Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Beast’

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).


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 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.


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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FLORIDA |  Förlusten i South Carolina fick Mitt Romneys kampanjrådgivare att tänka till. Nu har man lagt om strategin för att kunna vinna Florida.

Resultatet blev en mer offensiv Romney. Han lyckades t.o.m. vrida valdebatterna ur händerna på huvudmotståndaren Newt Gingrich.

Jim Rutenberg och Jeff Zeleny The New York Times:

[T]he Romney team outlined the new approach to the candidate. Put aside the more acute focus on President Obama and narrow in on Mr. Gingrich.

Find lines of attack that could goad Mr. Gingrich into angry responses and rally mainstream Republicans. Swarm Gingrich campaign events to rattle him. Have Mr. Romney drop his above-the-fray persona and carry the fight directly to his opponent, especially in two critical debates scheduled for the week.


If Mr. Romney does win here on Tuesday, it will have been through a blistering and unrelenting series of attacks. His campaign has pressed everything at its disposal into service to eviscerate Mr. Gingrich, painting him as an erratic, unreliable Washington insider in mailings and television advertisements, at two critical debates here (where his team made sure Mr. Romney had ample and vocal supporters in the audiences) and even by sending supporters to mock him at his own events.

On Saturday, it released a new ad featuring a 1997 NBC News segment in which the anchor Tom Brokaw reported that Congressional peers of Mr. Gingrich, then speaker of the House, had “found him guilty of ethics violations.”

David Kochel, an adviser who arrived here from Iowa to oversee the pressure campaign, described the strategy as “let’s go rush the quarterback.” A team of Romney boosters started infiltrating nearly every Gingrich campaign stop to offer instant rebuttals. Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah showed up to challenge Mr. Gingrich’s record to reporters and at one point tangled with Mr. Gingrich’s press secretary as the cameras rolled. Bay Buchanan, a longtime conservative activist, worked on the Romney campaign’s behalf to win over voters and commentators.

Rich Galen, The Daily Beast, skriver:

In the debate Thursday night, Gingrich complained that “it’s increasingly interesting to watch the Romney attack machine coordinate things,” after a full day of an array of attacks on Gingrich along an astonishingly broad frontfrom Elliott Abrams, to R. Emmett Tyrrell, to Bob Dole—all made easy to find because they were accumulated and posted by Matt Drudge.

It was political shock and awe.

Were the attacks unfair? That depends upon who one is backing in the race.  Were they, as Gingrich suggested, coordinated? Clearly. Was it the kind of day that only a campaign with a fully developed plan and the capacity to execute it could have pulled off? Absolutely. Could Gingrich have done it even if he had thought of it? Not on your life.

Gingrich’s complaint was actually a compliment. The Romney campaign appears to be a well-trained army, which has plenty of ammunition and the discipline to use those bullets when they will have the most effect. Like on the day of a hugely important debate.


Gingrich is a student of military history, tactics, and strategy. He knows, or should know, that the same person cannot design the strategy for a war, do the logistics, sell to civilians why this is crucial to their future, train the troops, and lead the charge up the hill.

It takes a trained army to run a war. It takes a trained staff to run a major campaign.

Se även: Judith Greys “Republican Political Ads in Florida: Why Romney’s Are Best” på The Daily Beast.

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SOUTH CAROLINA | Valsegern i South Carolina gav Newt Gingrich 40,4 %. På andra och tredje plats kom Mitt Romney (27,8 %) och Rick Santorum (17,0 %).

De senaste dagarna har varit tuffa för Mitt Romney. Först får han besked om att han inte vann Iowa med åtta röster utan förlorade med trettiofyra röster till Rick Santorum. Och nu denna valförlust.

Frågan är bara hur överraskande resultatet i South Carolina egentligen var. Delstaten tillhör en av de mer konservativa.

Att man gärna ville se någon annan än Romney är därför inte alltför överraskande. Möjligtvis är det gapet mellan Gingrich och Romney som förvånar mest.

Eller som President Barack Obamas rådgivare David Axelrod pikade Romney på Twitter: ”If you & SuperPac spend $4.7m, and get zero delegates, how much did you spend per delegate?”

Men nästa delstat är Florida där Gingrich kan få det betydligt svårare. Ben Jacobs, The Daily Beast, skriver:

The next state to vote is Florida, where Romney leads in the polls. He’s already spent more than $1 million there and is mounting a concerted effort to target absentee voters, since many in the Sunshine State vote early. At least 185,436 votes have already been cast, and there are nearly 300,000 more absentee ballots still outstanding. These voters will be impervious to the sort of last-minute momentum shifts that helped Gingrich claim victory in South Carolina.

Further, the diverse demographics of Florida appear to favor Romney. Although much of the northern part of the state is as deeply tied to the Bible Belt as any other part of the South, Florida will also be the first state where there will be significant minority participation in the GOP primaries, particularly in the Cuban community in South Florida where Romney has already secured a number of major endorsements, including Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Bild: The State – framsidan är från söndagen den 22 januari 2012. Tidningen publiceras i Columbia, South Carolina.

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VITA HUSET | Andrew Sullivan, som bl.a. bloggar på The Daily Beast, skriver i Newsweek om varför både vänstern och högern har fel om Barack Obama.

Kritiken från höger har oftast varit förutsägbar. Betydligt intressantare är när Sullivan skriver om hur vänstern har projicerat alla sina önskningar på presidenten.

Med så höga förväntningar är det inte konstigt att resultatet uppfattas som en besvikelse. Men enligt Sullivan vill man inom vänstern inte ens erkänna de framsteg som gjorts under nuvarande administration.

You could easily make the case that Obama has been far more fiscally conservative than his predecessor—except, of course, that Obama has had to govern under the worst recession since the 1930s, and Bush, after the 2001 downturn, governed in a period of moderate growth. It takes work to increase the debt in times of growth, as Bush did. It takes much more work to constrain the debt in the deep recession Bush bequeathed Obama.


But the right isn’t alone in getting Obama wrong. While the left is less unhinged in its critique, it is just as likely to miss the screen for the pixels. From the start, liberals projected onto Obama absurd notions of what a president can actually do in a polarized country, where anything requires 60 Senate votes even to stand a chance of making it into law. They have described him as a hapless tool of Wall Street, a continuation of Bush in civil liberties, a cloistered elitist unable to grasp the populist moment that is his historic opportunity. They rail against his attempts to reach a Grand Bargain on entitlement reform. They decry his too-small stimulus, his too-weak financial reform, and his too-cautious approach to gay civil rights. They despair that he reacts to rabid Republican assaults with lofty appeals to unity and compromise.


Obama was not elected, despite liberal fantasies, to be a left-wing crusader. He was elected as a pragmatic, unifying reformist who would be more responsible than Bush.

And what have we seen? A recurring pattern. To use the terms Obama first employed in his inaugural address: the president begins by extending a hand to his opponents; when they respond by raising a fist, he demonstrates that they are the source of the problem; then, finally, he moves to his preferred position of moderate liberalism and fights for it without being effectively tarred as an ideologue or a divider. This kind of strategy takes time. And it means there are long stretches when Obama seems incapable of defending himself, or willing to let others to define him, or simply weak. I remember those stretches during the campaign against Hillary Clinton. I also remember whose strategy won out in the end.

This is where the left is truly deluded. By misunderstanding Obama’s strategy and temperament and persistence, by grandstanding on one issue after another, by projecting unrealistic fantasies onto a candidate who never pledged a liberal revolution, they have failed to notice that from the very beginning, Obama was playing a long game.

Se även: Michelle Goldberg’s Op-Vid Campaign 2012 on Liberal Despair på The Daily Beast.

Övrigt: Artikeln och tidskriftsomslaget är från Newsweek den 23 januari 2012.

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VAL | Republikanerna i Iowa är i full gång med förberedelserna för att kunna hålla sitt ”caucus”.

Någonsin funderat på vad det innebär rent konkret?

David Sessions har skrivit en artikel på The Daily Beast som enkelt sammanfattar vad det hela handlar om.

”Caucuses are much more communal than an ordinary primary where you wait in line to cast a ballot in an individual booth. They serve as both an unofficial election and a selection process for the delegates who will represent the caucus-goers at the precinct and county levels. The two parties have slightly different caucus formats, with one of the key differences being that the Democrats vote publicly and Republicans vote by secret ballot. Each of Iowa’s 1,774 districts will have a meeting place, usually a school, church, or other public building. Only registered party members may caucus, but Iowa voters can change their party affiliation at the door if they like.”

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”FOLKLIGA” och ”spontana” är vad Occupy Wall Street vill framstå som. Men även illa skrivna budskap på smutsig kartong kan vara orkestrerat.

Blake Gopnik, som skriver om konst och design för Newsweek och The Daily Beast, har pratat med demonstranternas press team:

The protesters of Occupy Wall Street have been getting their act together for weeks now, improving food distribution and neighbor relations and media messaging. But their signs are as scruffy as the day they arrived. Pay the occupation a visit, and you’re lucky to find a sheet of yellow construction paper hand-lettered in red magic marker. More common is a scrap of used cardboard box, unfolded and scribbled on in Sharpie. The message may be a bold “Eat the Rich,” but its delivery is a mess.

And that, it seems, is often deliberate. “I think what we’re trying to emphasize is that normal people making their own signs can get the message across better than a bunch of perfectly-made signs,” says Mark Bray, a member of the Occupy Wall Street press team who was at the park taking questions. In its early days, the occupation had a station where sign-making was organized and supervised, Bray says, but now they’re letting protesters go it alone. “It’s more personal if a sign is handwritten,” says Bray, contrasting that to union marches where every marcher carries the same Helvetica message.

Detta får en osökt att tänka på den glassiga kampanjen för ett ja till emu 2003. Kampanjen hade så mycket pengar att sätta sprätt på att man t.o.m. kunde betala människor för att jobba ideellt.

Trots detta förlorade man folkomröstningen stort till den ekonomiskt svagare nej-sidan som fick nöja sig med att dela ut hembakade bullar på torgmöten.

Pengar är inte allt. Ibland kan svagheten vara en styrka. Och det gäller att ha idéer som attraherar.

Därför kan hembakat och handskrivna plakat ibland sända betydligt kraftfullare signaler om en rörelses ”äkthet” och folkligare förankring än glassiga broschyrer i fyrfärgstryck.

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DEBBATEN MELLAN de republikanska presidentkandidaterna blev den uppgörelse mellan Mitt Romney och Rick Perry som alla väntat sig.

Romney lyckades lägga sig på tryggt avstånd från högerflanken utan att helt kapa banden. Han distanserade sig från Tea Party-rörelsen utan att låta som deras motståndare. Och han behöll fokus på debattens – och sin egen huvudfråga – ekonomin.

När han även signalerade att han ville rädda Social Security – snarare än montera ner densamma – lyckades han framstå som en kandidat som skulle kunna locka även missnöjda demokrater och independents.

Problemet är att han först måste vinna den republikanska valrörelsen innan han ens kommer i närheten av Barack Obama. Frågan är om han uppfattas som tillräckligt konservativ bland de republikanska väljare som kokar av ilska över utvecklingen i USA?

Michele Bachmann, vinnaren i Iowas ”straw poll”, var mycket påläst men var mindre framträdande än vanligt. Mycket p.g.a. att hon under denna debatt fick mindre tidsutrymme.

Kirsten Powers skriver:

Romney held his place in the top tier with a polished performance, while Perry didn’t live up to the hype. His answers were marked by a very Palin-esque wandering that left the viewer puzzled, as when he claimed that Texas has so many uninsured people because of the federal government. Huh?

More important, Perry decided to double down on his earlier claim that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme,” something that likely won’t go over with the older voters who dominate party primaries and general elections. Romney engaged him on the issue, insisting, “our nominee has to be someone who isn’t committed to abolishing Social Security.” That’s the understatement of the year. The Romney camp pounced on the misstep with a press release blasting: “PERRY DOES NOT BELIEVE SOCIAL SECURITY SHOULD EXIST.”

Övrigt: Fler kommentarer finns bl.a. på The Daily Beast. Se förutom debatten i Kalifornien även förra i Iowa.

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MITT ROMNEY gjorde det starkaste intrycket under gårdagens debatt mellan de republikanska presidentkandaterna.

Han var lugn och statsmannamässig även när han kritiserades. Han gav sig aldrig in i någon pajkastning med övriga kandidater.

Hans problem var möjligtvis att han saknade glöd. Kommer tittarna att minnas hans insats?

Den utrikespolitiskt intressantaste debatten var mellan Rick Santorum och Ron Paul om Iran och vad USA skall göra för att hindra att landet skaffar kärnvapen.

Det var också Rick Santorum som var den stora överraskningen på det utrikespolitiska området. Men hans problem var att han kom igång sent.

När det gällde frågor kring skuldtaket, ekonomin och jobbskapande åtgärder var kandidaternas svar väldigt lika varandra. Väljarna kommer inte utifrån deras svar på dessa frågor kunna avgöra vem som passar bäst i Vita huset.

När det gäller spännande ordväxlingar så var den giftigaste mellan Michele Bachmann och Tim Pawlenty angående vem som har bäst erfarenheter av ledarskap.

En debatt som aldrig uppmärksammas i den svenska rapporteringen från USA är den ideologiska frågan om var ansvaret för den federala staten upphör och var delstaternas tar vid.

Och med tanke på att kandidaterna var så lika varandra när det gällde ekonomin kan svaren här kanske avgöra hur tittarna ställer sig till kandidaterna generellt.

Men det mest troliga är dock att väljarna avvaktar innan man bestämmer sig.

Det är ännu långt kvar till och kandidaterna har mycket kampanjande kvar innan väljarna börjar intressera sig för valet 2012.

Dessutom kommer utgallringen av kandidaterna att förändra det republikanska startfältet. Fler kandidater kommer att ge sig in i leken och andra kommer att falla ifrån.

Övrigt: Deltagare var Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman och Newt Gingrich.

Se hela debatten från Fox NewsYouTube. Se några intressanta glimtar på The Daily Beast och The Huffington Post.

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