Our “13 Questions” logo.
1. What will be President Obama’s biggest challenge?
Getting the fiscal house in order and getting the GOP to go along with him. It is not all the Senate’s fault. Not all the House’s either. He has to get down and dirty with these guys. And if he doesn’t get the cooperation, go over their heads. Even if it means addressing the nation every night for five minutes with a progress report. I don’t think he’ll squander this second term and he might break the second term jinx. He also has to start to form a relationship with Wall Street. Have a meeting with them, even if it means going to them. The markets are nervous now because if a meeting isn’t set by Thanksgiving, they might not be able to do a deal. I’d also put off any holiday trips to Hawaii too.
2. You picked a closer election than what actually happened. Thoughts?
I really thought Romney would have more of a turnout because of excitement from the GOP and the negative advertising that came out against the President. I never thought he’d be able to carry Virginia or Colorado and frankly was stunned by Florida. But I think people in Florida looked at their new Governor, looked at what the GOP had become in opposition and went for Obama. It was about a 70,000 vote margin. People call that close. Gore/Bush at 537 was close. This wasn’t.
3. I saw and heard you say on TV Friday night that George Bush 43 might very well become the Herbert Hoover of the 21st Century. What did you mean by that?
In an exit poll last week, more than 53% of the American people blamed the bad economy on President Bush, not President Obama. That is significant because ever since the 2010 elections the GOP has been saying this is President Obama’s economy. I think most thinking Americans know that we were at the precipice of disaster in late 2008, 2009. Even President Bush knew it or he would not have agreed to some of the bailouts. If this all becomes part of the “new Normal”, Bush may not shoulder all the blame but a share of it. I also believe that the problems that happened in the first decade and the reactions to it will plague Presidents all the way to the 2050s.
4. Do attack ads work normally in politics and did they this year?
It depends. Locally the ads against Tarah Toohil, Gerry Mullery and Phyllis Mundy had little impact. All went back to the State House without any problems. Nationally, the Obama ads defined Romney in the early summer as an unfeeling business leader out of touch with regular folks. Earlier, in the primaries, Romney did jobs on every candidate who was popping up to challenge him. Those worked because they were so numerous. But if you were one of those money people funding a PAC and your guy lost, or Tom Smith who sunk in over 17 million of his own money to lose to Bob Casey by a huge margin, you have to wonder if it was worth it all.
5. What is the greatest takeaway from this election?
That it was not a fluke. That President Obama was not Jimmy Carter and this was not 1980. Benghazi was not Iran, Romney was not Reagan and Americans reaffirmed the fact that they wanted a government that didn’t say to all of us, “You’re on your own”.
6. Pumpkin pie or apple? White or dark meat?
Pumpkin. (From The Sanitary). And dark meat, drumstick if available. And so far most people through the Thanksgiving dinners have been kind.
7. Are you getting ready for your popular year end editions?
Working on them now.
8. Going to see the Lincoln movie starring Daniel Day Lewis?
9. What are your thoughts on Saturday Night Live satirizing the candidates?
I think they did a real good job this year. No one topped Tina Fey last year but these guys came close. The Biden was hilarious.
10. Do you ever regret not seeing someone in person when you had the chance?
Oh yeah, I have a big three. I saw Nixon at Yankee Stadium and never made a move to go to his box even though I had press ID, I had a chance to meet Ted Williams but decided to not go on the trip to the card show at the last minute and never had the foresight to see the late Jerry Orbach on Broadway.
11. Can we loom forward to hearing any opinions on 2016?
Not until 2014 if I can help it.
12. Have you ever skied?
13. With the new Stadium being built, are you looking forward to the 2013 season in Moosic?
It’s one of the things that gets me through the winter!