Category Archives: Obama

Conflicting Signals?

By Matthew Wolf

President-elect Obama’s cabinet appointments have drawn fire from the left, arguably the core of the electoral base that elected him to the highest office in the land last month.

The more recent “Security Team” appointments, Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State, Robert Gates retained as Secretary of Defense, and General James L. Jones as National Security Advisor, is touted as a Lincoln-like “Team of Rivals”. Although few are giving Doris Kearns Goodwin credit for the title of her book about Abraham Lincoln of the same name, on the same subject, most Liberals are fairly understanding of the reasons for these appointments.

Gates has been an improvement over his predecessor (whose name my hands refuse to type) in magnitude that might be measured in light years. He has taken up the cause of making military spending of our tax dollars more responsible, relevant, and effective. And, as will be discussed more below, reigning in the national budget is a topic near and dear to Mr. Obama’s heart. At the end of the day, it seems to be widely considered prudent to retain continuity in this office while we are at war.

Ms. Clinton was likely backed in the primaries and caucuses by nearly half of the liberals in question. She has obvious organizational skills, international networks, and is somewhere up the learning curve having served on the Senate Committee on Armed Services. The argument that Obama would put her in this office in order to silence her, as Nixon did to William Rogers, seems quite preposterous. Comparing Obama to Nixon is a very long reach, but the real bottom line is that, regardless of the differences that their primary battle may have emphasized, she and the President-elect likely have much common ground philosophically on foreign affairs, she was not entirely happy with her continuing junior role as a US Senator, and should make an outstanding representative in this post.

Jones is a very level headed and capable man, with combat experience in the field as a marine platoon and company commander with G Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines which fought in the Battle of Khe Sanh in Vietnam, among other engagements. He served in Bosnia also, and has earned the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star with V for valor.

General James L. Jones

General James L. Jones

The biggest critique the left has of Jones is that he was not outspoken in the press about his reservations, or outright dissent, about the Iraq War. Yet taking it to the press is not his style; he apparently let Rumsfeld and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace know his views behind the scenes.

Don’t forget that high ranking military officers who break ranks to take their arguments to the press are sometimes (maybe often) characters like General Wesley Clark, who thought he could bluff Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo, predicting a “neat, tidy, and bloodless outcome” (Bacevich 2008, p.150). The subsequent continuation of NATO bombing killed 500 civilians while Milosevic’s stepped up ethnic cleansing campaign, his way of calling Clark’s bluff, murdered untold ethnic Albanians and created a huge refugee problem. Soon after, Wesley was ushered into early retirement and subsequently hit the talk show circuit promoting Kosovo as a great victory, claiming that the methods applied there “provided the template for future operations” (Bacevich 2008, p.142).

As General George Patton rides by in a Jeep in the hills of Sicily:

Soldier 1: “There goes old blood and guts.”

Soldier 2: “Yeah…our blood…his guts…”

— From the movie Patton.

Soldiers like James L. Jones, who have been in combat, are much less likely to buy off on grandiose ideas of American military exceptionalism, such as Iraq, which was to take three months and will never be over. As sincere as George Bush’s condolences to the families of soldiers killed in Iraq appear on television, his actions tell otherwise. And he didn’t even have the guts to serve his country in the rear echelon.

The real controversy surrounds Obama’s choice of financial advisers. While strongly promoting a sizable Keynesian response to the present economic recession, the President-elect has nominated Tim Geithner to be his treasury secretary, Larry Summers as director of his National Economic Council, Peter Orszag as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Christina Romer as director of the Council of Economic Advisors, and Paul Volker to chair the new Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Geithner and Summers are protégés of Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton’s second Treasury Secretary, who has been a senior executive at troubled Citicorp.

As much as these nominations have reassured Wall Street and many conservatives, The Economist notes that “Mr. Obama’s backers, in fact, can with some justification feel betrayed by the presence of so many figures from the Clinton regime…” Here’s what Noam Chomsky thinks:

Paul Krugman and others think there is a noticeable absence of Keynesian economists on the financial team. James Galbraith, Larry Mishel, Dean Baker, and Jared Bernstein are among those that progressives would like to see in the new administration. While I am not one who generally favors pandering Wall Street, the circumstances presently faced by our new leader seem to justify the hiring of highly qualified individuals who won’t rock the boat like appointment of the Keynesians noted above might. Even Krugman says:

there have been some complaints from movement progressives about the centrism/orthodoxy of Obama’s economics appointments. To some extent this was unavoidable, I think: someone like the Treasury secretary has to be an experienced hand who can deal with Wall Street, and I haven’t heard anyone proposing particular individuals with clearer progressive credentials to hold that position.

Geithner’s only real drawback, it seems, is his relationship to his mentor, Lawrence Summers, who made controversial statements regarding women, affirmative action, and Cornel West, while president of Harvard University. He also protected Andrei Shleifer from receiving a more just punishment for his actions in Russia, ultimately resulting in his resignation at Harvard. I wonder if, in fact, the controversy about Obama finance team appointments doesn’t stem more from Summer’s ill conceived and unwarranted statements and actions as Harvard president than from an objective assessment of the skills of this team. Had he brought in someone other than Summers, Obama may have spared himself much of the disenchantment voiced by his core supporters. Charles Ogletree, a law professor at Harvard gets it right in the December 6, 2008 NY Times:

Barack thinks with his mind open … Larry thinks with his mouth open.

While many wish to focus on Paul Volker’s history of bloodbath fiscal policy, listen to what he said last winter when he publicly backed Obama (from the NY Times);

“After 30 years in government, serving under five Presidents of both parties and chairing two non-partisan commissions on the Public Service, I have been reluctant to engage in political campaigns. The time has come to overcome that reluctance,” Volcker, a Democrat, said in a statement today. “However, it is not the current turmoil in markets or the economic uncertainties that have impelled my decision. Rather, it is the breadth and depth of challenges that face our nation at home and abroad. Those challenges demand a new leadership and a fresh approach.”

He concluded: “It is only Barack Obama, in his person, in his ideas, in his ability to understand and to articulate both our needs and our hopes that provide the potential for strong and fresh leadership. That leadership must begin here in America but it can also restore needed confidence in our vision, our strength, and our purposes right around the world.”

At the end of the day, Obama has put together a strong group of advisors who should be expecting to execute his ambitious economic stimulus plan, assuming Congress cooperates. The talent assembled is in stark contrast to the economic and financial advisors involved in the present administration, which might be described as economics by Braille (or cronyism).

nominated by President-elect, Obama as Director of the OMB

Peter Orszag: nominated by President-elect, Obama as Director of the OMB

In fact, one of the greatest contrasts with the Bush administration promises to be the direction of the OMB under Peter Orszag. From an unknown source:

As director of the Congressional office since January 2007, Mr. Orszag has an up-to-the-minute familiarity with current budget issues. He has focused particularly on health policy, since cost increases for Medicare, Medicaid and other programs are projected to contribute to unsustainable budget deficits in coming years. Such expertise could help Mr. Obama, who has promised to expand health-care insurance to more Americans while containing costs.

Mr. Orszag served as an economic adviser to President Bill Clinton, and before that to Mr. Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers. After leaving the White House, he formed an economic consulting company, and then became a senior fellow for economic studies at the Brookings Institution, a center-left research organization in Washington. There, he directed the Hamilton Project, which enlists scholars to propose solutions for problems with big fiscal and societal costs, and the Retirement Security Project, which promotes public and private incentives to help improve retirees’ income prospects.

Mr. Obama intends to fund some of his programs out of budget savings and notes that Mr. Orszag “doesn’t need a map to tell him where the bodies are buried in the federal budget.” The direction of OMB under the new administration promises to be one of the most positive changes. Along with Obama’s long standing attitude (and accomplishment) of fiscal efficiency and effectiveness, his choice of director, one with a solid background in the field and intimate knowledge of the federal budget, offers a glaring contrast to the four directors appointed during the Bush administration. The Economist notes that all four were trained as lawyers; “one was a pharmaceuticals executive, one did government relations for an investment bank, and two were congressmen.”

This, of course, is an area with a long history of strong rhetoric on the campaign trail followed by little administrative progress. But, for the many reasons noted above, I think Obama and his team will have a significant impact in tightening the budget. All taxpayers stand to benefit if Obama, who said, “We can’t sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness or exist solely because of the power of politicians, lobbyists or interest groups” and his team can make an impact in this area. Getting more bang for our taxpayer buck could not begin at a better time than now.

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Filed under Consultants and Strategists, Obama

Stop piling up on Obama

By Leonid Balaban

I made a comment yesterday in class and I wanted to reiterate this point in the blog: Lay off Obama – HE IS NOT THE PRESIDENT YET!!!

Only a month ago, Obama was elected to be the next President of the U.S. and there are still more than two months before he gets officially gets sworn in. Yet, there are pundits and ideologues from the Left and the Right who are already complaining about Obama, in terms of his government appointees and overall handling of the transition.

Here’s an article on the Huffington Post, in which the editorial writer wonders whether Obama has already broken his first campaign promise.

The Obama team’s decision to drop the idea of forcing oil and natural gas companies to pay a tax on their windfall profits has caused a firestorm among liberals and small business coalitions.

As first reported in the Houston Chronicle, Obama’s reference to a windfall profits tax, which he articulated during the campaign at a time of skyrocketing gas prices, had been removed from the transition team’s Website, change.gov

Jim Kuhnhen, an AP staff reporter, writes how some some Democrats are growing inpatient with Obama and his transition approach:

Democrats are growing impatient with President-elect Barack Obama’s refusal to inject himself in the major economic crises confronting the country. Obama has sidestepped some policy questions by saying there is only one president at a time. But the dodge is wearing thin. “He’s going to have to be more assertive than he’s been,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., told consumer advocates Thursday.

Kuhnhen continues that two Democratic senators who are desperately trying to salvage the domestic auto companies have said Obama could help move the process along and should become more engaged.

“The Obama team has to step up,” Sen. Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and one of the lead negotiators, said Nov. 21 in Hartford, Conn. “In the minds of the people, this is the Obama administration. I don’t think we can wait until January 20.”

David Sirota, a columnist for the Denver Post and other progressive/liberal sites, also complained about this apparent campaign broken promise

Between this move and the move to wait to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, it seems like the Obama team is buying into the right-wing frame that raising any taxes – even those on the richest citizens and wealthiest corporations – is bad for the economy. Of course, that frame is debunked by history. And while sure, it’s OK to rack up deficits so as to spend our way out of the economic crisis, it’s sorta silly to ignore the tax moves that could be implemented to limit those deficits where possible.

Matthew Rothschild, of Progressive.com, asks when is Obama going to appoint people who reflects progressive ideas and progressive base that overwhelmingly voted for him?

He won the crucial Iowa caucuses on the strength of his anti-Iraq War stance, and many progressive peace and justice activists worked hard for him against John McCain.

So why in the world is he choosing Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State when she was one of the loudest hawks on Iraq and threatened to obliterate 75 million Iranians?

And it’s not just Hillary.

Obama’s OMB pick, Peter Orzag, is a Clintonite disciple of Robert Rubin.

Obama’s AG pick, Eric Holder, is a Clintonite who represented Chiquita Bananas.

And Larry Summers’s name is still being bandied about for Treasury, even though Summers, while Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, forced the deregulation of our financial markets and imposed disaster capitalism on Russia.

I think the Left is going way overboard on this. Obama, in one of his press conferences, said that the change will come from him, he is the man in charge.

So before everybody jumps on his picks, I believe people should give him time to fail. And if he does, than there’s nothing wrong with criticizing him and asking for his head. But, jumping the gun and attacking the person who is not even on the job yet, is utterly unfair.

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Filed under Media, Obama, Uncategorized

Obama Can Keep the 60’s from Coming Back

By Stephen Noriega

I believe that Barack Obama can avert another 60’s. Perhaps this sounds counterintuitive or even pessimistic. It is not meant to be either. The election of Barack Obama brings on another possibility. It is the possibility of breaking unfortunate repetitions of human behavior. Barack Obama may be able to circumvent a simmering resentment of our government that made so much in the 1960’s necessary and so painful to many.

People often look back on the 60’s and early 70’s with a definite degree of romanticism. People with long hair, making love in the forest and singing beautiful music can warm the hearts of aging accountants with revisionist personal histories. The 60’s make people think of the Age of Aquarius, a time when so many things were possible and the only limitations existed in the mind and the quality of the mushrooms. The ‘60’s is thought of as a time of social revolution tied with the embrace of the wretched, two concepts rarely seen together in political history.

hair-theatreaddictcom72007TheatreAddicts.com 7/2007

However, the 60’s also meant the burning of American cities, the murder of ideological activists and the beginning of American adventurism in the form of spreading terror as well as democracy in the world. A few people during this time recorded great accomplishments, often at the cost of their own lives. The 60’s brought into the public consciousness the images of dogs attacking black people, naked girls running from napalm and dead students at formerly quiet universities.

police_dogs_1963


kent-state-1970john-paul-filo1John Paul Filo, 1970

Others simply rode the wave of this time for their own amusement. Tim Leary might have had great progressive ideas, but he really just wanted to get high. Leary became psychologically addicted to LSD and tried to get as many bright minds to follow him into his own Wonderland. I know he talked about things much deeper, but he will never be known for anything more. He went on tour with G. Gordon Liddy twenty years later.


Jerry Rubin ran wild in the 1960’s, generating counter-culture sloganism and culminating his urination on conservative society with activities in the 1968 Democratic National Convention that resulted in the Chicago 8 / Chicago 7 Trial. When the bills didn’t get paid with political petulance, Rubin became a business investor. He went on tour with Abbie Hoffman for a fee in the 1980’s. When Abbie Hoffman died, he and David Dellinger were the only ones out of the Chicago 8 / Chicago 7 at his funeral. Rubin was killed by a car with a significant stock holding in Apple Corporation.

Martin Luther King, Jr. brought the concept of Satyagraha to North America and proved that racial oppression could be fought without a single gun or bomb. He insisted that his protesters dressed formally so they would not look like hippies and thugs. He insisted that people did not fight the authorities even when the authorities injured them. He gained wonderful momentum, bringing the Kennedy family into the fight, Robert much more willingly than John. Even Malcolm X, changed by his hajj to Mecca (yes, that’s right, Mecca in the 60’s was an origin of racial harmony) and influenced by King, Jr., changed his tune to one of more peaceful resolution. The 60’s also brought the assassins that killed Martin Luther King, Jr. Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy and John F. Kennedy. After that, racial progress fell into inconsistency, self-service and sublime discrimination.


The 60’s had the Great Society, a well-intended but mishandled attempt to keep the cities from burning and to bring the poor out of the ashes. Lyndon Johnson tried to keep a war going while redistributing wealth at the same time. Eventually something had to break and the Great Society fell first. Then Vietnam fell into the hands of the communists and the American spirit slowly fell into a “malaise”.

jimmy_carter_01timemag2007

Time Magazine, 2007

These times have many similarities to the negative side of the 60’s, only without a decent drug to escape it all. Instead of pot and LSD to deny our problems, we have crack and meth, drugs that destroy instead of simply cover. We have unpopular military actions, this time in two countries and possibly three. Even as we boast about our progress in Iraq, we see Afghanistan fall into chaos and Iran apparently asking to be attacked by our impatient and reactionary leadership. Immigrants make up a new class of people to be hated and persecuted. Notice how the word for undocumented people went from “immigrant workers” to “illegal immigrants” to the objects, “illegals”. Minorities and young Americans openly question the veracity of governing institutions, although their numbers in protest are miniscule compared with yesteryear.

convention2bthecloudcrimethinccom2008Crimethinc.com, 2008

Barack Obama does not represent merely a revolt from the diseased status quo, in spite of what Rush Limbaugh might say. Barack Obama is part of both the old guard and needed revolution. Obama is an Ivy League educated, well-connected part of the political culture. He is also an African American with ideas of community organization, social justice and strong international negotiation. Barack Obama is quite capable of shifting paradigms from existing paradigms at the same time. Obama can push for economic justice while railing against deadbeat fathers that won’t pay for their children. Barack Obama can speak of talking with our enemies while promising to throw bombs into Pakistan if it means killing Osama bin Laden.

obamahopeprogressneublack022008Neublack.com, 2008

Barack Obama has many problems to face but much credit to take if things even go from terrible to bad. He can refresh our view of government while not feeling stripped of its protective duties. Barack Obama can encourage us to think beyond our present position while remaining responsible to ourselves and society. The time of the Great Society brought just as much violence and self service as historical progress. Barack Obama can usher some more, much needed, change while keeping us on task socially, personally and morally.

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Filed under American Electorate, Democratic Party, Media, Obama, Protest

When the clock strikes midnight

By: Brian Bohnert

As the clock winds down on the Bush presidency, it seems as though our 43rd president is not done putting his ideological stamp on the American political landscape – this time in the form of last minute executive orders and executive rule changes. This article discusses how he has gone about it and about how they plan on making them last far into an Obama presidency.  Last May, White house chief of staff Josh Bolton instructed all of the offices within the cabinet to finalize any recommendations by November 1st.  Why is that date significant?  The rules state that if an order or regulation is finalized within 60 days, before the next president takes over, it can simply be overturned by the new administration by stopping the process.  However, if a regulation has already taken affect by that time, it becomes nearly impossible to overturn it without congressional action.  This guy discusses the process at length:  As a result, the Bush administration has put numerous regulations on the table and it looks might have met the deadline on some of the most egregious ones.  This list is tracking the regulations and indicates that it is business as usual for the Bush team.  Allowing loaded guns into National Parks, easing pollution standards for factories, opening public land for oil shale exploration, easing restrictions on uranium mining and decreasing police surveillance restrictions are only a few of the ideological driven regulations that are in process.  The practice of “midnight regulations” is nothing new but traditionally presidents will implement new regulations (such as Clinton banning two stroke snowmobiles -or “machines” if you’re from Alaska- from Yellowstone) instead of easing old ones.  Most of the rules that Bush is proposing will ease common sense environmental and economic rules.  According to Gary Bass, the executive director of OMB watch, the reason is very clear: 

“This is Bush trying to leave a legacy that supports his ideology. This was very strategic and it was in line of the ideology of the Bush administration which has been to put in place a free market and conservative agenda.” 

To be fair, the Bush adminstration has said that they are not up to anything shifty and responded by saying:

“We are not rushing regulations through at the last minute. We are simply continuing our responsibility of governing until the end of the president’s term,” said White House spokesman Carlton Carroll.

Well forgive me for taking Carroll’s words with a rather large grain of salt as this administration’s past track record is spotty at best.  So how can the Democrats respond?  Ironically, it might be the GOP that will end up giving the tools to the Dems to overturn these last minute rules.  GOP pushed through the “Congressional Review Act” in 1996 for the expressed purpose of stopping Clinton from implementing last minute rules before he left office.  This act allows congress to vote on rule changes that occur within 60 days of the end of the term by having an up or down vote – which has only happened once, when congress overturned an ergonomic workplace rule Clinton pushed for.  However, the political ramifications of this are significant when the Obama team is trying to build a sense of bi-partisanship in the new congress.

That being said, if we take Obama at his word, there will be significant push back against these last minute rules and executive orders.  On the campaign trail, Obama promised in the first 100 days his AG would look at every Bush Executive order and overturn things that look unconstitutional (so, take your pick).  He reiterated his commitment to this promise on 60 minutes and said-much to the chagrin of Mitt Romney – definitively that he plans on closing Gitmo and restricting the use of torture by US forces.  

while some of the regulations will remain due to the political realities of Washington, it is at least encouraging to see a leader take a stand on things he will not be able to easily back away from.  Hopefully, Team Obama can minimize the damage done by Bush on the way out the door.

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Filed under Obama

No way. No how. No SecState.

By Diego Del Campo

hillarysalazar1

It’s now officially been a week since word leaked from the less-than leak-proof Obama transition team that Sen. Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner for the Secretary of State position in the Obama administration. The flurry of media reports since have been spotty, at best—some alleging she’s already accepted and others hinting she may actually decline. Whatever the truth may actually be—I was, like probably everybody else, surprised by this move by Obama—I really think that regardless of his “change” message during the past two years of his campaign, he’s now as president-elect moving on to put together the most competent administration in ages, certainly the best in the last decade.

Hillary as secretary of state? I have two positions:

First, and foremost, naturally, I think Hillary would an extraordinary Secretary of State, and because of her stature coming off the primaries, where she campaigned on her preparedness and knowledge of international affairs, she would be in a better position than all of the other names floating around to fill the shoes of the nation’s top diplomat, to negotiate—play hard ball—and go toe-to-toe with the world’s leaders; and stepping in, she’d have more clout on the international stage as a recognized world leader than Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, or Condoleezza Rice had when they were appointed. Plus, she’s already had years of diplomatic experience as a backdoor diplomat as First Lady and in diplomatic missions as a U.S. Senator. Also, Hillary’s ascension to the top post in the Obama cabinet would be the just deserts to all the Obama-supporting Hillary-bashers who publicly trashed Hillary and her supporters during the primaries. People like Chris Matthews (who’s still trashing her). People like Keith Olbermann. People like all the left-wingers at blogs like the Daily Kos, who during the primaries, were the most toxic, cannibalistic progressives around. Now, these people have to either defend Hillary or question the infallible judgment of their chosen one. (I love it.) Roil, roil, roil indeed.

But, alas, as much as I think Hillary would be a great addition to the Obama administration, personally, I don’t want her to accept the job. I think she’s a national leader in her own right—one with 18 million votes behind her—with a platform for healthcare, children, women, the working class, and minorities; I think she would be giving up too much. Yet, it saddens and disappoints me to hear that she’s being road-blocked in the Senate and not being allowed to so much as share credit with Ted Kennedy (although that may be changing). A post in the Obama administration would instantly elevate her national stature, but at the cost of giving up a lot of the issues that are near and dear to her heart, not to mention her secure Senate seat, and potential future in the Democratic party and governing majority Democratic-controlled Senate. Finally, to put it bluntly, I don’t want her to be reduced to an Obama minion—one with symbolic, rock star wattage, but no real voice. I don’t want her to get blamed for any faux pas, or false starts of the Obama administration or to become a scapegoat for the activist left when or if the Obama administration loses its luster. I think she should stay in the Senate, and, in time, carve her own piece of history there—she’s already deeply admired by her colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, she doesn’t need this job, frankly. I hope Hillary says, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

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Filed under Democratic Party, Obama

Change

As Barack Obama was elected on November 4th, one could not escape the excitement in the air. Horns, screams, cheers, and clapping could be heard all around downtown Denver. On T.V. people were crying tears of joy at Obama‘s acceptance speech. Even I, Elizabeth Woods, the conservative from this elections course, felt proud to be an American as we progressed even further on our journey for equality. This election was arguably one of the most exciting we have ever had. People from all across the world celebrated with America as Barack Obama was elected. During the election, the results spoke to the fact that American’s are just ready for change. Even those who will be taxed more as a result of Obama’s reform, are joining the “spread the wealth” mentality of the Democratic party. The consensus is that Republicans need to get out and Democrats need to get in. The GOP is definitely not popular these days, and the Dems are clearly gaining the public’s approval. For this blog I thought it would be interesting to do a little research on how people voted this year as opposed to the 2006 election.

This year people voted Democrat more across all age groups except 65 and older. This especially pertained to people in our age group with 66% of 18-29 year old Democrats voting compared to 32% of 18-29 year old Republicans. In 2006, 18-29 year olds voted 60% Democrat. I wonder if this reflects that our generations values coincide more with Democratic values, because as the age group increases the gap gets narrower, and Republicans vote 53% to 45% in the 65 and older age group. More so, as new voters are concerned, 69% are Democrats and only 30% were Republicans this year.

Of other interest, is how people voted according to their income. As discussed in class, people who earned an income of under $50,000 voted for Obama. However, once the income bracket reaches middle class earnings (50,000-75,000) people voted for McCain. Then surprisingly, those who earned an income of $200,000 or more voted for Obama. This is contrary to how people voted in 2006. People in the income bracket of $50,000- 75,000 voted 48% Republican and 50% Democrat, and those in the income bracket of $200,000 or more voted 53% Republican versus 45% Democrat. Those with a college education are also increasingly voting Democrat. In 2006, people with a higher education voted equally Republican and Democrat, but this year it increased to more people voting Democrat. This election, even those without a high school diploma voted Obama 63% to 35%, also suggesting a new set of values in the younger generation that align more with the Democratic party. I got all of these statistics from http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#val=USP00p7 for 2008 and http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/results/states/US/H/00/epolls.0.html for 2006. I tried to put some charts in the blog itself, but it didn’t work out, so sorry if it’s a bit overwhelming to read them. There are many other statistics you might find interesting in these exit polls.

I think it’s clear that this year people voted for “different,” and as we have discussed, our country may be heading in a new direction that puts the Democratic party at an advantage. I think it’s interesting that people voted differently than they have in previous years. Looking at these statistics, you can see that voters who used to vote Republican on certain issues are now voting Democrat. Either people are really sick of the way our country has been ran the past eight years, or there really is a new shift in generational values. As we all know the Republican parties unpopularity is a result of a variety of problems, and the GOP may have to change it’s tactics in gaining back its approval, especially with young voters.  With the millennia’s showing up to vote, and independents voting Democrat, plus the minority vote, it’s no surprise that Obama is the new president-elect. You never know, maybe Obama will be the next Abraham Lincoln…

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Filed under Democratic Party, Obama, Republican, Uncategorized, Voter Demographics

The Republican 2012 Lineup

By Matt Knipple

            Now that the 2008 Presidential Election is over, it is time for us Republicans to look at who is going to unseat President Obama in 2012 (actually, I think this is very unlikely barring a massive meltdown by the new President).  Republicans have been frantically looking as to who will be our new “savior” and put the Republicans back on the map and give the country some sort of checks and balances since everything is run by the Democrats now (tear).  I have no first hand knowledge of who the Republicans will pick, but here are some candidates that I think will come to mind (whether I agree with them or not).

            The first candidate that I know for a fact has been tossed around in the mix is the one and only, Sarah Palin.  In my opinion, this would be one of the worst choices of all time to run for President.  She clearly already showed that she was probably the worst choice as a choice for Vice President.  She actually, to me, makes George W. Bush seem like he’s on a level of Steven Hawking.  To her credit, she does have an energetic personality and hypes up some people like others cannot.  She also has a pretty solid base that could possibly give her a push in the primaries to be picked (not me). 

Here is a video of the discussion of Sarah Palin throwing in her hat for 2012: 

            The second candidate that I also see as a long shot is Jeb Bush.  Yes, we could have another Bush in office!  He, as Palin, seems to have a base in the right that is very loyal to him and very excited about him.  Here is an older article about the possibility of Jeb running in either 2012 or 2016.  To be honest, I do not know much about the man and how he did as Governor of Florida, but I do not see him winning a Presidential election because of his last name alone.  He could be the second coming of Christ and would not stand a shot because of what W has done. 

            A third, more of a sleeper type candidate, would be the current Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist.  Crist is another guy I do not know a ton about but have heard enough about him to make some sort of impression.  He seems more like a moderate-Conservative, like myself, and could be a good, new, fresh candidate for the Republicans to try to use and get some of the Independent and Democratic vote.  He is not the stereotypical Republican, like Hannity or Limbaugh, but more of a “Maverick” in being more moderate. 

Here is a video for Crist for 2012:

            The most promising candidate for 2012 for the Republicans is Mitt Romney.  People have said the fight for the 2008 Republican nomination is akin to the 1976 fight between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.  The aging, older Gerald Ford fended off Ronald Reagan, who became the face of the Republicans during his presidencies, just like the aging, older John McCain fended off Mitt Romney.  Ford went on to lose to Jimmy Carter just like John McCain went on to lose to Barack Obama.  Mitt Romney is rich and can get a lot of money raised just as Obama did and is very intelligent.  He might be guaranteed to be the nominee in 2012 if he so chooses. 

            Here is a final video made by somebody that includes many more people that he thinks can win the presidency for the Republicans in 2012:

            I’m not sure any of these people, like I said earlier, could dethrone Obama unless he completely screws up or for some reason does not run for President in 2012 but I thought I’d just go over some prospective candidates.

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Filed under American Electorate, McCain, Obama, Palin, Party Conventions, Republican