September 11, 2012

Sure as Shirt

Three days on, I still haven't completely unpacked my bags (or my noggin) from my chaotic trip to Charlotte and the Democratic National Committee Convention.  Due to technical difficulties, I wasn't quite able to blog or tweet as much as I wanted.

But a piece of bootleg swag - a large graphic-print Obama 2012 T-shirt - has kept the conversation about Charlotte going in ways that I didn't expect.

Strangers walk up and ask me where I got the shirt (some street vendor outside the Time-Warner Cable Arena), while others want to know what's going to happen in 56 days.  As if I know: I'm just some guy who happens to be wearing an unofficial Obama T-shirt some other guy sold me on a streetcorner for $10 (three for $25).

 In the supermarket deli line, some old coot with a cane, pants hiked up to his navel and a flat-brimmed baseball cap, challenged me: "What has he [Obama] ever done for the black man??"

Excellent question.

Nonetheless, it was striking that a cheap item of clothing probably made in China and sold illegally has become an identifier of authoritative, thoughtful political analysis.  Or at least a conversation starter with people who think I may keep up on politics and isn't wearing the gear to be fashionable.

Must be the glasses.

Still, I gave some guy at my gym a snootful of political analysis once he saw my shirt and asked me what I thought would happen on Nov. 4.  I told him things are looking good, though conventional wisdom still indicates it's going to be a nail-biter.  President Obama leads in a few key swing states, I told him, and is within striking distance of Romney in the ones where he's trailing.

At the same time, I noted, the president had a monthly fundraising edge for the first time this year, while GOP challengers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are stumbling from one lie to the next, getting called out by the media, where -- after months of letting the falsehoods slide -- slapping them around has apparently become fashionable.

"Keep an eye on things," I said.  "Odds are 60-40 for Obama."

I was speaking after a workout, and was all hot and sweaty and high on endorphins, so I'm surprised anyone would take me seriously.

Then I came home, and saw this.  And this morning, this showed up on my Twitter feed.

I love it when I'm right and don't even know it.  Kind of like finding a $20 bill in a pair of pants you hardly wear.

If I were a more skillful blogger, I'd be able to separate out the graphics on the right side of Nate's blog, which is what I'm referring to.  It shows statistical models that put Obama's chances of re-election at 80 percent or so, and all but one of the nine swing states trending his way -- with, oddly, North Carolina the lone execption.

It also indicates what could be an historical first: Romney and Ryan could be the first presidential ticket in danger of not even winning their home states.  Obama leads in Wisconsin AND Massachusetts.

I'll have more on this later.  But if the trend holds, Michael Tomsky thinks we should all get ready for a GOP sleaze-fest with race as the main attraction.

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