All Articles Tagged "2012 Presidential Election"
From Black Voices
Now that the presidential campaign has finally come to a close, it is a great opportunity to reflect on some of the blatantly racist moments that took place during this epicly bitter campaign.
In 2008 Barack Obama became the first African-American to become President of the United States, and perhaps it was that fact alone which paved the way for the kind of attacks that past presidents never had to endure.
Check out the slideshow at Black Voices
From Hello Beautiful
While the economy, immigration, Libya, job creation and gun control figured prominently in the 2012 U.S. presidential debates, it has been women’s issues-related questions that have prompted lots of attention. The battle for women’s votes has helped to shape each candidate’s platform.
As we quickly approach the homestretch, here’s a look at where Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney stand on women’s health.
Read more at Hello Beautiful
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is pulling in a new strategy to reach African American voters. According to The Root, Romney recently hired Tara Wall, a former reporter and Republican National Committee senior adviser George W Bush appointee. Wall will now act as Romney’s senior communications adviser for relations with African Americans.
In her new position, Wall represents the most senior African American on Romney’s team. Before joining Romney’s team, she spent 13 years as a news reporter, anchor and host for ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates in Michigan. She was the mastermind behind CBS Detroit’s Street Beat, a weekly half-hour political talk show. As a reporter she was the first to report the Mayor’s Memo scandal involving former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and governor-elect Jennifer Granholm in 2002. She was also the conservative columnist and deputy editorial page editor for the Washington Times.
“Mitt Romney’s campaign team has been quietly laying plans for an outreach effort to President Obama’s most loyal supporters — black voters —” wrote Nia Malika Henderson and Philip Rucker from the Washington Post. “Not just to chip away at the huge Democratic margins but also as a way to reassure independent swing voters that Romney can be inclusive and tolerant in his thinking and approach.”
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So what’s the deal with Gloria Cain, wife of Republican candidate for president Herman Cain?
I ask this because yesterday I got a chance to watch a video of Gloria Cain’s interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News and was kind of perplexed by it. No not because of how uncomfortable and awkward Van Susteren looked trying to twist her hard face into a soft and sympathy-filled gaze, but at how uninformed and basically clueless Mrs. Cain had been at the alleged sexual exploits of her husband of more than 40 years.
Maybe it should come as a surprise. After all, Gloria has spent most of the 2012 presidential race far away from the national spotlight, avoiding the rallies, the debates and the blunders, only to now be put on the public stage to defend her husband against the accusations that he is a little too friendly with the ladies. And despite having her exasperated wife routine down, when asked about the first allegation of sexual harassment, she was completely dumbfounded.
Gloria contends that she “vaguely” remembers something about the allegations and that Herman did mention it to her — but he also told her that the charges were unfounded, so therefore she left it alone. Of course, he never mentioned that the allegations resulted in the National Restaurant Association, his former employer, having to payout a $45,000 settlement with the complainant. But it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because with certain women there is nothing you can tell them about their husbands.
For the rest of the interview, Gloria gushed about how her Herman is the protector of women, who is so deeply, fundamentally “old school.” Then she told a wonderful story about his relationship with “a little Christian lady” in his office with whom he liked to chat regularly with about Bible verses. Her Herman is a good Christian man, which means his Christian values make him incapable of being the type to thrust a woman’s head, who is not his wife, into his crotch (as one woman alleges). No, in order to do that, “he would have to have a split personality,” Gloria said. Or is just multi-dimensioned like most humans.
At any rate, poor old-fashioned Gloria Cain. I mean, poor, poor docile yet likable — but certainly fragile — and definitely earnest, Gloria. Either she doesn’t know how much of a cad her husband allegedly is or has willfully turned a blind eye to some of the antisocial behaviors we have heard about Mr. Cain exhibiting thus far.
While watching the interview, I started thinking about this film I watched recently called “The Woman,” a radical feminist revenge horror flick, which tells the tale of a smiling chauvinist and psychopathic father and the women he keeps under his thumb. In the film the father captures and abducts a wild, Amazonian-type woman, who just happened to be bathing in a creek. The psycho dad then chains the feral woman up in the family storm cellar under the guise of “civilizing” her. But the reality is that he was subjecting this imprisoned woman to all sorts of torture, abuse and just flat out sexual assault. As horrible a monster as he was, nothing he did could have been achieved without the assistance of his suburban wife, who despite disapproving of keeping a woman prisoner in the basement, would still make meals and sew clothing for the feral woman so that her husbands could sexual abuse her more comfortably. Basically, the wife didn’t do anything to help the woman escape, even though she knew it was wrong. In short, she was complacent and by default was just as guilty as her psychopathic husband.
Now I’m not suggesting that Mrs. Cain is an enabler to her husbands alleged deviant behavior. Hell, I’m not even going to say that he is guilty – mainly because that might get me sued. However, when you are married to a man, who is both disrespectful and condescending towards women including the House Democratic leader, who he called “Princess Nancy” Pelosi; who referred to presidential rival Michele Bachmann as “tutti-frutti” ice cream; or who suggested that a pizza with vegetable toppings is not manly and should be considered a sissy pizza — then you don’t get to play the St. Herman card with people.
Sexual harassment allegations aside, your husband is a bit of a jerk, who makes xenophobic jokes about electrified fences and calls himself black walnut and cornbread to the delight of white audiences. And if we can all see that he is a bit of a jerk than I’m certain that you noticed it many, many moons ago.
Perhaps it is because she is the old-fashioned type, who stays at home with the kids while her husband labors at the office. Perhaps Cain is more chivalrous with his wife than he is with the general public. Which is another reason to dislike his decision to drag her out into the public to clean up her husband’s mess. Since when is a husband’s lack of discernment his wife’s responsibility?
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
Should Gov. Rick Perry of Texas have to answer to a past that isn’t completely his own? According to The New York Times, Perry’s early upbringing in a once racially oppressive town and his education at a then-racially insensitive university are environments that he didn’t create, but he certainly was a part of. So does that mean he is inherently racist as well?
In the wake of the “niggerhead” controversy – a report that Perry had entertained guests at a West Texas camp known as “niggerhead” – some concede that the governor has a racially sheltered background, but claim that his political track record shows that he has overcome his early surroundings. Others say his advocacy of states’ rights resemble a “yearning for the Old South,” the Times reports. No one can truly know, but the sister of a former maid in the Perry household recalls quite clearly that the governor was well aware of his first class citizenship in Paint Creek, Texas.
“In the heart of Mr. Perry’s home county, Haskell, the tiny black community used to be centered in a segregated area east of the railroad tracks called Niggertown. White residents ‘didn’t use it N-e-g-r-o, they said N-i-g-g-e-r; it seemed like a pet word for them,’ said Mae Lou Yeldell, 86, whose sister once worked as a housekeeper for the Perrys,” the Times reports. “In 1968 Mr. Perry left home for Texas A&M, a deeply conservative university whose yearbooks early in the century included Ku Klux Klan-robed students and a dairy group called the Kream and Kow Klub.”
However, Perry will go down in history as the one who appointed the first black justice to the Texas Supreme Court. He also signed a hate crimes bill that his former boss, George W. Bush, had rejected. “Over his three terms as governor, he has nurtured relationships with black leaders, including the head of the Texas N.A.A.C.P., who extols the governor’s open mindedness,” the Times reporters write.
There’s no way to confirm Gov. Perry’s true feelings toward non-whites, but again, avoiding questions about an unpleasant racial history will only raise the public’s eyebrows even higher. Once politicians learn to confront race head-on instead of shying away from it, it would greatly reduce their chances of being caught off guard with “niggerhead”-type controversies.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain would like to blame his failure to garner even notable support from the black community on a belief that many of his own are incapable of thinking for themselves. No, it is not because so many blacks would be voting against their own economic and social interests by supporting a Republican, nor is it because there is an apparent strain of racism throughout the party – it is because we are “brainwashed,” according to Herman Cain.
During an interview on CNN, he said that some in the African-American community “have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view. I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple.” He then goes on to claim that he does, in fact, have a bevy of black supporters, and provides a completely unscientific statistic to support that theory. In spite of his own claims of mass brainwashing, he said that he believes one-third to 50 percent of black Americans are “open-minded.” “I meet them every day. They stop me in the airport. And so this whole notion that all black Americans are necessarily going to stay and vote Democrat and vote for Obama, that’s simply not true. More and more black Americans are thinking for themselves. And that’s a good thing,” he said.
Open-mindedness is not always an option to blame for the lack of support from the black community. Cain panders to the kind of voter base that has given President Obama a hellish reception to the highest position in the country and helped to assail his efforts of progress. Black people see it, and Herman Cain knows it. Maybe his comments are just a defensive acknowledgement that the black community hasn’t mustered much enthusiasm for another term for the president and it hasn’t translated into support for Cain. I can’t prove that to be true, which proves that any ole’ body can create unscientific explanations.
A recent Newsweek story mused about the possibility that Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West’s constant criticism of President Obama might lead to some trouble for the president come 2012:
Never mind the slings and arrows of Tea Partiers. The most politically problematic criticism of Obama these days is coming from his base. And there’s no question that there is a deep reservoir of frustration, confusion, and even rage among many in the African-American community for [leaders like Dr. Cornel] West to tap into. With unemployment hovering near 17 percent for African-Americans (the national average rate is 9 percent) and 11 percent of black homeowners facing imminent foreclosure, African-Americans have ample reason for anxiety about the coming budget cuts that Obama reluctantly signed into law this month. The Congressional Black Caucus chairman called the recent debt deal “a sugar-coated Satan sandwich” that will do little to help communities already struggling.
Dr. Cornel West and his longtime friend, radio host Tavis Smiley, have taken their criticism of Obama to the streets, launching a two-week, 15-city “poverty tour,” aimed at forcing the powers that be to once again focus on the “least among us” and getting the president to “wake up.” Their efforts are increasingly stoking fears among some African-American leaders that West and Smiley could discourage black voters from turning out when the nation’s first African-American president stands for reelection in 2012.
I’m not one of those who thinks that substantive questions about President Obama’s dedication and attention to black America’s problems are out of line. Yes, it’s entirely true that Barack Obama is the President of The United States, not the President of Compton. He can’t solely focus on the issues that ail Black America when we barely comprise 12% of the U.S. population.
By Jay Anderson
With more and more GOP candidates throwing their hat in the 2012 ring, silly season is officially underway. In an effort to prove who loves America the most and loves Obama the least, the 2012 presidential aspirants are figuratively elbowing each other out of the way as they jockey for position in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire. This brand of retail politics has already produced some absurd moments. Here are 11 of our favorites — so far. With this cast of characters, there are certainly going to be more.
1. Herman Cain Escapes “The Democratic Plantation”
By playing the “I’m not like the rest of those black folks” angle on the campaign trail, former pizza magnate Herman Cain has become a darling of the Tea Party set. He has also repeatedly trashed Obama’s biracial upbringing by stating that he could be the first “real Black President.” But it’s Cain’s oft-repeated “I left the Democratic plantation, and I ain’t goin’ back” line that really gets em’ riled up. And truly makes little sense.
By Jay Anderson
Last night’s CNN GOP Debate at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire was sort of like watching the first round NBA playoffs. Sure, it counted for something on paper, but there are so many games left to play that in the grand scheme of things, it’s irrelevant. Still, for political geeks like me, this presented the first opportunity to see the key contenders for the right to become The Guy Who Loses To Obama In A Landslide Come November 2012.
In case you had better things to do (and let’s face it, I hope you did) and missed this important event, I’ve got you covered. No, there weren’t any real solutions provided other than the usual talking points (cut taxes, less regulation, repeal ObamaCare). Despite the total lack of surprises, here are last nights “Winners,” “Losers,” and “people who should really just bow out and get a hobby instead of wasting their (and our) time.”
Mitt Romney – If you did a focus group and used the results to build a perfect looking presidential candidate, Romney would probably be the end result. Plastic to a fault, Romney looks like the sort of guy who would mow the lawn in a Brooks Brothers suit and wingtips. His fuzzy logic in defending his own ObamaCare-like plan as governor of Massachusetts, while slamming Obama’s almost identical national plan made him an instant target. Still, Romney did a great job of clapping at President Obama, as opposed to getting mired in the muck of exchanging barbs with his fellow GOP aspirants. In the end, the presumptive front-runner avoided any major flubs and maintained his poll position. The clear winner, largely by default.
Michele Bachmann – Attempted to hijack the debate by oddly announcing her campaign for the presidency when asked a very important question about financial regulation. The smattering of forced applause by the audience didn’t seem to indicate an impressed electorate. She has about as much of a chance at winning the presidency as I do, but she’s fairly entertaining to watch for some odd reasons I can’t exactly put into words. Eloquent and warm, it’s sometimes hard to believe this is the same nutty woman who blamed President Obama for the 2009 swine flu outbreak and who wants to repeal the EPA. Bachmann did a great job of reinforcing her title as Tea Party Queen, but is probably still holding her breath hoping Sarah Palin stays in Alaska.
Newt Gingrich – Did an awful job of explaining why he took back his comment about Paul Ryan’s budget proposal as “right wing social engineering.” Smug, arrogant, and loud, Newt personified the term “strong and wrong.” For a guy whose entire campaign staff just quit last week, you’d think Newt would be a bit more humble. Of course, to put the words “humble” and “Newt” in the same sentence would create an oxymoron. And so would putting the words “president” and “Newt.” This guy’s goose was cooked two decades ago. For a person who was once hailed as a brilliant political mind full of innovative ideas, he sure seemed like a sound byte regurgitation machine last night.
Tim Pawlenty – T-Paw is every bit as generic and plain vanilla as Romney is stiff and contrived. He is human Nyquil, lulling viewers to sleep every time he drifts off on a tangent completely unrelated to the question posed. His plan to magically growing the economy at an unheard of 5% annually for 10 straight years by simply cutting taxes was even more comical. Played the “humble roots, Midwestern, blue collar” card waaaaaay too often to be believable. This man is so mediocre, for a moment I thought he was coaching the Miami Heat. The fact that this guy is considered a credible contender tells you all you need to know about the GOP’s chances in 2012.
Herman Cain – Cain is a two-fer, a black conservative who is also a Tea Party favorite. To his credit, he does have a solid business track record, having rescued Godfather’s Pizza from near extinction in the mid-90’s.
I haven’t personally seen a Godfather’s Pizza since the mid-90’s, but who’s counting?
Sadly, since he’s the only non-politician in the race (something he seems to be using to his advantage), Cain didn’t get many questions and seemed like the forgotten man all night. Did a clumsy job walking back on his initial support of the Bush-era TARP bailouts, as well as his statement that he wouldn’t hire any Muslims for his presidential cabinet without an extra oath. Fancies himself as a professional “solver of problems,” but mostly just spouted talking points and punchlines that fell flat. After being hailed as the winner of the GOP’s first debate, Cain seemed lost in the shuffle and failed to further distinguish himself as a serious candidate. Of course, the end-game for him is probably a Huckabee-style weekend show on Fox News. I don’t think Cain did anything to hurt his chances with that candidacy.
Please Bow Out And Go “Spend Some More Time With Your Family”
Rick Santorum – Just seems sleazy, the sort of person who would knowingly sell you a used car that had been previously involved in an accident. Continually took credit for things he didn’t actually do and spoke in broad platitudes when asked the most basic of questions. Doesn’t this guy have something better to do?
Ron Paul – The perennial “protest candidate” was a mixed bag of sound ideas (curtailing foreign aid) and “WTF” concepts (abolishing the Federal Reserve!). Personally, if you ask me, Herman Cain seems to have (momentarily) stolen a bit of his thunder. He, like Newt, seems like a guy whose best days are long behind him. Too bad he’s the only one that doesn’t realize it.
The Final Tally
Romney won this debate, simply by not committing any major gaffes and remaining focused on bashing Obama. Bachmann is a natural for this sort of format, and kept her typical craziness to a minimum. No other candidate did anything of consequence, or presented anything even remotely resembling an original idea. I walked away feeling very sleepy, and not terribly enlightened.
If this is the best the GOP has to offer, President Obama might want to start booking acts for his 2013 Inaugural Ball.
Jay Anderson is a freelance writer from Washington, DC, whose work has been featured in the Washington Post, AOL Black Voices, The Loop21 and NPR. When he’s not busy talking smack here, he runs the award-winning blog AverageBro.com. Follow him via Twitter @AverageBro.
Poll numbers change at the drop of a dime, but one recent poll could serve as an interesting foreshadow for the upcoming fanatical and volatile presidential election. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Wednesday, President Obama retains a big lead over possible Republican rivals Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, despite the American public’s fears about rising gas prices, high unemployment and a fragile housing market.
The poll reveals that Obama leads both of his Republican challengers by double-digit margins—he is ahead of Romney by 13 percentage points, or 51 percent to 38 percent. Of course, Obama’s boost in past weeks can be attributed to the killing of Osama bin Laden last month, and it’s no doubt worked in Obama’s favor that the Republican party has been slow to select any star candidates for the nomination race. Although the election is 17 months away, what can Obama do to keep his momentum up?
Since announcing his re-election, it’s evident that the same hopeful and optimistic feelings of his 2008 platform of “change” and “yes we can” have simmered into a more serious approach. This change in strategy is exactly what Obama needs to do says political consultant Ben Donahower. Though Obama is utilizing community organizing and maintaining his online presence (the campaign recently announced an app for the iPhone and iPad), Donahower says what will be different this time around is that the president will have a proven track record to back up his claims. “Obama needs to point to his legislative accomplishments and make a case based on what he has accomplished [and convince] the American people [that they] should send him back to the White House for another term,” he said.
John W. Cavanaugh, Ph.D. of Cross Cultural Communications, LLC, agrees that the president’s 2012 efforts need the same level of innovation and grassroots activity of 2008 to ensure that constituencies turn out. But with the American public’s fear that the country may slip into a second depression, Obama and his administration will need to convince voters that the economy is still on the path to recovery, says Cavanaugh. “The administration must quickly put together an aggressive economic council and endeavor to reassure the public that the country is moving in the right direction,” he said. “Perhaps a summit with people who have struggled with long-term unemployment and the modern equivalent of FDRs fireside chats would be the best strategy.”
It’s too early to tell how the 2012 elections will shape up, but it is sure to be a nail biter as it was in 2008.