The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 29, 2012

Eight days and counting ...

Editor and Publisher
John H. Walker

TARBORO — In eight days, millions of Americans will go to the polls and vote in one of the most contentious presidential elections in history.

I, for one, will be glad when we can publish a newspaper that names the winner, although unless there is a change in Washington, I can’t see us moving forward.

The inability of the two parties to get anything accomplished is almost as frustrating as the first two years of Mr. Obama’s presidency, when his party held the majority in both the House and Senate and he failed to get most of his campaign promises passed into law.

The intensity of the campaigning, especially since the first debate, has grown exponentially.

There was one day here at work when I got 17 — 17 emails — in one day from the Obama blue bus tour. Not until I sent 25 “please remove” emails did they finally stop!

We’ve been called by Mayor Anthony Fox of Charlotte ... whoo-hoo and I even got an email from Bruce Springsteen, encouraging me to vote for and support the president.

The Republicans have been just as bad, although my first request for a stoppage of emails from the GOP was honored.

We haven’t gotten the blast of auto-dial calls from the party of the elephant like we have from the party of the donkey, but it’s clear North Carolina is a key state.

Both sides have flooded the mailboxes, although the Republican pieces seem to be more fact-driven, citing the state of the economy, the fact unemployment is no better now than it was four years ago and the realities of what will really happen under Obamacare.

The Democratic pieces, on the other hand, seem to be more sniping ... “He’ll take you medicine” and “This is what they will do in their budget.”

The fact is, neither President Obama nor Mr. Romney will do a lot by themselves.

Mr. Obama got an unread healthcare bill passed because he had the majority in the House and a majority in the Senate and he had Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to deliver the goods for whatever it was they got for themselves and  their constituents back home.

The tone of the commercials for the president tell me his campaign strategists know they are in trouble, because having spent a lifetime closely following politics, those are the acts of a campaign beginning to be caught in the vortex.

And when you add superstorm Sandy to the mix, the Dems could be in real trouble.

Early voting is the bastion of the Democratic party. Historically, Democrats have not turned out in numbers as great as Republicans on election day. That’s why the court ruling allowing early voting in Ohio until the day before the election was so important to the Dems.

But in Hurricane Sandy and the potential snowstorm that could hit to out north and all the way to Wisconsin, you have the potential of three-to-five days of early voting lost to the Democrats — and that’s something that they may not be able to handle.

I think the October surprise everyone always talks about was Libya ... and the surprise was two-fold ... that the administration mishandled it so badly and that the documents were finally made public.

As to the impact, we’ll have to wait and see.

(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of The Daily Southerner. He can be reached at 823-3106 or