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Posts Tagged ‘Howard Kurtz’

USA | Barack Obama har tillkännagett att han stödjer homosexuella äktenskap. Men ännu vet ingen vad det  politiska utfallet kommer att bli.

Intervjun med Barack Obama skedde under viss förvirring. Tydligen hade Obama planerat att komma med tillkännagivandet senare, inför demokraternas konvent.

Men Vita huset tvingades tidigarelägga det när vicepresident Joe Biden, sin vana trogen, inte kunde hålla tyst utan meddelade sin egen inställning till frågan om äktenskap.

Men när det väl var gjort blev reaktionen mindre omfattande än väntat. Till och med Mitt Romney och republikanernas kommentarer blev återhållsamma.

Och reaktionerna på den liberala kanten har varit märkbart blandade.

Vad som för bara ett par år sedan skulle ha uppfattats som ett modigt steg av många på vänsterkanten uppfattas idag snarare som ett försök att återuppväcka glöden från förra valrörelsen.

Många liberaler är helt enkelt besvikna över vad Obama åstadkommit under sin tid i Vita huset.

Andrew Sullivan, själv homosexuell, skrev en i huvudsak positiv artikel i Newsweek. Men även han betonade de politiska beräkningar som måste ha legat bakom.

There was, of course, cold politics behind it. One in six of Obama’s fundraising bundlers is gay, and he needs their money. Wall Street has not backed him financially this year the way it did in 2008. A few Jewish donors have held back over Israel. And when Obama announced recently that he would not issue an executive order barring antigay discrimination for federal contractors, the gay donors all but threatened to leave him high and dry. The unity and intensity of the gay power brokers—absent in the defensive crouch of the Clinton years—proved that FDR’s maxim still applied: “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”

If money was one factor making the move necessary, the youth vote—essential to his demographic coalition and overwhelmingly pro–marriage equality—clinched the logic of it. The under-30s were looking worryingly apathetic, especially compared with 2008. This would fire them back up. And by taking a position directly counter to that of Mitt Romney, who favors a constitutional amendment to ban all rights for gay couples across the entire country, Obama advanced his key strategy to winning in the fall: to make this a choice election. If it is a choice election, he wins. If it is a referendum on the last four years of economic crisis, he could lose.

John Cook på Gawker skrev den betydligt surare kommentaren Barack Obama’s Bullshit Gay Marriage Announcement”.

[Obamas] announcement amounts to much less than meets the eye. He now believes that gay couples should be able to marry. He doesn’t believe they have a right to do so. This is like saying that black children and white children ought to attend the same schools, but if the people of Alabama reject that notion—what are you gonna do?

[…]

Well, before Roe v. Wade, abortion was a state-by-state issue, too. So was slavery. There are 44 states in which gay men and women are currently barred from marrying one another. Obama’s position is that, while he would have voted the other way, those 44 states are perfectly within their rights to arbitrarily restrict the access of certain individuals to marriage rights based solely on their sexual orientation.

Vad många antagligen misstänker är att Obama inte skulle ha kommit med tillkännagivandet om det inte hade varit för att republikanerna förnärvarande är så svaga politiskt.

Sannolikheten att Mitt Romney skulle kunna vinna presidentvalet ser inte ut att vara speciellt stora för närvarande. Han liknar snarare en republikansk variant av demokraternas John Kerry.

Läs mer: I artikeln “How President Obama, in Six Days, Decided to Come Out for Gay Marriage” beskriver Howard Kurtz alla turerna. Se även Matt Bais “Obama’s Stance Is Significant, if Not Bold Leadership”.

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USA | Rick Santorum tog hem Louisiana med 49 procent av rösterna. Mitt Romney fick 27 procent.

Segern ger Rick Santorum det alibi han behöver för att hänga kvar ett tag till i republikanernas presidentvalskampanj.

Han har under senare tid kommit under ökad press att dra sig ur valkampanjen för att göra det möjligt för Romney att koncentrera sig på Barack Obama.

Howard Kurtz, The Daily Beast, skriver:

It was an impressive performance, with Santorum winning every income group except those earning more than $200,000 a year, who went for Romney, according to CNN exit polls. He even won a plurality among those who say the economy is the most important issue, usually a Romney strength, CBS found. Romney won among those who placed the most emphasis on electability in November.

[…]

The outcome adds to the list of states where Romney has performed poorly, despite his frontrunner status, and suggests he was kept off balance by the flap over a top aide comparing his campaign to an Etch a Sketch. (Only 18 percent in a CBS exit poll said the toy story was an important factor in their vote, but it erased Romney’s message for days.)

Bild: Ett urklipp från framsidan av The Times-Picayune den 25 mars 2012. Tidningen publiceras i New Orleans, Louisiana.

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ILLINOIS | Mitt Romneys vann en övertygande seger i Illinois. Nästkommande val i Louisiana och Wisconsin ser inte ut att bli lika enkla.

Vallokals- och opinionsundrsökningar visar på både goda och dåliga nyheter för Romney. Något som kan bli betydelsefullt i en valkampanj mot Barack Obama är att en majoritet av de väljare som ser positivt på den ekonomiska utvecklingen röstade på Romney.

Howard Kurtz, The Daily Beast/Newsweek, skriver:

About a third of those in exit polls said he understands the problems of average Americans—not a great number, to be sure, but slightly better than Santorum. Romney’s calling card, once again, was electability. Nearly 40 percent said the most important factor in their decision was the ability to beat President Obama.

Romney did best with voters who are optimistic about the economy. A CNN exit survey found that 20 percent of those questioned believe the economy is getting better, and more than half of them went for Romney.

Thirty-four percent said the economy has stayed about the same, and a whopping 46 percent said it’s getting worse.

Romney even edged the Catholic candidate among Catholics who attend church once a week, beating Santorum 44 to 42 percent, despite the former senator’s heavy emphasis on religious issues. Some of those churchgoers are evidently less conservative than Santorum, who has heavily emphasized social issues.

Bild: Framsidan är Chicago Tribune från den 21 mars 2012.

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USA  | Under tisdagen var det Colorado, Minnesota och Missouri som stod i fokus för de republikanska presidentkandidaterna.

Men resultaten kommer inte att vara bindande eftersom delegaterna utses först senare i år.

Även om det finns intressanta aspekter att hålla koll på blir resultaten mest en värdemätare över kandidaternas förutsättningar framöver.

Medan resultaten dröjer kan det istället vara dags för lite kuriosa.

Här är tre favoriter från “15 Fun Facts About the Politics of Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri”. (Av Ben Jacobs på The Daily Beast).

Colorado:

The most notable candidate in Colorado political history did not come from either of the two parties and was not elected to office. But his campaign captured the imagination of generations of Americans. Author Hunter S. Thompson unsuccessfully ran for sheriff of Pitkin County in 1971 as the candidate of the Freak Power Party. Thompson’s platform pledged to rename Aspen “Fat City” and to rip up the asphalt from streets and let grass grow there instead. As his contribution to public safety, Thompson, famous for his penchant for controlled substances, promised not to use mescaline while on duty. Unsurprisingly, he lost, but the author used his experience as a candidate to help fuel his future exploits in “gonzo journalism,” including his coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.

Minnesota:

Minnesota does not have a Democratic Party. This is not to say that there are no liberals in the state of Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone, but their party goes by a different name. In Minnesota, they are members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, or DFL for short. This nomenclature is the result of a merger between the Democratic Party and the Farmer-Labor Party, a progressive agrarian party of the 1920s and ’30s. Although the Farmer-Labor Party achieved great success in the state, electing a number of statewide candidates, including the rabble-rousing Gov. Floyd Olsen, the party eventually merged with the Democrats after accepting that while Minnesota may have space for a thousand lakes, there wasn’t room for two left-of-center political parties.

Missouri:

Like Minnesota, the Show-Me State has experienced a tragic plane crash on the eve of an election. In 2000, during a razor-tight Senate race against incumbent John Ashcroft, Gov. Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash weeks before the election. It was too late to take his name off the ballot, and instead it was allowed to be understood that if he was elected, his widow, Jean, would take his place in Washington. That was exactly what happened on Election Day, when Carnahan won by almost 50,000 votes despite his death. However, Jean would serve only two years in the Senate and would go on to lose the special election for the remainder of her husband’s term in 2002.

Se även:What’s at Stake in Tuesday’s Contests (Not Delegates)” av Michael D. Shear på bloggen The Caucus. Och “Danger Signs for Mitt Romney as Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri Ready Vote” av Howard Kurtz, Newsweek.

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