Opinion: Columnists

Morning Examiner: Ignoring Obama’s record

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Columnists

President Obama’s biggest advantage in 2008 was that he had no record on which to run. He was a relative political neophyte with just eight years in the Illinois state Senate and four years in the United States Senate, the majority of which he had spent campaigning to be president. He was free to make as many fanciful promises as he wanted and he did (“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”).

But now, Obama has a record. And Americans are not happy with it. That is why Obama is giving a “framing” speech in Cleveland, Ohio, today. The Wall Street Journal reports: “President Barack Obama will use his campaign policy speech in Cleveland on Thursday to present a fresh economic argument that his team hopes will cement their efforts to frame the election as a choice between two starkly different visions for the future, not a referendum on an incumbent overseeing a still-sluggish economy.”

But will voters ignore Obama’s record and fall for his rhetoric again? Discussions with voters in swing states seem to suggest not. National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar reports:

Last night, veteran Democratic pollster Peter Hart conducted a focus group featuring 12 undecided, ticket-splitting voters in Colorado, which illustrated the tough challenge President Obama faces in winning a second term. … After being shown footage of a campaign speech by Obama, the prevailing sentiment was that the president was a slick salesman, but his words didn’t match his actions. “I got duped. I fell under his spell. What he’s done with the car industry is the only real success,” said Patrick Allen, a 27-year-old health care consultant, who voted for Obama in 2008. “I feel like I was somewhat lied to.”

How many other Obama 2008 voters feel they got duped? Like they were lied to? According to fundraising data showing Obama donations have fallen off sharply among both liberal centrists and far left liberals, lots of them.

Can one Obama speech really change all that?

Campaign 2012
Romney: Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has pledged to give $10 million to the Super PAC supporting Romney, Restore Our Future. And the Romney campaign has posted a 30-second video ready to be put on tv that uses Obama’s “private sector is doing fine” quote against him.

Obama: A new study by Stanford political scientist Adam Bonica shows that the 90 percent of Obama 2008 donors that have abandoned him in 2012 are disproportionately centrists and very liberal Democrats, while regular Democrats have stuck by the president.

Around the Bigs
The Washington Post, Attorney General Holder embattled on two fronts: Next week, a House committee could vote to cite him for contempt of Congress, accusing him of withholding information involving a botched gun-trafficking investigation in Arizona. He also is facing questions about his oversight of an investigation of national security data leaked to reporters.

The Los Angeles Times, Catholic bishops say fight with Obama is over freedom of religion: Stung by criticism that they are engaging in partisan attacks in a presidential campaign, the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops insisted Wednesday that their fight with President Obama has nothing to do with party politics or contraception, and everything to do with what they see as a fundamental assault on religious liberty.

The Wall Street Journal, Spanish Yields Hit Fresh High: Spanish government bond yields hit a fresh euro-era high Thursday after Moody’s Investors Service became the latest ratings agency to downgrade the beleaguered nation’s debt, increasing speculation that a full bailout for Spain isn’t far away.

The New York Times, How Broccoli Landed on Supreme Court Menu: How broccoli has captured the public imagination and become the defining symbol for what may be the most important Supreme Court ruling in decades, one that is expected any day and could narrow the established limits of federal power and even overturn the legal underpinnings of the New Deal.

Righty Playbook
The New York Times‘ Ross Douthat explains why amnesty is not happening anytime soon.
The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk and George Mason Law School’s Todd Zywicki show that not only did Obama’s GM bailout cost taxpayer $23 billion, but contrary to White House claims, the UAW did not have to sacrifice any pay or benefits in the process.Sen. Jim DeMint’s, R-S.C., pickpocket blog details how liberal environmentalists are using supposedly conservative front groups to lobby for the Law of the Sea treaty.

Lefty Playbook
The Atlantic‘s Elspeth Reeve hopes Obama will fire up his youth base by legalizing marijuana.
Mother Jones‘ Kate Sheppard says Republicans are trying to block abortions for raped soldiers.
The New Republic
‘s Noam Scheiber admits, “Of course health care reform made it harder for Obama to get more stimulus and speed up the recovery.”

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