Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The battle for the Senate revisited

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Republican fortunes have improved in the battle for the Senate, “encouraging Republican hopes that they may yet snag the chamber which very recently seemed beyond their reach.” The Post adds, however, that to accomplish this, Republicans will need to win nearly all of the close races. The Post attributes the improved outlook for Republicans to the surge of Mitt Romney. That’s a reasonable conclusion. Let’s »

Bill Clinton — from savior to potential scapegoat in less than two months

Featured image If President Obama loses this election, the Democrats will need a scapegoat. The obvious scapegoat would be Obama himself. But he’s been getting free passes all of his life, and the left-liberals who comprise the Democratic mainstream will think long and hard about holding him accountable now. For one thing, he’s manifestly one of them. For another, he’s African-American. Accordingly, the need for a different scapegoat would arise. That scapegoat »

Is this 1980 or 2004? (updated to include chart link)

Featured image Throughout this political season, political junkies have wondered whether the Obama-Romney race more closely resembles the Carter-Reagan contest of 1980 or the Bush-Kerry race of 2004. The former featured an unsuccessful, unpopular president and a challenger about whom the public was, for some time, highly skeptical. The latter pitted a president about whom the public was highly skeptical against a challenger who was rather unpopular. My instinct told me that »

More thoughts on debate moderators, gender, and age

Featured image Yesterday, I expressed the hope that the 2016 presidential and vice presidential debates will serve up better female moderators than Martha Raddatz and Candy Crowley. One reader-friend asked if I could suggest such a moderator. I can: Gwen Ifill. Here is what I wrote about Ifill after she presided over the vice presidential debate in 2004: Tonight’s vice presidential debate featured two superb performances. Unfortunately for John Edwards, they were »

Comment on familiar subject places another Senate pick-up in jeopardy

Featured image Richard Mourdock, a Republican, is locked in a tight Senate race in Indiana with Democrat Joe Donnelly to replace Richard Lugar, whom Mourdock defeated during the primary season. Although Mourdock hasn’t been able to pull away, he appears to be leading by about 5 points. In his debate tonight against Donnelly, however, Mourdock may have opened the door for Donnelly in basically the same way that Todd Akin did for »

Obama fails Bob Woodward’s fact check on sequestration

Featured image Bob Woodward, who wrote a book about the sequestration, blows the whistle on President Obama’s claim during last night’s debate that the idea of using deep, automatic, across-the-board domestic and defense spending cuts to force Congress to address the nation’s burgeoning federal deficit originated in Congress, not in the White House. “What the president said is not correct,” Woodward told Politico. In his book, The Price of Politics, Woodward reported »

Debate indiscipline, an inherent problem for Democrats

Featured image If there’s a common takeaway from the four debates of this presidential cycle, it’s the indiscipline of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The problem manifested itself in different ways in different debates. In the first debate, Obama apparently lacked the discipline to treat the event with the seriousness it required. He seemed comparatively unprepared, unwilling to treat Romney as a serious opponent until it was too late, and unable even »

Wanted: competent female debate moderators

Featured image We’ve commented on the performances of the moderators of the first three debates, so I’ll say a few words about last night’s moderator Bob Schieffer: Job well done. Schieffer stuck to his assignment, which was to ask topical questions that provoke discussion; to move on to other topics after both candidates had a roughly equal opportunity to address the pending one; and to ensure that, overall, the candidates received equal »

CNN poll tends to confirm that Romney “won” by drawing

Featured image A CNN/ORC International Poll following today’s presidential debate found, in CNN’s words, that those who watched the third and final head-to-head matchup of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney did not identify a clear winner.” Debate viewers split 48% for Obama and 40% for Romney in the poll, a margin within the sampling error, according to CNN. As Ed Morrissey points out, Obama “won” the insta-poll after the second debate »

Did Romney just move another small step toward the presidency?

Featured image This morning, I wrote a debate preview post called “Thoughts on Playing to Win Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate.” I was tempted to call my debate recap post “Thoughts on Playing to Draw Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate.” For Romney did not attempt to outdebate Obama point by point on foreign policy. And in most instances, he was content to agree with what Obama currently is doing on this or that foreign »

Thoughts on playing to win tonight’s foreign policy debate

Featured image I expect that tonight’s presidential debate will draw many fewer viewers than the first two. After all, it must compete with Monday Night Football and Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. On the other hand, the first two debates (for different reasons) served up compelling television experiences. Female viewers, at least, may by unwilling to resist the encore, sports viewing opportunities notwithstanding. Foreign policy, tonight’s topic, isn’t foremost »

Voters believe Obama is hiding something on Libya

Featured image According to the Washington Post, the Romney campaign has learned from focus groups in Ohio that voters, especially female voters, think that President Obama is hiding something when it comes to Libya. I don’t know how they could have gotten that idea. The public’s realization that Obama isn’t leveling on Libya probably helps explain why the president has lost most, if not all, of the advanatage he once held with »

The White House’s less than optimal effort to defend against the Benghazi attack

Featured image The Benghazi fiasco has led to many questions, all of which cast the Obama administration in a bad light. For example: why was the U.S. consulate in Benghazi still open, given how dangerous the place had become; why, given that the consulate was still open, wasn’t there more protection; why, after the attack, was the White House so dishonest about what had transpired; and what is the U.S. going to »

Can you spot the trend?

Featured image The 10 most recent Gallup poll results: Time period: Obama Romney Oct. 5-11: 47, 49 Oct. 6-12: 47, 49 Oct. 7-13: 47, 49 Oct. 8-14: 47, 49 Oct. 9-15: 46, 50 Oct. 10-16: 45, 51 Oct. 11-17: 45, 52 Oct. 12-18: 45, 51 Oct. 13-19: 45, 51 Oct. 14-20: 45, 52 Note that presidential debates occurred on Oct. 3 and 16 and the vice presidential debate occurred on Oct. 11. »

On the ground in Southern New Hampshire

Featured image One of our long-time readers, who lives in Massachusetts, has been campaigning for Mitt Romney and Republican congressional candidates in Southern New Hampshire. His efforts include door-to-door visits of voters. The first report he sent me was not upbeat. He found little enthusiasm, whether measured by yard signs or reaction to his door-to-door campaigning, for either side. But that was before the first presidential debate. At the beginning of this »

Obama to financial cliff — bring it on

Featured image President Obama said yesterday that he’ll veto any bill designed to avoid the “financial cliff” America faces unless that bill raises taxes on the top 2 percent. Bill Otis had this reaction: This by itself should cost him the election. The guy is perfectly willing to kick off a new recession (not that we’re truly out of the last one) because the Republican House will only give him 98% of »

Remembering Eddie Yost

Featured image Eddie Yost died on Wednesday at the age of 86. Yost was a key player on the first baseball team I ever followed, the Washington Senators of the mid 1950s. Yost wasn’t our best player; that was slugger Roy Sievers. But he was the team leader and, as far as I could tell, the most popular player among adult Senators fans. Yost is famous for drawing walks. He led the »