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!

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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?!

To Mitt, or Not to Mitt, that is the question..

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So I guess I better start off this week’s blog by thanking Rick Santorum, not so much a genuine ‘thanks’, but a sarcastic ‘thanks’, ‘thanks Rick Santorum for winning in Missouri, Minnesota & Colorado!’, I had to change my original title for this week’s blog and it’s entire content because of the sweater vest king’s triple win. Originally it was going to be ‘Viva Las Mitt’ which I thought was pretty damn good, it had a nice ring to it, and of course it would be about Mitt’s win in Nevada, but NO, ol’ sweater vest Rick Santorum had to ruin it!

In fact, you know what, we’re going to have some ‘Viva Las Mitt’ in here! Last Sunday was a good day in the Romney household, he completely blitzed Nevada and finished with a giant 48% of the vote, twice more than that chubby chaser Newt Gingrich who got a measly 23%. Another thing pleasing Romney, and his many, many sons, was that the exit polls showed Newt’s support seemed to be falling away among conservatives, evangelicals and Tea Party crazies, these supporters who had previously grabbed him a victory in South Carolina were now firmly in Romney country. This trend continued this week with pretty crappy performances in the Colorado & Minnesota caucuses, in which he finished 3rd & 4th, oh and also a default last place finish in the Missouri Primary, which wasn’t a Primary, confusing, because he didn’t even register in time for it!

So what started badly on Sunday for Newt, ended in a car crash of a result on Tuesday, unfortunately however, his campaign is far from over; he has vowed to stay on at least until Super Tuesday in March where he looks set to do a bit better than previously. In contrast, ol’Mitt was on something of a roll, after knocking both Florida & Nevada out of the park in quick succession, he was widely expected to do well in the three contests this week, apparently the Coloradan, Missourian & Minnesotan (I can’t believe these are actually words for people from these states) voters didn’t read the Romney script!

Before we go any further I have to admit that I had no idea where Minnesota or Missouri actually were, but then I found that the Missouri Primary wasn’t a ‘real primary’, apparently they have the official one in a couple of months, so I wasn’t too bothered about that one. So now I just don’t know where Minnesota is, which I think is ok, it’s one of those states that you don’t really hear about, no offence to those Minnesotans out there, I’m sure it’s lovely. Now to move on before I get hate mail from Minnesota, I already knew a bit about Colorado (Go Broncos! Tebow!) and personally I thought Romney was a shoo-in for both of the aforementioned states, after all in 2008 he won the Minnesota Caucus by a fairly wide margin. This didn’t quite go to plan; the Santorum surge seems to have risen from the ashes in Nevada, the exit polls seemed to show a slightly more anti-Mitt edge than the results reflected, interestingly four out of ten Republican voters said they were principally focused on getting Obama out of the White house, suggesting that some voters are willing to compromise some of their ideological beliefs in to back the man they best believe can get that comfy seat in the oval office, so instead of a vote for Mitt, it’s more of a vote for anyone whose not a Democrat.

Personally I think this is the case with Rick Santorum’s triple wins, instead of actually voting for a candidate the voters believe in, they are just voting for an alternative to Mitt Romney or an alternative to Barack Obama. While this of course great news for ol’Rick and more importantly his array of sweater vests, it’s bad news for the Republican party, their vote is becoming increasingly split between three candidates and this leaves the door open for Obama to walk straight back into the White house. If we’re talking about ‘divide & conquer’, the Republicans are dividing themselves making it much easier for the Democrats to conquer later in the year. Ol’Mitt’s campaign is suddenly significantly weaker, he was hoping to spend February attacking Obama, now he’s spending February attacking Santorum, who can probably expect the same negative ad bombardment that Newt Gingrich has been experiencing the last couple of weeks. Santorum, who has so far been fighting on the caucus and primary front on a very strict budget, has said that the last fortnight has been the best in terms of fundraising, as the results came in tuesday night it was reported he received $250,000 in online donations alone, this really can only mean two things, you’ll be seeing more Santorum and you’ll be seeing more sweater vests!

Mitt knocks Newt into the Gulf… literally!

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Ok so first of all, the title is a tad misleading, Mitt Romney didn’t really knock Newt Gingrich into the Gulf Of Mexico, although I think a fight would’ve made the Florida Primary much more exciting, I mean give the them both a pair of boxing gloves and a ring and I bet you’d get higher ratings than all the debates put together. Now while I think Newt may have the weight advantage, come on there is a lot there, I think Mitt could take him, I bet if you made him angry he would shake off his docile exterior and go hulk pretty quickly! Oh and secondly, look at the new blog layout! I wanted to try something different and this was one of the best free ones (what? I’m a student I can’t spend money on blogs!), apparently it’s the ‘best layout’ for wedding blogs, but I’ll take it!

Anyway everyone knew that Florida was going to be a big one, in fact literally it is, it’s the fourth biggest state in terms of votes in the Presidential election, and even then it’s the only BIG marginal state, plus after that controversy in 2000, the Sunshine state has quickly turned into political war zone. But if Florida is a war zone, then Romney has won this battle, but still has a way to go to win the GOP war, he’s put the nastiness of South Carolina & the crying of Iowa behind him comfortably with a crushing victory taking a giant 46% of the Floridian vote. Although if there is one noticeable change about ol’ Mitt’s attitude, it’s that there’s very little Newt bashing going on, in fact there wasn’t one criticism in his victory speech, instead he’s gone back to bashing President Obama, here I was hoping for some good Newt jokes..

I’ve been to Florida actually, about 8 or 9 times I think, only Disney World once and I didn’t even get to see Mickey, anyway when ever I think about past family holidays in Florida I remember being happy, probably because it was hot and sunny, two things which England rarely are. It’s just that the Florida primary hasn’t been making the state such a happy place to live, in fact an Independent monitoring group reported that 99% of Romney’s ads were negative, apparently there’s no such thing as a ‘nice attack ad’, and with $15 million to spend, I guess that’s a lot of negativity on the airwaves.

The Sunshine state was also very important as it was the first state with a big Hispanic population: Latino voters comprise about 13% of the electorate, so it was time for both Mitt & Newt to go Cuban for a while. As soon as Romney arrived in Florida he quickly received the endorsements of influential Cuban leaders as well as the governor of Puerto Rico, while many thought his idea of ‘self deportation’ for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants could backfire, nothing really came of it. While ol’ Mitt was busy gaining endorsements, Newt was talking about building colonies on the moon, apparently that’s not a key voter issue but at least he’s looking to the future. In the last few days I’ve noticed that Newt seems to be drifting, and when I say noticed, I mean ‘excitedly noticed’, his nationwide likability is currently somewhere between dog poop and stepping on a land mine.

Meanwhile signs of economic recovery are worrying the GOP, the percentage of Americans believing the economy is back on track has doubled in the last couple of months, if these trends continue the Republicans may find it difficult to remove President Obama from that comfy seat in the oval office, but don’t worry we can all follow Newt to the moon!

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…

Republicans and foreign policy, not the greatest mix…apparently..

Well, let’s be brutally honest, odds are that no one thought Rick Perry’s ‘oops’ moment could be topped or at least equalled in terms of political foolery. But I’m guessing that some people may have been thinking ‘Well Herman Cain definitely has it in him..’ And those people are right, Mr Cain has certainly delivered, and in top form as well; in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, when asked about the Libya conflict, he said: –

“OK, Libya. President Obama supported the uprising, correct?”

When asked if he agreed with Obama’s support for rebels, he replied: –

“I do not agree with the way he handled it, for the following reason.” After hesitation and shifting in his seat, he said: “Uh, nope, that’s, that’s a different one. … see, I got to go back, see. Got all this stuff twirling around in my head.”

Now this gaffe could not come at a worse time for Cain, or a better time for everyone else, as it gives another terrifying insight into the man who could be President in just over a year’s time… scary stuff, no?

But then again isn’t it time Herman was given a bit of a break, sure he messed up on the Libya question slightly, and he said one of the top priorities was to stop China acquiring a nuclear warhead, seemingly unaware they’ve had them since the 60’s, but when compared with other Republican candidate’s namely Sarah Palin, Mr Cain comes off looking pretty damn good!

Who can forget, Sarah Palin’s, now infamous, explanation of why Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her a wealth of foreign policy experience ; “As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” Predictably the clip went viral at the time, and early on it looks as though Cain’s blunder might be going the same way.

But, all in all it’s not too bad for the Republicans; of course in the UK if you want to know anything about US politics then you have to watch the superb Daily show with Jon Stewart. And as much as I love to watch Jon Stewart in full ‘republican/fox news piss taking’ flow, you could only watch quite surprised as he declared that, the usual nutcase extra-ordinare, Michele Bachmann had the ‘sanest’ stance on foreign policy out of all the candidates including the seemingly mercurial Mitt Romney.

Whether, Cain’s latest gaffe will set his presidency bid back is anyone’s guess, most thought he was toast after last week but he’s somehow staying afloat, and if he can get through to January and the Iowa caucus without any major scene he should be ok, but until then my best advice for him is to hide in a cupboard and keep his mouth shut…firmly shut!

Perry, Cain & the first blog!

Ah, it’s that first blog feeling that you get when you start a blog, I’ve only felt it this once…but my god it’s good! I’ve decided to enter the blogosphere after being enticed my many of my friends at college. However he only question was, what do I blog about?!

After much deliberation I decided to write about the world of American politics, I’ve decided to do this as, frankly I love the USA. Having ‘crossed the pond’ more than a few times in my short life, and studying it’s great history at length while at school I instantly fell in love!

Well, thats the 50 million dollar answer. The real reason I’ve started this blog is because I just find America and it’s politics so interesting, it’s incredibly different to the UK in this respect; the US is far more divided and it’s politics reflect that.

So I guess the purpose of this blog is to give an insight into how we in the UK see the US. I also hope that because I’m so far away from the political sphere of the GOP & the democrats, I can give a good insight into events from across the pond, and hopefully include some of that famous British wit!

So here it goes… Like so many others I’ve been keeping a firm eye on the GOP Presidential nomination, and while there seems to be no stand out candidate, it’s seldom been short of entertainment. Moving away from Mr Perry’s brilliant ‘oops’ moment that could cost him dearly, we move swiftly to a certain Mr Herman Cain who has been swatting away sexual harassment allegations for the last two weeks.

It seems a tad ironic that ol’ Rick Perry could have killed his chances by forgetting a line, albeit an important line, while Herman Cain remains remarkably afloat despite various high profile sexual harassment accusations. In fact it boggles the mind, while many a pundit have predicted his swift downfall, he has seen only a slight drop in the polls and after a relatively strong performance in the GOP debate wednesday night he seems to be, somehow, back on track.

After Rick Perry’s debate gaffe on wednesday and the glorious fading of Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann, Cain remains the only option left for anti-Romney republicans who view the former Massachusetts governor as ‘dangerously unreliable’. If it wasn’t for Cain, Romney would already be jumping in joy!

By the looks of it, Cain could take Iowa, while Romney looks set to take New Hampshire in the first primary, if so it’ll boil down to the crucial proceedings in South Carolina.

However you would be a fool to dismiss Rick Perry at this point, his ‘oops’ moment is by no means a bar to the white house, I mean just ask George W Bush!