Monday, February 8, 2016

Archive: August, 2012

POSTED: Friday, August 31, 2012, 8:45 AM

Maybe Clint Eastwood is a closet Obama backer who duped the GOP into thinking he’s supporting Romney.

How else to explain the bizarre, distracting, pace-breaking, mood-altering, prime-time act Eastwood put on at the Republican National Convention Thursday night?

At a minimum, his long-winded and often rambling routine involving an empty chair representing Obama skewed the timing of the evening and forced Romney’s acceptance speech past the 11 p.m. hour.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 9:12 PM

One thing evident at the GOP convention Wednesday night was the party sure knows how to move on.

Its 2008 nominee Sen. John McCain, for example, spoke for just 13 minutes at 8 p.m., well out of network prime time, and talked about foreign policy in an election that’s about the economy.

He was warmly received but suffice it to say the roof of the Tampa Bay Times Forum never was in danger.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 8:43 AM

As someone who works with words, I’ve always paid close attention to political speeches because words matter and can make a difference.

Spouse speeches have been a routine part of political conventions and even though they are easily dismissed as solely the carefully-crafted praise of an adoring partner, they can be a political plus.

Ann Romney’s speech Tuesday night was intended to do two things: appeal to women (critical in an election in which Democrats paint Republicans as “warring” on women); and reveal something of the often enigmatic Mitt Romney to America at a time roughly a-third of voters say they don’t know enough about him.

POSTED: Monday, August 27, 2012, 7:55 PM

What a difference a Tom makes!

Gov. Tom Corbett, in his second year in office, isn’t getting the kind of attention at the GOP convention that Gov. Tom Ridge did in his second year in office during the 1996 convention.

Corbett heads the state delegation in Tampa as Ridge did at Bob Dole’s convention in San Diego.

POSTED: Monday, August 27, 2012, 8:43 AM

If you’re heartbroken about no GOP convention on Monday, now’s a good time to plan your Tuesday viewing.

With Monday canned due to nasty Tampa weather from Tropical Storm Isaac, Republicans reset their podium schedule on Sunday, moving Monday speakers to Tuesday and combining them with originally-planned Tuesday talkers.

There are 19 scheduled speakers Tuesday evening.

POSTED: Friday, August 24, 2012, 8:43 AM

If Rick Santorum is anything, he is consistent.

He, for example, was consistently critical of Mitt Romney during the GOP primary race. He pounded the Mittman harder and longer than even the sharp-tongued Newt.

POSTED: Thursday, August 23, 2012, 8:42 AM

Amid the skewed data, misinformation, outright lies and obscene money numbers pushing the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, another number continues to be ignored in the hearts and minds of too many Americans.

The New York Times reported this week that 2,000 now have died in Afghanistan, including 36 from Pennsylvania, four from Philadelphia.

The Times on Wednesday used four full pages to show the photos of the American dead so far in this decade-plus long war.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 8:39 AM

As Republicans pack for the GOP convention next week in Tampa there’s a gathering storm threatening a negative impact on the party.

Actually, two storms.

The first is an actual one. Weather-watchers are tracking Tropical Storm Isaac which they say could turn into a hurricane that hits Florida as early as Sunday, the day before the convention opens.

About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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