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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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!

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!

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…