More wisdom from Michael Barone

At the 2009 Republican Jewish Coalition winter leadership meeting in Fort Lauderdale, I had the pleasure of once again seeing Michael Barone.

Michael Barone is the author of the Almanac of American Politics. He also writes for U.S. News and World Report.

I originally met him at Restoration Weekend in Santa Barbara in May of 2008. He agreed to an interview, which we did in September of 2008 at the GOP Convention in Minneapolis.

One word that people across the political spectrum use to describe Michael Barone is “respected.” Some people assume that he is neutral. This is not the case. He is a conservative. However, he simply keeps his political biases out of his reporting. This is why he is respected. It is called professionalism.

Yet the audience he was speaking to in Fort Lauderdale was a partisan audience. This allowed him to remove his sense of balance and feed the crowd a few partisan lines.

Yet his specialty is analysis, which he delivered with the eloquence and thoroughness that America has come to expect from him. With that, I offer more wit and wisdom from Michael Barone.

“Let me take a quick poll of the audience. Are there any MSNBC fans here (not a single hand went up)? How about CNN? No supporters for the Clinton News Network? Ok, not too many. How about Fox News? Wow, the entire room. I see we have a fair and balanced audience here.”

“Please turn off your cellphones. I don’t want any of you to get interrupted by a call from Rudy Giuliani’s wife.”

“There are two types of politics that take place over various time periods. There is trench warfare politics, and open politics. Trench warfare politics leaves the status quo. This was the case from 1983 through 1991, when we had the Republicans in the White House and the Democrats controlling Congress.

From 1992 through 1995 we had open politics. There was upheaval. We had the fall of Communism, Ross Perot, and Colin Powell. I have said before that 19% of Americans in 1992 voted for a guy who was clinically insane.

From 1995 through 2005, we went back to trench warfare politics, with the parties reversing roles. The Democrats held the White House and the Republicans controlled Congress.

In 2005 and 2006 we went back to open politics. Upheaval came in the form of Hurricane Katrina, Iraq, and Mark Foley. The GOP had their bond of faith with the American public snapped.”

“Four years ago the Republicans were talking about GOP majorities forever. Now the Democrats are saying it.”

“Who would have thought that Obama would have beaten Hillary Clinton? Clinton actually gained more votes in the primaries. We all assumed that she was going to fly in on her broomstick into the Whie House.”

“John McCain did not win majorities. He won pluralities in a series of winner take all primaries.”

“There has been change on major issues. $4 gasoline changed many people on the issue of drilling. People went from concern over the pristine environment to an attitude of ‘nuke the caribou.'”

“On Iraq, despite the mainstream media, people appreciated the surge.”

“John McCain and Sarah Palin were ahead in September, but the responses of the presidential candidates to the financial crisis was telling.”

“The 2008 numbers are not etched in stone. The ground is unsteady. The numbers are in sand.”

“There are strengths and weaknesses in the Obama coalition. He won the top and bottom Americans with regards to money and education. He won those that earned less than $50,000 and more than $200,000, but lost those inbetween. He won among people with a High School diploma or less and a post graduate degree or more. He lost those inbetween.”

“Obama wants to place a 90% tax on AIG bonuses. That actually comes to 102% with New York City taxes. Only Italy has done that. Only in Charles Rangel’s district could 102% of income be taxed. Rangel’s constituents that are on the upscale end of the socioeconomic ladder are votes that are available to the GOP.”

“Christopher Dodd’s failure to disclose his house in Ireland is a felony. Just ask Ted Stevens.”

“Those under 30 voted for Barack Obama by a margin of 66-32%. Those over 30 voted for Obama by only 50-49%. The GOP is looking into ways to raise the voting age to 35.”

“The Democrats are currently in a circular firing squad. Timothy Geithner is fighting with Christopher Dodd. Neither one of them is being a grownup.”

“There are tensions between President Obama’s 21st century campaign vs. his 20th century proposals, like a new welfare state. He wants to remove popular deductions on mortgages and charitable giving. We have gone from Alex de Tocqueville to Central Command. His campaign was decentralized. Yet government is centralized for Obama.”

“Do we want to be like France where government decides everything? That takes away our choices. Do we want the Teamsters and federal arbitrators controlling the workplace? The Union of Auto Workers handbook has 5000 pages of work rules. The Japanese have more cooperative relationships between workers and management, and have greater profits.”

“Young people like Obama, but the issue for the GOP to emphasize is choice. Young people like choice. On health care, Obama is offering less choice.”

“In Russia in 1989, if you had heart trouble, care for that was on the fifth floor. There was no elevator. That was one way to reduce costs.”

“Yelling ‘lower taxes’ will not bring everyone to the GOP’s side. The key is to relate to people’s lives. Either we can choose our own future or the government chooses.”

“Polling shows that people have not shifted away from markets to government. The changes have been marginal, not major.”

“The 1930s and 1970s were political inflections because the next decade after these periods provided positive results. The 1940s validated the 1930s government intervention. The 1980s validated markets, which led to Morning in America and winning the Cold War.”

“We are not at an inflection period yet. We are at an earlier stage in the process.”

“We are now in a period of open politics. The main thing the GOP must do in making the case is by finding and running good candidates.”

When I spoke with Michael Barone, I let him now how much I enjoyed his Santa Barbara presentation. I also told him that I asked Larry Sabato who would win an electoral smackdown between the two, and that Mr. Sabato immediately ceded the crown to Mr. Barone. Mr. Barone laughed, and while appreciating the compliment, said that he is constantly researching because things change so rapidly. Also, he has been studying politics for decades now.

As always, it was a pleasure meeting Michael Barone. I hope his predictions going into 2010 are good news for Republicans, because he is usually right.


4 Responses to “More wisdom from Michael Barone”

  1. “He won those that earned less than $50,000 and more than $200,000, but lost those inbetween.”

    LOL! I’ve got news for Mr Barone – under 50,000K IS most Americans.

    “On health care, Obama is offering less choice.”

    It’s amazing how such “respected ” people can just lie through their teeth without batting an eye. It’s really sickening.


  2. Laree says:

    I added the Fox Video so much for a New Era In American Race Relations.

    Al Sharpton and Acorn call for Sheriff Joe Arpaio to resign

  3. Laree says:

    Obama Campaign Slogan “It’s The War Stupid”

    Col Jack Jacob this morning on Imus in the morning, mentions todays politicians are primarily “media personalities”. Col Jacobs is more focused on the U.S. Military Budget, and the Afghanistan War and our build up of troops. President Obama promised to increase our footprint in Afghanistan. Imus asked Col Jacobs out of all his campaign promises why did he decide to keep this one?

    Maybe we will outfit our troops with those little PUMAS in the news because apparently that is the only way our U.S. Military build up is going to get any attention.

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