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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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!

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. 

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!