Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Stark choice facing voters in November

French enlightenment writer Voltaire once wrote that “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”  This narrative is playing out for the fall election, as voters face two presidential candidates with vastly different philosophies on the role of government.  
Looking back to the 2008 campaign, then-Senator Obama touted his services as a community organizer as a qualification for public office. With little or no effort done by the media to track the impact that his organizing had on the lives of those he tried to help, many voters were left with the impression that his work did some good for those who needed help. But had his record been scrutinized, we would have learned that community organizers don’t actually solve problems.


Why North Carolina is ‘the’ battleground state

As the eyes of the political world turn to Charlotte this week for the Democratic National convention, speculation about the fate of North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes on Nov. 6 continues. Depending on who you ask or which electoral map you’re consulting, the Tar Heel State is a safe bet for Mitt Romney one day and a toss-up the next; one week it’s the moderate “New South” and the next it’s leaning back toward its Deep South neighbors. In 21 of the 22 polls conducted by Public Policy Polling since the 2010 election, President Obama and Romney have been within 3 points of each other, and several other recent polls show a statistical dead heat. One certainty remains: North Carolina’s status as THE battleground state to watch is here to stay.


Making the case for four more years

My grandfather used to say, “Don’t tell me your priorities. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you your priorities.” So, let’s compare the Obama-Biden record in three critical areas — Medicare, taxes and veterans — with what is in the Romney-Ryan budget.

First Medicare, where there is perhaps no better contrast and choice facing Americans.

President Obama and Vice President Biden want to ensure Medicare is solvent for generations to come.


GOP platform a nightmare for American workers

House Speaker John Boehner stated on a PBS NewsHour interview last week that he had “never read” a GOP party platform. Given the devastating
impact that this year’s platform would have on American workers, Boehner must be hoping that no one else bothers to read it either.

While GOP convention speeches offered few details on labor policy -- or on anything else – the 62-page "Restoring the American Dream" platform
provides a number of specific policies, all of which would mean weaker protections and lower wages for American workers. Not one proposal would
create jobs or otherwise help besieged workers.


Elections are about the future

During the 2012 Presidential contest, we have all learned one thing, Democrats and President Obama’s campaign are ready to fight and continue our nation’s economic recovery and not return to the Bush era policies that Governor Romney is touting that helped get our nation into the current economic mess that we are in today.


Truth-telling a casualty in presidential campaign

“Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth.” So said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in his Tuesday night Keynote address to the Republican National Convention, focusing mostly on the need to confront hard truths about America’s massive deficits and debt. He is absolutely right: real leadership at this moment requires forcing voters to confront facts that they would prefer to ignore. Unfortunately, this quality was almost totally missing from the speeches of the Republican candidates, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney.


Five questions for Mitt Romney on LGBT rights

Late last year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney proclaimed, “I favor gay rights.” Apparently Gov. Romney thinks he can simultaneously say he favors gay rights while also opposing any form of relationship recognition for same-sex couples and supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that bans marriage equality. He also opposes a federal law that would finally make it illegal in all 50 states to discriminate against gay and transgender workers.
With respect to marriage equality, civil unions, and workplace fairness, it is safe to say that Mitt Romney does not actually “favor gay rights.”


Why Jewish voters will choose Obama over Romney

A few weeks ago, former New York Mayor Ed Koch told me that he had been so mad at President Obama earlier this year over his stance on Israel that he engineered the loss of Anthony Weiner's Democratic congressional seat to a Republican. "I had a falling out with President Obama when he announced that Israel has to go back to the ‘67 lines when it starts its negotiations with Palestinians," he said. "I decided that Obama was taking the Jews for granted, as far as their vote...they gave 78 percent of their entire vote and I wanted to send a message."


Could underwater homeowners swing this election?

An August 20 New York Times story, “Slow Response to Housing Crisis Now Weighs on Obama” details the slow and cautious response by the president to the foreclosure crisis. 

As President Obama has himself admitted, housing continues to be a significant drag on the economy. The housing market makes up 15 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. It's hard to have a robust recovery when one-sixth of our economy is in its worst shape in generations.


CBC members challenge party-switcher Artur Davis

Artur Davis
C/O Republican National Convention
401 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602

Dear Artur,

We are writing to express our disdain over several recent comments you have made about the important issues facing voters in November, your total distortion of President Barack Obama’s record, and your complete flip-flop on certain core principles you once held dear. Given the magnitude of your recent transformation, we can only conclude that, rather than a true conversion, your actions are the result of a nakedly personal and political calculation or simmering anguish after failing to secure the Democratic nomination for governor of the State of Alabama in 2010.

Despite recent news reports that you sought advice from a Virginia political consultant about running for office as a Democrat, you currently proclaim to have switched to the Republican Party. However, in 2009 you repeatedly criticized former Representative Parker Griffith for the same act, saying, “his decision repudiates the hard work of many Democrats who sustained him during his election to two high offices.” You continued, “He leaves a party where differences of opinion are tolerated and respected to join a party that in Washington, marches in lockstep, demands the most rigid unity, and articulates no governing philosophy beyond the forceful use of the word, ‘no.’”

It’s unconscionable that you now claim Voter ID laws do not violate civil rights or suppress minority voter turnout. Yet in 2007 while still representing Alabama’s 7th congressional district, you joined then-Senator Obama in calling for the resignation of the Justice Department’s Voting Rights chief after he claimed that Voter ID laws did not hurt minorities, saying, “you can't argue that voter ID laws don't disfranchise African- Americans.”

You also may recall that less than two years ago, you routinely touted your progressive record as a member of the House of Representatives. You supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Wall Street reform bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and ending tax subsidies for oil companies. Despite voting against the final bill, you even supported major pillars of the Affordable Care Act like banning discrimination against pre-existing conditions, expanding Medicaid, and providing tax breaks to small businesses that provide health care, to name a few.

Contrary to your recent declarations, you hailed President Barack Obama as a “beacon of leadership,” touted President Obama as your “model,” and widely described the President as a friend. As a member of the House of Representatives, you supported President Obama’s agenda 95% of the time, were quoted saying “I agree with him on everything,” and repeatedly invoked President Obama in your failed gubernatorial campaign.

It is important that the American people have these important facts and draw their own conclusions about your true motivations for speaking at the Republican National Convention.

We have come to the disturbing conclusion that your recent public statements have no basis in real policy or political disagreements, but rather they stem from transparent opportunism and a personal determination to overcome failing to win the Alabama Democratic primary for Governor in 2010. We regret that you have chosen this course, but are confident that the American people see your pronouncements for what they are and come to the same disappointing conclusion of your former colleagues.


Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-Mo.)
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.)
Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.)
Rep Donna Christensen (D-VI-AL)
Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.)
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.)
Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio)
Rep. Barbara J. Lee (D-Calif.)
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.)
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)