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Posts Tagged ‘Republikaner’

VALRÖRELSE | Stort som smått blandas när Världens Historia blickar tillbaka på amerikanska valrörelser under 224 år.

Här förklaras bl.a. skillnaden mellan ”administration” och ”government”, betydelsen av ”gerrymandering” och vad ”the Kennedy effect” innebär och varför ”swing states” är så viktiga för valresultatet.

Här om uttrycket ”Yellow dog democrat”.

Uttrycket ”yellow dog democrat” kommer från sydstaten Texas där lojala demokratiska väljare hävdade att om så Jesus ställde upp i valet för republikanerna och demokraternas kandidat var en gammal gul hund, skulle de ändå rösta på demokraternas kandidat.

Att kallas för ”gul hund” är ingen förolämpning utan snarare en ära eftersom det vittnar om stor lojalitet. Uttrycket blev populärt under presidentvalskampanjen mellan demokraten Al Smith och republikanen Herbert Hoover år 1928, då många demokratiska väljare i södern varken tyckte om Al Smiths politik eller hans katolska tillhörighet, men röstade på honom ändå. År 1964, när demokratiske presidenten Lyndon B. Johnson införde lika rättigheter för svarta amerikaner blev det dock för mycket för söderns gula hundar. Johnson motkandidat gick till val som motståndare till medborgarrättigheterna och vann i sydstaterna.

I dag har de gula hundarna fått sällskap av ”Blue dog democrats” – konservativa demokrater – och södern är fortfarande primärt republikanskt.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Världens Historia nr 15 2012.

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ALLIERADE | Det var ingen tillfällighet att Bill Clinton var en av huvudtalarna vid demokraternas partikonvent i Charlotte.

Clinton är den främste företrädaren för vad som kallas New Democrats – en mitten-höger falang inom partiet som ser mer positivt på näringslivet och personligt ansvarstagande än vad den genomsnitlige Obama-anhängaren gör.

Clinton var på sin tid populär bland mittenväljare, liberala republikaner och Independents. Exakt samma väljare som i mångt och mycket har vänt Barack Obama ryggen under hans snart fyra år i Vita huset.

Med dagens dåliga ekonomi och en president som många väljare uppfattar befinna sig på vänsterkanten har Obama inte längre råd att tacka nej till draghjälp från Clinton.

Peter J. Boyer skriver i Newsweek:

The left’s complaint about Clintonism was that it made the party less distinct from the GOP—which, in effect, it did. When Clinton, Gore, and other Democratic centrists joined the Democratic Leadership Council in the 1980s, their purpose was to find a way to sell a liberal program to a nation that consistently rejected it, by moderating the program. The DLC emphasized private-sector growth and government efficiency, personal responsibility, and an affirmation of mainstream values. The chief prize was the Reagan Democrat—that white, working-class voter who was increasingly going Republican in places like Clinton’s Arkansas.

Clinton called those voters “the forgotten middle class,” and he appealed to them not only with his New Democrat policy program, but by relating to them personally, and grounding his own political identity in their experiences. The main thrust of that ’92 convention, and of much of the campaign thereafter, was to introduce Clinton to America as “the man from Hope,” who never knew his father, and whose mother left him with her parents while she attended nursing school. “He devoted his candidacy to that forgotten middle class, it was a conscious strategy,” says Paul Begala, a key Clinton strategist, who now advises the super PAC supporting Obama (and who is a contributor to The Daily Beast).

Although anti-Clintonism wasn’t the overt theme of Obama’s 2008 candidacy (it is surprising, in retrospect, the degree to which “Hope and Change” seemed agenda enough in that referendum election), Obama’s presidency has seemed, in key regards, a repudiation of the New Democrat idea. Clinton Democrats embraced business; Obama attacked private equity. A New Democrat would have championed the Keystone XL Pipeline; Obama, yielding to environmentalists, has resisted it. Although Obama campaigned in coal country in 2008 as a friend of the industry (and of all those blue-collar jobs associated with it), his Environmental Protection Agency has established regulations so severe that one administration official admitted, “if you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem.” Many of the workers affected by such policies are swing-state voters, who are also keenly sensitive to values issues. Obama’s health-care mandates on contraception may help him with single women and urban voters, but it might hurt him among Catholics in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio. Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act; Obama stopped enforcing it, and then declared himself a supporter of gay marriage—the day after North Carolinians voted a traditional definition of marriage into the state’s constitution.

[…]

With a terrible economy as his greatest vulnerability, Obama has lately taken to claiming Clinton’s economic approach as his own (“we’ve tried our plan, and it worked”)—a reach that galls some Clintonites. “What David Axelrod and Obama have done is they have substituted class warfare for Clintonism,” says Doug Schoen, a Democratic political analyst and pollster (including for Newsweek and The Daily Beast) who has advised both Clintons. “At every juncture, they have substituted class-based politics—resentment of the rich, taxing the rich—for fiscal discipline, and prudence.”

[…]

Obama, whose father was absent, and who was raised by a single mother and who, for a time, relied on food stamps, has downplayed his own very Clintonian tale. “It’s very much available to him, I can’t say why he doesn’t do it,” Begala says. “It’s so interesting to me that the guy who has written the most literate presidential autobiography since I don’t know who, has somehow lost the narrative thread of his character, the character in his play.”

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är den amerikanska utgåvan av Newsweek den 10 september 2012.

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USA | Republikanska gräsrötter har fått en kick av att Mitt Romney valde Paul Ryan till sin vicepresidentkandidat.

Men även demokraterna ser Ryans som en gåva. De anser att Ryan förstärker deras huvudbudskap.

Ryan gör det nämligen möjligt för dem att definiera båda som avskärmade från vanliga amerikaners vardag.

Men det finns även andra skäl till varför det ser ljusare ut för Barack Obama idag. Mark Halperin, Time, har radat upp tio sådana skäl.

1) Som president har Obama lättare att kontrollera nyhetsflödet. Allt han gör blir i realiteten nyheter.

2) Obamakampanjens ”research shop” i högkvarter i Chicago kan sina saker. Troligtvis sitter man på information rörande Mitt Romney och Paul Ryan som man släpper när det kan göra som mest skada för Romney.

3) Romney planerar att offentligöra dokument om sin skattedeklaration för 2011. Detta kommer att generera än mer uppmärksamhet på skillnaden mellan hans förmögenhet – och eventuella märkliga investeringar – och genomsnittsamerikanens ekonomiska situation.

4) Visa delar av USA:s ekonomi börjar nu se lite positivare ut för Obama.

5) Om situationen i Europa och Iran inte försämras innan valet borde Obama kunna visa på fler plus än minus på administrationens utrikespolitiska konto.

6) Demokraternas nomineringskonvent ligger senare än Romneys. Detta borde kunna ge en mer bestående uppgång i opinionen. Med lite tur håller detta hela vägen fram till valet.

7) Och populära Michelle Obama förväntas hålla ett inspirerande tal på konventet.

8) Den 11 september borde ge presidenten goda möjligheter att påminna väljarna om att det var han som gav ordern som eliminerade Osama bin Laden.

9) Obamakampanjen har fortfarande ett försprång när det gäller intern koordinering och kommunikation.

10) Och eftersom man kunde dra igång sin valkampanj långt innan Romney – och är mer teknologiskt avancerade – har man också fått ett försprång när det gäller att identifiera potentiella väljare.

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USA | Det är inte bara ideologiskt motiverade republikaner som firar Mitt Romneys val av vicepresidentkandidat. Även för Barack Obama är det goda nyheter.

Hitintills har man inom Romneys kampanj varit smarta nog att inse att deras största chans är försöka få valet att framstå som en folkomröstning om Barack Obamas skötsel av landets ekonomi.

Med valet av Ryan förflyttas fokus bort ifrån Obamas politik. I ett enda slag har valkampanjen istället förvandlats till ett tydligt val mellan två ideologiska system. Precis vad Obama önskar sig.

Om Ryans alternative budgetplan för USA har Johnathan Chait skrivit i “The Legendary Paul Ryan:

Whether Ryan’s plan even is a “deficit-reduction plan” is highly debatable. Ryan promises to eliminate trillions of dollars’ worth of tax deductions, but won’t identify which ones. He proposes to sharply reduce government spending that isn’t defense, Medicare (for the next decade, anyway), or Social Security, but much of that reduction is unspecified, and when Obama named some possible casualties, Ryan complained that those hypotheticals weren’t necessarily in his plan. Ryan is specific about two policies: massive cuts to income-tax rates, and very large cuts to government programs that aid the poor and medically vulnerable. You could call all this a “deficit-reduction plan,” but it would be more accurate to call it “a plan to cut tax rates and spending on the poor and sick.”

Om Romneys strategiska misstag skriver John Heilemann:

His agenda of turning Medicare into a voucher program, bloc-granting and taking the meat axe to Medicaid, drastically cutting spending on virtually every other government program (except defense, natch), and, yes, privatizing Social Security has been called many things, from courageous and bold (by countless conservatives) to “thinly veiled Social Darwinism” (by Obama) and “right-wing social engineering” (by Newt Gingrich). What you cannot call it is vague or vacuous or mealy-mouthed — all words that have been attached to the man at the top of the ticket.

So this was not a safe or conventional pick — not a pick motivated by winning a state (as Portman would have partly been regarding Ohio or Marco Rubio would have partly been regarding Florida). This was a pick about ideas, about policies, about core convictions. But it was also a pick driven by political weakness. All along, Team Romney’s bedrock strategy has been to make the 2012 election a clean referendum on Obama’s economic management and leadership, an election about unemployment, growth, and wages. In elevating Ryan, what Team Romney has done is execute a sharp U-turn, embracing the theory that 2012 will not be a pure referendum but a choice election, and one in which the two sides’ contrasting approaches to the deficit, debt, entitlements, and taxes will take center stage. And while this is surely not a Hail Mary pass on the order of John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin, it is almost as much, as some Romneyites admit, an attempt to (pardon the expression) change the game.

Så i kampen om att definiera valrörelsen i väljarnas ögon – folkomröstning (om Obama) eller ett val (mellan två ideologier) – blinkade Romney först.

Valet av Ryan har fört Barack Obama ännu ett steg närmare en valseger i november.

Läs mer: ”Serious Attack on Ryan Budget Takes Toll on Mitt Romney på den av demokraterna närstående Democracy Corps. (Grundare James Carville och Stanley Greenberg).

Bild: Paul Ryans första twitter-inlägg.

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KAMPANJ | David Gergen, som arbetat för flera amerikanska presidenter, har intervjuats om Barack Obama och det politiska läget inför valet.

”The next few years are going to be really rough. I think our political system is basically dysfunctional”, säger han till Der Spiegel.

Till skillnad från många andra i Washington har Gergen inte arbetat uteslutande för antingen republikaner eller demokrater. Han räknar sig själv som independent.

Han var t.ex. Director of Communications under Ronald Reagan och rådigare till Bill Clinton.

Marc Hujer och Gregor Peter Schmitz intervjuade. Här är ett utdrag:

SPIEGEL: Were you surprised that Obama, who was a very gifted orator in the campaign, hasn’t become a better communicator in office?

Gergen: Some of his speeches as a candidate, such as his Philadelphia speech on race, were really inspirational. I voted for Obama because l hoped that an African American coming to that job could really help to transform our culture. And the surprise for me started with his acceptance speech. It did not have the uplift that I expected. That was very disappointing. Unfortunately, that trend has continued. Obama was also overexposed in his first years in office. Recently, he has begun picking his appearances more carefully, and his popularity ratings have since improved.

[…]

Gergen: Barack Obama is a very smart man. He has many gifts. Bill Clinton is a better politician. Clinton believed right from the beginning that, in order to win the presidency, he had to put together a team that came from many different parts of the political spectrum. Obama has very good people, but they’re almost all from the same group, and they all came from Chicago. I had this conversation with him and said, ”Keep your current people; they are obviously good. But it would also be helpful if you enlarged your inner circle, bringing in people with different perspectives.”

SPIEGEL: What was Obama’s response?

Gergen: He brought in a strong businessman, Bill Daley, to help him as chief of staff, but Daley was essentially marginalized right from the beginning. He quit after less than a year on the job.

SPIEGEL: Why does Obama generate so much hatred in the country?

Gergen: I would like to believe it’s not race, but I’m sure that’s an element. But, after all, we voted for an African American. If there was so much racial hatred, he never would have gotten there. There is a quality about Obama that he sometimes seems to be lecturing you, and people resent that.

SPIEGEL: He didn’t show that trait during the campaign, did he?

Gergen: No. He changed when he became president. He has another problem: He ran a campaign in which everybody could see in him what they wanted to see. I’m a moderate centrist. I thought that he would be a moderate centrist. The left thought he was going to be one of them. There are many different people who invested their hopes in Obama, and when he had to start making choices, people discovered he’s not who they thought he was, and they got upset about that.

Bild: När Barack Obama kampanjade i South Dakota inför förra valet.

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 USA | Det var bara en fråga om när. Och nu har Barack Obama börjat använda elimineringen av Osama bin Laden i attackerna mot Mitt Romney.

När president Obama tog beslutet att slå till mot Osama bin Ladens hem i Pakistan visade han på handlingskraft.

När han lyckades eliminera bin Laden hade han skaffat sig det bästa trumfkort han kunde önska sig i en presidentvalskampanj.

Och nu ifrågasätter Obama om Romney har förmågan att fatta rätt beslut i pressade situationer.

The Commander-in-Chief gets one chance to make the right decision.

Detta är politisk jiujitsu. Ofta är det republikaner som kritiserar demokrater för att vara svaga och opålitliga i säkerhetspolitiska frågor.

Detta är negative campaigning när det är som bäst. Hur skall Romney kunna bevisa att han skulle ha fattat samma beslut i motsvarande situation?

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POLITIK | Mitt under Super Bowl sändes en reklamspot från Chrysler som nu misstänks vara förtäckt politiskt stöd för president Barack Obama.

Chryslers reklamvideo är smått briljant. Till och med republikaner som kritiserar reklamen erkänner det.

Och det är en del av problemet. Hade det varit ännu en anemisk reklamfilm med en tillsynes förarlös bil som planlöst susar omkring i ett anonymt landskap skulle ingen bry sig.

Men filmen sticker inte bara ut för att den har bra bild och manus (och Clint Eastwood i huvudrollen). Filmen har dessutom ett budskap.

Och budskapet låter som något en kreativ kampanjstrateg för en Super PAC med sympatier för Barack Obama skulle ha kunnat hitta på.

Oavsett vilket skall man komma ihåg att Chrysler, precis som General Motors, räddades med hjälp av skattebetalarnas pengar under president Barack Obama (och George W. Bush).

Filmen kan uppfattas som ett tack till Obama för hjälpen.

Karl Rove, f.d. politisk rådgivare till president George W. Bush, säger:

I’m a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the President of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising and the best-wishes of the management which is benefited by getting a bunch of our money that they’ll never pay back.

Texten till ”It’s Halftime in America” i sin helhet:

It’s halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half.

It’s halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared, because this isn’t a game.

The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.

I’ve seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life. And, times when we didn’t understand each other. It seems like we’ve lost our heart at times. When the fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead.

But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that’s what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can’t find a way, then we’ll make one.

All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win?

Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And, what’s true about them is true about all of us.

This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.

Yeah, it’s halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin.

Namnet “It’s Halftime in America” låter påfallande likt Ronald Reagans klassiska “Morning in America” (som officiellt heter ”Prouder, Stronger, Better”). Vilket naturligtvis bara förstärker känslan av att filmen har politiska undertoner.

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