Saturday, December 29, 2007
According to an article from the Associated Press, Obama certainly has what it takes to persuade undecided voters in the few days before the Iowa caucus. The author, Christopher Wills, attributes this to Obama’s political skills and his lack of “baggage” that his competitors, who’ve been in Washington much longer, cannot claim.
Wills also writes about Obama’s appeal for some republicans. He says that Obama’s message of inclusion and a united Washington have drawn democrats and surprisingly, many republicans who are sick of partisan politics. His winning attitude and hopeful message may be just what is needed to win in Iowa and later in the general election.
Giuliani spoke on December 29th to a group of roughly 120 people in Fort Dodge, Iowa, about his proposed health plan. He would like to privatize health insurance, which would create less government expenditures. For this plan to work, at least 60 million Americans would have to purchase their own health insurance, even if they already received benefits from employers. He said this plan would cut government health costs nearly in half and would also provide more money for research for cures of such diseases as Alzheimer’s. Along with this health plan Giuliani said he would push for a $15,000 personal income tax exemption, which would help in allowing families to purchase their own health insurance.
Rudy Giuliani has had numerous interesting ideas about new policies and solutions for boosting the economy, but in my personal opinion, he has not been showing a great deal of support for Iowa. This can directly be seen by the number of visits which he has made to the state. His rank in the polls in the nation may be good, but in Iowa – not so much. Could it be that he feels he has no hope in Iowa and therefore feels he should not waste his time there? It will be interesting to see how he comes out in Iowa.
On a personal level I see the opportunity to participate in the Iowa Caucus, in 2008, as one that will never be forgotten. It will allow me to get my hands "dirty" by focusing on a specific campaign and contributing my time and knowledge to the countries political machine. I will no longer be an idol political observer, but rather an active political contributor.
Watch out Iowa, Manchester College is bringing a group of students that are vigorous to take part in your states historical political process. The idea of meeting the future president tantalizes us all. I can not wait to become a part of
I am also looking forward to volunteering for John Edwards campaign. This will be a good opportunity to get a sense of what a campaign is really like and not just what I have seen on the news or experienced in small town council elections in my hometown.
The 2008 presidential election has already made history with earlier than ever campaigning and I’m sure it will continue to make history as we head towards November. I am glad for this opportunity to volunteer for a candidate that I support as well as for the chance to observe the caucus process in which has a lengthy history of its own already.
After this experience, I hope to better understand the Iowa Caucuses, including it's process and purpose.
In the 2004 Caucuses, Howard Dean held all of polls and seemed to be unstoppable. However, at the end of the week John Kerry was in the winners circle and Howard Dean was screaming. Kerry went on to win the Democratic nomination later that year. Could this be some sort of indication for this Caucus? Does the candidate favor in preliminary polls have the same popularity in the Caucus or is it entirely unpredictable? And what happens to whoever wins the vote? Does the winner at Iowa always end up getting the nomination?
I am expecting to find these types of things out when I am in Iowa. How do underdogs end up garnering support and what effect does a win in Iowa give? Maybe there are last minute rallies or speeches that cause voters to shift their opinions. Hopefully I can gain some insight into this while in Iowa.
Mike Huckabee believes that the IRS is a discombobulated organization that is more of a headache than anything else. He makes sense; does anyone really understand the tax code? There are so many facets to the tax code, that people are required to spend hours filling out tax forms, and stuff bags full of disorganized receipts. Mike Huckabee moves to eliminate all federal income and payroll tax including: personal federal, corporate federal, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare and self-employment. Does Mike Huckabee want to close down the federal government? Of course not. The current tax system is progressive; which penalizes Americans for working harder and becoming successful. As Huckabee put it "[As we become more successful], the government lurks on each rung, hungry for a bigger bite out of our earnings." http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Issues.View&Issue_id=5.
It is not an elitist point of view, the numbers from the Congressional Budget Office released these tax numbers from 2005: the wealthiest 1% of tax payers paid about 39% of all income taxes last year. The wealthiest 5% paid about 60% of the income tax; and the wealthiest 10% paid 70%. Meanwhile, Americans with an income below the median, half of all households, paid about 3% of the income tax. Furthermore, Americans with an adjusted gross income of more than $365,000 in 2005 paid more income tax than all of the 66 million American tax filers below the median income; ten times more. (Wall Street Journal Online, "Taxes and Income", December 18, 2007).
Mike Huckabee proposes a FairTax, which replaces the Internal Revenue Code with a consumption tax. In the FairTax, Americans will get a monthly rebate that will reimburse tax payers for taxes on purchases up to the poverty line, so that they are not taxed on necessities. This means that people below the poverty line will not be taxed at all. This is more so of a luxury tax since people we be taxed on what they decide to buy, not on what they earn. (http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Issues.View&Issue_id=5).
I have been reading and following coverage on the Iowa caucus. While this is the first caucus that is held in the United States, this year's primaries are difficult to gauge. Mike Huckabee has become the leader in Iowa, but Mitt Romney is not far behind him. However, other Republican hopefuls have thrown in the towel in Iowa and have decided to focus their time, attention and money in other states. Fred Thompson is counting on South Carolina, while Rudolph Giuliani is giving his attention to Florida. While a win in Iowa is a big win, the results may not be able to be expanded nationally. Some "political experts" have claimed that if Mitt Romney wins in Iowa, he is a lock for the Republican nomination. I have heard other political experts say that since so many candidates are focusing their attention in other states, a win in Iowa may tell very little with regards to the thinking of Republicans. As far as the Democratic party goes, Barack Obama is soaring as of late in Iowa, but is trailing Hilary Clinton in national polls. So while Iowa may not be the tell tale of the Republican and Democratic nominees, I am eager to head to Iowa and submerge myself in the political process, and see first hand a political process that will determine the 44Th President of The United States. I am excited that we will be at the grass roots level of the first caucus in the United States, and will set the stage for presidential campaigns, advertisements, and tactics in the following months.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Dennis Kucinich, one of the Democratic Party's minor candidates, was excluded from a debate in Iowa earlier this month (12 December); because he works from his home instead of renting office space in Iowa and having a full-time paid staff of Iowan employees, he did not meet the Des Moines Register's criteria for being allowed to participate in the debate. His campaign spoke out against this, calling the exclusion "arbitrary and unreasonable." Kucinich was also kept from appearing in public "by the Iowa Democratic Party, Iowa Public Television, and well-funded political interests."
According to his campaign, the use of "hair-splitting technicalities" in order to exclude people from the debates and other campaign activities related to something that "[has] been portrayed as having national implications" undermines the credibility of the Iowa caucuses. The exclusion of, or at least granting of less attention to, the non-frontrunners has been an issue throughout the campaign; some of them have often complained that they are asked fewer questions in debates.
While Giuliani was mayor of New York City, the crime rate dropped dramatically and tourism increased dramatically. Also as mayor economic prosperity came back to the city. He built a state-of-the-art Office of Emergency Management while mayor as well, however, the OEM was located in one of the most vulnerable places in the city, the World Trade Center. On September 11, Giuliani remained calm and strong in command, a trait that is vital for a leader.
“Grand Illusion” by Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins
Giuliani has just finished a three day campaign trip through Florida. While in Florida he gained an endorsement from the National Troopers Coalition. He met with numerous veterans throughout the state and spoke a lot about his platform on anti-terrorism.
Giuliani may have the lead in some national polls, but when it comes to Iowa he has recently ranked in fourth place, at 6 percent. As far as the lead for Republican candidates in Iowa, Huckabee holds the lead. Giuliani has been endorsed by numerous people, a few of the most notable being Kelsey Grammer, Donald Trump, and Adam Sandler. Giuliani will surely have a difficult time in Iowa and will have quite a journey ahead in other states as well.
On The Issues:
Giuliani has focused a great deal on anti-terrorism. Along with fighting terrorism, he believes that tough border patrol and homeland security must be strictly enforced in order to bring safety to Americans. Giuliani is against gay marriage, most notably from his background in Catholicism, but he has and will support civil unions between same-sex partners.
If elected, I have no doubt that his dutiful service to his country and his first election, to the US house of representatives in 1982, will be a cornertstone that enables him to lead a fractured country back from the the injuries it has sustained in the past. Make no doubt it about it that John McCain has the capability to revert the United States to an unquestioned superpower; economically, politically, and socially.
As a man with seven children Sen. McCain understands the need of the common family. He understands the worries that plague future generations. He is running for presidency because he believes in its potential and goodness. The McCain Train has taken off, the only question to ask yourself now is whether or not you will be getting on board.
In past presidential elections, I had never given much thought to
While Winebrenner does nothing to impugn the state of
Upon reading Winebrenner's assigned work, I began to agree with the "Delaware Plan", discussed in Race for the Presidency, by Cook. The plan was created by a task force led by Bill Brock, RNC Chairman, and proposes that the entire primary process be revamped. The process would begin in March with small states and proceed through the larger states finally ending in June. The plan was ultimately rejected before the 2004 elections, but I think it would be a fine alternative to the present system. Not only would citizens have more time to acquaint themselves with the possible choices to represent their party in the general election, but it could reduce the frenetic front-loading system we have now.
However, I have yet to experience the process in
Thursday, December 27, 2007
John McCain has created a tax plan in which he would give tax cuts to the middle class, cut excess government spending, increase globalization by eliminating trade barriers between the U.S. and other countries.
McCain also wants to reform the health system by allowing families to choose how they are going to spend on health care and forcing U.S. health care companies to compete globally on cost and quality.
Underlying much of his campaign are his beliefs on human dignity and sanctity of life. He is pro-life and supports a reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision. Because he strongly supports thorough representation of public interest, McCain believes states should have sovereignty on such issues. He also advocates adoption and supports the definition of marriage to be a union between a man and a woman. And finally, he strongly disapproves of any scientific study that involves using human embryos
McCain is one of the only Presidential candidates who does not support any kind of immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In fact, not only does he believe the number of U.S. troops in Iraq should increase, but he also believes troops need to be better trained and equipped in order to ensure Iraqis will be fully capable of governing themselves once troops withdraw. He fears currently withdrawing from Iraq will cause a civil war within the country.
McCain promises to secure U.S. borders from illegal immigration. He wants to improve relations with leaders in Mexico and Latin America who want to supply their own citizens with economic opportunities. He also wants our labor market to become more flexible and our educational system to provide both Americans and immigrants with skills needed to compete and pursue the opportunities available in an ever changing labor market.
Just last summer, it was rumored McCain would be dropping out of the elections due to a lack of funds and unfavorable polls. He was receiving much criticism because of his beliefs on the Iraq war and his support for President Bush's immigration reform bill. The Presidential candidate dismissed the rumor, stating he was not overly concerned with his current standings in the polls because it was too early in the primaries and that the polls move up and down.
Despite Candidate Mitt Romney's lead in Iowa over the past few months, he is slipping in the polls, and now that other Republican candidates have somewhat recently gained access to the media, the race in Iowa has begun to tighten. Candidate Mike Huckabee has made considerable gains in the state and is closing the gap between him and Romney. However, it has been difficult to predict who will win Iowa because the state typically waits until the last moment before choosing a candidate. In November, about 15 percent of likely Republican caucus attendees were undecided on a candidate, and still more than half said they could still change their minds, making the race for Iowa anybody's game.