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!

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’.

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!

Newt Gingrich, Or: How I Learned To Start Worrying About American Politics

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At the time of writing this I’m sitting watching James Bond, Casino Royale in case your interested, whilst drinking a great cup of tea, so at this point, aside from being Hugh Grant, I’m being about as English as possible. And even sitting here in the middle of my comfortable English home, I’m worried … on the verge of weeping actually, the thought causing these ill feelings is that Newt Gingrich suddenly looks like the man most likely to face Barack Obama in the General Election later this year.

Honestly, Newt must’ve been Tebowing (see last week’s article) and Tebowing a lot! It’s the only reasonable explanation for what has been a frankly remarkable turnaround. Until last week Mitt Romney looked a shoo-in for the nomination, he looked set to complete a clean slate of wins in the first three primaries, now he’s just got the solitary win in New Hampshire of which he was always going to win anyway. While of course ol’Mitt is probably weeping quietly somewhere, (we could weep together? maybe?), it turns out that the South Carolina result was most wildly celebrated in the oval office as opposed to anyway actually near South Carolina. The result coupled with the Iowa Caucus overturn has significantly weakened Mitt Romney’s challenge for the nomination, and has also significantly weakened the GOP’s chances of winning back the presidency. The Democrats cannot believe their luck, and as the Republican in-fighting continues, the worst man has moved to the front of the queue.

The debate last monday evening was the beginning of the ‘Gingrich surge’, this debate by the way was the 16th debate! The 16th! Apparently Mitt has been most displeased with the frequency of the debates and I do agree, 16 debates really?! Anyway it was this debate that the wily ol’ Texan Rick Perry asked ol’Mitt to release his tax returns, which have now been released at a bit of a measly 15% tax, it had then emerged the Romney had lost to Santorum in Iowa, then Rick Perry realised who he was and dropped out and endorsed Newt, and Sarah Palin somehow managed to get past security to endorse him as well! In the end of course as everyone knows, Newt won SC by a giant 12%.

Although many thought, I was hoping, the Newt train would be derailed before the voting began, it  didn’t happen, although as I said many thought it would, and here’s why: – Newt’s second wife, you know the wife he left to go marry another woman whom he had been having an affair with while being indicted for ethics breaches as the Speaker of the House, while bitching at Clinton for having an affair, Yes that second wife, was giving an interview on how he had supposedly asked her for an open marriage so he could continue his affair with his soon to be third wife… yeah just give it a second for the classiness to waft over you.. And I’ll continue, while this looks like a train wreck of a situation nothing really came out of it, Newt didn’t dip in the polls and comfortably won days later.

**He was asked about all this in a debate, in fact I believe it was the first question of the debate, and he went freakin’ nuts, youtube it!

The problem is that when the topic was raised in the debate, Newt shouted it down calling it ‘despicable’ and that’s not even the problem, the problem is that the crowd stood and applauded his rude response, applauded, why? The Republican supporters sitting in the audience supposedly represent the moral side of America, they pride themselves, most of them, on their moral and religious values, and yet stand and applaud and even worse, vote for the man, while the ‘open marriage story’ may not be true, they vote for a man who left his first wife to marry his mistress, while his first wife was undergoing cancer treatment, and then left his second wife to marry his next mistress, as well as being the only Speaker of the House to be impeached in front of congress.. I mean what are these people applauding? They’re applauding the direct contradiction of their own beliefs and want this man as President!

He’s also promised Sarah Palin a ‘major role’ in the next administration, and if all of this before was not enough of a reason to not vote him, this last part definitely is!

Newt needs some ‘Tebow Time’!

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Well, it would be an understatement to say that it’s been a bit of a tumultuous week! Not only have we had two GOP casualties with John Huntsman inevitably pulling out but also just as inevitably, Rick Perry has decided to go as well! While Huntsman’s exit was to be expected, Rick Perry’s was slightly less so, I mean yes he’s been polling at a pretty crappy 5% in just about every state since Iowa but he was a resilient Texan! So not only has it been a bad week for the GOP HQ who have seen two other people who aren’t Mitt Romney drop out, but also the Denver Broncos lost on Sunday night, what? I like American football! So that means no more Tebow Time, what? I’m not the only person who likes Tim Tebow?

Oh and in case you don’t know who Tim Tebow is, that probably applies to most of us in the UK, he is the Quarter back for the Denver Broncos and he’s been causing quite a stir in the sporting world. Basically during the American football season when the Broncos have been losing, he has inspired some great comebacks to win the game, after he throws the winning touchdown he prays on the field, no seriously, and it’s turned into a bit of a phenomenon, google Tebowing!

Anyway back to the politics, if there was one man in need of some Tebow inspired ‘divine intervention’ it’s Newt Gingrich. He, like many others, have stated that if ol’ Mitt wins the South Carolina Primary on Saturday then the race is effectively over. Which is probably very true, Mitt’s running away with it in the Florida polls at the minute, but that isn’t really the case in South Carolina anymore…

It’s remarkable really, Mitt was streets ahead of everyone in South Carolina about a week ago, however a few things have changed since then. Essentially Mitt Romney has served a punching bag over the past week taking hits from just about everyone, the main attacker has of course been Newt Gingrich, with the former Speaker of the House investing in excess of $3.3 million of campaign ads over South Carolina’s airwaves. The most notable, a now infamous 27-minute documentary entitled ‘When Mitt Romney came to town’, I thought it was a new romantic comedy starring everyone’s favourite mormon, but in fact it was about Mitt’s 15 year tenure as head of Bain Capital featuring endless interviews of people who had lost their jobs and homes when the companies they worked for were taken over by Bain and closed. Another bizarre advert from Newt Gingrich productions slated Mitt for lying and for speaking French. Yeah apparently your not allowed to speak more than one language if your running for President, no wonder John Huntsman never had a chance!

While the ‘French attack’ will go down in history for being the most ‘bizarre political advert ever’, Newt’s 27 minute Mitt flick back fired slightly, it seems just about everyone rounded on Newt’s ill conceived ‘documentary’ accusing him of being ‘ignorant’ and ‘dumb’, although it seems Sarah Palin thought that it was ok, but that’s not good for anyone. And while many thought that Newt’s popularity might wain, it has in fact done the opposite in the past few days, he’s surged in the polls, and even more so in the past 12 hours when it was revealed that former Texas governor Rick Perry was pulling out, only to then proclaim his love for Newt! The forgetful governor’s endorsement may not seem much, but his 5% of conservative support could make South Carolina a very tight race.

Yet more bad news for Mitt Romney, I’m starting to genuinely feel sorry for him, it looks like the Iowa Caucus result is to be overturned, although not officially until tomorrow, it looks like ol’ ‘sweater vest’ Rick Santorum has won by 37 votes, instead of the 7 votes Mitt won with originally. Just craziness. But not the sort of craziness Mitt Romney needs two days before the primary, if he loses in South Carolina then the race could be blown wide open, with his solitary win in New Hampshire, a state he was always going to win, it’s not looking like Mitt’s for the taking anymore…

An odd but fortuitous turn of events for Newt Gingrich, he must be Tebowing somewhere!

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. 

On your marks, get set… IOWA!

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Firstly, before I go any further I must apologise for the title of this post, because frankly it’s bloody awful, but it’s been about two weeks since my last entry so I’m feeling a bit dry. Anyway I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and a happy new year! And even if you didn’t have either of those, I think we all know that Ron Paul did!

Now my mother always told me never to trust a man with two first names, but there is something quite likeable about Ron Paul, and I admit that I quite admire him as well; he has shown steady growth over the festive period and in most polls he seems to be sitting comfortably in second place. His superb early organisation in Iowa has harvested his growth, and he also possesses a large amount of frighteningly passionate volunteers who I think would literally jump in front of an unconstitutional bus for him!

With less than 12 hours, UK time (sorry guys.), until the ‘caucusgoers’ get voting the latest polls put Mitt Romney with 23%, RP at 22% and Rick Santorum at a decent 18%, another admirable feat for a man who has been largely ignored by just about everyone until about last friday. While Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich seem to have disappeared down the caucus plug hole, hallelujah! You can’t count them out overall, especially Gingrich, who unfortunately seems to still be in with a fairly good chance in the long run. Many argue that his surge came slightly too early, and his lack of organisation never gave him a real chance of winning ,however many potential voters earmarked Gingrich as the most ‘knowledgeable’ candidate which could put him in good stead to face Obama next year.

While the Iowa caucus seems as though it could go either way, the New Hampshire Primary could not be anymore different, with ol’ Mitt streets ahead. Romney, who started the campaign as the frontrunner has defied many critics by seeing off Michele Bachmann who rose and then not so triumphantly fell, Rick Perry who ‘ummm….d’ his way to the bottom and of course the future Times ‘Man of Year’ Herman Cain. The most remarkable thing about Mitt’s campaign so far is that he has managed to stay ahead despite the best efforts of his own party who seem reluctant to support him, many in his party claim that he is not a ‘true conservative’ and that he has consistently flip-flopped on various ideological issues in order to win votes. Gingrich labelled him a ‘Massachusetts Moderate’ while Rick Santorum claimed that he ‘ran as a liberal in order to get elected’. While this could possibly be looked upon as candidates undermining each other, the main problem for the GOP will be that if Mitt wins the nomination, the democrats will have a lot of ammunition that could easily take ol’Mitt apart…

The main cruise missile in the Democrat’s arsenal will be Romney’s tenure as governor of Massachusetts, although he is remembered for being a pragmatic and effective governor, he successfully overhauled the state’s broken healthcare system, which sounds like a bloody good thing, though not if your a republican apparently. Mitt’s criticisms of Obama’s healthcare reforms were met with accusations of hypocrisy, which in parts are very similar to his own reforms as governor, and unfortunately this doesn’t set him well for what could be a very difficult campaign for him and the Republicans.

Anyway back to the caucus! If ol’Mitt wins I’ll be pleased for him! If Ron Paul wins, well I won’t really care but I’d be a bit worried! If Rick Santorum wins I’ll be surprised! If Newt Gingrich wins, well I worry for humanity…

The Rise and Fall of the ‘Non – Mitts’!

 

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So as the race to be theRepublican candidate goes on…and on. It seems as though another candidate has risen to the dizzying heights of ‘frontrunner’, and this new man is none other than that loveable Newt Gingrich, a man so great he… ok admittedly before I wrote this blog I had to do a bit of research on this man, because frankly I had no idea who he was, and never thought that he would even get this far. And surely this typifies what this so called ‘race’ become, as more and more candidates fall from being the front runner to the gutter, it was eventually time that one of the smaller fish would rise to the top, because there was literally no one else left!

Hence the catchy title of ‘Non – MItts’, oh and there have been a few, that have had their moment in the sun then crashed back down with sizeable force; The lunatic – cum – politician Michele Bachmann; Mr Brain freeze himself Rick Perry and of course who could forget Pizza King and professional gentleman Herman Cain. After the rest folded under scrutiny, it will certainly be interesting to see how Mr Gingrich fairs, and if he can stick it out without any major gaffes he may just stand a chance come January. Well that’s what I thought after knowing nothing about his past:

– Firstly I’m slightly embarassed to find out that he was Speaker of the House and yet I hadn’t heard of him.

– Secondly, after doing a bit of research, my advice to him would be to quit now and move to Mexico.

I literally cannot believe he his still allowed near D.C… In a great tabloid moment he complained about not being seated in the front section of Air Force one on a trip to Israel, and subsequently decided that this minor snub would play a part in his decision to shut down the entire US government in 1995. This led to a NY newspaper publicly calling him a ‘cry baby’ on their front page, a headline so bloody brilliant it’s the picture for this blog entry! He also, so far, remains the only Speaker of the House in US history to have been disciplined for misbehaviour, and has also had no less than 84 ethics charges filed against him while he held the position.

This is turning into a rant, but I honestly cannot believe this man; turns out that he was having an extramarital affair while impeaching Clinton for his, great stuff Newt, really. I guess that the Republicans are grasping at anyone who isn’t Mitt Romney, while he has been commendably consistent, the GOP are desperate for anyone else, even if that is Newt Gingrich.

Also, just sneak this point in, he had, and is rumoured to still have, a $1 million line of credit at Tiffany’s the jeweller for his third, yes third wife, well that should sit well with the 99%.