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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

E.J. Dionne, Jr.’s Washington Post op-ed “Can Romney show he’s more than a politician?” unearths some Republican convention history to show just how far the GOP has fallen. Dionne notes that Romney’s father, Michigan Governor George Romney actually walked out of the convention speech in 1964 in protest against Goldwater’s extremism. He then quotes from New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s speech to the same convention terming the views of the Goldwaterites “wholly alien to the sound and honest conservatism that has firmly based the Republican Party in the best of a century’s traditions.” Dionne adds, “Nothing better captures the absolute victory of the forces of Goldwaterism than a Romney triumph on the basis of Goldwater’s ideas.”
For an excellent article title, look no further than Joseph A. Palermo’s HuffPo post, “The Republican National Convention: Where Social Darwinism Meets Theocracy.”
Ryan may be laying the macho blue collar hobby stuff on just a tad thick, as Andrew Romano reports at the Daily Beast, quoting Ryan thusly: “My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, a little Spotted Cow, Leinie’s, and some Miller. I was raised on the Packers, Badgers, Bucks and Brewers. I like to hunt here, I like to fish here, I like to snowmobile here. I even think ice fishing is interesting.”

 Romano adds “Two days later, Ryan took his introduction tour to Lakewood, Colo., where he somehow managed, over the course of a 20-minute speech, to mention working at McDonald’s, filling the gas tank on his truck, camping and fishing with his family” and “I got a new chainsaw,” Ryan told the magazine. “It was nice. It’s a Stihl.”
Smart people make a pretty convincing case that Rove still runs the GOP

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A worthy challenge for the MSM, from Jeff Jarvis’s “Reporters: Why Are You in Tampa?” at HuffPo. Jarvis asks: “I challenge every journalist in Tampa for the Republican convention — every one of the 15-16,000 of you — to answer this: Why are you there? What will we learn from you? What actual reporting can you possibly do that delivers anything of value more than the infomercial — light on the info, heavy on the ‘mercial — that the conventions have become? Would you be better off back at home covering voters and their issues? Can we in the strapped news business afford this luxury?”
With the internet attracting increasing face-time and political ad time being gobbled up on TV and radio, Dave Nyczepir’s “Know your online ad options” at Campaigns & Elections has an interesting discussion on the benefits of “pre-roll,” “mid-roll,” “post-roll” and banner ads.
Ed Kilgore wonders at The Washington Monthly if maybe all of the fuss about the “enthusiasm gap” is pointless, since “”Enthusiasm” which exceeds the willingness to cast a ballot only matters if it is communicable to other voters” and because “You only get one vote. And if your passion is part of a political message that repels swing voters, and helps mobilize the other party’s base, then it may be worth even less than nothing.”
Jonathan Chait’s “Team Romney White-Vote Push: ‘This Is the Last Time Anyone Will Try to Do This‘” at New York magazine illuminates Romney’s grand strategy — “To squeak out a majority, Mitt Romney probably needs to win at least 61 percent of the white vote — a figure exceeding what George H.W. Bush commanded over Michael Dukakis in 1988…a near total reliance on white votes to win a presidential election.” And this cynical strategy assumes a comparable turnout of white voters, which is by no means a sure thing. Nate Silver, for example, cites “An Above-Average ‘Likely Voter Gap’ for Romney.”
Alternet’s Peter Montgomery takes an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the loons behind the Republican platform lunacy, subtitled “they’re breaking out the crazy down in Tampa.”
The Republican ticket is betting a lot on the white working-class, but there’s an important constituency they better not write-off as a lost cause. Ron Brownstein explains why in his article at the Atlantic, “Romney’s Big Challenge: Win White-Collar Suburban White Voters” As Brownstein puts it, “During the primaries, Romney’s supporters argued that his buttoned-down demeanor and managerial pedigree positioned him to recapture voters in white-collar suburbs now tilting Democratic. Even with his working-class gains, Romney probably won’t win unless he proves them right.”

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