Poignant post-election pool report

From: Parsons, Christi [@latimes.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 01:52 PM
To
Subject: Pool 2 (potus)
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One of the people standing on the street corner in Kenwood, looking over the barricades toward the Obama house, is TyRon Turner, who traveled here from Inglewood, Calif., to attend the victory party.

First thing this morning, he said, he woke up and decided he wanted to applaud the president personally, if only as he passes by in a motorcade.

But as he stood on the sidewalk in a sweatshirt and blue knit cap, the small business owner said he couldn???t stop thinking about the challenges ahead.

The divisions in the country were so evident on television on election night, he said, as cameras panned the saddened faces of Romney supporters and the jubilant ones around him at McCormick Place.

The crowd shots at the Romney party were disproportionately white, he noticed, while the Obama party reflected the racial coalition that won the president???s reelection.

???We were all hugging each other, black and white,??? Turner said. ???I said to someone, ???Look at all the different races in this room.??? We were all together as Americans, as we should be. This is what America looks like.???

Obama could lead the country to a new conversation about the polarization, Turner said, but he can???t do it alone. Republican leaders have to be a part of it, too, he said.

???Both sides have to give up something,??? said Turner, a small business owner. ???We have to clear the slate. Start over.???

–Christi Parsons

Colin Powell talks sense on gay marriage … and more

I don’t agree with everything he says, but this interview is worth the watch. It certainly changed my views about Powell a bit …

On whether he plans to endorse President Obama again this year:

I’m just a private citizen. I’m under no obligation to make an endorsement just because I’m on a book tour. So, as I have always said in every election, I like to watch the candidates, but not only the candidates, I want to see what policies they’re liable to implement, what the platform’s going to be. I want to see what the whole ticket’s going to look like. So I will wike my time as a citizen to decide what I’m going to do and who I’m going to vote for.

On what he hoped Obama would do in office:

I wish he had closed Guantanamo. Once he asked congress if he could close Guantanamo, they jus tstopped it because they had to provide funding. I think he could have done it without going to congress. … Guantanamo has been a problem for us for all these years. …

Frankly, I would have like to see the unemployment rate go down much more. I think it has to go down much more by the electio nor he may be in difficulty … he has to focus on the economy and get the jobless rate down because that’s what the American people expect.

On Romney’s comments a few months ago about Russia being America’s top rival:

I think he needs to think through these issues a little more thoroughly before he makes statements like that. I know Mr. Romney. I’ve known him for many, many years, and I think he’s a very excellent individual. I’m sure he means the best for America.

On whether Romney’s religion will affect the election, given Mormonism’s historical treatment of blacks:

No, I don’t think so. The man stands on his own. he is a man of faith. His faith is somewhere different than the faith of other Americans, but I don’t see why his Mormonism should be in the least bit a problem for him.

The fact of the matter is, I know Mitt very well. I know what his views are with respect to African Americans, other minorities, and I think he is a person who believes in diversity and there is no discrimination in his body, in his soul.

On gay marriage:

In my view, right now, it’s a state issue. And different parts of the country have very, very different views. But my own personal view is that, after thinking about it a great deal and watching the progress we have made over the years — I know so many gay and lesbian friends who have committed relationships, who have children and who have been together for 40 and 50 years — and I don’t know why the legal basis of that relationship should not be consummated with a marriage.

It has nothing to do with religion. If a church or some other group or some denomination chooses not to provide a sacrament for that or solemnize it in a religious ceremony, that’s their choice. But to deny that opportunity for a legal relationship with two people under the laws of the state or the laws of the country, I think is no longer appropriate and gay marriage should be accepted.

Now, each state is going to have to work their way through this, and I think if you come back a generation from now, you will find that this has moved greatly and that most states will have adopted it. If you look at the attitudes of the American people, increasingly, the numbers are moving in the direction of acceptance of gay marriage.

The Survivor, Part 2?

Survivor-cover

POLITICO Editor-in-Chief John F. Harris writes today about whether President Obama can emulate the post-1994 reinvention that Bill Clinton rode to reelection.  Harris’s take isn’t your typical pundit speculation. After all, he’s the author of the single best book on Bill Clinton’s presidency — “The Survivor” — and is a student of the modern presidency.

One of the many insights Harris offers in his piece:

Clinton’s political reassessment was carried out in tandem with an exceptionally painful personal reappraisal by both him and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Days after the election, she broke down in tears in a conversation with Morris, confessing: “I don’t know which direction is up or down. Everything I thought was right was wrong.”

The president himself was so disoriented he looked everywhere for guidance. At Camp David, he played host to self-help gurus like Stephen Covey (“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”) or Anthony Robbins (“Awaken the Giant Within”), whose late-night infomercials advised that people could train themselves to walk across hot coals. But he also opened his West Wing operation to talented outsiders who weren’t intimates or veterans of his campaign like then-chief of staff Leon Panetta.

Some of Clinton’s advice-seeking was eccentric, but it revealed a willingness to listen and an instinct for brutal self-critique that, at least to date, has hardly been Obama’s signature.