Barack Antaeus Obama

And Romney ain’t no Heracles.

One of the astounding and reassuring things about BHO is his ability to pick himself up off the mat. The contrast between Team Obama’s swift regrouping after the Denver Debacle and the flailing of Team Romney after Clint Eastwood and 47 Percent couldn’t be more stark. In every competitive endeavor, resiliency is precious.

Does Mitt Romney look like Heracles to you? Me neither.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

10 thoughts on “Barack Antaeus Obama”

  1. “Hercules eventually realized that Gaia, the earth, Antaeus’ mother, was the source of his strength…..”
    Alas, Obama continues to ignore Gaia’s pain. A colossal failure in both tactics and leadership. Why didn’t he nail the Solyndra hoax?

  2. Yes, a puff piece from the campaign. There’s no excuse for not being in the correct…”headspace” and no amount of puff pieces can fix that.

  3. So far, Romney seems to me to have been playing a weak hand extremely well. He won the nomination from a party whose grass roots thought he was a squish, went only as far right as he had to to do it, and renounced the 47 per cent remark only in the afterglow of the debate when it was sort of lost in the rush of good news for him. When he does something, it’s pretty well calculated when doing it helps him most/hurts him least. Last I read, in the aftermath of the debate my state (VA) had switched from narrow Obama to narrow Romney. I still think Obama is likely to win, but Romney is playing it very well.
    I don’t think ‘swift regrouping’ is the best thing to be looking at, here. It’s longer term strategy, and Romney is now running as the candidate of a party of which everyone thinks he is to the left of its center, with its enthusiastic backing, and getting a lot of positives from relatively centrist independent types. How well could he be doing?

  4. Save your Obama-praise for after the second debate, if he redeems himself. He hasn’t done jack following the debate, other than get a good politico “bounceback” piece written about him.

  5. Here’s how Pres. Bumblefuck is going to bounce back in the next debate:
    1) He’s going to change his debate practice partner from John Kerry to Martha Coakley.
    2) When Romney talks about the “$716 billion cuts” in Medicare, Obama will say “I didn’t want to, but Nancy Pelosi made me.”
    3) He’ll mention GM twice as often as in the first debate.
    4) When Romney talks about his management experience, Obama will politely refrain from mentioning Bain, thereby looking presidentialish.
    5) He’ll wear a striped necktie.
    I’m already excited.

    1. I worked in top tier fine dining for eight years, through 2003. Culinary knowledge, originality, and expertise were exploding – things moved fast (I can only imagine what it’s like now), and in order to stay in business you had to keep up. One thing I learned early was that if someone did something better than you, especially something central to success, you paid attention and did what they did, only better. Or you got left behind, sniffing other people’s wind. It wasn’t good enough to just be good at what you were already good at – you HAD to grow and change, in order to stay in the game.

      I hope Mr. Obama is paying attention, I really do. Whatever one thinks about the debates, they count. TPM reports Wisconsin is even. If this were six, three months ago – no problem. We are four weeks out from November sixth. Races probably would’ve tightened anyways; Obama is a real president, a competent, hands on individual who is truly up to the job; the debates are all style and no substance. All true. But – and I know that stats say the debates are generally not game changers – the debates count. Particularly when many, many folks are (especially non-consciously) looking for some reason to hate on the….you know what. (My guess is that the support Obama garners from the “gut check” middle is far more contingent on optics than would be for a less ethnically challenged candidate.) Particularly when the opposition is viciously effective at character assassination. Particularly when the other guys have more than enough means to flood the airwaves with lies and distortions that will be clucked over as “excessive” – after the election. Particularly when Team Evil has fully engaged and is winning the fight for downticket races (see: 2010). Or maybe I’m just tired of watching the Carters, the Mondales, the Dukakis,’ the Gores not rise to the occasion (even Kerry – yeah, he ‘won,’ but look at the competition).

      One more thing. I get email after email from the Obama campaign, the DNC, Democrats.org etc. encouraging me to give a little more, put forth the extra effort, kick in that second wind. Fair enough. I will do this. No questions asked. And Mr. Obama is a real president, not an actor or buffoon or greasy son of entitlement. He works like a dog, there is no doubt. But how am I supposed to take it, fielding appeal after appeal for time and money, when the point man for keeping this country (and the world) out of the gutter drops the ball on the two yard line? Just askin.’

      1. “Team Evil has fully engaged and is winning the fight for downticket races (see: 2010).”

        I’m not sure what you mean here — the polling consensus is that the Democrats are pulling ahead of Team Evil in the Senate Races.

        1. 1) The comment you’re replying to said “see 2010”.
          2) You may need to recalibrate your meaning of “downticket”.
          3) This is about mobilization to sway the electorate within the range of possible outcomes, not about miracles.

          To expand on all of that, in 2010 the Republicans used corporate money and independent expenditures in an unprecedented way to seize control of state legislatures, in races where sums that a Presidential campaign spends on trivialities every day can have a huge impact. And they’re going to do it again, and they’re going to do it again at higher level races below the level of President, like the Senate elections you refer to. This doesn’t mean they’ll win those races, but it does mean they’ll be coming to those races much, much better armed than the Democrats when it comes to the ad war.

          1. Point taken about the state legislative races. But I call Debbie Downerism on the Senate races. The Republicans haven’t been sitting on their money in the Senate races so far (except perhaps in Missouri, for cosmetic reasons); if Tim Kaine, Tammy Baldwin, and Elizabeth Warren are leading in polls now, they’re already overcoming the Republican dark money machine.

          2. Matt – There’s no “reply” button to your post. I checked TPM and you’re right – the MA, VA, WI, even MT Senate races look as good or better than before. Very glad to be wrong about that. And I suspect Team Obama will correct nicely. Haven’t ween any state level polls; but perhaps continued positive Democratic movement in the Senate might indicate something a little more durable than “finger in the wind” trends. Cautious optimism might be in order; might strong Senate and Prez numbers indicate deeper waters (??) In the end, I very much would like to see a healthy, rested, prepared, and engaged President in the next two debates – whatever else he does he must project strength in that forum, and showing that he takes them seriously enough to make the necessary adjustments WILL make a lasting impression.

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