US Elections

Discuss the latest news in the media and voice your own opinions about the news.

US Elections

Postby Cartouche » Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:58 am

I'm surprised this hasn't already come up, especially since we have some Americans on the forum, but then again, I can well understand it if politics isn't your primary concern, or even your caucus concern (ho ho).

Anyhow, this is my take at least on the events of Super Duper Tuesday, or Hyper Tuesday I prefer to call it, since that seems far less primary-schoolish.

0220

Interesting results so far. No huge shocks, but Obama did better than expected amongst the white voters in Georgia. As for the Republicans, McCain’s coronation no longer seems so certain. Huckabee is doing well. Clinton’s just been announced as Tennessee victor.

I do miss my media, however. My beloved German documentary channel, Phoenix, whose theme will have to go down as one of my musical themes of the Year Abroad, is broadcasting a live all-night programme about the elections, but Phoenix being the small channel it is, it’s spending most of the time feeding through from NBC. Still, this is German TV, and so they translate over the feed, producing the result that I often miss what is being said. The translation is a little shaky, due to being live, so I try to listen to the more detailed English, but the translation being read out over hit means I can only pick up bits and pieces, and have to resort to lip reading. Yet, when they switch to their own studio for a quick analysis in German, I have very little trouble. Good ol’ Professor Jäger.

“Mike Huckabee is Jesus”. Did I just really hear that?

I fell asleep when getting home, due to perhaps spending too much time online at school and thus getting very hungry. I find the longer I stay in that state, the quicker time seems to go, and the harder it is to get out of it. As such, my planned evening detailed in my previous post ended up being sleeping shallowly until about 1am, when I awoke feeling hungry, thirsty, and dry. Bah. So I’m having some sausages and cabbage now, with a cup of coffee, and shall watch the live feed until I get too tired…

Pr. Jäger describes “der Rolle der Flip-Flop mit Mitt Romney”. Beautiful language.

0245

The BBC Live Updates feed on my mobile’s Internet is giving the same statements as I hear on TV from Phoenix/NBC. Both report the Clinton press release over her victories in Red States, and both suspect the earlier news about an Obama surge in New York may have been exaggerated. What is great is how, against all predictions, the Republicans are providing the more interesting analysis so far. One of NBC’s analysists even wondered if McCain was an Independent candidate in Republican clothing. Phoenix and Pf. Jäger have picked up on this turn of events too, although with New York polls closing shortly, and a worse result for Obama in Arkansas than expected, this contest still provides plenty of stories.

I find it encouraging that I have to consciously think which language they are currently speaking in on TV. My German isn’t that great, and there are still words and phrases I don’t know, but I’ve found that my German listening skills have been sharpened intensely this year, even if my spoken skills have not.

The sausages were okay, but the Sauerkraut was gorgeous. Trust Germany to have several different ways of preparing cabbage, all of them far nicer than the traditional English way.

Oh, that was an odd translation. NBC mentioned the Democrats are running out of ballots, and the translater said they “hat die Nase voll”, meaning ‘they’ve had enough’, or at least ‘they’re up to their arms in it’.

0420

I’m pretty sleepy now. It’s much later than my earlier posts, and a lot more results are in. The Democrat vote is as split as predicted, with no surprise wins for Obama in the North East, with the possible exception of Connecticut. Both Democrats seem to have benefited from having dual-residency when it comes to home states, although there are plenty of other factors at bay. Firstly, it’s clear that the Kennedies do not have power over Massachusetts voters, but I can’t say that’s a shock.

Secondly is the South. Phoenix took advantage of a lull between results to show a documentary on Barack Obama, and their reporter traveled around the South. I must admit, I’ve been vary naïve when it comes to Dixie. I never imagined that race was quite so important in the South as it very clearly is. Practical segregation in schools and neighborhoods, and at basketball games. What irked me was the amount of voters who claimed they couldn’t vote for Obama because ‘he sounds like Osama. Osama bin Laden.’, and those who refuse to vote ‘for a Muslim’. One guy even said, after having it exclaimed that Obama is Christian, that he still had too much Muslim blood in him. That’s just crazy. Even that aside, the whole Obama-is-Muslim-Osama rumour is too believed by too many people for me to just dismiss it as pure ignorance.

Just caught Huckabee’s speech. He was in good spirits, and why not, for unless Romney claims California (the only states he’s won tonight are his governor state and the Mormon state) he’s moved into second place in the Republican contest, given how the states he did badly in and which McCain took comfortably are traditional blue states. I can’t say I’m surprised. To me, Romney has seemed very much trying to be someone he isn’t, and Huckabee has always seemed very committed to his principles, and also pretty honest, even though many of his positions are opposite to my own. Speaking of performance, watching Obama in flow was mesmerizing. He’s certainly the most charismatic of the candidates.

The translation has been even more irritating than before. I can fully sympathise that keeping up with the political discussion and candidates can be very hard for instantaneous translation, especially with idioms and things, but sometimes the translation just ignores things, picking up on the banter and not the points. I can forgive her, however, for saying ‘West Wirginia’. Germans seem so paranoid about saying ‘v’ for ‘w’ (in German, w is pronounced as v) that sometimes they switch it even when there is no cause to.

0440

Romney speaks. It seems he may win Montana, and he’s not doing badly in Minnesota. Huckabee meanwhile takes Georgia, furthering his domination of the South. Even so, McCain remains frontrunner, coming second in all states he lost in except for Vest Wirginia.

Clinton speaks. I note Bill carefully making sure he is offscreen before Hillary makes her speech. The mood is notably more charged than at Romney’s speech. I note she picks up on the tornadoes, just as Huckabee did, but her mention of her website sounded like a radio advert. It’s obvious she’s speaking for the cameras more than for her audience. Hillary has reason to be happy, given the worries earlier about an Obama surge, but it’s clear that neither Hillary nor Obama has claim to a true victory over the other tonight. I expect she’s had mentioned if Idaho or Minnesota has gone her way, but both just went for Obama, with Idaho a landslide. California remains to be seen.

0524

California will give McCain the edge he needs, unless Romney plays a major catch-up. The delegates from the Democrats will be split even if Clinton maintains her current lead. Phoenix is quite openly of the Obama camp, showcasing another short piece about Obama campaigners from a California college. They have taught me a new German phrase though, which I am now familiar with. Kopf-an-Kopf Rennen…head-to-head race.

Need some sleep now, though. Seriously.

0920

I did catch the final two speeches before I fell asleep. McCain was jubilant as to be expected, but also very corteous. In some strange timing, Obama started his speech whilst McCain was still talking, leading to a sudden jump, and a sudden change of mood too. Obama and McCain address the crowds in ways that could not be more opposite. Obama rallies, McCain speaks. McCain speaks from the heart, Obama speaks to the heart. Desite what I said earlier, though, this style of speaking from Obama does leave me wandering what the harder facts are.

So, Clinton has taken California, so even though Obama had a good showing in all the big states he lost, he lost them, giving Hillary something to smile about. Obama took more states in total, though, with the implication therewith of greater national support. Kopf-an-Kopf it continues to be, although I notice certain media are now of the opinion that the longer the race goes on, the better Obama does. Hmmm. On the other side of things, McCain has the mandate he was looking for, whatever the others may claim. Huckabee, however, now has the stronger position, and Romney has taken too many second-places to have much of a chance any longer, and I would not be surprised if he throws in the towel after a poor showing in Kansas next week. The question is what will happen to Huckabee. He has no real national support, but he is King of the South, so will he join McCain, or fight on?
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Postby druchi » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:44 pm

im a ModernStudies pupil and ive been fascinated by the U.s Elections although i have to admit i knew the South was racist just not that stupid...

i have found Obama's Charachter quite fascinating as we were told by our teacher that some of the Americans find Personality over Policy which by the looks of the candidates John McCain Mike Hucabe *sp lol* Barack O'Bama Hillary Clinton. seems to give American voters quite a tough choice if this is how they choose to vote which sounds quite shallow personnaly *no offence intended here* however ive started looking into the Policys of each but not as much as i would have liked to i just havent had the time

also on asking Americans one response i got went like this...

"Dude would you rather have a chick or a black guy? Its kinda obvious"
"nah man id rather have a black guy"
"you Shittin me"
"nope and anyway how can you call Hillary a chick?"

like i said i found it rather shallow but i doubt all Americans are like this just the one si have talked with so far *which i doubt is a very good representational mix as none made any mention of the republican candidates grrrr* ive tried to bring up the republican candidates as well as the Democrats to the Americans i know but to no avail which makes me slightly biased ill admit although i really cant wait for the results of the U.S Presidential election to just see what happens!
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Postby Henri » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:32 pm

The primary elections have been hugely intriguing so far, and I'm sure that this will continue for the remainder of the race. The race is being shaped by new characters and distinctive images; a welcome change from the awful Bush administration we have seen during the past eight years.

Personally, I am vastly unsure of who my preferred candidate is. I like Obama, and think that he has the potential to be a very capable President; he would strive to unite what has become a somewhat culturally divided nation. However, the U.S.A is in a state of financial disarray, and Obama, in my opinion, is not the person to rectify this.

Hilary Clinton seems like a very competent, experienced politician. She played a large role during Bill Clinton's presidency, and has his experience and political skill to rely on. I think that the Clintons are the politicans capable of handling this crisis - the economy grew unprecedently during his tenure in power - and to restore stability and wealth to America. Obama is still young enough to contest in a few years, once he has more experience.

As for the Republicans, well, it seems like a one-horse race; Mccain is the clear candidate, and they are better for it. He seems far more liberal than the majority of Republicans, which can only be a good thing for the US.
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Postby intowiz » Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:47 pm

i cant stand the thought of the republicans being elected again
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Postby druchi » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:45 am

its not really our place to decide but Americans are faced with an Historic choice and who they choose to vote for this election is going to be fascinating no matter who it is they vote for and Mitt Rommney just pulled out *or am i thinking of somebody else probably am please correct me!*
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Postby intowiz » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:39 am

i know its not our choice were not american but americans need to start realising that you can be the big super power but you have to vote responsibly.
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:46 pm

Romney did pull out.

I am one of those Americans who is actually interested in what the candidates have to say rather than just their personality or gender.

Personally, I think Obama is the best man for the job because he seems to have a different way of going at things than the other candidates. He represents change, which is something appealing to the younger generation and he says he wants to end the war, but not just pull out right away as some of the other candidates wanted to do. Obama says he's going to provide individuals with disabilities with the education they need to succeed. We are not getting enough attention right now in our educational system.

Here is some stuff about his stance on immigration . To read more you can go to http://www.barackobama.com/issues/:

“The time to fix our broken immigration system is now… We need stronger enforcement on the border and at the workplace… But for reform to work, we also must respond to what pulls people to America… Where we can reunite families, we should. Where we can bring in more foreign-born workers with the skills our economy needs, we should”

— Barack Obama, Statement on U.S. Senate Floor, May 23, 2007

At a Glance
Create Secure Borders
Improve Our Immigration System
Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally
Bring People Out of the Shadows
Work with Mexico


Speak your mind and help set the policies that will guide this campaign and change the country.

Present your ideas

The Problem
Undocumented population is exploding: The number of undocumented immigrants in the country has increased more than 40 percent since 2000. Every year, more than a half-million people come illegally or illegally overstay their visas.

Immigration bureaucracy is broken: The immigration bureaucracy is broken and overwhelmed, forcing legal immigrants to wait years for applications.

Immigration raids are ineffective: Despite a sevenfold increase in recent years, immigration raids only netted 3,600 arrests in 2006 and have placed all the burdens of a broken system onto immigrant families.

Barack Obama's Plan
Create Secure Borders
Obama wants to preserve the integrity of our borders. He supports additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.

Improve Our Immigration System
Obama believes we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.

Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally
Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

Bring People Out of the Shadows
Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.

Work with Mexico
Obama believes we need to do more to promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.

Barack Obama's Record
Crack Down on Employers: Obama championed a proposal to create a system so employers can verify that their employees are legally eligible to work in the U.S.
Fix the Bureaucracy: Obama joined Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) to introduce the Citizenship Promotion Act to ensure that immigration application fees are both reasonable and fair. Obama also introduced legislation that passed the Senate to improve the speed and accuracy of FBI background checks.
Respect Families: Obama introduced amendments to put greater emphasis on keeping immigrant families together.
For More Information about Barack's Plan
Read the Plan

for info on the other candidates go to:

Hillary Clinton: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/

Mike Huckabee: http://www.mikehuckabee.com/

John McCain: http://www.johnmccain.com/
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Postby druchi » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:21 am

oh thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!
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Postby Henri » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:19 am

Hermionefan5 wrote:Romney did pull out.

I am one of those Americans who is actually interested in what the candidates have to say rather than just their personality or gender.

Personally, I think Obama is the best man for the job because he seems to have a different way of going at things than the other candidates. He represents change, which is something appealing to the younger generation and he says he wants to end the war, but not just pull out right away as some of the other candidates wanted to do. Obama says he's going to provide individuals with disabilities with the education they need to succeed. We are not getting enough attention right now in our educational system.


Here is some stuff about his stance on immigration . To read more you can go to http://www.barackobama.com/issues/:

“The time to fix our broken immigration system is now… We need stronger enforcement on the border and at the workplace… But for reform to work, we also must respond to what pulls people to America… Where we can reunite families, we should. Where we can bring in more foreign-born workers with the skills our economy needs, we should”


— Barack Obama, Statement on U.S. Senate Floor, May 23, 2007

At a Glance
Create Secure Borders
Improve Our Immigration System
Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally
Bring People Out of the Shadows
Work with Mexico


Speak your mind and help set the policies that will guide this campaign and change the country.

Present your ideas

The Problem
Undocumented population is exploding: The number of undocumented immigrants in the country has increased more than 40 percent since 2000. Every year, more than a half-million people come illegally or illegally overstay their visas.

Immigration bureaucracy is broken: The immigration bureaucracy is broken and overwhelmed, forcing legal immigrants to wait years for applications.

Immigration raids are ineffective: Despite a sevenfold increase in recent years, immigration raids only netted 3,600 arrests in 2006 and have placed all the burdens of a broken system onto immigrant families.

Barack Obama's Plan
Create Secure Borders
Obama wants to preserve the integrity of our borders. He supports additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.

Improve Our Immigration System
Obama believes we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.

Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally
Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

Bring People Out of the Shadows
Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.

Work with Mexico
Obama believes we need to do more to promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.

Barack Obama's Record
Crack Down on Employers: Obama championed a proposal to create a system so employers can verify that their employees are legally eligible to work in the U.S.
Fix the Bureaucracy: Obama joined Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) to introduce the Citizenship Promotion Act to ensure that immigration application fees are both reasonable and fair. Obama also introduced legislation that passed the Senate to improve the speed and accuracy of FBI background checks.
Respect Families: Obama introduced amendments to put greater emphasis on keeping immigrant families together.
For More Information about Barack's Plan
Read the Plan

for info on the other candidates go to:

Hillary Clinton: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/

Mike Huckabee: http://www.mikehuckabee.com/

John McCain: http://www.johnmccain.com/




Obama strikes me as a potential future President, but not yet capable of filling the position proficiently. His promises remain vague, and broad-ranging; a sign that he lacks substance. Your quote depicts this ambiguity perfectly. Also, some of his promises seem fiscally irresponsible. He has called for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq; a good thing, at the right time, but to do this at present would only foster instability in the region.

One thing to remember, is that the U.S.A is experiencing extreme financial difficulties, which could, by definition, turn into a full-blown recession during the course of the year. The National Taxpayers Union's review found that Obama's proposals would increase the federal budget by $287 billion - is that really what needs to be done when the nation is heading into financial turmoil?

It's all very well to speak of change and social reform, but economic efficiency is the key to a successful Presidential bid, and a successful Presidency. Obama, it seems, just does not qualify in this respect.
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Postby Cartouche » Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:50 pm

Henri wrote: His promises remain vague, and broad-ranging; a sign that he lacks substance. Your quote depicts this ambiguity perfectly.


Oh, and Hillary is so crystal-clear in her own promises. :roll:
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Postby Henri » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:48 pm

Cartouche wrote:
Henri wrote: His promises remain vague, and broad-ranging; a sign that he lacks substance. Your quote depicts this ambiguity perfectly.


Oh, and Hillary is so crystal-clear in her own promises. :roll:



Hilary has a tremendous amount of Washington experience; she has been a senator for seven years, and was an influential First Lady for eight prior to this. Therefore, her political positions can be derived from an inspection of her record as a senator, and the policies of the last Democratic administration (Bill has always made Hilary's role in proceedings quite clear) - which happens to have coincided with the most prosperous period in the modern history of the U.S.A.
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Postby Cartouche » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:33 pm

Henri wrote:
Cartouche wrote:
Henri wrote: His promises remain vague, and broad-ranging; a sign that he lacks substance. Your quote depicts this ambiguity perfectly.


Oh, and Hillary is so crystal-clear in her own promises. :roll:



Hilary has a tremendous amount of Washington experience; she has been a senator for seven years, and was an influential First Lady for eight prior to this. Therefore, her political positions can be derived from an inspection of her record as a senator, and the policies of the last Democratic administration (Bill has always made Hilary's role in proceedings quite clear) - which happens to have coincided with the most prosperous period in the modern history of the U.S.A.


Experience is not always a good sign of where people are going. Even if it is, I have friends in New York state who say she did a bad job, being more focussed on her future presdential campaign than caring for the state.

Anyhow, I doubt that the American boom period of the 90s can be perfectly attributed to just one man and, apparently, his wife. From what I've seen through my historical studies, economic booms and busts come and go in cycles that are only vaguely linked with the person in charge, although everyone assumes they are. Brown, for example, has managed the economy for some time, and got a lot of credit for it. He's still roughly in charge of it now, but things are turning sour. Brown's fault as well?

Sorry for being so argumentative, but I have little faith in rhetoric.
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Postby Henri » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:52 pm

Cartouche wrote:
Henri wrote:
Cartouche wrote:
Henri wrote: His promises remain vague, and broad-ranging; a sign that he lacks substance. Your quote depicts this ambiguity perfectly.


Oh, and Hillary is so crystal-clear in her own promises. :roll:



Hilary has a tremendous amount of Washington experience; she has been a senator for seven years, and was an influential First Lady for eight prior to this. Therefore, her political positions can be derived from an inspection of her record as a senator, and the policies of the last Democratic administration (Bill has always made Hilary's role in proceedings quite clear) - which happens to have coincided with the most prosperous period in the modern history of the U.S.A.


Experience is not always a good sign of where people are going. Even if it is, I have friends in New York state who say she did a bad job, being more focussed on her future presdential campaign than caring for the state.

Anyhow, I doubt that the American boom period of the 90s can be perfectly attributed to just one man and, apparently, his wife. From what I've seen through my historical studies, economic booms and busts come and go in cycles that are only vaguely linked with the person in charge, although everyone assumes they are. Brown, for example, has managed the economy for some time, and got a lot of credit for it. He's still roughly in charge of it now, but things are turning sour. Brown's fault as well?


Are you honestly saying that the administration - inevitably headed by one individual - are not responsible for the state of the economy? Yes, other factors do come into play (events in the global economy), but it is largely how these factors are dealt with which determines the success or failure of that respective nation. As for Gordon Brown, no, the recent downturn is not his fault. However, the British economy is now better placed to deal with global problems such as this, and as a result, will not experience a great deal of difficulty.

Sorry for being so argumentative, but I have little faith in rhetoric.


Neither do I, hence why I do not support Obama.
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Postby Dan » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:47 am

This is why politics shouldn't be discussed around the dinner table. ;)

It provokes arguments and serves no real purpose if people are just going to argue or "debate" as they call it.
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Postby Cartouche » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:56 am

It gets people fired up, that's for sure.

Henri, I don't place Obama over Hillary simply because of rhetoric. I'm irritated by the suggestion that people only support him because they swallow all that 'Yes We Can' oratory (which is repeated at all his rallies and really does seem to suggest he has no real plans, despite the contrary being the case). I know many do, and that irks me, because it policies that count, and it on that level that I support Obama over Clinton. I'd support Edwards if I could because of his policies, but he never had a realistic chance. Please don't make assumptions about my reasoning.

Administrations are different things to the person in the driving seat. It's clear to me Bush hasn't been running America for years now, and is simply the spokesperson for the various officials behind him who make the real decisions.
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