Newt Gingrich: The Immovable Object…

So it’s been eight months, 20 debates, 1,420 rallies, $105 million spent and countless Big Macs (mostly in the Gingrich camp it must be said), and still the Republican candidates are slogging on. Although most of the Republican candidates are quite morally contemptible, you do have to admire their ‘staying ability’, to keep going from small town to small town in an attempt to squeeze those last few votes out of the Republican faithful. I know that if it was me, well after the 1000th rally I think I would be rocking back and forth in the corner only to be institutionalised, strapped into a straight jacket and being putin a padded cell, much like Sarah Palin. And yet the marathon continues!

After last week’s Super Tuesday reaction it was always going to be difficult to follow up to something as exciting as that, and yet I’m pretty excited this week! Firstly, I got Bruce Springsteen’s new album ‘Wrecking Ball’, now usually I don’t do much promoting (although there is more to come later), but I am a HUGE Springsteen fan, and his new album is awesome so buy it, c’mon who doesn’t love the boss?! And secondly, in unfortunately non – Springsteen related news, the second thing that excited me was that this week it finally, finally looked as if Newt Gingrich would drop out the race prompting a huge sigh of relief from the world’s population. Unfortunately however, he disappointed everyone, hence the title ‘the immovable object’, now for once, if you can believe it, I wasn’t making fun of Newt’s weight I was more pointing out his reluctance to step down… Well it might be 20% as a joke about his weight, OK 40%!

Newt had promised, for a third time, that his campaign would surge, and to be fair to the chubby former Speaker of the House it wasn’t just him who thought he had a pretty good chance in Alabama & Mississippi; previously he’s done pretty well in the Southern states, with wins in South Carolina and his state of Georgia. In fact it was Sweater vest Santorum that once again solidified his position as the ‘alternative to Mitt’, although personally I think Santorum and Gingrich should fight each other for the chance to be Mitt’s alternative, apparently everyone else favours a more structured approach! And it was ¬†Santorum who really favoured the structured approach this week winning both of those aforementioned states.

Invoking the faith card from the very beginning, it was quite clear that Sweater vest was going to do well in the deep south states, and in between thanking Jesus and attacking Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum has been on something of a roll, his wins in Miss (It’s a nightmare to spell Mississippi!) & Alabama come on top of his 3 Super Tuesday wins, coupled with his Kansas win this past weekend, and added again by his very probable win Missouri this weekend. He now goes into the great state of Illinois next week for the next BIG ONE, only this time he has $3 million worth of attack ads lined up by ol’Mitt waiting for him, and who said politics couldn’t be friendly!

However the even BIGGER ONE is Newt Gingrich, and his date of departure, which I’ve been hoping for, for about 8 months I think! His defeats in his must win home region of the Deep South ensured that his White House bid is over, you hear that Newt, over! Yet he’s delaying the inevitable and being bloody stubborn about it, it seems only Gingrich & Gingrich’s team that still think this is a 3 horse race, yet realistically, it’s not been a 3 horse race for some time now. Yet it’s not all bad I suppose, I like making jokes about Newt Gingrich, and without him it would seriously impair my ability to make fun of him, well I could keep doing it, but it wouldn’t have as much impact. So Newt’s still running the marathon, but the question is; for how much longer?!

– Just a little note at the end here, I promoted Bruce Springsteen’s album on here earlier, but now it’s time for some shameless self-promotion! A website has been set up by a few university students here in the UK to try and showcase young writers, photographers, artists etc. So basically it’s pretty cool, I’ve written quite a few bits for it on American politics, and the guys who run it are really great so please have a look! It has the potential to be really, really big so please do have a look! It’s called Loud Mouth and I believe it’s launching this Sunday –¬†http://loudmouthofficialblog.blogspot.com/

Why Barack is getting comfortable..

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So things are starting to change, the seasons, the weather, it’s probably Newt Gingrich’s annual underwear changing as well, so it’s good for everyone, in fact in England today we had our hottest day so far this year which is obviously great. It was actually sunny, and as soon as the temperature tops 9 degrees everyone’s out in sunglasses and shorts, and personally I’m not a huge winter fan, so I can’t wait for it to warm up a bit, and by British standards anything above 10 degrees is something of a heatwave! Another momentous change could be on it’s way later this year, not Newt’s underwear (not twice in one year!) but ol’ Obama could be ousted, while I’m sure that England will have another sunny day, I, like so many others, cannot see a change in the Oval Office later this year.

It’s been a damn good week to be a Republican, no wait sorry, that should be it’s been a damn good week to be Mitt Romney, everyone’s favourite Mormon (I don’t know any mormons so he wins by default) cleaned up two Primaries this week in Michigan & Arizona. Personally I thought Mitt would blitz both primaries and finally silence Sweater vest Rick, well, it turns out I was half right, he won in Arizona by a hefty 20ish%, Michigan on the other hand was a bit tighter, and when I say ‘bit’ I mean a lot, and when I say tighter, I mean there was some serious sweating going on in the Romney Campaign HQ. I don’t know a huge amount about the demographics in Michigan but I thought that because Mitt’s dad was governor there, he was naturally, a shoo in. Apparently not, in the end he beat Rick Santorum by about 3%, and even then it wasn’t a HUGE WIN, unfortunately for ol’ Mitt, Michigan divides it’s delegates proportionately, so despite his marginal win he has to begrudgingly split the 30 delegates with Sweater vest Rick, and cue more Romney sweating!

When the results were coming in, admittedly I was asleep, (what? it was like 3 AM here and I have school!) but when I woke up and saw the results I was genuinely surprised at the small winning margin in Michigan. As I said, I’m not sure of the voter demographics, but I mean his dad was freakin’ governor, so surely that carries some sort of influence, and also it’s where Mitt was born, so surely home-field advantage! So that raises the question; Why didn’t Mitt blitz Michigan? Now, admittedly, I’ve been giving the other candidates a bit of a hard time, especially Newt Gingrich, and as a result I’ve left Mitt Romney a tad unscathed, so here it goes; while I’ve very much enjoyed deriding both Rick Perry and especially Newt Gingrich, it turns out that Mitt Romney is no stranger to the ‘political gaffe’, in fact after a bit of research into his comments, especially when talking to voters, it really shows that he has the equivalent people skills of a cruise missile!

On friday, it seemed that ol’Mitt went all ‘Rick Perry’ on us all, trust me that saying will soon be in the dictionary, he firstly seemed to boast that his wife ‘had a couple Cadillacs’, brilliant thing to say in Michigan, he then bizarrely remarked something about Michigan’s trees being ‘just the right height’, but then the real big one, he said he didn’t like NASCAR, again good stuff in Michigan, but he did know the owners of a couple of NASCAR teams, you heard him, Mitt Romney in touch with the 99%. By Wednesday the Democrats had created a video, highlighting the aforementioned quotes and calling him ‘out of touch’, honestly, it’s my dream to go into politics be it American or British, and I would love to work on election campaigns, but there is simply nothing Romney’s team could come back with in response to him being ‘out of touch’, at least Barack made an effort with the whole ‘I listen to rap’ thing, I guess Mitt could go down that road, no one would believe him though, well maybe he likes Vanilla Ice?

Of course the bigger picture is that the Republican party is it’s own worst enemy, it’s contributing to it’s own downfall, and essentially serving President Obama’s next term on a lovely GOP dish. Romney has no real backing from the GOP HQ, and with him being the frontrunner, well it’s a disaster. Their obvious reluctance to get behind their man with the best chance of winning their nomination undermines their best chance of winning the presidency, some party leaders have called for unity but nothing seems to work. Exit polls from Michigan showed that half the voters, only 45%, of Republican voters, felt enthusiastic about their REPUBLICAN candidates, the GOP voters are seemingly waiting/hoping/praying for a fresh candidate that, realistically, may never come. It’s time for Mitt to get back ‘in touch’ with the voters, maybe he could start rapping?

P.S – Apologies for various uncompleted versions of this being posted multiple times, WordPress has changed and no longer likes me. Apologies to anyone that commented previously, as those old incomplete posts were deleted!

Barack… King of Cool.

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You know what? Say what you like about the 44th President of the United States, yeah I’m talkin’ bout Barack Obama, say what you like about him. But one thing you can’t deny is that he’s cool, he’s really cool, he sings Al Green at a conference and doesn’t care. He listens to Jay Z, who I think is a rapper, he is certainly the coolest president in history, I mean sure Taft had the moustache, but Obama just, just, tops him. What I’m getting at is that we cannot, just cannot have someone as un-cool as Rick Santorum, sweater vest and all, being the next president, as a matter of principle, it can’t happen.

Admittedly, this week has been a bit of a dry week, it has been dry, which is why this week’s piece is going to be slightly shorter than usual. There’s been very little material to work with this week, and by ‘work with’ I mean attempt to write a semi-witty article about American politics, the next primaries aren’t for another 5 days, there is very little for someone, who isn’t even in America by the way, to go on, but I like Obama so I’m gonna run with this!

So recently Rick Santorum has been doing pretty damn well, it seems as though he may be the conservative that the Republicans have been looking for. However, for me personally, I despise him, I really despise him as a person and just about everything he stands for. On the other hand, I am quite pleased that he’s knocked everyone’s least favourite living politician, Newt Gingrich, out of the way, if there is anyone I despise more than ‘Sweater vest’ its ol’ Newt. So after writing a paragraph using the word ‘despise’ more times than I think I’ve said the word, I’ll move on.. Rick Santorum quite astoundingly is doing pretty well in Michigan, ol’ Mitt’s favourite second favourite state, but honestly I can’t understand his support, in fact, I can’t understand the type of person who would vote for Santorum.

Now lets be clear, we live in a democratic societies, on both sides of the pond, in fact most of the world does, which is of course a great thing. But Rick Santorum, god bless him, stands for things that take away people’s liberty and free choice; banning of abortion, banning of gay marriage etc. So surely his advocation of Federal bans of these things is, thus effectively removing people’s free choice, is a bad thing? Well isn’t it? Just because HE and others believe that they are right, doesn’t make them right. I can’t understand his views at all, I thought all Republicans want a small non-intrusive government, yet here he is, intruding right into people’s bedrooms, telling them what they should or shouldn’t be doing. Of course all of this ultra conservative rhetoric is backed, by what he believes to be god’s will, but I can’t understand the mentality behind people who decide they know what’s best for others because they are ignorant to other people’s lifestyle.

Got a tad serious for a second there, although I can honestly say I don’t like Sweater vest Rick, I fully respect his voters and believe in a democratic society where people should vote for who they like, but there is something so clearly ignorant about Santorum’s attitude that I just find so frustrating, plus y’know sweater vests aren’t really very cool are they? They aren’t ‘Obama cool’.

The last Mitt standing…

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Now if anyone saw my post last week, eloquently titled ‘Could Huntsman pull a Santorum?’ I predicted that John Huntsman’s popularity would surge as have the other GOP candidates at some time or another, and what do you know? He DID surge in New Hampshire! Some of the cynics out there will deny me of my ‘future predicting skills’ by saying that he has been building foundations there for months, some will say ‘He even skipped Iowa to concentrate on New Hampshire’, but I still contend that his surge is evidence of me being able to predict the future, which reminds me, if you want your future predicting, I suggest you donate money to me, I’m not quite sure how, but start stuffing coins into your USB ports now!

Anyway back to the politics, as you all will know the results from New Hampshire are in! Mitt of course, as strongly predicted, won by a frankly huge margin; he was a whole 16.5% ahead of an impressively second placed Ron Paul, with John Huntsman again very impressively coming in third with Newt & the two Ricks in pursuit. You would think that Mitt would be happy, well he probably is, after all he has now won in both Iowa & New Hampshire, a feat only accomplished twice before in history! His victory in New Hampshire was by Rick Perry’s standards very smooth, despite a slight gaffe on Monday morning when he seemed to confess his guilty little secret that he enjoys firing people. However the fact that this didn’t derail his candidacy especially in this climate, just goes to show that he’s in fullcontrol of this race, we have a saying in the UK that if your football (soccer) team plays badly but still wins, you support a great team!

Understandably however, the rest of the GOP candidates were not so pleased with the New Hampshire result, which is probably why they are looking to unload everything on him in South Carolina, literally unloading campaign ads costing millions and millions of dollars in an effort to stop the Romney freight train. The problem for Mitt is that it could work, South Carolina is a completely different ball game to the liberal New Hampshire, in deeply conservative South Carolina it’s likely that Mitt’s mormonism will come up more than a few times, as well as other religious issues that Mitt has been accused to flip-flop on a few times, namely that controversial one, abortion.

And… cue Newt Gingrich, ol’ Newt and his backers have been the main culprits so far in terms of ‘attack ads’ in South Carolina, trying to remind everyone of Mitt Romney’s, frankly, sketchy history; he dramatically changed his stance on abortion in 2005, hence the ‘flip-flop’ image that has stuck with him ever since. As if this wasn’t enough, his rivals have been hammering him over his record at Bain Capital, where they say he laid off tens of thousands of workers in order to maximise profit. Even Rick Perry (remember him?) has been getting in on the action calling Mitt a ‘vulture capitalist’, this portrayal of him as a ruthless capitalist could be dangerous in a state like South Carolina where the unemployment rate is almost double that of New Hampshire & Iowa, and also double the national average.

Rick Santorum’s ultra conservative image didn’t play well in New Hampshire, but is likely to play very well in South Carolina and with his already large endorsement from a prominent Christian evangelical he stands a very good chance. John Huntsman’s chances on the other hand are a mystery, the most moderate of all the candidates would have loved a second place finish in New Hampshire, but he’ll struggle to get past 5% in South Carolina.

In the past couple of days ol’ Mitt seems to have moved his focus onto challenging President Obama, it may be too soon though, South Carolina is going to be a dirty fight…