Anderson Cooper looks at President Obama's MTV interview and reports on his prospects with the youth vote in November.
Reporter's Note: President Obama remains in a very tight race with Mitt Romney, even though some Republicans seem intent on giving Democrats a hand. Just as I am intent on giving the president another letter…
Dear Mr. President,
If you’re not already thinking it, I think you should be thanking your lucky stars every day for the Republican Party. With no disparagement to your own considerable campaigning skills, there is a reasonable argument to be made that they handed you the last election, and if they lose this one it may also be substantially because of what they did wrong rather than what you’ve done right.
Again, I don’t mean to downplay how smartly you’ve chosen your issues, worked the battleground states, and made your case for re-election which is not an easy trick for any president when the economy is struggling. All I am saying is that from time to time Republicans have had a remarkable knack for swinging at you (tip of the hat to Tagg Romney,) and instead hitting themselves in the face.
It is mind-blowing how their candidates not once, but twice, have stepped into controversy with ill-considered remarks about rape and abortion. Forget for a moment what anyone believes about this issue of abortion rights; everyone is welcome to his or her opinion. I’m not talking about that. I’m just saying, when you are trying to get elected in this country these days there are certainly minefields around which one ought to tread very, very, very carefully.
You can state your opinion as a candidate, of course; indeed, you should. But what you say must be precise, leaving no room for people to misinterpret or take unintended offense. In short: Make sure what you say, is exactly what you mean. And don’t say it, if you don’t mean it. If you find yourself holding a press conference after a debate to explain again what you were trying to say, you already have a problem. Is that so hard to understand?
Democrats have a knack for kicking themselves as well with badly chosen statements now and then. It just seems that in this presidential cycle, the Republicans have turned that trick with more regularity.
So like I said, you ought to be thrilled. It may be fair or unfair for voters to judge a party over such missteps, but either way those moments rob your opponents of momentum, and hand advantage to you on a silver platter. Maybe you should send the RNC some cookies?
Hope you managed to get a little rest today. Busy weekend ahead, I’m sure. Call if you can, but I’ll understand if you can’t.
Connie Siskowski is helping young people who have to take care of an ill, disabled or aging family member.
Through her nonprofit, the American Association of Caregiving Youth, Siskowski has provided assistance to more than 550 child caregivers in Palm Beach County, Florida.
CNN asked Siskowski for her thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.
CNN: What was your reaction when you found out that you'd been selected as a top 10 CNN Hero?
Connie Siskowski: It was awesome. I was so excited. We've really been hoping that would happen.
This meaningful opportunity will help us reach even more children and families, and get more support for the kids. ... It means the possibility of raising more awareness and being able to achieve our ultimate goal that no child should have to drop out of school because of caregiving responsibilities.
Filed under: CNN Heroes
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