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Guest essay: GOP Politics and the “Little Woman” in 2012

2012 Republican National Convention: Day 2

The Political Denizens are pleased to present our first guest essay! In the wake of the 2012 party conventions, public discussions of the potential “candidates” for First Lady — Ann Romney and Michelle Obama — has featured their functions as a humanizing element for their husbands and their rhetorical emphasis on “family” as a warrant [...]

A post-factual convention? Part 2: Reality? We can change it.

ryan we can change it

In a satirical debriefing of Paul Ryan’s nomination acceptance address on The Daily Show, “RNC correspondent” John Oliver considers the theme of the Republican National Convention’s second night, “We Can Change It.” A slogan clearly designed as a commonplace strategic appeal in the “challenger style” of campaign rhetoric — the challenger calls for change, and argues that [...]

A post-factual convention? Part 1: They built that.

clint-eastwood-republican-convention-speech

 As has been the case for many years, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign produced a biographical film to introduce the candidate to the American public, who traditionally start paying attention in earnest to general election campaigns right around Labor Day. The video was a dramatically produced and emotionally moving portrait of a candidate who sought that [...]

Our long national nightmare is over…

Obama-Bored_large

We know what you’re thinking… “OK, the presidential campaign is in full swing, Paul Ryan is the Republican Veep nominee, the GOP convention has concluded and the Democratic convention is days away, the economic recovery is still slow and painful (with everyone blaming everybody else), the media fact-checkers and cable news commentators are having conniption [...]

Pub Politics and the Presidency

Obama Guinness

According to the White House website, President Obama had “no public schedule” yesterday. However, this didn’t stop the President from making a high-profile St. Patrick’s Day visit to a public establishment — specifically, the Dubliner Restaurant and Pub, a bar in Washington featuring basketball on TV and Guinness on tap. Joined by his distant Irish [...]

When “Deal” is a Four-Letter Word

Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney

One of the perennial realities of campaign politics is the inevitable trajectory candidates take when moving from obscure also-ran to emergent underdog to front-runner: the higher the profile, the greater the scrutiny, and the added importance of “oppo” research. Many media observers have noted, in the wake of Wednesday’s Republican presidential primary debate in Arizona, [...]

Since When is Clint Eastwood a Democrat?

clint chrylser

And since when did Chrysler get in the candidate endorsement business? Actually, neither supposition is accurate… making the brouhaha surrounding Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America” Super Bowl TV commercial for Chrysler yesterday that much more amusing. Ah, the fights we find ourselves getting into. This seems to be a classic case where politicized punditry and [...]

Juice: Perceptions of Power between Presidents and Congress

obama_boehner

Time and time again, I speak to my students about the importance of the perception of power to the institution of the Presidency.  The Founders of the United States never intended for Presidents or the overall institution of the Presidency to have the power and influence that is seen in the modern presidency.  Presidents and [...]

Change Is… Obama’s New Tactic

President Obama has begun using a variation on his "Change" slogan, "Change Is..."

Recently President Obama has rolled out his new campaign tagline, “Change Is…”  Obama is making an attempt to answer questions from the opposite side of the political spectrum.  Many conservatives have been known to ask “Where is the Change?”  This is a trend that began very shortly after President Obama took office.  It will be [...]

Follow the Ad Money!

The Washington Post just started a new featured resource: “Mad Money,” where the reader can “watch the latest campaign ads in the 2012 presidential race and track ad spending during the primaries and general election.”

The Denizens will be following this site regularly… you should too! To help, we’ve added it to our blogroll on the right-side menu on your screen.

“Mitt vs. Mitt,” Fact Checked

The Democratic National Committee let GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney have it yesterday with a new 4 minute web video entitled “Mitt vs. Mitt,” intended to cast aspersions on his trustworthiness as a public policy flip-flopper, borrowing heavily from the Bush-Cheney 2004 anti-John Kerry playbook. Perhaps predicting that Romney is the true eventual nominee, the DNC ad attacks Romney where he’s most vulnerable: in distrust among many, especially conservatives in his own party, that he places ephemeral political expedience before principle in his shifting policy positions.

First, here’s the ad:

Ever the intrepid defender of accuracy over b.s., the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Factcheck.org released an analysis of the DNC ad that identifies a host of distortions of Romney’s public statements and positions. What did they come up with?

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Romney vs. Not-Romney

Today’s Talking Points Memo reports on a Campaign 2012 phenomenon that the Denizens have recently commented on: the persistent competition between Mitt Romney and “Not Romney.” Here’s the guts of Eric Kleefeld’s take on the poolling in key early primary and caucus states, which depict Romney’s stagnation amidst an ebb and flow of Not-Romneys:

As has been noted many times, the Republican contest has gone through a cycle of one candidate or another gaining a sudden, massive amount of support against Romney, only to collapse after a combination of blunders and media scrutiny — see Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. The big question, then, is whether any candidate will be able to put up a stable anti-Romney front, or if the competition are too flawed, and Romney can take it by default. (Newt Gingrich, you’re now up at bat.) And if Herman Cain should now drop out of the race — he suggested on Tuesday he was ‘reassessing’ things — that could mean a sudden turn to a much rougher road for Romney. The numbers suggest Gingrich would be much more the beneficiary of a Cain departure than Romney.

So what do we make of this situation?

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Cain’s Collapse: Was No One His Brother’s Keeper?

Herman Cain’s meteoric rise and fall in the GOP presidential nomination race will be a subject of sustained inquiry for some time. Chris Cillizza does some early prognosticating for the Washington Post over who is likely to benefit if and when (likely when) Cain withdraws in the wake of the Ginger White extramarital affair story that broke Monday.

But some larger questions require some attention, beyond the inevitable “he said / she said” and the “how does this affect the horse race?” chat. We ought to consider how a Herman Cain candidacy got as far as it did, given its unconventional candidate and campaign approach.

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Herman, Herman, Herman: C’mon Man!

Herman Cain\’s Campaign \”Reassessing\”

Herman Cain’s campaign has gone much further than intended and controversy will help it sink.

Everyday lately, we have been subjected to some new story about Herman Cain or some inkling of a new scandal. Before that we were given a steady diet of non-traditional tactics from his campaign. In reality, we haven’t gotten too much from his campaign. Cain doesn’t have much of a campaign.

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Few Were as Frank as Frank

When Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) announced yesterday that he would not seek reelection, retiring from Congress after 31 years of representing Massachusetts’ 4th District, he signaled the end of three decades of polarizing public rhetoric and, like him or loathe him, audacious and tireless public service.

Frank will be remembered as a unique character in American politics.

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Living With Legacies of the Civil War (Race & Inequality)

As was the case with many American wars, Blacks fought in the Civil War with hopes of equality afterward only to see the nation miss such an opportunity.

As I mentioned in a past post, there are currently missed opportunities to improve our nation. This is nothing new. When it comes to race, wealth and inequality in American politics and society; American history is littered with missed opportunities. The Civil War and it’s aftermath serve a one of many major moments of missed opportunity. After the war, which was fought in great part over the issue of slavery, reconstruction was prematurely halted and Blacks were given no opportunity to work on a level playing field when it came to working towards equality of opportunity in the political arena, economic arena and the social arena.

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Obama’s “God-less” Thanksgiving Address

Ever the intrepid media watchdog, Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show made note of President Obama’s online Thanksgiving video address, as well as the reaction from FOX News:

 

Some brief thoughts:

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Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks for America

If Ben Franklin had his way, this may be a Turkey with the Flag

This weekend as we transition from being thankful by eating more than we need to preparing for the birth of Jesus by spending money we may not have on things we may not need, we need to think about some of the good of America. So many times we focus on the bad. We focus on debt, political polarization, mulitiple wars, crime, hunger and other problems. What about all that has gone right in the United States and continues to go right?
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Black Politics In America: In Need of an Accelerator

Soledad O'Brien's latest piece can serve as inspiration for new tactics in encourage up and coming Black political leaders.


This brief holiday weekend has allowed me to catch up on some shows that have been sitting on my DVR for a while. I must admit that I watched some mindless material before getting to recordings with some substance. As I sat here watching CNN’s “Black in America: The New Promised Land- Silicon Valley” I was brought back to thoughts I have had a number of times in recent years about preparing Black folks and other underrepresented minority groups for the political arena. We need organized and systematic programs to accelerate the learning curve in politics and make access easier to come by for young people of color with drive, ambition and ideas.

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