“The Sunday Political Brunch” -- August 19, 2012

Jersey Sunrise.JPG

(Newark, New Jersey) – There is nothing like the optimism of a sunrise, signifying a new day and new opportunities (Today’s photo is from the Newark airport, looking toward New York City). I’ve been on the road all week, but keeping an eye on the latest developments in the world of politics.

“Take-Your-Mom-to-Work Day!” – Republican vice-presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), took his mom Betty to a Medicare reform campaign rally in Florida on Saturday. It’s hard for people to accuse you of “stealing Medicare from Grandma” when your own 78-year-old mom is sitting right next to you. It was a good photo-op and full of symbolism. Those on the left who called it political stagecraft and a campaign prop may remember that vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) also campaigned with his mom Jean in 2008.

“Roll the Dice” – On KGO Radio in San Francisco this week, on both “The Ronn Owens Show” and “The Brian Copeland Show,” I predicted that 2012 will be a one-state race and that this time it will be Nevada deciding the Presidency. Once a Republican stalwart, the demographics of Nevada have changed dramatically over the past decade. An influx of displaced union workers from the Rust Belt looking for new opportunities and a boom in the Hispanic population have combined to make this a toss-up state. It went for Senator Obama in 2008, but certainly could swing back to Mitt Romney in 2012. It has only six Electoral College votes, but that’s enough to decide a tight race. Having a West Coast state crown the whole shebang could mean an all-nighter on November 6.

“Jersey Boy” – As I head to the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, I’ll be looking forward to the keynote speech from Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ). I was thinking of the colorful, combative Governor while visiting his state today. Whether you agree with him or not, he remains one of the most quotable, most candid and - yes - most volatile voices on the political landscape. Translation: News people like him because he makes headlines!

“Slow News Day” – While at the airport, I listened to an utterly vapid report on CNN about Janna Ryan’s “ties to the Democratic Party.” The wife of Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan is also the first cousin of Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) and the niece of former U.S. Sen. David Boren, (D-OK). Sure, it’s an interesting nugget of information (which has been out there for a week), but the reporter’s salacious delivery made it sound as if having ties to the Democratic Party was akin to being part of the Weather Underground or Al-Qaeda. It was just weird! So Mrs. Ryan's cousin is a Democrat? Somehow, I don’t think that will sink her husband’s campaign.

“Hillary Watch” – A story from former New York Times reporter Ed Klien this week suggested that Hillary Clinton could still do a last-minute switch with Joe Biden and become the vice-presidential candidate with President Obama. Had Mitt Romney picked a woman or a Hispanic to be his running mate, I think the Hillary-Biden swap could still be in play. But with Paul Ryan on the GOP ticket, I think Mrs. Clinton remains as Secretary of State. By the way, if President Obama wins reelection, I predict Secretary Clinton will announce her resignation as of January. She will start her 2016 nomination campaign as the new year gets underway. One thing on which I will agree with Ed Klein is that the Clintons (Bill, in particular) want very badly to return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue someday!

Let’s hear your thoughts and opinions. Click the comment button on www.MarkCurtisMedia.com. We’ll be greeting you this time next week from Tampa, Florida, and the Republican National Convention.

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