'On the verge of a solid Romney win'
I think he's right.
... And here's partly why.
And here's partly why too.
It's as if the two candidates completely flipped roles after Labor Day -- Romney from uninspiring candidate to competent candidate, Obama from competent candidate to uninspiring candidate. ... Of course, the ultimate reason why Romney may well win: Though there's an economic recovery under way, it doesn't feel like one.
It's now your team, Ben
Notice who wasn't at the press conference yesterday
to introduce the new manager of the Sox: John, Tom, Larry et gang. It's as if they were acknowledging: 1.) Yeah, this was Ben Cherington's choice a year ago and we overruled him, so let him have his day. 2.) You're on your own, Ben. ...
As if on cue, Bobby V opens his big mouth again
, reminding us why yesterday's press conference was needed.
Obama’s main problem? Lack of enthusiasm for his own record
After viewing and reviewing three presidential debates, it kind
of hit me what seems to be missing in President Obama these days: A lack of
enthusiasm, or pride, if you will, for his own economic and foreign policy
records. Granted, there’s not a lot to brag about when the unemployment rate is
still hovering around 8 percent and the world seems to be always one step away
from some cataclysmic terrorist event. But what I’m talking about is how Obama
doesn’t put these things into historical context for people – how he inherited
terrible situations on both the economic and foreign policy fronts, how he did his
best as an effective pooper scooper for the GOP, how things are slowly getting
better. Again, it’s a difficult argument to make – but it’s also the truth.
So why isn’t he making that argument with passion and conviction?
Let the critics whine all they want about how he’d be playing a blame game if
he made such an argument. Of course they’re going to whine – because it cuts to
the heart of why he was elected in the first place in ’08 and why his opponents
don’t deserve a second chance a mere four years later. Heck, Republicans in
Massachusetts won four straight gubernatorial elections in the 1990s and early
2000s by playing a variation of the blame game, conjuring up fears of a return
to a one-party state, as last seen during the Dukakis years. It worked. It
worked because there were legitimate reasons to fear a return to a Democratic
hackerama on Beacon Hill. Romney himself tapped into the blame-game zeitgeist
in 2002, getting his gubernatorial campaign act together only after scaring
voters about the prospect of the Democratic Gang of Three running state
government. Memories of the final days of the Duke-Bulger Era still lingered
ten long years later – and Romney directly benefited from that collective
That gets us back to the question: Why isn’t Obama forcibly
making a variation of the blame-game argument today and on a national scale? Here’s
my tentative conclusion: Because he doesn’t see his presidency in the same
historical context as outlined above. Maybe he truly views himself as a
“transformational” president -- and that he's not a mere caretaker/pooper scooper president. Maybe he measures his success differently. Maybe he
truly believed “green jobs” would revive and transform the economy. Maybe he
believed that what he was elected to do and that what the nation needed was
Obamacare and other huge FDR/LBJ-like social programs. Maybe … maybe … maybe. …
Who knows what he’s thinking?
But I do sense one thing he’s not thinking in terms of:
Confidence in his performance. There’s little coherent passion to his campaign right now. Part of
that passion should spring from an almost joy in mocking his opponents. But the
passion isn’t there, perhaps because that’s not how he views himself and his
presidency. … Who knows?
Adventure Set revival: ‘Everyone old is new again!’
Mark Pothier and
Ken Scales have revived their long-dormant Adventure Set band that was once
quite popular in Boston in the ‘80s. As two of the original members of
Adventure Set, Pothier and Scales have put out an EP, Centuries to Go
available on iTunes
). And here’s a Mac demo
put up last week. The goal is to
eventually get back in a studio, so a purchase and getting the word out will
help them a little. … Here’s an old video
of Adventure Set and a more recent video
Fyi: Pothier, who
after Adventure Set went on to play in the even more popular Ministry band, is
one of my editors at the Globe these days. We recently discovered our paths
probably crossed way back when at Tufts University, where I used to be the
entertainment manager at the old MacPhie Pub, hiring groups such as Mission of
Burma, the Neighborhoods, Human Sexual Response, Robin Lane and the Chartbusters, and Scales’ old band, Pastiche. Initially, I was confused over whether Mark played with Pastiche, but I’ve
since been set straight by Reader No. 1, himself an old Tufts friend and
MacPhie Pub veteran. From Reader No. 1:
Yes, we did have
Pastiche at Tufts MacPhie Pub, they were great! … Pastiche history here and here. … Speaking of old bands, saw The English Beat and Paul Collins' Beat (2
bands that came out in 1979 with same name) at the Natick Center for the Arts
last week... as well as Graham Parker at Club Passim in Cambridge - and Parker
and the Rumour are reuniting, show at the Wilbur Theatre in early December. Everyone old is new again!
Oh, those rough-and-tough, individualistic Randian capitalists
made the following statement regarding the coming presidential election: “Let’s
put it this way. … I think we need a change. I believe that we need a leader
that’s pro-individual, that’s pro-business, and recognizes that there’s no free
lunch anywhere. There has never been anyone in history that has proven a free
up? It’s from the CEO of AIG. Yeah, that AIG. You can’t make this stuff up. …
Such nonsense is perhaps the best reason to vote Obama, considering that Benmosche
and his ilk have been preaching this garbage over the past few years and
considering Mitt’s running mate, like the AIG chief executive, is himself a closet Rand groupie.
…. Benmosche on AIG’s free lunch: “But it wasn’t a free lunch.” … Okaaaay,
Bob. ... Even the NYPost is letting him have it.
Mitt's growing lead
The polls are showing
Mitt pulling away from Obama. Based on what I'm hearing in conversations, it's not surprising at all. There seems to be a hidden bloc of voters who, a while ago, quietly wrote Obama off and needed only an excuse to back a legitimate opponent. Mitt's strong showing in the first debate -- and not necessarily Obama's mediocre-to-bad performance -- helped a lot . But the best thing going for Mitt has always been: A.) The economy. B.) Obama's overrated campaign prowess. ... It now looks like this election really is
Mitt's to lose.
'The coach and players actually appeared to enjoy this win'
The Pats really wanted yesterday's game -- and it showed afterward in post-game interviews. From Reader No. 1:
effusive Coach Belichick in post-game press conference... he'll never be Pete
Carroll but sounds like a man who just had a near-death experience. He did just
have a near-death experience.
Kudos to Brady for delivering the tying drive under pressure...
Gostowski for those two kicks under pressure... and Ninkovich for getting
Sanchez to panic under pressure. And don't rule out a ridiculously close
London game against the Craptastic Rams ...Dynamic
between the reporters peppering Belichick, Wilfork and Brady with questions -
the general tenor of which being, 'how come it was/is so close' - and their
responses bordering on gratitude/exhiliration for pulling out the win.
Perhaps we are returning to our historic skepticism, (grounded in
idealism?) of our local teams' performances... would be a shame not to notice
that the coach and players actually appeared to enjoy this win and coming out
afterwards to talk about it. -
‘The Romney Files: From Bain to Boston … '
old Herald colleague and friend, Brett Arends, has published a new book ‘The Romney Files: From Bain to Boston to the White House Bid.’ For Romney fans, it’s
not a pretty portrait of the former Massachusetts governor, zeroing in on his
jobs-creation record in the Bay State as governor (not very impressive, unless
you think being ranked third lowest among states in terms of jobs growth is
something to brag about) and his record at Bain Capital (as in investment
returns, not the never-ending debate over whether Bain created or destroyed jobs). … Met up with Brett last night at a book-signing reception at O’Neill
and Associates in Boston. It was great to see him and other friends. ... Still reading Brett's book. More
Re the Pats: 'It pains me terribly to say so but... '
In a series of 'Aargh' emails sent during and after the Pats game yesterday, Reader No. 1 concludes:
So the secondary
wound up holding Russell Wilson under 300 yards, which seems miraculous after
the first quarter. Our DBs were terrible, as sadly we expect them to be,
but they were not the main reason we lost. For that, and it pains me
terribly to say so but...
Tom Brady was
incredibly awful from the last play of the first half to the end of the game...
the penalty and his dreadful end zone interception cost at minimum two field
goals. We can only hope that his desperation throw at the end did not
cost us Brandon Lloyd for the season. Not to mention horrible
clock management at end of second half... and the underthrows!!! Danny
Woodhead's ability to scoop up grounders made him look semi-competent. His
worst game since 2005 at Kansas City... again, it kills me to say this. Brady's
given us a wonderful decade but...
Rex Ryan and the
Jets a week from today at 4 pm...
When was the
last time that there were four teams tied for first in a three team division
after six weeks? Please don't anybody give me the "any given
Sunday" bullshit, even if it's true....
credit for showing up at the post-game press conference. Give him
demerits for wearing a sweater that looks like a smoking jacket (the Curse of Gisele -).
I hear a lot of pointed questions at this press conference, none
of them voiced by Dan Shaughnessy...
The presidential race wasn’t turned ‘upside down’ by one measly debate
to Political Class pundits, the race for the White House was turned upside down
by a single debate. The reality, however, is that a very close race shifted
ever so slightly after the first debate from narrowly favoring President Obama
to narrowly favoring Mitt Romney. It remains too close to call.
difference is that voters base their decisions on the substantive issues in the
world around them. The Political Class is distracted by superficial imagery, an
obsession with the game of politics and the sound of their own voices.
Sorry, but the good economic news won’t offset Big Bird
some confirmation that last week’s unemployment-rate report was legit. Notice
the chart showing the steady decline in weekly unemployment-insurance claims.
It’s probably not enough to undo the Big Bird damage the president has
inflicted upon himself. But, hey, they’re still good numbers. … Btw: How famous
(or infamous) will the Big Bird ad become over time? It partly depends on
whether Obama wins or loses. If he loses, we’re talking mega infamous, though
not of the mean variety of infamous, like the LBJ Daisy ad. We’re talking jaw-dropping
bad infamous, as in beyond stupid. Here’s one
worst-political-ads list. It’s pretty safe to say Big Bird will eventually land
on that and other lists, no matter how the election turns out. ... Jon Stewart practically begs the president to stop the Big Bird spiel. It's hilarious stuff.
Update -- Re good economic news: Never mind. The numbers may not be accurate.