Karl Rove Points the Way to the White House for Democrats

election2016New Orleans               You don’t expect Karl Rove to be the voice of reason for Republicans, given his role as the master political operative between the two Bush presidencies, but these days you have embrace whatever help you can find.  In this case,  Rove was writing a “sober up” memo to the Republican faithful and trying to pop a balloon floating around their ranks that they could win the White House by doing a better job at turning out more conservatives who they were claiming they were “stay-at-home” voters last time.  Rove marshals extensive evidence in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, that the dealers of this story are essentially smoking their own dope.

The point of Rove’s message is obviously an attempt to reign in the radicals including a handful of whom are running for President in the Republican primary, the likes of Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Bobby Jindal, Senator Rand Paul, and a gaggle of others.  He is clearly stepping up as a voice of the right-center “moderate” wing of the party, and given his closeness to the Bushes, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him fronting for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s campaign.

But saying all of that, there are two sides to this coin, and the other side points the directions for the Democrats as clearly as it scolds the Republicans.  Rove’s comments go right to the heart of voter turnout and why the field program is still going to be the secret sauce for a winner in 2016.  The voter turnout dropped from 131.5 million when Obama won in 2008 to 129.2 million when he won his second term.  Rove is crystal clear that while turnout may have sagged, the percentage of self-declared conservative voters in 2012 had never been higher, reaching 39%, which is pretty scary in itself.

Rove says that,

“Republicans concerned about voters who failed to show up should look elsewhere.  There were approximately 4.9 million fewer self-identified moderates, 1.7 million fewer white Catholics, and 1.2 million fewer women who voted in 2012 than in 2008.”

Among the Catholics who didn’t vote, Rove claims they appear to be middle-class and blue collar voters, who were turned off to Obama, but couldn’t stomach Romney, largely because of his elitism.   That’s an emerging, troubling issue for the Hillary-Democrats as well.

So, what are the tips for the Democrats?  In general, they are going to have to double down to pull the same number of African-Americans as Obama did in both elections.  Hillary Clinton may think she can do that, but it won’t be easy, and it won’t be Bill, it has to be Obama himself working that base, which would temper any criticism from any candidate. Young voters are not mentioned by Rove, because the Republicans know there’s not much chance there, though Rand Paul is betting he can take a slice, and Democrats will have the same problem, except with younger women if Hillary is the candidate.  There’s also little doubt that with Hillary as the candidate there will be a significant, and perhaps historic, increase in women voting, if the campaign keeps it together.  Hillary and any of the announced candidates are not going to be able to hold onto the Hispanic loyalty against Jeb Bush or Senator Marc Rubio, but once again Obama might be the difference here given all of his recent initiatives.

Here’s my takeaway.  We’re going to hear a lot from Hillary and the rest of them that we have to appeal to the moderates to win.  Maybe so, but if you study Rove’s remarks, it also looks like to win we need President Obama to see 2016 as his third presidential election with his legacy on the line in order to hold onto the key blocks that have to perform in order to win.

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Worried About Climate Change? Move to Arkansas, Mississippi, or Alabama

keep-calm-i-do-go-southNew Orleans   The National Climate Assessment, a report written by a crew of scientists overseen by the White House, is coming out, and it’s a scorcher.  The takeaway is that climate change isn’t coming, it’s already here.  On an average we’re two degrees hotter throughout the United States.  In some areas people need to start worrying about food and water.  Ok, in fact they say it’s not in “some areas,” but most areas.

True to our John Wayne, pioneer spirit, we’re Americans, and by god, we’re not panicking.  Only 40% of us think this is much to break a sweat about.  On the other hand more than half of those polled in Australia, Canada, France, and Germany think this is a major issue, and more than 60% say so in Spain and Italy.   Living on their island of Japan, 70% of the Japanese think this is a huge issue.

But, why be negative?  Let’s look on the good side, where those that would always be last, might finally be first.  In the next couple of decades we could see a land rush in much of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama, and might do better than you would imagine in Louisiana and the Smokey Mountain and Appalachian areas of eastern Tennessee and Kentucky, and even being an Okie from Muskogee might do nicely in those areas of the Ozarks.  Yes, indeed, as terrible as the news was just about everywhere, these hardscrabble, often dirt poor areas, largely in the Middle South area of the country, are looking good.

What am I really saying here?  Well, temperature stayed pretty much the same for a century or in the range of hardly a half-degree warmer throughout virtually all of Alabama and Mississippi, southern and northwestern Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, western Georgia, and eastern Kentucky and Tennessee.  Now, the coastal area of Louisiana and some of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi around Gulfport and Biloxi might not be the places for any of you to move, but, hey, you can’t have everything can you?  But, if you want to get some property for a second home now and to relocate your whole tribe over the next fifty years, Hot Springs, Arkansas could be the place for you, buddy!  Or McComb and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, or anywhere around where the Tombigbee River runs through Alabama and Mississippi.  These are going to be, how should I say it, not “hot” spots, but nice cool zones for living and working, based on the last 100 years anyway.  The coolest places in the country on average over the century were Troy, Alabama and Okmulgee, Oklahoma.  No kidding!

And, seriously, since most Americans don’t seem to think we need to worry much about this whole climate change thing and that we can just cowboy our way through another hundred, that leaves the rest of us looking at the map to try to jump in and grab a few acres somewhere in the great middle south of the United States before all of the darned one-percenters corner the market and relocate from New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and other hot spots because they want food and water.

Now’s the time to be living in the South if you have a vision for the future, and a couple of dollars to put down on some land that might be left, high and dry, cool and collected.  Go South, young man, go south!

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As Station Manager of Kabf, I get emailed new music releases.  Please enjoy Willie Nelson’s The Wall.

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