Climate Changes the GOP Convention

August hasn't been too kind to Mitt Romney. He started the month trying to recover from a summer jaunt abroad at the end of July, which was supposed to be an easy string of photo-ops but turned into a Griswoldian comedy of errors. It all might have been forgotten if the running-mate rollout went well. But that didn’t happen, with Paul Ryan receiving the lowest approval rating among voters since Dan Quayle.

The bad news didn't stop there. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, a former nobody, caused a stir on Sunday by saying that rape did not lead to pregnancy, forcing the Romney campaign to tread into abortion politics—territory Mitt typically shies away from. To top it all off, major newspapers have finally starting to take note of Romney's lies on policy matters. Add it all up, and it explains why the former Massachusetts governor still can't  break the 45 percent barrier in national polls. Nate Silver puts Obama as a 67 percent favorite in November, and the Prospect's own polling guru thinks Obama will take 297 Electoral College votes.

Given all this, no one would fault Romney if he wasn't exactly in the partying mood for the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week. Wait, what's that? The Republican convention might be canceled? Tropical Storm Isaac looks like it might turn into a hurricane just in time to hit Tampa next week. The mayor of Tampa told CCN that he is “fully prepared” to shut it down if need be, while everyone's favorite governor Rick Scott reassured the public that officials have planned for the possibility of a hurricane. Four years ago, a hurricane also threatened the GOP convention in Minnesota, which led party planners to  reconfigure the schedule a bit. Natural disasters are awful and our hearts go out to anyone who suffers on account of them. That said, there is something poetic about an angry storm threatening the festivities of a party that denies global warming and plugs its ears anytime a scientist suggests that imminent climate change carries an increased risk of severe weather.


So They Say

"From an evolutionary point of view, Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote. All of it. He should get Michelle Obama’s vote. You can insert your own Mormon polygamy joke here, but the ladies do tend to flock to successful executives and entrepreneurs ... We don’t do harems here, of course, but Romney is exactly the kind of guy who in another time and place would have the option of maintaining one. He’s a boss."

Kevin Williamson, using some ... odd logic, to advance the opinion that Romney should unleash his inner rich guy in the latest National Review cover story

 Daily Meme: Ryan Romneys on Abortion

  • Todd Akin has been getting the bulk of the "legitimate rape" wrath this week, but now his fellow anti-abortion musketeer Paul Ryan is starting to feel the heat too.  
  • In an interview with a Pittsburgh reporter, he tried to distance himself from Akin ...
  • ... with whom he co-sponsored legislation to narrow the definition of rape ...
  • ... by saying "Rape is rape. Period. End of story."
  • "Of course, Ryan believes that abortions should not be legal for victims of forcible rape, statutory rape, or any other kind of rape."
  • But "if  'there's no splitting hairs over rape,' why did Paul Ryan help champion legislation that would have split hairs over rape?" Steve Benen asks.
  • That's far from the end of the story. Ryan went on to say: “Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress."
  • In other words, "Mr. Ryan acts as though Mr. Akin is an outlier when, on the merits—setting aside the biological mysticism—there’s not much daylight between them."
  • As the Prospect's Jamelle Bouie points out: "It’s almost unfair that Todd Akin is the new national symbol of anti-abortion extremism; compared to Ryan, he’s almost a squish."
  • Ryan has co-sponsored 38 anti-abortion measures, and has a 100 percent rating with the National Right to Life Committee—beating out Akin's score with the group.
  • And you can blame this guy for starting the whole "rape can't get you pregnant" debacle. 
  • Although Republicans always get squeamish about detailing their beliefs on abortion in great detail, Romney and Ryan have to be breathing a sigh of relief that everyone has stopped talking about how their campaign is "a six-foot deception sandwich with grilled fibs and extra taradiddle sauce."
  • But the Democrats' full court press against their social issues stance has to hurt equally bad, making the situation a true lose-lose. 

What We're Writing

What We're Reading

  • Things that don't get FOIA requested every day—the White House's homebrew recipe.
  • Romney is doing quite well fundraising in typically Democratic fortresses like Manhattan and San Franscisco. 
  • Elizabeth Warren is getting her groove back on the campaign trail, but Scott Brown remains a formidable—and incumbent—challenger ...
  • ... although the Republican Party isn't making his re-election prospects any brighter. 
  • Dan Amira points out that maybe it's time to retire the whole "nastiest election ever" gambit.
  • Paul Ryan may be the only person born after 1970 to be on a presidential ticket ever, but his ideas are as old and stale as they get.
  • A Texas judge predicts “Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe," if Obama is re-elected. "And we’re not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”
  • And in presidential entertainment industry news, the first Lincoln poster is out!

Poll of the Day

According to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Mitt Romney is pulling in ... 0 percent of black voters. The sample  of African Americans polled was small, and the margin of error is ±3 (meaning that Romney could have -3 percent of black voters come November?), but the optics are not good, especially given the Romney campaign's recent ad blitz.

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