“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt
Archive for September, 2008
“Hello Ted? Barack here. Hey buddy a question, how’d you do it?”
If I were Barack Obama it’s a call I might be making to Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. The answer to the question about how to win Ohio may very well be found by studying Ted Strickland’s blue print for winning the Governor’s seat in 2006.
And there’s no need to bog yourself down by studying strategy for 88 counties, let’s just focus on three and they’re right here in Northeast Ohio; Cuyahoga, Summit and Stark.
In his victory Ted Strickland carried all three of these counties. No real surprise, John Kerry also carried them in 2004. Consider this though, after studying the numbers from those two races I found that if John Kerry had carried those three counties by the same percentage as Ted Strickland he would have had, by my count, an extra 124,891 votes. John Kerry only lost Ohio by 118,600 votes.
Flip those popular votes and you flip Ohio’s 20 electoral votes, flip those electoral votes and John Kerry would be in a battle right now for his second term as President.
In the interest of full disclosure John McCain’s no Ken Blackwell and the likelihood of Barack Obama matching Strickland’s 75% of the vote in Cuyahoga county is a tall order order. Bill Clinton only got 61.4% in 1996 to Bob Dole’s 29.46% (Ross Perot got 9.12%.)
Even still in the final week of the campaign especially watch for a prominent Obama presence in the Cleveland Akron Canton area. The key to maximizing numbers in generating a growing buzz leading up to Election Day.
“This is the most amazing period I can remember in any campaign in my lifetime and I have no idea what the next act is.” – Newt Gingrich
Stopping at Oberlin College Wednesday former House Speaker Newt Gingrich declared what the nation needs is a workout not a bailout to solve the financial crisis.
“The biggest challenge for McCain and the Congress is to recognize that we need an economic recovery act which includes a workout for the financial community. But if all you adopt is a workout for the financial community then the economy continues to slide then you’ll never be able to pay off the bad debt.”
“Remember they started the year asking for 152-billion dollars stimulus package. They came back in July and asked for 300-billion plus housing package. They’re now back in September asking for a 700-billion dollar bailout package now that’s almost a trillion 200-billion dollars in one year. And there’s no reason to believe if you can’t solve the underlying economic problems that the bailout won’t lead to another bailout. “
He’d like a three part economic recovery package with part one being economic growth, part two solving energy problem and part three a workout and not a bailout for Wall Street.”
On the issue of energy Gingrich pointed out that we’re sending $700-billion a year overseas for energy. That’s why he says Dubai is able to bring our money back to buy our companies.
1) “You replace snap shot to market which is what they currently have, which is a fairly destructive accounting rule, with a three year average mark to market. You overnight eliminate almost half the bankruptcies because this is an artificially accountant driven bankruptcy.”
2) “You change the loss – reserve provision so that it becomes counter cyclical rather than cyclical. Right now the loss reserve provisions on top of the snapshot to market provisions are literally driving companies bankrupt that are totally healthy except they don’t fit the accountant’s rules.”
3) “The third thing I think you have to do is open a window and say look if you have bad paper and you have a liquidity crisis we will loan you money at Treasury plus 2-percent but you ultimately have to work this out. You made the deal it’s your paper you own it you fix it. Paulsen I’m told has said well they’ll never agree to that. Well my question is if they don’t think it’s worth working out why do you want the taxpayers to hire beurocrats to try to work it out. And so I think you can find a way to meet the liquidity challenge without having the government set up a new beuracracy without having the government take ownership of the paper.”
Some years ago the late David Brinkley is quoted as having said after a presidential debate something to the effect that “candidates don’t come to debates to debate, they come to give speeches. And they did.”
With that in mind a reminder for Wednesday night:
Third presidential debate:
Wednesday, October 15
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
NOTES – QUOTES AND ANECDOTES FROM THE TRAIL;
MC CAIN–PALIN HIT TRUMBULL COUNTY;
*The Vienna, Ohio visit of John McCain and Sarah Palin Tuesday was part political design part political convenience. If you’ve been watching ABC’s Good Morning America you know they’re traveling cross country this week by train as part of their Great American Whistle Stop Tour. John McCain’s scheduled to appear live Tuesday morning as the train heads into Gustavus, Ohio from Western New York. Gustavus is just a stone’s throw up Route 11 from Vienna.
*The theme of the day though, the crisis on Wall Street, played perfectly into the location for McCain. Trumbull County is Democratic no doubt. It went for John Kerry in 2004 62% to 38% and it went roughly 3-to-1 for Ted Strickland and Sherrod Brown in 2006. But these are in many ways conservative democrats, Reagan democrats, Hillary democrats (she won the county 2-to-1 over Obama in March.) These are voters John McCain feels he can reach and having an issue like this that pits Wall Street greed against Main Street values is one he or any politician will pitch here any day.
*Polls out today show both Barack Obama and John McCain are trusted equally on the economy. This is issue number one with Americans and the candidate who the voters feel is best able to handle it will likely be the winner in November. I weigh that though against these words that started a New York Times article today on the situation on Wall Street.
“One clear implication of the tumult in the financial world is that some of the biggest brains in the business, from the Federal Reserve to Wall Street, have no idea what will happen next or how to respond.”
Good luck with that guys.
*Finally to see that old hangar at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport converted into the site of that political rally Tuesday with 7,000 people, McCain’s jet, Palin’s jet and a sea of media was somewhat amazing. That’s because the last time I stepped foot in the place was in May of last year when we had to land there to refuel in Newschopper 5. It felt like the Twilight Zone, I could literally count on one hand the number of people I saw there (and that’s including me, the pilot and the photographer.) What a difference a campaign makes.
Bellwether’s a funny word you are sure to hear mentioned often leading up to Election Day. By definition bellwether is “an indication of a trend” or “a castrated male sheep.” (Dictionary.com, seriously I’m not making it up.)
For our purposes let us focus on the former and try to erase the mental image of the latter. Ohio is a bellwether state because our voting trends are often reflective of the nation as a whole. But what spots are bellwether’s of the state? Leading up 2004 it was Stark County. That’s why the New York Times covered the Bush-Kerry race through the pen of a reporter living there. Going into the race (with the exception of 1976) they had voted for the winner in every presidential election since 1964. But when the votes were tallied four years ago Stark County had sided with John Kerry, the state with George Bush.
So as I poured over election results in the past couple of years and broke down the numbers I found the new Stark may very well be Lake. Lake County’s numbers in the 2004 race mirrored the state of Ohio, which mirrored the nation.
National Totals; Ohio Lake County:
George Bush 50.73% Bush: 50.81% Bush 51.3%
John Kerry 48.27% Kerry 48.71% Kerry 48.7%
The numbers in the 2006 race U.S. Senate and Governor look similar;
Ohio Lake County:
Sherrod Brown 56.16% Brown 57.14%
Mike DeWine 43.82% DeWine 42.85%
Ohio Lake County:
Ted Strickland 60.54% Strickland 66.32%
Ken Blackwell 36.65% Blackwell 33.67%
Even in the Democratic primary in March the numbers were that far off from the rest of the state;
Ohio: Lake County:
Hillary Clinton: 66.06% Clinton: 62.13%
Barack Obama 30.81% Obama: 36.37%
John Edwards 3.13% Edwards: 1.5%
So what does that mean? It means if the candidates want to float a trial balloon on an issue or position you could come to a county like this and see how it plays.
For us on election night it may provide us with an early indication of how the state will go. The Lake County Board of Elections is one of the fastest in the state for getting in election results. That’s important because the state numbers will hinge on the Cuyahoga County vote which as we know you can’t put a time frame on. So if you want to get an early indication of who the next president will be you may want to keep your eye on Painesville.