Covering

Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.



Monday, October 29, 2012

These Romney storm tips are hilarious.

Just received confirmation my bankers in both the Cayman Islands and Bermuda are safe and secure

For more see them on Twitter @RomneyStormTips.

Romney's Storm Tips

President Obama On Hurricane Sandy

We still don't know why President Obama hasn't added Retired General Russell Honore to his team of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness and safety officials.

Nonetheless, the president has offered the following advice as Hurricane Sandy slams and haunts the Eastern seaboard.  


THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. I just received a full briefing from our emergency response teams, including FEMA, and agencies that are going to be helpful in the response and recovery efforts -- the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Obviously, everybody is aware at this point that this is going to be a big and powerful storm. And all across the Eastern seaboard, I think everybody is taking the appropriate preparations.

I’ve spoken to all the governors in all these states. They have issues emergency declarations. Those have been turned around quickly here in the White House. We have prepositioned assets so that FEMA personnel are working closely with state and local governments. We’re making sure that food and water and emergency generation is available for those communities that are going to be hardest hit.

We anticipate that the center of the storm is going to land fall sometime this evening. But because of the nature of this storm, we are certain that this is going to be a slow-moving process through a wide swath of the country, and millions of people are going to be affected.
So the most important message that I have for the public right now is, please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Do not delay. Don’t pause; don’t question the instructions that are being given, because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequence if people haven’t acted quickly.
The good news is, is that the governors and local officials I think have had a few days of preparation. There's been extraordinarily close coordination between state, federal, and local governments. And so we’re confident that the assets are prepositioned for an effective response in the aftermath of the storm.
But keep in mind that for folks who are not following instructions, if you are not evacuating when you’ve been asked to evacuate, you’re putting first responders at danger. We’re going to have to have search-and-rescue teams in and around multiple states all at the same time. And although we’ve got Coast Guard and the Department of Defense all positioned, if the public is not following instructions, that makes it more dangerous for people and it means that we could have fatalities that could have been avoided.

Transportation is going to be tied up for a long time. And probably the most significant impact for a lot of people, in addition to flooding, is going to be getting power back on. We anticipate that there are going to be a lot of trees down, a lot of water. And despite the fact that the power companies are working very closely with their various state officials and local officials to make sure that they are bringing in as many assets as possible and getting those ready in preparation for the storm, the fact is that a lot of these emergency crews are not going to be able to get into position to start restoring power until some of these winds have died down. And because of the nature of this storm, that may take several days.

So the public should anticipate that there’s going to be a lot of power outages, and it may take time for that power to get back on. The same is true with transportation; there are going to be a lot of backlogs, and even after the storm has cleared, it’s going to take a considerable amount of time for airlines, subways, trains, and so forth, potentially to get back on schedule, depending on the amount of damage that has occurred.
Let me summarize just by saying that I’m extraordinarily grateful for the cooperation of our state and local officials. The conversations that I’ve had with all the governors indicate that at this point there are no unmet needs. I think everybody is taking this very seriously. We’ve gotten prepositioned all the resources that we need.
But right now, the key is to make sure that the public is following instructions. For those of you who still need additional information about how to respond, you can go to Ready.gov -- that’s Ready.gov. And that website should provide you with all the information that your family needs in terms of how you can prepare for this storm.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people who are potentially affected. We are extraordinarily grateful for our first responders, because they’re going to be working 24/7 around the clock, non-stop. And I want to make sure that our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who may end up be dealing with a very difficult situation over the next several days.
Last point I’ll make, though -- this is going to be a big storm. It’s going to be a difficult storm. The great thing about America is when we go through tough times like this we all pull together. We look out for our friends. We look out for our neighbors. And we set aside whatever issues we may have otherwise to make sure that we respond appropriately and with swiftness. And that’s exactly what I anticipate is going to happen here.
So I want to thank all the federal teams, state and local teams that are in place. I’m confident that we’re ready. But I think the public needs to prepare for the fact that this is going to take a long time for us to clean up. The good news is we will clean up and we will get through this.
Q What about the impact on the election, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I am not worried at this point about the impact on the election. I’m worried about the impact on families, and I’m worried about the impact on our first responders. I’m worried about the impact on our economy and on transportation.
The election will take care of itself next week. Right now, our number-one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives, that our search-and-rescue teams are going to be in place, that people are going to get the food, the water, the shelter that they need in case of emergency, and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track.
Thank you, everybody.
 
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For preparedness and hurricane information, visit ready.gov.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just 11 Days To Go Until Election Day

With just 11 days to go until the 2012 election for the presidency, candidate Mitt Romney and sitting president Barack Obama, along with their wives and veeps (present and aspiring) are hitting key swing states to make a near final last ditch effort. 

Our friends over at The Hill sums up the touring schedule quite nicely.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan hold a campaign rally in North Canton, Ohio, at 7:15 p.m., where Romney will make what his campaign is billing as a major address on the economy.

Romney will also hold a campaign rally in Ames, Iowa, at noon. And Ryan will also make a stop in Huntsville, Ala.

President Obama will be in Washington, where he'll make a stop by the Democratic National Committee headquarters. He'll also tape interviews with “The Michael Smerconish Show," with MTV, and with American Urban Radio Networks.

Vice President Biden will be campaigning in Wisconsin with stops in Oshkosh and Kenosha.

Jill Biden will be campaigning in New Hampshire with stops in Concord, Berlin, Conway and Laconia.

Ann Romney will be campaigning in Virginia with stops in Williamsburg and Richmond.

Michelle Obama will make campaign stops in San Diego, Calif., and Las Vegas.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will be campaigning for Romney in Virginia.

The race has been getting closer, with Mitt Romney, in some polls, taking the lead - edging out President Obama in some states, while other polls show the president in the lead. 

Oh, those ever changing polls.  Who can keep up?

Again, we turn to The Hill magazine, who has been keeping up.  As of today, Thursday, October 26, 2012.

A new poll finds Mitt Romney erasing President Obama’s lead among female voters and pulling ahead nationally with under two weeks to Election Day. Romney holds 47 percent support from likely voters to Obama's 45 percent in the latest AP-GfK poll. Among women, Romney is even with Obama; both candidates attract 47 percent support. That figure is a sharp turnaround from the same poll last month, which showed Obama with a 16-point advantage.

Obama and Romney are tied in the critical battleground state of Michigan at 47 percent, according to a Foster-McCollum-White-Baydoun poll.

Obama leads Romney in the critical battleground state of Virginia, 51 percent to 46, according to a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling.

Two additional surveys from Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling (PPP) show Obama ahead of Romney in swing states Iowa and Wisconsin. In Iowa, Obama takes 49 percent support over Romney's 47. In Wisconsin, PPP shows Obama with a bigger lead than he enjoys in most other recent polls, 51 percent to 45 over Romney.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Debate Two In The Bag: More Fact Checking, Please

The second presidential debate between President Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney took place last evening at Hofstra University, located in Hempstead, NY.  President Obama settled in days before his running mate, preparing his speech at the nearby Kingsmill Resort where he spent days restructuring his debate strategy in hopes of improving upon a very lackluster first debate that left undecided voters still undecided.

With just three weeks until the 2012 Election, viewers last night saw a more tactically engaged President Obama, in a debate moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley (host of the show's State of the Union on Sunday mornings), as he addressed the issues that seemed important to voters.  Among the issues: more insight into the 9/11 attack in Benghazi, women's rights, and energy.



While undecided Americans claim they still don't know who they'd vote for, or which candidate they are more likely to believe, The Huffington Post did a nice job of fact checking the remarks of the two men that may help voters decide. 

Here is a bit of what they uncovered.

On oil and energy:

ROMNEY: "As a matter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9 percent. Why? Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands and in federal waters."

PRESIDENT OBAMA: "Very little of what Governor Romney just said is true. We've opened up public lands. We're actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration and my – the previous president was an oilman."

THE FACTS: Both statements ring true, as far as they go. Obama more correctly describes the bigger picture.

According to an Energy Department study published in the spring, sales of oil from federal areas fell 14 percent between 2010 and 2011 and sales of natural gas production fell 9 percent, supporting Romney's point. The lower oil production was a result mainly of a moratorium on offshore drilling imposed by the Obama administration after the April 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

According to the same report, though, oil production from federal areas is up 13 percent since Obama took office despite last year's dip, and analysts say Gulf oil production is expected to soon exceed its pre-spill levels.

Natural gas production from federal areas has been declining for years because drillers have found vast reserves of natural gas in formations under several states that are cheaper to access than most federally controlled areas.

Click here for more of the HuffPost's fact checking.

The next debate, on Monday, October 22, will be held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida at 9 p.m., moderated by Bob Schieffer (Host of Face the Nation on CBS).

We say it won't really be a debate until its held in the Nation's Capital (Washington, DC) where both men are vying for its prime real estate: The White House; and where the heart of the nation can participate.


Reviewing the Debate
The Debate: By The Numbers


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Fashion: Leading Ladies at The Debate

And of course you can't critique the men of last evening's debate without critiquing the leading ladies in their lives.  Check out First Lady Michelle Obama (wearing Michael Kors) and Ann Romney (Oscar de la Renta), who both decided to wear pink at last night's debate, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

We give kudos to both for their effort.  Who do you think wore pink the best?




A poll taken by The Daily Beast shows the first lady having a clear advantage over Ann Romney, a breast cancer survivor.




Saturday, October 13, 2012

Just Days Away From Voting: What You Need To Know

The election is less than a month away. Make sure you are registered and ready to vote on November 6th!
 
Click here to download the Voter's Rights Toolkit with everything you need to know about voting requirements in your state, the latest developments regarding voter ID legislation and opportunities for civic engagement.
Oct. 13
Delaware

Oct. 15
Virginia

Oct. 16
Kansas
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Minnesota
New Jersey
Oregon
West Virginia

Oct. 17
Massachusetts
Wisconsin

Oct. 19
Nebraska

Oct. 22
California
Iowa
South Dakota
Wyoming

Oct. 23
Connecticut

Oct. 26
Alabama

Oct. 27
New Hampshire

Oct. 31
Vermont

Friday, October 12, 2012

Following the VP Debate, Sides Size Up Performances, Ask For Cash

Vice President Joe Biden and VP candidate Paul Ryan go head-to-head in the only VP debate of 2012.


As the two defend and try to make a case for their positions on a number of issues to include foreign policy, abortion, tax cuts and the middle class, Biden was chastised in the media for smirking and smiling too much, while Ryan was labeled as not being able to effectively communicate the Romney-Ryan plan for America.

What we noticed was that Ryan (who smiled/smirked just as often as Biden) could be an advertisement for the bottled water company Drink More Water, as he repeatedly drew sips from his glass of water.  Such action could be summed up as a defense mechanism, or a chance to buy more time between giving a response to an uncomfortable topic he was unprepared to answer.

The Vice President made a strong case for removing US troops out of Afghanistan by 2014, suggesting the Afghan country needs to take responsibility for its own security.

"It's their responsibility to take over their own security", Biden said.  Biden explained that the US has remained in the region to train the Afghan security, but the draw down and withdrawal of troops by 2014 is eminent.

Ryan suggested giving a definitive time line to remove troops would suggest weakness on the part of the U.S.


"What we are witnessing here is the unraveling of the administration on foreign policy", Ryan said.

Adding more fuel to the fire was the conversation on the request for increased security in Benghazi just days before US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the area.

Biden said the president was not aware of the request for mor security, while Ryan maintains that "there was a request for more security."

Policy issues may differ between the two men, but one item the two men do agree on is campaign donations.
Both parties sent emails to supporters capitalizing on the opportunity to ask for more donations.

Here's an email sent from the VP himself, Joe Biden.

Hey,

I did my best to make you proud tonight.  But I hope you remember one thing: This debate wasn't about me, or Congressman Ryan. It was about you, and what we're fighting for together.So if you're standing with Barack and me, like we're standing with you, please chip in $5 or more to show it.

Paul Ryan, in a more lengthy communique, critiques the evening in this light, also with an email to supporters:

Friend,

America is at a crossroads. We have a choice -- four more years of the same hardship and decline, or a new path. That choice was abundantly clear at last night's debate. The American people want jobs. They want leadership they can believe in. They want our great nation to prosper again. And they want leaders who'll fight for them -- and alongside them.

Mitt Romney and I, along with Republicans across the country, are fighting for America's comeback. And we're willing to fight for it -- because we believe our nation is at its best when individuals are allowed to pursue their dreams. Mitt Romney and I believe that on November 6th, Americans will rise to the occasion. America will fix what needs fixing.

Please donate $25 today to help elect Mitt, me, and the Republican team on November 6th.

Thank you,
Paul Ryan


Watch the full VP debate below.




A very succinctly, direct message from presidential candidate Mitt Romney reads:

Friend,

Barack Obama and Joe Biden don't have a record to run on, or a plan for the future. Donate now to help us deliver a real recovery.

Thanks,

Mitt Romney

Just when we thought Mitt Romney's email was to the point, we get an even more forthcoming email from President Obama:

Hey,

Let's get Joe's back, and say thanks.

Barack

The second of three presidential debates will be held this coming Tuesday, October 16 at Hofstra University.  The president said he was a "too polite" when debating with Romney in the first debate. 

America will have to watch to see if President Obama will be just as forthcoming and fired up as his VP, the second time around.



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

First Lady Fires Up Leesburg, VA Supporters

First Lady Michelle Obama inspired a crowd of eager Loudoun County area voters and campaign supporters at the Leesburg 4-H Fair Grounds yesterday where she stressed the urgency of voter registration and voting in the upcoming election.
 
First Lady inspires crowd in Leesburg to move 'Forward'. Photo/CD Brown.
Along the road to the fairgrounds were stark reminders of that need as several Romney yard signs decorated the sides of the road way. 

But with Al Green's Let's Stay Together being played and the anticipation of the first lady speaking, the crowd was clearly in an Obama state-of-mind.  The attendees listed intently as the first lady remarked, "So for the next 28 days, 28 days" she repeated, "we need you to work like you’ve never worked before. You hear me? Sign up with one of our volunteers here today to make phone calls, to knock on doors. I want you more importantly to talk to everyone you know; your friends, your neighbors, that nephew you know who's not registered. Smack him in the back of the head", motioned Mrs. Obama, to laughter from the audience.

Voter registration ends on October 15 in Virginia.

"The classmate you haven't talked to in years, call them", Mrs. Obama pleaded. "Tell them what’s at stake. Make sure they register to vote", she said.

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers passionate campaign speech at Leesburg Fairgrounds.  Photo/CD Brown.

Virginia is a swing state that the Obama campaign is hoping to win in 2012, as they did in 2008.  That's encouraging for Obama supporters again this year.

"And if we win enough precincts, we will win this state once again. And when we win Virginia, we’ll be well on our way to putting Barack Obama back in the White House for four more years", said Mrs. Obama.

Also in 2008, President Obama received voter support from young Americans, and the first lady mentioned the youth in her speech.

"We want to give all of our children opportunities worthy of their promise, because we know that all of our kids are worthy ...We want to give these kids that sense of limitless possibility and the belief that here in America, the greatest country on the planet, there is always something better out there if you’re willing to work for it. 

Joan Gardiner with Michelle Obama T-shirt that she designed, shows a gift T-shirt for the First Lady.
While the youth we spoke to in the audience weren't quite old enough to vote, they were inspired by the first lady's speech.

Said eleven year-old Cansin Joseph, "I really liked her speech.  It sounded like she put a lot of work into it."

Brothers Dalton (age 13) and Remy (age 8) S. couldn't believe their eyes when the first lady walked in, and described the first lady as "gorgeous".  Remy was swept off his feet - literally - when the first lady, working the rope line at the end or her remarks, scooped the eight year old up out of the crowd and gave him a huge hug.  

"I didn't believe it", he exclaimed. 

While the first lady may have won the hearts and minds of those she addressed, recent polls show that presidential candidate Mitt Romney is neck-in-neck with her husband, President Obama, despite repeated reports of Romney's questionable dealings with Bain Capital, several suggesting that Romney shipped thousands of U.S. jobs to China.

Still, Romney maintains he'll create 12 million U.S. jobs should he win the election.

"I'll vote for whoever can fix the economy", said one attendee at the Leesburg rally who admits he's still 'on the fence' as to who he'll vote for.

The general election is November 6.

Related




Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Michelle Looking Incredible: Celebrates 20th Wedding Anniversary

President Obama and First Lady Michelle dined for nearly two hours at Georgetown's Bourbon Steak restaurant this past Saturday evening where they celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.


The restaurant, located inside the famed Four Season's Hotel in the heart of Georgetown, won the 2012 RAMMY for Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year. Executive Chef Adam Sobel prepared a menu for the Obamas that included fried quail egg, rockfish, scallops and sweet potato soup.


Yum?

When asked by reporters how his anniversary dinner was, the president gave a 'thumbs up' indicating the dinner went well.

The couple's anniversary fell on the same evening as the much talked about (an analyzed) presidential debate between President Obama and the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

Earlier in the week, Mrs. Obama paid a visit to the Steve Harvey Show where she explained why she married the man she loves. "I married him because of his character", explained the first lady. "I married him because he cared so much about using his skills to make a difference. And that impressed me."


The couple sent out tweets to each other in celebration of their blissful occasion.

President Obama tweeted: “Twenty years ago today, I married the love of my life and my best friend. Happy anniversary, Michelle.”

First Lady Michelle tweeted: “Happy 20th anniversary, Barack. Thank you for being an incredible partner, friend, and father every day. I love you!”

Awww!    

Up Next: First Lady Does Loudoun County on Tuesday | President Obama in Miami  | VP Presidential Debate: Biden vs Ryan on Thursday.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Redskin Franchise Want You To Vote 'YES' to Question 7

Says 'Question 7 will create thousands of good-paying jobs, increase funding for public schools'.
Today, the Washington Redskins joined county officials, labor organizations and business leaders in supporting Question 7, a ballot initiative that would bring thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in revenue to Maryland. The announcement is the latest in a large and growing coalition of support for Question 7.

“The Washington Redskins organization is proud to join with elected officials and our business partners in Maryland to endorse Ballot Question 7,” said Dennis Greene, President of Business Operations. “As members of the Prince George’s County business community, we see it as our obligation to speak out in support of major economic development initiatives. We believe Question 7 represents a tremendous opportunity for Prince George’s County and all of Maryland to create thousands of good-paying jobs, increase funding for public schools, and help provide dollars for other critical state and local government services.

“We urge all of our fans to join the Washington Redskins organization in supporting Question 7 on Election Day.”
Supporting Question 7 on the ballot this November would create 2,000 new construction jobs1, 4,000 permanent jobs at the new resort casino2, 4,400 additional permanent jobs associated with the development3, and 1,600 new jobs from the introduction of table games at all Maryland casinos4. Question 7 will also help recapture the estimated $550 Million a year that Marylanders currently spend at out of state casinos5.
To learn more about ‘Vote for 7’ and the effort to bring jobs and revenue back to Maryland, visit www.voteforseven.com.