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Posts Tagged ‘Herman Cain’

DEBATT | Inför deras första debatt har Barack Obama och Mitt Romney gått inför att skapa låga förväntningar kring deras egen debattskicklighet.

Strategin går naturligtvis ut på att överraska väljarnas med att de gjorde bättre ifrån sig än väntat när det väl är över.

“Governor Romney he’s a good debater, I’m just okey”, poängterade t.ex. Obama under ett kampanjevent i Las Vegas under förra söndagen.

Och Romney spelade samma spel i en intervju med Fox News i vecka som gick.

”I don’t know how to raise or lower expectations,” sade Romney. ”The president is a very eloquent, gifted speaker. He’ll do just fine. I’ve never been in a presidential debate like this and it will be a new experience.”

James Fallows, nationell korrespondent på tidskriften The Atlantic, har tittat närmare på debatternas betydelse för utgången av ett presidentval och de två kombattanternas olika styrkor och svagheter.

Mitt Romney is far less effective as a big-speech orator than Barack Obama, and in many other aspects of campaigning he displays what appear to be laboriously studied moves rather than anything that comes naturally. But debates are and have been his strength. He grew up enjoying “big, boisterous arguments about everything around the dinner table,” according to his campaign strategist and main debate-prep specialist, Stuart Stevens. “He loves the dialectic of arguing the different sides, and he’s most uncomfortable when no one is disagreeing with him.” He will enter this fall’s encounters with very recent, successful experience in a very wide range of formats and challenges.

In none of the Republican-primary debates was Romney judged the big loser; in many he was the clear winner, and as the campaign wore on, the dominant image from the debates was of a confident Romney, standing with a slight smile on his face and his hands resting easily in his pockets, looking on with calm amusement as the lesser figures squabbled among themselves and sometimes lashed out at him.

Civics teachers won’t want to hear this, but the easiest way to judge “victory” in many debates is to watch with the sound turned off, so you can assess the candidates’ ease, tenseness, humor, and other traits signaled by their body language. By this standard, Ron Paul, with his chronically ill-fitting suits, often looked cranky; Rick Santorum often looked angry; Rick Perry initially looked pole­axed and confused; Jon Huntsman looked nervous; Newt Ging­rich looked overexcited—and so on through the list until we reach Mitt Romney, who almost always looked at ease. (As did Herman Cain, illustrating that body language is not everything.) Romney looked like the grown-up—the winner, the obvious candidate—with or without sound. “He is as good as it gets in debating,” former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who was the first major contender to drop out of the Republican race, told me. “He is poised, prepared, smart, strategic—tactical, too.”

[…]

Romney is very strong as a debater but has also shown two repeated weaknesses: a thin command of policy details, and an awkwardness when taken by surprise.

When the subject is one he’s prepared for, he rarely falters. When it’s not, or when an exchange goes on longer or in a different direction than expected, many of his ad-libbed responses turn out to be mistakes (“I’ll bet you $10,000!”). Thus the Romney team has the impossible challenge of trying to imagine every question or attack line that might come up in debates with Obama, while the Obama team tries to imagine what Romney’s might have missed. This kind of chess game is always part of debate preparation, but it is unusually important this year, because the gap between Romney at his best and at his worst is so wide.

[…]

“The history is that challengers tend to profit, particularly in the first debate,” David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist, told me in June. “Just the act of being on the stage with a president is an elevating thing.” This sounds like a small matter, but through the years, analysis of debate reactions has shown that the public takes a candidate more seriously after seeing him, for the first time, on equal footing with an incumbent president.

[…]

In this year’s debates, Barack Obama’s most inspiring and powerful message as a candidate will no longer be available to him. Four years ago, “Change we can believe in” suggested that things could be different and much better with him in charge. Now even his most fervent backers doubt how much better things are likely to get in a second Obama term. His critics put the same point more harshly. “This time, the president won’t have the luxury of making stuff up and speaking aspirationally,” Tim Pawlenty told me on a campaign swing through Pennsylvania with Romney in June. “He actually has to defend his record and attach facts to it.”

One more factor is working against Obama in the debates. When the economy is bad and an incumbent is beset, the challenger’s task is simplified. He doesn’t need to belabor the case against the incumbent. Reality has already done that; everyone knows what’s wrong with the president they have now. All the challenger has to do is say: “Look me over. I’ll be okay in this job. You can feel comfortable with me.” This is what Ronald Reagan did in 1980, and Bill Clinton in 1992. Meanwhile, the incumbent has to work twice as hard, in order to make two arguments at once. He must prove something about himself: that, while battered, he’s still energetic, visionary, and up to the job. He must also prove something about his opponent: that he is bad for the country, unready, and overall worse.

And he must do all this without seeming defensive or tense; while appearing easily in command to those who see images without hearing words; and, in Obama’s uniquely straitjacketed case, while avoiding the slightest hint of being an “angry black man.”

[…]

If economic trends are bad enough—or, improbably, good enough—to turn the election into a runaway, we might look back and say that the debates didn’t matter. But in what gives every sign of being a close, bitter, expensive, and mostly negative contest, the way these men interact onstage could make a major difference.

Övrigt: Se även Fallows video “Romney the Debater: His Strengths and Weaknesses”. Inför valet 2008 gjorde Fallows en liknande analys som ovan i essayen ”Rhetorical Questions”. (Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är The Atlantic, september 2012.)

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KAVALKAD |  Vem minns längre 2011? Med ”The Dumbest People, Events and Things 2011” hjälper Mad oss återuppliva några av händelserna i USA.

Satirtidskriften bjuder bl.a. på Barack Obama och kongressens ledamöter som levande döda zombies i skuggan av skuldkrisen. (The Walking Debt: They Need Braaaaaains!)

Här är också Arnold Schwarzenegger. Under fjorton år lyckades han dölja det faktum att han fått en son med hushållerskan. (”Arnold Schtups His Housekeeper: The Last Action-on-the-side Hero”).

Här är tre, numera f.d. republikanska presidentkandidater: Donald Trump (”Trump Says Obama Not American: The Born Identity”), Michele Bachmann (”Michele Bachmann Speaks: A Broken Facts Machine”) och Herman Cain (”The Pee-Wee Herman Cain Show”).

Naturligtvis hör också avlyssningsskandalen kring Rupert Murdoch hit (”News Corp Hacks Phones: Getting Away With Murdoch”).

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget och ”The 20 Dumbest …” är hämtat från nr 513, februari 2012. Mad finns på madmag.com.

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VALPROCESS | Republikanernas sätt att välja presidentkandidat har ofta liknats vid tronföljden i ett kungarike.

Den republikan som uppfattas stå på tur blir också nominerad. Och i år ser det ut att vara Mitt Romneys tur.

David von Drehle gör samma liknelse i senaste numret av Time.

So can anyone stop Romney? As first Bachmann, then Perry, then Herman Cain, then Gingrich, roared past him in the polls, it seemed that everyone could beat Romney, but no one has. Now the answer depends on whether the GOP, after its tempestuous Tea Party uprising, has turned a new page or is back to the same old nominate-the-next-guy story.

[…]

That’s Romney, who finished the 2008 campaign season behind John McCain, who finished in 2000 behind George W. Bush, who never had to finish behind anyone because he was the second nominee named George Bush, who finished in 1980 behind Ronald Reagan, who finished behind Gerald Ford in 1976. The house of Windsor is more unpredictable than the House of Reagan.

[…]

The struggle to be the most conservative in the bunch left everyone wounded – but Romney perhaps least of all.

[…]

Romney slipped through an interminable series of debates with few bruises as the others battled for a chance to fight him. He wasn’t flashy, but he wasn’t foolish either. He set out from the beginning to be the last man standing.

Övrigt: Både tidskriftsomslag och text är hämtat från Time  den 16 januari 2012. (Texten endast i pappersupplagan. Omslaget är den amerikanska upplagans.)

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USA | Newt Gingrich leder i en rad opinionsundersökningar efter att tidigare ha varit helt uträknad. Och idag släpper han sin första tv-reklam.

Trip Gabriel och Jeff Zeleny i The New York Times skriver:

Surging in polls is one thing. But as Newt Gingrich seeks to turn his impressive performance in surveys into votes, he is scrambling madly to build the kind of organization that Mitt Romney has methodically put in place for a year, one that will let him compete through all 50 contests, often in multiple states at once.

Upending expectations, Mr. Gingrich has taken a decisive lead in new polls in several early-voting states, benefiting from the drift of Herman Cain supporters even before Mr. Cain suspended his campaign on Saturday. But as an adviser to his skeletal Iowa operation admitted, “The reality is we’re flying by the seat of the pants.”

[…]

Mr. Romney’s team has said all along that it has expected a tough battle for the nomination, and it has sought to emphasize that point in recent days with its new “earn it” rallying cry for volunteers and other supporters. But Mr. Gingrich presents an especially difficult rival for them, one who is showing signs of corralling support from the Tea Party movement and other grass-roots conservatives while also being able to point to his governing experience.

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EFTER sitt pinsamma ”oops”-ögonblick under presidentvalsdebatten i Michigan framträdde Rick Perry i media från morgon till kväll för att stävja kritiken.

Bland annat ställde han upp i David Lettermans talkshow och gjorde segmentet ”Top 10 list”. Att visa att man har humor och distans till sig själv kan vara ett bra sätt att hantera svåra situationer.

Herman Cain visade nyligen att underhållningsprogram är ett bra sätt att nå ut med sitt budskap om man vill tala direkt till allmänheten. Har man problem behöver man inte alltid gå via seriösa intervjuer i morgontidningar och nyhetsprogram.

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TVÅ kvinnor har nu offentligt trätt fram för att anklaga Herman Cain för sexuella trakasserier. Själv viftar Cain bort alla anklagelser.

Cains krishantering kan grovt delas upp i tre delar:

1) Business as usual.

Cain har förnekat alla anklagelser. Han har hela tiden hävdat att han är oskyldig.

För att understryka att han är oskyldig har han fortsatt kampanja som vanligt. Samtidigt har han hävdat att det säkert kommer fler anklagelser och att smustakastning är en del av vardagen i politiska valkampanjer.

2) Underminera och misstänkliggöra.

När det nu finns två kvinnor med både namn och ansikte har hans kampanj och allierade gått över till att försöka underminera kvinnornas karaktär och trovärdighet.

En av kvinnorna – Sharon Bialek – anklagas för att ha ekonomiska problem. Man antyder därmed att hon nu eller någon gång framöver kommer att försöka tjäna pengar på anklagelserna.

Michael D. Shear på bloggen The Caucus skriver:

In an e-mail titled “Who is Sharon Bialek?” Mr. Cain’s campaign says she has sought the public spotlight by making “patently false allegations” against the Republican presidential candidate.

And the e-mail casts Ms. Bialek as a frequent job-hopper who has gone bankrupt twice and has what the campaign calls “a lengthy record in the Cook County court system.” The campaign lists her as the defendant in six lawsuits brought by companies and individuals.

“Which brings up the question of why she would make such reprehensible statements now?” the e-mail says. “The questions should be – who is financing her legal team, have any media agreed to pay for her story, and has she been offered employment for taking these actions.”

3) Undvik seriös media.

En mer originell form av krishantering är att berätta sin version direkt i ett underhållningsprogram på tv. Därmed fick han ut sin version i media redan innan han höll sin egen presskonferens.

Cain sidsteppade de mer seriösa tidningarna och nyhetsprogrammen. Istället var det ABC:s komedishow Jimmy Kimmel Live som fick  intervjun.

Alessandra Sandy The Caucus:

It used to be that candidates would try to diffuse scandal with a carefully choreographed appearance on a serious news program like “60 Minutes.” Eventually, if and when the ado abated, some showed up on Letterman, Leno or Jon Stewart to signal that were good sports. Mr. Cain, who said he planned to hold a news conference later on Tuesday, went first to a comedy show, using humor to deflect new and serious accusations of sexual misconduct.

[…]

And Mr. Cain’s decision to bandy words rather than answer questions underscored how politicians have learned to ignore the mainstream media and use entertainment shows to direct their message.

[…]

Mr. Cain used comedy for a serious purpose. But it is a measure of how commonplace it has become for politicians to campaign on late-night comedy shows that Mr. Cain, a major “get” for any serious news organization, was not even Mr. Kimmel’s headliner. Taylor Lautner, the heartthrob star of the “Twilight” movies, was the first guest.

Övrigt: Framsidan ovan är New York Post från den 9 november 2011.

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HERMAN CAIN har hamnat i en sexskandal. Nu anklagar han en medarbetare i Rick Perrys kampanj för att ha läckt historien till media.

När Cain på 1990-talet ledde lobbyorganisationen National Restaurant Association anklagade åtminstone två kvinnor honom för sexuella närmanden.

Jonathan Martin m.fl. på Politico skrev:

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

Curt Anderson, politisk rådgivare till Perry, jobbade för Cain under hans misslyckade senatskampanj 2004. Anderson har svarat på anklagelserna som riktats mot honom:

I’ve known Herman Cain for about 7 years. I was one of several consultants on his Senate race in 2004 and was proud to help him. I’d never heard any of these allegations until I read them in Politico, nor does anything I read in the press change my opinion that Herman is an upstanding man and a gentleman. I have great respect for Herman and his character and I would never speak ill of him, on the record or off the record. That’s true today and it’s not going to change.

Chris Wilson är en politisk rådgivare som idag utför opinionsundersökningar för en s.k. Super PAC (Political Action Committee) som stödjer Perry.

Han har redogjort i en radiointervju för en händelse som han själv upplevde under Cains tid i National Restaurant Association.

”This occurred at a restaurant in Crystal City (Virginia), and everybody was aware of it,” Wilson said on the station. ”It was only a matter of time because so many people were aware of what took place, so many people were aware of her situation, the fact she left — everybody knew with the campaign that this would eventually come up.”

[…]

Wilson declined to say specifically what Cain said or did to the woman, but that the CEO’s actions made other individuals at the table uneasy.

”It was very uncomfortable,” said the pollster, recalling that other individuals present asked Cain to stop.

Wilson said there were at least three other people at the gathering but wouldn’t share the name of the woman for publication.

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