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Posts Tagged ‘The Caucus’

TRAILER | Lagom till valet i november kommer filmen ”Knife Fight” där Lowe spelar en professionell kampanjstrateg.

Titeln kommer från en av Lowes repliker i filmen där han beskriver politik som ”blood sport”. “To win in politics, you have to be the person who’s willing to bring a gun to a knife fight.”

Hans rollkaraktär baseras på Chris Lehane som har varit med och skrivit manus. Adam Nagourney på The New York Times skriver på bloggen The Caucus:

In Washington, Chris Lehane, a Democratic consultant, is known – and this is a compliment in that world – as a fervent advocate of the dark arts of politics: the cutthroat, destroy-your-enemies, do-what-it-takes-to win approach to political campaigns. “In the last five days, it always comes down to a knife fight in a telephone booth,” Mr. Lehane said, commenting on the final days of the 2008 presidential campaign.

Läs mer: ”‘Knife Fight’ echoes real-life political scandals” av Carla Marinucci på San Francisco Chronicle.

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BURN RATE | Obamas kampanj spenderar mer pengar än vad man får in. Poängen är att hinna definiera Mitt Romney så tidigt som möjligt i väljarnas ögon.

Ett exempel på detta är tv-reklamen ”The Choice”.

För en gångs skull är det Barack Obama som talar direkt till väljarna. Videon saknar de vanliga ljudeffekterna och bilderna som man brukar använda för att få motståndaren att framstå i negativ dager.

I stället talar presidenten direkt till väljarna. Man vill att tittarna skall förstå att valet handlar om att välja mellan två tydliga politiska alternativ.

Romneys kampanj vill i sin tur att valet skall bli en folkomröstning om presidentens skötsel av ekonomin. Man vill att väljarna skall fundera över om man verkligen har fått det bättre rent ekonomiskt under Obamas tid i Vita huset.

Peter Nicholas och Danny Yadron skrev redan i juli i The Wall Street Journal:

The president spent twice as much as Mr. Romney in June, as his campaign purchased more TV ads, paid more than twice as many employees and spent millions of dollars on public-opinion polls, federal records show.

June was the second month in a row that Mr. Obama’s campaign dipped into the red, while the president was outraised by the Romney campaign. In May and June combined, the Obama campaign spent 20% more than it took in, records show.

Obamakampanjen har både försökt förstärka och tona ner bilden av att man spenderar mer än man får in.

Å ena sidan vill man lugna ner oroade demokrater med att pengaflödet är en del av strategin.

Mark Halperin, Time, skriver:

Meanwhile, Obama headquarters in Chicago dismissed the criticism (rattled derision from Republicans and nervous anxiety from Democrats) over its hefty summertime budgets for TV ads and personnel: spending now, Obama aides say, will have a big impact in their efforts to define Romney, while attempts to reach voters in the fall through paid messaging may not work…

Å andra sidan kan det vara bra med lite oro i leden för att få anhängarna att lätta på plånboken.

Michael D. Shear, bloggen The Caucus i The New York Times:

“My upcoming birthday next week could be the last one I celebrate as President of the United States, but that’s not up to me — it’s up to you,” Mr. Obama said to his supporters in an e-mail late last week.

Accompanying the e-mail was a link to donate in exchange for a chance to attend his “birthday get-together” in August.

The dire hand-wringing is partly tactical for a campaign that is likely to have more than enough money to execute its strategy. By appearing desperate, Mr. Obama’s campaign hopes it can persuade more of its supporters to donate now, rather than later.

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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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PR | Newt Gingrich har lanserat en ny slogan: “Unleash the American people, rebuild the America we love”. Otympligare än så kan det knappast bli.

Matt Bai skrev ett roligt inlägg på bloggen The Caucus med anledning av detta:

First off, there’s the odd use of the word “unleash,” which might make sense if we were talking about unleashing untapped energy or potential, but which in this case makes the citizenry sound like a big, slobbering Doberman that’s been seething in the rain.

And then there’s the sheer wordiness of the slogan, which had to be so severely shrunk in order to fit on the campaign placards that, even on a 55-inch TV, it looked like the second-to-last row on an eye doctor’s reading chart. Bumper stickers don’t usually have clauses. There’s a reason Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” wasn’t: “Unleash the sunrise, remake the home fries we love.”

One can imagine what Mr. Gingrich might do as a corporate branding consultant. Taco Bell’s “Think Outside the Bun” might become: “Eschew the hamburger, think beyond the roll that houses it.” Instead of “Just Do It,” Nike might end its commercials with: “Just undertake whatever it is you were intending to do, before you got distracted or depressed.”

[…]

Mitt Romney’s current argument-in-a-phrase, plastered on his own signs and banners in South Carolina, seems to be: “Believe in America.” I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean, except that it’s calculated to be utterly unobjectionable and comes off as synthetic and conventional. In that sense, it’s also a pretty good reflection of Mr. Romney’s candidacy to date.

Läs mer:12 Lessons Learned: A Critique of the 2012 Presidential Campaign SlogansGOP Campaigner.com.

Bild: En ”editorial cartoon” av Mike Thompson. Se fler på GoComics.

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IOWA | Mitt Romney vinner sannolikt den 3 januari i Iowa. Trots detta har han till största delen lyckats undvika att bli utsatt för negativa attacker.

Övriga kandidater är inte lika lyckligt lottade. Både Newt Gingrich och Ron Paul är ständiga måltavlor. Och när det gäller Gingrich har attackerna gett effekt.

Adam Sorensen, på bloggen The Swampland, skriver:

Romney now leads the pack with support from 25% of likely Iowa caucus-goers, while Paul boasts 22%, both posting a five-point gain since early December. While Romney’s lead in Iowa is tenuous, his continued strength across the board raises the possibility that the establishment front-runner could win his party’s nomination in a clean sweep.

Bolstering that possibility is the collapse of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who led in Iowa with 33% less than a month ago, but has seen his front-runner status disintegrate under a torrent of negative advertising and now claims just 14% support.

Och om videon “Whoops” har Steven Yaccino på The Caucus följande att förtälja:

In early December, Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney group that put out the commercial, announced a $3.1 million ad campaign in Iowa. Reports say the group will spend $450,000 on the “Whoops” spot in the state before the caucuses on Jan. 3.

[…]

Restore Our Future has also purchased a total of $1 million in advertising time in other early primary states like South Carolina and Florida — yet another sign of the fight Mr. Gingrich has ahead of him.

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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 legat bra till i en lång rad opinionsunderökningar sedan hans överraskande vinst i Floridas straw poll. Är han här för att stanna?

Frågan är om det speglar ett genuint intresse eller bara är ett uttryck för väljarnas frustration med övriga republikanska presidentkandidater.

Michael D. Shear på bloggen The Caucus skriver:

Mr. Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza, does not follow any of the traditional rules of presidential politics. He has no political experience. His campaign has raised almost no money and as a result has virtually no staff or infrastructure. There is no likelihood of a big television campaign since there is no money to pay for one. And Mr. Cain appears to make few of the tactical calculations that drive most presidential campaigns.

[…]

And yet, Mr. Cain has been surging in the polls — not just among the conservative faithful who attend political conferences, but also among regular Republican voters who get called by pollsters.

[T]he latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Mr. Cain atop the field, effectively tied with the veteran front-runner, Mitt Romney, and ahead of the newcomer, Mr. Perry.

Men med ökad popularitet kommer också en intensifierad granskning från både media, experter och politiska motståndare

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VARFÖR LYCKAS vissa politiker medan andra misslyckas?

De republikanska presidentkandidaterna kan lära de svenska partierna en hel del. Inte minst de partier som nu skall välja partiledare.

Tim Pawlentys försök att bli republikanernas presidentkandidat misslyckades. Han ägnade mer än ett år åt att bygga upp sin kampanj i Iowa och New Hampshire. Till ingen nytta visade det sig.

Rick Perry, som helt nyligen gav sig in i leken, har däremot redan seglat upp och blivit en av huvudfavoriterna vid sidan om Mitt Romney och Michele Bachmann.

Matt Bai på bloggen The Caucus har försökt sig på en förklaring till Pawlentys misslyckande. Det är lärdomar som man även i Sverige skulle kunna ta till sig.

[The] more salient lesson here, it seems to me, has little to do with Mr. Pawlenty’s résumé or his strategy. If you want to run for president, especially as a little-known establishment candidate, it usually helps if you have something to say.

[…]

I’m talking about a compelling argument for why your party should choose you and not somebody else who might have more money, or
more rousing speeches, or better hair.

[…]

Whatever his other flaws as a candidate, Mitt Romney has begun, in recent weeks, to articulate a simple and elegant rationale for why he makes more sense than any of his rivals for the nomination. Mr. Obama didn’t create our economic mess, Mr. Romney says, but the president doesn’t know enough about private enterprise to clean it up. Mr. Romney, a former private equity investor, presents himself as the only candidate who does.

What was Mr. Pawlenty’s essential argument? That he had been a commendable governor? That he was just as conservative as anyone else in the race? That he had a really gravelly voice?

[…]

Every now and then, a candidate can secure the nomination this way, simply by relying on the ineptitude of his rivals. (John Kerry in 2004 comes to mind.) More often, though, the case you argue is a lot more important than which consultants you hire or how many local activists you manage to sign up.

Och här finns en lärdom även för dagens partiledarkandidater inom Centerpartiet och Vänsterpartiet.

Knappast någon – vare sig medlemmar eller icke-medlemmar – har någon tydligare uppfattning om vad som ideologiskt eller politiskt skiljer partiledarkandidaterna åt inom respektive parti.

Detta gör att många får sin bild av politikerna från medias bristfälliga rapportering. Och medias okunnighet om skillnaderna mellan kandidaterna beror många gånger på att svenska politiker är fixerade vid att ge sken av samsyn snarare än att markera skillnader.

Oavsett schablonbilden i svenska medier är de ideologiska och politiska skillnaderna mellan exempelvis de republikanska presidentkandidaterna betydligt större än vad skillnaderna är mellan nuvarande partiledarkandidater inom Centerpartiet respektive Vänsterpartiet.

Centerpartiet ger sig själva beröm för att deras partiledarval är en ”öppen process”. Problemet är naturligtvis att en öppen process utan några större skillnader mellan kandidaterna knappast är mycket till hjälp för någon.

Därmed försitter de svenska partierna chansen att visa upp sig som folkliga, breda och dynamiska organisationer.

Inte konstigt att de tappar medlemmar.

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ETT SÄKERT tecken på att en kampanj har stora problem är när interna problem börjar läcka ut till media.

Jon Huntsman har dåliga opinionssiffror. Dessutom saknar organisationen pengar och en tydlig politik. En lång rad medarbetare har redan lämnat kampanjorganisationen.

Hans främste kampanjstrateg John Weaver har hamnat i blåsväder sedan Huntsmans vän och rådgivare David Fischer lämnade kampanjen för att sedan gå till media för att berätta om kaoset.

Johnatan Martin på Politico:

Tensions within presidential campaigns, especially those struggling to find traction, are common. But the ferocity with which Fischer and others attack Weaver and the extent they went to disclose sensitive internal problems is not merely the stuff of a power struggle. It’s illustrative of a campaign that has been thrown together on the run and is comprised of figures who hadn’t even met the candidate before he returned from China this spring, working alongside those who have known him for much of their adult life.

The problem for Huntsman, of course, is that all this high-decibel public squabbling undercuts his main rationale for winning the GOP nomination — that the former Utah governor offers the level-headed competence and executive experience needed to unseat President Barack Obama. Not only that, but voters might wonder how he’d bring civility to public discourse — another Huntsman promise — if he can’t do the same inside the four walls of his campaign headquarters.

Dessutom har Huntsman varit tvungen att attackera sina republikanska motståndare för att överhuvudtaget märkas. Sheryl Gay Stolberg på bloggen The Caucus skriver:

[Huntsman] has worked to cultivate a reputation as “the civility candidate on the campaign trail for his refusal to attack his opponents. But this week, with his poll numbers stuck in the single digits, he has been stepping up his rhetoric, first against the Republican front-runner in many polls, Mitt Romney, and Wednesday against President Obama.

On Tuesday, he said his Republican rivals had shown “very little leadership” in the debt-ceiling fight in Washington, and singled out Mr. Romney for not making his views known until the last minute. The silence was “telling,” Mr. Huntsman said.

Att Huntsman skulle lyckas bli republikanernas presidentkandidat ter sig alltmer osannolikt.

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ENLIGT VISSA uppgifter blev president Barack Obama så arg vid onsdagens förhandlingar om budgetunderskottet att han stormade ut från ett möte med House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

En kritik som ofta framförs mot Obama är att han visar för lite känslor – att han är alltför intellektuell och distanserad. Detta även när den enda rimliga reaktionen är att just visa känslor.

Vem som tjänar mest på denna historia kan därför diskuteras. Vad som verkligen hände vid mötet är oavsett vilket inte det lättaste att reda ut.

Michael D. Shear, på bloggen The Caucus, skriver:

Like most important dramas in Washington, the brief but tense back-and-forth between Mr. Cantor and Mr. Obama took place behind closed doors. But in typical Washington fashion, the participants quickly began sketching out a script as soon as it was over.

What happened, exactly, depends on which version of that script one reads. Each is loaded with political spin that aims to portray its side in the best light possible. But both versions suggest that the search for a reasonable middle ground before the Aug. 2 deadline will be increasingly difficult.

Shear pusselläggning har gett två versioner – en från demokraterna och en från republikanerna. Sam Stein, The Huffington Post, sammanfattning tangerar Sheers:

According to multiple sources, disagreements surfaced early, in the middle and at the end of the nearly two-hour talks. At issue was Cantor’s repeated push to do a short-term resolution and Obama’s insistence that he would not accept one.

”Eric, don’t call my bluff. I’m going to the American people on this,” the president said, according to both Cantor and another attendee. ”This process is confirming what the American people think is the worst about Washington: that everyone is more interested in posturing, political positioning, and protecting their base, than in resolving real problems.”

Cantor, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said that the president ”abruptly” walked off after offering his scolding.

”I know why he lost his temper. He’s frustrated. We’re all frustrated,” the Virginia Republican said.

Democratic officials had a different interpretation. ”The meeting ended with Cantor being dressed down while sitting in silence,” one official said in an email. ”[The president] said Cantor could not have it both ways of insisting on dollar-for-dollar and still not being open to revenues.”

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