Tuesday, September 23, 2008

'Election is About Obama'


'Election is about Obama'

By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 11:15 AM EDT

BENTON HARBOR - The two-year, wide-open White House race with no incumbents for the first time since 1952 boils down to one factor, according to Karl Rove.

Rove, who masterminded President George W. Bush's successful White House bids in 2000 and 2004, told The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Monday night at Lake Michigan College Mendel Center, "This election is about Obama."

Rove said the presidential election "would be over" had Obama selected Hillary Clinton for vice president instead of Joe Biden, robbing John McCain of an opening to energize his campaign by selecting Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for vice president.

Rove pointed out there are "two populists running for president, outsiders arguing about who's responsible for this mess" heading into the first debate Friday in Oxford, Miss.

Vice presidential candidates square off in St. Louis Oct. 2, followed by presidential forums in Nashville, Tenn., and on Long Island, N.Y.

The winner of the first debate can expect a 4-percent poll jump, perhaps more with it centered on foreign policy, Rove said.

The first Gallup Poll after Labor Day has been reliable in forecasting the winner of the popular vote in seven of the past eight elections except 1980. It showed McCain by 4 percent. "The problem is, this is also the first Labor Day poll right after the Republican convention," he said.

"Blue-collar households are somewhat suspicious of this guy. They see him as an elitist. Particularly in blue-collar households in the Midwest and the industrial mid-Atlantic, they remember (Barack Obama's) comment about people clinging to their guns, their faith and their xenophobia. What was he thinking? He has advantages he can't take advantage of because of deep, persistent doubts about his fitness for office. Two weeks ago, 48 percent said he was not qualified. This is the second-highest negative answer to that question that I can find in modern polling. The only presidential candidate who had a worse number was Michael Dukakis in 1988, who had 56 percent of the people in October who said he was not qualified. It really matters who the president is. Big changes are dictated by the outcome. We invest a lot of ourselves in the election. It's really important, and that's the way it should be."

Rove said there will be four battles waged simultaneously, with each candidate talking about the same issues in different ways.

"McCain wants to talk about the war on terror, energy, taxes and spending, which for him are about jobs and the economy," Rove said. "On the other hand, Obama doesn't want to talk about the war on terror at all. He negotiated to have the first debate Friday devoted to foreign affairs so the last debate would be devoted entirely to domestic affairs. And we've seen how events can intrude into a campaign in a very powerful way in the last few days" with the mortgage meltdown and $700 billion bailout for Wall Street.

"The economy has come to the fore. It's a natural advantage for Obama because he wants to talk about it and McCain doesn't," Rove said.

"McCain's going to say he's the experienced reformer. Obama's going to say he's the guy who's going to fight for change and cares about people like you. Each of them wants you to comfortably see them in the Oval Office ... for the first time since spring, McCain is seen as more honest and trustworthy than Obama. In the Fox poll, they asked, 'If you had the most important decision of your own life, who would you turn to for guidance, McCain or Obama?' The answer was 50-36, McCain."

Adding to Rove's interest is that neither Obama or McCain was expected to prevail in his party's primaries. The campaign has gone on so long that the chief issue has shifted from the war in Iraq to the economy.

Their solutions would be very different, Rove stated. Obama favors more regulation and higher taxes for wealthy Americans, while McCain supports less regulation and a limit on the percentage any citizen should be taxed on their income.

They'll be fighting over issues such as taxes, with each arguing for "fairness. Obama says it's fair to take money from the people at the top 5 percent to issue a tax cut for the 95 percent below that. A couple of things are hidden in there. One is that two out of every three in the top five percent is small business, which creates three out of every four new jobs. He's also not saying when he says 'tax cut' he wants to give everyone in the lower 95 percent a $500-a-year tax credit or, if you're married, $1,000. Forty-eight percent of Americans who file income taxes have no liability, so they'll be getting checks. It's not a cut because they don't owe any tax. This is a transfer."

McCain's take on fairness is questioning whether the government should not be limited in how much it "can take out of anyone's wallet, and 35 percent is more than enough," Rove said to applause.


1 comment:

Laree said...

Well after watching this I would say it is about the behind the scene dealings going on with Fannie Mae. What the American People didn't know because todays MSM was to busy reporting on Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. Lets not forget Oprah and the Lady's of the View. What is really important? Paris Hilton doing time for a DUI compliance? The Press has abdicated all their responsibility.