Archives for September 2012

Could Michelle Obama get away with Ann Romney’s ‘fire’?

When does testiness cross over into anger? Whatever you want to call it, Ann Romney is showing the signs. When she takes her husband’s conservative critics to task on Radio Iowa with: “Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring.” When she leans into an NBC reporter and says: “There’s going to be no more tax releases given.” When she tells Latino voters they would vote Republican if only “they could just get past some of their biases.”

But her persona is not “angry white woman.” It’s more the fighting helpmate for Mitt Romney, her tough words and emotional delivery adding fire to a candidate and a campaign that could use it.

Imagine the reaction if the current first lady went off like that on her husband’s detractors and lectured Americans on what they should realize and when,

DNC Helped Recapture Charlotte’s Magic

Mayor Anthony Foxx is exhausted, but in a good way, just like his city. Though last week’s Democratic National Convention didn’t run exactly as planned — turns out neither party is great at forecasting the weather — the sudden storms that periodically pummeled Charlotte, N.C., didn’t dampen the spirit of the celebration heading into a tough November political race. After Democrats chose Charlotte, there were questions about the city’s ability to pull off such a major event.

At the time, Foxx, 41, knew that the expected 35,000 visitors – national and international leaders, media and delegates — would be judging him as well. Charlotte’s second African-American mayor, who touted his city as the perfect pick, has been tagged as a rising political star. Sitting in an empty council chamber in the government center, Foxx was tired when he spoke with The Root on a recent Friday afternoon about his own future and the November chances of the president and friend he supports. That morning Foxx; his wife, Samara; and their two children, Hillary and Zachary, had said their goodbyes and posed for pictures at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base near Charlotte Douglas International Airport before President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama departed on Air Force One.

At DNC Charlotte, taking the ‘war on women’ seriously

CHARLOTTE — The National Women’s Political Caucus is about issues, not party affiliation, as it tries to get more women elected to office. But the issues it cares about — supporting a women’s right to choose, the Equal Rights Amendment and dependent care for women balancing responsibility for children and aging relatives — come with a party label these days.

At the organization’s packed reception at Ri Ra Irish pub on Sunday afternoon, before the official Tuesday start of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, shouts of “yes we can” echoed Obama campaign enthusiasm. National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill, a familiar television presence, put it this way: “The radical fringe on the right wing has taken over the Republican Party.” She lamented the invisibility of GOP women with more moderate views, such as Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) at the Republican convention in Tampa.

DNC 2012 Notebook: Southern-fried pessimism intrudes on the party

Meet the new South, which has some of the same problems as the old South.

It’s undeniable that a black mayor welcoming a black president into a city can tout skyscrapers, sports and a thriving arts scene. But despite those signs of growth, in the region that has gained political prominence — both parties chose the South for their national conventions — some intractable challenges remain, especially for the poor and the young.

Let’s put it this way: Despite the goodies, a weekend brunch for journalists, with a lineup of experts, was demoralizing. Held at the Charlotte Observer, the topic was “The South and Presidential Politics 2012: Red States and Purple States.” The moderator was PBS’ Judy Woodruff, a Duke grad. The panel was UNC Chapel Hill all the way.

Obama’s speech adjusted for more constrained circumstances

Four years ago, it seemed as though the Obama campaign could control everything — even the weather. On that night of his acceptance speech in the stadium in Denver, the setting was ideal, dry and cool, with the backdrop of endless sky perfect for the thousands who roared at his triumph. After that, his win in November 2008 was anticlimactic, almost pre-ordained.

Four years later in Charlotte, unpredictable storms marked the shortened Democratic convention. There were clear moments when everything seemed fine and on the right track, the air humid in the way you would expect in a Southern September. Then the sky would open for minutes of rain, and not a gentle mist, either. No, these were torrential downpours – brief but intense.

More Obama derangement syndrome, this time in racist tweet from Puerto Rican political adviser

In the endless arguments over whether certain criticisms of President Obama are racist, there are cases when the answer is clear. In that category we can place angry, barely coherent tweets by a political adviser in Puerto Rico.

After the president tweeted that first lady Michelle Obama’s birthday was coming up, Heidi Wys, proving that racism and witlessness go hand in hand, tweeted, “Take her to Burger King, buy her a sundae with double banana, take her to your homeland, Kenya!” You’ve got to give it to her. Within the 140-character limit, she gets in a simian reference and a bow to birther-ism.

First lady Michelle Obama previews her all-important speech

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michelle Obama is as comfortable talking about policy as the warm cuddly stuff, as she proved once again in a phone conversation with several women journalists Tuesday afternoon.

Four years ago, her speech in Denver introduced her family to the nation and the nation liked what it saw. She is one of team Obama’s most popular members and powerful assets, so a lot is riding on her Tuesday night prime-time address.

What is she going to talk about? “My job tonight is just going to be to remind people of who my husband is,” the first lady said. “Even though he’s a very likable president, he has been the president, and he’s had a very serious role and there are few times when he can really let his hair down. … Sometimes it’s important for people to remember who this man is in terms of his values and his convictions and his character.”