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Some true believers calling election for Obama ... and Romney

September 29, 2012|By James Rainey
  • Early voting has already begun in the swing state of Iowa. Here voters cast ballots Friday at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.
Early voting has already begun in the swing state of Iowa. Here voters cast… (Scott Olson / Getty Images )

I don’t know why anyone would want to call the presidential race over. We haven’t even had a single debate. The fun is just starting.

But in the last week we’ve had a few commentators and politicos say they already know the outcome. None of them stepped out of their predictable ideological silos, so the early prognostications didn’t make much news. But here they are:

-- Cenk Uygur, host of Current TV’s “The Young Turks,” said this week that “barring a major miracle, I’m calling the election right now. It’s already over.” The liberal  outlet, founded by Al Gore, has supported President Obama all along. Uygur’s reasoning:  “Ohio voters have correctly picked the winning presidential candidate in the last 11 elections. But it gets better. No Republican has ever won an election without winning Ohio. [Romney is] down by 10. We don’t have that much time to go. Tick-tock, tick-tock. This thing is over.”

-- Ed Schultz of MSNBC.  Schultz hedged a bit, but he said Thursday that “President Obama is moving in for the final knockout punch.” In case anyone missed the message, the liberal news outlet offered an on-screen graphic: “The beginning of the end.”  Schultz offered as evidence of an Obama wave pictures of early voters in Iowa, updates on the latest polls in swing states and a report on an embarrassing old video of Republican Mitt Romney talking “harvesting” companies, with no mention of creating jobs.

DEBATE QUIZ: Who said it? 

-- Bill Clinton. At his Global Initiative event this week, the former president told Bob Schieffer of CBS News that things looked good for Obama. “Assuming the debates are even a draw,” Clinton said, “I think the president will win.”

Romney made one of his strongest cases for himself Friday, saying he expected to win the state of Pennsylvania (where he spoke at a military college) and to take the election on Nov. 6. A couple of supporters expressed that sentiment recently, including:

-- Rand Paul.  The U.S. senator from Kentucky said in a recent interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt that a Romney win is already in the bag. “You know, I think, I’m in the minority here, but I think the election is over,” Paul said. “I think that Romney has already won.”

Some have mentioned Paul as a possible presidential contender in 2016, but he made it sound like Romney will be running for a second term in 2016.

“The people really are tired of the debt,” Paul told Hewitt. “They’re tired of irresponsible leadership. I think they’re tired of having 23 million people out of work.” Paul concluded saying that he “could be wrong” and is “fallible.”

-- Bill O’Reilly. No, not the Fox News host, though he certainly doesn’t warm to Obama. This Bill  O’Reilly operates a GOP consulting business and writes a column for Newsday on Long Island, N.Y. He argued in a recent column that voters would follow the admonition of Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention. O’Reilly quoted it this way: "Politicians are employees of ours. And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let 'em go." That would be Obama, columnist O’Reilly argued.

It’s hard to know how sincere these “game over” calls really are. Obama supporters want to create a sense of inevitability, to fire up their supporters and to discourage Romney backers. Republicans want to send the opposite message — urging Romney supporters not to think the contest is over before it’s over.

James.rainey@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimesrainey

MORE COMMENTARY FROM JAMES RAINEY:

Is Romney’s best opening now foreign policy?

Obama the cage fighter and Romney the delicate puncher

The truth behind the 'Khalidi video' and why it's not for sale


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