Critics say Romney won the first debate

The importance of presidential debates are a common topic for debate. Many people claim that the debates have no bearing on who they vote for, so whether or not Romney and Obama could swing enough interest to their side through the debates to win is somewhat unknown. Many, however, tune in to see what the candidates have to say and do not hesitate to share their opinions afterwards.

Many raved and said that Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate, which was held on October 3, 2012. According to the Baltimore Sun, people had predicated that Romney needed to use the opportunity to convince people that he was the right option for America. He was well versed and had little trouble expressing himself during the debate, and the charm he conveyed won over a lot of viewers.

Romney was not met with total praise, however. Some felt that although he delivered his message with smooth words, what he said was not entirely truthful. Others also were upset because he said that although he loves big bird he would cut funding to PBS, a comment that has been blown up and shared through almost every news and social media outlet. It’s not surprising that Romney met some unfavorable responses because every candidate faces that, but the specific comments about his “lies” will likely be up for debate throughout the next month.

Obama had a less then stellar night, overall. He had trouble delivering his thoughts with the smooth presentation and his presences was hardly noteworthy. It was not like the usual Barack Obama that we are use to seeing and people did not hesitate to express their disappointment. Obama even made innuendos towards his poor performance. Some wonder if this is the beginning of his end.

How do you weigh in? Do you think Romney was untruthful, or are his critic simply attacking him? Did Obama just have a bad night, or has he already lost the people’s vote?

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First Presidential Debate of 2012

I will be posting a recap of the main ideas later this week, but I wanted to throw this up to see what you all though of the debate between R Mitt Romney and D Barack Obama. Comment with your opinion!

Guest Blogger: Romney Rallies Northern Virginia

Thank you to my close friend Michelle Moodhe for sharing her
expierence at a rally for Republican Candidate Mitt Romney this past
Thursday:

On Thursday, Sept. 13 I had the amazing opportunity to attend a
political rally so close to Election Day. Many have projected this
election to be one of the most important because of the two very different stances from both candidates and during a time in which we
endure what is said to be one of the worst economic times in American
history since the Great Depression.
Mitt Romney stopped in Fairfax, Va. for a political rally in an area that could very well determine the election. With the surprising shift from red to blue, the 2008 Election was the first time in 40 years that Virginia became a “blue state,” voting Democrat in a presidential election.

At 9 a.m. on Thursday, nearly 2,000 people (according to FairfaxStationPatch.comch.com) gathered at Van Dyck Park in Fairfax
County. If any recall, this was also the location of a rally hosted by
2008’s Presidential Candidate John McCain and VP nominee Sarah Palin
as well.

Most everyone I noticed was decked out in red, white and blue attire.
I would estimate the age demographic, percentage wise, was 60% middle age 10% seniors and 30% Young Adults (16-30 years old). It was interesting because time and time again, I heard the familiar conversations which revolved around the economy, and the suffering of small businesses and the concern for the younger generation not able to find jobs. “Ralliers” were becoming instant friends.

Once the line started moving, we were welcomed by Virginia Congressional Candidate Chris Perkins. He shook the hands of many as they passed through registration, striking up a conversation with whoever had something to say.

Once inside, I saw the stage with a backdrop of an American flag. On either side were two signs promoting the “Romney Plan for the Middle Class.” The grounds began to fill fast. I was lucky enough to be about 15 feet away from the stage. I could tell that Romney would be focusing on women and the middle class because all signs said “Women for Romney” and the stage backdrop was made up mostly of women.

Around 11 a.m., a few speakers came out. The speakers were female
entrepreneurs talking about their American Dream. All the speakers endorsed Romney because of his business experience and spoke on behalf of his track record with success in the business world. After several speeches, the crowd waited, chanting “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!” and “USA! USA! USA!”

After a few minutes the campaign bus rolled up and the crowd went wild
as Romney came out. The crowd kept chanting “Mitt!” over and over. He
seemed to be overwhelmed by the high energy and waited about a minute
for the chanting to subside. He opened his speech talking about helping veterans getting a job when they come home, and the importance
of Northern Virginia in this upcoming election.
Romney proceeded to comment on the unrest at the U.S. embassy and the loss of four diplomats. It was during this comment that a heckler began shouting at the presidential nominee. Once the crowd caught wind of the disruptor everyone began chanting “USA! USA! USA!” The heckler was immediately escorted and Romney noted “I would offer a moment of silence but one gentlemen doesn’t want to be silent so we’re gonna keep on going.”

Romney continued his speech by touching on points on the military,
sequestration, strong economy and a critique on the President’s
address at the DNC. He claimed that Obama read no new ideas in his acceptance speech. Romney then proposed his five ideas that will get
America working again:
1. Have America energy-independent in eight years, which in turn would create millions of jobs.

2.“Make trade work for America,” opening up new markets, and
specifically calling out China for holding down their currency.

3. Make sure our schools are competitive on the world level.

4. Help small businesses by cutting back on the size of the federal
government, and get “America back on track to a balanced budget.”

5. “Champion small business,” to encourage entrepreneurs and minimize
regulations and keep taxes down.

Romney then proceeded with closing remarks, and made his way to the
crowd as many reached for a chance to shake his hand. He even kissed a
few babies, a perfect photo op. The crowd lingered for another 20 minutes or so and eventually filed out.
Overall, it was a great experience and very informational. Romney not
only delivered a speech with points and ideas but he thoroughly
explained how and why they would work. I myself am no expert on
economics or how jobs are created but one thing I think Romney does
very well is providing concrete reasoning behind these ideas.

He explained the market, how competition creates wage increase and the
economics behind currency manipulators. I left feeling more educated
and not just on a candidate’s opinion or platform but on actual
issues. I learned about the economy and jobs and the importance of small business. I think whether Democrat or Republican you couldn’t help but understand and agree with his logic.
It will be a tight election to say the least and I am very interested to see what direction Americans decide to take this country. No matter which party, I encourage everyone to vote because your opinion counts.

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank Nicole for letting me
guest blog, it’s nice to have another writing outlet especially on a
topic I care dearly for. Thanks again Nicole!

*All opinions presented in this blog post are those of the author.

**I am always open to guest bloggers. Please email me at
nmdales@gmail.com if you are interested.

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This One’s for You, Dr. B

I never intended to be a political blogger. I was a journalist but blogging was never something I considered. This blog only exists because one of my professors assigned it as homework.

I was studying Communication with a concentration in Mass Media at Longwood University. One of my required classes was Computer Mediated Communications and because I thought I wouldn’t like the class I put it off until the last minute. I finally took it my final semester of college with Dr. Bill Stuart.

The class was centered around social media and a major part of the curriculum was maintaining a blog and a twitter account. I was also minoring in Political Science and always looking for a way to merge my two fields of study, which is why I chose this blog. Dr. B was very encouraging and supportive of the topic. Right before my graduation in May 2012 I promised Dr. B that I was going to keep this blog running through the election season. I did not follow through on that promise.

When I woke up this morning (September 10, 2012) I learned of the untimely death of Dr. B. It was a shock for everyone and filled the small community of my university with grief. I learned of his passing through the same social media outlets that he had taught me to utilize nine months before.

I am making a commitment to see this blog through until election, for real this time. I am doing this for you, Dr. B. Peace.

Obama’s Immigration Policy Change: Is it a step in the right or the wrong direction?

Are children who are brought here illegally responsible for their actions? Or is the decision their parents made for them when they were young beyond their control? That has been a debate in the realm of immigration, and people tend to stand on one side of the issue.

Some feel that being here illegally is a black and white situation, and regardless of ones age, they are responsible for breaking the law. Others argue that many children are brought here without a say.

On Friday, Obama made a policy change to reflect those concerns. Under his new policy, people younger than 30 who entered the United States under the age of 16 can receive a two-year deferral from deportation. In order to qualify, these individuals have to pose no security or criminal threat and either have to be enrolled in school, a graduate or in the military. Those who qualify can also apply for work permits.

In his announcement, Obama said, “This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure.”

According to CNN, this policy change is expected to affect approximately 800,000 people. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN, “I’ve been dealing with immigration enforcement for 20 years and the plain fact of the matter is that the law that we’re working under doesn’t match the economic needs of the country today and the law enforcement needs of the country today.”

Obama has received many complaints, including a tweet from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who called the decision “a classic Barack Obama move of choosing politics over leadership.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith released a statement that said, “Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim they came here as children and the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true.” Other complaints the CNN article shared included that now more illegal immigrants will be taking jobs from Americans in an already tough economy.

Others are in praise of the policy change. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said the new policy “will give these young immigrants their chance to come out of the shadows and be part of the only country they’ve ever called home.” In a response to claims that this was to earn more votes, he rejected the idea and said that this move will cost Obama votes as well, making this a leadership decision not a political gain decision.

Clarissa Martinez del Casto, director of immigration and national campaigns for the National Council of La Raza, stated, “There is overwhelming support for the protection of these children, as there is in the rest of the country. I think this could have an energizing effect on Latino voters,” she added, according to an NPR story.

Presumed Republican Nominee Mitt Romney shared that he believes a more permanent conclusion needs to be found. “I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis so they know what their future would be in this country,” said Romney, according to an article on Examiner.

How do you weigh in? Do you think this was the right move, or do you oppose the new policy change?

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Did Obama leak information?

Did President Obama leak classified documents in an effort to forward his political campaign? That was the buzz this morning as Obama made an address regarding the economy. The leak was not the topic of Obama’s briefing, but he did address a question regarding it when asked.

“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong,” Obama said in his briefing at the White House.  “We are dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people, our families, or our military personnel or our allies. And so we don’t play with that.” He went on to add that those who leaked the documents will suffer consequences.

The leak included information about a U.S. cyber-attack against Iran’s nuclear program. It also looked at Obama’s role in directing drone attacks against terrorists. CNN reported that Obama may have been involved in creating a “kill list” against militants in Yemen and Pakistan. According to Bloomsburg Business Week, the New York Times and the Associated Press, among other news organizations, reported on the information.

Some argue that Obama’s team leaked the information in an effort to boost him before the election this fall. The Bloomsburg article included a quote from Senator John McCain of Arizona, who said he saw “deeper political motivation” for the leaks. “What is grossly irresponsible is U.S. officials divulging some of the most highly classified programs involving the most important national security priorities facing our nation today,” said McCain, according to Fox News.

Fox News quoted GOP Sen. Roy Blunt, who said “It’s outrageous that the White House would allow these ongoing alleged disclosures to jeopardize the safety of our intelligence professionals and the well-being of the American people.” Blunt is one of many congressional lawmakers who want hearings and investigations to look into the leak. Blunt was also quoted in that article as saying “I fully support moving forward with a special prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation immediately so that we can hold the appropriate people accountable.”

Fox News reported that The Associated Press held their story for days due to the request of the Central Intelligence Agency and the White House. Some say that validates that statement that the Obama administration did not release the information.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said “This administration takes all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent leaks of classified information or sensitive information that could risk ongoing counter terrorism or intelligence operations. Any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible,” he said.

How do you weigh in? Do you think Obama or his administration had a hand in leaking the information? Comment with you opinion.

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Should Obama foot the bill?

If a politician makes a visit that that ensues extra costs for the town or city where the function was held, should that politician pay the bill for the extra costs? That is the current debate on the table in sunny southern California.

 President Barack Obama visited Newport Beach in Orange County, California back in February. The visit drew a need for extra police officers and reserve officers in the city and the cost rang up a bill of $35,043.04. That bill has been forwarded to the Obama for America Campaign to be paid off.

According to the Huffington Post, City Manager Dave Kiff released this written statement:

“I think it is appropriate to treat it like a private event — if another private event that large and which required that much police presence occurred, we would bill the event sponsor … If the president was here on presidential business, we likely would not have billed for that.”

Kiff also included in his statement, however, that having Obama visit the city was an honor. Some residents agreed that Obama needed to foot the bill. In that same article, resident Scott Mason said “I don’t care what the political party is … I am not in the President’s party. If you are using the public sector to support fund-raising … you have to pay for that.” Mason lives on the same street the fundraiser was held on.

According to the NY Daily Times, during the event Obama held a breakfast with wealthy donors. It was one of several stops made in a California on a fundraising trip. The Los Angeles Times reported that the breakfast was held at the home of Jeff and Nancy Stack. To gain entrance the ticket was $2,500 a person. Additional opportunities included a $10,000 photo reception and a $35,800 “greet and breakfast” option.

The bill dated May 10 and due June 9, was sent to Obama’s office in Chicago. There has been no response yet to the bill.

Some argue that Obama is being sent this bill due to the fact that he is a Democrat. Registered Republicans outweigh Democrats in the city three to one, making the right wing influence in the area very strong. Other complaints include that no other politician has been given a similar bill when their visits drew costs for the city.

How do you weigh in? Do you think Obama should pay the costs he racked up in his visit? Or do you think Obama is being targeted due to his political affiliation?

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Does the young vote matter?

It’s no secret that the young generation of voters rallied around Barack Obama and helped push him into the presidential spotlight in the 2008 election. Can he count on that vote to carry him through 2012?

The Harvard Institute of Politics conducted a survey of voters ages 18 to 29 to see who they preferred. Obama had 43% of the vote, whereas Romney has 26%. In December, Obama was at 37% and Romney was at 26%.

Obama may still have the young vote in his favor, but he should not consider the presidency in the bag. The LA Times writes about how although young voters favor him, they are also less likely to vote or volunteer for campaigns.

John Della Volpe, polling director for the Harvard Institute of Politics, gives some reasons why the interest in voting may be tapering off. “There were some factors that led people to increase engagement in ’02, ’06, ’08 — Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, not agreeing with Bush, 9/11, and obviously Obama and the use of new tools to mobilize,” explained Della Volpe. Della Volpe went on to say as students focus on getting an education, paying loans and staying afloat, political involvement is not at the forefront of concern anymore.

That is part of the push behind Obama’s current trip. Obama is visiting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Iowa this week. His main topic? How to keep the costs of college loans down. It’s a popular topic among the young voters, and if Obama’s message is loud and convincing enough, he might motivate some more voters to participate.

The problem Obama is running into? Romney voiced that he agreed with Obama’s focus. This could mean Romney could snatch some voters Obama was counting on. Overall, however, Romney has been focused middle class families.

What do you think? Do Obama and Romney need to fight to gain the young vote? Or will it be a different crowd of people who carry the election this fall?

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Are Politician’s Spouses Fair Game?

Is anything fair game when it comes to political candidates? Or should the family members of the presidential hopefuls be left out of the argument? As you read in my post on April 12, Ann Romney was criticized by Democratic Consultant Hilary Rosen. Rosen did not think Romney could be considered a source on the hardships women face in the economy because she had never worked.

Her statement was quickly met by criticism. Many of the criticism revolved around the concept of a stay at home mom, but some other concerns rang out as well. Another notable complaint stemmed from the idea that spouses should be left alone on the campaign trail. Families have often been looked at, but the debate as to whether or not they should be involved in the “mud-slinging” has yet to be settled.

President Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter sent a tweet out that read “Families must be off limits on campaigns, and I personally believe stay at home moms work harder than most of us do.” President Obama echoed a similar idea in a television interview. “I don’t have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates. My general view is those of us who are in the public life, we’re fair game. Our families are civilians,” said Obama.

Many wives take on the role of campaign on behalf of their husbands. Hilary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama have taken the same steps as Ann Romney in an effort to support their husbands. Some argue that due to the fact that they are actively involved in the campaign that makes them fair game to attack.

The criticism often doesn’t stop at the elections, either. Both Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama have come under fire multiple times for their wardrobe and style. In 2007 the Washington Post ran an article that spent the entire lead discussing the amount of cleavage that was slightly evident within Mrs. Clinton’s dress top and blazer. In 2009 an entire ABC article was dedicated to Michelle Obama’s seeming scandalous decision to wear sleeveless dresses.

How do you weigh in? Do spouses deserve the same spotlight as the presidential candidates? Or should the focus be somewhere other than the first lady?

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Ann Romney vs. Hilary Rosen: Stay at Home Moms

Does a woman who has never worked have authority to speak about the economic struggles women in America face? According to Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen, no. Rosen appeared on CNN earlier this week and argued that Ann Romney shouldn’t be discussing the hardships women face since she is married to a wealthy politician and has not been employed.

“His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we — why we worry about their future,” Rosen said on Anderson cooper’s AC360. Rosen was immediately hit with criticism. Stay at home moms all across the nation stood up and fired back. Rosen attempted to clarify that she meant Romney should not rely on/ consider Ann to be his expert in regards to economic problems facing women.

Ann Romney stood up to fight for herself. “I know what it’s like to struggle. Maybe I haven’t struggled as much financially. I can tell you and promise you that I’ve had struggles in my life,” she said. She also created a Twitter account several hours after the AC360 segment and sent the tweet “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

Her son Josh sent a tweet out shortly afterwards that read “@AnnDRomney is one of the smartest, hardest working woman I know. Could have done anything with her life, chose to raise me,” and her son Matt tweeted videos of her speaking on  a newscast.

Romney’s camp and Obama’s administration have been debating for sometime over the female unemployment rate. Immediately following the incident, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney worked to distance Obama from the comments of Rosen. Michelle Obama weighed in on Twitter, tweeting “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected.” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina also sent out a tweet that said “I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize.”

The following day, Obama went on WCMH-TV in Ohio and stated, “It was the wrong thing to say. It’s not something that I subscribe to.” Obama went on to describe the efforts of Michelle and his own mother, and added “there’s no tougher job than being a mom.”

Romney supporters are coasting on the attention Rosen has received. “She did us a huge favor.  “Our female base doesn’t want left-wing feminists telling them how to live their lives. She’s healing our base for us,” a senior official in the Romney campaign told NY Daily News.

According to this Christian Science Monitor article, Romney must secure approximately 40% of the female vote to have a hope of beating Obama. Ann Romney has been a help to pull in the vote of married women and conservative mothers. Will this comment by Rosen push more people away from Obama and toward Romney? Or did Obama’s team do a good job balancing the boat? Only time will tell.

How do you weigh in? Was Rosen right to say that due to her lack of employment history Ann Romney is not qualified to speak on the economic hardships of women? Or did Rosen step out of line and insult stay at home moms?

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