Sunday, December 4, 2011

Last, But Not Least

As our blogs wind down, I find that there is one candidate who I have mentioned about a total of two times. Former Governor Jon Huntsman has been a man of few words, as far as campaign advertising goes. According to a recent New York Times article, that reason is simply money.
Mr. Huntsman’s campaign, which is betting entirely on a strong showing in New Hampshire to stay alive, has relatively little. The commercial came not from the Huntsman campaign, but from a group called Our Destiny PAC.

The group, financed in part by Mr. Huntsman’s billionaire industrialist father and guided by one of his former political advisers, has breathed new life into a campaign that otherwise lacks the resources to do much more than literally go door to door seeking votes.” (Jim Rutenberg)

Now, this whole issue that includes his father is another topic entirely. But if Huntsman’s main deterrent from taking the race is merely funding, then what is it about his campaign that makes the former governor something to talk about? To be honest, I have never even googled his name. Never really seemed necessary. However, it does not look like the Republican nominee is very clear to us at this point. So let’s take a look at Huntsman’s website and see what we can come up with.

A little background: Jon Huntsman born in California, moved to North Carolina at the age of ten. In his senior year, Jon dropped out of college to be a part of his band. (Totally cool in 1978.) But finally after accomplishing his academic requirements went on to study at the University of Utah. While there took a quick two years to go on a Mormon mission to Tawain, and later finished his studies at the university.
So how did he get into the political scene? It all started when he (somehow) become a staff assistant to President Reagan 1981. In ’87 Huntsman graduated from University of Pennsylvania with a degree in International Politics. In the same year he became the vice president and director of the Huntsman business. Throughout the next ten years Huntsman is elected to job after job, including the United States ambassador to Singapore. In 2001 President George W. Bush named Jon deputy U.S. trade representative and U.S. trade ambassador. Since then Huntsman has successfully served as the governor of Utah and was later named the United States ambassador to China. And throughout all of this has had is beautiful family at his side.

A few copy and pasted words (for word space sakes) to briefly describe his stance on a couple of issues:

Jobs & the Economy-
Jon Huntsman's comprehensive solutions to create jobs and revive our flailing economy are endorsed by the Wall Street Journal and described as "the most pro-growth proposal ever offered by a US presidential candidate."

National Security-
“Sustaining America's leadership position in the world requires we continue to maintain the world's most capable military. But being the best will not simply be a function of spending the most. Staying on top will increasingly depend on our willingness to adapt to the realities of the security environment in the 21st century, and prioritizing the right way with respect to the future of our armed forces.”

I must say, there seems to have been very little error in this guy’s life. He likes Harleys, food, his family, and clearly has enough experience for the job. Even an article in The New York Times “Magazine” section said that Huntsman has the best chance of beating Obama out of all the other G.O.P. candidates. After researching the man, I just might agree with him. Certainly don’t see any skeletons coming out of his closet anytime soon. Let’s see if Jon Huntsman gets that funding, and takes the lead. 

Cain Suspends Your 999 Thoughts

Herman Cain did not exactly throw his hat in the ring, but he definitely took it off his head for a little while. That’s right. Cain has suspended his campaign. At least, for now.  (You will probably hear all about it from fellow bloggers this week, as well. ) Cain made the announcement at a rally held in Atlanta, GA this past Saturday.  “As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul-searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign. Because of the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters. Not because I’m not a fighter.”  It seems that the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza finds the election process to be a little too much to handle for not just him, but his family and loved ones as well.
The accusations of sexual harassment and false actions against Cain seemed to have settled and Cain handled them with the utmost grace possible. However, little did we know that there was more “
scandal” ahead. The Monday after Thanksgiving a woman by the name of Georgia White came forward claiming that she and Cain had recently ended a thirteen year extramarital affair.
According to an article printed in The New York Times, “Ms. White produced phone records to prove that they had called or texted each other frequently, and Mr. Cain acknowledged giving her financial support — and also that his wife of 43 years had been unaware of what he insisted was only a friendship.” (Susan Saulny) The day after White came forward with this information, Cain said he was considering dropping his bid entirely, but that he was leading the ultimate decision up to his wife.
At Cain’s rally he said that despite all of the attacks and rumors surrounding him and these other women, his marriage was at peace. But let us look at the information provided. A fifth woman comes forward with claims of a “relationship” with Mr. Cain. Cain leaves the fate of his campaign in his wife’s hands. Lastly, Cain suspends campaign entirely. Of course there are only a few facts that we can rely on, but it seems probable to infer that the only way Cain’s wife could find “peace” with him and the situation was for the Cain bandwagon to take a step back and out of the limelight.
How can we tell if Cain will come back or not? What is the probability that the Cain supporters will have their man back by voting time? It really is hard to say. My guess is that going through all of the financial hoops of suspending a campaign is enough to keep a candidate out of the race. The Cain name may remain on ballots, depending on state laws, but who can say? The question at hand now is what does this mean for all of the Herman Cain supporters? They are up for grab, so to speak. You better believe the other G.O.P. candidates will be all about getting their support, money, vote, and what have you. Considering that voting season is just around the corner, I think it is safe to say that the fight for these extra supporters won’t be too pretty.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Is Newt Our Man?

There seems to be a candidate I have never really discussed or given much thought to, but now that he has gained a little more attention maybe it is time to do so.
            Newt Gingrich, or Mr. Speaker, has recently been endorsed by New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, The Union Leader.  Now, this is a state that Mitt Romney is usually the guy they’re talking about. So why Gingrich?

            Gingrich grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor’s degree in History from Emory University and his master’s, as well as his doctorate, in Modern European History from Tulane University. In the 1970s Gingrich ran for the House of Representatives two times before being elected on the third try in 1978, then was notably re-elected ten times. It was not until twenty years later, in 1998 that he resigned.
In those twenty years Gingrich really got things done. He was the architect for the “Contract With America.” This contract was a detailed plan of action from the Republican Party that stated what they would do if they became the majority party in the United States House of Representatives.

According to Newt’s website there are a couple of more things to take note on.

“Under Newt’s leadership, Congress passed the first balanced budget in a generation, leading to the repayment of over $400 billion in debt.  Congress also cut taxes for the first time in sixteen years and reformed welfare, leading to over sixty percent of welfare recipients either getting a job or going to school.  In addition, the Congress restored funding to strengthen our defense and intelligence capabilities, an action later lauded by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.”

            Newt Gingrich has the stuff to back up his candidacy, but where does he stand now? (Again, going through his website you can find more detailed descriptions, but here is a brief overview.)

Gingrich has ten solutions for Immigration. To name a few:
-Control the Border
-Create a 21st Century Visa Program
- “In-source” the best brains in the world (Which basically means allowing foreign students to immediately start working in America, instead of forcing them to leave and start from scratch.)
-Allow foreigners, who want to spend money, invest and create jobs in America to do so.

As far as Jobs & Economy goes, he has a strategy that balances the budget, pays down the debt, and creates more jobs.
-Stop 2013 tax increases
-Strengthen the dollar
-Move toward an optional flat tax of 15%
-Repeal & Replace Obamacare (Shocking)
-Balance the Budget

Newt has always been a leader on Healthcare. On his website he has a thirteen point solutions plan that he calls Patient Power reforms.
Everyone would be able to obtain essential health care and coverage when needed.  For those who are too poor to buy health insurance, states will have more flexibility to provide them with the assistance they need to buy it.  For those who nevertheless choose not to purchase coverage and then become too sick to do so, high-risk pools will provide access to coverage.”

Clearly Newt Gingrich appears to have the experience and the knowledge to really do something in this race. But there has to be something about him that is holding him back from overshadowing a former CEO of a pizza company. For me, it has little to do with the experience he has had in politics, but more so to do with his personal “affairs”. Gingrich has been married three times, and both marriages, previous to his current marriage to Callista Bisek, ended in divorce because he had an affair… twice! Gingrich does not appear to be the upstanding and honorable man the People usually want to elect.
Unfortunately, for Newt Gingrich, personal affairs are just about as important as political affairs.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How 'bout some Obama?

For the first time, I will be talking about President Obama, and in keeping with the theme of campaign advertising there seems to be a decent amount happening to look over.

As we all know, commercial campaign ads can have a number of purposes. Whether those purposes be promoting themselves in a certain light or trying to put their fellow candidates in a certain light.
Well, in this particular instance it is Obama being attacked by the Republican GOP candidates. More specifically jabs from Governor Rick Perry & Mitt Romney. Perry’s thirty-second, national running advertisement starts out with a clip of Obama talking about how Americans have been “lazy”. Perry goes on to disagree with him and says, “Obama’s socialist policies are bankrupting America. We must stop him now.” And of course, the message is “approved” by Perry.
Mitt Romney’s approved one-minute ad starts with a clip of Obama giving a speech accompanied with ominous music. Words flash on the screen displaying the promises the president spoke of and then the words, “He failed.” Then as if the sun has risen after four years, we hear bright cheery music and see Romney’s smiling face as he speaks his assuring words. The purposes of these ads are clear: Attack Obama now.
Both Perry and Romney have received criticisms about the ads and are being accused of changing President Obama’s words. But the Republicans seem to be pushing forward full force, dropping over $13 million dollars on ads that put Obama in that negative light, and it will only continue to grow. This particular form of campaign advertising is just another way to get in the game. However, these attacks seem to be a bit early in this game, don’t they?
            According to an article recently published on The New York Times website, there might be a downside to these early attacks.

“But going negative so early also carries substantial risks. One is that many voters are not yet paying much attention to the campaign and will not do so until much closer to next November, meaning the advertising expenditures could be largely wasted. And negative messages now could alienate moderate and independent voters who blame excessive partisanship for Washington’s troubles in addressing the nation’s big problems.” (Jeremy W. Peters)

            This Times article also goes on to talk about another conservative advocacy group, called Crossroads GPS, that has already spent $20 million dollars on negative Obama advertisements. Americans for Prosperity is another group that is pitching on the anti-Obama ad campaigns, spending $2.4 million dollars.

            Now, I can understand that there is a campaign strategy in there for some of these groups and individuals. But let’s be honest. The messages that they are spending millions and millions of dollars on are words we have already heard. They may think that by putting these ads out a few months ahead of time is sure fire way to get people on the right band wagon, but all it does is beat us over the head with how much they hate Obama. And the fact that they’re spending that much money to tell us over and over again, is absurd. We get it. Now save it for game time.

Campaign Advertising

As you can see these are three different clips from the same video, but the entire video is worth watching. (That is if you really care about Campaign Commercials, or Bush & Dukakis)

Greg Katz discusses the first of a couple campaign commercials; its pros, cons, and purpose. He also discusses the process of placing these commercial ads and rough figures of their costs.

Here's another campaign ad from Mike Dukakis and then Katz's helpful feedback.

Here I give you the Mike Dukakis "tank ride".

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Debate Debate Debate

Buddy Roemer discusses exactly what is expected of a Presidential candidate if he/she wishes to be a part of the debates.

After a debate press, candidates, and candidate representatives gather in the "Spin Room" and discuss the evening's debate.

A question is raised and discussed about the pros and cons of a "Single Moderator" format or a "Richmond" format for debates. Also, a side note is mentioned by Diana Carlin about how there was an interest in seeing the candidates ask each other questions in debates.

A Perry Flaw Strikes Again

“Um, oops” is exactly what Rick Perry while we all said, “Wait, seriously?”

In a recent debate, Perry started to answer a question about tax code by stating which three federal agencies he would eliminate: Commerce, Education, and um…

Oh. Embarrassing. He forgot the third one. And not just for that one moment. Perry made several attempts to remember the one he forgot. Even our good ol’ Ron Paul tried to help him out with, “The E.P.A.?”
Apparently, that would go too, but that was not exactly the one federal agency Perry was thinking of.  After more stumbles and failed attempts, he even looked down to see if it was written somewhere. It’s not there, Perry. So what did he say when he ran out of “ums”? “I can’t remember. Oops.” OOPS!

Now while this is actually quite entertaining, and the audience laughed and clapped as well, it is just another rather unfortunate set back for the Governor of Texas. Perry has already shown that he’s not the best at debating. He also had quite the setback on coming out with an actual PLAN. For the longest time, all we heard was that he was going to get America working again. Looks like he still does not know. Either Perry simply has a bad memory or he did not create his own ideas.

After the debate, Perry discussed his little flub with reporters.  Now, this is a long quote I found in an article from The New York Times, but the entirety of it is not a waste of reading, that is for sure.

“I’m glad I had my boots on tonight, because I sure stepped in it out there.

Well, I tell you what, I named two more agencies in government than what the current administration has talked about getting rid of, and the Energy just wouldn’t come out. So anyways, those three agencies of government — Education and Energy and Commerce are part of it, and the bottom line is, I may have forgotten Energy, but I haven’t forgotten my conservative principles. And that’s what this campaign is really going to be about, laying out our tax plan.

Look, I’m focused on my issues, and my issues are about our tax plan, it’s about our budget, it’s about our cutting spending, it’s about giving Americans real hope for a vision that you get this country back to work again, and it’s really not that difficult. The fact is you just have to have some courage. From time to time you may forget about an agency that you are gonna zero out, but everybody tomorrow will understand that the Energy Department needs to be done away with…

I stepped in it, man. Yeah it was embarrassing, of course it was.”

It is completely understandable to have a flub. That is a normal, human error that is frequently made. However, you would think that under such circumstances (circumstances being that you are a candidate for the President of the United States) that you would do everything in your power to at the very least remember your tactics to “get America working again.” Come on Perry. You are a funny guy, but there is no room for “ums”.

A Late Follow Up

As we all know, and as I have previously discussed, there have been allegations directed towards Herman Cain in regards to sexual harassment. So how about we follow up?

On Tuesday, November 8th Cain assembled a nationally televised conference to deny the harassment accusations and stand by his innocent plea. “Because that’s the person Herman Cain is,” spoken by Cain in the beginning of the conference. Four women have now come out to claim that Cain has addressed them inappropriately. So Cain starts explaining and defending his honor, by talking about each woman individually. In regards to one of the latest accusers, Cain claims to have never known this woman at all, much less recognized her name. Thus, rejecting her accusation with ease. He says sexual harassment accusations are of a serious matter, and that these particular allegations and statements exceed common sense and the standards of decency in America.  

Cain continues to discuss his family, particularly his wife at first, whom he’s been married to for forty-three years. Cain said Gloria, his wife, said that all of these accusations don’t even sound like something he would do. So Cain asks that the media not drag his family into this matter, because they are not the ones running for president. Apparently some of his family members have even been stalked by members of the media, and that the media continues to be professional by only approaching himself about these issues. 

Herman Cain graciously opens the floor for questions, and by doing so proves that he can continue to handle these accusations with confidence in his innocence. The first question refers to whether or not a candidate’s integrity and character should be under such microscopic pressure, to which he replies with a resounding yes. “With facts, not accusations,” he states. 

It is fact that Karen Kraushaar did file a sexual harassment complaint against Mr. Cain when they were employed together. However, the complaint was found “baseless” as Cain stated, and that there was an agreement that was dealt with in personnel between Ms. Kraushaar and the company. 
Another questioner from The New York Times asks that Cain level with them and that he takes the chance to really tell them what Ms. Kraushaar accused him of and what actually happened. In response, he explains the gesture he made that compared Kraushaar’s height to his wife. Which apparently is the gesture she was most upset about. I’ll give that a 2.2 on my I.B.I scale.

In closing, Herman Cain begs the media to focus on the issues that really matter, and that we not get distracted by these false allegations that, as he previously mentions, are just trying to bring his campaign down.
So are these allegations posing a major threat to Herman Cain? Maybe to the people who plan to vote in the upcoming election, but Cain certainly does not plan on backing down anytime soon.

“It “ain’t gonna happen because I’m doing this for the American people and for the children and the grandchildren. And I will not be deterred by false, anonymous, incorrect accusations.”  -Herman Cain

Monday, November 7, 2011

Social Media

Even though it is barely mentioned, Jim Messina speaks to a younger crowd about how social media is a way to help break up the rumors and tell the truth.

Heather Smith discusses how important the new media and "online" way of life has helped get more involved in the election process.

In this video, it states the percentage of people that use different aspects of technology/social media in disasters, etc. This doesn't exactly relate to politics, but it is very interesting to hear.

So-So Santorum

As it would appear, Rick Santorum has been fighting and fighting, but does not seem to be reaping very man benefits. So I have decided to figure out what it is about him,that is just not clicking. He seems to be the “family man” of the bunch, but does he merely pale in comparison to the other Republican candidates?

Last Wednesday morning, Santorum answered a few questions at Copper Lantern Restaurant in Iowa. On this particular occasion Santorum mainly discussed the issue of education, but seemed to really make a connection with the small but appreciative few who gathered to meet him. Santorum has been to every single one of the ninety-nine counties in Iowa to reach out to potential voters. This is a quest he began in June when declared his candidacy.
Even though this has been quite a feat, Santorum seems to be encouraged by his campaigning efforts. “I prayed a lot about this and thought a lot about stepping out and putting my family through this, from the point of view of not being there. Financially, I’m not making a whole lot of income right now. We’re going through our savings, and I got seven kids. But you’ve got to feel like your country is at stake. If that doesn’t motivate you, you shouldn’t be doing this. I don’t get a whole lot of sleep,” he stated in an interview that Wednesday morning. Definitely give that a 9 on my I.B.I. scale.

In previous debates, we have not been able to hear too much from his side of the stage. So what exactly does Rick Santorum stand for? Is there anything that makes him different from the other hopeful candidates?
He has experience no doubt. At the age of thirty-two he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, later served in the U.S. Senate, then in 2000 was elected to the position of Senate Republican Conference Chairman. While researching his website, I learned that Santorum was a member of the “Gang of Seven”. Gang of Seven was a group of seven men (of course) who exposed the Congressional Banking and Congressional Post Office scandals. And according to his website, Santorum also served eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee where he led the fight before the attacks of September 11th, 2001 to transform our military from a Cold War force to meet today's threats.

Where does Rick Santorum stand on the issues? Well, let us take a look at his website for his stances. There are three sections to describe the kind of candidate he is. These sections are entitled, Champion of Faith & Families, Defender of the Taxpayer, and Believer in American Exceptionalism.
Being a champion of faith and families means he is against gay marriage and abortion rights. A defender is defined as reforming congress and changing the nation’s entitlement programs. And a believer means protecting our American soil by not backing down to the Jihadists. A champion, defender and believer sounds like a great kind of guy, right?

So where is he going wrong? This is a question I ask myself every time his name is mentioned. Watching the debates and reading articles about Santorum help clarify a little bit. For me, Rick Santorum doesn’t “sparkle” enough to be a leading man; a man to lead our country. And maybe, just maybe… he’s not quite tall enough.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Poor Herman

While it might be a little late to be writing, I am glad I am. If I would have done this earlier I would not have had the chance to talk about an article that was just posted on the Huffington Post website a little over an hour ago.
The title of the article: “Hermain Cain Sexual Harassment Accusations: GOP Presidential Candidate Denies Politico Report”.  I do not know if Herman Cain ever realized that being a frontrunner in this race would bring on so many scrutinizing eyes. Or maybe he did not expect to be a frontrunner at all. First the holes in his 999 plan, then his electrified fence on the border, his overall inexperienced past, his smoking campaign manager, and now this.
Cain was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Apparently during his time of leadership, two women employees, that we know of, complained about Cain’s inappropriate/sexual behavior.
“The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.”

Cain and his campaign have repeatedly declined to make any comment on these allegations. Cain is said to be “vaguely familiar” with these stories, and believed this matter to be resolved.

On the they have the most recent statement that Cain has made concerning the allegations of this issue.
Cain said he has “had thousands of people working for me” at different businesses over the years and could not comment “until I see some facts or some concrete evidence.” His campaign staff was given the name of one woman who complained last week, and it was repeated to Cain on Sunday. He responded, “I am not going to comment on that.”
 He was then asked, “Have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?”
 He breathed audibly, glared at the reporter and stayed silent for several seconds. After the question was repeated three times, he responded by asking the reporter, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?””
Politico learned of these allegations weeks ago, but has slowly been putting fact together, and talking to numerous people.
Now, Cain has made some crazy comments and come up with silly metaphors, but this is the first time that I have ever been convinced that more than a handful of people will be put off by this issue. America has elected men with all sorts of quirks and faults. But everyone will agree that a man who cheats, or disrespects a woman in anyway is considered uncouth. Which is an interesting note to elaborate on, but for the purposes of this post, we do not want another Monica Lewinsky situation. And not that that is a situation that would ever fall at Herman Cain’s feet, but the mere possibility is something that will shy the American people away from a vote for Herman Cain. We’ll see how he battles this one with apples and oranges.

Guantanamo Bay

Because of the Platforms project assigned this past week, I have realized that Guantanamo Bay is not something I am too familiar with. So here goes nothing.
Guantanamo Bay is located at the southeastern end of Cuba. The United States gained power over the southern part of the bay in the beginning of 1900 after forming the Cuban-American Treaty. However, at the present time, the government of Cuba sees the US presence on the land as illegal.
So now what is the Guantanamo Bay that Obama was supposedly to shut down?
Well, that Guantanamo Bay is a detention camp under the United States within the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. There is not much history to be discovered about the camp itself because it was only established in 2002. The Bush Administration created the Guantanamo Bay detention camps as a place to hold detainees from the war. These detainees were suspected enemies that could be involved in the war on terrors. The entirety of this location is split up into, now, two separate camps: Camp Iguana, and Camp Delta.
The main conflict during the Bush Administration was jurisdiction; figuring out who had the power to try these detainees, and what protections these detainees specifically fell under. That was then.
When Barack Obama was to be elected to office, he made a campaign promise to shut down Guantanamo Bay. In January of 2009, Obama signed an order to hold the proceedings of the Guantanamo commissions for 120 days and that the facility will be shut down by the end of the year. A week later a judge in Cuba denied this order. In May of 2009 the US passed an amendment that stopped all funds that would transfer or release the detainees of Guantanamo Bay. Then again in March of 2011, Obama tried to make efforts that would lead towards the demise of the camp, but these efforts failed as well.
According to an article printed in The New York Times, written in April of this past year, out “of the 779 people that have been detained at the United States military prison at Guantanamo, 600 have been transferred and 171 remain.”
My knowledge of Guantanamo Bay has increased significantly from this research. However, what I still do not comprehend is Barack Obama’s continuous failed efforts concerning this issue. Clearly Guantanamo Bay is an issue that has to be maneuvered around very delicately. Both sides, Cuba and the US, have strong opinions about the US’s presence their, and those sides do not match up. If closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp was significant enough to be considered a campaign promise, then it should’ve been something that we read about in the papers more than a couple of times a year. Please correct me if I am wrong in any way, but I would give that a 2 on my I.B.I scale.  Yes, campaign promises are not necessarily things that we can trust. However, from what I have recently learned Guantanamo Bay is a much more serious issue than we would like to believe.

Media Shmedia

Robert Woodward, a CSPAN junkie, briefly touches on the benefit of CSPAN in politics.

Michael Robinson (George Washington University) discusses why networks take out full page ads and how the people of the networks look at it these ads as opportunities to prove their credibility. Tack, hmm?

Katrina Vanden Huevel, while discussing Occupy Wall Street, comments on how, up until recently, the mainstream media has solely focused on the "tea party" movement and not on the American people's voice.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Republican Rubio

There has been some talk in recent news about Marco Rubio and when exactly his parents left Cuba to come to the US. What’s so intriguing about this? Mitt Romney has stepped up to defend the 40 year-old Senator. This is about a 9 on my I.B. I scale. Rubio has been spoken of as a possible Vice Presidential candidate. All this talk about him made me realize that I don’t really know much about him. So I shall be using this blog as an opportunity to expand my knowledge on the Senator today.

Marco Rubio was born in ’71. He went to Tarkio College on a football scholarship, and then later transferred to Santa Fe Community College and graduated in ’93 from University of Florida with a bachelor of science. He served in the Florida House of Representatives for 8 years. (2000-2008) During those years he promoted lower taxes, free market empowerment and an efficient government. Then after two years he was elected to the United States Senate to represent Florida. Rubio and his wife, Jeanette, have been married for 13 years and have four kids.

So far, he sounds like a really great family man. Now, where does he stand on the issues?

Rubio wants to lower health care costs by repealing/replacing Obamacare, letting the states be in control of health policy, and allowing individuals to choose their own health care.

Education: (This is quoted from his website)
“Senator Rubio believes we should create a universal education tax deduction, perform a regular review of Department of Education programs, make block grants conditional on performance and accountability measures, improve parental access to school performance, improve school choice through a Federal corporate income tax credit, protect teachers from frivolous lawsuits, overcome the science, technology, engineering and mathematics crisis, create students with disabilities scholarships, promote voluntary Pre-K scholarship, provide opportunity scholarships for students in chronically failing schools, reinstate the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program and promote a national virtual learning platform.”

To help create businesses and jobs, Rubio’s plans are to permanently end the Death Tax, cut corporate taxes, reform the Alternative Minimum Tax, and end double taxation. And again repeal/replace Obamacare.

Rubio also has ideas about protecting our seniors. (Also, from his website.)
He has “put forth simple ideas that the Senate should pursue, including increasing prosecutions on those who prey on seniors through fraud and financial crimes, protect seniors from identity theft, protect current benefits for seniors, repeal ObamaCare, crack down on unapproved prescription drugs and permanently end the Death Tax.”

If you notice, there are a few of his ideas that fall under more than just once category. Which could be a very good strategy. Rubio seems to be about the simple things that can be most effective.
It also helps that his image is exactly what the media and the people would love. A young good-looking family man. VP? We’ll see!

Plat what? Platforms

Barbara Garson expands on what the Socailist Party wants to see. In '92.

Paul Manafort expresses positive thoughts on the Republican Party Platform in '96.

Sunne McPeak discusses some of the issues of the Democratic Platform in '84.


To start, my pre-debate thoughts were focused mainly on Herman Cain. Would he be under the scope as much as I’m lead to believe? Is he really the new frontrunner? Has he become the topic of conversation because he’s the non-politician? Also, what color will Michele Bachmann be wearing? Will Rick Santorum have more than two chances to speak? Will Rick Perry speak about a plan of action? What will be the most used word of this debate?

Well, let’s answer some of these questions, shall we?
Bachmann paired a shade of ivory with black. Santorum had somewhere around seven opportunities to make a valid point. (That doesn’t mean he was affective, though.) Perry didn’t have an more details on his plans for us. Shocking. And the most used word? Taxes. Followed by jobs, economy, and border.

Now about this whole Herman Cain deal.
I keep hearing that Cain is the up and comer, that he’s being paid more attention to, and we need to keep an eye on him. Clearly, his “9-9-9” plan is under more scrutiny than it was. And why? Because he has a plan! Sure, it may have its issues to be argued about (and they are, as was shown in the first 30 minutes of the debate), but it’s more than Rick Perry has to say at the moment.
But to be honest, I was expecting Cain to turn head a little more. Not that he didn’t have a good debate. He had a nice apple to oranges comparison. However, he wasn’t in the spotlight or caught up in a fiery back and forth nearly as much as the former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.

For the first time during his campaign, Romney got fired up, and in a quarrel with Rick Perry. We knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time. The quarrel came about from the topic of immigration. Perry brought up the issue of Romney hiring illegals for yard work. Romney explained the issue after he got to make a couple of jabs about his previously failed debates and his un-presidential qualities.

Take a look:

This was not the only instance where Romney struggled to speak. Santorum put up a fight as well. These candidates may be trying to bring Romney down, but they might be helping his campaign. Why? Well, Romney has been presented as this very put together, non-emotional type of candidate. While that has its benefits, he’s been leaving us with very little personality. (Something Herman Cain has going for him.) So seeing Romney have a little more spark and sass in his comments is really quite refreshing.

After the conclusion of the debate, some people gave their insight on who they felt stood out. Some said Romney, some said Cain. Some even talked about Perry’s strong defenses. Different answers and perspectives of all kinds. So where are all these different perspectives coming from? Our own knowledge of the candidates and the race? How is the media affecting our views? Something to think about.

Quote of the day: “You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking. And I suggest that if you want to become president of the United States, you have got to let both people speak. So first, let me speak.”