The Right Opinion

Seven Weeks

By Rich Galen · Sep. 19, 2012

Yesterday marked the seven weeks to go mark before the MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN MY LIFETIME.

I have been voting since 1968 …


The 26th Amendment to the Constitution, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 in America for all elections (local, state and federal), was not adopted until 1971. By that time I was old enough to vote with or without the 26th Amendment.


… meaning this will be my 11th Presidential election.

I do believe that in each and every one of those elections I have been told that it was THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN MY LIFETIME.

I can't prove it, but I suspect that with just about seven weeks to go in each of those 11 elections, there was an outcry that one side or the other was the victim of malpractice by a senior advisor.

The other day, published a long piece about how senior advisor Stuart Stevens has single-handedly screwed up the campaign of Governor Mitt Romney.

Stevens, who used to be the advertising guru for Gov. George W. Bush among many other campaigns and titles, is the senior-ist of senior advisors to Romney.

He is known as being a “gunslinger” in the best meaning of the term. In 2000 George W. was supposed to run the table in the early primaries and win easily. Came New Hampshire and Sen. John McCain crushed Bush by over 43,000 votes 115,490 to 72,262.

I was writing for a dot-com in those days called “” Stevens strolled into the filing center and announced, “Well, that was an old-fashioned ass-kicking” which I'm pretty sure was not what in the official talking points memo.

Many moons ago, long time Democratic strategist Bob Shrum – whom I had been sparring with on TV for some years – was similarly accused of messing up whatever campaign he was senior- advising at the time.

I called Shrum's office and told a young man to tell Mr. Shrum that if it was helpful for me to write something good about him I would do that; or, if it were more helpful for me to write some awful about him I would oblige.

A few days later the same young man called back and said, “Mr. Shrum asked me to thank you and tell you that he would be fine, but also that you were the only person in Washington who called to help.”

That, I've always thought, was hyperbole, but it has made for a good story over the years.

Over the past 24 hours there have been at least four new polls released. The Gallup five-day tracking poll and the Associated Press both have the race back to one point: 47 for Barack Obama and 46 for Romney. The third, the NBC/Wall Street Journal has it Obama 50, Romney 45; and the Rasmussen tracking poll has the race 47-45 with Romney leading.

Pick the one you like and ride it, but my point is even after one of the worst months in the modern history of Presidential politics, Romney and Obama are still essentially tied in the national polls.

Starting with Hurricane Isaac, which missed Tampa but caused the Romney convention to alter its calendar to the release of a four-month-old video of Romney at a Florida fund-raiser it has been one stumble after another.

Stuart Stevens didn't pick Tampa as the site of the GOP convention and he certainly wasn't whispering in Romney's ear at that fund-raiser, but in spite of it all, Obama has not been able to put Romney away.

A reporter called yesterday and asked me if I thought it was time for the Romney campaign to panic. I said that if the polls continued to show that the Obama convention bounce was dissipating, there should be panic in Chicago, not in Boston.

It might well turn out that the Convention bounce that helped Obama's numbers was actually attributable to President Bill Clinton not the current President. No matter how much he would wish it otherwise, Clinton's name will not be on the ballot when Americans go to the polls on November 6; Obama and Romney both will.

I still don't know who is going to win this election, but I do know that calling it with this much time left is like trying to decide which team will win a baseball game that has a team one run ahead in the seventh.

“It's not over,” as Yogi Berra is famously reported to have said, “until it's over.”

This one is not over. There are still seven weeks to go.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the 26th Amendment, to the Political article on Stuart Stevens, and to a great collection of Yogi Berra-isms.

Also a Mullfoto from Romney's fund raiser in Dallas last night.

Copyright ©2012 Barrington Worldwide, LLC |


wjm in Colorado said:

With gas and food prices steadily climbing, the economy in shambles, high unemployment, and a treasonous foreign policy, the Obamao family should be looking for a new place to occupy next January. What is truely frightening is that it is this close of a race. Vote Democrat, Destroy America.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Bill in Texas said:

Personally, I want to see the splits on the polls with regard to the following: Demcorat, Republican, Independent voters. Those numbers will be the telling information. My personal opinion is that they are slanted 50% min for Democrat, 35% min for Republican, and probably 10% to 15% Independent. Where is a poll that makes sure they have and even 33% split of all types of voters. I think that poll will have Romney up on Obama by at least 10 maybe as much as 15.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Gregory in Yakima Wa. said:

Rich Galen writes a reasonable situation analysis after discounting for the bias he's paid to write. The unsettling element going forward is Mitt's frequent gaffes. That guy has has an amazing campaign record for unforced errors and capacity to blurt out one stupid remark after another. He is forever on defense. It isn't possible to obfuscate policy details, hide income tax records, denounce 47% of the population, on and on, and win.

Mitt's comments can be radioactive to other Republicans who are trying to win their own races. Democrats are delighted by Mitt's many gifts of gaffes. I don't think anyone on either side expected the race to become ever more farcical. Rich Galen didn't say so: Mitt's supporters know they picked a loser.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 12:01 PM

JHenry in NYSS, USSA replied:

Comrade traitor Gregori, I will greatly enjoy your upcoming eight years of painful mental illness.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Patrick in Houston replied:

Please note: the correct spelling of "our friend" in Yakima's name is Grigori.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Rod in USA said:

Democrat (and Obama Report Card):

**Economy: F**
-- 8.x% ++ unemployment the length of his term
-- Jobs shrinking and turning into McJobs only
-- ~20% if you factor in under-employed
-- Despite nearly $4 trillion in stimulus spending and nearly $4 trillion in federal spending outlays (cannot really call it a budget since they never passed one).
-- Quantitative Easing. Devaluing the dollar to get a temporary "fix" of stock market morphine....

**Government Spending: F**
-- $1 trillion + deficits every single year?
-- $4 trillion budgets every year?
-- Federal spending was only $1.7 trillion just a few years ago
-- Spend more than all previous presidents COMBINED, to produce.... what exactly?

** Foreign Policy: F**
-- Iran is very close to having a Nuke and constantly threatening (***promisins***) to wipe Israel off the map just for existing. And we are a bunch of hot air, a "paper tiger"; imposing sanctions (in public) then granting waivers (in private) that destroy the impact of any sanctions
-- The Apology Tour has produced NOTHING; The world does not respect WEAKNESS, they respect restrined judicious use of power.

**Domestic Policy: F**
-- Forcing the Cathloic Church to fund contraceptives that is against its moral convictions is a violation of our Constitution
-- Ramming Obamacare down our throats - without reading it first is a violation of trust with the American people. "Pass it to find out what's in it." ?? Really? **REALLY??**
-- Repealing Dont Ask, Dont Tell for the military and endorsing same sex marriage: Patent social meddling and experimentation pandering to a small but vocal group
-- Failed "investments" in green energy which is not ready for prime time. Government cannot impose this on America.

** Accountability: F**
-- Blame Bush. For 4 years. "It's worse than we thought."
-- Ask for more time. What happened to fixing it in three years or it is a one term proposition?
-- Blame the rich and the republicans.
-- Host a fund raiser.
-- Go on vacation (or send Michelle and the girls) on the taxpayer's dime.
-- Play some golf (more than any other President)
-- Go to a basketball game

Give him a pink slip.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Bill in Texas replied:

SIDENOTE: You forgot the downgrade of our Credit status from AAA to AA, and I believe that we have now been downgraded again to AA-. But, what you covered is a far more understandable position to a general minded American citizen.

Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM