Saturday, January 24, 2009

More to come!

Hello faithful few who still read this...or accidentally stumbled upon it...

Kevin and I will be back on the blogosphere very soon. Kevin is volunteering for Rob Portman's very exciting Senate race (2010) and Briana is occasionally waking up before noon...but she still has very strong opinions about political issues!

Stay tuned for more soon...especially for some delightful satirical videos from Briana.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fox Noise

After a discussion with one of the primary writers of this blog I made the decision to diversify my evening television schedule. Since Tucker on MSNBC was cancelled as of March 14, 2008, I no longer had my daily dose of conservative expression; and I really have no affection for Tucker Carlson’s replacement – David Gregory. As such, I decided to actually pick up the remote and turn to Fox News.

The show that is supposed to compete during this time slot is Special Report with Brit Hume. I figured I would at least attempt to tolerate Fox News for at least one hour, however, I believe turning to the station when Brit Hume is on may have been my first mistake. I feel that a social conversation with Mr. Hume would amount to watching paint dry. Additionally, after watching Hardball with Chris Matthews and then turning to Special Report with Brit Hume it is not difficult to see the differences between the two men and the two stations.

Mr. Matthews praised Senator Barack Obama’s special on race in America as the finest speech on race he’s ever heard (yes, that includes the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech) and recommended that it be taught to students as soon as possible as part of their compulsory education. Furthermore, in discussing the speech Matthews brought on a diverse array of political commentators, special contributors and pundits; ranging from the cacophonous Ken Blackwell (former Ohio Secretary of State and unfortunately a Xavier alum), to a social commentator from Black Enterprises magazine, to a conservative white man from Mr. Matthews brought on many more people that are diverse to discuss the speech he said was worthy of President Abraham Lincoln.

It was easy to see where Matthews’ preferences rested, but that did not make him impassive of polar opinions on Mr. Obama’s speech and Mr. Obama.

Then I turned to Fox News.

It took, what I would estimate to be, 40 minutes to see somebody on the program that wasn’t a middle-aged white male. Next, it was easy to see the bias in their reporting of Mr. Obama’s speech, but it wasn’t as bad as other channels would make it out to be. Finally, as Fox News finally decided to deconstruct and analyze Mr. Obama’s speech three conservative white males, and one moderate white female did it. It was not difficult to figure where the program, as a whole, came down on Mr. Obama.

The one thing that causes people, and myself, to be indignant towards Fox Noise is when the air their “Fair & Balanced” commercial starring the jingoistic and insidious Bill O’Reilly and various other talking heads stating they report “just the facts”. The gall of Fox News to air that commercial as if it completely obviated the fact they just had a cabal of conservative journalists and pundits dissect Mr. Obama’s speech (which I agree is one of the finest pieces of American rhetoric) as a foregone conclusion was simply perfidious.

I was under the impression that adverts on television had to be true, if that is the case then Fox News has to be guilty of some sort of legal malfeasance.

- James Edward Johnson
Contributing Writer

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What a Whirlwind!

With the Ohio primaries less than a week away, the candidates have been swarming to Ohio. There was an incredible Obama rally (see the article in the Newswire comparing the two rallys). Because of a required meeting, I could not make the Obama rally, but 13,000 other people could. In fact, I learned from a 14-year-old at Walnut Hills, that many students at the school skipped to be at the rally...and subsequently got in trouble for it.

Because my schedule permitted, and I wanted to be the good little moderate I am (ha!...) I did attend the John McCain rally on Tuesday. I heard Bill Cunningham's remarks first-hand. The only reason I maintained a semblance of calmness was because I was up onstage and had promised to be on my best behavior. It was outlandish the way he slandered Barack Obama and all Democrats, mostly. Appalling.

I actually did not disagree with much of what McCain said, and it was an incredible experience to be so close to a Presidential candidate...even if we disagree on most aspects of political philosophy. He took responsibility for the atrocious remarks of Cunningham-which was very classy-and apologized for them.

Interestingly, I was put up on stage with a large group of college students because we were young-looking. The McCain campaign is trying to counteract the Obama youth movement. Funny thing is, many of the youth onstage at the rally were only interested in political rallys rather than supporters of McCain. Many, at least around me, were avid Obama fans.

The other interesting thing about the rally was the homemade signs that you see in the picture above. They handed us those signs to make it look like we had created them. They were so new that the paint was still drying when they handed them to us. I guess they wanted it to look like we treat the rally like a basketball game or something...and go all out.

I feel like I need to donate lots of money to the Obama campaign just to make my penance for spending the day with so many Republicans...

I did get to shake McCain's hand (a flimsy shake, if you're curious) and that shake was on CNN and Fox News--along with much of the coverage.

Today, however, I am overly excited about a conference call opportunity I have (with several others including two Newswire writers) to speak with...get this...three high ranking people from the Obama campaign!!! Be still my heart!!!

Of course I'll keep this blog updated on how that goes...I can hardly stand the excitement!

-Briana Hansen

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

O(bama) Snap!

Winning all three of the Potomac Primaries, Obama has proved that he has the momentum in this race and is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is this good news for those of us who are fans of Obama, but it is phenomenal news for all of Ohio. It means that we have become the next real battleground state (along with Texas) on March 4--see the link above for the CNN article.

(Note: I have become so excited and involved in thinking about this election that I actually had a dream last night in which I was voting on March 4 and was so frustrated with all the people around me who didn't know that the primary was going on or how to vote...nerdy, I know...)

Though Clinton is far from out of the race, it will be very important for her to garner the support of the Latino population especially. Like California, there needs to be a huge turnout for her to get the leg-up that she needs in this race. Unfortunately for Clinton, at least in the past couple days, when Obama wins...he wins big. Whereas when she wins, Obama still manages to get enough support that it tugs away at her delegate numbers. With the exception of the few "winner take all" states, this is detrimental to the Clinton strategy.

In 2000, we had a question about the legitimacy and beneficial nature of the Electoral College because of the outcome of the election. It seems a race like this between Clinton and Obama might call into question the ability of the overly-complicated Democratic primary system to really choose the best candidate for the general election in the fall. Then again, it could fall by the wayside just like the electoral college questions 8 years ago...


Monday, February 11, 2008

Neck and Neck

The excitement of the Democratic primary race continued this weekend with Barack Obama continuing his momentum by winning all four of the state primaries (LA, NE, WA, ME). Though Clinton's strategy has been to go for big wins in the big would appear that she is no longer content nor comfortable with this strategy. Why do I say this? I think firing your campaign manager in the midst of a close battle is a telltale sign that all is not quiet on the Clinton front...

The next primaries that are coming up tomorrow (MD, DC, VA) are favoring Obama, too. It is difficult to say what Clinton's next move is. She does have an advantage when some of the heavy hitting states vote in March (some polls suggest blue-collar workers in Ohio and Pennsylvania are big Clinton supporters, along with the Latino population of Texas). March is really a "do or die" month for the New York senator. Even with an advantage numerically over Obama in both pledged delegates (barely) and superdelegates (again, not a huge lead)...she will have to start proving that she is really able to garner a great deal of support throughout the country and rally the excitement of those in the party like Obama.

On a more personal sidenote, I have to say that-though I am admittedly and Obama follower-I admire the heck out of Hillary Clinton and would support her whole-heartedly if she were to get the nomination. What makes that statement more than political is the fact that she is a woman and her campaign manager (both old and new) is a woman. It is incredible to think that in a system that has been and continues to be dominated by men, she has been able to come into such power and influence. No matter what the outcome of the election, she has really made a huge stride for the power of women within politics. She is constantly held to different standards that her collegues (her dress, her tone, her appearance...what is it to be a strong female, etc). Though I disagree with many of her campaign smarmy-ness (like putting her name on the ballot in FL and Michigan, knowing full well that those delegates would not be counted, but likely pulling strings to make them count so she can get an advantage at the convention), I think she holds her own in a male-dominated world and I admire her immensely for that.

Briana Hansen

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Division and Unity

Unity is a key issue on both sides of the aisle as the 2008 presidential election approaches. As Briana mentioned in her last article, some key Democrats are worried that the Obama-Clinton showdown may cause grudges and hurt feelings that will carry over into the general election. Republicans, however, face a similar dilemma.
Despite today's loss in the Kansas caucus, John McCain will likely seal the Republican nomination. While many of his stances appeal to moderates and conservative Democrats, they also have the possibility of creating some divisions in the Republican party. McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform and the proposed McCain-Kennedy immigration reform plan have turned off many conservative voters.
Over time, the conservative right will transition from feeling with their hearts to thinking with their minds. In a general election against either Senator Clinton or Barack Obama, the conservative right will choose McCain. While McCain may have a few dents in his conservative record, he is much more conservative than either of the democratic alternatives.
High democratic turnout might be the biggest problem for McCain. In recent primaries, Democrats are showing up to vote like never before. He needs to be able to ignite the conserative right - generating the grassroots volunteers, donors, and organization that helped push Bush over the top in 2000 and 2004.
This is especially crucial in swing states like Ohio and Florida. While the conservatives who show up on election day will likely vote for McCain, he may need an extra something (or someone) to motivate, inspire, and unite the Republican party.

- Kevin Hoggatt

Friday, February 8, 2008

Splitting hairs

This Democratic race really could turn out to be groundbreaking...but I had never thought that having a divided party in the primaries could actually hurt the Democrats during the general election...though it really makes sense.

Howard Dean and other Dem leaders, in thinking about the upcoming convention, do not want the nominee to be decided at the convention based on a few superdelegate votes. Part of the argument is that the party that is more divided about their candidate tends not to do as well in the general election. This could be disasterous for the Dems, especially with the "moderate" John McCain as the Republican nominee.

After really becoming attached to this race, and (I'll admit it) aligning myself with Sen. Obama, I can see the dilemma among the party. The supporters on each side become so visceral about their candidate, they cannot imagine voting for anyone else...even if they are a Democrat. Though most staunch Democrats will vote for the party's nominee no matter what, there is still a great deal of worry about whether or not others, who's candidate is not chosen, will even get out and vote on election day. Or, especially in Obama's case, if his more moderate and independent supporters will swing to the Republican nominee. It's an interesting question to ponder...