"This is a difficult day for all of us Americans. . . . It is time for us . . . to stand united. It is a day for quiet reflection . . . when words should be few and confined essentially to our prayers."
It goes to prove that Romney doesn't have what it takes to handle foreign affairs.
Yesterday, Jon Huntsman seemed to have Mr. Romney in mind when he said “This is above all a reminder that politics should end at the water’s edge.”
The “water’s edge” axiom doesn’t mean that foreign policy is out of bounds. It means you shouldn’t swan around the globe damaging a sitting president’s relationships with foreign leaders—as Mr. Romney did when he traveled to Israel, donors in tow, and accused the president, indirectly but unmistakably, of trying to “undermine” Israel.
I subscribe to the “water’s edge” notion, but it’s not quite what’s at issue here. At issue is the fact that, like Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention, Mr. Romney attacked an imaginary Obama for a blunder he never committed.
September 12, 2012
Murder in Benghazi
Libya and its pro-democracy revolution had no better friend than J. Christopher Stevens, the United States ambassador who was killed along with three other Americans in Tuesday’s attack on the consulate in Benghazi. It was an outrageous act that deserved the strongest condemnation.
President Obama’s statement of outrage and his vow to bring the killers to justice received bipartisan support, including from politicians otherwise committed to partisan warfare, like the House speaker, John Boehner, and the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, who rarely misses a chance to attack Mr. Obama.
But not from Mitt Romney, who wants Americans to believe he can be president but showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character by using the murders of the Americans in Libya as an excuse not just to attack Mr. Obama, but to do so in a way that suggested either a dangerous ignorance of the facts or an equally dangerous willingness to twist them to his narrow partisan aims.
Mr. Romney could easily have held his fire during this crisis, if he could not summon the decency to support the United States government. Instead, he misrepresented the administration as “sympathizing” with the attackers. There was no truth in what he said. In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made the first official comment on the killings, a strong condemnation, before Mr. Romney released his statement. Even after having a night to reconsider his response, Mr. Romney merely doubled down on his false charges, as he is prone to do.
Three of the state's top elected Republicans on Thursday determined they lacked sufficient evidence of President Barack Obama's birth records to decide whether to remove the Democratic nominee from the November ballot in Kansas.
There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation,” Richard Williamson, a top Romney foreign policy adviser, said in an interview. “For the first time since Jimmy Carter, we’ve had an American ambassador assassinated.”
Her speech at the Values Voter Summit represented a passionate return to that cause; this time she took matters a step further by alleging that the Obama administration was embracing "enforced Islamic speech codes" to protect the sensitivities of Muslims at the expense of American security.
“We are quickly losing our sense of who we are as a nation, and we are losing our ability to identify our radical Islamist enemy,” Bachmann said, adding later, “Barack Obama has been the most dangerous president we have ever had on foreign policy."
How can any reasonable person believe that crap, let alone make the argument thinking others won't see through it?
It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard.
How can any reasonable person believe that crap, let alone make the argument thinking others won't see through it?
Guiliani's the worst out of all of them. The man truly has no shame whatsoever.
When Mayor Rudy Giuliani held a press conference to announce his marital separation, no one was more surprised than his wife, Donna Hanover, who hadn’t been briefed. She refused to leave Gracie Mansion and later filed a court order to keep his mistress, Judith Nathan, out.
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's marital problems exploded yesterday in a public exchange with his wife, Donna Hanover. The mayor abruptly announced that he was seeking a separation from Ms. Hanover, and Ms. Hanover, caught unaware, then said that the couple's troubles began years ago because of a previous relationship between the mayor and a member of his staff.
At an extraordinary, emotional news conference in Bryant Park, Mr. Giuliani also said that as he battles prostate cancer he will turn ''more now than maybe I did before'' to Judith Nathan, the woman he describes as a very good friend....
Friends of Ms. Hanover's said that although she and her husband had talked in recent days about ending their 16-year marriage, Ms. Hanover did not know that Mr. Giuliani was going to announce their separation at his news conference....The friends described Ms. Hanover as distraught.
After Mr. Giuliani told reporters this week that he and his wife, Donna Hanover, were separating, Ms. Hanover held a press conference of her own. A professional TV journalist, she didn't bury the lead: ''For several years it was difficult to participate in Rudy's public life because of his relationship with one staff member.''
That would be Cristyne Lategano, the mayor's former communications director. Ms. Lategano and Mr. Giuliani have always vigorously denied having a romantic relationship, and after multitudinous attempts to track down evidence to the contrary, the exhausted City Hall press corps pretty much let the matter drop.
Ms. Hanover, however, picked it back up again. She added that when Ms. Lategano departed from City Hall last year, ''I made a major effort to bring us back together,'' but that her husband ''chose another path.''
That would be Judith Nathan, a nurse whom Mr. Giuliani describes as a ''very good friend.'' For a press conference that lasted only a couple of minutes, Ms. Hanover managed to squeeze in quite a bit of information.
The ''good friend'' situation may be a private matter, but the city really does have an interest in what Ms. Hanover said about the mayor's ex-communications director. Ms. Lategano came to City Hall with no strong qualifications except intense loyalty, and helped turn the administration into a flock of low-profile yes-men and -women, who encouraged the mayor's tendency to view the world as a war between the forces of good (himself) and evil (anybody who gets in the way). When she left, she used Mr. Giuliani's intense support to snag a $150,000 job with the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau. If this was all done in the name of love, inquiring minds want to know.
September 14, 2012
Poll Finds Obama Is Erasing Romney’s Edge on Economy
By JEFF ZELENY and MEGAN THEE-BRENAN
President Obama has taken away Mitt Romney’s longstanding advantage as the candidate voters say is most likely to restore the economy and create jobs, according to the latest poll by The New York Times and CBS News, which found a modest sense of optimism among Americans that White House policies are working.
But while the climate for Mr. Obama has improved since midsummer, and Mr. Romney has failed to shift sentiment decisively in his favor, the poll found that the presidential race is narrowly divided. The outcome could still turn on unexpected events and how the candidates are perceived after their three debates next month.
With their conventions behind them and the general election campaign fully engaged, the Democratic Party is viewed more favorably than the Republican Party. The poll also found that more likely voters give an edge to Mr. Obama on foreign policy, Medicare and addressing the challenges of the middle class. The only major issue on which Mr. Romney held an advantage was handling the federal budget deficit.
The nationwide poll was conducted during a turbulent week in the campaign, with a new torrent of television ads from Mr. Romney, a disappointing jobs report for Mr. Obama and both candidates reacting to deadly violence in Egypt, Libya and across the Arab world.
Among those considered most likely to vote, the president was the choice of 49 percent to 46 percent for Mr. Romney, including those who said they were leaning in one direction or another. It is within the survey’s margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for each candidate.
The president holds a 10-point advantage on who would do a better job handling foreign policy, with 4 in 10 voters very confident of Mr. Obama’s ability to handle an international crisis, compared with about one-quarter who say the same about Mr. Romney. The survey was largely conducted before foreign affairs took on heightened importance when the United States ambassador to Libya and three other Americans there were killed on Tuesday.
While the poll reflects a prevailing sentiment among Mr. Romney’s advisers that he must find a way to change the dynamics of the race, the findings also highlight a lingering discontent running through the electorate. A slim majority of likely voters still disapprove of how Mr. Obama has handled the economy and 7 in 10 rank the economy as fairly bad or very bad.
But with only two weeks before the first wave of early voting begins in some states, the presidential race has taken on a new sense of urgency, the poll found, with enthusiasm increasing among voters. A plea for patience, which Mr. Obama delivered at the Democratic convention, appears to be resonating with some voters....
The president’s job approval rating of 51 percent among all Americans marks the first time he has surpassed a majority in the poll by The Times and CBS News since immediately after Osama bin Laden was killed, in May 2011. The number of adults who say the country is on the right track has increased to 40 percent, though 54 percent say it is on the wrong track.
The coalition that helped sweep Mr. Obama into office four years ago is at least partly intact. He holds a 12-point advantage among women, while Mr. Romney holds the upper hand among men by 8 percentage points. But independent voters, who supported Mr. Obama by eight percentage points in 2008, are now breaking for Mr. Romney by six percentage points.
When asked who understands their needs and problems, Mr. Obama has a 20-point advantage over Mr. Romney among women, compared to an 8-point advantage among men. Since a Times/CBS News poll in early March, Mr. Romney has made significant gains with voters in finding a personal connection and showing empathy; the latest survey finds 46 percent of likely voters say he understands their challenges and 48 percent say he does not. ...
This is the first poll by The Times and CBS News of the election cycle to take a measure of those considered most likely to vote. The nationwide telephone survey was conducted from Sept. 8 through 12 among 1,170 registered voters, including those who were weighted by their responses to questions about voting history, attention to the campaign and likelihood of voting.
Among the wider spectrum of registered voters in this poll after the Democratic National Convention last week, Mr. Obama has a stronger command of the race. The poll found that 51 percent of those voters supported Mr. Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., while 43 percent supported Mr. Romney and Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.
But among the probable electorate, which models likely voters and typically reflects the tendency of Republicans to turn out more consistently at the polls, the candidates are running far closer. When these likely voters were asked about the trajectory of the United States over the last four years, 35 percent said the country was better off, 41 percent said the country was worse off and 23 percent said it was about the same.
The president’s base of supporters is more enthusiastic and loyal, with 62 percent saying they will vote for him because they like him and 30 percent because they dislike Mr. Romney. But among Mr. Romney’s supporters, 50 percent say they like him and 39 percent say they are supporting him because they do not like the direction Mr. Obama is taking the country.
With less than eight weeks remaining until the election on Nov. 6, just 5 percent of voters have not yet decided which candidate to support, while about 1 in 10 voters who already support a candidate say they could still change their minds.