Welcome to this week’s Voice Votes, a feature in which we grade the week’s headlines — and poke fun at them. You can join the fun by suggesting your own #win, #fail and #meh candidates via Twitter. (Send tweets @nationaljournal). Need more space? E-mail suggestions to Readers@nationaljournal.com or leave us a comment on Facebook. We’ll publish the best suggestions in this space every week and credit the authors.
Here’s how we vote this week:
#Win on the United Mine Workers of America’s decision not to endorse either presidential candidate. In 2008, the union endorsed Barack Obama, but this time around, according to one union representative, “I don’t think, quite frankly, that coalfield folks are crazy about either candidate.” Soccer moms and NASCAR dads be warned, 2012 has become the year of the Coalfield Folks.
#Fail on Mitt Romney’s opposition to extending the wind-energy production tax credit, which has put him at odds with fellow Republicans in swing states such as Iowa and Colorado. This could be the Sister Souljah moment that pundits have been waiting to see. Except, those moments aren’t supposed to involve shooting yourself in the foot.
#Win on the prescience of lawmakers raising fresh concerns about plans to expand Internet domain names beyond the handful — such as .com and .gov — currently available. Because the .Santorum domain is not what you think it is.
#Meh on Obama’s latest star-studded fundraising gimmick aimed at encouraging small donors. The good news is that the winner of the contest gets to play ball with the president and Michael Jordan. The bad news is, it’s baseball.
#Fail on the fallout over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s insistence that he’s heard Romney went 10 years without paying income tax. Republican National Committe Chairman Reince Priebus somehow feels qualified to declare positively that Reid is a “dirty liar,” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., somehow feels qualified to declare that Reid is telling the truth. If a tree falls in the forest, and Romney claims it as a tax writeoff, and only Reid sees it fall ... oh, never mind.
#Meh on Sen. Rob Portman’s, R-Ohio, poultry impression. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a good impression, but with Newsweek calling Romney a “wimp” on its cover, the last thing he needs to do is to put a chicken on the ticket.
#Win on the announcement that multibillionaire and arch conservative David Koch, the man behind Americans for Prosperity, has been named an official Romney delegate at September’s Republican National Convention. Everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike, can agree that the party’s always more fun with Koch.
#Fail on the new, more austere tone being set this year for the usually lavish nominating conventions, and on the juggling act forced on planners by the host governors, who are unpopular but whose roles traditionally call for a speaking slot. So, less awesome parties and getting lectured by people no one likes? Just showing up to a convention this year should get you shortlisted for a Cabinet post.
#Win on Romney’s ability to keep his vice presidential choice close to the vest, telling Chuck Todd in an NBC interview, “I don’t think I have anything for you on the VP running mate.” When pressed, Romney did relent somewhat, saying. “OK, one more hint. I’m thinking of a state between Florida and Oregon. It has two senators …”