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Newsweek

Here’s My Electoral Map Prediction

Yes, I’m feeling a wave toward Romney.

Bill Hennessy Electoral Map

My gut tells me this year is a lot like 1980.

1980 Was A Dead Heat

The final Gallup poll that year had a dead heat. Time Magazine’s November 3, 1980, called the race a dead heat. So did Newsweek.

The press was hoping John B. Anderson, a former Republican Congressman running for president as an independent, would siphon votes from Reagan. He did siphon votes from Reagan, but not nearly enough. America was fed up with Jimmy Carter.

What appears to be a dead heat to pollsters could, in fact, be a landslide for Romney. And I think that’s the only way Romney wins.

Romney Must Win Big To Win

In a close race, Democrats will cheat, steal, and defraud. They will fight it in the courts, discover ballots in trunks, and sue to let people vote until they get the numbers they need.

For Romney to win, the race must appear hopeless to Democrats before midnight Tuesday.

That’s exactly what I think will happen.

What do you think?

Newsweek: Obama Fading

Barack Obama’s poll lead over John McCain has plummeted from 51-35 to a statistical dead-heat in less than a month.

Obama’s downward spiral has Newsweek’s headline writers asking if his glow is fading. The polls finds that more than half of voters consider Obama lying opportunist who will take any position for votes.

Obama’s rapid drop comes at a strategically challenging moment for the Democratic candidate. Having vanquished Hillary Clinton in early June, Obama quickly went about repositioning himself for a general-election audience–an unpleasant task for any nominee emerging from the pander-heavy primary contests and particularly for a candidate who’d slogged through a vigorous primary challenge in most every contest from January until June. Obama’s reversal on FISA legislation, his support of faith-based initiatives and his decision to opt out of the campaign public-financing system left him open to charges he was a flip-flopper. In the new poll, 53 percent of voters (and 50 percent of former Hillary Clinton supporters) believe that Obama has changed his position on key issues in order to gain political advantage.

This is very bad news for a man who is afraid to debate his Republican rival, counts terrorists among his best friends, and has been caught in numerous lies throughout the campaign.

Congratulations, Democrats: you might have nominated the only person who can’t beat a Republican this fall.

Maybe We Need a Lazy President

The MSM are tripping over themselves to publish stories about Fred Thompson’s supposed laziness. Newsweek decided to make the accusation head on (from CNN.com):

[A]s he prepares to formally begin his campaign for the White House this week, after months of “testing the waters,” the conventional wisdom in Washington is that Thompson doesn’t want it badly enough, isn’t willing to work hard enough-put bluntly, that he is lazy. Newsweek: Grin and Bear It

The last “lazy” president we had was Ronald Reagan. For those of you too young or too senile to remember, Reagan’s laziness was the stuff of legend. I found this beauty from Ralph Nader’s web site, written in 1985:

At first I thought that House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill (D-Mass.) had unfurled the white flag of surrender at his post-inaugural meeting with President Ronald Reagan. O’Neill told the president that “in my 50 years of public life I’ve never seen a man more popular than you are with the American people.” This is the same Tip O’Neill who called Reagan lazy, cruel and uninformed at various times last year.

Contrast the images of Bill Clinton holding all night “wonk” session with these images of Reagan, who bragged about “burning the midday oil” and giving orders to the Secret Service that if a military crisis develops to wake him up “even if I’m in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.”

During his eight years in office, Reagan’s laziness resulted in curing inflation and stagflation, a 50 percent cut in the cost of gasoline, a mammoth cut in taxes, a rejuvenation of American pride, the rebirth of the American military, near-perfect victory over the Soviet Union, and freeing American business from a labor union strangle-hold (m/m).

Clinton, on the other hand, given the same amount of time managed to lose the Congress to Republicans for the first time in more than 30 years, pass sweeping Republican welfare reform, disspirit the military, and get a b.j. in the Oval Office. I’ll take lazy.

Getting back to the Newsweek article for a moment, it’s worth the read. I get the feeling that author Holly Baily set out to write a hit piece on Thompson designed to derail his campaign even before it starts. But, as so many journalists found when attacking Reagan, the story of the man turned her heart. For instance, Baily, here, attempts to demonstrate Thompson’s lazy selfishness at the Minnesota State Fair. In this scene, local politicians are impressing the former Senator with the fair’s Butter Princess–a statue of a woman made entirely of butter:

A Minnesota politician offers to introduce him to the sculptor. “No, no,” he demurs, trying to look disappointed. “I wouldn’t want to get in the way.” At the moment, Thompson is interested in only one thing-the giant strawberry milkshakes being sold a few yards away.

You gotta love it. Reagan, by the way, once refused to have his picture taken with a group of disabled kids during his 1975 run against Gerald Ford. Instead, after the press wandered off, Reagan rounded up the kids and spent half an hour talking and posing for private photos. He didn’t want to use their handicaps for his election.

Later, Baily treats us to what will likely become one of the defining stories of Fred Thompson.

He was interested in sports, and if Freddie Thompson wasn’t what you’d call a finesse player-he was a mess of arms and legs running with a ball-he managed to lead Lawrenceburg High to the state championships in basketball and football. Yet even on the field he was a clown. During one football game, Thompson took a hard tackle and didn’t get up. It looked as though he’d been knocked out. When his coach and teammates rushed over, Fred-die opened his eyes and grinned. “How’s the crowd taking it?” he asked. He kept still a few beats longer, then sprang to his feet and took in the cheers from the stands. Thompson was voted most outstanding athlete, but he never received the award. The school’s teachers, fed up with his classroom antics, demanded he be stripped of the prize.

I assure you that Bill Clinton was never stripped of a prize in high school without a fight to the Supreme Court. Fred Thompson simply moved on.

When Thompson begins campaigning in earnest, the qualities that some call laziness will pay big dividends. If a man or woman cannot do the job in a 60 hour week, then he or she cannot do the job at all. Clinton worked 120-hour weeks because the job was beyond him and he lacked focus. Reagan worked 40-hour weeks because he was larger than the job and focused on the important things.

I don’t know that Fred Thompson changed Holly Baily’s mind. She might have liked the guy before she began the article. What I do know is this: she likes him now. She and her contributors end the piece the way countless writers ended countless articles about Ronald Reagan. In fact, if I had Lexus/Nexus, I’ll bet I could make a case for plagiarism:

Thompson, who has already been president three times in the movies, is about to find out how much harder it is to play commander in chief when you don’t have a script.