Sunday, July 22, 2012

Romney Keeps Inching Closer, Was It Really an Obama Gaffe?

2012 Presidential Update
Days Until the Election: 107
Projected Popular Vote Total: Obama +0.3% (down 0.7% from last week)
Projected Electoral Vote Total: Obama 332, Romney 206 (unchanged from last week)

For the past 3 weeks, Mitt Romney has edged ever closer to Barack Obama in national polling, but has yet to break through in swinging the electoral projection more in his favor.  What Romney has done as he has pushed closer is to continually broaden the battlefield.  A trend we have been seeing for some time of the Romney states being a lot more secure for Romney than the Obama states are for Obama has continued.

Romney now has more electoral votes (167) in the safe/strong category than Obama (163).  And the battlegrounds are almost all now states that Obama leads in.

We'll see if the Romney trend continues in the next couple of weeks...if it does, he is almost sure to pick-up at least a few more swing states.

Somebody Helped You
Our political discourse has become so toxic that everything gets taken out of context these days.  When, during the primary campaign, Mitt Romney said:

"I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you could fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone isn’t giving the good service, I want to say, I’m going to go get someone else to provide this service to."

Instantly, ads were on the air showing the piece of that quote that said "I like being able to fire people".  Clearly, firing employees was not at all what Mitt was talking about, he was talking about the consumer retaining a choice of service providers related to insurance, something we would all want.  But it didn't matter in the gotcha politics of today.

Similarly, President Obama said this about the relationship between our society and business start-ups this week:
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business. you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires."

There is frankly almost nothing in that quote that a reasonable person could disagree with.  Would anyone argue that businesses benefit from the existence of roads, bridges and the internet?  Do any of us who have had success not agree that that was at least in part due to teachers that cared and people that gave us our break?

We can disagree over the size and scope of government, but trying to twist what the President said into a claim that government is responsible for business start-ups is quite a pretzel.

How about we all make a deal to listen to at least a paragraph of a speech rather than pick the 5 words that sound bad when taken out of context?

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