Is Mitt Moderate?
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Romney’s Edge: Moderate Mitt Takes Florida by Storm
Romney sounded more conservative during most of this year’s Republican primaries. But he morphed back into The Pragmatic Massachusetts Governor during his triumphant first debate with President Obama on Oct. 3, and he’s been lavishing Moderate Mitt on the Sunshine State ever since, starting with an Oct. 5 rally in St. Petersburg, where he offered emotional personal anecdotes. Women voters there have warmed to his softer rhetoric on contraception and abortion, and even Florida’s non-Cuban Latinos, especially in the all-important I-4 Corridor between Tampa and Orlando, are listening to Romney’s promise to forge the comprehensive immigration reform that Obama pledged but has not delivered.Boost for Obama as US economic growth beat forecasts
Obama's 2008 opponent John McCain beat him among white voters by 12 points. According to the Washington Post poll, Obama is trailing Romney among whites by 23 points. .... Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House council of economic advisers, said that over those 13 months the economy had expanded by 7.2% overall.Up to 40 percent may vote early in election; Obama ahead
polls of people who already have cast ballots show President Barack Obama with a comfortable lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney .... Obama leads Romney 54 percent to 39 percent among voters who already have cast ballots .... About 18 percent of registered voters already have cast ballots ...... Early voting, which began in some states in September, is now underway in nearly all 50 states, either by mail-in or in-person voting. Political scientists who specialize in early voting predict that a record 35 to 40 percent of all U.S. voters will cast their ballots before the November 6 election. ..... states like Iowa and Ohio - both of which are considered pivotal in the election - show a faster pace of early voting than in 2008. ..... As a sign of the importance the Democrats place on early voting, Obama became the first sitting president to vote early when he cast his ballot in Chicago on Thursday.David Axelrod On 2012 Campaign: Trajectory Of Race Is Set
A case for Barack Obama
He has confronted two inherited wars and the deepest recession since the Great Depression. He brought America's misguided adventure in Iraq to an end and arrested the economic downturn (though he did not fully reverse it) with the 2009 fiscal stimulus and a high-risk strategy to save the U.S. automobile industry. He secured passage of a historic health care reform law - the most important social legislation since Medicare. ...... he showed himself to be an adult, less an ideologue than a pragmatist, more cautious than cocky. Despite Republicans' persistent obstructionism, he pushed for - and enacted - stronger safeguards against another Wall Street meltdown and abusive financial industry practices. He cut the cost of student loans, persuaded auto manufacturers to take an almost unimaginable leap in fuel efficiency by 2025 and offered a temporary reprieve from deportation to young immigrants brought into the country illegally by their parents. He ended the morally bankrupt "don't ask, don't tell" policy that had institutionalized discrimination against gays in the military. ...... Obama swept into office as a transformative figure, but the expectations built up by the long campaign thudded back to earth amid an unexpectedly steep recession and hyperbolic opposition from the right. That the GOP has sought to block his agenda wherever possible is undeniable, but truly great leaders find ways to bring opposing factions together when the times demand it; Obama has not yet been able to do so. ....... former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has demonstrated clearly that he's the wrong choice. He's wrong on the issues, from immigration to tax policy to the use of American power to gay rights and beyond. And his shifting positions and willingness to pander have raised questions about who he is and what he stands for. ........ Romney wants to cut taxes, spending and regulations in the hope that the mix of stimulus and austerity will spark growth and reduce the federal deficit. Obama wants to trim spending but raise taxes on high-income Americans, shrinking the deficit without sacrificing investments in the country's productive capacity or curtailing Washington's role in protecting the vulnerable. ....... The centerpiece of Romney's campaign is his plan to cut tax rates 20% below the Bush-era cuts while eliminating enough tax breaks to make up for the loss in revenue, after factoring in economic growth. But the plan lacks credibility, in no small part because Romney has declined to specify how he'd make the numbers work. The risk is that his tax reform will drive up costs for the very middle-income Americans he says he wants to protect, who are the biggest beneficiaries of those tax breaks. ...... it's irresponsible to seek a deep, permanent tax cut when the government is deeply in the red. And Romney would exacerbate the situation by spending extravagantly on defense even as the last of the Bush-era wars ends. His main proposal for reducing the deficit is to cap federal spending at 20% of the economy. With Social Security and Medicare commitments growing in tandem with the rising population of retirees, however, such a cap would inevitably force draconian cuts in federal programs that are vital to productivity, such as higher education, transportation and research. ......... It's hard to analyze the effect of Romney's plans because he's left so many blanks to be filled in after the election. ...... he wants to replace the health care and financial regulatory reforms enacted in 2010, but he won't say with what exactly. He's also advocated rolling back the clock on clean energy, overturning Roe v. Wade and leaving women's reproductive rights at the mercy of state legislators and abandoning efforts to help distressed borrowers keep their homes. And he has sounded bellicose on foreign policy, particularly in regard to the complex challenges posed by Iran, Russia and China, with which he appears determined to start a trade war. ......... The most troubling aspect of Romney's candidacy is that we still don't know what his principles are. Is he the relatively moderate Republican who was governor of Massachusetts, the "severely conservative" one on display in the GOP primaries or the more reasonable-sounding fellow who reappeared at the presidential debates? His modulating positions on his own tax plan, health care reform, financial regulation, Medicare, immigration and the national safety net add to the impression that the only thing he really stands for is his own election. ...... Obama's recalls the successful formula of the 1990s, when the government raised taxes and slowed spending to close the deficit. The alternative offered by Romney would neglect the country's infrastructure and human resources for the sake of yet another tax cut and a larger defense budget than even the Pentagon is seeking.President Barack Obama to his kids: 'Just act like you're listening to me'