I hope you've been enjoying the summer as much as I have.
|On CFRA with host Marc|
I've been spending time occasionally doing interviews - as with this one (left) on CFRA with host Marc Sutcliffe discussing my last blog. Lots of fun!
Although Laura and I haven't taken much time off yet, nevertheless the rhythms of summer have taken hold and we're going with them...a little golf...swimming twice a day, catching up on my reading.
Speaking of summer books, I was pleasantly surprised by 'Calico Joe' by John Grisham and am thoroughly enjoying 'In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and the American Family in Hitler's Berlin' by Erik Larson '. Both are fabulous reads on a lazy day. When I get even too lazy to read, I'm going to my audio books next.....
Gaffes and the Games
No doubt like hundreds of millions of others, you've been glued to the Olympics. Or were you like Mitt Romney who arrived in London only to insult his hosts and underscore the fact that he had no intention of watching his wife's horse in the dressage competition?
|Romney 'walks it back' at No. 10|
A little advice for Romney here might be in order. Think, "I'm over at someone's house for dinner - and there are tabloid reporters attending. I'll be totally positive and upbeat about the entire dinner - no matter what!" You can't go too far wrong. For Mitt's sake, hopefully he learned that lesson.
Are his Olymic errors permanently damaging? No, I don't believe so. It's more of a missed opportunity. His foreign trip was a chance for Romney to show his international credibility and comfort. Yet all the coverage was on his 'gaffes' - even following him to Israel where he proceeded to dub Jerusalem the 'capital'. The rule is, "don't break into jail". Just when Mitt needed to turn the channel away from his Bain-and-tax return' issues, he turned to a channel that really threw him onto the defensive.
|Romney and the media in Warsaw|
ANALYSIS: Yes, they were no doubt inappropriate, and they served to lead the newscasts (of course) as the Romney team flew back to Boston. This is not good, in and of itself. However, there's another side to this and that is, it broke through the wall of overly tight control of the media and it showed some passion in the Romney camp. For every one person who would say (as with Casablanca's Captain Renault) "shocked..shocked!" at such language, there's at least one more who would say, "good for you!" Whether you agree with that or not, it probably served to energize Romney's base and get the campaign off its heels for the fight to come.
Take a look at it and see what you think: Romney's press aide tells reporter to "kiss my a**"
Gambling on a Campaign Strategy
The Obama and Romney campaigns are gambling during this pre-Convention period - trying to define their opponents and grab hold of the voters. Are their gambles working?
|Obama's version of the 'swift boat'|
strategy. Is it working?
One thing that has become clear, is that the Obama campaign has decided to 'swift boat' Romney (as the George W. Bush re-election campaign did to Democrat nominee John Kerry in 2004 to great effect) before the fall campaign begins.
During that campaign, Kerry tried to ignore it, but he failed to shake the (mostly false) 'swift boat' attacks. When he finally decided to fight back, it was too late - the damage was done. The Obama campaign is pounding away in both earned and paid media on his Bain Capital record - yes, distortions and exaggerations for sure - but it seems to be working. When they get tired of that Obama's team throw in Romney's refusal to release more than one year of his tax records - getting a lot of mileage out of the 'what has he got to hide' line of attack.
Romney Takes a Gamble on his 'Tax-and-Bain' issue
Romney should realize two things about this issue. 1) The voters already know he's super rich and pays about 15% on his taxes - complete with money socked away in tax havens. So, he's already taken the hit on that. Releasing the second year's tax statements will take it off the table. 2) He needs to push back on the Bain stuff without bogging down in it. However, pushing back doesn't mean bogging down in it. Each time he does so, he has to hit Obama on the economy and what he would do differently. He hasn't found the right strategy to deal with the 'swift boat' strategy so far - but he's running out of time.
Ultimately, Who speaks for those who are hurting, angry and afraid?
Those votes - and those who care about them - are up for grabs. Whoever takes hold of those millions of votes in a compelling way will win the election. Right now, neither Romney nor Obama can grab it and run with it. So.....attack ads are their default positions.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark Takes a Gamble
|Premiers Clark and Redford|
Quebec Gambles on a Summer Election
|Premier Charest's Election Gamble|
This has thrown the Parti Quebecois and their leader Pauline Marois onto the defensive.
Will Pauline Marois' Gaffe Hurt?
This move by Charest is a classic 'calculated gamble' in which the upcoming September resumption of the Inquiry into corruption in the construction industry will hurt his government. So it's go now or get driven down in the Fall. It's all or nothing at this point for Charest. But he figures he has very little to lose.
Until next time....I hope all your gambles pay off! I'll see you back in September. Stay safe, relaxed and cool!