Barack and Mitt Will Have Lunch Today; Here's What They Could Talk About

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It has been almost a month now since America went to the polls and re-elected President Obama to another four years of running this whole place. Since then, we've collectively done well in the whole "taking our minds off the election" business. We've had Petraeus, the progress of the Sandy recovery, the Gaza conflict, and a whole slew of other issues to cannon-fire our attention toward.


Besides, the only things we've heard from Romney was something not so nice about "gifts" and pumping gas in La Jolla, California.


But, lo and behold, there is a light at the end of the infinite 2012 tunnel. At a conference yesterday, Press Secretary Jay Carney let us in on a little date that's happening today. At some hour between noon and 5 p.m., president-re-elect Barack Obama and the defeated Mitt Romney will have lunch together at the White House.

In his victory speech, Obama mentioned that he wanted "to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward." And, today, he will have that chance. But is that what they're really only talking about?


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Even After the Election, Mitt Revisits His '47 Percent' Mentality

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It's been over a week since the country (well, half of it at least) decided that Obama should have another shot at this whole being-President thing. We spent a few days philosophizing about what it meant for our country, then heard from the racists, then heard about Petraeus and, now, here we are. What a maelstrom of news it has been. Thanks Twitter.


Anyway, we haven't heard much from Mitt Romney. When compared to the other members of the American Election Loser's Lounge, it's different for him, not having a job and all to return to. Kerry and McCain returned to the Senate; Al Gore returned to the Earth; and Bob Dole returned to... wherever. Even Paul Ryan has work he still has to do as a Representative in Wisconsin. 

But, Romney... what's he going to do? Get a job with Fox News like Palin? Or, even worse, get a Mormon billionaire reality show on TLC... like Palin?

Alas, we spoke too soon. Yesterday, Romney sat down in a conference call with his highest donors to talk about what exactly happened on Election Night. Remember the last time he talked to these guys? And then someone secretly recorded it, put it on Mother Jones and permanently changed the campaign's public persona? Well, this time around, the only noticeable difference was the timing.


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Last Night's Dispatches From The New York Democrats' Viewing Party on Election Night 2012

Categories: 2012 Race
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When it was called that President Obama had won a second chance in the Oval Office, the entire ballroom exploded in emotion. Chants of "We Love You, Obama," rang through the air, a gay couple next to me celebrated with a kiss and a hug, three African-American women next to me cried tears of joy and the rest of the New York Democratic Party accepted the truth that, yes, Mitt Romney's name would disappear from American political thought for years to come.

Throughout the night, speeches were made by State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who quoted the Black Eyed Peas around 9pm: "Tonight's gonna be a good night," for Democrats, that is.

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Once it was announced that Senator Kristen Gillibrand was re-elected for another 6 years, she also came to the podium and prescribed America with an Obama victory. She followed suit with a call to unite as New Yorkers against the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

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As I talked to Democrats about the night's events, the message was evident: tonight was a victory for them, plain and simple. The Senate stayed in their control and the executive branch would stay blue. But, to get personal, my most important moment came as I made my way out of the Sheraton. An African-American man passed by me, murmuring to himself, "Four more years, four more years." 

He embraced me with a hug and told me he didn't have enough money to get back to New Jersey. After I gave him what I had, he hugged me again, thanked me a hundred more times and moved on, continuously murmuring to himself, "Four more years, four more years."

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A Few Lessons We Learned From the 2012 Election Season

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Election Day is upon us, people. We cannot even begin to count the minutes, hours, days, and months since this whole boondaggle started to consume the media's attention, but it's safe to say that it has been way too long. And, once it's over, we can return to normalcy, which is a prolonged period of time when any utterance of the phrase "swing state" is prohibited by law.


But that's not to say that this election season was for nothing. The quadrennial spectacle of American politics is always introspective for the nation; we learn about ourselves, our brethren, and just how dirty and disrespectful our elected officials can act toward one another. It's pretty great. Except we usually forget all those lessons the minute the curtains close in the ballot box and have to re-teach ourselves everything the next time around.

With that being said, as the Biggest Story of 2012 winds down, we are left with memories, projections for the future, and, of course, the aforementioned lessons. So let's step back for a second and take a look at all of this from a student's point of view. 

Preach, Election 2012:

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Bloomberg Gets Political: Mayor's SuperPAC Spends Millions On House Races

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With his quasi-endorsement of President Obama yesterday, it's evident that Bloomberg is not afraid of stepping into the political boxing ring when he feels like it (even if he says Obama and Romney's economic plans aren't real). And, as we know, he has the funds to freely do so: just last week, we reported on the $750,000 he donated to same-sex marriage campaigns across the country as well as other past initiatives he's funded with his own wallet.

Continuing on that note, the Mayor set up a SuperPAC - you know, those post-Citizens-United shadow funds that you can siphon dollars to candidates with - and vowed to spend a total of $15 million on like-minded candidates running for the house. Well, as of yesterday, the numbers are now up on Open Secrets for Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC and, damn, are they something to see.

With just four days before the election, the total expenditures so far: $6,009,253 towards both Democrats and Republicans. If he lives up to his original promise, that still leaves room for another $9 million or so to be spent over this weekend.

Let's take a peak at whom our Mayor is betting his money on: 

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No Matter What We Do, the Election Has to Leak Into Hurricane Sandy

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Serious conviction: Most of New York's media folk are stuck indoors, looking for something to write about to fill blogs with content. Guilty as charged myself. However, while social media collapses with updates of Sandy's destruction, there have been flares of America's severe electoral illness. Symptoms include: taking any event and asking "What does this mean for the election?"


Given, the election is a week away (yeah . . . we know) so it's only natural that we think of the near future. But there's something to be said about the election leaking into a national crisis or the act of politicizing the wrath of Mother Nature -- we reported on a similar all-political-everything matter involving Romney and hurricanes a few months back, when he told a woman to "Call 2-1-1" if the going gets rough. There's also something to be said when we're talking more about the implications for the election than its possible correlation to, uhm, global warming.

Here's a couple of 'Sandy's impact' narratives that I've come across on the Interwebs: 1) Romney pledged to cut FEMA (and then re-pledged), which will come back to bite him in the ass now; 2) studies of incumbent presidents losing elections when it's shitty out; 3) studies of voter backlash on presidents during weather-related crises; 4) voters will think Obama is more "presidential" signing emergency declarations for Pennsylvania and New Jersey; and 5) a combination of previous points with additional "What about the children?"-like questions.

Also, here's the sad truth for bloggers: The storm will not affect the election. 


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Clint Eastwood Narrates New Pro-Romney Ad, Makes It Sound Much More Epic Than It Actually Is

For a while, Clint Eastwood was the true third party in this election. After his endorsement for Romney, the Hollywood bravado set off a media firestorm with his self-destructive tirade against a stool during the RNC and his even more self-destructive explanation of said speech. We laughed, we cried, and we got over it real quick -- kinda like Trouble With the Curve.

Since then, the star has remained relatively mum while the campaigns kicked into high gear heading into November. America took its attention off Dirty Harry to focus on the bigger issues at hand here, like the "binders of women" or Big Bird.

At least for the time being.

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A Leaked 'Racist' Obama Video Was Released on Fox News Last Night

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Welcome to the month of October, where Election Day begins to make everyone go absolutely insane, especially those in the media. This will happen when one single narrative dominates the news for too long: Those involved get dizzy, latching on to anything out of the usual that will provide a worthwhile headline. For examples, just check in on all the premeditated debate talks and expectations and predictions and nonsense that have consumed the Internet the past few days. 

Or check out what went down on Fox News last night. 

It all started at around 3 p.m. today, when Matt Drudge, the man behind the conservative web blog the Drudge Report, send shock waves through the constantly shocked Twitter-sphere with this:


The "NOT from MOTHERJONES" label was a reference to the "47 Percent" video that has brought the Romney campaign to its knees, so the announcement by Mr. Drudge laid equal emphasis on how important this video would be, in terms of the election. And at 9 last night on Fox News, the video -- an unseen outtake from then-senator Obama's speech in 2007 with Reverend Jeremiah Wright by his side at Hampton University in Virginia -- from The Daily Caller was released on the unsuspecting American public.

(For whatever the reason, the video's embedding code will not work. So you can watch it on the Daily Caller here.)


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Unlike All Of The Media, Paul Ryan Is Not So Psyched For The Debate

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The Huffington Post
Over the past two weeks, as the media buries the grave for Romney's campaign and writes its tombstone, we've heard it a million times, over and over again: the debates could change everything. The debates are going to be the most exciting television this fall. The debates will finally show the human side of Mitt Romney to America. The debates will give us a chance to really see what this election is all about. Even Governor Chris Christie said today the debates would turn the election "upside down."

This Wednesday, we'll see if any of those statements hold true as Romney and Obama face off in the first debate at the University of Denver in Colorado. Guilty as charged, we are excited for the debate as well - it's that little piece of history occurring in front of your eyes that evokes that tingling sensation. And, also, with all the labels attached to each candidate since this whole thing started, we have a lot to work with. 

(Even though, if history tells us anything, it's that we'll wake up on Thursday morning and say "Meh" about it all. The sad reality of high expectations in politics.)

Anyway, the same amount of emphasis the media has placed on this spectacle is not shared by one very important person: Republican VP golden child, Paul Ryan. In his mind, it's not going to be game-changing, it's not going to be fun and, hey, Romney isn't that trained for these kinds of things.
 
Those are his words, not ours.

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N.Y. Doesn't Love Mitt: SuperPAC Valve for Romney Dries Up

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Throughout the summer, our 'Mitt Loves N.Y.' series followed the money trails of New York's wealthiest citizens, all of which ended in Romney's campaign war chest. The donors we profiled donated a million or two each month since it was made clear around April that Mitt would be their man to defeat Obama in November. 

And that all stacked up in the ex-Governor and ex-Bainman's favor: with all the money combined, it was easily proven that this election would be the most expensive to date for both parties. The SuperPACs were raising corporate money from a select handful of individuals that would have FDR rollin' in his grave; less than double digits in the millions was frowned down upon and marked as a failure in the monthly reports. At one point, the Republican campaign was raking enough cash to make the incumbent President worried for his life - the Obama team sent out e-mails with subject lines more desperate for unfiltered money than a crackhead on payday.

My series solely concentrated on donors giving to the SuperPAC, Restore Our Future. If there is to be any historical document on the future that reflects upon the Citizen United decision's impact on American democracy, Restore Our Future would be case study numero uno. The organization was pulling in absurd donation amounts almost weekly that blew other SuperPACs, like Crossroads GPS (Karl Rove) and Americans for Prosperity (Koch brothers), clear out of the financial water.

However, through a culmination of hurtful gaffes, citizenry-distancing and not-that-shitty economic numbers, Romney has found himself falling behind Obama on all fronts: poll numbers, economic approval ratings and, most importantly, SuperPAC money. 

To which we can safely say: N.Y. no longer loves Mitt.


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