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An Odd Line

I'm struck by a quote from Romney's speech I've seen tweeted around: "President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family."

This is obviously meant to portray Obama as grandiose and foolish, making wild promises he can't keep --- about things that don't matter to people.

However, it creates an odd distinction, as if the health of the planet and help for one's family are different altogether and one's family will do well even if the planet is doing poorly. Meanwhile, this summer, families in Colorado have lost their
homes to fire and families through the Midwest have suffered intense heat and farmers' crops have failed. Belief that global warming is happening has increased.

If the Obama people were to take this comment seriously, not just ignore or dismiss it as a nasty crack, but take it seriously as a policy matter, they really could have a winning issue in some swing states.

By the way, in 1948, one reason why Truman did better than expected was because he had a better farm policy. The Republicans did not step up on grain storage. Those additional votes were essential in Ohio, among other places. Obama's position on
wind subsidies helps him in Iowa and he could, with the right message (and maybe Clinton as the messenger) improve his standing in other Midwestern farm states. Of course farming is a much smaller sector but every bit matters.

*Ed. Note: These are excerpts so there may be a lot going on in that elipses.

About The Author

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.