Barack Obama

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New poll finds many Louisiana Republicans blame Obama for botched response to Hurricane Katrina

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 11:05 AM

It's been a busy week for Louisiana polls and pollsters, and this morning Talking Points Memo provided a sneak look at a new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey of 274 Louisiana Republican primary voters, taken Aug. 16-19.

The poll's top line regarded preferences for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, and it pitted Gov. Bobby Jindal against a wide field of Republican leaders: former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez, Ky. Sen. Rand Paul, Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisc. Rep. Paul Ryan and former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum. (Jindal scored 10 percent support among Louisiana Republicans, putting him in the middle of the pack, but behind "Someone else/not sure.")

But it was the answer to this question that raised eyebrows:

Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?

George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Not sure

A statistically insignificant difference, to be sure. Of course, Bush was president at the time and Obama was a freshman Illinois senator in his first year of office. (In the crosstabs, older people were more likely to blame Obama, while younger voters were likely to be not sure.)

But it raises a further question: Why was it asked in the first place? PPP, which largely conducts polling for Democratic and liberal groups, is fond of throwing curveballs. In 2011, PPP asked GOP voters whether they thought either Obama or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be Raptured into heaven (19 percent thought Obama would; 51 percent thought Palin would). Three months ago, PPP conducted a poll about Americans' attitude toward "hipsters," which included a question about whether hipsters just “soullessly appropriate cultural tropes from the past for their own ironic amusement.”  It also asked respondents to rate the palatability of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. 

Whatever the motivation behind the Katrina question, it's sure to be used as ammo against Louisiana Republicans' brain power (and ammo against Louisianans as a whole), while it also will give conservatives a chance to squawk they were set up.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Gridiron shows: Bobby Jindal and Stacy Head

Posted By on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal's performance at Saturday night's Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, D.C. went over well — at least with President Barack Obama, who praised Jindal's material and delivery at the logrolling annual chance for politicians and the D.C. press corps to share a laugh:

"I have to say, I thought Bobby (Jindal) was incredibly funny this evening. I thought he was terrific," Obama said last night at the high-profile Gridiron Dinner, in his remarks after Jindal made a highly impressive speech full of fun and jokes, wiping out his 2009 lacklustre speech which was in response to the first State of the Union Address by Obama.

Jindal's entire speech has been posted online by The Washington Post. Here's one for Louisianans:

[N]ow some people have asked me if I intend to run for President in 2016?

And the answer is that I have no plans to run. I’ve made that clear, over and over again…in Iowa…in New Hampshire…and in South Carolina.

And for those who want a local take on politicos and press rubbing elbows, tickets are now on sale for the Press Club of New Orleans' annual Gridiron Dinner, which takes place March 19 at Walk-On's. The headliner is New Orleans City Council president Stacy Head; tickets are $40 and are available here.

More Jindal under the cut. (Lots of Indian jokes!)

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Y@ Speak: Lent edition

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 12:06 PM

With Mardi Gras, and the horrifying Carnival/Super Bowl mashup known as "SuperGras," now over, it's time to scale back on breakfast king cake, daydrinking and other vices for the Lenten season. What are you giving up? It looks like pope gave up being the pope, and a lot of locals gave up on watching the State of the Union Address. Others resolved to do things, like investigate Lenten options at a technologically impaired fast food chain or to finally see what this "Harlem Shake" craze is all about. Best of luck on whatever it is you're giving up or pledging to do, and remember we have festival season to gloriously relapse.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Y@ Speak!

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 9:18 AM

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of Y@ Speak, in which we capture notable 140-character bon mots, newsworthy items, gaffes by Saints players and local politicians and whatever else pops up on the New Orleans Twittersphere. To celebrate this occasion, I've rounded up some of my favorite or most memorable tweets — like a multi-layered digital birthday cake of sorts — and divided them by categories: we got NFL players saying dumb stuff, #neworleansproblems, anguish over the Saints' challenging year, reactions to the Times-Picayune cutbacks, interesting celebrity encounters, deep thoughts from Ray Nagin and so much more. Get your retweet/favorite fingers ready for this massive retrospective.

NFL Players Say the Darndest Things

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Demographics and destiny

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 4:54 PM

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.”

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Bobby 2.0

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM

"Stop being the stupid party.”

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.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Y@ Speak: Election edition

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Between watching football and watching more football, this week we managed to elect a new president and make other important decisions! Good job, guys. If the election didn't go your way, you likely were comforted by the Saints' two wins. That the Saints are a good football team sometimes is something on which we can all agree.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Orleans: 80 percent Obama

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 5:17 PM

While President Barack Obama was soundly thumped statewide by GOP challenger Mitt Romney in yesterday’s election — Romney received 57.8 percent of Louisiana’s presidential vote, while Obama got only 40.6 percent — the numbers in Orleans Parish told a story of a deep blue dot in a deep red state.

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.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Michael "Brownie" Brown: Obama responded to Hurricane Sandy too quickly

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM

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.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Paul Ryan gets less-than-warm reaction at AARP conference in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 3:02 PM

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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