Error

Code: 8
Message: Array to string conversion
File: /home/demosc/public_html/sanscode/libraries/database.php
Line: 189
Blog - US Election Watch

Blog

Team Obama's 2012 Strategy

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/ in Sydney, Australia

29 May 2012


Thanks to Niki Hemmer for directing my attention to John Heilemann’s piece on the Obama 2012 campaign. Through extensive interviews, Heilemann paints the clearest portrait yet of how Team Obama intends to hold onto the White House.

And of course, Heilemann provides the same off the record he/she probably shouldn’t have said that quotations that made Game Change so enthralling.

“Romney really, actually thinks that if you just take care of the folks at the top, it’ll trickle down to everybody else,” says another Obama operative. “But no one believes that stuff—no one! And once you puncture that, there’s nothing left. He’s not likable. He’s not trustworthy. He’s not on your side. You live in Pittsburgh and you’ve got dirt under your fingernails, who do you want to have a beer with? It ain’t fucking Mitt Romney. You’re like, ‘Shit, I’d rather have a beer with the black guy than him!’ "


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

Swing state preview: Colorado

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/ in Sydney, Australia

28 May 2012


 

colorado

While Colorado isn’t especially large (9 electoral votes) it could end up being a critical state in a close election. Here’s why.

 As Nate Silver rightly points out, simply saying that a state is up for grabs doesn’t tell us how likely it is to swing the outcome of the election in one way or the other. In order to determine the “swingiest state” in the 2008 election, Silver ordered the states according to the per cent of the vote Obama received. Then, starting with the state where Obama’s margin of victory was greatest, he counted backwards until he reached the state that gave Obama the electoral majority. That state was Colorado. “The ordering of the states is usually fairly consistent from year to year,” so in a razor thin contest Colorado is among the most likely states to tip the scales one way or the other

Read More

Colorado’s transformation from reasonably red to swing state has been remarkably rapid. As professor Seth Masket explains, the rise in Latino population coupled with migrants drawn by Denver’s blossoming high-tech industry has created an influx of new Democratic voters. "The political geography of the state is pretty fascinating, Masket continues, “Boulder and Denver are quite liberal, while Colorado Springs is very, very conservative, and the west is slightly libertarian."

The emerging liberal coalition within the state itself may well serve as a future model for the Democratic. In a 2010 interview, David Axelrod, one of Obama’s closest advisors, explained that Coloradon Democrat Michael Bennet's victory in the 2006 Senate race was “particularly instructive.” Despite low support from blue-collar whites, Bennet did extremely well amongst young voters, minorities, social liberals and well-educated women. Obama will be hoping these groups turn out in high numbers in November.

Finally, Colorado- more so than most other swing states- is especially “sensitive” to changes in the political climate. Keep an eye on the polls; as swings at the national level may be magnified within the state.

Hide


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

Swing state preview: Arizona

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/ in Sydney, Australia

24 May 2012


Grand Canyon

Sorry the blog has been pretty quiet as of late. There was other stuff going on at the centre, and I was devoting a lot of time to putting together a preview of the Senate elections. I’d like to get more content like that up on the website, but, at the same time, don’t want to shirk on blogging duties. So, in an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, I’m going to do some blog entries on swing states and then assemble them into a comprehensive list for the website. Let’s start alphabetically with Arizona.

Arizona is the only state that Obama lost in 2008 but could conceivably win in 2008. While this presidential election figures to be closer than the last one, a few other variables have swung in Obama’s favour. Arizonian John McCain will no longer be at the top of the ticket for Republicans, the proportion of Hispanics in the state is increasing rapidly, and, in light of these two changes, the Obama campaign is making a more serious effort to contend in the Grand Canyon state.

Read More

There is no doubt that the demographics of Arizona are shifting rapidly. Over the past decade “Latinos accounted for nearly half—47.5 percent—of the state’s population growth, while minorities overall accounted for two-thirds.” Further, over 42 percent of the state’s population is now non-white. The more these trends continue, the more competitive this traditionally Republican state will become.

Hispanics may support Obama over Romney by a 2 to 1 margin, but what ultimately matters is whether they vote on their preferences in November. In 2008, only 20 percent of Arizona voters were minorities. The Democrats are hoping two few factors will increase turnout. First, is Arizona’s controversial 2010 immigration law that received nearly unanimous support from Republicans in the state legislature. And second, Democrats will nominate a Hispanic for the open Arizona senate seat, former US Surgeon General Richard Carmona.

Still, a lot would have to go right for Obama to win here in 2012. Arizona hasn’t voted Democratic in a presidential election since Clinton cruised to re-election in 1996. And Romney should also get a boost from Arizona’s high Mormon population.

Most importantly, it’s hard to think of a scenario where the outcome of the state election actually determined who won the presidency. As Nate Silver points out, it’s almost inconceivable that Arizona would be the state that pushes Obama over the 270 electoral vote threshold. States don’t exist in a vacuum. If Obama wins Arizona, the political climate will be sufficiently favourable that he should win by larger margins in “swingier” states like Ohio. And if Obama wins Ohio, he wins re-election; but that’s the subject for another post.

 

Hide


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

Politics through the eyes of the Simpsons

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/ in Sydney, Australia

24 May 2012


Yesterday Jonathan and I were discussing the famous 1996 Citizen Kang Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode in which the aliens Kang and Kodos plot to take over America. Their plan, kidnap Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and then disguise themselves as the candidates. The satire of US politics and elections is so spot on. I can only imagine that many Australians feel the same way about the system as Kang and Kodos do.

Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, 73-year-old candidate, Bob Dole.

     Kang: Abortions for all.

            [crowd boos]

           Very well, no abortions for anyone.

            [crowd boos]

           Hmm... Abortions for some, miniature American flags for

           others.

            [crowd cheers and waves miniature flags]

 

Homer: America, take a good look at your beloved candidates. They're

       nothing but hideous space reptiles.  [unmasks them]

        [audience gasps in terror]

Kodos: It's true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about

       it? It's a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us.

        [murmurs]

 Man1: He's right, this is a two-party system.

 Man2: Well, I believe I'll vote for a third-party candidate.

 Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.

 

And then of course this.

Read More


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

Rahm "livid" over Ricketts

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/ in Sydney, Australia

21 May 2012


Last week I returned to a theme I've touched on before: the gulf between conservative perceptions of Barack Obama and those of the general American population. This comes on the heels of a New York Times report revealing that a coterie of Republican strategists were trying to put together an ad campaign using Obama's controversial former pastor Jeremiah Wright against the President. Here's the gist of my piece:

The scheme is, according to the Times, still in preliminary stages, and [billionaire donor Joe] Ricketts is yet to approve it. Which is lucky, because as currently consituted, I'm missing the part where it's brutally effective. Jeremiah Wright? Again?

Yet this seems to be a pattern running through Republican attempts to unseat Obama this campaign season. Conservatives are convinced that the President was given a free pass by a napping media in the 2008 campaign. They believe he was insufficiently vetted, and that both reporters and the campaign of Republican nominee John McCain failed to draw the public's attention to parts of Obama's biography that the right considered troubling. After three years in office and with two books penned by the President readily available in stores across the United States, many on the right are still firmly convinced that Obama is a mystery man about whom the American public knows little.

Since my piece went up, the Romney campaign has (wisely) rejected the commercial and Ricketts has distanced himself from the scheme. (The Times stands by its reporting.) Meanwhile, Chicago mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is reportedly furious with Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not returning calls from the Ricketts family and is “livid” over a New York Times report that Joe Ricketts commissioned a proposal for a multimillion-dollar ad campaign linking President Obama to the president’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, according to an Emanuel aide.

Joe Ricketts’s children, which include Obama bundler Laura Ricketts, bought the Chicago Cubs in 2009 and have been in talks with the city about renovating the team’s 98-year-old stadium, Wrigley Field.

That appears to be on hold now.

[...]

The Ricketts family is seeking taxpayer funding for the renovations. Emanuel has reportedly sought to put $100 million in tax incentives into the deal.

If Emanuel really is nixing plans to renovate a stadium because he doesn't like a team owner's politics, this is a gross abuse of power. Ricketts might have been interested in running a crazy and rather racist ad campaign, but that doesn't mean he should be treated any differently by his mayor. One shady political turn doesn't deserve another.


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

View from Australia: Can the GOP turn America against Obama?

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/ in Sydney, Australia

18 May 2012


Rickets Plan

The New York Times reports that a group of Republican strategists bankrolled by billionaire Joe Ricketts is putting together a devastating and well-funded ad campaign designed to defeat President Barack Obama this November. The details of the plan:

The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.

“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.

The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.”

Read More

The scheme is, according to the Times, still in preliminary stages, and Ricketts is yet to approve it. Which is lucky, because as currently consituted, I'm missing the part where it's brutally effective. Jeremiah Wright? Again?

Yet this seems to be a pattern running through Republican attempts to unseat Obama this campaign season. Conservatives are convinced that the President was given a free pass by a napping media in the 2008 campaign. They believe he was insufficiently vetted, and that both reporters and the campaign of Republican nominee John McCain failed to draw the public's attention to parts of Obama's biography that the right considered troubling. After three years in office and with two books penned by the President readily available in stores across the United States, many on the right are still firmly convinced that Obama is a mystery man about whom the American public knows little.

If that is true, the Ricketts Plan makes a lot of sense. If Obama only won election because he successfully hid from the public his dangerous radicalism, then the revelation of his genuine self should be a crippling blow this November.

As I've mentioned before, conservatives see their president rather differently to the rest of the country. Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum neatly encapsulated the divide in a 2011 article published in New York:

Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system ... Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy ­errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action phony doomed to inevitable defeat.

The problem for Republicans is that their supporters seem to want them to run against the Obama of their imagination, not the man whom they actually must defeat in less than six months time. This is a commercial put out by a right wing group called Veterans for a Strong America criticising Obama for claiming too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden:

Karl Rove endorsed the commercial. The founder of Veterans for a Strong America said he wanted it to be the "swift boating" of Obama. Dave Weigel, however, didn't see the power:

The argument is that Obama, having ordered the OBL operation, does not have the right to brag about it. Only the SEALs do. And they would never brag. It's a kind of "stolen valor" theory. Except... the commander-in-chief isn't stealing valor when he talks about a mission he ordered. That's what "commander-in-chief" means. The average American who fist-pumped at the OBL news had much less to do with the operation than Obama. I'd doubt he/she feels guilty and wants to take back the "USA!" or the "wooooo!" into the TV camera.

In a different post, Weigel conjectured "This must be why the Obama campaign celebrates Christmas every day that the media discusses OBL — it drives Bush loyalists absolutely insane when they realize Obama gets the credit [for the killing]." The Veterans for a Strong America commercial makes a lot of sense in this light: it might not be persuasive, but for anyone who thinks the President is claiming a victory not rightfully his, the ad's a salve for those hurt feelings.

This is the problem with the penny-ante conspiracy theories and sideshows occupying the more unkempt end of the Republican right: they really want to believe them. It's much easier to buy into the idea that Obama is a dog-eating, birth certificate–faking, affirmative action–reliant fraud than it is to accept that Americans voted for the guy because they liked him, and that many of them still think he's a decent guy.

And Americans do like Obama. He's more popular than the economic fundamentals would suggest he should be, for a start. But that doesn't mean voters will automatically give him another term. A whole lot of Americans are receptive to arguments they should turf their president out of office. Zeke Miller, for instance, pinpoints one area on which the White House hasn't settled on a decisive message:

The Obama campaign is struggling between two themes on the economy — that of an insurgent candidate trying to change the system, and of a successful incumbent who can run on his record.

A weaker than expected employment report Friday only deepened Obama’s quandary: Is the incumbent promising change? Or more of the same?

“They really want to be either ‘Hope and Change’ or ‘Morning in America,’" said Matt McDonald, a former Bush and McCain operative, now a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies. “But now as the incumbent and with three quarters of Americans thinking we're still in recession, they can't really run either of those campaigns.”

That confusion is a real opening for the Romney campaign, if only they will take it. And they would like to; as the Times article says,  "The Romney campaign has sought to focus attention on the economy, and has concluded that personal attacks on Mr. Obama, who is still well liked personally by most independent voters surveyed for polls, could backfire." But conservatives don't want to just win the presidency, they want to beat the man whom they've loathed so viscerally for the past three years. That's why they're churning out strategy booklets premised on the idea that a man who Americans see on TV every day, one of the best known men in the world, is an enigma. But to win this election, conservatives will have to make their pitch to other voters — not just each other. 

Hide


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

Campaign Notes: Karger's moment

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/ in Sydney, Australia

17 May 2012


Republican Presidential candidate Fred KargerChances are you didn’t know that Republican Fred Karger is running for President.

Why would you?

He hasn’t been in any of the candidate debates, even though he met the polling requirements to be invited on stage. His name doesn’t usually appear on the TV network’s election tallies, despite attracting more votes than better-known candidates in some early primaries.

Very early in this process, Fred Karger’s presidential campaign was relegated to an interesting but largely invisible second tier —one he shared with former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson (who have both since abandoned the Republican Party to run as an Independent and a Libertarian respectively).

Unlike Roemer and Johnson, Karger has never served in elected office, although his Republican credentials are substantial. Karger was an advisor to Ronald Reagan, an associate of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, and a lobbyist who made a lot of money working for clients including the tobacco industry.

Like Roemer and Johnson, Karger was sidelined by the GOP establishment, major donors, and the media, which all tend to want to winnow the field of candidates months before the voters actually get their say.

I spent some time with Fred Karger last August as he performed some of the quaint campaign rituals at the Iowa State Fair: speaking on the Des Moines Register Soap Box surrounded by sweating Midwesterners on hay bales, grilling pork chops, and meeting and greeting Iowans he hoped would vote for him in January’s caucuses.

Handsome and personable, as a political operative–turned-candidate, it was clear Fred was loving every minute of it.

Many of Karger’s supporters were young college kids — exactly the kinds of people Barack Obama attracted in droves and who normally shun Republicans.

On paper, Fred Karger deserved to have been taken at least as seriously as the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Herman Cain, who became an unlikely frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination late last year before his campaign was scuttled by claims of marital infidelity.

Read More

And like the African American Cain, Karger represented a minority not usually associated with conservative politics: Fred Karger is gay. In fact, he is the first openly-gay presidential candidate for a major American political party.

Some supporters say that’s why he was frozen out, although Karger himself says he has been largely welcomed by the leadership of the Republican National Committee.

There was certainly acute homophobia on display among some influential conservatives I met on the campaign trail, including broadcasters and prominent “family values” campaigners. Still, Karger doesn’t tend to complain — although he did take issue with some of the anti-gay comments made by fellow Republicans Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

Fred Karger likes to compare himself to Shirley Chisholm, the African American congresswoman who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972. And just as Chisholm helped pave the way for Jesse Jackson and ultimately Barack Obama, Karger looks forward to the day when America elects its first openly gay president.

He knows it wont be him, but now, with the Republican nomination all but locked down by Mitt Romney, and just Ron Paul remaining of that top tier of candidates, Fred Karger is finally getting some well-deserved attention.

And for that, he can thank President Obama’s announcement last week that his view on same-sex marriage had evolved to the point where he personally supports it.

Speaking to us on Planet America last week as he campaigned in San Francisco ahead of next month’s California primary, Karger said that Obama’s announcement was a very big deal.

“This is a huge step for this country and for the world,” Karger told us, ”because we’ve looked to President Obama to be a fierce advocate as he said, and it took him a little longer than we had hoped, but he’s come around and we welcome him to the fight — it’s going to make a big difference in our equality battle here.”

Karger doesn’t think the announcement will have a major electoral impact one way or another, but it will encourage others to voice their support for gay marriage.

But what will his fellow Republicans do?

“Well we’ve seen my opponent Mitt Romney dig his heals in even deeper, but of course there was a different Mitt Romney when he ran for Senate [in Massachusetts] and promised to be a great champion in 1994.”

Karger wouldn’t rule out now endorsing Barack Obama for president over Mitt Romney — whose Mormon church has actively campaigned against gay marriage rights — but in the meantime he takes heart from other Republicans, including Dick and Lynne Cheney, Cindy McCain, and Laura Bush, who have voiced their support for same-sex marriage.

“I think the tide has turned,” Karger says.

Hide


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

Election Watch Podcast #4: Dick Lugar loses and Obama evolves

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/ in Sydney, Australia

11 May 2012


It's time for another edition of our intermittent Election Watch podcast! This one comes in two parts, because when Luke and I originally recorded it, we engaged in a lengthy discussion about when and if Barack Obama would declare that he supported gay marriage.  Then, before we could post it on the website, Obama announced that he did support gay marriage. So we went back into the studio unused office and recorded a new segment. Stream and download both parts below.

Download Part 1

Download Part 2


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

Interview: Nicole Hemmer on Dick Lugar's loss in Indiana

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/

10 May 2012


Nicole Hemmer, a postdoctoral fellow at the US Studies CentreBig news from the Hoosier State today: The longtime senator from Indiana, Dick Lugar, was defeated in the Republican primary by challenger Richard Mourdock, the state treasurer. It's a pretty big deal for an esteemed incumbent in a safe seat to be turfed out by his own party, so I turned to Centre post-doctoral fellow Dr Nicole Hemmer to explain what happened in the contest and what it means. Not only is Nicole an expert in conservative politics — she's at the Centre writing a book about the conservative media's role as a source of leadership for the conservative movement — she's also a native of Indiana. In our discussion, she tells me why Lugar lost, what it means for the Republican Party, and how it will affect the elections this November.

Jonathan Bradley: Senator Lugar has served in the Senate since 1977. What turned Indiana Republicans against him?

Nicole Hemmer: It’s a mistake to think Indiana Republicans as a whole have turned against Lugar. Primaries attract the most motivated part of the base, and as in 2010, it appears that base continues to be strongly anti-Obama and, just as importantly, strongly anti-incumbent. As we’ve seen this past week in Greece, Great Britain, and France, there is a “throw-the-bums-out” attitude permeating electorates in countries that continue to struggle economically and politically. Add in Lugar’s age (he’s approaching 80) and the staggering amount of outside money flowing into the Mourdock campaign from groups like FreedomWorks and other SuperPACs, and the defeat of the six-term senator becomes more understandable.

What are your impressions of the man who defeated him, Richard Mourdock? How would Mourdock differ from Lugar as a politician?

The press has tagged Mourdock a “Tea Party” candidate, and insofar as he is very conservative, that holds. But he’s not exactly an outsider. At 60, he’s spent twenty years toiling on behalf of the state GOP, earning a reputation for party loyalty. Like tea-party candidates, however, Mourdock is what columnist Michael Gerson calls a “Rejectionist Conservative.” He wants to go to Washington to block things, not put forward reforms. Mourdock looks at the current political stalemate in the nation’s capitol and sees compromise as a problem rather than a solution. He’ll fit right in with the Tea Party caucus, but as an obstructionist he’ll make it even more difficult to enact solutions to the nation’s problems.

Senator Lugar’s defeat follows other recent successful primary challenges of Republican incumbents, such as the 2010 defeat of Utah’s Bob Bennett. How is this tactic of “primarying” affecting the Republican Party?

Read More

The Republican Party has shifted sharply to the right over the past generation, and these recent primary battles have only accelerated that process. When Maine’s moderate Republican Olympia Snowe announced her retirement earlier this year, it signalled the collapse of the GOP’s already-tiny moderate wing. What’s alarming about the Lugar loss is that Lugar isn’t even a moderate! He’s a conservative Republican whose heresies involve a) allowing Barack Obama to move forward with Supreme Court nominations and b) agreeing with the president that we should secure and scale back nuclear stockpiles across the globe. But his willingness to work with the Democrats on anything has made him persona non grata in today’s Republican Party.

As columnist David Brooks put it a few months ago: “First they went after the Rockefeller Republicans, but I was not a Rockefeller Republican. Then they went after the compassionate conservatives, but I was not a compassionate conservative. Then they went after the mainstream conservatives, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

You told me that conservative media outlets like National Review supported the Mourdock campaign. Where does the right wing media’s allegiance lie?

In this case, right-wing media have spoken in almost one voice in support of Mourdock. There are some outliers: George Will, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks — all conservative columnists who struggled with the McCain ticket once he brought Sarah Palin on board in 2008. But this was a safe race for a magazine like National Review to come out for the more conservative, insurgent candidate. Remember, National Review lost some credibility with the base when it threw its support behind the more moderate Mitt Romney well in advance of the first 2012 primary, while there were still a number of conservative candidates in the field. Suddenly many on the right were dismissing National Review as the establishment, as fundamentally unconservative. This was a chance for the magazine to reclaim its bona fides, to stand up against an aging establishment candidate in favour of an outsider.

Some Democrats hope Lugar’s loss will give them an opportunity to pick up an unlikely victory, as they did in Delaware in 2010 after Christine O’Donnell beat Representative Mike Castle for the GOP nomination. Is this wishful thinking, or have Indiana Republicans genuinely endangered the party’s chance of hanging on to the seat?

Mourdock isn’t like the insurgents we saw in 2010 in states like Delaware and Nevada, where political neophytes knocked out incumbents in the primaries, then bungled their way to losses in the general election. Mourdock doesn’t often wander into absurdity like the 2010 candidates did. (He won’t, for instance, have to make a campaign ad professing “I am not a witch.”) That said, Lugar was well-respected in Indiana by both Republicans and Democrats, and would have easily won re-election in November. Mourdock doesn’t have the same name-recognition or cross-party appeal. And moderate Democrats like Joe Donnelly, who Mourdock will face in the general, have had some success in Indiana. Still, all things being equal, it would have to be a very good year for Democrats for Mourdock to lose in November.

When Democrats defeated Senator Joe Lieberman in a primary in 2006, Lieberman ran as an independent and won. Can Dick Lugar do this in Indiana? Is he likely to?

If Lugar were to run as an independent, he could very well win. Hoosiers like him, and he would draw enough votes from both parties to make a strong showing. That said, he won’t run. He’s getting up there in years and while the primary loss both nettled and embarrassed him, I’m not sure he has the fight in him to go it alone. As exciting as a three-way race would be (remember Crist and Rubio and Meek all duking it out for the Florida senate seat in 2010?), this fall it will be a head-to-head match-up between Mourdock and Donnelly, and Indiana will be seating a brand-new senator.

Hide


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

Does America want a CEO president?

By

Error

Code: 8
Message: Undefined index: user_displayName
File: /site/modules/blogs/views/index.php
Line: 29
http://www.uselectionwatch.org.au/people/ in Sydney, Australia

9 May 2012


Kevin Drum:

As it happens, I'm not sure that Romney's business schtick is really such a good one for him. After all, when was the last time America elected a president whose background was primarily in business? That would be — never. I mean, sure, Bush Jr. rounded up investors for a baseball team and Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer, experiences that they used as part of their resumes, but they basically ran as politicians. The last person to seriously run as a businessman was Ross Perot, and that didn't work out so well.

Good point, but just because it hasn't happened before doesn't mean it can't happen in the future. Forget Perot; when was the last time a major party had a candidate with a solid business background run for president? Politicians — particularly high ranking ones like presidential candidates — tend to have political backgrounds for just the same reason university professors tend to have academic backgrounds.

That said, I'm more inclined to count George W. Bush's business background than Drum is. Sure, he got the nomination based on his record as Governor of Texas, but Bush was often referred to as the "first MBA president." And how did running America like a business work out? It resulted in eight years of deficit spending, lax regulation, tax cuts, and other business-friendly policies — and ended up in the worst recession since the 1930s.

EDIT: Of course, Mitt Romney isn't just a successful businessman. He's a former governor who spearheaded a successful health care program that became the basis for a national reform. That's not a record he wants to run on though.


Bookmark and Share

0 Comments

1 of 2 Next »