It’s been a rough week for Team Mitt, but we do our best to keep our sunny side up. First off, our old pal Andrew Klavan stops by to implore us to not despair about the polls or the now infamous “47%” gaffe. Also a bracing conversation about strategy and dealing with the media’s often negative narrative. Then Middle East expert Richard Miniter joins to educate us on events in that troubled part of the world. Chin up, everyone!

High fives to Ricochet member (and now contributor!) Rick Wilson. He wins the highly coveted, much sought after Ricochet Podcast Member Post of The Week for his post, Pictures Matter. We see a mug in your future, Rick. 

Ricochet members, you can subscribe to this podcast by following the instructions here. If you’re not a member, we’ve got the first few minutes of today’s show, but to hear the whole thing, you have to be one of us. So Join today!

Music from this week’s episode:

EJHill is our little buddy.

For a free audio book on us, go to AudiblePodcast.com/Ricochet.

Buy this week’s Encounter Book’s pick Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk by John Fund and Hans Von Spakovksy.

Members have made 50 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Trace Inactive

    You’ve outdone yourself EJ. I think this one needs to be made available in the team store in a size suitable for framing. 

    • #1
    • September 20, 2012 at 1:38 am
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  2. Profile photo of Bill Waldron Inactive

    Yes, excellent. So now it is no longer “Ginger or Marianne?” but rather “James, Rob, or Peter?”

    BTW, no problem w/ my podcatcher to change the URL and add login info to grab the episode via the new protected feed.

    • #2
    • September 20, 2012 at 1:48 am
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  3. Profile photo of SpinozaCarWash Inactive

    Andrew Klavan is the perfect remedy for electoral despair.

    • #3
    • September 20, 2012 at 2:34 am
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  4. Profile photo of EThompson Inactive

    It doesn’t exactly help the Republican Party to characterize our presidential candidate as Thurston Howell III.

    • #4
    • September 20, 2012 at 2:52 am
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  5. Profile photo of Capt. Spaulding Member

    The Thurston Howell insult was already leveled by David Brooks in the New York Times yesterday. Bleeech!!

    • #5
    • September 20, 2012 at 3:04 am
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  6. Profile photo of Larry3435 Member

    Polls, bleh. The polls will be calling it for Obama right up until the last vote is counted, just as they did for Kerry and for Gore. The only one worth paying attention to is Rassmussen, which has Romney +2.

    • #6
    • September 20, 2012 at 3:18 am
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  7. Profile photo of Canadian Conservative Inactive

    Andrew Klavan! Great to hear him back on the Podcast. 

    • #7
    • September 20, 2012 at 3:40 am
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  8. Profile photo of Jim Wright Coolidge

    I don’t drink coffee, so I guess I have no excuse for not ponying up the shekels to keep the hits a’coming.

    Kimono open. Paint me like your French ladies, gentlemen.

    • #8
    • September 20, 2012 at 3:47 am
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  9. Profile photo of Israel P. Member

    All this comparison to the Carter-Reagan election. No one mentions that Carter had already been subjected to a really serious primary challenge from Senator Kennedy and his party was hardly unified behind him.

    Isn’t that a relevant difference?

    • #9
    • September 20, 2012 at 3:48 am
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  10. Profile photo of Benjamin Glaser Member

    This was an excellent episode. Really enjoyed it.

    Mr. Lileks, have you ever thought of getting a “standing desk”? 

    • #10
    • September 20, 2012 at 4:25 am
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  11. Profile photo of Gern Agonistes Member

    Yeesh, there I was whining about not seeing the direct link to the podcast .mp3, and, as soon as I publish the comment I see it has moved two inches to the right of where it usually is.

    I really must not deal well with change.

    • #11
    • September 20, 2012 at 4:26 am
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  12. Profile photo of Eeyore Member

    Peter, those suits you wear on UK certainly are slimming.

    • #12
    • September 20, 2012 at 4:42 am
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  13. Profile photo of Nick Stuart Inactive

    Second week in a row the podcast has been unlistenable.

    If I want to hear Romney relentlessly trashed, I can turn on the radio or TV.

    • #13
    • September 20, 2012 at 5:05 am
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  14. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    Jim Wright: I don’t drink coffee, so I guess I have no excuse for not ponying up the shekels to keep the hits a’coming.

    Kimono open. Paint me like your French ladies, gentlemen. · 1 hour ago

    Edited 1 hour ago

    Welcome, Jim! And please shut the kimono. It’s a violation of the Code of Conduct.

    • #14
    • September 20, 2012 at 5:07 am
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  15. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    Well, yes, officer, it just so happens I was indeed listening to the Ricochet podcast … yes, I am aware that I’m on a ledge … yes, I’d say it’s about 15 or 16 floors up … no, no, I’m fine right here …

    • #15
    • September 20, 2012 at 5:17 am
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  16. Profile photo of Sabrdance Member

    Gentlemen – NRO Cruise -I am unable to get away. So you are obligated to come back if Obama wins. Unless you are planning to sail to England and join James Dellingpole in preparing the counter invasion.

    “Tom has a hairy mustache!”

    • #16
    • September 20, 2012 at 5:18 am
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  17. Profile photo of Richard Inactive
    Israel Pickholtz: All this comparison to the Carter-Reagan election. No one mentions that Carter had already been subjected to a really serious primary challenge from Senator Kennedy and his party was hardly unified behind him.

    Isn’t that a relevant difference? · 1 hour ago

    I also don’t find the Carter-Reagan comparisons all that comforting. If that debate never happened Carter would have been re-elected. Also demographically the country is less favorable to Republican candidates than 1980. And Barack Obama as a politician is not Jimmy Carter.

    I think Romney has an opportunity to win here, but he is going to need to do some things right. The debate format I think favors Romney this year and he has reality on his side, he needs to win those debates soundly. 

    • #17
    • September 20, 2012 at 5:26 am
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  18. Profile photo of Peter Robinson Founder
    KC Mulville: Well, yes, officer, it just so happens I was indeed listening to the Ricochet podcast … yes, I am aware that I’m on a ledge … yes, I’d say it’s about 15 or 16 floors up … no, no, I’m fine right here … · 44 minutes ago

    Wrong response, KC. Prayer and fasting–that’s the way to go.

    • #18
    • September 20, 2012 at 6:04 am
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  19. Profile photo of Cornelius Julius Sebastian Thatcher

    Haven’t had a chance to listen to the Podcast yet, but EJ, thanks for reviving my pre-teen infatuation with Tina Louise.

    • #19
    • September 20, 2012 at 6:13 am
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  20. Profile photo of Tuck Inactive
    A rough week for Team Mitt? What is this, the NYT?Obama’s team executes a transparent cover-up on Fast & Furious, lies furiously and then has to admit that Al-Qaeda exectuted a US Ambassador in Libya, and it’s a tough week for Team Mitt?This was a great week for Team Mitt! 
    • #20
    • September 20, 2012 at 6:24 am
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  21. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member
    Peter Robinson Wrong response, KC. Prayer and fasting–that’s the way to go.

    I just came up with an idea. What do you think?

    I propose that if Romney loses, he and his campaign managers must not be allowed to go off and sulk in the Cayman Islands for a few months. Instead, they must get their hair tonsured, wear hairshirts, and make a pilgrimage (walking only, no airplanes) to William Buckley’s former residence.

    Pelting them with filth is not off the table.

    This is what we mean by “incentive.”

    • #21
    • September 20, 2012 at 6:59 am
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  22. Profile photo of EThompson Inactive
    Benjamin Glaser:

    Where is Donald Rumsfeld when you need him?

    • #22
    • September 20, 2012 at 7:05 am
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  23. Profile photo of katievs Inactive

    Thoroughly enjoyed and learned much from Mr. Miniter’s incisive commentary. Good show! I think I’ll be getting that book.

    • #23
    • September 20, 2012 at 7:19 am
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  24. Profile photo of edwarddentzel.com Inactive

    Wow, lots of fear in this podcast regarding Romney and his chances. I’m glad Andrew was there to bring to keep the Three Guys from jumping off the nearest radio tower. For the “skeered,” a couple things have to be remembered.

    First, I haven’t seen any polls where Republicans have been oversampled so as to make Romney look competitive. Whereas, there are quite a few that skew samples to make Obama’s number look better.

    Second, as wishy-washy and “too nice” as Romney can be, he is a winner. To me, that’s the main difference between him and McCain. McCain liked the crowds, the handshaking, etc. but he never seemed like a guy who loved winning. He loves just getting along. That’s why he goes to the other side of the aisle so often. Romney–he’s already shown more teeth than McCain ever did and those teeth will get sharper as November gets closer. I don’t think “losing” is in Romney’s vocabulary as evidenced by his life. As long as I sense that, I am confident.

    One more thing, if Miniter’s voice gets any lower, he’ll sound like Barry White. 

    • #24
    • September 20, 2012 at 7:36 am
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  25. Profile photo of Pacificus Inactive

    I’m a new member. I was one of those free-riding, bottom-feeders that just joined after listening to your excellent podcast on NRO. 

    It’s disheartening that about 1 million supposedly non-committed dopes from the several swing states will-along with the level of respective turnout-decide this election. James discussion of this was terrific.

    The Romney campaign, with the slight exception of the Ryan selection, has been a campaign about nothing (a little bit like “Seinfeld”), or at least not much.

    I’m sure that most of us are motivated to elect Romney by the following (in no particular order): 

    -unseat an incompetent President

    -populate the federal judiciary with more conservative judges/justices

    -Repeal Obamacare

    -curb spending

    -rebuke blowhards like Jennifer Granholm and DWS

    -remove the buffoonish Biden from office

    -general hatred of the MSM

    That said, I have little understanding of how Romney would lead us as a bland “technocrat”. He would accomplish little with a Democratic Senate in the majority. It just seems like we’re motivated by our collective hatred smorgasbord than anything else. Circling back to that 1 million undecideds, that may not be enough to win. 

     

    • #25
    • September 20, 2012 at 7:39 am
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  26. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    Peter, given your knowledge about the speechwriter crowd, do you have a response to Weigel’s claim that the Politico hit piece was mostly Matthew Scully’s complaint, and that Matthew Scully has been repeatedly disloyal over a lengthy career?

    My instinctual response to that was that no speech writer is good enough to bring on board if you can’t trust them. The downside is that if you sideline them like Bush sidelined Noonan in 2004, this may reduce their ability to bat for the other team, but it can send their desire to do so into hyperdrive. The claim made me feel disappointed that Scully had been hired for anything, nice speeches notwithstanding. What am I missing?

    • #26
    • September 20, 2012 at 7:47 am
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  27. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator
    Tuck: A rough week for Team Mitt? What is this, the NYT? Obama’s team executes a transparent cover-up on Fast & Furious, lies furiously and then has to admit that Al-Qaeda exectuted a US Ambassador in Libya, and it’s a tough week for Team Mitt?This was a great week for Team Mitt! · 1 hour ago

    Yeah, the polls seem to have gone up for our side this week. The couple of weeks before that were terrible, but this week was filled with dumb press complaints and substantive success.

    • #27
    • September 20, 2012 at 7:49 am
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  28. Profile photo of Tuck Inactive

    One other thought on this topic. Republicans keep judging a GOP candidate by how much the liberal media likes them. 

    This is not a great criteria, unless you’re looking to be Charlie Brown playing football. 

    The more irate the liberal media gets with Romney the better he’s doing. Who cares what they think?

    They’re not going to vote for him, and the only way they’ll support him is if he declares that the GOP should be outlawed.

    • #28
    • September 20, 2012 at 8:03 am
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  29. Profile photo of edwarddentzel.com Inactive

    Btw, I think this is what Peter was trying to say about how independents may break in this election. Still very favorable to Romney. 

    • #29
    • September 20, 2012 at 8:48 am
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  30. Profile photo of Mate De Coolidge

     I got through the same ups and downs as Rob was mentioning. Some days I’m hopelessly optimistic that Romney will run away with this in a landslide, others I’m paralyzed with fear Obama will be re-elected.

    I think its from living in a blue state and having lots of brain dead liberal friends who make me crazy with how they soak up the media drivel, that makes me think we’ve lost the country. Then I’ll start going to various conservative websites and seeing what it says there and it perks me up. I can’t wait for this election to be over

    • #30
    • September 20, 2012 at 8:50 am
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