Sunday, December 4, 2011


In November, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% from 9% in October. Democrats have praised this decline in unemployment as a hopeful trend in a seemingly recovering economy. However, the Romney administration did not hesitate to address the decline in unemployment as a reminder of a malfunctioning labor field. Romney released a statement explaining that unemployment has remained above 8% throughout the thirty-four months of Obama’s tenure as president, which is a record high spell since the Great Depression (Richard W. Stevenson). Although unemployment as fallen from a high 10.1% under the Obama administration, Romney’s statement also noted, “The Obama administration may have come to accept such a high level of joblessness as the new normal. I will never accept it” (Richard W. Stevenson). Stephanie Condon of CBS News recounts a statement made by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, “Any job creation is welcome news, but the jobless rate in this country is still unacceptable. As you may remember, the Obama administration promised unemployment would stay below eight percent if its 'stimulus' was enacted. That promise has gone unfulfilled."
President Obama, rightfully hesitant to celebrate an 8.6% unemployment rate, draws on the steady creation of new jobs, “Despite some strong headwinds this year, the American economy has now created, in the private sector, jobs for the past 21 months in a row” (Richard W. Stevenson). Democrats are strategically highlighting the rise in jobs coupled with a declining unemployment rate as evidence of a healing economy. However, GOP candidates have reached out to potential supporters, claiming that these slight improvements do not outweigh the Obama administrations failure to substantially stimulate the economy. Mitt Romney also released a statement reading, "To me, the fact that so many millions of Americans are unemployed only highlights the urgent need for a fundamental change in the direction of our country... This is not exactly the hope and change that the American people bargained for” (Stephanie Condon).
Since the 1930’s, no president has been re-elected with an unemployment rate as high as today’s. However, if the unemployment rate continues to drop, historical precedent is in favor of the Obama administration.  Unemployment peaked two years ago at a staggering 10.1% and has not been as low as 8.6% since the beginning of Obama’s presidency in March 2009. In a similar situation, Ronald Reagan was re-elected in 1984 after unemployment was at a high 10.8% and fell to 8.5% one year from Election Day (Richard W. Stevenson).
Unfortunately for Democratic supporters, Obama does not project a decrease in unemployment reminiscent of the 1984 Reagan election. The White House suggested that unemployment may rise back to 9% by January 2012. Consequently, an increase in joblessness will likely be perceived as a sign of irreparable backtracking under the Obama administration. As seen in 1992, President George Bush was defeated in his run for re-election as unemployment rose to 7.8% in June before falling back to 7.3% on Election Day that year (Richard W. Stevenson). Therefore, precedent suggests that voters become skeptical and apprehensive whenever economic factors become pertinent issues within an election.
Stephanie Condon.

No More Cain.

As of December 3, GOP candidate Herman Cain has officially suspended his presidential bid due to “hurtful and false allegations” (CNN Wire Staff). These “false allegations” refer to sexual harassment suits brought on by Cain’s former colleagues, Sharon Bialek and Karen Kraushaar, during his 1990’s tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association. More recently however, a woman named Ginger White has come forward claiming to have sustained a “very casual” affair with Cain for thirteen years, despite his marital status (CNN Wire Staff).Attempting to defend himself, Cain explained to the New Hampshire Union Leader that he has been financially supporting White with her “month to month bills,” denying any physical sexual relationship. Cain commented in a Fox News interview, "I send checks to a lot of people; I help a lot of people. That in itself is not proof. So the other allegation in terms of it being a 13-year physical relationship, that is her words against my word" (CNN Wire Staff). In response to Cain’s decision to drop out of the race, White’s attorney delivered a statement on her behalf, "Ginger White respects Mr. Cain's decision regarding his campaign and indeed would have respected any decision he made. That being said, she is disappointed that he has not apologized for the public statements he has made about her and other women who have spoken out” (CNN Wire Staff).
Cain publicized the suspension of his campaign exactly one month prior to the Iowa caucuses, which are scheduled for January 3. Prior to the announcement, Cain admittedly reported a steady decline in donations and campaign contributions directly following the media’s disclosure of the unfaithful allegations brought on by Mrs. White. A Des Moines Register poll exhibited a decline in Cain supporters from 23% to a low 8% of likely Republican Iowa caucus-voters (CNN Wire Staff). Respondents affirmed that Cain had lost their support due to the several sexual harassment allegations, as well as his consistent inability to adequately answer questions concerning his stance on issues (CNN Wire Staff).

New Hampshire Republican officials who have previously pledged their support for Cain have begun reconsidering their choice. Cain’s most prominent supporter, former GOP state party chair Jack Kimball, has decided to base his decision on the candidate that Cain chooses to endorse (CNN Wire Staff).

Cain exclaimed during a press conference in Atlanta, “I am not going to be silenced and I will not go away.” The CNN Wire Staff also explained Cain’s description of his “Plan B: A website,, through which he will continue to advocate for his platform.”
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman, also in the running for the GOP chair, stated in regards to Cain’s dropout, "Herman Cain provided an important voice to this process. His ideas and energy generated tremendous enthusiasm for the conservative movement at a time it was so desperately needed to restore confidence in our country” (CNN Wire Staff).

During the press conference in Atlanta, Cain assured his supporters that his political career would not be crippled by these allegations. Despite the harsh conditions in which his current campaign has been derailed, Cain has declared that he is at “peace with God” and at “peace with his wife” (The CNN Wire Staff).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

CSPAN VIDEO 3 11/20/2011

Various callers discuss their interpretation of the 2012 campaign advertisement released by the Cain campaign, which at one point depicts Cain’s campaign manager, Mark Block, smoking a cigarette.

CSPAN VIDEO 2 11/20/2011

Professor Julian Kantor, University Political Advertising Archive founder, explains the history of campaign advertisements. The advertisement clip shown, depicts Bill Benton’s 1950’s campaign ad for Senate, which is the earliest television ad within the archive.

CSPAN VIDEO 1 11/20/2011

Bill Adair is the editor of, which is a “fact checking” website designed in order to inform voters of the truthfulness of political statements. For example, he confronts some questionable claims that President Obama was sworn into office with his hand on the Qur’an and that he is a Muslim. Mr. Adair explains that the rumor is false and falls under the “Liar Liar Pants On Fire” category of the website rating. He also explains that each candidate has their own page, which exhibits all of the fact checks done on that specific candidate.

Email War

On Thursday, the Boston Globe reported that upon the end of Mitt Romney's tenure as Massachusetts State Governor, 11 high ranking gubernatorial officials had legally purchased their government issued hard drives before Romney left office. The purchased hard drives had contained a majority of the emails and correspondence written during the Romney Administration. According to the Globe report, Deval Patrick, the current Massachusetts State Governor, "has been bombarded with inquiries for records from the Romney era" but "has no electronic record of any Romney administration e-mails" (Jessica Yellin and Senior Producer Ted Metzer).

Consequently, the Globe report provoked a response from the Romney campaign. Gov. Patrick, a long time Obama supporter, has been labelled by the Romney team as "an opposition research arm of the Obama re-election campaign." In direct response to the report, Romney's representatives have fired back by requesting copies of any emails sent between the Patrick Administration and Obama's top political aids. Furthermore, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhodes has accused the Patrick staff of supplying the Boston Globe "with copies of cancelled checks from 2006 documenting the lawful purchase of computer equipment by departing members of the Romney administration. This action was nothing more than a weak attempt to disparage practices that you know were in complete compliance with the law" (Serafin Gomez).

The Democratic National Committee responded with a request for all emails pertaining to the purchase of computer hard drives, including several embarrassing search keywords, such as "flip-flop" and "destroy records" (Jessica Yellin and Senior Producer Ted Metzer). The chair of the DNC, Mrs. Wasserman Shultz,  commented, "Mitt Romney was planning to run for president towards the end of his administration, and the public has the right to know what kinds of communication were going on while he was beginning to plan that campaign. It is absolutely unconscionable, inexcusable that the records of those conversations or any conversations would have been wiped clean of servers"(Jessica Yellin and Senior Producer Ted Metzer).

Romney's communications director, Gail Gitcho, rationalized the purchase of the hard drives by stating that Romney's staff probably did not want their records to be subject to the "oppositions dig, which is what we are seeing happening now." Gitcho summed up the accusations as a slanderous tactic utilized by an administration that will "say and do anything to hold onto their power" (Jessica Yellin and Senior Producer Ted Metzer).  The Romney campaign has asserted that despite the loss of certain hard drives, Romney has archived 700 boxes of public documents–press releases, speeches, and the like (Jessica Yellin and Senior Producer Ted Metzer).

Although Mitt Romney has not officially become the Republican candidate, his nomination is more likely than not. Therefore, the Obama administration has begun allocating resources in order to run against the former Massachusetts Governor. They have attempted to label Romney as a "flip-flopper" who lacks core values and will do anything necessary to win. Mrs. Wasserman Schutz commented in a CNN interview, "Mitt Romney has a very clear track record of trying to reinvent himself, start over, flip-flop on major–issues" (Jessica Yellin and Senior Producer Ted Metzer).

Works Cited: Jessica Yellin and Senior Producer Ted Metzer.
Serafin Gomez.

Cain's Calling

Herman Cain, the CEO of Godfather Pizza turned GOP presidential candidate, has been recognized as a worthy business consultant and the founder of a new flat tax plan entitled "9-9-9." As opposed to his running-mates, Cain's religious values have remained relatively irrelevant throughout his debates and speeches. More recently, Cain has described his participation in the race as a mandate from God.

Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor, has focused in on Cain's religious background, which began in Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, Georgia. In accordance with many southern religious perspectives, faith in God and hard work are inevitably linked, within the Cain family. Cain described his childhood financial status as extremely poor, or even "po" (Marrapodi). In order to support their family, Cain's mother labored as a maid and his father often worked three jobs simultaneously as a barber, a janitor at Pillsbury and a chauffeur for Coca-Cola executives. In Cain's recently published book, “This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House,” he explains that his family acquired financial stability, allowing them to purchase a modest home.

After years of corporate climbing, Cain became the CEO of Godfather Pizza in Omaha and the head of the National Restaurant Association. Soon after, Cain revisited his childhood church in Atlanta and became a licensed associate minister at Antioch in 2002 (Marrapodi). Cain became a member of the group of pastors referred to as the Sons of Antioch. He stated in an interview with Christian Today, “Like most ministers, I felt called to preach the word of God and minister to the least, the last, and the lost, and minister to His people."

Despite Cain's failure in running for Senate, his spiritual journey soon led him to the presidential race. During a speech in November, Cain expressed to the Georgia Young Republicans that he had never intended to run for president until he witnessed President Obama's “arrogant disregard for the people," which disabled the economy. After a long period of repetitive prayer and contemplation, Cain described what he perceived to be his calling from God, “When I finally realized that this was God saying what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You got the wrong man, Lord! Are you sure?’ Now, you're not supposed to doubt God. But I'm going, ‘I think maybe you're looking at somebody else'" (Marrapodi).

Although the majority of the GOP candidates have expressed their run at the presidency as a "calling," Cain's religious values are exposed in an unconventional light. Candidates have historically expressed their religious morality through their stance on issues such as abortion and same sex marriage. However, Cain's values are expressed through his strong economic policy. Benny Tate, senior pastor of Rock Springs Church in Milner, Georgia has accompanied Cain throughout his campaign expressed, “Herman sees the pressing issues of our day are economic. Herman believes that, ‘By the sweat of thy face thou shall eat bread" (Marapodi). This passage found in Genesis 3:19 embodies Cain's reliance on personal responsibility to solve the current economic crisis within the United States.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cain spoke out to the Occupy Wall Street movement, “Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks. “If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself!"

Works Cited: Eric Marrapod.