Tag Archives: Obama

Who Won? Who Lost? Who Cares?

President Obama and Mitt Romney meet in second 2012 presidential debate
President Obama and Mitt Romney meet in second 2012 presidential debate

Tuesday we had our second presidential debate of the 2012 general election. The Republican candidate Mitt Romney took on the incumbent President Barack Obama. The first debate, from two weeks ago, had all sorts of mixed reviews, but the bulk of them had Mitt Romney looking good and the president not as much. All week long people talked about how bad the president performed in the first televised debate. Post debate polls had Governor Romney taking a slight lead among likely voters. The vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan provided some relief for Democrats as Vice President Biden seemed to attack more and be more of a debater. This time around, Obama needed a positive result, and it looked like it worked. For those of you scoring at home, it would seem that Governor Romney won the first one and President Obama won the last one. So let’s take a look at those who are keeping score.

According to a new CNN poll, out of 457 registered voters, 46% say President Obama won the debate Tuesday night, as opposed to 39% for Governor Romney. Another group of 430 people who were polled after the first debate on October 3rd had the debate 67% to 25% in favor of Romney. It is known that some people intend on watching the debates objectively, but others of course are rooting for their candidate of choice. By now, the majority of America has their mind made up on who they will be voting for in November. Typically we fall along party lines and vote with whoever aligns best with our ideologies. These debates serve to try to convince those voters otherwise and to capture the vote of the undecided voter, the people who have not committed their vote one way or another. These people are the ones who’s “scorecard” matters most.

We’ve seen undecided voters play significant parts in recent elections. Several states such as Florida, Ohio and Virginia have great populations of voters who sometimes vote Democrat and sometimes vote Republican. How have they been watching and gauging the debate between the two candidates is the question. The lay person can watch the debate, and no matter who they admit to performing best, they’re still probably going to vote for whoever is in their party. The so-called “winner” of the debate is allegedly decided by the non-committed voter. If one poll leaned toward one candidate after the first debate, then those polled were those who could be swayed. If the other candidate won the following debate then those same swayed voters would have to come back the other way. If undecided voters were watching attentively then they will decide the ultimate winner of the debate on Tuesday, November 6th.

Not for nothin’ but can someone really win without a score? There’s no official count in debates, and this is definitely not a game. So why must we declare a winner; just to appease the undecided voter and the public for an outcome? You win when you vote. Decide on whoever you want to win, if you haven’t done so already, and vote. Most of us have decided. A debate will probably not influence us any further. If I’m a 49ers fan, and they lose a game, I’m still going to like the 49ers and think their the best team ever. And with the way voter turnout is these days, the undecided voter is losing the “voter” part of their name. Usually it’s people who are not going to vote, don’t care to vote, or who don’t know what they are voting for. These are the people who are going to decide who the president will be?

Obama Getting It From All Sides

Cheney criticizing Obama
Cheney criticizing Obama

Well I guess when you’re elected president, people not only line up to praise you, but they also line up to criticize you.  Just this week alone he’s heard negative feedback from the public on the Special Olympics comments made on “The Tonight Show,” a growing concern on the economy, calls for his Treasury Secretary to resign, and of course no one is forgetting the AIG debacle where several executives received millions of dollars in bonus money.  Well the president is dishing it back, seemingly reminding everyone who’ll listen, “I’m the president,” in trying to accept responsibility.  He even had response to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who also had something to say.

Cheney has been critical on President Obama’s plans on closing Guantanamo Bay by claiming that the move will make America less safe.  “Now he is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, rasie the risk to the American people of another attack,” the former vice president told CNN.   

Obama questioned the previous administration’s belief on detainees saying, “how many terrorist have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney?”  He continued, “it hasn’t made us safer.  What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment.”  Obama has said previously and restated that the Bush administration’s policy on holding detainees for years with no trails is “unsustainable.”

Not for nothin’, but I guess you have to take the bitter with the sweet in the position he’s in.  Everyone’s not going to agree with you all the time.  Especially in times such as this.  Even if he does everything right, people are still going to come up with things to criticize.  It started two years ago when he decided to run for president and will go on well after he leaves office.

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Is There A Clear Champion?

BCS controversy continues
BCS controversy continues

The College Football National Championship game could not be played Thursday night without a bit of controversy.  Afterall, if you ask some people the meaning of BCS is controversy.  But as ranked #1 Oklahoma Sooners went against the #2 ranked Florida Gators in Miami, some people believe that the National Championship should have already been given to the Utah Utes, the nation’s only undefeated football team of this season.

Since 1998 when the Bowl Championship Series, or commonly known as the BCS, has been in place there have been criticism with how the system has selected the teams to compete for the BCS National Championship.  Teams are have computer generated rankings.  It’s almost like science, but every year there there seems to be some type of controversy over which team should be the rightful number one team and which team should be the National Champions.  Well 2008 was no different. 

Two other teams other than the previously mentioned Utes wish to stake a claim for the number one spot.  In usually college football season ending fashion, there’s always the debate on who beat who, how many one-loss teams, and who is the real champion?  Well (hope you’re taking notes), the two teams in the BCS Championship game both have a loss.  One of the teams, Oklahoma, lost to Texas who was another one loss team.  But Texas lost to Texas Tech who lost to Ole Miss, which was the only team to beat the other BCS National Championship team, the Florida Gators.  Well that leaves USC who were another one-loss team, who beat their BCS bowl game opponent.  But their loss came to Oregon State, who lost to Utah who were the only undefeated team, but finished the season ranked at #6.  We can play this game for days.

To make matters worse, this year things are getting political.  Late in the general election season, Barack Obama, now President-elect Obama, mention the idea of flexing some political muscle to get a college football playoff system.  Also just recently, the Utah Attorney General is the latest person to threaten a lawsuit for a college football playoff system.  Is it really that serious?  Its just a game, right?

Not for nothin’, but while a playoff system sounds nice, I don’t think it’s ideal.  Not only that, it will not be perfect and somewhere along we’ll hear cries for its abolishment as well.  Nothing is perfect, no one will be happy either way.

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Obama Report To Address Blagojevich Contact

Possible connection to scandal for Emanuel?
Possible connection to scandal for Emanuel?

A democratic official said on Sunday that President-elect Obama will release a report detailing the contact his transition staff has had with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  Obama and his team, as well as U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, has said all along that Obama was not involved in the case.  Other sources say that Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is not a target either.  But Sunday information surfaced that says Emanuel was in fact in contact with Blagojevich in the weeks after the election.

Exactly what kind of contact is unknown, but some speculate it was just one phone call placed to the governor himself, or several phone calls made to Blagojevich Chief of Staff John Harris.  Some sources allege that in the conversation Emanuel had with Blagojevich, the senate seat was mentioned, but Emanuel was pushing for Valarie Jarrett to fill the vacancy.  No deal was discussed for the vacant senate seat, just “appreciation.” 

Last week Governor Blagojevich said he was innocent in the federal charges he faces of conspiring to exchange the vacant senate seat left by President-elect Obama, for cash or job.  Obama’s report on the interaction his team has had with the accused governor will likely be made public sometime this week.

Not for nothin’, but this is just one attempt, but you have to know there are many out there who are longing to link Barack Obama to the Blagojevich scandal.

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Don’t Take What You See Face Value

Map of early voting states
Map of early voting states

 

In the final weekend before the election, presidential candidates, vice-presidential candidates, politicians, celebrities and others on the campaign trail doing everything they can to make their respective campaign successful.  After a number of states opened polls early for early voting, many are closing Sunday and Monday in lieu of Tuesday’s Election Day. 

Over 30 states allow their voters to vote early.  In a few of them you need an excuse to vote early, but in most early voting at polls has seen record numbers.  Over 20 million people have cast their vote before election day.  And we’ve also seen widely reported that most of those cast have been democratic, but don’t get too excited.  While a large share of those cast were by democrats, the voters are only registered democrats, but are still free to vote which ever way they want.  In many cases that wouldn’t be a problem, we can all assume that registered democrats will vote for the democratic candidate and registered republicans will vote for the republican candidate, but assumption can be the base of many mistakes.

As we all know this is quite the historic election that divides the population as any election, but this one has to potential to polarize the American public like none before.  Primarily because of what has been represented from the two campaigns.  Many democratic voters are not voting for Barack Obama for various reasons, still bitter from Hillary loss, don’t feel comfortable with him, or just do not want to vote for an African-American.  That’s similar to republican voters do not want to vote for McCain because they feel he doesn’t represent the party fully, no confidence in his VP candidate, or actually feel he isn’t the best candidate.

And as an added bonus some thought has to be put on the “Southern Democrat” population.  Close to a third of early voting states are southern states.  As many of us know, several years ago the republican party were liberal and the democratic party were more conservative.  With Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal administration came an actual new deal in American political structure.  After the impact his administration had on American politics, the party values essentially switched making republicans more conservative and democrats more liberal as we see it today.  While many politicians since the start of the 1960s began to switch parties to align more with their values, many democratic voters in the south did not get that memo.  That’s why you’d see civil rights leaders in the republican party in the south because they were in direct contrast to Southern Democrats who opposed the civil rights movement.  And that’s why to this day many old school southern democrats, while still registered as democrats, vote conservative and for republican candidates.

Not for nothin’, but these are just two of the reasons why we can be misled by polls.  Unless you see an actual number of how many people are voting for which candidate, we’re not going to know officially who’s in the lead.  No matter how much you think or are told that the Obama campaign is ahead, no pundit, analyst, or strategist has a crystal ball, nor can they see the future. 

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