Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fickle Dames

Apparently, the big fallout from last weeks debate was among women.  The huge gender gap that we saw after the convention is now not so big.

Clearly, Obama will need to shore up his base among female voters.  First of all, he needs to not be a freaking sleepwalker.  He needs to show passion in defense of things that women care about.

Some of the problem has been that the debate questions are a bunch of warmed over Beltway bullshit.  People outside of DC DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE DEFICIT.  To quote Charlie Pierce: "Fk the deficit.  People ain't got no jobs, people ain't got no money."  The large part of the debates that have focused on budgetary issues is only ONE of the many areas that these candidates disagree.  It remains a fetish of Beltway journalists, but ironically, it's not like they seem to understand anything about it.  To wit: the GOP does not care two farts about the deficit.  They never have.

I am hopeful that the town hall format will result in more issues that actually matter to real voters: jobs, health care, the environment, education and, yes, birth control and abortion.  Obama has to do a better job calling out Romney when he lies, yes.  But he also must - most importantly - define and defend his four years, and contrast that with the four years you can expect under Mitt Romney.

But he should realize that women care about community.  They care about the things that he cares about.  If he can be passionate about that, and contrast that with Mitt's "everyone for himself" attitude, then he wins.

It feels at the moment like the race is roughly where it was before the conventions: very close, with Obama maybe enjoying an ever so slight advantage in the Electoral College math.

But if Obama can go out and win over the female voters who watched what they saw in Charlotte and said, "Right on", then he can recapture enough momentum to bring the race home.

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