates the few remaining living wage jobs.

Click to enlarge

He intends to ramp up the war machine that is bankrupting the country because it lines the pockets of his 1% buddies.

He wants young people to go to war, but he’ll toss them on the trash heap when they come home.

Click to enlarge.

Mitt Romney bashed 47% of the voters ~ many who live in poverty in the red states ~ for being whining victims.  When this blew up in his face, his wife whined that she couldn’t take the heat.

Frank Erickson on Facebook opined:

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Oh wait. You’ve never been in the kitchen, have you?

I hope the impoverished voters in the red states will now finally wake the hell up and realize the Republican party doesn’t give a shit about them ~ disdains them in fact ~ is manipulating them to vote against their own self-interests.  This all started during the Reagan years, which many Republicans still believe are the gold standard.  Yet, conservative David Brooks of the New York Times opined in his “Thurston Howell Romney” (a nod to Gilligan’s Island) column:

In 1980, about 30 percent of Americans received some form of government benefits. Today, as Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute has pointed out, about 49 percent do.

. . .entitlement transfers to individuals have grown by more than 700 percent over the last 50 years. This spending surge, Eberstadt notes, has increased faster under Republican administrations than Democratic ones.

. . .Mitt Romney. . .divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers. . .

Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?

. . .Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. . .

He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign.

Mitt Romney is running on his executive credentials.

This week I called [Romney’s campaign] incompetent,
but only because I was being polite.
I really meant “rolling calamity.”
– Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal

We need to ask ourselves whether a man who Republican pundits agree is running a horrendous campaign has the executive chops to run the White House.  Businessman Peter J. Hansen opined:

The assertion that [Mitt Romney is] more competent than President Obama strikes many people as merely that—an assertion.

We need to examine what he really did at Bain and as governor of Massachusetts.

Yes, this campaign is about jobs.  But, Mitt Romney’s record on job creation is abysmal.

The Republicans blocked the American Jobs Act which was projected to add 1.3 million jobs by the end of this year.  In his New York Times op-ed, “Obstruct and Exploit,” Paul Krugman stated:

 The Jobs Act would have been just what the doctor ordered.

But the bill went nowhere, of course, blocked by Republicans in Congress. And now, having prevented Mr. Obama from implementing any of his policies, those same Republicans are pointing to disappointing job numbers and declaring that the president’s policies have failed.

Think of it as a two-part strategy. First, obstruct any and all efforts to strengthen the economy, then exploit the economy’s weakness for political gain. If this strategy sounds cynical, that’s because it is. Yet it’s the G.O.P.’s best chance for victory in November.

Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco

Plant and grow ~ not reap and run.
– Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco at the DNC, 9/5/12

Mitt Romney is great at creating wealth and entitlements for the richest 1%.  The Republican strategy was defined by Mr. Krugman:

The claim goes like this: during his first two years in office Mr. Obama had a majority in Congress that would have let him do anything he wanted, so he’s had his chance.

The short answer is, you’ve got to be kidding. . .

When Republicans took control of the House, they declared that their economic philosophy was “cut and grow” — cut government, and the economy will prosper. And thanks to their scorched-earth tactics, we’ve actually had the cuts they wanted. But the promised growth has failed to materialize — and they want to make that failure Mr. Obama’s fault.

Mitt Romney sucks at creating wealth for the rest of us in the 99%.

In fact, he has sent many of us into poverty we never imagined we’d experience given our expertise and education.

My grandfather was an extraordinarily wealthy and generous man.  His father passed away when he was a small boy.  When I was a kid, I heard tales of abject poverty.  My grandfather was a coal company clerk, a local official of the United Mine Workers, and farmed 40 acres.

Yet, at his funeral dozens of mourners said the same thing:  my grandfather kept them afloat financially during the Depression.

His will revealed that he had amassed a fortune.  How did he do it?  He was a mathematical and financial genius.  Still, where did he get his initial stake?  I think he and his brothers-in-law probably did some serious rum-running during Prohibition because the Wallace branch of our family has always been big in NASCAR.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

[Mitt Romney’s] like being a bad NASCAR driver on a rich team.
. . .This guy puts it in the wall every single time.
– Mayor Kasim Reed on Meet the Press, 9/23/12

That’s why this morning I woke up when I heard Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Meet the Press do an analytical political riff on Mitt Romney as a NASCAR driver:

He implied that 47% of the people are basically freeloaders. . .it was offensive. . .Republicans have a candidate that’s defective. . .he has made these mistakes repeatedly. . .He’s like being a bad NASCAR driver on a rich team. . .No matter how good the car is, no matter bad the pit crew is, the driver has got to drive the car.  This guy puts it on the wall every single time. . .He puts it on the wall when he says let GM go bankrupt.  He puts it on the wall when he says he doesn’t have to concern himself with 47% of the people.  He puts it on the wall when he travels to the UK and offends one of our strongest allies.  He repeatedly puts it on the wall and makes mistakes.

Rusty Wallace

My cousin Rusty Wallace was a NASCAR champion.  Like a presidential campaign, it takes deep-pocketed backers and a brilliant driver to win a NASCAR championship.  Mitt Romney, however, keeps crashing into walls which results in a DNF (did not finish) for which a driver earns zero points for a race.  Do we seriously want this guy driving the economy?

I wish the folks who love NASCAR in the red states had heard the analogy.  But, they were probably at church.

I have wondered for a long time if that’s why people in the red states vote against their self-interest and parrot what they hear on Fox News during the week ~ they’re at church when the Sunday morning critical thinking is aired on shows like Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

I want to thank my Facebook friends for their wit and wisdom.  Once again, you have given me great material.

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2 responses to “If You Can’t Run a Campaign, Can You Run the White House?

  1. With it comes to the elmination of wife-beating, child abuse and domestic violence, the Obama/Biden team is the best. Romney/Ryan will be worse than Bush/Cheney. Romney is an offshore, tax cheat, because he has only revealed his onshore, net worth.

  2. I love it when you chime in, Earl. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear that Mittens and Cheney are abusive behind closed doors. I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to trump Shrub for “worst ever,” but MittWitt looks like he could.

    Sending hugs and best wishes,
    Anne Caroline

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