Four for the Price of One

By Dave Andrusko

Each Friday we end the week with an article that briefly covers several items. Today, four for the price of one.

#1. Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus reassures her readers that all the suggestive hints coming from President Obama that he will be unleashed if he wins a second term is a bunch of hooey. He’ll practically be a Republican (okay, that’s an exaggeration).

But, if enough Republicans lose this fall, Obama told Rolling Stone, “there’s going to be some self-reflection going on — that it might break the fever.” Get it? Cool, calm Barack Obama just waiting for what Marcus calls “rational partners across the aisle.”  The scariest part may not be what Obama would do—and that is PLENTY scary—but that both Obama and Marcus probably believe this .

#2. In seeking to understand the “gender gap”–what it really means and doesn’t mean– a number of observers have written some very interesting posts. For example, Dr. Alfred J. Tuchfarber, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati, wrote a commentary headlined, “Partisan Gender Gap Not Just About Women.”

Remember. ..

“There are, by definition, two sides to this phenomenon: women and men.  If they behaved the same, there would be no gender gap. The use of the concept gender gap is almost always to suggest Republican weakness with women voters, but because there are two and only two sides to this coin, logic tells us the Democrats must have an equally large problem with men. That is a simple truism and proven in election after election. .. The empirical reality is that BOTH parties have a troublesome gender gap: Republicans with women and Democrats with men. That’s not always clear from the way the concept is presented.”

And of course, there is no monolithic “women’s vote.” Single women are much more Democratic in their voting patterns, married women much more Republican.

And, oh by the way (speaking of the imaginary “war on women”), “a recent poll of voters in swing states showed that women’s top priorities are health care, gas prices, unemployment and the deficit — in that order — with ‘government policies toward contraception’ coming in last,” according to the Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger.

 

Joanne O’Riordan

#3.  16-year-old Joanne O’Riordan has an extremely rare congenital condition known as Total Amelia syndrome. She was born without arms and legs. But in delivering  the keynote speech to the UN’s International Telecommunication Union in New York, she told delegates  that “technology was the limb she never had,” the Irish Times reported.

Ms. O’Riordan explained that she began exploring the use of technology at the age of one. “I figured out how to use it by simply moving my ‘hand’ and chin at a faster speed. Today I can type 36 words a minute and for someone with no limbs, I think that’s an incredible achievement,” she said, according to the Irish Times. “Ms O’Riordan told delegates that her motto in life was ‘no limbs no limits.”

#4. In a sign of growing unity within the Republican Party, Michael Biundo, who managed former Senator Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, is joining the campaign of Mitt Romney as deputy national director of coalitions. The story was first reported in New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, the Union Leader.

Biundo told the Union Leader that the Romney campaign recruited him shortly after Santorum dropped out of the race .“I spoke with Rick and made sure it was OK with him before I moved, and he gave his full blessing on it,” Biundo told the Union Leader.

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