President Barack Obama arrives at Palm Beach International Airport on February 15, 2013 in West Palm Beach, Florida
*President Obama has given an official thank you to Jimmy Carter’s grandson for his role in swinging the 2012 presidential election his way.
It was James Carter, grandson of the former president, who brought the now-famous ” 47 percent” tape to light, connecting Mother Jones columnist David Corn to the source who secretly filmed it at a Mitt Romney fundraiser.
When Obama was in Atlanta last week, he met two of Carter’s sons, the former president told CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” in a televised interview.
“When James went to meet President Obama, President Obama ran across the room, embraced him and thanked him profusely – first time, but the way,” Carter said.
“I don’ think he said winning the election, but thank you for helping me win the election – I don’t know exactly what the words were,” Carter said when Morgan asked if Obama had thanked James for winning him a return to the White House.
Later featured in TV ads, the tape became a staple of Democratic talking points. Democrats had already dogged Romney with accusations of an elitist class view, and the tape became a liability that Romney was unable to shake.
“I think it was the pivotal moment,” Carter said of the tape, acknowledging that his opinion of his grandson’s role in the election is, of course, biased. “It was something that he could not deny, and it stuck with him for the rest of the election, and I think it was a major factor if not the major factor.”
HBO confirmed today that they have optioned the rights to “Double Down: Game Change 2012,” from journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.
The as yet-unwritten book is expected out for the fall of 2013, announced its publisher Penguin Press. HBO will air the movie version around the time of the 2016 presidential election.
Halperin and Heilemann’s behind-the-scenes 2010 book on the 2008 Presidential election, “Game Change: Obama And The Clintons, McCain And Palin, And The Race Of A Lifetime,” was a number one bestseller and the basis for a 2012 HBO movie. Directed by Jay Roach and starring Julianne Moore as Alaska Governor and GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin and Ed Harris as Sen. John McCain, “Game Change” debuted on HBO on March 10 of this year.
“Game Change” won four Emmys this year including best miniseries or TV movie, a best directing win for Roach and an outstanding actress in a miniseries or TV movie for Moore.
Director Kathryn Bigelow (L) on the set of Zero Dark Thirty
*Earlier this year, conservatives just knew that the film “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, would be full of pro-Obama propaganda that would somehow sway the presidential election if released before Election Day. More controversy followed the revelation that the film’s writer Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow were given special briefings on the interrogation techniques directly from the CIA.
Now that critics have actually seen the film, due in theaters Dec. 19, the reality is that President Obama appears just once in the 2 hour, 37 minute thriller, and ironically, the Commander in Chief’s words in the film are already being used to mock his administration’s “no torture” policy, suggesting it is unrealistic and out of touch.
The president only appears in the movie as part of a 2008 “60 Minutes” clip in which he criticizes the use of “enhanced interrogation” on terror suspects. However, the clip comes after the audience has already watched an al Qaeda detainee give up vital information about bin Laden as the direct result of being tortured during CIA questioning.
Christian Toto of the conservative blog Breitbart.com wrote: “After all, the media gave credit to President Barack Obama for capturing the terrorist leader even though Obama spoke out specifically against enhanced interrogation. … In theory, bin Laden would still be alive and plotting more attacks had Obama’s ‘no torture’ policy been in place.”
“Morning Joe” (Dec. 10, 2012)
On Monday’s “Morning Joe,” conservative host Joe Scarborough said the film “presents a narrative that is going to make a lot of people in the mainstream media, in the Democratic Party and in the administration uncomfortable, and that is the truth that Barack Obama learned, the first briefing that he got after he won the election, and that is that the CIA program, whether you find it repugnant or not, actually was effective with [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] and other people getting actionable intelligence that led to couriers, that led, eventually, years later, to the killing of Osama bin Laden.”
The torture scene takes up about 30 minutes of the film’s opening, according to CNN’s National Security Analyst Peter Bergen, whowrote, “Obama’s opposition to torture comes off as wrongheaded and prissy,” in the film.
Jessica Chastain as CIA analyst Maya n “Zero Dark Thirty”
Describing the interrogation scenes, Bergen wrote that it depicts “a bloodied al Qaeda detainee named Ammar who is strung to the ceiling with ropes; beaten; forced to wear a dog collar while crawling around attached to a leash; stripped naked in the presence of Maya (Jessica Chastain), the female CIA analyst; blasted with heavy metal music so he is deprived of sleep; forced to endure crude waterboardings; and locked into a coffin-like wooden crate.”
Below, director Kathryn Bigelow talks about including the difficult scene.
*Election officials in Georgia are denying allegations that Usher was given “preferential treatment” after the R&B singer was whisked to the front of the line at a polling station in Atlanta.
Ursh cast his ballot at a community center in the suburb of Roswell, where workers were accused of allowing the singer to skip the long line because of his celebrity status.
Some of the folks in that line vented to local news station WSBT and county election officials have now released a statement defending their decision to take the star through a back entrance.
The statement, released to WSBT reads: “(The) Poll Manager… was directed to ensure that Mr. Raymond’s presence would not become a distraction by taking necessary measures to move Mr. Raymond through the process as expeditiously as possible. At no point was this decision made for preferential treatment, but to minimize and avoid a distraction at the poll.”
President Barack Obama wept as he thanked the volunteers who helped guide him to a decisive re-election on Tuesday night. The address was captured on video and uploaded to the official White House YouTube channel.
“It’s not that you guys actually remind me of myself — it’s the fact that you are so much better than I was,” Obama tells the roomful of young staffers. “In so many ways. You’re smarter, you’re better organized and you’re more effective.”
At the three-and-a-half minute mark, tears begin to well up in the president’s eyes and stream down his face as he tells the room, “What you guys have done means that the work that I’m doing is important. And I’m really proud of that. I’m really proud of you.”
*A Las Vegas business owner with 114 employees fired 22 workers on Thursday as a direct result of President Obama’s re-election, saying “elections have consequences” and that “at the end of the day, I need to survive.”
“David” (he asked to remain anonymous) spoke about his decision to radio host Kevin Wall on 100.5 KXNT.
“I’ve done my share of educating my employees. I never tell them which way to vote. I believe in the free system we have, I believe in the right to choose who they want to be president, but I did explain as a business owner that I have always put my employees first,” said David. “I always made sure that when I went without a paycheck that [I] made sure they were paid. And I explained that I always put them first and unfortunately I’m at a point where I’m being forced to have to worry about me and my family now and a business that I built from just me to 114 employees.
“I explained to them a month ago that if Obama gets in office that the regulations for Obamacare are gonna hurt our business, and I’m gonna have to make provisions to make sure I have enough money to cover the payroll taxes, the additional health care I’m gonna have to do, and I explained that to them and I said you do what you feel like in your heart you need to do, but I’m just letting you know as a warning this is things I have to think of as a business owner.
“Well unfortunately, and most of my employees are Hispanic — I’m not gonna go into what kind of company I have, but I have mostly Hispanic employees — well unfortunately we know what happened and I can’t wait around anymore, I have to be proactive. I had to lay off 22 people today to make sure that my business is gonna thrive and I’m gonna be around for years to come. I have to build up that nest egg now for the taxes and regulations that are coming my way.
“Elections do have consequences, but so do choices. A choice you make every day has consequences and you know what, I’ve always put my employees first, but unfortunately today I have to put me and my family first, and you watch what’s gonna happen. I’m just one guy with 114 employees — well was 114 employees — watch what happens in the next six months. The Dow alone lost 314 points today. There’s a tsunami coming and if you didn’t think this election had consequences, just wait.”