Zac Byer: Gen Y He Said — Closing Argument for Mitt Romney

Our resident Gen Y “He Said; She Said” team — Jordan Stivers and Zac Byer (who also happen to be dating) offer their closing arguments for the presidential candidates.  Click here to read Jordan’s piece.  And Gen Y’s unofficial Hollywood spokeswoman, actor, writer and director Lena Dunham, weighs in here.

Here’s Zac:

 

Can America really afford to continue down the path we are on?

Can we afford to continue with the same policies that have left 23 million Americans unemployed?  That have resulted in the smallest labor force in over thirty years?  That have ballooned our national debt over $16 trillion – $5 trillion of which has been added in the last four years alone?

Forget about whether or not you’re satisfied with those numbers – I can’t believe you are.  So, the better question is whether you accept those numbers?  I sure hope you don’t.

We must bring real accountability to Washington.  Politicians don’t deserve free passes, especially when they pile even more debt on an already burdened public.  The cost of living is too high, and our national morale is too low.  Short-sighted, quick-fix economic policies and Washington solutions do not have to become the new normal.  Neither does the excuse-me-blame-him strategy.  We shouldn’t – and we won’t – accept that.

That’s why we shouldn’t accept four more years of poor prioritization, insincere excuses, and half-baked leadership.  It’s why we shouldn’t accept four more years of Barack Obama.

***

I won’t argue that the economy was in a good place on January 20, 2009.  The Bush Administration gave us a lot to pay for:  two wars, a new prescription drug subsidy, TARP, lower tax rates.  While his conservatism may have been compassionate, it certainly wasn’t cash-conscious.

And President Obama means well.  While I didn’t vote for him four years ago, I wanted him to succeed as much as his most loyal supporter.  When we wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night, we are still Americans…and we are all in this together.

But in the last four years, Obama’s hope has changed to disappointment.

Take the 2012 fiscal year.  The government taxed us to the tune of $2.5 trillion to operate the country.  Whether you think the 16th Amendment is the best or worst component of the Constitution, I hope you’ll agree that $2.5 trillion is a lot of money.  And yet, $2.5 trillion wasn’t enough for Obama’s government.  They spent $3.5 trillion – 44% more than they brought in!  Not only is that unsustainable, but in Mitt Romney’s words, that’s immoral.

Americans all across the country work hard to stick to a budget.  We live within our means, and we don’t spend more than we can afford.  If we can do it, why can’t Washington?  Why shouldn’t Washington?

***

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Zac Byer: Gen Y He Said — Closing Argument for Mitt Romney

Zac Byer: Prix Fixe Politics — The Second Presidential Debate

Good morning from Las Vegas, and welcome to another edition of Prix Fixe Politics!  I’m on my way out of town, but spent last night with 23 undecided voters, 18 of whom voted for Obama in 2008.  After the debate, only five of the 23 committed to voting for the President again on November 6th.  Still, I’m skeptical to believe there will be any significant movement in the polls after the town hall.  For a quick look at why, here is today’s menu:

Appetizer:  First, neither Obama nor Romney have that “Bubba Touch.”  I’m not talking about some dish at the shrimp restaurant — I’m talking about Bill Clinton.  Love him or hate him, you have to admit that the man could connect emotionally no matter the situation, and no matter the American.  Obama’s a gifted rhetorician, but he isn’t the people person like the Democratic president that came before him.  And Romney…well, there’s a litany of socioeconomic and demographic jokes that have been made about Romney’s potential interactions with the undecided “typical American” voters at the town hall.  Regardless, neither candidate was going to score the bonus points that come not in the words of the answer, but in the empathy of the answering.  And, sure enough, neither did.  They spent more time trying to talk over each other than to listen to the concerns of the audience.  Yes, Obama showed more life than he did in the Denver debate, but Romney matched him closely.  I wish one of them had actually taken the time to ask one of the questioners a follow-up.  After all, we’re the ones pulling the levers the first week of November.

Main Course: It’s a tried and true analogy now — sports and politics.  Think about a sporting event you may have attended or watched between two teams to which you had no particular allegiance.  Sure, we all love a good underdog; but, most of us in that situation (and in all other win/lose horse race scenarios) like to be connected to the winner.  I think most of us, Democrat or Republican, can agree Romney won the first debate.  The polls confirm as much, with the undecideds breaking toward the Governor in the last 10 days.  But because this second debate was, and will be covered as, a draw (or a margin of error victory for Obama at the most), I expect the remaining undecideds to stay on the sideline and wait for the third and final debate next week.  This one will be squeezed largely into irrelevance.  As U2 and Linda Ronstadt sing, “everybody loves a winner”…and tonight’s debate left us lacking.

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Zac Byer: Prix Fixe Politics — The Second Presidential Debate

Zac Byer: Prix Fixe Politics — the Denver Debate

 

 

 

Good morning, and welcome to another edition of Prix Fixe Politics!  If Mitt Romney wins this election, it will be because of the way he turned the tide last night in Denver.  It was Mitt’s Mile High Moment — a combination of a stinging critique of a suddenly meek President and a strong case for business-executive leadership.  This debate won’t be remembered for any zingers or select lines.  Simply put, it was Romney at his best and Obama at his worst for 90 minutes.  We can now officially bear down for a dog fight until November 6th, but in the meantime here is today’s menu…

Appetizer: I watched the debate with 24 undecided swing voters in Lakewood, Colorado, thirteen having voted for Obama in 2008.  Where did the group stand after the debate?  20 thought Romney won, and 10 said the debate made them more likely to vote for the challenger.  Boston (Romney Headquarters) loves these numbers for several reasons.  First, it’s serious earned media for the next week.  With the next debate not until October 11 (and that’s between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan), last night’s contest will remain front and center for more than the typicl 48-hour news cycle.  Second, it puts the President’s advisers on the defensive.  They’ll be on CNN and MSNBC every day, trying to return the focus back to Romney’s rich, out-of-touch ways.  Yet after their candidate got walloped like he did, any effort to pivot will come across as an admission of defeat.  And third, it takes some of the pressure off Romney.  He still has a lot to do in the next 32 days if he wants to be elected.  But for a few days, he’ll get to spend more time talking about his success in Denver, which means less time talking about “The 47%” or tax returns.

Main Course: There were a few moments in particular that stood out and are worth discussing.  Romney’s opening statement where he set forth his five-point plan won high marks.  You may have noticed in that clip, and many other times throughout the debate, Romney enumerated his points.  Not only does that keep the communicator focused, but it causes the listener to think he’s hearing an organized, well-crafted answer.  This style is one of the most important ways for Romney to appear to be giving the American people what they want to hear:  SPECIFICS.  While the President meandered through wordy answers and tired excuses, Romney enumerated his way to convincing voters that he does in fact have a plan.  President Obama’s best moments came while discussing health care.  Whether you hate or love Obamacare in sum, it’s hard to viscerally hate some of its component parts — 26 year olds, pre-existing conditions, etc.  Romney and the Republicans still don’t have a good answer for the important question of what they’d do if they repeal Obamacare.  Because Obama has set a new baseline with these well-liked components of the legislation, Romney must calibrate his plan accordingly.  Finally, our Colorado swing voters were nearly off the charts with their real-time dials when Romney spoke about his bipartisanship in MA.  In 2008, Obama promised to transcend partisanship.  Four years later, the acrimony has gotten even worse and the public has grown increasingly impatient with the President and Congress.  Romney has a record of working across the aisle, and the undecided voters notice it.  With this debate answer, he gave his best introduction yet of himself as a Washington outsider with political skills desperately needed along Pennsylvania Avenue.  That Obama let a Republican cast himself as the one best suited to working across the aisle is confounding.

Dessert:  Here are three pieces of advice for President Obama as he prepares for the next debate.  First, figure out what you’re going to do with your head while Romney’s speaking.  Looking down and disinterested like you did last night is the 2012 version of the smug, nose-up Obama we got in 2008.  Unless you are writing something down, focus on Romney.  And every time you give an answer, you should be looking directly into the camera.  There’s no debate audience you need to pander to in the auditorium — the only important people are the ones watching at home!  Your verbal shiftiness reflected a lack of self-confidence and your body language communicated defeat.  Second, what happened to General Motors?  You couldn’t swing a dead cat at the DNC without hitting an Obama surrogate talking about the success of GM.  Heck, Biden’s best line from his DNC speech was:  “Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive!”  When you speak about “saving” GM, you are communicating directly with the voters of Ohio, Michigan, and Western Pennsylvania.  Your ads in those states have been too good to start ceding ground there now.  Third, where did Bain Capital, outsourcing pioneers, and the 47% disappear to?  They’ve been your most effective attacks against Romney and you didn’t mention them once on the biggest stage you’ll have before election night.  You only had to mention these red herrings once or twice — any more would appear unpresidential.  But psychology tells us the importance of the availability heuristic – if you don’t keep these attacks salient while actually on the stage with the culprit, voters will be less likely to recall them in the voting booth.

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Zac Byer: Prix Fixe Politics — the Denver Debate

Zac Byer: A Few Thoughts About Mitt…

No Prix Fixe or full menu today — kitchen’s closed early.  But I wanted to make a comment or two about the once-secret video of Mitt Romney that’s saturated the airwaves over the last 24 hours…
Frankly, I have no idea what Mitt Romney truly believes.  The talking heads seem certain that Romney’ closed-door comments represent his actual convictions.  I’m not convinced.  He was addressing a small group of high-roller donors who love to feel like they’re getting their $25,000-a-dinner’s worth.  Trust me — Romney’s stump speech a signed picture wouldn’t pay for that undercooked beef wellington they served.  So, to please his check-writing audience, Romney felt the need to say something “fresh,” to be “bold.”  Instead of giving them the usual talking points (or, better yet, insights into the policy plans he hasn’t shared with anybody else), he threw some red meat to the crowd and hoped they’d bite.
Please don’t be confused here.  In no way am I defending Romney.  Actually, I’m criticizing him for something which, I believe, is far worse than the socio-political view he espoused that night.  Simply put, the man has no core principles.  He’s a practical, numbers-oriented business man.  And he’s perfectly suited for the board room or corner office.  I’m not so sure about the Oval Office.
We need leaders who say what they mean and mean what they say.  This video cements my belief that Romney simply says what he says depending on the audience, only to later to explain what he means because then he’ll have had ample time to realize what the prevailing opinion wanted him to mean.  If that sounds convoluted, it’s because I’m having such a hard time wrapping my hands around him.  For all his shortcomings, at least you knew where George W. Bush stood.  For heaven’s sake, you could actually find firm ground on which to agree or disagree with him.   

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Zac Byer: A Few Thoughts About Mitt…

Zac Byer: Prix Fixe Politics Live from the RNC

Greetings from hot and humid Tampa Bay, Florida!  It’s the final day of the Republican National Convention, with Mitt Romney taking the stage later tonight.  If there was ever a time Romney needed to look Americans in the eye and convince them that he understands their problems, it’s now.  Here’s today’s menu…
Appetizer:  The most important word of the week hasn’t been “accountability” or “jobs” or “leadership” — for any convention-goer, it’s “Credential.”  There are different badges for the media and for the delegates, distinctions by forum section and suite level access.  Two of the biggest tickets are the blue floor passes (if it says “Escort” you can bring two others down with you) and black production passes (backstage access).  Tuesday night we ran into one of the good men in the Senate, John Barrasso of Wyoming.  Shaking his hand, I couldn’t help but notice his “Maine Delegate” badge.  His response:  “Hey, you can never have too many credentials at one of these things!” When a US Senator is wearing credentials from states other than his own, you know they come at a premium
Main Course:  We’ve been talking to swing voters across the country for months now, but there’s been a clear revelation recently.  Americans think Romney is better equipped to solve their problems, but that he doesn’t understand them.  And they think Obama better understands their problems, but is entirely unable to solve them.  Here are three important takeaways:  1) Many will cast their vote for the lesser of two shortcomings.  Obama 2008 voters who are switching won’t be voting for Romney as much as they are voting against Obama.  2) Obama needs to convince voters that he made genuine efforts to solve, or at least temper, the economic crisis that began in 2008.  That means cutting down on the blame game — Bush, Congress, Europe, the weather, Bibi Netanyahu — and imploring Americans to give him another chance to finish what he started.  3) Romney’s speech tonight matters.  As you’ll read below, I don’t think these conventions will matter as much as the debates, but if there’s any part of this week that could swing this election, it’s Romney’s speech.  Paul Ryan gave a great one last night — it was emotional, energized, and honest — but nobody casts their vote in November for the Vice President.  So tonight, Romney MUST convince America that he gets it.  Corny campaign trail stories won’t do it.  He needs to admit to being a little stuffier than other candidates, a little less charismatic, a little less inclined to give that “human touch.”  For 5 years now, Romney’s been on the defensive about his wealth, his record, and his personality.  Admitting something about the third could be just the right amount of self-deprecation to better ingratiate himself with the general public.

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Zac Byer: Prix Fixe Politics Live from the RNC

Zac Byer: EXCLUSIVE Report from Inside the Supreme Court on Obamacare Decision Day

Good morning and welcome  to a special edition of Prix Fixe Politics!  At 11:30 PM Wednesday  night, I hailed a cab to the second most important address in all of America – One First Street NE, Washington, DC.  I arrived at the Supreme Court, not realizing how tense and dramatic the next twelve hours would get.  I want you to relive Thursday with me – I hope it gives you a different perspective on this historic moment.  With that, here is today’s special SCOTUS menu…

Appetizer: It was actually around 2:00 PM  Wednesday that I first stopped by the Court to see if the mayhem had begun.  No protestors, no supporters, no media in sight…and there were only 3 people in line at that point.  It was less electric than an LA Clippers game in the 90’s and 00’s.  The third woman in line was kind enough to inform me that the Court reserves about 60 spots for the general public on oral argument and opinion days.  While she wouldn’t hold a place for me, she gave me her phone number and suggested I call her later in the evening to gauge the crowd.  Sure enough, when I called her at 11:30 PM, she let me know the line had grown to roughly 40.  So, in khakis and a button-down, with only a half-full bottle of water, I took a cab to the Court and got in line.  If you didn’t recognize the building behind us, you could easily have mistaken the group for college freshmen on move-in day.  The average age was 25 or 26 at most.  They brought foam egg crates and yoga mats to sleep on, blankets and sleeping bags to sleep under.  Some wore sandals and shorts, others wore suits and suspenders.  Justice truly knows no dress code.  There were over-eager undergraduates and case-citing law students, with some Masters in Public Health candidates sprinkled in.  And even though all sides of the aisle were represented and the Capitol Building shone illuminated across the street, there wasn’t one political argument all night.

Main Course: By the time 5:00 AM rolled around, I learned that a lone Crystal Geyser water bottle does not make for a good pillow.  People were stirring and the media circus was arriving.  While the mood was still surprisingly relaxed at that time, 8:00 AM was another story.  The Court security lined us up single-file and handed out a numbered gold card to each person.  I got #36, and could breathe a quick sigh of relief that I’d make it into the courtroom. The guards moved us along 10 at a time, left, right, left, right.  Walking up the first few stairs and heading to the side of the Court, I got a different feeling than I do when I enter the Capitol or White House.  For me, at least, I didn’t feel the same sense of patriotism, but more of a feeling of permeating purpose. Finally moving toward and into the Court reminded me how monumental a moment this could be in the course of defining the parameters of American government, determining the next President, and shaping the political conversation for years to come.  And when you pass CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin in the hall of the Supreme Court, you know there’s no better place to be if law and policy is your bag.

As we lined up once again and prepare to head upstairs, a rosy Michelle Bachmann appeared out of nowhere to join the front of the line.  She hadn’t looked that cheerful since she won the Ames straw poll last August.  Eventually, after we make our way upstairs and check cell-phones and bags in a locker room, I am led to a seat directly behind Bachmann.  She’s not the only congressional Republican on hand:  Reps. Tom Price and Catch McMorris-Rogers are a few rows ahead.  Senators Hatch and Barrasso found good seats in the middle, too.  Paul Clement, attorney for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, was already seated in the back section when Donald Verrilli and others from the Solicitor General’s Office arrived to take their seats only a few rows from the bench.

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Zac Byer: EXCLUSIVE Report from Inside the Supreme Court on Obamacare Decision Day

Zac Byer — Waiting for the Decision

No full meal yet, but wanted to send regards from the line in front of the Supreme Court.

I’m #42 in line to get in and hear the opinions read in the morning — as you know, the healthcare decisions are expected.

First 60 are reserved for public…so I lucked out.

But, I am so ill-prepared. One water bottle, and the same button down and khakis I wore since Tuesday morning and through a red-eye flight. Everyone has sleeping bags and pillows, foam egg crates and blankets. And 95% of us are under 25 years old!

The RPs Debate Roger Clemens: Zac Byer Bats Sixth

[Click here for a link to the entire RP Debate on Roger Clemens]

A few random musings first…

-Original RP:  Saying Ryan Braun is your favorite Jewish ballplayer is like saying Tiger is your favorite black golfer!  Unless you’re talking historically, and then I’ll send you a few clips of Sandy Koufax from 1963…and ’65…and ’66.

-I’m ready for Artur to write a book titled Let Me Tell You Something Profound About Nearly Everything.  Forget your next campaign — I want to catch a game with you

-2013 RP Fantasy League anyone?

I’ve been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember.  Growing up in a family that shared LA Dodger season tickets helped that cause.  And I think because of my connection with the Dodgers, I’m largely a baseball purist.  We’ve got the only symmetrical ballpark in the National League.  Our beloved stadium just turned a cool 50 years old (some of the Dodger Dogs taste like they’re pushing 50, too).  And there’s no smoother voice in baseball – heck, sports – than Vin Scully.

I guess as a Dodger fan it’s natural to be anti-PED and anti-steroid.  Barry Bonds crushed us for years and Braun made out like a bandit when he won Matt Kemp’s MVP award last year.  It’s probably why Griffey Jr. is my favorite player I grew up watching.  Yet now, as I think back to all the games I’ve been to, a few moments stand out (there haven’t been many great Dodger moments since ’88):

-Watching Mark McGwire hit balls OUT of Dodger Stadium during batting practice.  I don’t mean out of the stadium, into the bleachers.  I mean OUT of the stadium, into the parking lot.  Big Mac did it once during a game – the only two others to ever do it over the last 50 years have been Willie Stargell and Mike Piazza.

-Watching Barry Bonds absolutely mash.  Each of his home runs against the Dodgers sucked a little more life out of me.  And yet I always felt like watching Bonds would be the closest thing I’d ever get to watching Babe.

-Watching Eric Gagne make some of the best hitters look like career AA bullpen catchers.  He’d run in from Left Field to “Welcome to the Jungle,” and just like our Gagne shirts said, we knew it was “Game Over.

-Watching Clemens deal.  I’ve never been so entranced watching a starting pitcher.  It’s one thing to sit on the edge of your seat in Loge 131 Row K and secretly hope to see Bonds go yard.  It’s another to sit there crossing your fingers for Rocket to hit 97 on the gun and pitch one more inning.  I remember that he didn’t throw for too long, but it was 6 or 7 of the most calculatingly brilliant innings I’ve seen a pitcher toss.

I don’t have to tell you what all of these guys have in common.  Does it disappoint me?  Without question.  Has baseball ever been as exciting as it was from the mid-90s to the Mitchell Report?  No way.  Look what’s happening now.  Football is now America’s Game.  Kids are growing up playing lacrosse instead of playing catch.  And the dollars and cents of baseball continue to get hammered, as season ticket bases erode and people stay home to watch games on their plasma TVs.

So put Clemens in the Hall so I can tell my kids about the game I saw him pitch.  And I’ll tell them about steroids, I’ll tell them about how exciting baseball was back then and how devastating some of the claims were.  And then we’ll go out and play catch and everything will be fine.”

Zac Byer: Prix Fixe Politics

Good morning, and welcome to another edition of Prix Fixe Politics!  Apologies for my absence, but May was a long month of work outside the political realm.  I can’t say that disappointed me, but you can only stay away for so long (I’m on my way to catch a flight to Wisconsin for tomorrow’s gubernatorial maelstrom).  On the eve of the second most important election of 2012, here’s today’s menu…
Appetizer: We are less than 100 days away from the Republican and Democratic conventions in Tampa and Charlotte, respectively.  They are the Super Bowl, March Mardness, and World Series of politics, but they only happen every four years.  So, maybe they’re more like the Olympics or the World Cup, but with fewer viewers and many more out-of-shape people.  A source tells me that the Democrats are six weeks behind the Republicans in their operations and development.  With the first week of September only three months away, that can’t be sitting well with Obama’s Chicago outfit.
Main Course: Tomorrow in Wisconsin, voters will go to the polls to participate in only the third recall election of any U.S. governor (if you’re from California, you may remember fondly when you could have voted for Gary Coleman to replace Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 – a bright spot in my home state’s storied history). Last year, WI Gov. Scott Walker sparked a firestorm when he eliminated most collective bargaining rights for public-sector unions. Since then, pro-labor forces mobbed the state capital in Madison, Democratic state legislators fled to Illinois to avoid a budget vote, and the candidates and independent groups spent over $63 million drumming up support. What happens if Tom Barrett, the Democratic nominee and Milwaukee Mayor, defeats Walker? Foremost, the labor unions’ financial efforts will be vindicated. The unions will gain significant fundraising momentum in important rust belt states such as Ohio and Michigan, making it even harder for Romney to move these must-win states into his column. And if Gov. Walker holds on? You can look for him in a prime speaking spot at the Republican National Convention in August. But more importantly, I expect other Republican Governors and state legislatures to toy with similar proposals. They may not have the courage to act before November, but they’ll float the idea, bring Walker to speak in their state (think Pennsylvania and Ohio), and use it as leverage over the labor/Democratic thorns in their sides. Who’s going to win? At this point, anybody in Wisconsin who plans to vote has made up his or her mind. It’s cliche, but it’s true: it will come down to voter turnout. And the unions are pretty good about loading Democratic voters into vans heading for the polls. Still, I think Walker keeps his job by 4-6 points. 

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Zac Byer: Prix Fixe Politics

Gen Y “He Said; She Said” on Hope and Change

Last month, we introduced a new feature at The Recovering Politician: the Gen Y “He Said; She Said” debates.

“He” is Zac Byer, a longtime staff contributor at the RP, an outspoken Republican, and currently works for one of the leading minds behind GOP national strategy, Dr. Frank Luntz. “She” is Jordan Stivers, a passionate Democrat who currently serves on the communications committee of the newly formed Young Democrats of America Faith and Values Initiative.  As you might be able from the picture at left, “He” and “She” are dating.  Or talking to each other.  Or in a relationship.  Or whatever Gen Y calls these types of relationships.

Anyway, enjoy their debate about Hope and Change:

JORDAN:   This week, I read an article by the senior editor of The Atlantic in which he explains why he thinks Obama is losing, though the election is six months away.  He says it’s not because voters don’t like Obama, or don’t think he is qualified, but because he has “simply failed to bring the change he promised.”  I’ve heard this argument quite a few times, mostly from Republicans, who, as soon as President Obama was elected made it their main objective to create as many obstacles to bipartisan success as possible.  My Senator, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, is one of these.  He openly stated that he planned to do everything in his power to make President Obama a one-term President.  What a winning attitude.

I was an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama in 2008 in part because of the bipartisan environment he wanted to create, but also because I trusted his instinct to lead us in a direction that would make the United States more of a place of opportunity for young people like me, and for the many people that were used to finding themselves without any power in the political process.  I believe that in that second objective, he has delivered the change he promised.  Through health care reform, the JOBS Act, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and now his open support of marriage equality, he has brought more positive change to this country than President Bush did in his two terms.

 

Of course I wish that Congress could actually function and compromise the way the founders intended, but why their dysfunction is being laid entirely on President Obama’s shoulders I don’t understand.  The people who should be held responsible are Speaker John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid.  The politicians and pundits who are complaining that not enough change has happened are the same people who were actively trying to prevent change from happening, for purely political reasons.  Any sucess for Obama meant a loss for them.  What they did not consider is what would be a success for Americans as a whole.  Instead of mocking the words “hope” and “change,” Republicans should realize that those words mean a lot to people.  The only way things can change for the better and people who are downtrodden by the economy can have hope again, is for Republicans and Democrats to work together.

 

ZAC:  Working in language and message consulting, I agree that words “mean a lot to people.”  And clearly, in 2008, “hope” and “change” carried a particular significance surpassing any presidential campaign mantra.  But here’s the issue — words can only take us so far.  There must be actions to bolster the message, otherwise the latter only amounts to hollow rhetoric.

The JOBS Act was a rare symbol of bipartisan cooperation…but it started as a House Republican priority that Senate Democrats and the President realized they couldn’t say no to without falling on the sword.
To say Obama has delivered the change he promised through his health care reform is tantamount to a baseball owner saying the new pitcher he signed has changed the franchise before he has even thrown his first pitch.  Nancy Pelosi herself said it’ll be a matter of time before anyone truly understands the consequences of the legislation, and I don’t expect the Supreme Court to go quietly into the night.
And I applaud Obama for finally putting principle before politics and admitting that he supports same-sex marriage.  An evolutions?  Good grief!  If I was a Democrat who cared strongly about that issue, I’d be downright angry that the only reason why Obama made his declaration of support two weeks ago was because Biden did what he’s been doing for over thirty years.  Real courage would have been an announcement in support of same-sex marriage in 2008, no matter the electoral consequences.  Be that as it may, I don’t expect his announcement to change much at all, as this will remain a states’ issue (as even Obama desires it to be).
Ultimately, we head into November 2012 staring down $5 trillion more in debt, unemployment stuck above 8%, and a failed $800 billion stimulus.
I’ll be the first to admit that the cooperation from the congressional Republicans has been minimal at best.  But, when you look back at Obama’s first two years in office, what’s your assessment?  He worked with Democrat majorities in both the House and the Senate, and rode a wave of public support into the White House.  Are you truly satisfied with how he and his counterparts prioritized — Cash for Clunkers, health care, and Solyndra instead of legislation aimed at relieving the burdens on small business owners and job creators, or incentivizing businesses to keep jobs in America, or tackling entitlement reform?

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Gen Y “He Said; She Said” on Hope and Change