The Obama campaign has blamed the president’s poor debate performance on everything from Mitt Romney’s supposed “lies,” to Obama having an “off night.” So it’s no surprise the blame game is also taking place inside the campaign. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports on rumblings of a possible staff shakeup coming soon (h/t Ed Morrissey):
Posts For: October 9, 2012
The Obama campaign is out this morning with a goofy video of the Big Bird variety, mocking Mitt Romney, as the president has put it, as going easy on Wall Street but heavy on Sesame Street. …
And the president, as others have noted, and his team have been going fairly small at a moment when Romney is consistent in a message and pivoting toward going bigger (the foreign policy speech, more emotion on the trail, and so forth). And this video is the kind of small ball that Boston smacked over for months.
After almost four decades of battling the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, an Islamist insurgent group best known in the West for beheading captives, the government of the Philippines has reached a peace accord which will grant the Muslim and ethnic Bangsamoro people an autonomous Islamic entity on Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines.
While diplomats and academics will always applaud deals purporting to end bloodshed, this agreement both legitimizes the terrorists’ often bloody tactics and signals to Islamists in other states that they should not accept living as a minority but rather should always push to succeed. Manila’s concession strikes a blow at the notion of multi-confessional democracy in Asia. Should Islamist insurgents in southern Thailand now get their own autonomous state? Should Burmese Muslims secede? Is there space for a healthy Muslim minority in India?
Libya’s prime minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur — who was voted in on Sept. 12 — was removed in a no-confidence vote on Sunday. As the Washington Post reports, this could mean further delays for the FBI investigation into the Benghazi attack:
The decision by Libya’s legislature means that the government may remain without permanent, democratically-elected leadership for many weeks. But without a government in place, the investigation into the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans may be a low priority for Libyans. The extent to which the U.S. part of the investigation can operate freely in Libya also may be hampered by the domestic political chaos.
The United States has long designated the Kurdistan Workers Party (better known by its Kurdish acronym, the PKK) a terrorist group. The PKK certainly has a long and bloody history, one in which it targeted not only the Turkish army but also many local Kurds who refused to submit to its leaders’ will.
The PKK has always enjoyed popularity in Syria. While the Turks were fighting the PKK in the 1990s, the Syrian government hosted the group’s headquarters. Almost 15 years ago, the Middle East Quarterly actually interviewed PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan inside Syria. While Öcalan has since been captured and imprisoned, the legacy of his long residence in Syria reverberates with Syrian Kurds who overwhelmingly favor the PKK (and its local political offshoot, the Democratic Union Party, PYD) over Masud Barzani’s autocratic Kurdistan Democratic Party in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan.
The latest Pew poll is rather remarkable. Barack Obama led by eight percent among likely voters in this very survey last month. Romney now leads by four percent, a 12-point shift since the debate:
In turn, Romney has drawn even with Obama in the presidential race among registered voters (46% to 46%) after trailing by nine points (42% to 51%) in September. Among likely voters, Romney holds a slight 49% to 45% edge over Obama. He trailed by eight points among likely voters last month.
The shift with women voters is unbelievable. Last month, Obama had an 18-point lead among women in the Pew poll. Now Obama and Romney are tied, at 47 percent. The war-on-women-themed convention, the Sandra Fluke speeches, the HHS mandate that antagonized Catholics — all the gains from those may have been erased by just one debate:
The indefatigable Tom Gross flagged my attention to this column in Saudi Arabia’s English-language newspaper, the Arab News:
On the anniversary of the 1973 War between the Arab and the Israelis, many people in the Arab world are beginning to ask many questions about the past, present and the future with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The questions now are: What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people. And the harder question that no Arab national wants to ask is: What was the real cost for not recognizing Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care and the infrastructures instead of wars? But, the hardest question that no Arab national wants to hear is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people…