The 2014 '30 Under 30'

Congrats to this year's 30 -- check out the full list here!

Are Uncommitted Voters Even More Dense Than Obama Supporters?

Conservative commentators have been suggesting that Tuesday night’s presidential townhall debate at Hofstra University was filled with liberal plants, but I fear it was stocked with something more insidious: uncommitted voters.

The audience came off like dazed sleepwalkers who recited their questions off cards as if someone else had written them in crayon.  Thus, we were treated to such penetrating probes as:

“Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008, but I’m not sure if I will in 2012. Why is everything I buy so expensive?”

“President Obama, why don’t women who make different life choices earn the exact same salaries as men?”

“Governor Romney, are you really George W. Bush in disguise?”

We also had this dinger:

“Doesn’t the Laffer Curve predict that lowering marginal federal income tax rates boosts government revenue?”

Just kidding!  How will voters who haven’t made up their minds between Reagan Lite and Saul Hussein Alinsky ever understand the Laffer Curve?

One uncommitted voter ventured, “Mr. President, your energy secretary Steven Chu said it’s not his department’s policy to lower gas prices. Is this true?”

This was actually a rather intelligent question, except that a more informed voter would have asked, “Mr. President, didn’t your energy secretary Steven Chu say it was his department’s policy to raise gas prices?”

Though I take the debate commission’s word that the audience members were genuinely uncommitted, one of them did submit the aforementioned Bush question. The fact that “Are you Bush?” made the final cut was fortunate for Obama, in that it prevented him from having to sully himself by bringing up the former President. (Just like Hillary took care of Benghazi for him!)

Had the commission selected a more focused audience, Obama would have been too ashamed to shower them with gems like these:

Gas prices have more than doubled under my watch, but that’s because the economy is so much better now.

I don’t look at my pension, because it isn’t as big as Romney’s.

I believe that women are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.

Certainly a sharper audience wouldn’t have been impressed by Obama’s claim, during the Keystone Pipeline discussion, that “We’ve built enough pipeline to wrap around the entire Earth once!” As Glenn Kessler, a fact checker at the Washington Post notes, “This ‘fact’ is kind of meaningless…  [T]he total number of pipelines in 2008 was about 2.38 million miles… Obama’s gain over two years amounts to a little over 1 percent of that total… [T]he bulk of Obama’s gain…came from gas transmission lines [that] require approvals from states and municipalities…”s (Meanwhile “uncommitted voters” were busy picturing a friendly planet Earth mascot with a steadily pumping pipeline stretched around its waist like a belt, with Obama looking on approvingly.)

Imagine a townhall debate audience consisting of only committed voters—i.e. ones sharp enough to ask pointed questions that Obama can’t dodge with platitudes and generalities. How much more enlightening would such a debate be? How much more of a disadvantage would such a format pose to the Democratic candidate, the Democratic moderator, and the Democratic media?

In fact, why dumb down the audience at all?  Why not feature an audience of economists and terrorism experts and immigration officials instead of soccer moms who can’t remember the three tax deductions that keep them awake at night? (These audience members would have gotten along great with Rick Perry!)

Had the commission chosen a more astute audience, Romney could have scored by sprinkling zingers like these throughout his replies:

President Obama has increased the federal debt more in four years than any other president in U.S. history. What would he do if we gave him four more years?

Obama disses ‘folks at the top’ and the ‘well-off.’ Why does he resent wealthy people so much, especially considering that he’s one of them?

The President has been three minutes ahead of me on the clock for most of the debate yet keeps trying to cut me off. Does he have a fundraiser to catch?

Undoubtedly the smartest of these uncommitted townhall voters was the one who accidentally addressed Romney as “President.” At least her instincts were on point.

 

Comments

Polititainment

'True Blood' star takes on Sarah Palin

Kristin Bauer van Straten, who plays vampire Pam Ravenscroft on the HBO program, hit back at the former governor of Alaska for criticizing a recent episode.

Cher rants against Rand Paul
Thrown in between tweets about toothaches, costumes and pool time, Cher decided to rant about Sen. Rand Paul on Twitter Friday night. It was not clear what prompted the Twitter tirade. Cher had just finished giving an update on her toothache and five new “unbelievable” costumes when she switched gears. Mediaite postulated that she may […]
Joel helps explain GOP view on jobs
Apparently John Boehner’s press team is made up entirely of Billy Joel enthusiasts. The Library of Congress announced on Tuesday that this year’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song will go to Joel. The prize “honors artists whose work has left a lasting impact on audiences and inspired new generations of performers.” And John Boehner’s press […]
Joan Rivers rips media over Israel

In which Joan Rivers takes a sledgehammer to the media.

Fla. pol proposes mandated D'Souza show

Florida State Senator Alan Hayes, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, is planning on introducing legislation to mandate that all Florida high schools show Dinesh D’Souza’s new film "America." That is, unless parents don’t want their kids to see it.

White House

Golfer finds Obama’s golf ball in the woods, says president’s game is ‘off line’
President Barack Obama is “off line again.” Or at least his golf game appears to be. Instagram user larrydoh posted a picture of a Titleist 44 golf ball labeled “POTUS” on Saturday. He found the golf ball at the Congressional Country Club, one day after POTUS played the same course himself. “Obama played at Congressional […]
Polls: Obama White House incompetent at managing, worse than Darth Vader

The job of the administrative branch is to, well, administer the laws. According to a new Fox News poll released on Wednesday, most Americans think that the Obama administration is failing dismally at the task.

Obama wants ‘idealism and optimism’ for millennials in face of Congressional ‘crisis,’ refuses to recognize he is part of the problem
Now that “hope and change” seems to be played out, President Barack Obama has come up with a new catchphrase for millennials – “idealism and optimism.” In a speech at a Democratic National Convention fundraiser in Seattle, Wash. Tuesday night, Obama asked young people not to give up their natural idealism and optimism because of […]
President Obama admits he does not watch the news

During a speech during a Democratic National Committee event in Seattle, Washington Tuesday night, President Obama confessed that he doesn't watch the news. Throughout the speech, Obama predictably complained about the incompetence of our "broken" Congress and urged his liberal audience to get enthusiastic about voting for Democrats in the midterm elections this fall.

Congress and the President actually take action, Obama says ‘it’s so much fun’
“Girls just want to have fun,” Cyndi Lauper belts in her famous song. Apparently President Barack Obama wants to join her. “Let’s do this more often. It’s so much fun,” Obama said at a bill signing on Tuesday. Obama gathered in White House with members of Congress to sign the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This […]

Congress

Congresswoman's 'miracle baby' turns one
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R- Wash.) and her husband Dan recently celebrated the first birthday of their “miracle baby,” Abigail Rose. The couple learned early into the congresswoman’s pregnancy that their baby had Potter’s Syndrome. The condition causes a lack of amniotic fluid which prevents the baby’s growth and development, especially of the kidneys. Jaime […]
Obama throws more fuel on lawsuit fire
It appears President Barack Obama plans to keep up his “So sue me” attitude this week. House Speaker John Boehner penned an op-ed Sunday in USA Today that outlined the specifics of the planned lawsuit against the president. He had announced in late June that he would file a lawsuit against Obama on behalf of the […]
Norton: 'You don't have a right to know'

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton played down the importance of government transparency during a House hearing Friday, speaking out against Republican-led attempts to compel a White House official to appear before the Government and Oversight Committee.

Politicians struggle to 'live the wage'

Goodbye three-course power lunches at swanky D.C.  steakhouses. Hello Ramen noodles and PB&J.

Paul Ryan unveils new anti-poverty agenda

In another example of the Republican Party expanding its policy tent, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled a new poverty-fighting agenda Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute.