President Barack Obama pens his closing argument over at CNN:
I believe America's prosperity was built on the strength of our middle class. We don't succeed when a few at the top do well while everyone else struggles to get by -- we're better off when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. [...] The folks at the very top don't need another champion in Washington. The people who need a champion in Washington are the Americans whose letters I read at night; the men and women I meet on the trail every day. The cooks and cleaning staff working overtime at a Las Vegas hotel. The furniture worker retraining for a career in biotechnology at age 55. The teacher who's forced to spend less time with each student in her crowded classroom. Her kids, who dream of becoming something great. Every small business owner trying to expand and do right by his or her employees -- all of these Americans need a champion in Washington.Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, has endorsed Obama:
When these Americans do well, America does well. That's the change we need right now. It's time to finish what we've started -- to educate our kids, train our workers, create new jobs, new energy, and new opportunity -- to make sure that no matter who you are, where you come from, or how you started out, this is the country where you can make it if you try.
The America we believe in is within our reach. The future we hope for is within our sights. That's why I'm asking for your vote this Tuesday.
Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week’s devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action. [...] We need leadership from the White House -- and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year. [...]Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post also writes about the urgency of dealing with climate change on a federal level:
When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America. [...]
One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.
How, at this point, can anyone deny the scientific consensus about climate change? The traditional dodge — that no single weather event can definitively be attributed to global warming — doesn’t work anymore. If something looks, walks and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Especially if the waterfowl in question is floating through your living room. [...] Obama recognizes the looming crisis; challenger Mitt Romney once did, but now apparently does not. [...]Timothy Egan at The New York Times:
These may be state and local issues, but tackling them will require federal involvement. Hurricane Sandy was ultimately a national disaster, and Washington will foot much of the recovery bill.
Climate change is a national challenge. Ignoring it is not a solution. Pretending it isn’t happening will not make it stop.
Climate change is to the Republican base what leprosy once was to healthy humans — untouchable and unmentionable. Their party is financed by people whose fortunes are dependent upon denying that humans have caused the earth’s weather patterns to change for the worse.John Dickerson at Slate on Romney's strategy of moderation:
At the same time, Republicans have spent the last year trying to win an argument about the role of government as a helping hand. By now, most people know that Mitt Romney, in his base-pandering mode during the primaries, made the federal disaster agency FEMA sound like a costly nuisance, better off orphaned to the states or the private sector.
His party can get away with fact-denial — in global warming’s case — and win cable-television arguments about FEMA, so long as something like a major news event, e.g., reality, does not shatter the picture. That’s where the storm upset a somewhat predictable race.
If Mitt Romney wins the election, it will be because he ignored conservatives. After he won the primaries, many of the most prominent voices in the movement plead with him to run loud and proud as a conservative and to campaign overtly on conservative ideas. He never did that, and he’s ending the campaign on a moderate note, a move his strategists believe will capture the disaffected Obama voters he needs to win the election. [...]Greg Sargeant at The Washington Post on Romney's tactical strategy of going "Kamikaze" in his attack ads:
In the end, all of this shape-shifting leads to confusion about what Mitt Romney will govern. Will it be the fellow who was trying to court conservatives in the primaries or the one who is appealing to moderates now? Or, will he be pragmatic, calculating his political positions based on the composition of the Congress and the forces in the larger electorate he’ll still have to appeal to once he’s in office? [...]
Mitt Romney has always seemed awkward playing the severe conservative. It’s not his best stuff. He might lose this thing—the polls in the battleground states aren’t looking good—but since Oct. 3 he’s been going with his best pitch. He’s no longer taking advice from the Scott Walkers of the world. He is listening to the more pragmatic Chris Christies. If Romney loses, those will be the battle lines for the next GOP contest
In the race’s final days, Romney has adopted what you might call a Kamikaze strategy. His campaign is cranking out a startling number of falsehoods and sleazy attacks, drawing widespread condemnation in the media that could ultimately crash his campaign, because that condemnation dovetails with Obama’s closing character argument against him. [...] when reporters do press him on his dishonesty and/or evasions, the results aren’t pretty. Romney faced harsh criticism for his refusal to answer questions about whether he still agreed with his previous suggestion that he favors transferring FEMA responsibilities to the states. And as Steve Benen notes, the statement he finally did release on FEMA didn’t put to bed lingering questions about his position.
None of this is to say Romney’s closing strategy can’t work. But it’s a pretty massive and audacious gamble on his part.