Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jon M. Hunstman Jr., who?


When I say huntsman, you say … cricket… We have heard a great deal about the leading Republican candidates like Perry, Romney, Bachmann, Gingrich, Cain, etc. (in no particular order) but we have not heard much about former Governor of Utah, Jon M. Huntsman Jr. Why exactly haven’t we heard of him? Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times gives us a simple answer: Money. Unfortunately for Mr. Huntsman, it takes a lot of money to keep up with this political process, all of which he doesn’t have. What he does have though is the drive to go door to door in seek of votes and this just in… some help from his billionaire industrialist father.

Rutenberg writes that we are beginning to see Huntsman in a newly released commercial which states “no one has shown up we can trust as conservative.” And then proceeds to answer with, “the presidential candidate they are searching for, is Jon M. Huntsman Jr. The commercial apparently isn’t being financed by Huntsman’s campaign but rather a group called Our Destiny PAC. Remember I discussed PAC’s in earlier posts? Well, if not, it’s still there so feel free to take a look!

Our Destiny PAC is a group that (financed by none other than his billionaire father) has most definitely given Huntsman a good pull up because he was beginning to flunk. This must be really hard for a man who had previously said that any credible campaign has to be able to raise its own money. Well Mr. Huntsman, what do you have to say about that now? I guess it is important that our candidates take a step back and refrain from some of the things they say. It is possible to speak TOO soon.

Rutenberg writes “Since the Our Destiny advertisements began running two weeks ago, officials at the PAC noted that the candidate’s poll numbers had crept up into the double digits. He remains far behind Mitt Romney, and now Newt Gingrich. But he seems to be picking up some support from voters abandoning Gov. Rick Perry and Herman Cain after their recent stumbles, and those who are now presumably seeking a new candidate given Mr. Cain’s campaign suspension.” Although this may be true, it is said that those close to Huntsman have said that he doesn’t want things to be handed to him as a result of his father’s wealth. That is most definitely respectable because ”when asked during an interview on Thursday night if he would call for more help from his father, Mr. Huntsman said: “We don’t operate that way. We’re all pretty pragmatic in my family. We might help a little, but the marketplace ultimately is the greatest judge of whether or not you’ve got the winning formula.”

It’s clear that Huntsman wants to take the election head on strictly based on his credentials, rather than money. “Mr. Huntsman said that for now he intended to continue with his almost exclusively face-to-face campaign here. His campaign reports that he has made 114 visits to town-hall-style meetings and house parties, where groups of two dozen or so Republicans, independents and sometimes even Democrats come to hear him speak. While others have been able to gain free publicity on cable news, Mr. Huntsman does not have the bombast or the poll numbers to draw the sort of media attention that others like Mr. Cain and Mr. Gingrich have received.” (Rutenberg).  

Mr. Huntsman specifically said, “While it may not manifest itself immediately in polls today, I think come Jan. 10, the work on the ground — and at least being recognized as the candidate willing to put in some sweat equity — will pay off,” Mr. Huntsman said. Although this could all be just a political show he’s putting on for us, I think there’s a great amount of integrity and willingness coming from this man. He’s not the ordinary candidate that’s strung up on money because he’s more interested in what’s important; the people.

“What his team did not expect was that they would be so cash-poor at this stage of the race. Part of the problem, people close to Mr. Huntsman said, is that as someone born to a rich father who raised him with a strict work ethic, putting his hand out for money from strangers — or even friends and friends of friends — has not come easily” (Rutenberg).

Although I don’t necessarily know too much about his stance on politics, what I DO know is that this man is doing what he can the best way he knows how. He is in a position that none of the other candidates are in and he seems to be doing well for himself. It says a lot about his character and commitment to his work. I’m really interested in seeing what’s to come out of this man, because something tells me he’s worth a shot (at least more than most of the other candidates).

Kajillion, WHAT?

So for some funny news, Cain appeared on national television giving a speech about his resignation… sorry, what I meant was suspension * (aka, it’s over) as a Republican presidential candidate and used the word “KAJILLION”. What he said was, “I didn’t fit the usual description of somebody that ought to be running for president. I had never held public office before. I didn’t have high name I.D., and I didn’t have a KAJILLION dollars.” Right, and he also doesn’t have what it takes to give a formal speech where the non-existent word “kajillion” is used. I just thought that was completely ridiculous and a bit disturbing because it’s national television.

I can imagine how the outside world perceives America after watching this man that was once a respected presidential candidate (for some). This “kajillion” ordeal was trending so much on my twitter newsfeed that I don’t think he’ll hear the end of it for a while. It’s about time that he back off because I’m also getting tired of talking about him and hearing other people or (myself) mistakenly refer to him as “McCain” instead of “Cain”… and then getting confused.

So let’s talk a little bit about Cain’s suspension of his campaign. It’s been quite obvious that his numbers in the polls have fallen drastically over the course of the last few months and Cain is no stranger to that. In fact, David Goldstein of The Nation of Change writes, “a new De Moines Register poll showed that Cain’s support in Iowa, where the first voting of the election season will take place Jan. 3, had dwindled to just 8 percent down from 23 percent a month ago, when he briefly led the pack.” On Saturday he stated,"I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family not because we are not fighters, not because I'm not a fighter.”

Goldstein writes, “His decision likely caused the party hierarchy to relax a little as well. Cain’s personal drama had become a distraction, drawing attention away from the rest of the GOP field. Many in the Republican establishment also never thought Cain was a serious candidate to begin with, despite his ability to draw up support. He had little in the way of ground organization in key early states, and his travel scheduled sometimes seemed to indicate more of an interest in selling his book than his candidacy.”

Although I do have to agree that yes, Cain’s allegations were a major distraction, I think that it was a positive thing for the other candidates. His allegations resulted in more positive perceptions of the rest of the candidates. At this point it had become, “anyone but Cain”. He’s pretty much gone now, so I guess we can get back to some REAL politics.

Cain’s last straw was the allegations made by Ginger White, about their alleged 13-year affair, in which she stated he even gave her money. Situations like this make me really question America’s politics. We take “political correctness” to the next level. IF (not saying he is) Cain were a serious politician with real potential to be our next leader, why should this frenzy on the media create such a huge wedge between the people and him? Those are very personal things that should be taken care of on a personal level between him and his family.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Campaign Ad Tactics
(sorry couldn't imbed. Fast link to the video)

We see 2 campaign ads here from back in 2008. John McCain and Barack Obama.

McCain makes you feel like it’s the end of the world and he’s ready to change everything around for us . His tone is very serene and calm in convincing way. “lets fight for America.” It’s almost a bit scary how much acting is taking place in this small clip as he tries to convince people that he’s the one that should be elected. It’s far too outdone.

On the other hand, Obama’s Campaign Ad shows McCains flaws and how he is “the same as Bush” with a voiceover going through minor facts that prove that point. Interesting, to say the least.

Campaign ads: Change

According to Julian Kanter the basic subject material of ads have changed. Beforehand when we first had television advertising, like during the Lyndon Johnson campaigns, they focused specifically on issues and candidates addressed issue positions but in 1964, all of that changed. They show clips from campaign ads dating back from 1950.

Campaign advertising: Ron Paul

Jonathan Martin from Politico, says that Ron paul has been, undoubtedly, one of the most consistent candidates,over all but he has also been trying to become more mainstream like the other candidates. Martin has many problems within his campaign and one of them is that unfortunately he has a ceiling an isn’t part of the parties main stream. Martin brings up the question of if this campaign had included Ran Paul (Ron Pauls son), instead of Ron Paul who is considerably older. Other things that make a huge difference in a candidates campaign is airtime and presence. Other candidates he states get move airtime on television because of the money behind them. During debates, we see that Ron Paul looks more tired than other candidates and that plays a big role as well.

Oh no, Mitt Romney

Apparently Mitt Romney is not as big of a hit as the polls show. On a news analysis written by Jeremy W. Peters of the New York Times, he writes, " THE WALL STREET JOURNAL editorial page, that irascible voice of high-minded conservatism, has taken a rather dim view of Mitt Romney. “It’s hard to discern any core beliefs beyond faith in his own managerial expertise,” it wrote in September.
The columnist George F. Will has disparaged Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, as a “recidivist reviser of his principles,” so uninspiring to his party that he might become the Republican version of Michael S. Dukakis. Erick Erickson, who writes for Red State, a blog closely followed in conservative circles, has said that choosing Mr. Romney as the Republican presidential nominee would spell disaster: “Conservatism dies and Barack Obama wins.”

Here's some background info on Michael S. Dukakis, just in case you are not familiar. Dukakis served as the 65th and 67th Governor of Massachusetts from 1975–1979 and from 1983–199. He was also a democratic presidential candidate in 1988. Now that we got that covered, it's important to know that he was refused renomination by his own party! He won his election by promising reform but took that back once he was put into office. This is where columnist George F. Will draw ties to Dukakis and Romney. Romney is seen as just that. An unpromising candidate that in no way shape or form deserves to be elected. 
Peters writes, More recently, conservative news media have provided ample, initially positive, coverage to a succession of candidates with a shot at upsetting the Romney bandwagon, however short-lived those chances proved to be. There was Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, then Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, then the businessman Herman Cain.
So what exactly is helping Romney get such high ranks in the polls? WEll for one, i think it has a lot to do with the fact that he's been laying pretty low and the media has been focusing on all the ridiculousness of the other candidates. For example, Cain's sex accusations, Perry's "memory loss" AKA his numerous excuses that he makes, Bachmann- well, yeah enough said there.etc… The bad publicity that is derived from these candidates is making a guy like Romney look good. Lucky guy, eh? Fortunately though, there are those out there that are able to see how Romney is making his way to the top, and really it has nothing to do with his credentials. It's more about the right timing and how he portrays himself. 
We see that the conservative media isn't really on Romney's side, although he has tried very hard to win them over. Usually the media has a great impact on the how America votes but it doesn't seem to be making a dent. Peters writes, "And if you read, watch or listen to news media that draw large conservative audiences, it is not hard to discern a reason: a recurrent “anybody but Mitt” drumbeat from right-leaning pundits and media outlets that are responding to and feeding a conservative disaffection with him."
Peters gives us great details and facts about conservative radio and according to him, Conservative radio is home to some of the most wary Romney skeptics like Mr. Limbaugh and Mark Levin, taps a particularly large pool of potential Republican voters. An average of 15 million people hear Mr. Limbaugh’s program each week; about 14 million tune into Mr. Hannity’s radio program. Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and Mr. Levin draw around nine million each.
Romney has had plenty of interviews with conservative radio hosts like Laura Ingraham, Bill Bennett, Greta Van Susteren, Mr. O'Reilly, just to name a few. Somehow he's making it out alive, regardless of their discerning opinions about him. What does that mean for the Republican party? Well, they may have to give the republican vote to him. Let's see what happens.

Healthcare issues

Most New Yorkers, i would assume, would agree with Obama's plans to have health insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization, but religious officials don't seem to be on the same page. This mandate was recommended by The National Acadamy of Sciences and Obama decided to put it into place. I say, good thinking, Obama ! what exactly does this law entail? Well, The 2010 health care law says insurers must cover “preventive health services” and cannot charge for them. On Aug. 1, Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services issued rules that require health plans to cover contraceptive drugs and devices and sterilization procedures, among other services.

In order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases amongst other things, I think it's important that the people have access to it in an unlimited quantity so that way there is less room for excuses. There are other arguments to this though, and they come in the form of religious matters. There have been a great amount of protest by religious- affiliated groups such as Churches, charities, school, universities, etc concerning the exemption to the plans. this is infuriating democrats in congress for the main reason that they came such a long way in trying to do what they see as something "positive" for the people, only to get shut down.

Apparently there have been exemptions that have been put into place because of the concerns brought to the attention of Congress, but it doesn't seem to be substantial enough to make a difference. Robert Pear of the New York Times writes Churches may already qualify for an exemption. The proposal being weighed by the White House would expand the exemption to many universities, hospitals, clinics and other entities associated with religious organizations. The rules already include an exemption for certain “religious employers,” but the exemption is so narrow that some church groups say it is almost meaningless. A religious employer cannot qualify for the exemption if it employs or serves large numbers of people of a different faith, as many Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies do.

House members wrote to Obama urgingg him to keep the exemptions as is because of the risks he would be taking in preventing millions of women in need from contraceptives. Pear writes that Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado, said the broad exemption was “an outrageous idea.” And Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said: “There is not a scintilla of legislative direction in the statute that requires the broadened exemption the administration is contemplating. This change would be a reversal of the progress made in favor of reproductive rights when President Obama took office.”

It's apparent that many want to keep the law as is, but in Meeting with Obama and the Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, it was evident that he wasn't very enthusiastic about this law and expressed his concerns towards it. Pears writes that, in a letter to the administration, the bishops’ conference said the requirement for coverage of contraceptives and sterilization was “an unprecedented attack on religious liberty.” Moreover, the bishops said, “the exemption is directly at odds with the parable of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus teaches concern and assistance for those in need, regardless of faith differences.”Obama is being very cooperative with religious leaders and trying to understands their views and do the best he can to accommodate their needs. well, it might just play a role in his reelection, smart guy. 

The points made by religious groups are valid based on religious beliefs and deserve to be credited as so, but it's important to realize that in this day and age people use contraceptives and are in great need of them. The world is evolving and I personally think it's important to put aside some of the religious factors that play into such laws. The bible was written long ago and a world like ours wasn't foreseen. Hmmm, does anyone else see a connection to constitution and the fact that our founding fathers weren't able to foresee the advancement of our people today, which means that for our sake we can't take into account every single word written and a few changes need to be made. Just some food for thought. We can agree to disagree or just agree.