The End’s Not Near, It’s Here!

So this is less of a blog post and more of a goodbye, unfortunately!

I’ve decided to put Politicin’ on an indefinite hiatus, as the new website Loud Mouth has just launched. Loud Mouth is a website created by young people to act as a platform to showcase the work of young people in the UK, be that photography, creative writing or Journalistic style stuff.

It’s a really great opportunity for aspiring writers, and I’m going to be writing something for them every week on American politics, very much like Politicin’. With exams coming soon, and my hopeful transition to university coming in the autumn I want to try and concentrate on writing for Loud Mouth as well as doing school work etc.

But three months & almost 650 views later this blog was the first thing I ever really publicly wrote and that’s why it’s so hard to end it, for now anyway. But I would honestly like to thank everyone who ever read, laughed, enjoyed or even glanced at my blog, I’ve loved doing this so much, and if you want to read some of my new stuff on Loud Mouth the website is; http://www.loudmouth.org.uk/

It’s such a great website and the people behind it are really great as well.

So again I would just like to thank everyone, especially Katrina & SheSpeaks for their constant likes and comments from the very beginning when I thought no one really read anything I wrote, they’ve been great. So thanks again, and remember don’t vote Rick Santorum!

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/

Super Tuesday was pretty damn super! Wasn’t it?

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Well, it’s official, I’m a changed man! My first Super Tuesday, and my god it was good, well as good as multiple Republican Primaries can be. I initially thought about trying to blog straight after the results had come in from the US of A, but Thursday is my preferred writing day. I don’t know what it is about Thursday, but it just feels like a good writing day, I also finish school at 12.30 so that might be it, but no we’ll stick with ‘it’s a good writing day’. Anyway, I wasn’t really too sure what to expect from Super Tuesday, there’s so much going on and so much to look at so it’s difficult to try and focus on any specific state. I say that, but everyone was telling me that Ohio was clearly than one to watch, and more on that later. But I do wonder why Super Tuesday takes place, I wonder why they choose to have 10 Primaries on the same day, but I guess it creates an element of excitement and attracts more spectators, and if there was any race that needed an injection of excitement, it was most definitely this one!

Another problem with Super Tuesday? There’s so many damn states I don’t really know where to start… I’ll start with good news; the Republican Presidential Race looks set to drag on into the Summer, which may not sound like good news to some, but it’s good news for me! I mean what else am I going to write about!

Ol’ Mitt won the battle of Ohio, just, but hasn’t quite won the Republican war, yet. He was denied a ‘full house win’ of 10 states as Sweater vest Santorum once again proved that he wasn’t going down without a fight by winning an impressive 3 states. Unfortunately for Mitt Romney & the Republican party, it’s once again the case of the never ending story for the GOP; Super Tuesday’s usually prove decisive, this one not so much. The biggest day of the race was once again evidence of the fractured nature of the Republican party and the lack of grassroots conservative support for Mitt Romney. At this point Mitt hasn’t quite got it in the bag, instead of ‘nominee’ he’s more ‘frontrunner’, the process of changing from the latter to the former is easy for some, evidently it’s not quite as easy for ol’Mitt, and it’s made much more difficult when you face reluctance from your own party.

So we’ve had the good news, which unfortunately means the bad news is on it’s way… As well as Ohio, ol’Mitt took Vermont, Massachusetts, Idaho, Virginia and Alaska. The Sweater Vest king, fighting on a comparatively tiny budget, took Tennessee, North Dakota and Oklahoma, as well as running a remarkably close race in Ohio. So that’s nine states accounted for, which leaves one, and here’s the bad news; Everyone’s least favourite ‘Marshmallow Man from the Ghostbusters’ look a like Newt Gingrich looks as though he’s going to continue riding his dead-horse of a campaign for at least a couple of weeks, Ok maybe that was bit much, but every article needs hyperbole. His win in his home state of Georgia was his first since he won South Carolina in January, and although it wasn’t a huge result, it will at least allow him to continue trying to convince voters that he’s the best alternative to Rick Santorum.

In closing, Mitt hasn’t taken so much of a leap towards the nomination, he’s taken more of jump only to be attacked mid-air by a sweater vest clad lunatic Christian conservative . On the subject of good & bad news, it’s good news for Barack as he slowly seems to be rising in popularity, in fact it’s a political see-saw, as the Republicans attack each other, the Democrats & notably Barack Obama seem to rise, note if Newt Gingirch was front runner, Barack would be rising on the political see-saw both metaphorically and physically. The bad news, however, as usual is for the GOP, as the Republican National convention comes into sight, the GOP seems to be coming apart at the seams possibly leaving room for a 3rd party candidate. Good News for Ron Paul then!

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’.

Mitt & the Maine-stream..

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Once again my apologies for the awful, it really is, title for this piece, I wanted to try and get Maine into the title somewhere, and lots of people have said that Mitt’s campaign is now ‘back on track’ after a worryingly close result in the ‘Pine Tree State’ (really?). Now I say ‘worryingly close’ but it was probably even closer than that; Mitt was 31% ahead in Maine until everyone’s favourite geriatric – libertarian Texas congressman Ron Paul closed the gap to a mere 3%. Of course Mitt still won, but if it was me; well, I probably would have wet myself in nervousness, several times. Ok so maybe I wouldn’t wet myself, because I would then remember that the winner doesn’t even get any bloody delegates, if I were Mitt I would have abandoned Maine and headed West long ago. If someone wouldn’t mind explaining to me the significance of the ‘straw poll’ in Maine I would be very grateful, it just seems a bit pointless, all that attention and significance, and it means very little. Explanations NEEDED, in the comments section please!

I should probably stop the Maine-bashing now, my parents are going on holiday there later this year and I don’t want the state police to come after my Mum & Dad. Anyway, a ridiculously small amount of people voted in Maine, 5,000 in fact,which again begs the question, why do people really care? The state is hardly representative of the rest of the US, in fact the only state’s it’s even similar to in that respect are New Hampshire and, yeah you guessed it; Massachusetts, Mitt’s state, it even comes with Obama-style healthcare, just don’t tell anyone else. And that, smoothly brings me into my next point, Mitt’s apparent ‘flip-flopping’ is causing him just a few problems, in fact it’s been the main artillery for any and all anti-Mitt talk anywhere in the galaxy.

The annual meeting of the conservative wing of the GOP took place in Washington last week, it brought together just about every US conservative under the sun, including our beloved Sarah Palin (HA!). The CPAC, the meeting thing, came just after Sweater-Vest Santorum triply crushed Mitt, and just before the Maine ‘non vote’. So with Mitt reeling, he had to show that he could appeal to the conservatives, and what better way to do it than trying to do it in front of 10,000 conservative Republicans, who probably don’t like him very much anyway. Well, ol’Mitt won it in the end, he finished 7% ahead of Sweater Vest, 23% ahead of the Pillsbury dough-boy, and 26% ahead of RP. So you’d think ‘big pat on the back’ for Mitt, however things didn’t go down too smoothly, although he won the poll he didn’t exactly do it subtlety; aside from having the word ‘Conservative’ tattooed on his rather sizeable forehead, he instead chose to use the word more than 20 times in an effort to sway his doubters in the audience.

However there were a few detractors who chose to air their views on the former Massachusetts Governor’s supposed Conservative record; a conservative millionaire who owns millions of shares in sweater vests, told an absolute rib-tickler of a a joke, ‘A conservative, a liberal and a moderate walk into a bar, the bartender says ‘Hi Mitt!’, I’m sure hilarity ensued, I know the next time I need a laugh I’ll go straight to the ‘Republican Party’s collection of jokes’. So while the aisles filled with Republican tears of laughter, another lunatic took to the stage in the form of Sarah Palin, she was on day release and before she returned to her straight jacket and cosy padded cell, she avoided endorsing any candidate but seemed to showsome opposition to Romney, she said the nominee ‘must be someone who can instinctively turn right to constitutional conservative principles.’ While she was being promptly removed as a ‘security risk’, it turns out that once again, the Republican faithful are again spoilt for choice, no wait, that should be lack of choice. Mitt, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul have all failed to ignite any overwhelming support thus far, however Mitt could run away with it comes to the Michigan & Arizona Primaries later this month.

So I’m off to sleep now, it’s pretty late in the old United Kingdom, however theone thing that may keep me up is the thought that Sarah Palin could’ve been Vice President right now, really America? REALLY?!

Could Huntsman pull a ‘Santorum’…?

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So as the results flooded in from Iowa, everyone including myself was biting their nails anxiously as the three horse race faded into a two horse race eventually split by 8 votes! The tightest of margins in a state where 122,000 Iowa Republicans cast their votes, the largest turnout ever, hooray for democracy!

While Mitt Romney will be understandably pleased at having the prestige of winning, as opposed to his sour ‘silver medal’ last time around, commentators were quick to point out that it was no real victory. He may have won the caucus, but Rick Santorum was the real winner. With Mitt pouring at least $4 million into Iowa he finished with 25% of the vote, Santorum on the other hand spent a pittance in comparison and came from seemingly nowhere to almost steal a victory. 

In a startling comparison Mitt’s campaign spent on average $156 per vote, while Santorum spent a mere $21 and got a lot more value for money. However the money probably doesn’t mean that much to Romney what with his riches, the thought that may keep him up at night is that 75% of the voters avoided Romney completely…

Now as we turn from Iowa to New Hampshire, there was something missing from Iowa, something I couldn’t put my finger on and then I remembered! Iowa was missing an entire person, oh and his campaign, John Huntsman!

His decision to skip Iowa altogether has been met with a degree of skepticism as well as admiration, for a man who never really had a chance in Iowa it surely makes sense for him to build a strong foundation in a state like New Hampshire where he stands a much greater chance of doing well. 

Ron Paul, or his twitter account at least, decided to take a shot at Jon Huntsman in a delightfully funny post; – 

@jonhuntsman we found your one Iowa voter, he’s in Linn precinct 5 you might want to call him and say thanks,”

Great stuff from Ron Paul, although he might not be laughing too long. It’s argued that Rick Santorum’s late surge was the result of the ‘undecideds’ who were suddenly swayed in his direction, many of these swing voters didn’t like Mitt Romney or Ron Paul and found a comfortable conservative christian alternative in Rick Santorum. My argument is that Jon Huntsman could pull a ‘Rick Santorum’ in New Hampshire, his supposed ‘liberalism’ will play much better there, and his strong foundation which already gives him 10% could create a surge as once again GOP voters look for the alternative to Mitt Romney. 

By the sounds of it, Huntsman is confident about his chances; “I feel pretty good about having come from the margin of error. We came into this state as a complete asterisk, at zero, and now we’re bumping into the teens,” Huntsman said. “And with the unpredictable nature of the race so far, I think we are positioned pretty well.”

“That’s about to change in about 48 hours, and then the big bright light is going to be here on New Hampshire,” Huntsman said. “And in true fashion, New Hampshire always tends to upend conventional wisdom.”

Whether Huntsman can make a mark in New Hampshire remains to be seen, but certainly he is due a surge some time or another and if he’s a praying man he should get going now. Mitt Romney on the other hand is polling a superb 43% which is more than enough to put him over the top, Ron Paul? Well he made fade out or it may just be getting going, who knows? One thing the candidates can be sure of is that Newt Gingrich is angry, and he’ll be psyched up for New Hampshire, if that’s something no one wants, it’s an angry Newt Gingrich.