A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

So…………………….Where’s Romney’s Convention Bounce?

by evanmcmurry

Here’s a screenshot of NRO’s splash page on Monday, four days after the conclusion of the Republican National Convention:

Notice anything missing? As in a single article about Romney’s convention bounce in the polls? I logged onto the NRO expecting their splash page to be overflowing with bolded headlines about how Romney’s big coming out party had finally broken Obama’s small but stubborn lead. Instead, there was some humdrum article about “dinosaur conventions.” Ask yourself: if Romney/Ryan had gotten anything close to a decent post-convention bounce, would the National Review be running with a special-interest article on the long-term viability of conventions? (Tuesday’s page leads with a big feature on “689 Reasons To Defeat Obama,” which is almost more indicative of the missing bounce; you don’t run reruns when there’s big news.)

Sure enough, RealClearPolitics’ meta-poll has Obama and Romney tied nationally, which is where they were last week, and Obama actually ahead and gaining in 10 of 12 swing states. Throw this on top of the fact that Paul Ryan got the smallest VP-bounce of the past three elections, and things are looking very dire for Romney.

Nate Cohn with more.

State & local government employment is a drag on the economy

by pdxblake

Calculated Risk is one of my favorite blogs (especially charts) and here’s why.  I can say more with two charts from his post than many other sources (although reading through the explanation from the link is also highly useful).

Source: Calculated Risk blog

Obama And Bush Pretty Much Same Person Now

by evanmcmurry

The Gray Lady has a piece up about Obama’s competitiveness, which many are claiming—are you sitting down?—sometimes leads to cockiness. Fine. Here’s where it gets good:

But even those loyal to Mr. Obama say that his quest for excellence can bleed into cockiness and that he tends to overestimate his capabilities. The cloistered nature of the White House amplifies those tendencies, said Matthew Dowd, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, adding that the same thing happened to his former boss. ‘There’s a reinforcing quality,’ he said, a tendency for presidents to think, I’m the best at this.

Thanks, former Bush advisor, for taking the initiative to project your boss’ faults onto his successor, but perhaps George W. Bush, the modern embodiment of hubris, is not the best control group to test the effects of the presidency on cockiness? At the very least we can (and should) distinguish between Bush’s cockiness—which was maintained even in the face of an increasingly disastrous presidency, and allowed him to be unaware of having so much as erred despite of a litany of failures—and Obama’s, which is bolstered with universal health care reform and Osama bin Laden’s scalp.

That’s giving Dowd the benefit of the doubt, in that he spoke honestly, and just mistook his boss’ arrogance as endemic to the job rather than the man. The less charitable reading is that this is of a piece with Republican efforts to blur the lines between the disaster of Bush and the clean-up job of Obama. They’ve already assigned Obama full blame for the deficit Bush created and the unemployment rate he left. And now, famously though not famously enough, Paul Ryan is attacking Obama for closing a auto plant that shut down under Bush’s watch. In this context, it seems a little odd that Matthew Dodd would be so helpful in carrying over the less pleasant aspects of George W Bush’s personality and making them Obama’s. By the time this process is over, Obama will have been the mid-90s owner of the Texas Rangers.