1 Week to go. Here’s What I Expect.

Barack Obama rode an incredible wave of celebrity adoration into the White House in 2008 and while its clear to many of us that he has proven himself unworthy to lead this country further he still remains a celebrity with a “can do no wrong” label stuck on him by his many devoted fans. I think of Lindsay Lohan’s continuing celebrity in spite of repeated brushes with the law. I think of Britney Spears shaving her head, possibly neglecting or mistreating her kids, and her drug and alcohol failings. And I think of Mel Gibson simply losing his mind. Like all of these “celebrities” Obama has proven undeserving of our total and unquestioning affection. Given yet another chance could he rebound ala Robert Downey Jr. and resurrect his image? My guess is No. But his “fans” think yes. And to me, that’s the saddest part of this story. He doesn’t so-much have followers, he has “fans” which is short for “fanatics”. I don’t want a President whose a celebrity. I want a leader.

I have never been enamored with celebrity. And I’ve absolutely NEVER understood celebrity worship. These feelings and sense that they’re not much different from you and me precedes the era in my life when I was constantly in front of nationally known and revered celebrities. As a reporter in the late 80s and early 90s I had my share of celebrity exposure. Having married the daughter of a very prominent Washington State politician and Washington Husky football star I came across even more. All this exposure did was confirm my lifetime sense that these individuals are seldom worthy of the “worship” Obama has been the recipient of.

So what’s going to happen next week? Let’s start with what’s simple before we get into the more complicated.

270 Electoral Votes are needed by either candidate in order to secure the Presidency.

Senator John McCain carried 21 states against Obama in 2008. Not one of those states will go for Obama this time around. Due to census re-apportionment those states now carry 180 electoral votes.

Obama barely took Indiana in 2008. He won’t this time. Polls clearly show Indian’s 2010 strong shift to the right was not a fluke. Indiana’s 11 votes will be Romney’s. Romney’s electoral total- 191.

So-called swing states Virginia and North Carolina also went strongly Tea Party and strongly Republican in 2010 and the latest polls show Romney with a narrow lead in each. Romney get’s them. They’re worth 28 electoral votes. Romney’s electoral total- 219.

Florida is also a swing state but recent polls going back more than one month have consistently shown Romney in the lead. Florida went for Bush in 2000 and 2004. It’ll add to Romney’s total. 29 more. Romney’s electoral total- 248 

With all these East Coast state’s (Virginia, Florida, North Carolina et al) falling to Romney and closing polls while state’s further west remain open to voting, that will have an undeniable benefit for Romney. And he’ll need it because of the remaining eight swing states Obama narrowly leads or is tied in the polls in 7 of them. Colorado and its 9 electoral votes is the only one I’m really confident putting in the Romney column. Romney’s electoral total- 257.

The remaining state’s in play are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Nevada went for Bush in 2000 and 2004. I’m confident the many Mormons in Nevada as well as the momentum from East Coast voting will push Nevada into the Romney column. That’s six more. Romney’s electoral total- 263.

That leaves five midwestern states plus New Hampshire to determine the Presidency of the United States. They total 74 Electoral Votes. Pennsylvania and Michigan have each voted for the Democrat in 2000, 2004, and 2008. It’s really incredible that they are in play at all. But barring something unforeseen I predict they’ll be in the Obama column (though if Romney gets either it’s over. Romney wins).

Wisconsin also voted Democrat in 2000, 2004, and 2008. But the cheese-heads also elected a Republican Governor and legislature in 2010 and then re-elected the Governor in an even more lopsided re-call vote last year. And THEN Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan was named Mitt Romney’s running mate. Polls show Obama leading but Romney within the margin of error. Of the four remaining states in question (New Hampshire, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin) the Badger State is the one most likely to go for Romney. I think they will. Romney wins. Romney’s electoral vote count- 273. 

Iowa and New Hampshire have gone Democrat 2 of the last 3 Presidential Elections and polls very narrowly favor Obama in each. Ohio has gone Republican in 2 of the last 3 elections. And Obama only won it with 52% of the vote in 2008. Political pundit and former Bill Clinton election Master-mind Dick Morris is strongly asserting Ohio will go for Romney. But if I’m right, that will just be icing on the cake.

Romney’s win will have a positive influence out West where last-minute voters will help elect Rob McKenna to the Washington Governor’s post, becoming the first Republican in more than 30 years to lead our state. McKenna got 59% of the vote in 2008 when he was re-elected Attorney General. And since his destruction of Jay Inslee in the Gubernatorial debates he will slide home safely with this election too.

What I really believe is that something is yet to happen that will decide this race for the Presidency. I believe the eight swing state’s are so close that some news event, some revelation, or some major gaffe will bring victory or defeat to Romney or Obama. I definitely think more is going to come out about Benghazi. I would not be surprised in the least if Obama conducts a military strike in Libya with the claim of securing justice for the murderous perpetrators of the attacks in Benghazi. Perhaps hurricane Sandy will be so devastating as to cast an incredible shadow over Obama. If there are other October surprises out there I don’t know. But that’s why they’re called surprises.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

The Dumbest People in America

English: President Barack Obama shakes hands w...

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Tell me, what’s wrong with this picture: The state of Nevada continues to have one of the worst unemployment rates in the country at 11.8%, 4-points above the national average and President Barack Obama maintains a slight edge in polling over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

So this state that re-elected Dingy Harry Reid in 2010 to the U.S. Senate and then subsequently the Majority Leader position while battling unemployment over 14% at that time seems resistant to changing the leadership that has presided over their horrible conditions.

English: Night Panorama of the Las Vegas Strip...

Nevada also ranks sixth nationally in home foreclosures. At one time in the last four years they were number 1. And without looking this up to verify I can safely say the state of Nevada is first in the nation in gambling expenditures. And you can judge for yourself the morals and wisdom in Nevada being the only state in the country with legal prostitution.

And then there is the fact that Nevadans built their largest city in a desert, bereft of any sufficient water supply.

Las Vegas Strip in HDR

Las Vegas Strip

The polling numbers today got me wondering if the people in Nevada aren’t the dumbest people in the country. Why on earth would you continue to elect the leaders in charge of your horrible economic conditions.

So then I got to thinking about who the dumbest people in the country truly might be. I’d be interested in my readers nominations. But aside from Nevadans one group of people leaped into my head: television reporters and/or personalities. Calling tv reporters journalists is an insult to journalists.

This opinion isn’t based solely on partisan resentment for what is displayed daily on MSNBC. I was a journalist. I worked among newspaper, radio, tv, and magazine reporters for a number of years. I was at press conferences with the local, state or national politicians who had to face tough questions. I sat through more than my share of boring city and county and legislative council meetings. I stuck my microphone in the face of some of the country’s most prominent people; and usually did so side-by-side with other scribes and with the hot lights of television cameras shining over my shoulder.

And though its been 20 years since I worked professionally in reporting the news, all indications are that my personal experience with these walking, talking Barbie and Ken dolls remains a valid point of view. Let me state that like everything in life there are exceptions. But on whole I found tv reporters shallow primadonas without the intellectual capability of your average gas station attendant. I was awestruck on frequent occasions to hear questions of news worthy individuals that did little to expand on the story at hand, did little to enlighten the viewer. Usually, tv reporters benefited from the questioning of other more erudite journalists who usually came from the print or radio industry. Print reporters were generally quite arrogant and did little to hide their contempt for the average tv reporter…or news subject…for that matter. Radio journalist were the ones I respected the most. As a radio reporter you must ask your subjects questions that expand the story. Yes or No answers don’t work on radio. You need your subject to talk in order to get the sound bite that is long enough and interesting enough to include in your story. Being able to do this is not always easy and one reason I found more intelligence in the average radio journalist than in the average tv reporter.

TV news at the Empire State Building shooting

TV reporters were always more interested in how they looked on camera than in the facts of a given story. And in today’s world they seem utterly oblivious to fair and balanced reporting. It’s not so much that they boldly state ill-informed, uneducated opinions; it’s that they set a premise for their reporting and then work to shape the story to that premise rather than just gathering the facts with an unbiassed curiosity that allows for the truth to come out more frequently.

I also think its worth mentioning that among those who I learned to respect the most were the politicians. Politicians on the whole are genuinely smart people who care about the service they provide their constituency. I’m well aware of the average Americans contempt for politicians. And I understand that disrespect. But in my personal experience those who run for office have more education, wisdom, personality and compassion than other persons I’ve encountered in life. And I would say this of men and women from both parties. There are exceptions. But I am speaking generally.

So who would you nominate for the collectively dumbest people in America?

A friend posted on Facebook some time ago a quote I won’t soon forget because it’s true and its a little frightening. Half of all people are below average in intelligence. So now you have half the country, 1 out of every 2 people in which to choose.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.