Archives for October 2012

Treating Colin Powell as ‘the black guy’ won’t help the GOP

The reaction was sad – and sadly predictable. Colin Powell, retired general and veteran of combat and Republican administrations, endorses President Obama and not his party’s candidate  Mitt Romney. As he did in 2008, when he crossed party lines to favor Obama over John McCain, Powell runs down a long list of reasons why — from Romney’s “very, very strong neo-conservative views” to doubts about the candidate’s economic plans.

Instead of taking him at his word or believing the sincerity of the same criticisms others have made, a fellow Republican presumes to know the real reason. Romney adviser and former New Hampshire governor John Sununu – last heard questioning the American-nessof the president of the United States – attempted to explain the Powell endorsement on CNN. “When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama,” he said. When asked to explain, he went on, “Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him.” Talk about a back-handed compliment.

4 years after Obama’s breakthrough, few black pols on the ballot for major offices

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was a hit at the Democratic National Convention in September with a spirited speech that defended the party’s principles. In a recent trip back to Charlotte to campaign for the president, he continued his attack on Mitt Romney as someone who, while a “very, very skilled campaigner,” cut funding for education and “stymied innovation” when he held Patrick’s job.

A future presidential prospect? The rapt volunteers at an Obama campaign office thought so, as they happily imagined Patrick on the 2016 ticket. With his place in the pipeline that leads to national office, the only sitting black governor in the country is a standout. But he also stands alone. Four years after Barack Obama’s historic election as the nation’s first black president, there are fewer African-Americans in the U.S. Senate and governor’s offices across the country than at the time of his 2009 inauguration…

Rick Santorum, with ‘tingles down my spine,’ can smell a GOP sweep

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Early in the morning on the first day of early voting in North Carolina, on Thursday, Rick Santorum couldn’t say enough good things about his former rival for the Republican presidential nomination or bad things about the current president of the United States.

John Boehner vs. Deval Patrick: Just another day of dueling messages in battleground North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – This election season, North Carolina is almost as cool – or as hot — as Ohio. While it’s true President Obama and his GOP challenger Mitt Romney are crisscrossing the Buckeye state so often, I expect their campaign buses to have an awkward fender bender any day now, North Carolina is no slouch when it comes to attracting high profile surrogates, celebrities and family members.

James Taylor serenades N.C. Obama volunteers: Carolina is on everybody’s mind

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – With a Carolina cap on his head and an “Obama 2012” button on his shirt, James Taylor offered a mini-concert to a roomful of committed campaign volunteers on Thursday, thanking them for their get-out-the-vote efforts and urging them on. “I just believe in my heart that this is what will make the difference in this election,” the North Carolina-raised singer-songwriter said, before introducing the familiar chords of his signature “Carolina in My Mind”: “I play it every time I play anywhere, but particularly in North Carolina.”

‘Why didn’t he fight?’ Obama supporters want an answer, Mr. President

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For a grocery clerk at my local market, it was not about political strategies or poll numbers. As I judged the fish selection, he leaned across the counter and asked, “Why didn’t he fight?” I didn’t have to ask what he meant. He knows I cover politics, and I knew he was talking about President Obama’s lackluster performance in his first debate with GOP challenger Mitt Romney.

Everywhere I went this weekend, I heard that same question in various forms. As Romney capitalized on his campaign’s new life and Obama recalibrated for the next candidate face-off, the horse race was not the focus of voters for whom that question is still top of mind. They want someone who understands their lives to speak up for them. They thought the president was that person, and now they have their doubts.