The poet Robert Graves wrote, “One hard look can close the book that lovers love to see.” On Wednesday night, Americans saw Barack Obama in a new, hard light. He was not the smooth, confident leader they imagined him to be. He was rambling, unfocused and ultimately bested by another, more able man. His defeat defied what was expected, or what many believed was even possible. The scene was reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King” where Danny Dravot, a British soldier with delusions of godhood, is bitten by the native girl he seeks to wed.
Team Obama, scrambling to regain solid footing after Wednesday’s debate debacle, has switched attack targets. Mitt Romney the extremist is out. Mitt Romney the liar is in. Chief campaign strategist David Axelrod complimented Romney’s “vigorous performance” — but added that it was “one that was devoid of honesty.” Really. Axelrod talking “honesty.” Indeed, he said, “the question is . . . whether or not a candidate that is so fundamentally rooted in hiding the facts and truth” can be trusted with the presidency. But while that description applies to one of the candidates, it’s not Mitt Romney.
Foreign policy wasn’t on the debate agenda last night, but Mitt Romney did say, “What’s happening in the Middle East? There are developments around the world that are of real concern.” Indeed. The latest being that for a second day in a row Turkey has shelled Syria in retaliation for Syrian mortar shells landing in Turkey and killing several people. This is only the latest sign of how the Syrian conflict continues to rage and to spill over Syria’s artificial borders. Yet President Obama seems to be acting as if he could wish the conflict away, presumably
Apologists for President Obama’s weak performance in Wednesday night’s debate have found a scapegoat. It’s Jim Lehner, the PBS anchor who served as moderator. The charge? He let Mitt Romney run amok—that is, talk more—by not enforcing the time limits on speaking. This is untrue. As it turns out, Obama spoke four minutes more than Romney did in the 90-minute debate. But since he had so many pauses, stumbles, and instances of “Ah…ah,” Romney actually got in more words, 7,891 to Obama’s 7,350. Romney simply had more to say—and that surely wasn’t Lehrer’s fault.
Congressman Todd Akin failed to report almost $130,000 in Missouri legislative pension income over the past 10 years on his congressional financial disclosure report, his office acknowledged this morning. “This was an unintentional oversight and I regret any inconvenience this may cause,” Akin wrote in a letter to the House Ethics committee this week. The acknowledgment came after a Post-Dispatch inquiry into why Akin showed no Missouri pension payments on the congressional form. Asked if the discovery came in response the newspaper’s questions, Akin spokesman Steve Taylor said only that it was the result of “an inquiry.”
The first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, otherwise known as “The Denver Donnybrook,” offered the rarest of pleasures for attentive viewers: a series of utterly unexpected developments that could shock and shove the perpetually close campaign in dramatically new directions. Among the evening’s most conspicuous surprises: 1. Romney came across as notably more youthful, energetic, and optimistic than his weary and piqued opponent—despite a 14-year age difference in Obama’s favor. The 51-year-old hope-and-change wonder boy looked worn out, uncomfortable, and embarrassed to be there,
The last time a beating this brutal drew a wider audience was Ali-Foreman, I believe. More than 58 million people watched the first Presidential debate last night between President Obama and Mitt Romney, up substantially from the first debate in the 2008 election cycle, which had 52.4 million viewers. Fox News was the most-watched cable news network during the debate, and will likely be the most-watched network on TV, though final broadcast numbers will not be released until after 4 PM. The second Obama/McCain debate in 2008 drew 63.2
After months of indecision, or at least months of silence, Boston Mayor-for-Life Thomas Menino has at last announced his endorsement of Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate. Speaking at a Warren rally in Roslindale on Friday, September 21, the mayor invoked the ordinary working people from Hyde Park who would benefit from having someone like Warren “speak up in Washington” on their behalf, saying: “if I was any guy from Hyde Park, Elizabeth would have my back, and so I have hers.” The question that everyone is asking now is: what took so long?
Two people blinded in Washington, D.C., in 2005. Three dead in Virginia in 2006 and three more in Oregon the following year. Twenty-one dead polo horses in Florida in 2009. Earlier this year, 33 people in seven states with fungal eye infections. And now, at least five people dead and 35 sickened with fungal meningitis that has been linked to steroid shots for back pain. All these disasters involved medicines that had been custom-mixed at what are called “compounding pharmacies” - laboratories that supply hospitals, clinics and doctors to a much wider degree in the U.S. than many people realize.
In fact, on the verge might not be the right way to put it; in the middle of might be more accurate. Steve Hanke estimates that inflation is running at 70% a month. This is, as Alex Tabarrok points out, nowhere near a record. Still, it's a Big Deal. Hyperinflation has brought down governments--Iran is experiencing protests over the collapsing rial. And it's not hard to see why. At the current rate of inflation the value of a savings account (or a mattress stash) is now barely 40% of what it was one month
One of two Border Patrol agents who survived Tuesday's shooting east of Naco, Ariz., is cooperating with authorities and has been interviewed by the FBI, his attorney confirmed Thursday. Agent Nicholas Ivie, 30, died in the shooting, and another agent was wounded and treated at a Tucson hospital.(Snip) At the same time, however, NBC News reported that federal investigators had not ruled out that "friendly fire" was involved in the incident. Asked about whether "friendly fire" was involved, Acting Cochise County Sheriff Rodney Rothrock replied, "I can't exclude that possibility, but I think it's too early in the investigation
Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano repeatedly misled lawmakers about one of her department’s signature initiatives, the special centers where state and local police share information about terrorism with their federal counterparts, a key lawmaker who helped author a damning report on the project said in an interview Thursday. A bipartisan report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations states that Ms. Napolitano and her department failed to report to Congress serious problems with the so-called “fusion center” program. “She was not straightforward to the committee about what she actually knew at the time and what had been documented by
Federal investigators have told NBC News they are examining whether the shootings of Border Patrol agents early Tuesday morning were the result of friendly fire – officers accidentally shooting each other. Initial reports from U.S. and local officials blamed the shootings on armed criminals. Agent Nicholas Ivie, 30, was killed and another agent was wounded in the incident. Mexican police said Thursday that they arrested two suspects in a Mexican military operation in the city of Agua Prieta, in Mexico’s northern Sonora state, a few miles from where Ivie was shot, Reuters reported.
Denver - The nation’s movement conservatives have not always been Mitt Romney’s biggest fans, but activists were downright giddy when the former Massachusetts governor made a surprise drop-in here at the CPAC Colorado gathering the day after his powerful debate showing against President Obama on Wednesday night. Attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference-Colorado were virtually unanimous in the opinion that Mr. Romney had not only triumphed in the first presidential debate, but won decisively, outdueling President Obama on everything from stage presence to command of the issues.
The Obama campaign is back to attacking Gov. Mitt Romney’s character — and calling for support from the established media — after a surprising debate defeat in Denver. President Barack Obama’s chief campaign strategist, David Axelrod, led the offensive to claim that Romney is deceptive and dishonest in a Thursday morning press conference. (Snip) Shortly after the press event, Obama’s team announced a new TV ad, entitled “Trust,” that painted Romney as deceptive on taxes. “If we can’t trust him here [in TV debates] … how could we ever trust him here?” says the ad, showing a picture of the
San Antonio- Actress Daryl Hannah was arrested in Texas on Thursday after she stood in front of an earth-moving machine clearing ground for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, her representative said. The protest took place outside Winnsboro, Texas, about 80 miles east of Dallas, said Hannah's agent, Paul Bassis. Hannah, 51, a longtime environmental activist, was arrested last year outside the White House in another protest against the pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline, a project of TransCanada Corp, would ship more than half a million barrels a day of oil sands-derived crude to the Texas Gulf Coast
Mitt Romney will give what's billed as a major foreign policy speech Monday at the Virginia Military Institute. In the words of his campaign, Romney plans to "offer a stark contrast between his vision for a strong foreign policy and the failed record of President Obama." Romney will pay special attention to the Middle East, where he sees crises in Syria, Egypt, Iran and elsewhere. One open question is what Romney will say about a crisis that is threatening to turn into a full-scale scandal for the Obama administration. In the more than three weeks since Ambassador Chris Stevens and
Iran recently proposed a nine-step plan to end the confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, but American officials have rejected the plan as a non-starter, the New York Times reported on Thursday. (Snip) However, under the plan, Iran would only suspend work at the underground uranium enrichment facility at Fordow after all sanctions have been lifted and the country is able to sell its oil freely again. The sanctions have taken an increasingly harsh toll on Iran's economy, including the collapse of the Iranian currency, the rial. This week, the worsening economic situation in the country led to public
James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal smelled a conflict-of-interest problem when "The Washington Post Co. said Monday that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Celtic Healthcare, a provider of skilled home health-care and hospice services in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions.” The Post has offset losses in its core journalism businesses with profits from its Kaplan educational business. But federal money is part of the cash flow. A recent story on threatened accreditations noted “A loss of accreditation would mean the Kaplan campuses would no longer be eligible for Title IV
CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico — The Mexican government dispatched troops, federal police and criminal investigators to a violence-torn state on the U.S. border on Thursday after the assassination of the governor's nephew sent tremors through one of Coahuila's most powerful political families. Jose Eduardo Moreira, a 25-year-old state employee, was found shot to death Wednesday night on a rural road outside the town of Ciudad Acuna, across the border from Del Rio, Texas. The victim's father, Humberto, was the state's previous governor and also served
With the presidential election only a few weeks away, it’s appropriate to discuss where our country is today, and what it can be in the years ahead. A few weeks ago, Vice President Joe Biden, in his convention acceptance speech, exclaimed, “America is not in decline.” It strikes me when the vice president feels he has to stand up and say that, it’s a bit like acknowledging that America is in decline and that the world senses it, but he doesn’t want to admit it. Let me be clear — I do not believe America is destined
FISHERSVILLE, Va. — Far from running to the political middle, Republican nominee Mitt Romney used this week’s first presidential debate to embrace exactly the same kinds of spending cuts he talked about throughout the GOP primary, including backing trims that House Republicans tried to push through Congress last year. He mentioned the 10th Amendment — a favorite of the tea party movement — and vowed to ax funding for PBS, and throughout his debate performance he gave the firmest evidence yet that he will not “Etch A Sketch” away his primary stances, but rather
DENVER — Reeling from his widely panned performance in the first presidential debate, President Obama and his campaign team Thursday sought to reassure unnerved supporters and to blame the president’s difficulties on the shiftiness of Republican rival Mitt Romney. Even as Mr. Obama accused Mr. Romney of deceiving voters about his true positions in the debate Wednesday night, the president indirectly acknowledged that his opponent got the better of him in their high-stakes face-off. His assessment of the debate suggested that Mr. Romney got inside his head, too, with the president openly speculating
With his forceful denial of charges that he would raise taxes on the middle class, Mitt Romney used Wednesday’s debate to launch an aggressive new effort to regain his footing in the battle over taxes. In one of the debate’s first exchanges, the Republican presidential nominee directly challenged President Obama’s assertion that Romney’s tax plan would finance big new breaks for the wealthy by wiping out popular deductions for those who earn less than $250,000 a year. “I know that you and your running mate keep saying that
Denver — The elements of Mitt Romney’s Rocky Mountain rout were hatched weeks ago in Vermont’s Green Mountains. In early September, Romney slowed down his campaign schedule and retreated with a small group of advisers to the home of Kerry Healey, his former lieutenant governor. Ohio senator Rob Portman, a trusted ally, joined Stuart Stevens, Eric Fehrnstrom, Bob White, and a handful of other Romney confidants. They spent days holding mock debates, and nights reviewing President Obama’s stylistic tics. When they needed a break, they roamed around Healey’s secluded estate, which is 100 miles south of Burlington, Vt. ...
President Obama sought to put a sluggish debate performance behind him Thursday with a pair of combative speeches in swing states, as his campaign advisers acknowledged that he would have to change his approach before meeting Republican nominee Mitt Romney again on a national stage. Obama advisers said the president decided before Wednesday’s debate that he would not fight his rival before a prime-time television audience. They acknowledged that Obama will have to do more in the next debate to defend his record and hold Romney more accountable