Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Campaigns Resume After the Brunt of Sandy Passes

   The brunt of hurricane Sandy has passed, leaving devastation and over 50 dead in its wake with millions of people still without power. Also in the storm's wake is the continuation of the presidential campaigns. Obama recently toured New Jersey to survey the damage and is set to resume campaigning tomorrow in the key swing states Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado. After storm relief efforts in Ohio, Romney has resumed campaigning in Florida while stressing that he can deliver "real change."

   As election season draws to an end, the result is still quite unclear. Many national polls suggest a popular vote tie. However, Obama appears to have a slight electoral college advantage. While Florida and North Carolina lean towards Romney, Obama has a slight lead in the key state of Ohio which, with its 18 electoral votes, could dictate the outcome of the election. Obama appears to lead in most other swing states and Virginia remains a tossup. For a more detailed analysis, go here.

Christie Praises Obama

     Earlier yesterday, Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, praised President Obama for his swift response to the state of emergency after Hurricane Sandy, calling it “wonderful,” “excellent” and “outstanding.” Just a week ago, while campaigning for Mitt Romney, Christie was still bashing Obama for his presidential record, but has now taken a more objective view of the president, especially with the quick, recent approval of FEMA support and federal resources to help put the Garden State get back on track.

      Last week, Christie cut short his campaign trip to North Carolina and cancelled another one to Nevada in light of Hurricane Sandy making landfall over the weekend. Although Christie was a mainstay of criticism against Obama in Romney's campaign, his quick change of opinion has caused Republicans to whine about his words. When asked about the possibility of Romney touring in New Jersey in the following week, Christie responded with “I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested,” to put emphasis on the current state of destruction throughout New Jersey instead of presidential politics. Similarly, Michael Brown, former FEMA director under Bush has even suggested that Obama responded too quickly to the fallout from Hurricane Sandy.

Did Chris Christie do the right thing by stepping out and praising Obama publicly?  Or should he have kept it more low-key in light of Election Day approaching?

Mickey Buys into a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

       Earlier today, Walt Disney Co. announced their $4.05 billion deal to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. The deal is split between fifty percent cash and fifty percent stock, making George Lucas a major shareholder of 40 million Disney shares. This acquisition follows the strategy that the Disney CEO, Robert Iger has implemented over the last decade by acquiring both Pixar Animation and Marvel Entertainment in 2006 and 2009 respectively. By acquiring these companies, Disney has created a broad base of entertainment to choose from, making it easier to appeal to a wider audience.

      Disney plans to unveil a new Star Wars film in 2015, while continuing the series for years to come. The acquisition of the Lucasfilm will not only give access to film rights but also merchandise licensing and various innovative technologies developed over the years including "live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production". Lucas has stated his satisfaction of the deal as it will allow Star Wars to be transitioned for future generations to enjoy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Final Countdown: One Week Until the Election

   While Sandy has had most of the media attention over the past couple of days, we are just a week away from a major election which still appears to be a dead heat between the two candidates.
   One final variable in this election will be the government's response to super storm Sandy. FEMA will be under strict observation and scrutiny as Sandy passes through the Northeast this week and its performance could easily alter the result of this close election.
   While Obama had a clear lead at the beginning of October, the polls are now largely inconclusive. Politico shows Romney and Obama separated by just one point in the popular vote while 538 has consistently favored Obama as the likely winner. However, many swing states remain nearly evenly split. Ohio, the most important swing state in this election, leans slightly towards Obama and in the past ten presidential elections, Ohio has consistently voted for the winner of the election.
   Because of the Electoral College's design, a single state such as Ohio can possibly determine the outcome of a national election even though it only has a little over three percent of the electoral college votes.
   Additionally, possible electoral tie scenarios still exist and if a possible electoral tie emerges, the election would be decided by congress and there would no doubt be a huge clamor for reform of the Electoral College.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A True American?

The van in which Kawika Crowley lives.
An unlikely candidate for Congress has emerged out of the blue and is campaigning for a House of Representatives seat in Hawaii's 2nd District this coming election. The man to note is Kawika Crowley, a homeless but self-made handyman, who is trying to increase the state's interest in politics especially with his eccentric personality and unconventional views. The beginnings of Crowley's involvement in politics is equally surprising: a smoking ban enacted in 2006 for restaurants and bars in Hawaii compelled him to stand up for his views against big federal government. And ever since, Crowley had been campaigning out of his car for radical issues such as pro-smoking, anti-taxes, anti-commuter rail and pro-freedom
          Earlier this year, Crowley even managed to edge out a better known candidate in his district, Matt DiGeronimo, during a Republican primary. Curiously, in a recent poll of the Hawaiian congressional race, Crowley captured a sizable 18% compared to nearly 70% for the Democratic candidate, Tulsi Gabbard in the heavily Democratic state of Hawaii. In a state with traditionally low voter turnout, Crowley is causing quite a buzz for politics in the Aloha State. Maybe it takes someone as unique as Kawika Crowley to stem new interest and encourage more varied opinions to take root.

Should Crowley be someone to watch for as a legitimate candidate, or is he just leading another conservative grassroots movement?

The Effects of Hurricane Sandy

   Hurricane Sandy, which just hit New Jersey's coast this afternoon, has already killed roughly ten people and caused millions, if not billions, in property damage. The storm is expected to move into Pennsylvania tomorrow and then go north through Maine by Saturday. Now "post tropical" super storm Sandy,depending on its severity, could have a slew of long term effects both on the economy of the Northeast and on the upcoming presidential election.

Waves crash against a previously damaged pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as Hurricane Sandy approaches landfall on October 29.    First of all, polling in the Northeast region will be severely hampered during the storm since millions will be without power and unavailable for polling. This will definitely skew poll results; however, most of the Northeast is reliably democratic. The storm is also expected to contribute to a slightly lower voter turnout this year. A possibly crucial factor to the election outcome will be Obama's response to Sandy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mishandled some of Hurricane Katrina's effects, but FEMA is slightly better prepared this time and has stockpiled supplies, medical crews, and staff in New Jersey and New York. If Obama can handle this disaster well, he could gain a crucial edge in the election. However, any mistakes the administration makes in handling Sandy can be pinned on Obama. All Romney has been able to do is stand on the sidelines and offer his concern to to avoid appearing out of touch.

   Most importantly, Sandy will cost tens of billions to the Northeast's economy and states. Businesses will suffer from days of lost revenue and spoiled inventory. Also, Wall Street will be closed for two days due to the weather, resulting in two full days of lost trading. States will have to spend billions repairing public infrastructure and on top of all of that, the amount of property damage will be staggering. On a slightly positive note, some businesses and grocery stores have benefited from a short rush for supplies and rebuilding damaged property will provide many unemployed construction workers with jobs.

   For more pictures of Hurricane Sandy, go here.

All Politics is Local

        Local politics is often hidden and pushed aside by the craziness of the congressional and presidential elections. However, neighborhoods and communities care immensely about smaller issues that directly affect them, passionately and sometimes violently voicing their opinions and beliefs. For example, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, public school students and their parents are demanding more filling lunches. In Passaic, New Jersey, are revved up over the city's decision to annually charge $40 to $75 for handicapped parking spots in front of homes.
        Why do people get so easily worked up about local politics? The most obvious reason is that these issues are immediate and citizens feel like they can make changes that will directly impact them. Many of these smaller, "pettier" issues, such as legalizing and increasing the limit for backyard chickens are easily overlooked on a global scale, especially with Election Day coming up. However, people are more in touch with local politics, with most people "thinking globally, acting locally."
        More specifics on local political issues can be found in this here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scary Sandy

As October nears its end, Americans prepare for a monster hurricane. Hurricane Sandy, the incoming storm that has passed through the Caribbean, has already taken more than five dozen lives, with 51 deaths in Haiti. The onslaught has yet to reach its peak as Sandy continues to travel up, affecting the entire East Coast of the US and even parts of Canada. The approach of Sandy has affected life greatly- New York and the other East Coast states ordered the evacuation of everyone living on the low lying lands next to the ocean, which could produce waves 12 feet tall. The transportation system in the Northeast has been affected as well, with commuter rail lines bringing activities to a halt in preparation for the arrival of the hurricane. Air travel has taken a hit, with thousands of flights delayed or cancelled. Broadway shows and Carnegie Hall performances have been cancelled, and the New York Stock Exchange shut down its trading floor.

To me, Sandy might be a repeat of Katrina back in 2004; however, while Katrina affected mainly the residents living in the Southeast, particularly Louisiana, Sandy looks like a potential national disaster brewing in the ocean. The hurricane can cause major power outages all over the East Coast, damage infrastructure in coastal cities, and cause massive loss of life. With a hurricane this big, the East Coast might be severely crippled after the hit, requiring major rebuilding.

There is one possible positive side to Sandy. Sandy, although destructive, will bring a snow dump to the Northeast; this is a possible boon to the ski industry, which suffered greatly last winter due to a snow drought.

Close battle in Ohio; Romney Resorts to Crude Methods for Votes

With the campaign drawing to a close, Governor Romney and President Obama scramble for votes in the key battleground state of Ohio. Obama is winning, but not by much. According to a poll on CNN, Obama has the approval of 50 percent of voters in Ohio, while Romney follows close by with a 46 percent- a mere 4 percent difference. Although the difference is within the poll's sampling error of plus and minus 3.5 percent, the close difference between Obama and Romney shows the closeness of the battle for Ohio's important 18 electoral votes. With the added stress of having the race in Ohio drawing to a close and Romney and Obama being neck and neck in the race, Romney has resorted to controversial and questionable methods to gain votes from the Ohioans.

Romney recently released an ad that deliberately warps history and news to fit its purpose. Using clever wording, it uses actual facts to mislead viewers in an attempt to sway them to his side. The ad starts by attacking Obama, saying that he had caused GM and Chrysler to become bankrupt. This is true; however, Romney's plan also included doing the same. The only difference between the two candidates plans is that Obama wanted the government to help the major car companies through bankruptcy by giving loans to them while Romney wanted the private sector to help. Another fact that Romney "bends" and uses to attack Obama is that Obama sold Chrysler to Italians, who will then start building Jeeps in China. This is also true, but to a certain degree. Obama did sell Chrysler to Fiat, who is now building Jeeps in China, but the Italian manufacturer is not actually taking away jobs in the US and moving them to China as the ad suggests; the company is simply expanding existing operations in China for the purpose of building Jeeps. In addition, the ad cited Detroit News' endorsement of Romney, even though the organization pointed out that Romney had the wrong idea about the auto bailout.

Romney is not the only one to use questionable methods to garner votes from a group of people. Obama used scare tactics to win back the support of women when Obama's lead on women sank to only 3 points away from Romney. However, Romney is taking a huge risk by running misleading ads during the final days of the campaign to get a few more votes, especially when the information presented by the article is blatantly twisting the facts.

Obama and Romney's New Threat: Hurricane Sandy

         Hurrricane Sandy is not only threatening to cause serious damage to cities on the East Coast, but it is also creating major roadblocks in both Obama and Romney's campaign. Both candidates have cancelled many campaign events scheduled for the next few days while citizens on the East Coast are preparing for the heavy storm.
         States that lie in Sandy's projected path, such as Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland, are making changes to their Election Day plans to accommodate for the storm. Maryland and North Carolina both have early in-person voting which could be drastically affected by the impending hurricane. Other states, such as Rhode Island, Delaware and New York have only mail-in early voting and therefore may not be as significantly impacted. For all these East Coast states, cleaning up after the storm will probably take precedent over going to the polls to vote.
         Romney, Obama and both their running mates have all been forced to modify their campaign plans. All four candidates have cancelled events in Virginia. Obama plans to return to the White House to "continue to monitor Hurricane Sandy." This potentially gives Romney a leg-up on Obama, scheduling campaign events in Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Ohio (twice). However, Obama's leadership skills in handling the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy could possibly boost his image, but it could also potentially be disastrous for him if he handles the situation poorly.
         It is still too early to tell whether or not the storm will drastically affect the outcome of the election, but there is a definite potential for the hurricane to impact the rest of the election.

What Could Happen?

Speculations about the upcoming election and the potential outcomes are swirling, causing both excitement as well as possible dread. Some potential scenarios include:

1. It is possible that a recount will be demanded in decisive battle states due to a close election. Out of the different battle states that could determine the election, Ohio is ranked as the most important.

2. Millions of absentee ballots have been distributed in Ohio, but about 800,000 have not been completed; Of those 800,000, many may choose to vote on Election Day instead, receiving a provisional ballot to avoid counting their votes twice. Due to the possible thousands of provisional ballots, there may be a counting issue in Ohio that may make a difference in the outcome of the election.

3. There is a chance of a tie, in which case there will first be an attempt to sway or replace any electors that are on the fence and may change their votes (states are allowed to replace any "controversial" electors before December 11). If neither candidate receives a majority, the newly elected House of Representatives will pick the new president; as things stand now, Romney will most likely be chosen. The Senate will also elect the new vice president, which as of now, will most likely be largely Democratic and therefore choose Biden, resulting in a Romney-Biden administration...

These last few days are sure to stir up more anxiety and excitement and many different scenarios for how this election will play out are still up in the air.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Obama's Attention on Young Voters

 As the campaign nears its end, both Romney and Obama scramble to gather the votes of independents and undecided voters. For Obama, a potential source of votes is the youth; to appeal to them, he talks about the things he will do to make life easier for them. In an MTV interview, he pointed out his plan to reduce the high amount of debt college students build up by the time they graduate. According to him, schools that keep their value for students while cutting down tuition will receive federal aid, while schools that do the opposite will see their federal aid being held back.

Although both candidates focused on key issues such as foreign policy and the economy in their campaign, they did not place as much emphasis on issues considered important to younger voters, issues such as the increasing student debt that is becoming a problem in the US. The class of 2010 at 4-year colleges had an average student loan debt of around $25,000. In the US, there are about 35 million graduates who have accumulated debt, and the amount, a whopping $904 billion, is greater than credit card debt.

Issues like foreign policy are important; however, the candidates would benefit greatly if they placed more emphasis on issues related to younger aged voters. Obama has an advantage in the fight for younger voters-most of them attend college, and college is known for having a liberal effect on most students. For more info, check this link out.

The Final Money Count is....

         Over the past year, Obama and Romney and their respective parties have collectively raised almost $2 billion, making this year the most expensive presidential campaign to date. The different sources of money for each candidate highlights the big divide between the two candidates about various issues.
         For example, Romney, who heavily stresses his business experience and economic plans, receives more than $18 million from employees of financial firms who also donate millions to super-PACs that support Romney's campaign. Wall Street has also invested more in Romney's campaign than any other election in history. He receives the most donations from wealthy supporters who donate the maximum amount ($2500). On the other hand, Obama has received around $14 million from the technology industry after his multiple visits to the Silicon Valley; employees of nursing homes, hospitals, and women's groups have been donating more to the Democrats, most likely due to his social views. Obama also receives donations from about 4 million small donors who contribute as little as a few dollars.
         Super PACs mostly benefit the Republicans, spending nearly $302 million on ads endorsing Romney that they must disclose to the Federal Election Commission; Obama receives about $120 million in comparison. The Republicans are left with more cash (about $40 million more) in the final weeks of the election which may result in a surge of last-minute advertising by the Republican that may attract more voters and give him a slight advantage.
         More details can be found here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mourdock's Big Mistake

         In a debate Tuesday night, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, a conservative Republican, stirred up a lot of controversy and outrage when he stated that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen." 
         In response to Mourdock's statement, Obama sharply criticizes the Republican candidate, saying that "it doesn't make sense to [him]" because "rape is rape. It is a crime." (CBS News). Obama uses Mourdock's words to support his belief that women are capable of making their own decisions. On the other hand, the Romney campaign still stands by Mourdock, although Romney claims he does not agree with Mourdock and his abortion policies (his running mate, Paul Ryan, does agree though). 
       A recent Gallup poll indicates that there has been a large increase since 2008 in percent of men who prefer Romney while a higher percent of women favor Obama, although that number of women has dropped slightly since the 2008 election. However, with this recent Mourdock controversy and both candidates' responses to it, women's support of Obama is likely to increase.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Obama's October Airwave Domination

Although the money spent by GOP groups combined on ads is greater than the amount of money spent by Obama for America, Obama continues to rule the world of TV ads. During the first three weeks of October, Obama for America aired more than 97,000 ads, which is more than Mitt Romney, American Crossroads, the Republican National Committee and the super PAC Restore Our Future combined. A reason why sheer amounts of money will not win the ad race is because candidates are able to get lower ad prices; with this advantage, Obama ads were able to dominate airwaves even though GOP groups had 146 million dollars, more than two times Obama's 65 million.

However, although Obama is currently dominating the airwaves now, there is talk of Romney launching an all-out ad blitz with his saved up campaign money sometime in October. Romney's timing when launching the blitz is crucial, as some time from now, independents will start to focus on the campaign; if Romney is able to earn the independent/undecided votes via the ad blitz, he will gain a significant edge in the campaign race, contributing greatly to him possibly winning the race.

But for now, Obama's domination in the ads will be able to help him greatly because he has been dominating thirteen of the fifteen swing media markets. In addition, the places that have been getting bombarded by presidential ads the most have been the swing states, particularly Nevada, Florida, and Ohio.

Ad domination is not the only thing that is important in the race; there are many other factors as well that could contribute to a potential victory for Obama or Romney, such as the October 22 presidential debate. Democrats and Republicans will just have to wait and see; anything can happen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fight Against Attack Ads

         A bombardment of negative political ads in 2012 has left many incumbents and candidates against the unrestrained power of outside groups who are largely responsible for these attacks. In 2010, the Supreme Court narrowly ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporate spending on campaigns may not be banned due to First Amendment rights. However, recent sentiments indicate that a change in this legislation may be in the country's future.
         Democrats have generally been against this ruling considering it was expected to give Republicans a clear advantage due to their larger lineup of wealthy individual and corporate benefactors. However, many Republicans are also now becoming wary of this ruling as many new attack ads sponsored by private groups are directed towards them. Members of Congress have been discussing the possible legislation changes regarding individual contributors, attempting to find a solution that does not infringe upon any First Amendment rights. Many Republicans have suggested to exchange a "greater transparency about ads" for a lift on the spending limit for individual donors; needless to say, Democrats are not thrilled with this proposition.
         There are multiple factors and potential consequences needed to be considered that will definitely influence future campaigns. Although some Republicans now share similar views on this issue with most Democrats, the likelihood of any new legislation being passed is still questionable and unclear.
         You can find more specifics and opinions from many different Senators and Representatives here.

The Final Debate: A Major Role Reversal

        In the final debate of this campaign season, analysts have declared President Obama as the winner. Many immediate follow-up polls, such as ones from CBS News and CNN show that a plurality of viewers believe Obama won. This debate featured a large role reversal for the candidates, with Obama on the offense while Romney was left arguing defensively.

         Obama's strong, forceful performance countered many previous perceptions of being weak. However, throughout the debate, some of his attacks seemed to be slightly petty. One of the most notable from tonight was his sarcastic response to Romney's criticism of the reduced Navy size.
"We also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines." 
Although admittedly funny, these comments  may appear condescending to some viewers. Romney was definitely less aggressive and forced to speak defensively as Obama pushed his way through the debate. Obama also seemed prepared for many of Romney's attacks, such as the statement about Obama ignoring Israel in his "apology tour," responding with ease to these accusations.

         Overall, the debate touched upon the different foreign policy topics it intended to, but it often digressed into an argument over domestic issues. For example, Obama often referred back to the need to increase spending for education and at a few points, the topic notably shifted to domestic economic policies. Bob Schieffer, the moderator, attempted to draw the focus back to foreign policy, but both candidates often brought up domestic policies throughout the debate.

         While Obama's strong performance draws positive attention towards him, the significance and impact of this final debate is still questionable. However, with election day drawing closer and with such a tight race, any advantages are important for either candidates.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Final Presidential Debate: October 22

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney faced off against each other in the last Presidential debate, which focused greatly on the United States foreign policy. This debate was moderated by Bob Schieffer, who is CBS News' Chief Washington Correspondent. After starting with a remark about how today was the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's announcement that the Soviets had installed missiles on Cuba, Mr. Schieffer opened the foreign policy debate, which encompassed six major foreign policy topics, half of which were focused on the Middle East. Here's a link to the official transcript of the debate, and another link to the video of the debate, for anyone that missed parts of the debate or god forbid, the entire debate due to the Giants game today.

The first topic that Mr. Schieffer asked Obama and Romney was about the changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism; some questions that were asked were if the attack in Libya signifies the unraveling of the US Middle East policy, if there were any other ways to influence events in Syria, and if Romney or Obama regretted having President Mubarak leave his presidency. For the most part, Romney and Obama had pretty similar opinions about Syria and the end of the reign of Mubarak, though Romney disagreed with Obama's statement that Romney said the greatest threat to the United States was Russia, not al-Qaeda.

Some other major topics that were focused on were America's role in the world, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the tense situation regarding Israel and Iran, and China's rise and tomorrow's world. Both Romney and Obama agreed on positions regarding Israel; that if Israel is attacked by Iran, the United States should stand beside it and do things to help the country, such as continuing with sanctions on Iran and using military action as a last resort. The two candidates also agreed that China, although intimidating with its large economy and formidable competition with the United States, was not the main threat; China could even be a potential partner in the future. However, Obama felt that terrorism was the biggest threat to the United States, while Romney gave a more blunt answer of a nuclear Iran. Obama also remarked in order to keep up with China, there should be more investments in basic research and education, things the private sector refuses to do.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Could immigration possibly be good?

Normally, people are against immigration. They believe that immigrants take jobs away from hardworking Americans because they are willing to work just as hard for less pay. However, a recent article  by the New York Times gives a different perspective on  immigration. Instead of viewing  immigration as a negative, it argues that immigration should actually be considered as a positive.

Common Misconceptions "debunked" by the article
Immigrants take jobs away from more "expensive" Americans because they are cheap. 
This is largely untrue because generally the jobs that these  immigrants fill are those that even the lowest-educated American doesn't do. They generally get jobs doing manual, unskilled labor, while Americans generally get jobs that require some ability to communicate. Essentially, they aren't even the same jobs. Either way, Americans would have the advantage because they can communicate well in English, while most uneducated  immigrants cannot. 

 Immigrants negatively affect the economy
On the contrary, the immigrants that entered the US between 1997-2007 have been credited for the on average $5000 increase in yearly income per worker in that time period. Additionally, more immigrant workers allows for many businesses to expand and invest, which is good for the economy. Also, may businesses owe their existence to the lower pay immigrants receive.  If they had paid for more "expensive" American workers, they most likely would not have had enough profit to keep their businesses running. 

What do you think? Is immigration bad or good for the United States? Is the article right, or does immigration really take jobs away from Americans? 

Foreign Policy Debate

The Foreign Policy Debate is more than just what people think of it. It is not just talking about meeting other country diplomats and having diplomatic relations. It is also a debate about how we will deal with other economies or revolutions.

China is known as the number one growing economy in the world. The next President needs to crack down in outsourcing jobs to China. America is suffering of lack of jobs and it causes a failing in the economy. Romney claims that he will crack down on the people who outsource jobs, but Romney seems to be someone that would be outsourcing jobs as well. Obama seems more like a person that would crack down on these people and actually try and help the people looking for jobs.

The Iran issue is also another thing that will probably be discussed in the next debate. Obama is totally willing to have a diplomatic conference with the leaders of Iran, but Romney believes America needs to be hard on the middle east. If Romney is elected President, there is a possibility that Romney would use a military attack rather than having a peaceful conference. For this issue, Romney needs to agree to have a less neoconservative view. It is imperative that happens. Obama just needs to be Obama in the issue of Iran.

Other things like Syria and the ambassador's death in Libya will definitely be discussed. This debate is going to be important for the race, and whoever wins this debate will most likely take this election.

Tagg Romney "jokes" about punching Obama

In an interview on a North Carolina radio show, Mitt Romney's son, Tagg, was asked how it felt like for him to have the President call his father a liar during the debate on Tuesday. Tagg responded that he wanted to " jump out of [his] seat and [he] want to rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at [Obama]." He later went on to say " But you know you can’t do that because, well, first there is a lot of Secret Service between you and him but also because this is the nature of the process, they’re going to do everything they can do to make my dad into someone he is not.” 

What was intended to be a joke soon became taken as an insult when parts of the conversation were taken out of context and spread across the internet by outraged liberals. The later parts of the conversation, where Tagg cleared up that he did not literally want to punch the President were taken out, leaving only the portions where he stated his urge to "take a swing" at Obama. Regardless of whether or not it was meant to be a joke, a large amount of people are taking offense at the comment anyways, since it is about punching the President of the United States. Some even go as far as to say that this comment should be taken in consideration when deciding who to vote for in the elections, stating,"the American public should think twice before electing a man to be Commander-in-Chief who apparently can’t even raise respectful children." I personally think this point of view is too harsh, because in my opinion  one comment should not be more considered more important than the beliefs that each candidate stands for. However, I feel that this comment is definitely not helping public opinion of the Romneys, especially at such a crucial time in the elections. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Iranian Nuclear Talks

It seems like Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, agreed to have diplomatic relations about their Nuclear program. This can create some interesting things in the coming future of America, especially the coming election. The Iranian government said that they would have these talks after the election of the next President. What can this do to the Presidential Race?

Romney has a very neo-conservative stance on how America should deal with other country relationships. Romney is very pro-military and plans on putting more money into the military to "keep the military strong." He always talks about how to keep the military the strongest in the world. Romney always claims that Obama is just too nice to the Iranian government. This can make a person wonder if Romney is elected, will there really be peaceful negotiations? From what it seems like, Romney would rather just storm in with the U.S. army and forcefully end the Nuclear program in Iran. Of course Romney, like every politician, is very well spoken, so there is a chance that he would like to have normal peace talks.

Obama has a much liberal foreign policy where he would like to talk rather than fight. For Obama, the idea of having peace talks is probably the best news he heard from Iran in years. Obama definitely wants these peace/nuclear talks to go through. For this reason, Obama's campaign could become stronger by emphasizing the importance in having diplomatic relations with Iran. Considering Obama's "leniency" on the Middle Eastern countries, Obama looks like a much peaceful man.

This talk of ending the nuclear program in Iran is great news for Americans. Of course, we have to wait until the outcome of the election to really to see what goes through. If Romney is elected the odds are the talks will get canceled. Also Iran has a history to say they'll talk just to have the world get off their backs. However, it seems this news will be useful for the Obama campaign and it seems like another plus for them as well.

New York Times Article: Iran's Nuclear Talks

Unemployment, Changing the Vote?

Seven swing states have just reported that unemployment rates are dropping. This is great news to Obama's campaign since the strongest selling point in Romney's campaign is economics. If the "only flaw" drops from Obama's campaign, we can see the results of the campaign slide more and more into Obama's favor.

Jobs are key in an economy. If there are no jobs, people can't work. If people aren't working, people don't have money to spend. If people aren't spending, there aren't new jobs being created. This vicious loop never ends. However, the improvement in jobs is a good sign for Obama. And the states we're talking about aren't just small ones. Ohio and Florida are two of the states which have lower unemployment rates. Florida has a whopping 29 electoral votes while Ohio has a whopping 18. That's a lot of votes, especially if you're trying to catch up in an election.

What does this really mean though? Obama was already leading in Ohio, so it just makes it so that he has a better chance in securing Ohio, but the big thing is Flordia. Florida has 29 electoral votes that is imperative for Romney to get. Florida was leaning Romney, but with the lowering unemployment rate, is it possible for a swing?

The change in unemployment rate will probably do something in the next poles and the election. However, the question is how much will it really do? There are 5 other states that have lessening unemployment: Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and North Carolina.  All of them are key swing states that matter in almost every election. However, one thing is for sure, Romney took a blow from the lower unemployment rate. Will Romney go more to the middle and try to win on other issues other than economics? Or will he just suck it up and most likely give this race to Obama?

Ohio is Key for Romney's Victory

As we get closer and closer to the end of elections, there are less and less "battleground" states. This means that in order for Romney to win the election, he has to either win Ohio or win a number of smaller states, such as New Hampshire and Iowa. The problem with winning these smaller states  is that Obama has consistently held a lead over Romney in both states, making winning them unlikely. His best shot at this point is to try to win Ohio, which no Republican president has ever  won without. 
However, even in Ohio, Romney has a disadvantage. Firstly, Obama has over double the amount of headquarters in Ohio. Additionally the Obama campaign has reported a 19 to 52 point lead in the early voters in Ohio. This success in the election can be attributed to the ruling by Scotus not to ban early voting in Ohio, which allowed the elderly, miniorities, and poor ( who are likely to vote for Obama) vote before Election Day . Finally   Romney has consistently been polling lower than Obama in Ohio. A poll by PPP states that Obama is ahead by one point, and a poll by Gravis Marketing puts Obama and Romney at a tie. The fivethirtyeight blog has readjusted these polls to account for biases, and states that PPP and Gravis show Obama to lead by half a point and three points, respectively. Also, a previous poll by Rassmussen  states that Obama is leading by one point (although it was a telephone poll so that might skew results a little bit). '
Essentially, in order to win the elections, Romney must win Ohio, where Obama appears to have a slight lead.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The End of the Computer Age

I have a computer. If you're reading this, you probably have a computer or have access to one. But it might not be the computer I'm thinking about. The computer I'm thinking about is the one with a nice screen from 14 to 17 inches with a nice keyboard to boot. However, these days I feel those things I have come to love from my childhood have become obsolete. Why? It is because of the growing phone market.

Iphones and android phones have taken the world a storm with people using them as pseudo-computers. And the news has taken note of it. KCBS radio's market watch noted the drop in two big computer chip companies AMD and Intel. AMD fell into the bigger slump since it was always number 2 and it did not jump on the phone chip market. AMD stocks have been dropping since the market crash of 2008 from 40 dollars. It went all the way down to 2 dollars, but recently it was steadily coming back up from that slump. It eventually reached a steady 8 dollars (which unfortunately I bought at) then plunged back into the 2s. Intel has not been hit as hard, but is noticeably dropped from a year ago.

It might be time to say good bye to the computer age. The coming generation is an age that is going to be dominated by phones and tablets. Ipad's have been the want of this generation just like a laptop computer was the want of our generation. Even though I say its the end of the computer generation, it might actually be the start of the second computer generation. Tablets and phones have better processing powers than my computer did even 3 years ago. It's sad really to see the things we wanted so much disappear. At least that is my sentiment and I wonder if anyone holds it as well. Finally, if you decide to buy stocks, a definitive stay away from AMD and intel is probably a good idea. (Microsoft has other retail and they have dividend, so for you MSFT stock holders, you should be good).

Wisconsin back to Obama and Iowa still Obama

Two days ago, I noted that the G.O.P. was making big leaps in the state of Wisconsin. However a poll that came out today for NBC notes that Obama is now leading Wisconsin with a 51%/45% lead. Another Obama leaning state has become even a bigger gap with a 51%/43%. 16 electoral votes seem to be close to secured for Obama.

What does this mean in the race? Romney does not have many choices and definitely wants to win Wisconsin and Iowa. Wisconsin is even the state that his running mate, Paul Ryan comes from. Whether or not the Republicans start appealing to familiarity (with Paul Ryan) is a question. Also a pro Romney Super PAC, Restore Our Future, have been rallying in the state of Wisconsin. As I noted last time, Wisconsin, hasn't been won by a Republican since 1984.

Iowa is another state that has been leaning to Obama that has been leaning more and more to Obama. Obama is leading by 8%. However unlike Wisconsin, Iowa was won by George Bush in the 2004 Presidential Race. Last year Iowa was won by Obama by 8% against McCain. Iowa does have a strong majority that support Obama, but it has been won by a Republican within the last decade.

This race is still Obama's race to lose. It can only get better in this coming week as many people were happy with what Obama had to say in the last debate. As long as he does mess up in the debate coming next week, he should have a near secured race. However, we can't count out Romney yet. Many people are disgruntled with the slow growing economy, and we know Romney has a strong record in economics. How important do you guys feel Wisconsin and Iowa are?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Paul Ryan proves he can wash clean dishes

Paul Ryan was recently filmed volunteering at a soup kitchen in Ohio with his children. However rather than looking like a down-to earth & helpful citizen, this act of "goodwill" now appears to have backfired on Ryan.

The president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, Brian J. Antag said that Romney “ramrodded his way” into the soup kitchen unannounced. Antag also asserts
“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations. It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there and they did not have permission....Had they asked for permission, it would not have been granted."
Additionally, it has been revealed that not only was the stop at the soup kitchen unannounced and unwanted but that Ryan only stayed for 15 minutes-just long enough to let the media film him helping out. Even worse, by the time Ryan reached the soup kitchen, all the food had already been cooked and served, and all the plates and trays had already been washed and dried. What appears to be Ryan washing the tray and cups is actually just him running water over dishes that had already been cleaned and dried by actual volunteers.

This event has been widely lampooned by those against Paul Ryan. For those that are completely unaware about politics, learning about this might alienate them from voting for Romney. Additionally, many would say that this incident shows a character flaw in Ryan for trying to trick the public into believing something that was just blatantly not true. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hillary Clinton takes responsibility for Benghazi Incident

In an interview on Monday with CNN, Clinton took the blame for the recent incident in Libya, stating,  "I take responsibility, I’m in charge of the state department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world [at] 275 posts".  In a later interview with NBC news (full transcript available here), she  also stated:
What we had to do in the state department was keep focused not on why something happened – that was for the intelligence community to determine – but what was happening and what could happen, and that’s what I was very much working on, day and night, to try to make sure that we intervened with governments. We did everything we could to keep our people safe, which is my primary responsibility.”
The incident, in which a terrorist attack on a US consulate led to the deaths of 4 american citizens, has been blamed on the reduction of US security in Libya even though the violence in the area was rising.

The event in Benghazi has been used by many Republicans to criticize President Obama, who claim that he is the one responsible for the security failure. The timing of this statement almost seems too perfect, since it was given the day before the second presidential debate, where many expected Romney to bring up the security breach in order to criticize Obama's stance on foreign policy. However, now that Clinton has assumed the blame, the criticisms of the Republicans (and Romney) now seem somewhat invalid. Therefore, it seems almost as if this statement was made in order to protect Obama from further criticism in the debate yesterday. 

A Sway in Wisconsin?

           Considering the video we watched in class today, I found this very amusing. Romney is starting to catch up in the polls for the state of Wisconsin. A CNN poll that came out today shows, Obama only ahead by 1% with 49% support Obama and 48% supporting Romney. How does this reflect the tone of Presidential Race?

            A 1% error is definitely within a sampling error that could come from non-stratification or response bias. However, Huffington Post's still has Wisconsin leaning to Obama. This brings up a curious thought of whether or not Obama is still much ahead of Romney in Wisconsin. Huffington Post Electoral Map. But if CNN's poll is correct, another 10 electoral votes are up for grabs.

            In 2008, Obama won Wisconsin against Senator McCain by a whopping 14%. And at the beginning of the season Obama was much more ahead of Romney. Wisconsin hasn't voted for a Republican since 1984 which Ronald Reagan steamrolled the election against Walter Mondale. (Reagan: 525 Mondale: 13). The apparent sway in Wisconsin is good news for Romney. However, this poll was given out without last night's debate which more people think Obama won than Romney.

            The race is becoming a tighter and tighter race for the incumbent President. Obama still seems to be the perspective winner for the election, but Romney is starting to catch up. I'm curious to see how some of the borderline states will sway to after last nights debate. Will Romney's momentum continue from the Oct. 3 debate as seen from this Wisconsin Poll? Or did last night's debate give enough power to Obama to stop Romney's momentum? 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Two Winner Debate

The winner of the debate is… NEITHER! In this debate, both sides colorfully displayed their goals in the upcoming election. Each candidate had their ups and downs and it was hard to say whether or not there was clear victor. From the beginning to the end, this debate was much more heated. That fact could make it a major turn off to viewers. However… Let’s break it down!

Romney’s strength lies in the business portion. Not a surprise. Zero. Obama tried attacking him by saying that Romney called for a bankruptcy to the companies in Detroit. However, Obama took in all the bankrupt car companies! Romney’s plan for oil does create a better economy. (Of course it does cost great pollution to the earth) And he always lays out his plan for economics, even though it might be a bit vague. Socially, Romney came out as the weaker candidate, but the mention of the Salt Lake Olympics probably reminded many people of a great contribution by Romney. Almost single-handedly he saved the Olympics. (Of course, it became more of an economical aspect. Romney needs to hit the economics hard.) Romney definitely had an advantage in the economics portion because of his economic background and the state of the current economy.

Obama’s strength lies in social/global issues. Again, Zero Surprise. Since more of those questions were asked in this debate, Obama shined. When asked about illegal immigrants, Obama gave answers that were much friendlier to current ones. Obama also pinpointed flaws in Romney’s social issues. The way he pulled off the near flawlessly timed joke really put Romney in a bit of a squeeze. Finally, Obama’s final statements about how some jobs are gone forever give a feeling a truth. Obama knew that jobs were gone to China and said sure they’re gone. And that was a big winning point in my opinion. Realizing failure and trying the best to build from there is something I believe everyone should do.

The debate was much more dynamic than the last debate and Obama has finally shown us things we want to hear. The question is what do the people America want more? Do they want a leader in the economics sector? Or do the American people care for each other and want to have it “more fair” for everyone? These debates make it seem like a race between what is more important to you.

Is the environment worth jobs?

At the beginning of the debate, a big issue was energy. Energy is a very important aspect to our economy, from new jobs to the price on energy. Another big issue economically is getting America energy independent. However, energy is also very important in the fact that some kinds of energy can kill our earth. Romney and Obama both have stances which would create more jobs. However, there are intricacies between both plans. Let's break them down.
Romney's stance on energy is much like a business man. Create jobs. Tax the earth. Romney would create a lot of jobs through the non-renewable energy sector. He emphasizes the creation of an oil pipe through Canada. This would give the U.S. the much needed energy to stop importing oil. Romney's plan would make America very close to energy independence. However it would kill our mother earth. Additionally, Romney's plan would only last a hundred years at most because natural gas and oil does not last forever.
Obama's plan would creates more jobs, but becoming energy independent would take awhile. America would create less carbon emissions, but is energy independence really important? Jobs would come out almost as much, so that is not an issue. Even though Obama's plan does not get America energy independent instantaneously, he does have a good track record. Comparing to four years ago, the amount of oil imported has dropped as noted by the EIA. EIA US Imports on Oil
The two plans generally boil down to is energy independence important now, or save the Earth and spend some time before truly becoming energy independent. Is energy independence really important? Or can we spend some time to save our Earth?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Romney and Abortion

As most of you probably know, Romney and Ryan are not supporters of abortion rights. When asked last week during the VP debates, Ryan basically said that supporters of abortion rights should be worried if Romney is elected president.
If elected Romney plans to attempt to over turn Roe v. Wade. With 4 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices being over 70 yrs old, it looks like the next president will get a chance to appoint a few Justices, giving them a huge advantage in swaying the Court either in favor of or against abortion rights.
Romney has stated that he wants to make abortion rights a state issue, rather than a national one. The Center for Reproductive Rights states that if made a state issue, at least 30 states will make abortion illegal (The New York Times).
On a side note,  the New York Times article mentioned that when first running to be a Senator for Massachusetts in 1994, Romney told voters about a close female relative who had died because of complications from an illegal abortion in order to call attention to his support of Roe v. Wade. Also, during Romney's successful campaign for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney stated that he planned to uphold the state's pro-choice abortion laws. For more information on the family member and Romney's changing opinion you can check out this article.

Early Voting

Michelle Obama is a strong supporter for voting early as she showed today when she sent in her ballot. She believes early voting will help her husband's campaign and has been working hard to schedule herself to be in swing states at the start of their start of early voting. She believes that early voting will help her husband get reelected by swaying people and having them act on their opinions. It has been set up so that after rallies there is transportation to a polling place so people can vote early. She calls early voting the campaign's "secret weapon."

President Obama is planning on casting his vote early too. He plans to cast his vote on October 25th in Chicago. He should probably get some good press from that. When he casts his vote early he will be the first ever candidate to vote early. Is it a smart move on his part to do that? Maybe it will lead to some good publicity.

"We want you all to vote early. We want you to think about voting early, whether it’s by mail, or in person, vote early, because if you vote early, then you can spend your time on election day getting everyone that you know out to vote," said Mrs. Obama. Is early voting a good strategy for Obama? Will early voting make a difference?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Romney and Obama are Neck and Neck

It's almost time for the 2nd presidential debates and it looks like Obama and Romney are practically tied in the polls says The Washington Post. In a poll taken recently, 49% said that they were in support of Obama and 46% are supporting Romney. Also, two-thirds of Americans have stated that they don't think they need any more information before they vote on Election Day and only about 12.5% of Americans say that there is a chance that they will change their minds before the election, making this a very close election. Of the people who support Romney, 62% have stated that they support him enthusiastically, which is double the number of McCain supporters who supported McCain enthusiastically in the 2008 election. Obama's popularity has gotten higher also, but is still below where it was four years ago. Support for Obama has risen slightly recently because of the drop in the unemployment rate which is now at 7.8, compared to over 8% as it has been for the last 43 months. Even though the unemployment rate has dropped, only a slim majority give Obama credit for this, while the rest of Americans believe that he should get no credit at all for the recent improvement in the economy. 

Electoral college map

This link is a great explanation of the current expectations for electoral college votes. It has been interesting to see how many toss up states there are in this election. Personally, I feel as though there are too many tossups to be able to accurately predict an outcome for this election. Click around on the map, its very informative and interactive. It seems unbiased to me as well. Looking at it makes the electoral college system a little more understandable and raises a lot of questions. Click through the different maps at the top, it shows a lot of the possible outcomes and which candidate it would help. Which are going to be the most crucial states? 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Joe Biden During the VP Debates: Was his disdain for Ryan helpful or harmful to the Obama campaign?

Although the White House has praised Biden's performance during the VP debates stating that it "demonstrated the passion and authenticity that ha[s] made Biden a beloved figure in the Democratic Party" (The Washington Examiner), Romney is confident that Biden's performance will help him in the end.  
The Republican party believes that the contrast between Ryan and Biden during the debates will make voters view Romney as the more serious and focused candidate. 
But for Democrats, many view Biden's performance as a way to increase enthusiasm among activists. Also many Americans didn't watch the debate, so it might not have the huge affect that the Romney campaign is hoping for. 
What do you think about Biden's attitude during the debate? Did it make Biden look passionate and enthusiastic or did it make him look condescending?

Can Obama turn it around?

Since the lack luster performance Obama had at his debate, there is less momentum and support behind his campaign. People are concerned that the Democratic ticket isn't aggressive enough to combat Romney's recent growth in range of appeal. Many are worried that Obama will not be able to move past his performance from the last debate and pick up momentum again. 

While Obama does not plan to change his strategy, he does plan to focus on consoling the more concerned Democrats. Even with all the worry he is still showing a slight lead in many battleground states. Even with this minute lead there is some concern as Romney has made some very strong and successful plays towards getting the women's vote. 

People are concerned that Obama went into the first debate too confident. “I’ve never seen a candidate this late in the game, so far ahead, just throw in the towel in the way Obama did last week,” wrote Andrew Sullivan, a strong Obama supporter. 

While the debate went badly, some current changes are looking good for Obama. Last Friday’s dip in the nation’s unemployment rate to 7.8% was good backing for his claim that things are slowly, but surely, getting better. 

What do you think? Does the low unemployment rate outweigh the bad debate? Will it help Obama supports feel more confident? How will Romney do attempting to get the women's vote?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Obama's got the Hispanic Vote

One explanation for Romney's attempts to appeal to Hispanic voters, as shown through his mudslinging ad released two day ago, is that despite his poor debate performance, Obama still has 69% of the Hispanic vote as compared to Romney's 21%, says a Pew Hispanic Center poll which was released yesterday. 

The poll also stated that 61% of Hispanic voters view the Democratic party as the party that cares about Hispanic issues, which is up from the 45% who believed this is 2011. The Hispanic vote is critical in many swing states, and Obama's popularity among Hispanic voters could greatly increase his chances in the election. Pew Hispanic Center's associate director, Mark Hugo Lopez, told The Washington Post that "support for the president has remained strong" through out the 2012 elections. The number of registered Hispanic voters has increased by 4 million in the last four years, making them 11% of the total electorate. Despite the fact that Hispanic voters make up such a substantial percentage of the total eligible voters, only 77% said that they would vote for sure this year, which makes them a much less powerful force for Obama. 
How crucial do you think the Hispanic vote is for Obama?

The VP Debates....

While Biden and Ryan were quite gracious after the debate, the debate was anything but pleasant. Both men were determined to make their point and were not shy about being vocal. Both came ready to share their opinions. And share they did... everything from the economy to Libya. Personally... I felt that both were pretty tactless in the way they handled the debate, does anyone else feel that way?

They interrupted and talked over each other, they were disrespectful while the other person was talking and there were some directly rude remarks. It was quite a change from last week's rather mellow debate. Last week focused strongly on policy and this week was a much more aggressive debate with very direct attacks on both candidate's plans.

Both men were quite involved and passionate in the debate... Ryan attacked Obama's foreign policy, calling it weak in response to the recent terror attack. Biden went after Romney about the 47 percent comment. Ryan had a response all ready for Biden's comment, quite a snarky response in my opinion "As the vice president very well knows ... sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way." Biden had a snarky response all ready as well "But I always say what I mean, and so does Romney." There was much heated debate about the Libya strike, which was Martha Raddatz's opening question.

The VP debate ended up being quite an important item. Biden was there to both re-grasp Obama's momentum and stop Ryan from increasing Romney's recent increase in the polls. Ryan was there to reinforce Romney's plans. There is obviously a lot of opinions that are made from tonights debate....

Was the men's rudeness off-putting? How valuable was the policy information they talked about? Did Biden make up for Obama's passiveness last week? How much will this debate change the current polls?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Both Obama and Romney released new videos yesterday. What makes these videos interesting is that they are both directed toward Hispanic voters. Romney's video is spoken in English with Spanish subtitles. It criticizes Obama's policies towards small businesses and talks about how his policies have been negatively effecting the Hispanic community. On the other hand, Obama's video is spoken completely in Spanish and talks about the youth of the Hispanic community and how he is inspired by their bravery and hard work.
Will the fact that Obama's ad was in Spanish increase his popularity among Hispanic voters?

 Or will Romney's mudslinging ad earn him more support because of its criticism of the current economy?
Which video do you think will be the most influential in the long run?

VP debate prep

The upcoming VP debate is an unpredictable weight for the upcoming election. There are six main points to watch out for in tomorrow's debate:

  • Uncontrollable Biden - Mr. Biden has been very vocal and aggressive about Romney's facts in the debate. The public, Mr. Ryan included, is sure that Biden will be in full attack mode, not letting any comment he disagrees with slip by. It is believed that Biden plans to make up for Obama's passiveness. 
  • Ryan Budget - Many people were put off by Romney's lack of specifics in last week's debate so people are hoping that Ryan will be able to fill in the blanks. Biden is ready to fill in the Romney supported budget. 
  • Medicare - The big question regarding medicare cuts is what position Ryan will take about it. Biden is hoping to trip up Ryan with some of the numbers but he need to make certain he doesn't go too far against "Obamacare." He had a similar plan incorporated into his House budget.
  • "Fiscal Cliff" - Romney is using the "fiscal cliff" as a direct attack against the White House. He believes that the tax cuts made during the Bush ere and the 2013 automatic spending cut will cripple the military. Again Ryan needs to watch out as he voted toward the automatic budget cuts.
  • Foreign - Foreign affairs is no doubt going to be a major focus because of Martha Raddatz, ABC New's senior foreign affairs correspondent, is the moderator and because of the recent events in North Africa and Middle East. Ryan hopes to undermine the killing of Osama bin Laden by linking it to the death of an American ambassador in Libya
  • Blunders - While many Republicans like to paint Biden as someone who often blunders. Ryan however, was impressed with Biden's 2008 debate against Palin. After reviewing debate tape people realized that while he may not make the best speeches, he has consistently done well with a structured debate.