Tuesday, November 6, 2012

303 or 332

Today at 7:15 a.m. there was a line at the polling place and I had to park in a nearby Walgreens because there was no room in the school lot.  I understand that the lines in Cambridge and Boston were enormous.

My buddy Brian assured me this morning that President Obama would win.  It was comforting. I have been adding up the numbers like a human calculator for a week now trying to identify who would be successful.

Last night I heard about "enthusiasm" in the Romney campaign. I wish the case was that the Romney camp really was reporting about enthusiasm that they witnessed. However, I don't think that is the case.  There might have been enthusiastic crowds, but I think "enthusiasm" was the message point the Romney camp identified in their strategy sessions.  I think the Romney camp thought that by saying there was enthusiasm-regardless of how much enthusiasm there actually was--they would create enthusiasm and votes.  

Throughout the campaign I found that the message from the right was not truly a reporting of what they claimed to be seeing, but rather something generated as the message du jour regardless of whether that message was in fact, fact.  Concerns for the middle class during the first debate, momentum in the weeks before Sandy, enthusiasm now--were tactics as opposed to realities.  Romney had momentum after the first debate--but when after the second debate the momentum stalled, he claimed to have momentum as a ploy to manufacture momentum.

It is this creation of narrative regardless of fact that I find offensive.  Fact is, that while it turned out to be a liability--I thought that Romney's stand on not bailing out the auto industry was actually the right thing to do.  He might have earned my vote if instead of backtracking when that became a liability, he double downed on it--instead of doubling down on the spurious claims he made in order to gain an advantage.  Had he told his base what I believe he really thinks--that a woman should not be prohibited from making choices--I would have been more likely to consider his candidacy.  Yet what he actually did throughout the campaign was change direction like some dust in a windstorm.  There might be a there there, but because of what he did I wasn't sure that the there there could be trusted. .

And, of course, he did nothing to stop the public service charlatans: the governor of Florida and the attorney general of Ohio, who attempted to restrict voting.

I am terrible about predicting elections.  Just awful.  I think with my heart sometimes, so who knows if 303, let alone 332, will turn out to be accurate.  But I will not be surprised if tonight the election will show that many Americans were not taken in by the right's slight of hand.

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