The annual Bipartisan Policy Summit at Tulane University on Thursday (Nov. 15) drew its largest crowd ever. The summit, presided over by James Carville and Mary Matalin, brings together the nation’s best political minds from both parties after Election Day to discuss whether America’s elected leaders can get past partisan bickering and get to work on America’s problems. It remains an open question.
The gathering began with an analysis of how President Obama won re-election. Republican pollster Whit Ayres and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg agreed generally with the notion that demographics is destiny. This is not good news for the GOP, the party led mostly by old white men.
Ayers didn’t sugarcoat his party’s loss. Democrats, he said, had “a far superior ground game” — identifying and turning out their voters. Other factors that helped Obama, Ayers said, were the “slowly improving economy that was improving just enough to get Barack Obama’s approval rating up high enough to win.” The President’s approval rating just before Election Day was 51 percent — exactly his share of the vote.
Ayers also noted “some amazingly bad comments by some Republican candidates” that hurt the party’s cause nationwide. In particular, comments from GOP Senate candidates in Missouri and Indiana helped solidify Obama’s lead among women voters.
All of those factors contributed to the President’s win, Greenberg agreed, but he added that Democrats also won because they recognized the diversity and character of the American electorate — and because of the “brand position” of the two parties.
“We represent the rising American electorate,” Greenberg said of Democrats. “This isn’t just targeting groups that get something from government. We’re in a country in which the majority of households are not married. The majority of births are non-white. The white working class also is attending church less. … All of these are long-term trends that will have enormous impacts on politics, and all of these groups voted 2-to-1 for Obama.”
That was Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking to Politico’s Jonathan Martin last week about the future of the Republican Party after the Nov. 6 elections. If you want to see just how much the elections shook up the GOP, look no farther than Jindal’s attempt to disassociate himself from some of his party’s platforms — many of which he once heartily embraced.
Less than a week after the elections, Jindal tried to grab the national spotlight with a political high-wire act: promoting himself as both a traditional conservative and a forward-thinking guy. The interview got him lots of positive attention — and he doubled down on it at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association, twitting Mitt Romney for rationalizing his loss in the presidential election.
We are at a loss to understand why, but then again, we know the truth about Jindal. Because so few in the media bother to question Jindal’s self-serving pablum, we’ll make it easy for them to compare Bobby Jindal 2.0 to Bobby Jindal’s record.
Obama received 80.3 percent of the vote in Orleans, while Romney took only 17.8 percent, according to next-day statistics from the Louisiana Secretary of State's website.
That percentage bested Obama’s showing in some of the country’s most liberal West Coast regions. Multnomah County, Oregon (Portland), went for Obama with 75.6 percent of the vote; King County, Washington (Seattle) managed 68.5 percent; and the County of Los Angeles scored 69.3 percent of the vote for the president.
Of the big West Coast cities, only San Francisco, where Obama received 83 percent of the vote, scored higher than Orleans for Obama.
Sam Levin of Denver's Westword caught up with former FEMA head Michael "Brownie" Brown, who currently infests the airwaves of that fine city, to see what Brownie thought of the federal response to Hurricane Sandy.
Brownie's criticism? It was too quick. Hmmm. Suspicious!
Brown expects that in the coming days, there will also be comparisons between Obama's quick response to Hurricane Sandy and his slower response to the attacks in Benghazi, which has become a challenging campaign issue for the president.
"One thing he's gonna be asked is, why did he jump on this so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in...Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?" Brown says. "Why was this so quick?... At some point, somebody's going to ask that question.... This is like the inverse of Benghazi."
No, Brownie. No one's going to ask that question. Except you.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is having its Life@50+ convention in New Orleans through tomorrow. That voting bloc is catnip to any political candidate, particularly during a presidential election. President Barack Obama spoke to the group by satellite, but GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who showed up in person, found it a tough room when he started talking about "Obamacare" (the Affordable Care Act) and Medicare:
According to NBC News, "Throughout the Wisconsin congressman’s nearly 30-minute speech, he rarely received applause and instead heard people yell “You lie!” and “No!” to many of his claims of what he and his running mate, Mitt Romney, would do if they make it to the White House."
Earlier this year, Ryan explained to Newsmax "I think the AARP is frightening seniors," and his opinion that "Medicare is going bankrupt":
Below the jump: Ryan's prepared-for-delivery remarks to the AARP convention (which may have changed at the podium):
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