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Double Down... Como y porque gano Obama su reeleccion

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Double Down... Como y porque gano Obama su reeleccion

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Dom Nov 10, 2013 1:03 am

Leí un análisis interesante en un boogie tocando sobre Lo que nadie quiere decir... A Romney Lo midieron con una regla diferente que al presidente.

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2013/11/one-subject-that-gets-barely-mention-in.html?m=1

November 9, 2013 "One subject that gets barely a mention in 'Double Down' —because it played virtually no role in the 2012 campaign —is race."

"In a book that aspires to be, and largely succeeds in being, the dispositive (or do I mean definitive?) account of the election, that may be the most remarkable fact of all," writes Michael Kinsley in a review of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's new book (which follows on their "Game Change," about the 2008 election).

Most of the review mocks their idiosyncratic writing style, which apparently inexplicably uses weird words — like "acuminate" and "coriaceous" — when normal words would do and distractingly substitutes nicknames — like "the Bay Stater" and "the Palmetto State" — when normal people would just say Romney, South Carolina, and so forth.

Kinsley also observes that the story of the 2012 election is so much less interesting than 2008. Do you even want to read a book about all the little details? Didn't we bat them around from day to day as they unfolded and while we were still thinking about what to do and in a position to influence others? The "Game Change" approach is a throwback to the old "Making of a President" series. Why do we need that today? Halperin and Heilemann did do a lot of interviews, so they can pass on, for example, lots of things Karl Rove would like to frame for your consumption. And they have at least one new-looking nugget: at least some thought was given to replacing Biden with Hillary on the Democratic ticket.

But I want to focus on this assertion that race played virtually no role in the 2012 campaign. Is that really true? I have a "racial politics" tag — it's one of my most frequently used tags — and I was observing the daily news throughout the years leading up to the November 2012 election. Here are the stories — relating only to the presidential campaigns — that jumped out at me (in reverse chronological order):

"Pre-assembling the excuses for Obama's defeat tomorrow. At Politico (with an 'if')... It all comes back to race..."

"The AP reports an increase in racial prejudice since 2008 (based on research that is at least somewhat scientific).... I'm guessing that AP thinks this material is helpful to Obama, perhaps guilt-tripping Americans into voting for Obama as a way to say I'm not racist."

"'Tragically, it seems the president feels boxed in by his blackness.'... Email from Tavis Smiley to NYT reporter Jodi Kantor, quoted in "For President, a Complex Calculus of Race and Politics."

"Shameful, lowly race-baiting... but who's doing it? So somebody got a picture of the back of a man — no face, no name — in a T-shirt that says — on the back — 'Put the White Back in the White House.'"

"Biden 'will surely take it to Ryan on... his statement yesterday that inner-city kids need to be taught "good discipline" and "character."' Writes John Cassidy, in The New Yorker, observing that tonight's VP debate is high stakes."

"'You’re an unemployed black woman endorsing @MittRomney. You’re voting against yourself thrice. You poor beautiful idiot.' Twitter pushback against Stacey Dash, an actress who tweeted 'vote for Romney. The only choice for your future.'"

"'Just How Racist Is the 'Obama Phone' Video?'... Decent people whose rational minds would reject explicit racial material can be emotionally manipulated. They get their fears stirred up. If this is what Romney supporters think they need to do to get their man elected, I hope they fail."

"'Black Woman Gets Standing Ovation at RNC — Media Silence; Two Bozos Throw Peanuts — Media Frenzy.' 2 incidents..."

"Who's playing the playing-the-race-card card? It's hard to tell who, if anybody, is playing the race card. But lots of people are playing the playing-the-race-card card.

"'No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where we were born and raised.'... I'm seeing some charges that this was a "birther" joke and even that it was racist."

"Romney and Ryan are 'two look-alike white guys with aggressively groomed hair.' Says Robin Givhan..."

"'I’d like to feel sorry for NBC for coming under such a plainly false accusation of racial intent. Except it’s what NBC does to others all the time, including when dealing with Mitt Romney....'"

"'Culture Does Matter,' writes Mitt Romney... pushing back efforts to make it seem racist to say that nations prosper when their culture has certain qualities that Israel has and the Palestinians lack."

"Racializing Romney. The press is."

"The GOP's 'most dangerous' ad: 'He tried. You tried. It’s OK to make a change.'... 'I’ve received more than a few e-mails and tweets from folks complaining that they are branded racist if they disagree with anything the president says or does....'"

"'Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.' Romney responds to some sheer idiocy from Biden.... 'Romney wants to... unchain Wall Street,' Biden said. 'They’re going to put y’all back in chains.'"

"Matt Taibbi 'wants conservatives to conceal their views for fear of being seen as racist — to act as if they are guilty.'"

"'[I]f they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff.'... This is a Romney quote that is getting a lot of play right now, notably from Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone, who goes all racial... 'If you live long enough, you’ll see some truly gross things in politics, but Mitt Romney’s work this past week 'courting black support' was enough to turn even the strongest stomach.'"

"Why is the Condi-for-VP rumor being floated?... It helps offset the story about Romney getting booed at the NAACP convention, which conveyed the vague message that Romney has nothing to offer black people."

"Nancy Pelosi says Mitt Romney wanted to get booed at the NAACP convention. It was 'a calculated move.'"

"Why did the NYT publish a very long article on the white people in Michelle Obama's ancestry?"

"Eric Holder 'implies that Jim Crow is on the cusp of a comeback' —why?... 'Mr. Holder's Council of Black Churches address is merely the latest of his election-year moves that charge racial discrimination of one kind or another.'

"NYT digs back 3 years into the photo files to find something super-sentimental... in a touching effort at boosting the Obama reelection campaign." (Photo of Obama bending over to let a small black child feel his hair.)

"'Black Mormons and the Politics of Identity.' Another NYT article about Mormons and the presidential election."

"The NYT accuses American voters of opposing Obama because he's black."

"'Herman Cain Played the Race Card, But Liberals Are the Ones Who Dealt It.'"

"Adam Serwer doubles down on race after WaPo played its embarrassingly weak race card on Rick Perry.... And the Democratic template is to reassure Democrats that the Republicans have a race problem. That's what the Washington Post was doing, and that's what Serwer is doing now."

"'Lots of photos of Perry having nothing whatsoever to do with this story, and not a single one of the rock. Well done, WP!' The first comment at a Washington Post article about how Rick Perry, early in his career, used to host events at a hunting camp where there was a rock that had the word 'Niggerhead' painted on it."

"A 'more insidious form of racism' — replacing the old 'naked, egregious and aggressive' racism — is now undermining Barack Obama. As perceived in The Nation by polisci prof Melissa Harris-Perry.... Harris-Perry, applying some standard political science tests and failing to detect racism, says 'electoral racism cannot be reduced solely to its most egregious, explicit form. It has proved more enduring and baffling than these results can capture.'"

"'Democrats must be in trouble if The Daily Beast is running a headline "White Supremacist Stampede"... Nine white supremacist candidates? In the whole country? With its multi-hundred million dollar endowment, [The Southern Poverty Law Center] only could find nine candidates?'"

"Why did Cornel West call Obama 'a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats'?"

"The NYT calls the 'birther' issue 'a baseless attack with heavy racial undertones.'"

"NPR exec Ron Schiller on the Tea Party: 'they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.'"

Posted by Ann Althouse at 9:17 AM Tags: 2012 campaign , books, language, Michael Kinsley , Obama 2012, racial politics , Romney , writing
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Charlie319
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Re: Double Down... Como y porque gano Obama su reeleccion

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Dom Nov 10, 2013 1:21 am

La crítica del NY times...

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/books/review/double-down-by-mark-halperin-and-john-heilemann.html?smid=pl-share

War of Umbrage

YAREK WASZUL

By MICHAEL KINSLEY November 7, 2013

DOUBLE DOWN

Game Change 2012

By Mark Halperin and John Heilemann

Illustrated. 499 pp. The Penguin Press. $29.95.

“Chasmal.” Is that a word?Here, I’ll use it in a sentence for you: “Santorum had been turfed out of office in 2006, losing his re-election bid by a chasmal 18-point margin.” According to Merriam Webster, it is indeed a word, meaning “resembling a chasm.” In other words, Santorum got beaten badly. But why use other words, when “chasmal” is available?

How about “suasive,” as in: “Romney was aware of how jaundiced Stevens was about Christie —which made Stuart’s advocacy for choosing the guy as V.P. all the more suasive”? From the context, it must mean the same as “persuasive,” and you do save three characters, if you’re short on space.

O.K., but how about “acuminate”?Or “appetent”?Or “pyretic”?Or “hoggery” and “noisomeness,” or “coriaceous” or “vomitous” or “freneticism”?Make sure to have a Scrabble dictionary nearby when you read “Double Down,” Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s hot new book on the 2012 presidential election. There’s nothing wrong with fancy words if they help to refine your meaning. In the hands of Halperin and Heilemann, though, they have the opposite effect. Being frenetic is a form of behavior; “freneticism” sounds like a philosophy of life or type of yoga.

There is actually no vomit in the scene the authors describe as “vomitous.” It’s just their way of writing vividly. They’re not snobs. They actually have a weakness for colorful vernacular, with a special fondness for a particular bodily function. And it’s not the usual one. The many references to excrement —people serving it to one another on a bun, people burying one another in it and so on —are . . . are . . . help me, I need a word here. Well, they’re vomitous. This may be the first political book ever with more excrement than sex.

They are fond of retrograde (old-­ fashioned) or simply odd similes and metaphors. For Senator John McCain to endorse Romney “would have seemed as likely as a terrier reciting Tennyson.” The economic adviser Gene Sperling was “enamored of his work in the way that Dean Martin enjoyed martinis.” And alliteration: McCain’s endorsement “was based on a mixture of caprice, calculation and comparative chagrin.” President Obama and Vice President Biden developed a “personal peachiness” (i.e., they liked each other), after starting out as “chalk and Camembert” (i.e., they didn’t like each other). The usual expression is “chalk and cheese” —I don’t know what that “Camembert” is about. Romney didn’t like the Huntsman family and the Huntsmans “vice versa’d the vitriol.” But the authors don’t always get it precisely right. “Major-domo” means a servant or butler —not, as they seem to think, a bigshot “muckety-muck.”

George Bush the Elder and the Younger refer to themselves as “41” and “43.” But do Clinton and Obama refer to themselves as “42” and “44”? And do people really call the Oval Office “the Oval” for short?That is how Halperin and Heilemann refer to them, and their workplace. Obama is POTUS. The first lady is FLOTUS. Obama’s campaign staff is referred to as “the Obamans” or “Obamaworld” or, bizarrely, “Chicago” (where the campaign headquarters were). Romney’s entourage is “Romneyworld” or “Boston.” Romney himself is “the Bay Stater.” When Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey enters the drama, he and his staff are referred to as “Trenton.” It’s like Shakespeare (in this sense only) —the merging of the nobleman and his seat: Lancaster, Norfolk and so on.

Unlike cities, states are almost never referred to by name. It’s not Pennsylvania, it’s “the Keystone State.” It’s not South Carolina, it’s “the Palmetto State,” and so on. Senator Harry Reid is “the Nevadan.” Does anyone other than the authors of this book call former Senator Rick Santorum “Santo”?

Halperin and Heilemann had a huge success with their previous book, “Game Change,” a seemingly minute-by-minute account of the 2008 presidential campaign. Now they want the franchise, the way Theodore H. White had it with his “Making of the President” series in the 1960s. Their new book is chock-full of anecdotes, secret meetings, indiscreet remarks. They gathered string in 500 interviews. All the usual Washingtonians talked to them not for the sake of history, or even to make sure their side of the story got told, but because they wanted to be included. People buy the book for similar reasons. No one can compete. That’s what it means to own the franchise. It’s a small club: these two guys and Bob Woodward. And with this book, they’ve earned their admission.

Trouble is, to write an exciting book of political trivia about the 2008 campaign is one thing. To do the same about 2012 is another. In 2008, both parties had primary battles. The serious candidates included a woman and an African-American for the first time. As a special gift to journalists, God gave us Sarah Palin. About halfway through the fall campaign it started to dawn on people that we were also having a huge financial crisis. In 2012, there was none of this. And the final candidates of the two parties both had personalities that were particularly fuliginous (opaque).

Halperin and Heilemann try hard to pump some drama into 2012. Mitt Romney doesn’t just wake up some morning after sleeping badly. “The morning light shone harshly on Romney’s fitful reverie.” When the former governor Jon Huntsman (“the Utahan” to you) enters the race, it’s “Mormon rivals” on a collision course “with all the drama that implies.” Which unfortunately is not much. “But then came a bolt from the blue: a new . . . survey . . . that put him at 10 percent.” This is Santorum in Iowa, and getting 10 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses is not exactly what you could call a mandate to govern. But Halperin and Heilemann might.

The authors also recreate some memorable moments. There is Representative Michele Bachmann, performing a reverse Sally Field after coming in last in the Iowa caucuses, sobbing “God, I’m a loser. . . . God, I turn people off.” There is the president of the United States dropping the F‑bomb, then surprised when others drop it even more often in his presence. And according to the authors’ sources, the Obama team did consider swapping out Joe Biden for Hillary Clinton, despite denials. Some of these scenes and conversations have been previously reported, but most are brand new, based on the authors’ cyclopean (large or vast) reporting.

The authors make an earnest attempt to squeeze a unifying theme out of the book’s title. Wherever possible, they have people “doubling down” on one thing or another. But the actual theme of the book is the same as that of most books about elections: the oft-deplored “horse race.” To make this particular horse race work, they have to exaggerate the importance of bit players like the businessman Herman Cain and the self-promoter Donald Trump, both of whom are treated as potentially serious threats.

The only really exciting part of the campaign came during the Republican primaries in the spring of 2012. And writing about this period is when Halperin and Heilemann are at their best, with lots of juicy tidbits. Week by week, each candidate except Romney took a turn as front-runner, suddenly up in the polls and the one to beat, then just as suddenly yesterday’s news. Republican voters were looking for love, going on one date after another, but finally letting their heads rule their hearts, doing the responsible thing (or so they thought) and marrying that nice rich boy their mother liked so much. They knew all along that Romney was a liar. They just had to hope he had been lying before —when he presented himself as a moderate, mainstream, business Republican —and wasn’t lying now, when he presented himself as a bona fide red-meat conservative.

Halperin and Heilemann tell it pretty straight. You cannot guess, from reading the book, whom they voted for. But you can sense their devotion to a higher creed, that of the political journalist. Two provisions of that creed stand out in particular. First, no detail is too trivial to report. Blame Politico, the biweekly newsletter on politics and its accompanying Web site (for which I used to work), for this. It has built an empire on the droppings of less-successful publications. Item 2 in the creed is respect for professionalism, however it manifests itself. Political advisers ought to know when and how to lie, cheat and steal for their candidates. That’s their job, and they should do it well. It is the journalist’s job to expose them if she can. And if we all do our jobs well, we don’t need to worry about things like,well, lying, cheating and stealing.

For example, an unmistakable cloud of contempt hangs over the authors’ telling of an idea that Joe Biden had during the campaign. Why not, said Biden, send millions of households a pamphlet about where the president stood on the issues of controversy in the campaign?“Yes, a pamphlet,” they write witheringly. “Yes, millions” of copies. But what is so obviously stupid about this idea, except that it is not the kind of thing you pay the pros to come up with?

Politics is a macho, macho world as Halperin and Heilemann portray it. The “Romneyites convened a series of ‘Kill Newt’ meetings.” “Mitt was perfectly happy to strafe the speaker until he was a human colander.” Romney is not unique —though his particular violent patois comes from the world of management consulting, especially Bain, where Romney worked, and where they talk a lot about having the other guy for breakfast, or eating his lunch or serving his private parts up for dinner, and so on.

And yet these tough guys melt into a puddle at the slightest hint of an insult —even if they have to fake indignation. If Election 2012 is remembered for anything, it will be as the final (let’s hope) flowering of the art of umbrage. Umbrage was the engine of the campaign. It was what kept things moving along.

Typically an umbrage episode began when someone would say something he or she shouldn’t have. This may be because it’s not true. More often, it’s all too true. Remember this one from Gov. Rick Perry of Texas?“If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.” I thought this was the sweetest thing I’d ever heard Rick Perry say. But Halperin and Heilemann make clear it was a terrible mistake, because it suggested that anyone who disagreed with him on how to treat people who were brought to the United States as young children, and had no other home country to go to, was heartless. (Romney’s position was that if you make it unpleasant enough for them to stay, people will “self-deport.” How dare you call him heartless!)

Mitt Romney “pounded away at the Texan on the issue for a solid month.” Halperin and Heilemann call it “an act of political suicide, . . . verbal seppuku.” Newt Gingrich committed a similar gaffe, calling for a “humane” immigration policy, and taking a similar pounding from Romney for that.

The authors lend a sympathetic ear to Karl Rove, the Republican Rasputin, as he describes his disgust at hearing that Newt Gingrich took a few hours off one Saturday morning in Chicago to go see the dinosaurs at the Field Museum. Can you spot the gaffe?It’s not Rove dissing Gingrich for going to a museum. The gaffe is Gingrich taking time off from politics to go to a museum. Shame on him! As the authors put it, he “frittered away” valuable time.

To me, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever heard about Newt. God forbid he should take a Saturday off and go to a museum. God forbid someone running for president should have any interest except politics.

Gingrich’s wife, Callista, did not want him to run. In one of their few moments of discretion, Halperin and Heilemann write intriguingly that Gingrich “wheedled Callista into acquiescence, promising that he would accommodate her priorities.” It sounds suspiciously like a euphemism. Has poor Newt been accommodating her priorities ever since?

Romney was ruthless about exploiting gaffes by others, but he also was the biggest victim of the umbrage wars. He said he wasn’t concerned about the poor. He also said he didn’t care about the rich. In context, he was sucking up to the middle class and got entangled. But he didn’t mean to say what he was taken to have said.

The most significant gaffe of the campaign was by a Democratic operative named Hilary Rosen, who told CNN that Ann Romney, Mitt’s wife, “never worked a day in her life.” This was immediately recognized by all sides as a big mistake, and Romney’s team lost no time in saying how appalled and hurt they were. (Ann Romney had raised five boys, as she lost no time in pointing out. No one was tempted to take the position that raising five boys was not work.)

But in fact, the Romneys and their camp were not appalled and not hurt by this remark. They were delighted. Halperin and Heilemann describe Ann Romney telling a campaign aide, apparently right after she heard about it: That’s offensive to me. And boy, it’s stupid politically. We can really go after them on that. Later, forgetting that she was supposed to be deeply offended, Ann Romney was overheard calling Rosen’s gaffe “an early birthday present.”

The whole umbrage routine is now an established political chess move. Politicians and their advisers pray that the other guy will say something offensive, or something that can be characterized or misinterpreted as offensive. Then they take mock offense. Gotcha! Yet by its nature a gaffe is something the speaker didn’t mean to say. It may reflect his or her true belief or it may not. But if it was said unintentionally, there’s no logical reason the speaker should be held to it. Yet the gaffe/umbrage two-step is now the basic move in our politics. It’s ridiculous. This isn’t a game.

One subject that gets barely a mention in “Double Down” —because it played virtually no role in the 2012 campaign —is race. In a book that aspires to be, and largely succeeds in being, the dispositive (or do I mean definitive?) account of the election, that may be the most remarkable fact of all.

Michael Kinsley is editor at large of The New Republic.

Correction: November 8, 2013 An earlier version of this review misspelled the surname of an economic adviser in the Obama administration. He is Gene Sperling, not Spurling.
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