Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Elsewhere: Pre-Debate

Actually, I'm a day behind on this, but I did want to link  to my post over at PP yesterday: "Why are you giving to Romney and Obama?" I really do think it's nuts to do so if your goal is to affect election outcomes and policy. While I'm at it, yesterday at Plum Line I wrote about polling complaints.

And today at Greg's place, I did a debate table-setter. Which leads in to the usual: I'll be tweeting, but feel free to use comments for this post as your debate (or pre-debate, or post-debate until I get around to it) open thread.

35 comments:

  1. This morning on the radio all of the annoying DJs were talking about the Obama quote where he weighs in on Nikki Manaj vs. Mariah Carey. The classic rock station was like, "This guy is supposed to be running the country!" and my hip-hop station was like "WE LOVE OBAMA FOREVER." and it was then that I realized that this election has totally jumped the f@cking shark.

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    1. The most annoying thing is that, barring that dumb, harmless Carey/Minaj question, it was actually a pretty substantial interview.

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  2. This thing is getting testy! For pure entertainment value this is already better than the last debate.

    And Im also optimistic about the fact that testy Romney has the capacity to come off really unlikable, so maybe we'll see some of that.

    I do think Crowley's moderation so far is opening the door for a criticism of anti-Romney bias, though let's be frank: she's going to be accused of bias by the conservative press no matter what happens.

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  3. Obama is killing.

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  4. Looks like the twitter hive mind is going for Obama.

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  5. Hall of Fame schadenfreude debate response:

    Barry Green: "What is the biggest misperception about you, Mr. Romney"?

    Romney: "Thanks, Barry. First is that I care about anything other than 100% of Americans. Secondly, I believe in God, note that I was a missionary for my church. Third, I got health care for all the people of my state. Since I can't think of any other memes that represent self-inflicted wounds, I'll turn it back to Obama now."

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  6. David Brooks just said Obama won. Yay!

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    1. Justin Wolfers just said intrade had obama go up from 61% to 64% during the debate, which is a bigger jump than the 1st debate, and it gave him a 91% chance he "won" (whatever that means). Now bring on the instant polls!

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    2. Fox News is aparently calling it a "draw", you know what that means.

      And Jill Stein the Green Party Candidate just got arrested at the debate cite:
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/hofstra-debate-jill-stein-arrested-green-party_n_1971960.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012

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  7. I give Obama all the credit in the world for tonight's performance. A few days ago I predicted he would give in to heckling, as that was his featured weakness. If it wasn't heckling he was going otherwise to succumb to some sort of Gore-ian overcompensation. No such problems tonight. Obama was en fuego. Drinks at Andrew Sullivan's!

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  8. One other thing - suppose you were a successful executive with many years experience at growing jobs (good jobs!), the economy et al in the private sector. Suddenly you find yourself governor, and you need to find good people for your cabinet. What do you do?

    Well, you probably contact your most reliable executive recruiter at Heidrick & Struggles or Korn/Ferry or wherever, and say, how do I solve this problem? If not you, with whom should I speak?

    OTOH, if you've never actually hired anyone for a decent paying job, you might not have any trustworthy contacts in the world of executive recruiting, in which case, plan B: binders full of women.

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    1. The phrase is so cold and bloodless, it's like the perfect Romneyism.

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    2. CSH: That was a strange phrase, but your interpretation of it is even stranger.

      I think Romney said that he compiled "binders full of women" that were suggested by community groups. That's hardly objectionable compared to the usual practice of hiring friends, donors and political hacks.

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    3. I didn't key on binders at all. In fact, I keyed on the part where, when the economy is good and the labor supply is tight, only then will companies be willing to hire women and pay them a fair wage.

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  9. Well, executive recruiting firms that work for VC likely don't have many women in their binders; it is a male-dominated field. I'm just guessing, but I'd guess there are fewer women in venture investing then there are in the executive positions in finance in general, and we know there's a distinct shortage there.

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    1. This was meant to be a reply to CSH above.

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    2. You all make some good points; consider the binders in light of the selling point of Romney's campaign: his several decades in the private sector were in the "job creating" business.

      If Meg Whitman had won the Cali governorship, and considering that she really did create hundreds and hundreds of high-paying jobs, in the process she would have built a trusted network of talent-acquisition resources from where she might have started to build her cabinet.

      "Special interest groups had binders full of (their favorite) candidates for Gov. Romney's consideration"? No kidding. A Gov. Whitman or Gov. Anyone-Else would have received said binders as well.

      The issue is why one needs to crack those binders given an (alleged) lifetime of job creation leading to more trustworthy, less biased resources to address that issue.

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    3. CSH: Are you really saying it would have been better for Governor Romney to fill his cabinet with corporate suits? It's to his credit that he sought-out women in the communities he was representing.

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    4. Couves - sorry, no: just that, if he really did have a record of good-paying job creation over the decades, it seems almost certain he'd have an extensive network of talent acquisition resources that could either directly help him, or otherwise refer him, to candidates that fit his needs.

      I agree that its good he sought out women, but Korn/Ferry can find women; if they had a relationship with Romney they have the added benefit of being trusted (as opposed to an arms-length special interest that is certainly putting "their own" women in the binders).

      Again, I'm sure every new governor gets the binders. Those more experienced at hiring likely use other, more trusted resources to fill their staffing needs; the ostensibly less experienced crack the binders.

      Mitt Romney sells himself as among the most experienced POTUS candidates at job creation/hiring, though an inspection of the business model of Bain Capital would suggest otherwise.

      So would cracking the binders.

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    5. CSH, there's another element to all this. At Bain, I doubt Romney actually did much hiring over the years; it's a 'small business,' meaning few employees.

      And while I'm sure he had veto power over exec-level hiring decisions made by recipient companies, I doubt he did the hiring, with maybe a few exceptions for the most Sr. levels of management.

      In other words, he may know 'how to create jobs,' (and how to destroy them, too), but I'm not all that certain he knows much about actually filling those jobs created or finding new jobs for workers so displaced.

      Anyone know what the demographics of his Olympic team?

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    6. CSH: By approaching his constituents for candidates rather than a corporate firm, it sounds like Romney was just being a good politician.

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    7. Couves, if Bubba Clinton had asked little old me, I would have recommended someone better than Webb Hubbell for the AG's office, cause, how could I not have found someone better?

      The problem with asking me for ideas about Cabinet-level women is that I'm gonna recommend "me candidates", who may or may not be good Romney candidates. The specialist executive recruiters are usually pretty good at facilitating the client's interest (at least the ones that prosper are).

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    8. CSH: Romney's interest was to chose cabinet members that actually represented the community and to also involve the community in making the choice. It's really beyond me why you'd have a problem with this.

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    9. Couves, what would Saint Ron Paul say about the notion of outsourcing one's Cabinet staff to the random interests of "the community"?

      Of course, he'd be "for it", at least in public, in the way politicians have to be. If we were quaffing some brews, I suspect that ol' Ron would agree that such an approach was pretty much a last resort.

      I mean, maybe an "It-takes-a-Village", HRC-type liberal would have no qualms about delegating such important decisions to the vague whims of "the village", but a tried-and-true libertarian?

      Its kind of hard to figure.

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    10. That was too snarky, but I thought of a concrete example that, while not perfect, is hopefully close enough to make the point:

      Tim Geithner. Lot of people think he's terrible at the job, think someone else would be (obviously) better, perhaps you're one of these. Obama never says as much, but its pretty obvious, given Obama's outsider status, that Geithner's father working with Obama's mother on World Bank projects in her Indonesia days provided a level of comfort that the-alternative-hypothetical-Treas.-Secretary did not provide. You like the other person, and you think Obama should have picked him/her? Well, that's fine. If you were Obama, would you let that trump the comfort factor provided to you by Geithner? Not likely.

      A trusted executive recruiter is not quite the same thing as your mum working with his dad, but its in that direction, as the trusted executive recruiter can reliably help you solve your problem.

      A random, special-interest organization that really likes this group of ladies in a binder (for reasons you don't know) - how is that better than the trusted recruiter?

      Unless you don't have such trusted contacts, obviously.

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    11. CSH, it doesn't bother me. (What's that old Buckley line about choosing ten random people from the phonebook...?) I'm still not exactly sure why it bothers you so much.

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    12. CSH, ok in response to your answer that's not just dedicated to "baiting the Ronulan"... I think Romney figured there had to be women in the state who could effectively run these departments and that whatever process he was using was defective in not finding these people. He apparently wasn't looking for people to implement some sort of personal agenda, just someone to do a straightforward good job. In most areas of government, that's the most important thing to look for.

      Obviously there were also political considerations. People like it when you hire folks who are known in the community, rather than a political hack or some suit no one's ever heard of. It even gave him political capital he could draw on when running for President, however ineptly it was done last night.

      Romney's administration had more women in it than any before or since. You claim to not have a problem with this and yet your only complaint is that he chose women who somehow couldn't do the job as he wanted it to be done. Well, I guess that's for Romney and the people of Massachusetts to decide. And I can tell you, none of the complaints about Romney had anything to do with him making bad appointments.

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    13. Ah Couves, how would I know whether the women Romney appointed did a decent job or not? Why does that matter? It strikes me that you've done a fine job in rebutting several straw men in this thread, though I'm still unsure if you disagree with my actual argument, namely -

      Is it reasonable to assume that a prominent Massachusetts businessman, allegedly having a long track record of creating good jobs, would be privy to better resources for filling his cabinet than binders, thrown over the transom, filled with favorite candidates of special interest groups?

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    14. CSH: I’m sure Romney could have used a corporate firm to do a wide-ranging search for every position. He chose not to. Instead he used a less rigorous process that nevertheless accomplished certain political goals. I’m sorry that I can’t seem to understand your objection to this process.

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    15. I gotcha, Couves. We're talking Mitt Romney, the POTUS candidate of unprecedented opacity where personal financial dealings are concerned. Romney, whose personal life makes the masons seem downright transparent. Romney, who in response to withering attacks in debate 2 about his howler of a tax "plan", smirked at the camera in response and said eagerly "I know how it works! I know these things!" which is great and all, but for the millionth time, he failed to share his apparently vast knowledge with we the little people.

      Yeah, Couves, that Mitt Romney had at his disposal a vast phalanx of trusted talent acquisition resources, but he nevertheless turned over the staffing of his cabinet to the riff-raff - cause that's how Mitt Romney rolls.

      Whatever's comfortable, dude.

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    16. CSH:
      You know, it's hard to avoid straw men when I still don't know what you're trying to say... I'll wait for you to give me an actual argument to respond to.

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  10. A solid win by Obama, who really showed his talent -- Romney just isn't showing the skill he had when dismantling Newt and Santorum in the primary.

    In the first debate, I think Obama actually performed according to plan. The plan was to avoid making any news, put the American public to sleep and then just coast back into office.

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    1. Romney is going to have nightmares tonight about it. "It was supposed to be an empty suit. An empty suit!"

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  11. Still no questions about climate change. Maybe in the third debate (foreign policy). Then again, I'm not sure if Bob Schieffer has heard of climate change.

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