Saturday, October 29, 2011

It Seems Like the "Top-Tier" Has Changed

In one of my first blogs, I posted about how according to various media sources there seemed to be a "top-tier" of candidates in the race for the Republican nomination. The former "top-tier" consisted of Michele Backmann, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry. However, this is far from being the case when one looks at the race now. The race is currently a neck-to-neck battle between the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain and the business oriented Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. Cain and his catchy 9-9-9 plan have contributed to his rise in the polls, as I have discussed in previous blog entries. Romney continues to maintain his powerful force in the race through his strong debates and credentials from both a business and political standpoint. The Iowa Poll has recently shown that Cain has a very narrow lead over Romney with 23% while the Governor from Massachusetts has 22%. According to a survey conducted by CNN, 25% of Arizona Republicans claim that if the primary was held today. Like in the Iowa Poll, Romney only trails him by just one percent. As for the former members of the "top-tier", they are just hanging on by a thread. What could have led to their demise?

The reasons for Perry's fall are obvious in many ways. As I have discussed previously, the about the sign titles "n*****head" in front of his family's Texas ranch makes the task of marketing himself to be the nations next president close to impossible. Also, during last weeks debate in Las Vegas Perry clearly does not have adequate debating skills. He took a jab at Mitt Romney and it completely backfired on him. Instead of fulfilling his objective which was too make Mitt Romney look like a hypocrite, Romney turned his argument on him and made Perry look like a fool. In fact, Perry has even admitted that he regrets participating in the debates. When he has answered questions regarding his inadequate performance in the debates, he has claimed that America is looking for the "slickest" candidate, which has proven to be Mitt Romney. He has also acted on impulse during his campaign. Perry has claimed that those who oppose his views on immigration as "having no hearts." Clearly, the main reason why Perry has dropped in the polls is because he fails to meet the criteria for holding himself in a certain decorum that is expected of candidates who are running for office.

As for Bachmann, the hands that have fed her in the past are now withdrawing their support for her. Bachmann has been the Tea Party's favorite candidate, and now the Tea Party is urging her to withdraw from the race. Ned Ryun, president of the well-known Tea Party group called American Majority has said that "It's time for Michele Bachmann to go." Many people in this group are questioning her motives for running in the first place. American Majority Director Matt Robbins claims that "I think it's pretty obvious that Michele Bachmann is about Michele Bachmann." In other words, it seems like she is running to promote herself. Although her support from the Tea Party has led to her victory in the Iowa Star Poll, it seems like people are starting to see through her act which could very well be the source for her lack of support.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Rubio Out?

The Vice President has always been over-looked in American history. However, it is very detrimental for the lead candidate in a nomination to choose their running-mate wisely. In the past, hit-or-miss nominees for the most part have usually resulted in a loss in the race for President. For example, in the 2008 election, Senator John McCain took a gamble and chose Sarah Palin who has been a magnet for drama; while Barrack Obama chose the wise and experienced Joe Biden to be the Vice Presidential nominee to compensate for his age and lack of experience. As we all know, Obama came away with the victory and McCain's gamble did not pay off.

Therefore, it is crucial for the to be determined Republican nominee in 2012 to choose the most qualified and conventional running-mate. Currently, the name that comes to mind when asked about who the Republican nominee for Vice President will be is Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Ever since Rubio won his seat in the Senate almost a year ago, he has been a plausible candidate for the nomination. On the surface he seems like a can't-miss candidate. Rubio's Cuban heritage can salvage the Republican Party's standing within the Latino community since they are usually strict on illegal immigration. Not only do some perceive him as the solution to the Republican's lack of Latino support which manifested itself when Obama won more than two-thirds of their votes in 2008, he gives them a leg up in winning his home state of Florida where twenty-nine votes are at stake. Add this with his conservative values and charismatic personality, it seems like he would be the backbone of any of the candidates for the Republican nominees future presidential campaign.

However, this picture is not nearly as perfect as it seems to be. In fact, it is unlikely that Rubio will be chosen to be the Republican Party's nominee for Vice President. Rubio would be faced with the same dilemma that was Obama was confronted with in 2008: his age and lack of experience. If Rubio becomes America's Vice President in 2012, he would be the youngest Vice President since John Breckinridge who served from 1857-1861. Although he is of Latino decent, his stance on immigration could ironically prevent him from gaining support with our nations Hispanic population. According to the president of the pro-Democratic group NDN Simon Rosenberg, "Despite being Hispanic, looking at his (Rubio's) overall record...he seems remarkably ill-suited to be the one reaching out to the largely Mexican migrant community in the key battleground states."

The main reason Rubio would be a highly risky move with a high risk of failure on the ticket is because he has been caught for lying several times about who he really is. Rubio has claimed to be the son of Cuban exiles from Fidel Castro's reign over that nation. This in part has been his claim to fame and a source of information for many. Unfortunately for Rubio, he has been exposed as a fraud in this regard. It has been revealed that Rubio's parents came to America two and a half years later than he has said. Therefore, it is likely to infer that he made this story up to boost the public's perception of him, gain support, and be a source of admiration. The video below is a segment from the Chris Matthews Show which digs deeper into this story:

The true irony here is that Rubio does not even want to run for Vice President. When asked about why he does not want to be the Vice President at this point of time he said, "I want to be a Senator, and I want to be a senator from Florida. I think in the United States Senate I can have a major impact on these major issues that we're facing." Although it does not seem like he will run this time around, I have a feeling once all of this is cleared up and he has some more experience under his belt, he will become a very powerful force for the Republican Party.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

9-9-9 Debunked

Nobody would have guessed a year ago from today that former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain would be trailing frontrunner Mitt Romney in the polls by only three percent. Much of the enthusiasm and support that has contributed to his surge in his polls is his catchy 9-9-9 plan. The 9-9-9 plan would implement a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent sales tax, and a 9 percent business tax. The majority of tax credits as well as deductions and exemptions, the payroll tax, estate, and gift taxed would be eliminated under this plan. Cain and members of his campaign have said that the only exemptions on the income tax will be for charitable deductions as well as for undefined "empowerment" zones whose objective is to promote development in struggling inner-cities. At first, many people thought that this would revive our economy and trusted Cain to use his business experience to lead the way to economic prosperity.

However, people are now starting to look past this cant-miss slogan and are seeing the 9-9-9 plan for what it really is. Unlike the comments regarding his plan a month ago, the 9-9-9 plan is receiving much more criticism than appraisal. According to Jeanne Sahadi's article from, a whopping 84% of U.S. households would pay more money under Cain's proposed tax policies, than they do under our current tax system. Households that make $30,000 or less would lose between 16% to 20% less in after-tax income than they do today. On the other hand, this plan would produce great benefits for those who make are fortunate enough to make seven figures. If implemented, the 9-9-9 plan would be highly beneficial for those who make $1 million or more annually with an average tax cut of $487,300.

As a result to the obvious favorability that this plan has for our nations most financially stable, many people are now raising awareness of unfair subject matter that the 9-9-9 plan really contains. However, the criticism of this plan is not only heard by those on the left of the spectrum. Several prominent members of the conservative movement have began to speak out against this plan claiming that it would be awful for our nation in this time of an economic recession. During this weeks debate in Las Vegas, Cain's opponents for the nomination wasted no time in attacking him through criticism of this plan that has been the main source of his success.   (video cannot be embedded)

Defending the plan that put him on the map has not been an easy task for Cain. As seen in the link provided above, his opponents have found the vulnerabilities that are embedded in the plan and waste no time in exposing them. When Cain has been asked about the evident flaws of his plan like Anderson Cooper did in the debate Tuesday, he claims that they are simply not true. However, that is hard to say since the implementation of this plan would be like pulling the carpet beneath the feet of lower-income household since they would now have to pay a federal income tax, which is something that they are exempt from doing under the current tax system. Clearly, Cain will have to find a better way to rebuttal these questions if he expects to hold his place in the polls, let alone move ahead of the frontrunner Mitt Romney.

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Lesson of the Week: Think Before You Speak

Every candidate in a political race of any form must remember to think carefully of what they say. This is particularly very hard to do in political parties because one must remember that what might be good for their pursuits of the primary, might be what ruins their chances in the general election. In other words, often times a candidate's efforts to win their party's approval over during the primaries has the potential to backfire on them once they win their parties nomination and are running for president because now they have to appeal to everyone across the political spectrum. Therefore, what might appeal to their political party might not appeal to the general public.

In this years Republican Primaries, there have been plenty of mistakes made by numerous candidates that might result in one winning the primary, but might make Obama's road to re-election a little easier. Three of the strongest candidates have said things that will likely result in a lack of support from the growing Latino community. Rick Perry whose past as we know has contributed to his loss of public support, brought up a story about Romney that was leaked to the press in 2006. In this story, Romney was said to had unknowingly hired undocumented workers to mow his lawn. When he realized that they did not hold green cards, he went to the company and said "I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals." Herman Cain who has been surging in the polls to many people's surprise has also made remarks that most likely creates tension between him and the Latino community. Cain said which he later referred to as a joke that if he were elected he would put an electrified fence with barbed wire on the U.S.-Mexico border that would kill people if they tried to come across. Michele Bachmann has also acknowledged that she would build a double fence to make it harder for people to illegally cross the border. In this time of economic dismay, she has made this issue number one on her priority list and has been subject to accusations of racism.

Hispanics are America's fastest growing minority group in America, who accounted for 47% of both Texas and California's population in 2009. Between both of these states, there are 89 electoral votes to be won. Although it is a norm in the Republican Party to take a hard stance on illegal immigration, controversial comments such as the ones that were recently made can possibly come back to haunt them once they are up against Barrack Obama, who gained 67% of the Latino vote in 2008. Another slip up on this issue by not just these three candidates, during the last Republican debate in Las Vegas, not one of the candidates mentioned that illegal immigration has a much wider spectrum than those who cross the  Mexican border into our country. These comments have made Obama's seemingly uphill battle towards re-election look a little less steep. Most likely, one of these three candidates will wind up winning the Republican nomination, and it will be very hard for any of them to salvage their reputation within the Latino community after their remarks.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Response to Journeys with George

George W. Bush's two term as president, has been one of the most controversial and criticized presidencies in U.S. history. Many people consider him to be the worst and least intelligent president ever, and some go as far to say that he along with his administration are behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Due to this, many people including myself are not only amazed that he was able to be elected to not just one but two terms in office, but how he even got there in the first place. Alexandra Pelosi's documentary Journeys with George, provides behind the scenes coverage of his 2000 campaign trail while he was in the midst of the Republican primaries.

I thought it was very interesting that this documentary was shot through the eyes and perceptions of not only a registered Democrat, but the daughter of Nancy Pelosi who is a renowned figure of the Democratic Party. Despite her loyalty to the opposing party, Pelosi was able to put her bias aside and never displayed nor promoted her political ideologies in the film other than mentioning the fact that she is a registered Democrat. However, that is not to say that she never gave the former president a run for his money. There are numerous scenes in which she pushes Bush's buttons such as the scene towards the end of the documentary when she asks him why she should vote for him.

Pelosi provides viewers with an insight as to what went occurred on the campaign bus. Behind the scenes, Bush was cracking jokes and having a good time as a way to cope with the stresses of running for office and was always the life of the party. She interviewed those who advised Bush throughout his campaign in 2000 such as Karl Rove, and displayed that his behaviors and actions were under the guidance of many people. Another thing that was depicted was the toll that traveling on a campaign took on both her and her fellow journalists who were covering Bush's trail. It was revealed that the chaos and tediousness of life on the Bush campaign trail took a draining toll on Pelosi and the other journalists who at times were struggling to preserve their sanity.

Journey's with George also uncovers the tactics led him to win the Republican nomination for president. Bush's advisors were well aware of both his strengths and weaknesses. They as well as some of the public were aware that Bush does not do the best job of conveying that he is the most intellectual person out of the other candidates. However, they knew that his biggest strength was his ability to light up a room through his sense of humor and personable nature. Therefore, they played from this strength and used the former presidents ability to charm as a means to get votes as their main tactic. In one portion of the film, one of his advisors states that he is an amazing hand shaker. Also, Pelosi asked a supporter of his before one of his campaign rallies what they like about Bush's policies and message. The supporter responded that he just liked him.

In the end, I really enjoyed watching this film because it showed what it is like to be on a campaign and was humorous at times. Pelosi also did a great job of showing that Bush basically won the nation by making the race into a popularity contest. Although Bush was not the most articulate speaker of the candidates that year, he was the one that the average Joe would choose to have a beer with and that ultimately lead to victory in both the Republican primaries and the 2000 presidential election.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Rise of Romney

In 2008, Mitt Romney finished third in the Republican primaries behind John McCain and Mike Huckabee with 8.6% of the vote. This time around, things are looking good for Romney. A poll conducted by CNN reveals that Romney is in the lead with 23%. Trailing him is business guru turned politician Herman Cain with 20% of the vote, and Texas Governor Rick Perry who holds 14%. His campaign reports that they have raised $32 million so far. However, this is not what is truly impressive. In the third quarter Romney has raised a total of $14.16 million with the help of from around 56,000 contributors. It seems like the Governor from Massachusetts has stepped his game up another a level or two since the last time he ran for the nomination two years ago. But what has he done differently this time?

After reading these statistics, it is clear that his mistakes in 2008 have taught what not to do in his current bid for the nomination. According Erin McPike and Carl M. Cannon of in their article titled Romney Applies Lessons of 2008 to 2012 Run, "He pissed everybody off by being elite, borrowing heavily form others' ideas, and attacking every other campaign on TV or in debates. There's been none of that this time." Four years ago, Romney went out of his way to charm the press and catered to their wants by making himself available. Today his actions show that he is done being nice to reporters and has no problems giving them the cold shoulder. Former Romney aids joke about their strategy to invest money into the straw poles, which made his 2008 campaign seem strong when he won the Iowa straw pole. However, this meant nothing because he didn't win the Iowa caucus that year. As a result, he places little importance on the straw poles. He also no longer invests in expensive TV ads and has turned to less expensive web videos to draw support. In his last campaign, Romney went fishing for votes from grass-roots conservative crowd by making immigration his most important issue . Currently,  he is looking to appeal to the entire political spectrum by placing job creation at the top of his priority list.

Another thing that has resulted in his success is the current state of  our nation. In 2008, American was drained for the chaos induced from the Bush administration and craved change. Romney's business background most likely put him at a disadvantage because at this time many American's saw advocates of big business' as a source of our nation's grievances, and in particular the economy. However, four years later Romney's business experience now puts him at an advantage because many adhere to the notion that a business minded person as president would lead to our economy getting back on track. New Jersey Governer Chris Christie who had thoughts of running for the nomination has said that "Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead America and we need him now."

However, this does not mean Romney is a shoe-in for the Republican nomination. His Mormon background will make it harder for him to obtain the votes from the Republican Party's influential Born-Again Christian crowd. Also, the belief that America needs a business minded person as our president has proven to be a double-edged sword for him because Herman Cain is his biggest competition. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza is breathing down his neck in the polls since he is trailing him by only 3%. Although Rick Perry's past and stumbles in debates has reduced his electability, it has given a surge to Cain's campaign and made his 9-9-9 plan look more appealing. On the flip side, his lack of political experience seems to give Romney the edge. Hopefully for Romney's sake, his political experience will prevent Cain from putting a halt to his increasing support.

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Democratic National Convention 2008

This video of from the Democratic National Convention in 2008, in which our current President Barrack Obama formally accepts his nomination for president of the United States. He tells his audience what is wrong with our nation and that many people are suffering as a result of the failed policies of the Bush administration. He also makes claims of how John McCain would be a bad president because he would be a continuation of the Bush administration. In the end, this video displays what a great speaker our president is and how his charisma lead him towards a victory in this election.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Democratic National Convention 2004

In this excerpt from the 2004 Democratic National Convention, former Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry tells his audience what his plans are for the nation if he is to be elected president. He talks about what was wrong with American during this time period, and how he would turn our country around. This excerpt ends with Kerry announcing that he accepts the Democratic Party's nomination for president.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Democratic National Convention 2000

This convention is mostly remembered for when Al Gore stepped on stage and shocked the nation with his public display of affection towards his wife Tipper. The most important part of this convention was how he presented his agenda to the public after he formally accepted the nomination. He planned to work towards universal healthcare, better education, improving social security, to address campaign finance, and find cures to incurable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cancer. It's ironic that these issues he addressed over a decade ago still need to be improved. Who knows, maybe if he was elected instead of George W. Bush these would not be problems that are facing our nation today?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Socialist Party in 2004

It looks like in our laissez-faire style of government, the Socialist Party still has a place on our ballot. In 2004, Walt Brown ran for president under the Socialist Party. In this excerpt he talks about his plans if he were to be elected president, which he obviously was not. He talks about issues that were facing the nation at this time, as well as his ideologies for how a government should be run.

Howard Phillips in 2000

In the controversial 2000 election, many Gore supporters blamed Ralph Nader for running in the first place because he stole votes from Gore. During this year, Constitutional Party nominee Howard Phillips points the blame towards the Republican, Democrat, and Republican Parties for accepting Federal money in pursuit of their parties victory. He claims that this is a crime against the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and fights for his party to get on state ballots.

The Green Party in 2008

Although Third Parties never win the election, they do play a role in the election process. Third Parties have the ability to alter the outcome of a close election because they can gain votes that would have gone to one of the two main parties. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney ran as a member of the Green Party. She explains her objectives as well that of her parties.

Was this Inevitable?

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been one of the leading forces in the fight for the Republican nomination for the 2012 Presidential election. Perry hit the ground running and raised more money than any of his fellow GOP rivals in the first sex weeks of his campaign. In the first fundraising quarter that ended in September, his campaign claims that he raised at least 17 million dollars, with contributions coming from more than 22,000 donors across the nation. At a time when many Americans are looking for work, Perry provided hope from taking credit for his successes in creating jobs in his home state. According to website, 40 percent of all new jobs in America have been created in his home state of Texas. What could've possible gone wrong?

Perry was struck with a blow this week which might not only destroy his bid for the nomination, but his credibility as a whole. It has been revealed that in the early years of his political career Perry hosted numerous meeting with his fellow lawmakers, friends, and supporters at his family's hunting camp in West Texas. At its gated entrance, there is a sign that reads "N***erhead." How could anyone possibly defend that? This is much harder than defending having the middle name Hussein like President Obama had to do in 2008. Not only will this make his chances for the nomination more slim, it will haunt him for the rest of his career and life. However, in regards to the race for the Republican nomination, this might be the tip of the iceberg for Perry's probable demise.

It was not like all was well for Perry prior to this fact that was made public. Since the first quarter ended, Perry's campaign began to show signs of vulnerability. According to Ed Kilgore, a correspondent of the New Republic, "There is abundant evidence that Perry's problem is less a matter of style and substance, and more of a matter of ideology than electability." In early September, Perry had a 3-to-1 advantage over any candidate who strongly supports the Tea Party. However, at the end of the month he only reported having only 10 percent of this groups consent.

Perry's loss of support stems from issues in which  do not correlate with the Republic norm. The one that really stick out is his stance on immigration. In a party that cares deeply about whether or not the candidates agree with them on their issues, Perry goes against the norm and believes that children of illegal immigrants should have reduced college tuition. According to a poll conducted by CNN, 86% of Republicans disapprove of Perry's stance on this issue. In response to his critics, he claimed that they "have no hearts." Now the same thing could be said about him.

As a result of Perry's downward trajectory, Herman Cain has been surging in the polls. Cain defeated Perry and all the other candidates in the Florida straw poll in which Perry admits he did not perform his best. Many believe that Perry came across as being inarticulate in this debate. Even though it may seem like the sign is what sealed his fate, it most likely would've happened slowly over a longer period of time. However, he is not out of the race yet. He is not the only one of the candidates who disagrees with the majority on a particular issue. Who knows, something can pop up from one of his opponents past and negatively impact their support as well.


Is There Another Underdog Triumph in the Making?

In 2008, our nation witnessed one of the greatest stories ever when Barrack Obama won both the Democratic nomination and the Presidential election. He did this despite his age, race, lack of qualifications and experience, and disputes over his ironic middle name Hussein. Minus age and an unusual middle name, Herman Cain might have a chance to come out of nowhere and win the Republican Nomination. What once seemed to be a neck and neck battle between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry is no longer the according to CNN latest polls that have Romney with the support of 20% of likely Republican primary voters, Cain with 17%, and Perry with 15%. Also, Cain shocked the nation when he won the Florida straw pole.

However, defying the odds is what Cain has always done. Nobody would have thought that someone born to working class parents in Atlanta would become one of this centuries most intriguing Renaissance Man so far. His journey to his current battle for the nomination is strikingly different from his opponents. Cain has a Master's degree in computer science and worked in the field but he was not satisfied. He decided to enter the business world and started from the bottom, flipping burgers at Burger King. After a few years, he became the CEO of the struggling God Father's Pizza Company and turned it around. However, Cain's biggest triumph was his victorious battle over colon cancer in which he was given a 13% chance of survival. 

Can he beat the odds yet again? Unlike most of his opponents, Cain is a straight talker which is a double-edged sword. During this time of economic turmoil our country needs someone to tell it like it is but some people just have a hard time hearing the truth. In the midst if the Occupy Wall Street movement, Cain tells people not to blame Wall Street for their misfortunes. Instead he bluntly stated: "Don't blame big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself." His plan for reviving our economy is also unconventional. His 9-9-9 plan has the objective of completely transforming our tax code. The system would be replaced with a 9 percent corporate tax, 9 percent personal income tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. He claims that his number 9 plan would positively transform our economy because it promotes growth, as well as it would "free taxpayers from a complicates tax code that has become the 21st Century's version of slavery." He also been critical of President Obama. His most powerful argument plays off of his battle with cancer because he claims that if he had gotten sick during Obamacare, he would've died.

It looks like Cain's resume as a businessman is behind a lot of his success. But since business and the economy is not the only issue of concern, he still has a long way to go if he is to win the nomination. Although his number 9 plan gives many people hope, it leaves many skeptical as well. How many Americans will go after the idea of a national sales tax? Also, many believe that due to his lack of experience in politics, he is very far from being qualified to handle measures regarding foreign policy. If Cain were to win this nomination, it might mark a new trend in the political world as a whole. Our struggling economy has led the voters to respect politicians who have experience in business. If Cain pulls this off, it is reasonable to assume that we will see many former business men turned politicians in the future.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Videos of the Week (Part 3)

Back in 2009, attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense fund Debo Adegbile answers questions about the case, Northwest Austin Municipality Utility District No.1 v. Holder. Although the Voting Rights Act of 1965 banned racial discrimination in regards to voting, there are still loopholes in the system according to Adegbile. Adegbile claims that although this act did produce progress, it does not solve this issue completely. In this video, he talks about how racial discrimination in voting is still prominent today.

Videos of the Week (Part 2)

The disaster of the 2000 election marked the beginning of new voting equipment, and the end of the equipments that resulted in the outcome of the infamous 2000 election. As seen in the sheet displayed in the earlier portion of this excerpt, unlike in 2000, punch cards, the DataVote system, and lever machines are no longer being used. On the other hand, the use of optical scans and electronic systems have dramatically increased. Lawrence Noden talks about despite these efforts, problems still have the possibility of occurring.

Videos of the Week (Part 1)

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, the American public is more divided in their political views more than ever and are more ideological in regards to their views. Also, there has been an increase in the number of independents and a decrease in the number of those who consider themselves moderates. On May 9th, Carroll Doherty explained while appearing on the Washington Journal that all of this is due to their rejection of party labels.

Obama and the Jewish Vote

According to Stephen J. Wayne in his book The Road to the White house 2012, America's Jewish community have remained incredibly loyal to the Democratic Party ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt's liberal domestic programs and anti-Nazi foreign policies in the 1930s. As Richard Baehr, chief political correspondent for the American Thinker wrote in his article The Jewish Vote in 2008 and the Exit Polls on November 11, 2008, Barrack Obama gained 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008 while his opponent John McCain only received 21% of it. In the midst of Obama's uphill battle towards reelection, one would assume that Obama would not have to worry much about maintaining his Jewish support due to this community's history of voting democratic. Unfortunately for President Obama, this is far from being the case.

The Jewish community's increasing lack of faith and support for President Barrack Obama manifests in the upset that took place in New York's 9th District which is home to many Jewish inhabitants. Due to former Anthony Wiener's appalling and rather disturbing sexual escapades, a House seat was left open upon his dismissal from office. The race was between state Assemblyman David Weprin (D) and businessman Bob Turner (R). Turner went on to win the seat from the help of two very unlikely sources: President Obama and former New York City Mayor Ed Koch (D). As Rachel Weiner wrote in the Washington Post, Obama's claim that Israel should return to its pre-1967 voters back in May of this year played a detrimental role in the outcome of this election. The victorious Turner implemented and exploited this claim in his campaign while Weprin did his best to disassociate himself from it. Former New York City mayor and life-long Democrat Ed Koch endorsed Turner out of spite for Obama. He claimed "that a victory by the Republican would be the best way for Democrats to send a message to the President."

Aside from this event, there are several other signs that indicate that President Obama is losing the support that he once had from America's Jewish community as outlined in Dan Senor's article in the Wall Street Journal Why Is Obama Losing the Jewish  Vote?:

  • Only 22% of Jewish voters approved of President Obama's handling of Israel.
  • A poll taken by McLaughlin & Associates reveals that out of those of Jewish decent who donated to Obama's 2008 campaign, only 64% of them have already donated or plan to donate for his 2012 campaign.
  • Over the course of his Presidency, Obama has urged Israeli leaders to engage in "self-reflection."
  • Lack of criticism towards Palestinian terrorism.
In an attempt to repair what is left of Obama's support from the Jewish community, Vice President Biden traveled to Boca Raton, Florida, to meet with fifteen rabbis, and will host a Rich Hashanah party at his home for prominent Jewish leaders according to Helene Cooper's article in the New York Times. During this meeting, Vice President Biden who has built strong ties with numerous Israeli politicians, acknowledged the errors that the Obama administration has had in regards to America's relationship with Israel. Will this be enough to salvage a once strong support base for Obama? Only time will tell.


What About Ron?

According to the many media sources, there is now a "top-tier" in the race for the Republican nomination in the hopes of defeating Barrack Obama in 2012. That "top-tier" consists of Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Rick Perry from Texas, and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. When it comes to the this primary, it seems as if Perry, Romney, and Bachmann are getting all of the media's attention. However, the media is ignoring one outspoken opponent who has flown under the radar in both this primary and the 2008 Republican Primary: Ron Paul of Texas. This may come as a surprise to many Americans, but in the Iowa Straw Pole, Paul finished behind Bachmann by less than a percent while leaving Perry and Romney in the dust at the same time. But how come most media sources are so reluctant to convey this to the American public? Is it because his experience as a medical doctor puts him at a disadvantage to Mitt Romney who is notorious for boasting about his experience in the private sector? Could it be that he isn't as young as Bachmann? Or maybe it could be that he doesn't speak with a thick Texas accent like his colleague Rick Perry does? CNN's long time correspondent Jack Cafferty has a better idea as to Ron Paul has become the Republican Party's Ralph Nader:

Although this may be just a tad over the top, Cafferty has the main idea. The primary reason as to why Ron Paul fails to get the media's attention is because he tells the American public what they need to hear. When you watch the "top-tier" candidates on TV, they are overly optimistic and assure the public that they are the answer to our nations problems. Paul on the other hand, speaks to his audience with caution and wastes no time in telling the public about where we have gone wrong in the past other than what Obama has done wrong. He also has no problem with telling what both our nation and our government are doing wrong:

Aside from his pessimistic attitude and his tendency to be blunt, there are other reasons as to why Paul is often ignored. Paul has been a staunch opponent of The War on Terror and the War in Iraq since they were first launched. On his website he states that "Instead of securing our borders, we've been planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression. Within a few short years, we turned Iraq into the world's breeding ground for terrorists." Another war that Paul goes against the Republican norm is his opposition to the much forgotten War on Drugs. While being interviewed by the New York Times in 2008, Paul stated that "The federal war on drugs has proven costly and ineffective, while creating terrible violent crime. But if you questions policy, you are accused of being pro-drug." On the other end, Paul's opponent Rick Perry open to the idea of sending American troops to Mexico to help battle drug cartels according to the Huffington Post.
Although Paul clearly does go against the Republican norm on these issues, how does it make him less conservative? How can one be viewed as not "conservative" enough when they support the elimination of both the income tax and IRS? I guess if you do not entirely fit the Republican mold and are honest about the state of our country, it is hard to both be recognized and be taken seriously from the media as well as fellow Republicans. As for Paul's chances of winning the nomination, it's a long shot. But who knows? After all, he was able to accumulate $36,739.79 in military donations which is way more than any other Republican nominee.