- Created on 01 November 2012
There is abundant evidence that this will be a close contest between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Of course, the election is not really about race, religion or about a random celebrity or publicity quotient. This election is actually about the future of the nation politically and economically as well as the global leadership of the United States for the next four years. For many people who have already voted early or who plan to go out to the polls in record numbers on Tuesday, the campaign endorsements by various public officials does have a significant impact.
Even though former Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell explicitly stated the public policy issues and leadership qualities of President Barack Obama as the reasons for his endorsing the re-election of President Barack Obama, one of Mitt Romney's most senior campaign officials, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, asserted that General Powell's endorsement of President Obama was based on race.
Sununu's racially-motivated slur to attack General Powell for having the political courage as a Republican statesman to endorse President Obama was not just some random rhetorical misstatement. Sununu knew exactly was he was doing a few days before the election. Sununu deliberately interjected the issue of race into the presidential campaign hoping to make a "backward" political gain to assist Mitt Romney's ambition to defeat President Obama.
It is important to state for the record that General Colin Powell not only made the right move, but also he did it with admirable courage and brilliant statesmanship. As the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State who has served Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, General Colin Powell is an iconic, retired four-star general, veteran leader and seasoned visionary admired by millions of Americans. Thus, Powell's endorsement is important, timely and very significant. The fact that General Powell is also a moderate Republican is noteworthy and could help other Republicans and independents to see the value of reelecting President Obama.
Powell stated, "I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on." In reference to his choice of President Obama over Romney, Powell further affirmed, "I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012." He listed President Obama's outstanding record in effective counter-terrorism and the ending of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as points of strategic leadership that are important to maintain in the White House. In terms of the prospects about Governor Romney, Powell emphasized, "There's some very, very strong neo-conservative views that are presented by the governor that I have some trouble with...... I'm not quite sure which Governor Romney we'd be getting with respect to foreign policy."
In the aftermath of Sununu's charge that Powell endorsed President Obama because both are Black, the general's former chief of staff, retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, candidly stated that the Republican Party is "full of racists." Wilkerson went on to explain, "And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to with the content of his character, nothing to with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that's despicable."
We are proud of General Colin Powell. We are proud of President Barack Obama. It is not about race, it is about leadership and accomplishment. Let no one make you think that this election is not important and vital to all Americans. This obviously also transcends partisan politics. Both Democrats and Republicans should be voting to reelect President Barack Obama. The old plantation tricks, divisive mischief and vile rhetoric of the past will not suffice in diverting our attention and responsibilities from pressing "forward" in 2012. We, therefore, are resolute in our expressions of recognition and tribute to General Powell's courage on the battlefield for freedom, justice and equality. In short, we salute General Powell and vote for President Obama.
- Created on 01 November 2012
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With Superstorm Sandy leaving communities under water, stranding millions without power and consuming public resources in several states, could next Tuesday's vote for president be moved to a later date?
No, it can't. Without passage of a new federal law, voting for president is required to take place on Tuesday, November 6, as planned.
But, partial postponements of voting in some affected areas are possible, consistent with the laws governing the election of the president and vice president.
When people go to the polls on Election Day, they aren't voting directly for their choice for president or vice president. Instead, they are voting to select representatives -- or "electors" -- to the Electoral College, the body that actually determines who will be president and vice president.
The Constitution gives Congress the authority to determine "time" of choosing those electors. In 1845, Congress passed a law that set the Tuesday immediately following the first Monday in November of every election year as Election Day across the country.
The same law also gives states some leeway in picking electors to the Electoral College. But to exercise that leeway, a state must have "held an election for the purpose of choosing electors," and "failed to make a choice on the day prescribed by law." When that happens, the law says "the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such manner as the legislature of such state may direct."
Based on this, the Congressional Research Service, a federal agency that provides legislative research support to Congress, concluded in a 2004 report that a state could probably hold presidential voting on Election Day in places unaffected by a natural disaster but postpone it until a later date in affected areas without violating federal law so long as the state met other legal requirements relating to electing the president and vice president.
But the law passed by Congress setting Election Day only allows a state to pick its electors on a later date if it has already held an election on Election Day and "failed to make a choice" on that day.
So a complete statewide postponement would arguably violate the 1845 law, the 2004 report suggested. But the report also pointed out that the Supreme Court has emphasized the role states play in selecting the presidential electors, so a state might be allowed to postpone an entire statewide vote for president in emergency circumstances like a hurricane or other natural disaster.
CNN Senior Correspondent Joe Johns contributed to this report.
- Created on 31 October 2012
From Obama effigies and hate speech to coded racial commentary and flat-out lies, this campaign season has had no shortage of bizarre, infuriating and downright insane political moments. As the presidential election approaches, we're collecting them here for a special edition of our Crazy Talk series. We couldn't make this stuff up if we tried.
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2:42 p.m. EDT: Democrats have a lock on the stupid votes? "We have to give it up. Democrats have a lock on the stupid voters. We are never going to get them. They have feeble-minded women. They apparently have 6-year-old kids who have been told Republicans are killing the polar bears," conservative author and political pundit Ann Coulter said recently on Hannity while discussing a supposed political ad of children singing, according to Real Clear Politics. Then, in response to a question from Sean Hannity about whether she thought President Barack Obama was on the defensive in battleground states, she said, "I'm worried the Democrats are going to steal Ohio. They've put all their eggs in that basket." Stunning allegation from a party whose presidential candidate in 2000, George W. Bush, narrowly lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore but defeated Gore in the Electoral College. In the highly contested election, Gore became the third presidential candidate to receive the largest share of the popular vote while losing the electoral vote.
Friday, Oct. 26, 8:24 a.m. EDT: Colin Powell likes Obama just because he's black? "When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama ... Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him," top Romney adviser John Sununu said on Piers Morgan last night. Interestingly, Sununu's Twitter feed would suggest that he's the one preoccupied with the president's race (and not in a way that anyone would applaud).
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 11:26 a.m. EDT: Herman Cain: Chris Matthews playing race card: Mr. "I left the Democratic plantation a long time ago," former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain said on Fox News today about his disdain for what he sees as the liberal media's propensity for "playing the race card," Mediaite reports. In particular he criticized MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who has said that the right "hate[s] Obama" and that they "want him out of the White House more than they want to destroy al-Qaida. Their No. 1 enemy in the world right now, on the right, is their hatred, hatred for Obama. And we can go into that about the white working class in the South, and looking at these numbers we're getting the last couple days about racial hatred in many cases ... this isn't about being a better president; they want to get rid of this president."
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2:27 p.m. EDT: Ann Coulter calls President Obama a "retard": Well, this would fall into the category of insults that are much more revealing about the speaker (or tweeter, as the case may be) than they are about the person targeted. On Twitter after the third and final presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the conservative commentator told followers, "I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard." The social backlash included "Are you out of your f--king mind?" (Anyone familiar with Coulter's increasingly outrageous commentary should be able to answer that one pretty easily.) Read more at the Huffington Post.
Monday, Oct. 22, 12: 11 p.m. EDT: Google reveals disturbing Obama-related search data: On Election Day in 2008, roughly 1 in 100 searches that included "Obama" also included "KKK" or "nig--r." "Michelle Obama ugly" receives three times as many searches as "Michelle Obama beautiful." And, not surprisingly, states in which Obama underperformed in 2008 were also the states that searched most often for "Obama Muslim." On a nonracial note, "Paul Ryan Shirtless" is nine times more popular a search than "Paul Ryan budget." Not exactly news that inspires confidence in the American electorate. Read more at Gawker.
Thursday, Oct. 18, 12:08 p.m. EDT: Farther from God now than during slavery? "We strayed away different times. Andrew Jackson's time was not a great time; different times slavery was a blot on our existence," Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said this week, adding, "But the trouble is we have never as an entire nation overall been so far away from God's teaching." Speaking on a conference call with far-right pastor Rick Scarborough, he warned that the much-worse-than slavery sins going on today could lead the nation "toward the end of [its] existence." Read more at the Huffington Post.
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 1:28 p.m. EDT: Geraldo to Obama: "Balls are a beautiful thing": Just when you thought Mitt Romney was a bit disrespectful to the office of the president in some of his snippier moments last night, there's this: Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera praised Obama's more assertive performance at Tuesday night's town hall-style debate at Hofstra University with this tweet: "Congrats Mr. President balls are a beautiful thing," Mediaite reports.
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 12:11 p.m. EDT: White liberals threaten "black riots" when losing? On his show Monday night, Sean Hannity addressed the motivation of "those who say there will be riots if Romney wins." (No, we don't have any idea who is actually saying that.) "You know why this is happening?" Hannity asked. "Because his numbers with women are way up." Guest and election-season offensive gaffe machine Ann Coulter piped in with, "White liberals are always threatening black riots whenever they're about to lose an election," Mediaite reports. So the second presidential debate is on tonight, providing plenty of legitimate political material to discuss, but we're talking about imaginary "black riots." Sounds about right for these two.
Monday, Oct. 15, 4:55 p.m. EDT: GOP Pep Talk: "Send Obama back to Kenya": You always know things are getting intense politically when Republicans start reminding people of President Obama's ties to Africa (where he was not born, but if they haven't gotten that after four years, maybe it's a lost cause). Mediaite reports that at a Republican brunch event this morning that was attended by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, the son of Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Tommy Thompson told the audience, "We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago ... or Kenya." A woman in the audience added, "We are taking donations for that Kenya trip." Thompson's campaign has now issued a vague statement that says nothing about why the statement was inappropriate ("The Governor has addressed this with his son, just like any father would do. Jason Thompson said something he should not have, and he apologizes").
Friday, Oct. 12, 12:01 p.m. EDT: "Some girls rape easy" backlash continues: Wisconsin Freshman Rep. Roger Rivard lost Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's endorsement on Thursday after claiming that "some girls, they rape so easy," and then "clarifying" the remark, saying, "[My father] also told me one thing: 'If you do [have premarital sex], just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,' " the New York Daily News reports. Later, Rivard's camp issued another clarification, calling rape a "horrible act of violence." Sure took a long time to state the obvious.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 3:31 p.m. EDT: Paul Ryan on inner-city character development:Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan, when asked whether this country has a gun problem, responded in a recent interview, "The best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity in the inner cities. Is to help teach people good discipline, good character." We were with him right up to the "opportunity" bit.
First, it's curious that this conservative candidate would place the government in charge of what we can only imagine would be the pretty intrusive work of character development for would-be criminals. But AlterNet's Laura Gottesdiener captures the real issue with the statement, which was unfortunately even more problematic than the out-of-touch gaffes we've come to expect in the run-up to the election:
The idea feeds into the well-developed propaganda about the "culture of poverty," the idea, first pushed under Reagan, that the inferior ethics of the inner city is what keeps its residents impoverished.
This theory entirely disregards chronic unemployment, failing schools, institutional racism, political disenfranchisement and the dozens of other structural forces that create chaos and crime in swaths of the country that capitalism has effectively abandoned. To hear such a dangerously misinformed statement coming out of the mouth of a vice presidential candidate less than a month before the election is terrifying.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 3 p.m. EDT: Obama-inspired chair lynching? An Austin, Texas, homeowner hung an empty folding chair from a tree branch in front of his house and later attached an American flag to it. NCB News reports that he told a political blogger who expressed concerns about the display, "You can take it and go straight to hell and take Obama with you." Meanwhile, in Virginia, an empty chair with a sign reading "Nobama" was strung from a tree in or near a park. The image of an empty chair has been linked to President Obama since Clint Eastwood used one to represent him at this year's Republican National Convention, but the symbol is now being used in ways that cross over from bizarre to disturbing.
- Created on 31 October 2012
- Created on 30 October 2012
Republicans on Mitt Romney
Now that the 2012 presidential election is down to the wire, Republicans have naturally gotten in line to endorse and support present party leader Mitt Romney. But just a few months ago, many were vociferous in their criticism of the ex-Bain Capital CEO. Labeling him "dishonest" and a "serial flip-flopper," Republican leaders, such as Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, Rudolph Giuliani, and Rick Santorum, among others, were quite clear why a "Mitt Romney for President" should not happen. Think I'm just another liberal promoting President Barack Obama's talking points? Then see it for yourself in a viral YouTube video entitled "Why Republicans Say You SHOULDN'T Vote for Mitt Romney."
The video kicks off with Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, saying, "I ran against him in '07 and '08, I've never seen a guy change his positions on so many
things, so fast on a dime."
Rick Santorum comes up a few moments later stating, "This is someone who doesn't have a core. He's been on either side of every single issue for the past 10 years." Then Newt Gingrich is next with "I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points. And I think he ought to be candid."
Oh, and there's much, much, more.
Ron Paul barely stifles a laugh when he says, "We just call him a serial flip-flopper." And after 2008 presidential GOP nominee John McCain calls him an outright "fraud," Rep. Louie Gohmer (R-Texas) allegedly jokes to a crowd that "if you're not sure about wanting to support Mitt Romney, whether you're liberal or whether you're a conservative, you ought to be excited because he's been on your side at one time or another."
Now one may argue that this is just standard politics, what with political rivals customarily tearing one another down in the name of winning the nomination. But with everything that is at stake, that is dangerously parochial view.
Because even with less than two weeks left in the election, no one — irrespective of what party you belong to — really knows exactly what this man stands for on anything.
Think I'm being dramatic?
Well, who can say what Romney's policy is regarding foreign nations? Last week, when former Secretary of State Colin Powell explained why he is supporting President Obama for the second time, he said:
"One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan, but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq. On almost every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Governor Romney agreed with the President with some nuances."
OK, well how about his economic policy? The entire campaign, Romney has been touting his success in Massachusetts, but in the Baltimore Sun, journalist Robert Lynch, wrote on Monday in an article entitled "On Job Creation, Obama Beats Romney":
"When Mitt Romney ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002, the private equity magnate said he was uniquely qualified to create jobs, particularly in the private sector, and to lure employers to the Bay State.
Instead, under his leadership the state was the fourth-weakest in the country for total job growth and the third-weakest for private-sector job growth — causing hundreds of thousands of his fellow residents to leave Massachusetts, seeking opportunities elsewhere, the data show."
So what are we in for, America? Clearly, this is no laughing matter but the joke will be on us if this country's racism, ignorance, or voter lethargy gets the best of us.