Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Rise of Newt

The Republican primaries has been a constant shift in power. Those whose campaigns were one surging such as Rick Perry, Hermain Cain, and Michele Bachmann are now just struggling to keep their heads above water. The only potential candidate who is a realistic victor for the party's nominee who has run a consistent strong campaign has been Mitt Romney. With the departure of Herman Cain it would seem that Romney would now be a shoe-in for the Republican nomination. Once again, this race has taken an unexpected turn and the race is still very much up for grabs. 

Seasoned Republican Newt Gingrich who has held numerous political offices such as being the speaker of the House of Representatives, over the course of many decades and has appeared on Fox News countless times is beginning to emerge as Romney's biggest competition in the race. Back in late September, Gingrich finished sixth out of eight in the Florida Straw Poll with only 8.4% of the vote. Only John Huntsman and Michele Bachmann trailed him. It seemed as if the 68-year-old Gingrich time had passed many years ago and that his chances of representing the Republican Party in the 2012 election were slim to none. But with Cain's departure from the race, Gingrich has been given a window of opportunity that many people thought was close to impossible for him to ever obtain. The latest Des Moines Register Poll reveals that the former House Speaker has won the support of 25% of the 401 probable Republican caucus-goers. This marks a huge change from his 7% that he claimed back in October. Gingrich is very confident about his chances of winning the nomination as well. Last week he told ABC news that "It's very hard to not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high that I'm going to be the nominee."

Unlike Cain, some of Gingrich's decisions years ago are proving to benefit him in the long-run. Gingrich and Cain have a relationship that goes back to his days at the Speaker of the House in which he appointed Cain to the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform Commission over a decade ago in 1996. One of Cain's top advisers says that he will endorse one of his ex-rivals before the January 3rd caucus', and that person will most likely be Gingrich. This endorsement would give Gingrich's campaign very strong momentum due to the large amount of news coverage it would result in.

However, his recent surge does not mean that Gingrich has just had the nomination handed to him on a silver platter. Although some polls show that many Republicans are distrustful of the front runner Mitt Romney due to his tendency to flip-flop and his left-leaning positions on health care insurance and abortion, opinion polls consistently show that Romney has a far better chance of beating Obama in the election that matters: Obama leads Romney by only two percent while he leads Gingrich by 12%. It is also plausible that his past might turn out to haunt him as well due to his vulnerability to being criticized as being a Washington insider during his Congressional days as well as taking money as a political consultant for big businesses. He also might suffer the same fate as his likely biggest future endorsement Cain did due to his inability to be faithful man in two of his three marriages. Opponents such as Ron Paul who has a very strong base although a long-shot for the nomination as well as Michele Bachmann have voiced their criticism towards him in the past. Despite this adversity, Gingrich is Romney's biggest competition.

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The Cain Train Is Oficially Derailed

The race for the Republican Party's nomination has been an intriguing, suspenseful, and controversial battle thus far. Candidates who have entered the race from the starting point that were seen to have no shot in being a contender at all have surged in the polls. Former front runners have have had devastating demises such as Rick Perry once it was uncovered that his hunting ranch in rural Texas had a rock in front of the entrance with a racial slur spray-painted on it. Current candidates such as Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are trying to accomplish what they have tried and failed to do throughout their career, while others such as Herman Cain are just trying to establish their presence in the political arena.
This week, one of the candidates, Herman Cain, who was at one point in the race seen as a child among adults as well as a serious contender for the nomination has suspended his campaign. As a black man in the "white man's party" with minimal political experience, it was very hard for him to be taken seriously at first. However, at a time when out economy is in shambles, his resume that has business triumphs in his time as the CEO of Godfather's Pizza Company influenced many to believe that he is capable returning our economy to its former prosperity. At the end of the third quarter, his campaign had $1.3 million on hand and $675,000 in debts. However, his catchy 9-9-9 plan plan fueled the once overwhelming amount of enthusiasm that thousands of staunch Republicans  from across the nation once had for his campaign. As a result, his campaign reported in November that they had raised over $9 million in just six weeks.

However, he has been proven to a magnet to controversy and over the course of many debates he has had trouble keeping his big mouth shut. Over the past month, it has been revealed that Cain has a self-destructive Achilles Heel which has led his past to haunt him and sabotage his campaign: women. It has been brought to the public's attention that four women have accused Cain engaging in inappropriate sexual advances and two of them have come forward. Although the validity of these accusations is still questionable, the fact of the matter is that four different women have accused him of the same crime. Whether or not these accusations are true, many would agree that it is unlikely that Cain has remained faithful to his wife throughout their marriage. This week, it seems to have become very clear that Cain most likely has fooled around behind his wife's back. It has been leaked to the public that Cain had a 13-year affair with a single mother from Georgia named Ginger White. She had her first television interview on this issue with ABC's George Stephanopolous in which she described the affair as being "very casual." Unlike his other accusers, White can walk-the-walk as well as talk-the-talk. She has shown to numerous reported and authority figured her phone bill which includes over 60 texts and calls from Cain over the past four months. As a result, the inference man by many of his former supporters seems to be obvious: we do not want another Lewinsky-type scandal in the White House!
This week Cain officially suspended  his campaign and he blamed the media for putting a negative spin on his campaign. Although they did without a doubt played a role in his demise, he still put himself in vulnerable positions years ago whether or not these allegations are true or not. Also, he still made insensitive remarks in regards to immigration and abortion. In other words, Cain crossed the line which is something the media is not responsible for but is responsible for exploiting it. However, Cain has left his mark on the race. As his former opponent Michele Bachman said, "he brought a really important, exciting, energetic voice to the race, and I think a lot of people are going to be very sorry to see him go."
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Down to the Wire

Evan Tracy who is the CEO and founder of the Campaign Media Analysis Group explains exactly what his company does. He talks about how last-minute campaigns are becoming more common. He also explains that the common theme in these last-minute campaign as outlines in an article by the Wall Street Journal is that they go for the jugular.

Attack of the Ads

Bill Adair is the editor of the website; which rates whether or not an elected official has kept their promises or not as well as whether or not what a politician or ad says is true or not by a "truth o' meeter." In this video, Adair is asked how he rated the validity of the ads thats were for the race for the Florida Senate between Marco Rubio and Charlie Frist.

Perry's Woes Continue

Throughout the majority of August and September, Texas Governor Rick Perry was a serious contender in the race for the Republican Party's nomination for the 2012 election. According to a Rasmussen Poll conducted back in August, Perry was the frontrunner with 29 % of the vote. At the end of the third quarter, Perry lead all of his opponents in the total amount of money raised in the quarter with $17,168,589 raised and had $15,078,415 on hand to go with it. But once the quarter ended Perry found himself heading in a downward spiral that seems to not have an end. The spark was ignited as I wrote about in earlier entries, when it was leaked to the public that outside his hunting ranch in rural Texas there was a rock that had the word "Ni****head" spray-painted on it. From that moment on, Perry has seemed to be self-destructing. He has conducted himself poorly in numerous debates by saying things that made others perceive him as inarticulate and ignorant.

Today, Perry no longer has that commanding lead in the polls that he once did at the end of summer. Instead, his campaign is in shambles and his chances of winning the nomination are slim to none. He has been forced to take drastic and rather desperate measures to help salvage his campaign and to maintain the support that he still has. Recently, Perry invited House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to a debate to most likely prove that he has the brains to be the next Republican Party's nominee for president. Pelosi declined his offer, but could not resist to have some fun along the way. According to an article from that was written by Xuan Thai, when Pelosi was asked why declined Perry's offer she said: "It is my understanding that such a letter has come in. Monday I'm going to be in Portland in the morning and I'm going to be visiting some of our labs in the afternoon, that's two, I can't remember what the third thing is I'm going to be doing."This is a reference that was made to mock Perry when he could not remember the third government agency that he said he would shutdown in a recent debate. It seems like Perry has unfortunately for himself been labeled as the clown of the race who nobody seems to take seriously anymore. What makes this so bad for Perry is that the House Minority Leader insulted his intelligence as opposed to mocking his ideologies. This would never happen to Mitt Romney who will most likely win the nomination when all is said and done.

There are growing concerns in his campaign as well. Perry and his campaign manager Rob Johnson spent several days in New Hampshire last week since he has not campaigned this much in this particular state. In fact, on Wednesday a Bloomberg Poll showed that Perry only has 3% of the support from probable voters in New Hampshire. On Monday they attended a meet-and-greet at the Portsmouth's 100 club; in which one attendee described it as being an "Apology Tour." However, two Perry supporters Pam Tucker and Sean Mahoney did not voice any concerns about this so-called "Apology Tour." Despite this there is no question that Perry needs to do more than this if he hopes to win the nomination let alone be the next president of our country.

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Hoop Dreams

Barrack Obama needs all the help and support that he can possibly get on his journey to of winning the election that is around one year away. Much of the hope that carried Obama in his victory over John McCain in 2008 has evaporated into thin air. In other words, many Americans believe that Obama has fallen short on several of the promises he made in his previous campaign. Promises that our President has broken include: increasing the dividends taxes for higher-income taxpayers, expand the child and dependent care credit, repeal the Bush tax cuts, sign the Employee Free Choice Act, and many more. But above all our nation is grieving about our economy that is in shambles. In regards to how Americans think Obama is handling our economy, only 26% of Americans believe that he is handling our economy well according to a Gallup Poll conducted in August. Also, a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports reveals that just 23% of our population strongly agrees with the way that Obama is handling out government and 38% strongly agrees of what he has done since he has been in office. As a result of the economy, the unemployment rate is at 9.1% are the notorious Occupy Wall Street Movement has reached new heights as seen through the protests that took place week. 

Clearly, Obama is in much need of support if he hopes to re-claim his throne in the upcoming election. Not surprisingly, Obama is once again seeking unorthodox methods to build support for his 2012 campaign. Obama is not adhering to the traditional approach to gain support and raise my by sucking up to interest groups to seek potential donors. Instead, he is heading to the courts. No I do not mean a court of law, I mean a basketball court. 

Our presidents love for the game of basketball has been documented over the past four years in a subtle manner. In the wake of the NBA lockout, the only chance that fans might get to say their favorite players on the court this year is in the "First Ever Obama Classic." The "Obama Classic" is set to take place an a to be determined venue in Washington D.C. on December 12; which is three days before the first possible NBA game will be played if the lockout comes to an end. Tickets that will be purchased to see the "Obama Classic" will go directly to his re-election campaign. This event has already attracted some of the NBA's biggest stars to participate in it including Ray Allen, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin, and Dwight Howard. Former Knick Patrick Ewing is also on board to participate and Cheryl Miller and Tina Thompson of the WNBA are set to be in the "Obama Classic" as well. The Obama campaign also claims that several more players will be in the "Obama Classic" too. Ticket prices vary for this event. There is a limited number of $100 tickets that are reserved for "Gen44" (younger supporters) donors. General admission tickets are priced at $200, premium seats go for $5,000 dollars.

Can the "Obama Classic" have a positive effect on his re-election campaign? Aside from the fact that it does bring in money, it does help him maintain his hip and empathetic image that was a piece to the puzzle that lead him to winning the election in 2008. Also, the sports industry has been known to be predominately right-wing. Although I do believe that this can have some positive effect on his bid for re-election, it will be very minimal at best. He is going to have to do a lot more than just the "Obama Classic" if he hopes to serve a second term in office. 

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bush vs. Kerry

The 2004 election between George Bush and John Kerry occurred at a time of great uncertainty. We were in the midst of the War in Iraq and many people no longer had the feelings that they had about it when it was first waged. As a result, the first question that was asked in the debate was: Will our children ever live in a safe and secure world? Kerry answered the question by being able to improve a better job of ensuring a good level of national security than Bush did. He said that he would do whatever possible to capture the terrorists. Bush responded by saying that we must stay the course in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He highlighted what he thought were triumphs in his War on Terror.