Kristina McCormack:  “Thought you might enjoy this sign.”

If what Mitt is proposing worked, George W. Bush would have been the keynote speaker at the Republican convention.


Joel Margolis:  “Nobody expects politicians, particularly Bill Clinton, to tell the truth but I’d like to think that you hold yourself to higher standards.  Bill Clinton claims that under Democratic Presidents 42,000,000 jobs were created. This counts from the first day of the President’s term (or more likely the first of the following month) to the last day of the last month of his administration.  But then Clinton and Obama boast about 4.6 million private sector jobs created in the past 30 months, that is from the bottom of the recession.  This is an obvious sleight of hand worthy of politicians and magicians but it seems to me that you would want to hold yourself to a higher standard.”

I actually do expect politicians to tell the truth.  I think you will find that all the speeches at the Democratic Convention were fact-checked (I know mine was) — and that President Clinton’s speech, and all the others, met a high standard.  I’m not going to suggest that every speech was completely balanced and dispassionate — obviously.  But I don’t think you can point to a single one, let alone one in prime time, that was riddled with verifiable, important deceptions as was, for example, the speech of the Republican vice presidential nominee.

As to the specific issue you raise, I agree it’s worth examining (so thank you for raising it) but reach a different conclusion.

Yes, it makes more sense to measure job creation (and, for that matter, debt creation) NOT from the first day of a Presidency, but rather at least a few months, and perhaps a year or more, in.

But that’s hard to explain . . . and — because in this case it would make the comparison significantly MORE favorable to the Democrats by shifting millions of private sector jobs from the red column to the blue — I don’t see the harm in the simplification when describing a 52-year period.

(Under your method, instead of the score being 24 million private sector jobs created under the Republicans over 28 years and 42 million under Democrats over 24 years, you would lop off the first Obama year, rightly attributing it to Bush, making the score more like just 20 million private sector jobs created under Republican Administrations and 46 million under Democrats.  An even more lopsided score, and with Democrats having had the ball only 23 years to their 28.)

So if anything, it seems to me President Clinton was being not just truthful — but generous.

Meanwhile, when viewing one specific presidential term (in this case, Obama’s), I think it’s perfectly appropriate to look at it more granularly and to note that, once the President’s policies took hold — blocked and watered down by the Republicans though they were — we had 30 straight months of private sector job creation totaling 4.6 million net new jobs.  It’s simply the truth.


Florida’s push to purge the voter rolls of Democrats actually netted one real live illegal alien perpetrator of voter fraud.  A Canadian — who I’d bet actually votes Republican, though no one knows for sure.  Here’s the story.


. . . but I’m prouder than ever to do it.

Jane Mayer writing in the New Yorker details the tougher terrain Democratic fundraisers face in going after major donors.  Basically, that Barack Obama is not willing to court them as assiduously as past presidents have.  It makes the job harder — but is that, on balance, a bad thing?

. . . Creating a sense of intimacy with the President is especially important with Democratic donors, a frustrated Obama fund-raiser argues: “Unlike Republicans, they have no business interest being furthered by the donation—they just like to be involved. So it makes them more needy. It’s like, ‘If you’re not going to deregulate my industry, or lower my taxes, can’t I at least get a picture?’ ” . . .

[For the record, I can get you a picture.  Are you free Tuesday?  Email me. — A.T.]

. . . By August, at least thirty-three American billionaires had each given a quarter of a million dollars, or more, to groups whose aim is to defeat Obama. . . . Meanwhile, only three billionaires have contributed at least a quarter of a million dollars to Priorities USA, the largest pro-Obama Super PAC. . . .

. . . David Axelrod, the senior strategist of Obama’s 2012 campaign, warns that the Citizens United decision may have permanently tilted the playing field away from not just Obama but all future Democratic candidates. “We’re averaging fifty-dollar checks in our campaign [he says], and trying to ward off these seven- or even eight-figure checks on the other side. That disparity is pretty striking, and so are the implications. In many ways, we’re back in the Gilded Age. We have robber barons buying the government.”

. . . “There’s been no thanks for anyone!” the major Democratic donor says. He adds that in 2008 he gave “multiple millions” to groups working to elect Obama. But, he notes, although he has attended various White House functions, and has met Obama on several occasions, “I don’t think they have a clue who I am. I don’t think they even know how much I gave.” . . . Obama, he says, is “so interested in doing the right thing that he thought other people would be interested in him for doing the right thing, and he thinks that’s all that’s needed.” . . .

. . . Obama still rarely calls donors. One fund-raiser estimates that even now, at the height of the election season, he probably makes only a few such calls a month. Chicago supporters who have raised money for him for years say that it’s just how he is.  A Chicago donor, who has attended events at the White House, and describes the President as “unfailingly courteous, warm, wonderful, and generous,” notes that Obama has never called him. “He’s more of an introspective guy than either Bill Clinton or George Bush,” the donor says. “He’s fantastic in small groups, but he’s not the kind of guy I would go out and have a beer with. But, by the way, that’s not my thing, either. I’m busy, and he’s got more important things to do.”

. . . Some prominent Democrats, such as Chris Hughes—a co-founder of Facebook who helped manage Obama’s Web strategy in 2008—have devoted themselves to campaign-finance reform instead. Hughes and his husband, Sean Eldridge, have decided not to give money to any Super PACs, and to match any donations they make to candidates with donations to groups working to diminish the role of money in politics. Asked about Obama’s reluctance to court the extremely wealthy, Hughes described it as “a virtue.”
. . . [Hollywood mogul and giant Obama fundraiser Jeffrey] Katzenberg has been invited to a state dinner at the White House, but he has never met privately with the President. “One of the things we so love about this President is his integrity, and his attempts to bring new ethics to Washington,” the fund-raiser says. “But it makes our job harder.” . . .
. . .It is an article of faith among some Democrats that liberals give money to politicians for altruistic reasons, whereas Republicans make campaign contributions as self-serving investments, in order to protect future profits. “It’s a business expense for them,” Axelrod says. “They’ll make it back in no time.”
Jonathan Collegio, the spokesman for American Crossroads, the Republican Super PAC, dismisses such thinking as “puerile,” arguing that there are no more “nefarious motivations” behind Republican donors than there are behind Democratic donors, which include major unions promoting their members’ economic interests.  [Hello?  Would someone please tell Mr. Collegio that Sheldon Adelson represents the economic interests of one multi-billionaire.  Unions represent the economic interest of millions of working families directly and tens of millions more indirectly.  See the difference?]
Yet Tom Perriello, a former Democratic congressman from Virginia who was defeated in 2010 after a flood of outside conservative spending in his district, and who now focusses on campaign-finance issues at the liberal Center for American Progress, argues that the economic incentives for wealthy conservatives are far more obvious. He says of Sheldon Adelson, “He’s got billions he could get back on the overseas-investment tax and the estate tax,” both of which Romney has pledged to abolish.
Moreover, Adelson’s company, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, is currently the focus of two Justice Department investigations. The first is looking into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, centering on the company’s casinos in Macau. The second investigation, a joint probe with the Securities and Exchange Commission, concerns possible violations of anti-bribery laws. The future leadership of the Justice Department and the S.E.C., then, is of enormous material interest to Adelson. . . .
. . . Bill Burton, the former White House aide who is now running Priorities USA, says, “My worry is that the numbers will just get even more astronomical. It could easily be doubled, or quadrupled, by 2016. Once big business realizes it can purchase the White House, you have to wonder what the limit is.”

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