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We Are Not Traitors: Obama Scores Biggest Applause With Right-Wing Rhetoric

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Barack Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic Party nomination was largely well-received and accomplished several things he was perceived to need to do:

· Acknowledge Hillary (and Bill) Clinton’s efforts to rally her supporters to his side.
· Provide some specifics as to the blueprint of his presidential agenda.
· Show he can take on John McCain, without completely abandoning his fight against ‘politics as usual’ and his crusade for bringing change to Washington, D.C.
· Appeal to the African-American community by recognizing the historical significance of the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream" speech through a message of unity; that is to say, by not appearing to campaign as a ‘black candidate’ (in fact, MLK was not even mentioned by name once in those passages).

All of these components of Obama’s speech generated a favorable reaction from the large crowd assembled in Denver, to be sure. But what seemed to truly get Democrats on their feet was none other than the sort of fire and brimstone rhetoric that comes straight from the GOP playbook.

Regarding the fight in Afghanistan, although Obama implemented a liberal-friendly euphemism for ‘kill’ (‘take out’) the crowd roared at this hawkish passage:

“I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell, but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.?

Obama also cited, to a favorable reaction, Democratic presidents in America’s history who were, essentially, “tough guys? when it came to foreign policy:

“We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe.?

And, finally, in perhaps Obama’s most passion-filled delivery of the evening, he recognized the sacrifices our military makes to keep us safe:

“The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America, they have served the United States of America. So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.?

Now, all of these statements are far from controversial. Only the smallest fraction of Americans would not want our next president to kill Bin Laden, defend our country, and support our troops.

But these statements were crucial to the Obama campaign even though they were, generally, not the kind of statements Obama used during his primary campaign.

And that is because this was the quintessential ‘general election speech;’ delivered to show independents, conservative Democrats, and liberal Republicans that Obama too can be a ‘tough guy’ – just like a Republican. That is to say, Democrats are not traitors and will defend our country.

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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