Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

The permanent two-term presidency

Yesterday’s win for President Obama may herald the permanent two-term Presidency. The last three of four presidents or -- if you count George H. W. Bush as the third term of the Reagan presidency -- the last four of five, have won re-election and served multiple terms. This pattern has occurred despite the fact that in each case, simple logic might have predicted otherwise. Clinton won versus a Senate legend, Bob Dole; Bush defeated a popular war hero, John Kerry; and Obama defeated a successful governor from a moderate state, Governor Romney. Moreover, Clinton won despite a crushing defeat in the mid-term elections in 1994, Bush won in 2004 amidst two contentious wars and Obama has now won notwithstanding four years of poor economic performance and unchanged job numbers. So why might this be the case?

There are at least three reasons drawn from the political science literature: centralization, polarization, and technology.

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Obama recognized importance of Asia early on

President Obama knows that America is and always will be a Pacific nation and that, in the 21st century, it is more important than ever that the United States play a role in shaping the future of the Asia Pacific region. No other U.S. President in history has had such a deep understanding of the vibrancy of Asia. But that’s no surprise. As he said earlier this year: “When I think about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, I think about my family.”

The president carries a deep personal connection to the Asia-Pacific, from his birth in Hawaii to the time he spent in Indonesia as a young man. As he has said, “This is a community that helped to make me who I am today. It’s a community that helped make America the country that it is today.”

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Bullying and using employees for political purposes is objectionable

That corporations have a free speech right to spend millions on political TV advertising because of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is common knowledge. 

Less discussed is how the decision elevated corporations’ political rights over their employees’. Numerous corporations have evidently concluded that it is now perfectly legal to impose management’s political views on the workforce, stamping on the rights of working voters to engage in free and frank political discussion without fear of retribution.

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Enough of Romney's 'fuzzy math'

I read with much consternation David Brooks and the DesMoines Register's endorsements of Romney days ago. Their endorsements boil down to a simple, profoundly misguided point: vote for Romney because he would secure a debt deal with Congress.

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Tomorrow's fight for American values

In America, we take care of each other, we support one another, and we look out for our neighbors. When times get tough, we lend a helping hand, we lift up those around us, and we stand by those in need. In America, the dreamers, the disabled and the disadvantaged are not left to defend themselves, alone in their struggles. We have their back. But this is not Mitt Romney's plan for America's future, far from it. In Romney's America, you are alone, in a world of privatized profiteers, to fend for yourself. No lift, no support, and no helping hand.

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Healthcare law on the ballot

Ezra Klein is right. In a recent Washington Post column, the left-leaning policy wonk laid plain that the future of ObamaCare is at stake in next week’s elections. If President Obama wins and Democrats hold the Senate, the Affordable Care Act will survive. If Mitt Romney wins and Republicans take the Senate, the law is dead. It is the starkest of differences.
 
How likely is each scenario? At this moment Democrats have the advantage. According to Real Clear Politics, the president is running slightly ahead in six out of ten battleground states. He could actually lose seven of these, but still be reelected if he hangs onto Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

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Social media narrative suggests a Romney victory

On Tuesday, November 6, the exit polls will finally explain what voters in the 2012 presidential election were actually thinking, their underlying motivations and intentions stripped bare for all to see. After all, pollsters simply ask people who just voted how they voted; the voters answer the question and you now have a precise record of their vote. Right?

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Paul Ryan's policies will hurt poor, not help them

In a recent speech about poverty at Cleveland State University, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) struck a moderate tone while doubling down on policies that will take us back to an era when our most vulnerable neighbors were on their own.

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Romney's defense budget is unrealistic

Mitt Romney’s proposal to boost defense spending until it reaches “a floor of four percent of GDP [gross domestic product],” as he proclaims at his official website, is an insult to history.

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Naval supremacy requires a fleet of sufficient capability and size

President Obama’s quip about bayonets and a game of battleship got a few laughs at the final presidential debate. But our national security and naval readiness are no joking matter.

America’s naval power – which is projected abroad by our aircraft carriers, destroyers, amphibious ships, and submarines – has protected America’s interests, assured our friends, and deterred potential aggressors for decades.

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