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The Obama administration, now entering its final term, will have a mixed legacy when we look back upon the days in which Barack Obama was President. We will of course appreciate its place in history (the election of the first non-white male to the highest office in the land) and of course, we will probably debate the impact of what will likely be the “iconic” piece of legislation to come from it (that of course being the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act).
There will be plenty of things to talk about as while the administration, thanks to a continual “do-nothing” Congress, hasn’t had the legislative achievements the country desired; we do have plenty to talk about. Odds are history will look back on the Tea Party rallies, the fight for marriage equality, guns and probably immigration reform with an appreciative glare. There is a clear generational gap that was on display as the “old” generation tried to roar back into office in 2010 and the “millennial” generation taking the baton on social rights such as marriage equality. Regardless of your opinions, you can’t help but see the tides slowly shifting towards the future right now.
Nonetheless, this time next year the onus of conversation will likely be on immigration, the midterm elections and the implementation of the key portion of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act. The Medicaid expansion and what red states who have not yet complied with the law will generate the headlines. While I’m unsure if 2014 will be the exact year that the PPACA becomes a historic initiative or merely a wordy footnote of the 2010s, we will grasp a better understanding of what it means.
However, when looking back on the Presidency of Barack Obama, we will probably see what catapulted him to be a national figure. No, not necessarily the speech at the 2004 (remember that will be TEN years ago next summer) Democratic National Convention but another speech that earned great attention in the run-up of the 2008 presidential election. The speech that started it all.
The speech he did on stating his opposition of the Iraq War in 2002. To use perhaps my favorite quote of the entire speech, given when Barack Obama was just an Illinois state senator, will be one that has even greater impact when looking back in 2013. The quote is:
I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.
Barack Obama has had an interesting relationship with the progressive/left spectrum of American politics. When he was rising through the polls, passing the passionate populist speeches of John Edwards and closing in on the all-but-inaugurated Hillary Clinton, liberals took to Obama. Most probably were aware that we weren’t likely getting Paul Wellstone or Bernie Sanders, but we weren’t getting a “New Democrat” such as Hillary Clinton and we were certainly not getting George W. Bush.
To us, that is all we needed to get behind the grassroots fueled engine that was the Obama campaign team.
Let’s try to remember why his speech was relevant again in 2006 & 2007. Remember this was when the mortgage crisis wasn’t quite here yet, unemployment was still under 5% and bailouts didn’t enter the public lexicon. Yes, that time did exist only six years ago and yes, it’s only been six years. To put in context that readers my age, who aren’t quite up-to-date with what happened back when we were in high school, Forever by Chris Brown was released that year and the Indianapolis Colts were the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Back then, the defining issue of our time was who could lead us out of war. Up until that point, dissatisfaction towards the Bush administration had to deal with the so-called global “War on Terror”. There was the atrocity of the death tolls in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the administration claiming they weren’t concerned about Osama bin Laden, the NSA wiretapping American phone calls, the insistence that waterboarding was not torture but “enhanced interrogation” and if these wars were truly worth it. Let us not forget the passage of the PATRIOT Act and the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
America wanted change from that and what was sinking Hillary Clinton’s campaign (besides other things such as poor campaigning in Iowa and the curse of being the early frontrunner) was the fact that she voted in favor of the invasion of Iraq.
That speech from 2002 was something different for Democrats who were often unfairly characterized as being “soft” on terror. Democrats were looking to fit into the mainstream of politics without being seen as “too hard on terror” to lose the base and “too antiwar” to upset moderates. A lame strategy as war should usually always be seen as a last resort, but I digress.
Drones? Drones back then were being used, its certainly far from a “new” issue, but weren’t quite at the forefront as the hunt for bin Laden and the two on-ground wars took precedent. Nonetheless, there were warnings that drones were the future of our national defense system but little was really known about what they would do.
Now let’s fast forward to the present day. As the country slowly inches its way back from recession and the lull in the conversation regarding gun reform legislation following the defeat of Manchin-Toomey, drones and the Obama administration’s current “scandals” (and yes, the quotation marks around that word are needed) have taken center stage.
Some people appear to be getting deja vu when it comes to what’s on the news nowadays even if it might be slightly conspiratorial. For example, the most egregious of the current “scandals” would appear to be the alleged wiretapping of Associated Press reporters. The idea of a free press being silenced in any manner does bring back shades of the Bush administration’s wiretapping which was one of the key controversies that further dirtied the 43rd President of the United States.
Remember though, there was a time that the right wing wanted to charge “whistleblowers” for violating the 1917 Espionage Act as stated in this excellent blog post of Jon Perr of the DailyKos.
But then again, we shouldn’t be debating on which side is more hypocritical but which side is consistently right. The current goals of us as people who follow politics shouldn’t be to point out the hypocrisies but showcase the differences.
Today, President Obama gave what might be, in retrospect, one of his biggest speeches. In a speech before the press corps, President Obama was interrupted by antiwar activist Medea Benjamin of “Code Pink” in regards to the drone strike that killed the 16-year old son of Anwar Al-Awlaki (who was killed by another drone strike two weeks prior) and the American military complex as a whole.
What was truly fascinating about this interruption, as opposed to other interruptions by Neil Munro of the Daily Caller and Rep. Joe Wilson, was that it was done from someone to the left of the President. Usually you expect a heckler to either be a partisan or a “some guy” but rarely do you hear someone that would be expected to be on the President’s side.
I should add that while Benjamin’s points are certainly valid (as the President stated as she was being escorted out of the room), she wasn’t there to inspire dialogue. She was there to interrupt and interrupters usually find themselves mocked after they’ve been shown the door. But this time, President Obama (who mentioned his disagreements) seemed to build off of what she said.
It is a true fact, we cannot continue to be a nation at war. It’s just not feasible whether its economic or political, continuous warfare only leads to awful things for nations. The threatening of civil liberties fits into that argument as well; how long can we possibly be under the terrorist microscope until we actually do get attacked?
It appears that drone attacks in other nations is our new reality, even given the President’s words that they should be limited but how long can we launch drones at other nations? The American public should likely face it that the White House will keep secrets regarding who is a threat (whether legitimate or not) regardless of who is in office. Its unfortunate but that’s why we elect Presidents because someone else has to make those tough decisions.
The problem with drones though, isn’t necessarily the fact that they are unmanned vehicles being launched at suspected “bad guys”. If they were manned it would still be heinous but what most see in the word “drones” is something Orwellian. The problem with them is that if we launch drones, we do save military men and women from death which is a good thing but we become desensitized to how awful war can be. If we aren’t losing men and women in the war, then politicians and the public will be a lot more lax about entering wars with other nations.
That desensitization is critical to why the drone policies of today need to either be explained in some capacity or overhauled, two things the President strongly hinted. Though, we will what to see if we get either of those in the future but at least hearing that the President acknowledging that the old “secret” of drones needs changing.
But what is another key, if not heavily critical, aspect of the President’s counterterrorism speech today is the talk over Guantanamo Bay. The closing of Gitmo has been the topic of political conversation since the mid-2000s. The idea of who goes there (and thanks to indefinite detention, how long they stay there) has been a topic of confusion amongst anyone who follows what is going on.
Is it suspected terrorists? Yes. Well what defines a suspect? Is it a guy who knows a guy? A guy who IS a guy?
In stark terms today, President Obama acknowledged the hunger strikes that detainees at Gitmo are currently in the midst of and alluded to the transfer of captives to Yemen and the future closing of the jail. Obama also mentioned bringing suspects to court in America as opposed to at Gitmo which would be a step in the right direction in terms of civil liberties.
Even though President Obama did keep his promise in ending the Iraq War and the end of the conflict in Afghanistan seems to be on the way to winding down, war will be the most important aspect of Barack Obama’s legacy. As of right now, we look at President Bush under the same lens even though he was responsible for “No Child Left Behind” and the failure to enact immigration reform.
However, President Obama talked about closing Gitmo before he took office and as we all know, the prison continues to be open today. If we want to make progress in restoring America’s standing around the world and here, we have to get rid of the erosion of civil liberties but also we as citizens, have to grasp the importance of why that’s important.
Its easy to say terrorists deserve to die and I think most people would tend to agree that many of the people targeted by drones were “evil” or “threatening” people. But we do also have to have respect on why these issues are so hard to change, they are hard within themselves.
When it winds down to it though, President Obama’s actions will be louder than his words. Will he be the President that reins back our military complex or will he be one that is seen as someone who maintained it or even intensified it?
That remains to be seen.
The first State of the Union address by President Obama in his second term as President of the United States has just concluded. To read our liveblog that covered the speech live, please click on this link.
President Obama took the stage and immediately announced the progress American has made since the 2008 economic meltdown. Immediately but briefly highlighting the rising car sales and the stabilization of the housing market was a smart step by the President to sort of toot his own horn. For those expecting a speech of anti-business socialism, it’d be hard to go against the economic upturn (though slow) that has been experienced in the past four years.
Another topic that was addressed early on was the sequester. President Obama made a strong case for the preservation of Medicare and Social Security and to help retired American workers as opposed to cut resources from them. I’m not sure that it will change anything but President Obama publicly sticking with Medicare will help him with independents who might be a bit weary on the ideas of cutting social programs.
NoLabels, the sort-of centrist organization that is trying to make waves in Congress, had its presence felt. With members of Congress who are affiliated with NoLabels were wearing orange badges that stated “Fix Not Fight” which is obviously a jab at the so-called partisan fighting that has been blamed for gridlock on Capital Hill. The President did mention how the American public expects its Congressperson to be of the “people over party” mentality and frequently mentioned throughout his various proposals that members of both sides of the aisle agreed with him.
One of the moments that made me feel some optimism was the focus on science. President Obama stated the importance of science when tackling cures for diseases and trying to stop climate change and how those jobs cannot be sacrificed under any means. I truly support that idea yet it was disheartening to not hear climate change seriously debated during the presidential election which makes me think that it’s still far too risky for Congress to actively debate. Remember the President was touting America’s drilling during the town hall debate, so while I’m excited to see what can be done to limit climate change; I’m still pessimistic on the idea of anything worthwhile happening.
Two topics that have been proposed under President Obama were mentioned again and that’s infrastructure and education. President Obama has long been an advocate of promoting public sector jobs to repair America’s bridges and roads so it should be no shock that he continues to tout it.
Education though should be one of the bigger topics discussed by the President tonight. The idea of Race to the Top has been considered a success by the President will potentially be expanded upon to include a scorecard for American families to determine which college/university will bring the “best bang for their educational buck”.
But even more promising was the idea of investing in America’s preschools. President Obama rightfully stated that children who do not get a chance to start their education at a young age will be behind the curve. If children under the age of five can be taught how to read, write and communicate with others; then there is a possibility that progress will rise in the some of the poorest of regions in America.
Then the speech shifted towards the topic of immigration which has been at the crux of plenty of debates over the past few years of the Obama Presidency. President Obama did espouse the need to increase border security and to make the path to citizenship easier for immigrants. However, he failed to exactly deliver a crushing blow to the GOP as his proposals appeared to be a bit vague and not exactly hard-hitting.
Another big tenet of President Obama’s speech was the idea of tackling poverty. The idea of raising the minimum wage to $9/hr. a proposal that was quickly followed by a round of applause. The idea of raising the minimum wage might be one that becomes a bigger story this summer, I like to imagine. President Obama seemed very forceful of the idea and seemed like he was assured that we will raise the minimum wage. Keep your eyes peeled on this topic.
Foreign policy was prefaced with the announcement that within one year there will be 34,000 troops removed from Afghanistan, an announcement that was followed by another standing ovation. North Korea and Iran were briefly mentioned but the for the most part, the idea of eradicating Al-Qaeda and its satellite groups as well as stabilizing Afghanistan seem to be the central focus of the second term for the Obama administration.
Before President Obama wrapped up his speech, the focus of the speech shifted towards the topic of gun control. President Obama seemed much more conciliatory towards the idea of people voting “nay” on background checks and other popular gun control ideas but said that at the bare minimum, “we need a vote”. Then President Obama mentioned how the families affected by the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek and the Gabby Giffords shooting all deserved a vote.
Naming those names brought emotional balance to the speech but it appears that the Obama administration do not want these ideas to go away. I think we can all agree that there will be a gun control vote fairly shortly and it will be pushed hard.
The speech was closed with some stories about Americans who were exceptional. The story of Desiline Victor waiting in line for hours to just VOTE (at the age of 102) was powerful and she earned that standing ovation. Desiline Victor could very well be the face that triggers electoral reform in this nation that does not include limiting but expanding the right to vote. The idea of voting that was so championed by the previous administration for the liberation of Iraq is now threatened by the same party.
So that being said, what are your thoughts on the speech?
Well as previously speculated in the media for the better portion of the last month, President Obama is expected to nominate former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (of Nebraska) to be his Secretary of Defense.
Hagel, who retired from the Senate in 2008, has taken heat from both the left and the right for various reasons. The left has blasted the nomination of Hagel for both being another Republican appointed to this position (and Hagel, a supporter of both wars launched under President George W. Bush) and for his comments on then-nominee for Ambassador to Luxembourg Jim Hormel as “openly aggressively gay” in 1998. Hagel, for his part, apologized in late-December for his remarks which was fifteen years after the fact.
On the right, however, opposition is mounting to Hagel with Senator Dan Coats, Tom Coburn and John Cornyn already saying they are “no” votes with others including John McCain being noncommittal. This is already shaping up to be a rough nomination proceeding.
But regardless of if he passes or not, it’s hard to see why President Obama would appoint another Republican to this spot. Sure, it might not have the stature as Secretary of Defense, but I can’t see where the Obama administration benefits. Yes, there is the whole “bipartisanship” message around it and some independents still think that a bipartisan Cabinet is a good thing.
Yet the left nor the right want Chuck Hagel and really the only pro-Hagel voice is President Obama which obviously does carry some weight. But you would have to think with folks such as Wesley Clark, Jim Webb or Jack Reed; that the Democrats have a pretty decently sized bench that could excel as Secretary of Defense.
As long expected, today President Obama has nominated Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to the Secretary of State position which is soon-to-be vacated by Hillary Clinton. Kerry has had a long and distinguished career in the Senate and even though there will be a special election to fill Kerry’s seat which could create headaches for the Democratic Party.
But Kerry does deserve the spot of the nation’s top diplomat. He’s been clamoring for it for a while and his heroism in Vietnam was almost desecrated by right-wing attack groups.
In his nomination presser, which just happened within the past five minutes, Kerry was praised by Obama for his credentials and Obama also touted the fact that Kerry chose him to speak as the keynote at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Obama also touted the role John Kerry played in his debate prep as he portrayed Mitt Romney in practice sessions.
Nonetheless, the appointment of Kerry won’t exactly send shockwaves throughout the Beltway but outside of Kerry; the happiest person in the world could very well be Scott Brown.
Brown, the soon-to-be former Senator, is already plotting his political comeback and Kerry’s seat is clearly the one that he pines for. But Democrats should be genuinely worried?
If Deval Patrick holds to the same form he did after the death of Ted Kennedy, he will likely tab a temporary Senator that will hold the seat until the special election. Most speculation has swirled around either former Governor and 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, Vicki Kennedy or even retiring Rep. Barney Frank.
When the special election takes the plunge we can likely expect Reps. Ed Markey, Mike Capuano and Stephen Lynch to throw their hat in the ring. Remember John Kerry and Ted Kennedy served Massachusetts since 1985. Since then there’s been plenty of rising Massachusetts Democrats who had to agonizingly wait their turn as the two liberal icons became institutions in the state.
Now the Massachusetts delegation will be led by Elizabeth Warren who won her first election that she ran in November. Talk about change.
But for Democrats, the possibility of Senator Scott Brown (again) has to create headaches. While he is popular, Massachusetts still has a blue tint and remember Brown partially (and some would say totally) won due to the poor campaigning of AG Martha Coakley. If Markey is the nominee, you’d have to think that the race would tighten up as progressive groups would rally around the Representative and his name became more well-known at the state level.
Still, the race is to be run and this is going to take a couple of months to sort out.
Politicizing a tragedy is a low thing to do, however after tragedies occur; new legislations are usually immediately introduced. We’ve heard promises of gun reform, though its been astoundingly vague, and seen backtracks of previous pro-gun legislative pieces.
As we start to figure out not just why this unspeakable tragedy happened but how we can prevent them in the future, faces are springing up to the forefront. No, I’m not suggesting these politicians are trying to capitalize off the events at Sandy Hook Elementary at all. However, it does appear that politicians are now willing to do something about an issue that should not go away.
But now we aren’t looking at what we need to do, we are now looking at the who’s. We are looking at those with probable national ambitions and how they are trying to be force against gun control.
Martin O’Malley – Maryland
It’s been long suggested that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has his eyes on 2016. O’Malley is setting himself up to be, if Massachusetts Sen.-Elect Elizabeth Warren declines a run, the top progressive candidate for the the Democratic base as well. O’Malley continued that march by commenting that new gun restrictions were needed for the state of Maryland especially when dealing with weapons such as AR-15s.
“It’s hard to conclude that these guns should be in the hands of anyone who isn’t a soldier on a battlefield or a law enforcement officer sent into a tactical situation,” O’Malley said of guns like the AR-15.
Note however that O’Malley offered no specifics for his own plan but four Democratic state senators from Maryland are proposing a bill that “would prohibit the sale of assault long guns and pistols and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.”
Maryland has tried a similar proposal before but failed in committee in 2010.
Andrew Cuomo – New York
Just like O’Malley, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been spoken of as a future national candidate. Cuomo immediately stated that he’s looking for new state gun laws to close the loopholes on semi-automatic weapons.
Mark Warner – Virginia
Mark Warner is the top of guy that earns rave reviews from the punditry for being a “centrist” type figure. He was wildly popular as a Governor and now as the junior (and soon to be senior) Democratic senator from Virginia; his national profile seems to be emerging.
Warner isn’t going to be loved by the DailyKos or PolliticsToday segment of the liberal base, but he has hit the news shows appealing for more stringent gun control while touting that he had an A+ rating from the NRA.
I’m a strong Second Amendment rights supporter. I own firearms. On my farm, I have actually got shooting range.
But Friday afternoon, my daughters, who had all come home from college, said, dad, you know, how did this happen? And what are you going to do about it?
And just as a father, the horror of what happened in Connecticut coming on the heels of tragedies at Virginia Tech years before, the tragedy in Colorado, and it seems like about every six or nine months, one of these incidents happening in America, makes me say, you know, enough is enough. There’s got to be a rational way to sort through this.
I’m not saying I have got a perfect piece of legislation. I don’t think there is a single perfect piece of legislation. But in a country where we have got 30,000 gun deaths a year, there’s got to be a way that we can do a bit more. And I hope that responsible gun owners around America will join in this conversation as well.
I think we have got to recognize that it is about rational, appropriate gun rules, but also about mental health issues. And my hope is our country takes a deep breath and doesn’t just simply get exercised by this for a few moments and then push this horrible tragedy back into the background and forget about it.
Warner represents a state that might be inching blue but the fact that a “centrist” senator with possible national ambitions feels safe to make a strong statement like that speaks loud. But if you think Warner is shocking….
Joe Manchin – West Virginia
…then this one will floor you. Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator of West Virginia who famously touted a rifle to show off his opposition to cap and trade, is now speaking out against guns. Manchin is the consummate ConservaDem in the Senate and while he just won two straight elections in a state that’s outright sprinting to the right, his comments are still the most prevalent to me.
In case you missed it Manchin had this to say on guns.
“I don’t know anyone in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle,” Manchin told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” ”I don’t know anyone that needs 30 rounds in a clip to go hunting. I mean, these are things that need to be talked about.”
Twenty children and six adults were killed Friday by a man firing a military-style semiautomatic weapon. The massacre, Manchin said, “changed the dialogue, and it should move beyond dialogue. We need action.”
“Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered,” the senator said. “Anybody that’s a proud gun owner, anybody that’s a proud member of the NRA, we’re also proud parents. We’re also proud grandparents.
President Barack Obama actually called Manchin today to discuss guns and it looks like Manchin might actually be one of the most powerful voices in the gun reform debate. Mark Warner feeling comfortable talking about this is one thing, but Joe Manchin? It has to show you what this heinous tragedy means to our society. It took one of the worst tragedies in modern-day American history to make people think that gun laws needed to be reformed.
In itself, it is ridiculous that it took all this time for the public sentiment in both the country and it’s legislative powers to be for the end of selling semi-automatic weapons that can hold large clips at a time.
Maybe we should steer the conversation away from guns. Of course there are millions of responsible gun owners who use rifles for sport or has family heirlooms that may be an old bayonet. There are even responsible gun owners that have handguns locked in a chest underneath their beds.
But should we really call this “gun control”. Is a Bushmaster really something that you use for self-protection, sport or as a memento? We aren’t talking about infringing on your 2nd Amendment rights but shouldn’t we just simply call this what it is and that’s “weapon control”.
For too long America has been under the spell of the National Rifle Association. A bunch of powerfully connected lobbyists has capitalized on the fear of many Americans and given cover for those who possess such unnecessary weapons. The fear that your property would be stolen from you by faceless government bureaucrats has instilled a paranoia of epic proportions amongst the NRA.
This is the type of lobbying that leads to perversion of legislation. America is not on the cusp of a huge, dramatic, sweeping change that will affect life as we know it. All it will be doing, if responsible gun reform is brought up, is installing safety in its citizens.
As I’ve stated a few times over the past several blog entries, I’m very excited about the future of Pollitics Today. I’ve had a few guest writers write for the blog, I’ve had a few fellow blogs link to us and I’ve even amassed a few new Twitter followers and Facebook “likes”.
Yet I would consider the latest milestone to be perhaps the biggest and most important one of my blogging career. My favorite thing about politics is not necessarily following the “horse races” that go on (though I’m an admitted sucker for polling) but it’s about the interaction with people. Regardless of political beliefs, the one factor that should keep our system functioning as it’s supposed to do is the dialect between ordinary Americans. Hence why I wanted to get involved in the interviewing game, to learn not only what other people are thinking and believing in but learning about the world around me.
If I were to have a “motto”, it would probably be that no one knows it all (which is why the phrase “know-it-all” is a playground slur) but you will always learn from someone. Cliche? Of course but I steadfastly believe in that.
So keeping that in mind, I decided to think who I wanted to interview first. There are probably a million famous or significant people in the world who all probably have a million interesting things to say. Yet I wanted to reach out to someone who not only carved their own path but someone who is actively trying to change the world for the better.
Enter Rocky Anderson, the former Mayor of Salt Lake City and the 2012 Presidential candidate for the Justice Party. Mr. Anderson was gracious enough to talk to me via phone about not only some of his political history but on some of the issues that don’t just affect Americans currently but will also in future generations to come.
Mr. Anderson’s political career has seen him been perhaps one of the true “progressives/liberals” of our generation. In fact in 1996 when Mr. Anderson first sought political office in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, Utah Democrats perceived him as “too liberal” thanks to his board membership at Planned Parenthood, his support of a women’s right to choose and as president of the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
But to paint Mr. Anderson has a partisan would be an error. He rose to more national prominence by winning the non-partisan position of Mayor of Salt Lake City which of course hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. While Mr. Anderson espoused his support for climate protection programs (including the much-praised Salt Lake City Green Program), he also worked very closely with both Mitt Romney (during the Olympics) and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and even endorsed the former’s run for Massachusetts Governor in 2002 (in which Romney returned the favor).
But when watching Mr. Anderson’s endorsement of Mitt Romney, you can tell that while his party has changed (he’s obviously no longer a registered Democrat); his personal stances have not. When I asked him why he created his own party as opposed to joining another existing third party such as the Green Party, Mr. Anderson stated:
Well, we felt this country is in severe trouble. We need something new & effective. We wanted to form an electoral arm of a major, broad-based, democratic movement.
This is where I, as a political follower, sort of fell into a trap that I’m sure others have fallen into. I immediately started thinking what Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party had planned for 2014, 2016 and beyond without fully registering and appreciating what he said. Nowhere in that quote did Mr. Anderson state that he the word “Party” and while he stated that he learned things from this election to help him in the future; it wasn’t really the main point.
The main point isn’t quite just earning votes, fading from view and then trying again in the next mid-term or presidential election. As Mr. Anderson would point out to me and help me realize, it’s about creating a democratic movement to get issues up and bring them into the mainstream. To look at just numbers and figures does distract from the main goal.
Mr. Anderson would then cite the Green Party, who have been around for 20+ years and spent over a million dollars in this election, yet are “thrilled to see” one-third of one percent of the National Vote. The Greens do appear to come and go every presidential cycle but do little in-between to make the mark on the political system.
Again, I fell into the common trap. While political parties raise money to increase their standings in polls or vie for ballot access, movements are much more broad than singular people or candidates.
Mr. Anderson would continue off this point later on in our interview by stating that people tend to vote out of fear of the other party due to partisanship, which I would believe is true. Most voters, regardless of if they are Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, etc. usually don’t vote out of loyal support for their selected candidate but out of fear of what the other will bring to the table.
Another point to make was that George Washington was fearful of political parties tarnishing our system due to the fact that people would become “beholden” to parties and not the national interest. Washington’s belief does bring up an interesting point though. We hear advocates discuss the need for electoral reform, etc. but the thought of nonpartisan voting (much like Salt Lake City and other cities models) do have a certain appeal to them. As Mr. Anderson told us, running for a nonpartisan office means you don’t have to vie for the party’s endorsement at a convention.
The topic of conversation gradually shifted from electoral politics and movements to current issues at hand for the American public. One true thing that I’ve learned throughout my time on social media is the concern over the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA for short) which includes Section 1021 which in short, allows the U.S. Government to hold suspected terrorists (or their alleged allies) for an “indefinite” amount of time without due process or habeas corpus.
On NDAA, Mr. Anderson would tell me that he believes it is one of the more subversive, anti-American acts every passed through Congress.
NDAA, which is probably an unknown entity to most political followers, has been contested in a few states. The Rhode Island House voted for a repeal of the bill yet there hasn’t appeared to be much progress in getting the bill to higher courts. Mr. Anderson (and to watch him discuss NDAA live, watch this video) states that the administration of President Barack Obama “fights like the Dickens” to keep the NDAA lawsuits out of the courts.
But indefinite detention, no matter how unconstitutional it is, isn’t the only gripe that Mr. Anderson has with the Obama administration.
Mr. Anderson would state that the Amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has permitted the federal government to spy and the NSA oversees “thousands” of communication without cause and without identifying whose communication is being targeted.
Also he would continue by stating that people will challenge that but the Obama administration contends they are not worthy because there is “no proof” and the federal government won’t give away information because they’d claim it would “violate” classified secrets that would put the nation at risk.
Still, a big point of contention amongst not just Mr. Anderson but critics of the Obama administration is how there are clear continued policies that were left behind the George W. Bush administration. Americans are being spied on. Torture is condoned. Even though it’s a felony under domestic laws, this President says “well, let’s just forget this happened”.
Yet there should be problems with the way the Obama administration has handled torture, drones and other foreign policy acts. Mr. Anderson would show off his disgust with President Obama as it appears he determines what gets forgotten about and who is above the law.
The claims might seem a bit hyperbolic to the average supporter/critic of the current President but there are some genuine issues with the way America is dealing with it’s foreign standing. Mr. Anderson would invoke the play Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco which was written in 1959.
Rhinoceros, a play by Eugene Ionesco, is an allegory to the rise of fascism in Europe. People are turned away, possess the don’t rock the boat mentality, “it’s none of your business”, government knows better, etc. “Let’s just keep quiet” so it does appear that we have that kind of complacency.
I would then bring up the topic of drones, which is one of the main issues that struck a chord. Mr. Anderson would begin the drones topic by stating that “so far, 3 Americans have been killed by drone attacks” and thousands have died.
Mr. Anderson would tell me that the President unilaterally takes us to war in violation of the War Powers Clause, authorizes torture and engages in torture. There’s no semblance of due process and the targeting U.S. citizens? The Constitution states you cannot take life & liberty without due process of law, yet the President appears to be in direct violation of the United States Constitution.
Yet, it’s not just that administration that’s at fault. Mr. Anderson also says that even with all of these drone attacks, the mainstream media is “complicit in these tragedies” and which I agree, it’s a disgrace that they don’t get more coverage.
The topic then started to shift towards healthcare and the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (or “ObamaCare”). Even though the bill is championed by many Democrats, the bill really helps the insurance companies. Mr. Anderson, a champion of a single-payer health care system, is not one of those advocates.
He would state that the ACA was basically written by insurance companies who are making out like bandits and even after the entirety of the ACA is enforced, 30 million Americans will be without healthcare.
He would continue with showing the discrepancy between how much we pay for healthcare and the results we get. He continued by stating that fact that in the developed world, we have the 2nd highest rate of infant mortality.
In terms of maternal mortality (women who die during child birth), America has the 50th “best” rate which means that 49 developed nations are keeping more. mothers alive.
We have the next-to-worst rate of child poverty, which is over 20%. Only two countries, one is the U.S., have that high of a level and Romania is the other.
Mr. Anderson would state right afterward that the problem is the “for-profit industry”, a “parasitic” one in which America is the only developed nation that relies so much on for-profit health care. He would continue with that most Americans support a single-payer type system but the problem is money from for-profit industries buy off Congress and later the Presidency.
Also, it’s worth noting that many people were celebrating the fact that the ACA keeps children on parent’s healthcare rolls until they are 26 and they are no longer subjected to be turned away due to “pre-existing” conditions. Yet is that a victory worth celebrating? It’s awesome in terms of public relations, but will that really help people gain healthcare; especially if their parents lack health insurance; what happens?
The problem continues though with the future. Mr. Anderson would tell me that my generation’s shoulders would have far too much on their shoulders.
Anderson would state that on my generation’s shoulders, we are laying in accumulated debt and interest burden. On our shoulders is worsening security due to hostility and the catastrophes that occurred due to climate change. On our generation’s shoulders, you will be paying Social Security for the baby-boomers, who will be retired even though they left the mess to our generation.
One issue I always lamented on during the debate season was the lack of discussion about climate change. Four short years ago, it was towards the center of the debate but while we talk about what our debt will do to my generation but blatantly appear to ignore the mess we left with environmentally.
Before our interview was said and done, Mr. Anderson and I went through a few topics that almost appear to be universal for most Americans.
He would state that most people in the country believe that the War on Drugs is a failure. Racism is also evident in our incarceration rates. Drug usage is the same amongst whites, Hispanics and African-Americans yet 3/4ths of inmates for drug possession are African-American.
Most people want the troops brought back home from Afghanistan.
Most people want to see financial regulations yet Wall Street has its way. Glass-Steagal was repealed by the Clinton Administration. No regulations were brought up which is what brought us into disaster and again, a lot of regulations were taken away by Clinton. It is a problem that both Democrats and Republicans have contributed to.
Mr. Anderson is correct on quite a few things and that’s how money is corrupting our government. As you can tell, big business usually has its way whether it’s in legislation such as the Affordable Care Act or when it comes to the lack of regulation on Wall Street.
Yet we continue to let our governments get away with it, right?
In closing, I saw that Mr. Anderson’s Twitter account mentioned something about a “Justice Party Convention”. When asked about it, Mr. Anderson told us that he is looking into a two or three day convention over President’s Day weekend in Oakland, California. He insisted that it’s “not” like an ordinary convention but instead it’s to inspire people to bring about change in this country. Not just about the Imperial Presidency but about issues such as the rate of income and wealth between the rich and the poor. You basically:
have the aristocrats and the rest who are barely hanging on. Not since the 1920s have we seen such wealth discrepancy.
When talking to Mr. Anderson, I felt like I definitely not only learned some things but also found someone whose voice needs to be heard by more people. This isn’t an advocacy blog where I endorse candidates or tell you to donate to people but I couldn’t help but fully listen to Mr. Anderson when he was speaking.
Now some people may not agree with everything he states because you can’t please the world but what he said isn’t false. There are plenty of issues in not just our government but in our society as well. The feeling was that Mr. Anderson’s passion could be felt through the phone, even at 11:00PM Eastern Time, and you couldn’t help but sense that he wanted to continue to fight.
Some people like to think that when elections are over, so are the candidates missions. Now Rocky Anderson was a Presidential candidate, yes, but he seems like someone who wants to empower the people around him and that can last a lifetime to people. He is not alone either, but he is a voice that is sticking out today.
We as liberals and progressives sometimes fall into the trap of applauding and staying content when our party wins or doing the exact opposite when it loses. But causes should never die. We should never be complacent in what we want and blind support of a candidate is not a way to get things accomplished. You have to make your voice heard to make an impact or politics don’t exist. We are already have a multitude of problems but complacency or quitting should not be on the menu.
I can not thank Mr. Anderson enough for sharing some time with me. I genuinely enjoyed this interview and writing this piece and I look forward to seeing what things he does in the future.
As the Northeast begins its recovery from the devastation that was left in Hurricane Sandy’s wake, the nation’s eyes have been on New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie.
Christie, an early supporter of Mitt Romney, has long been seen as a future leader in the National Republican Party. A polarizing figure, he often comes across as either straight-talking to his fans and a bully to his dissenters, Christie has kept a level of popularity in a very Democratic-leaning state and carries a certain “New Jersey charm” that only a few of us can truly understand.
As a liberal partisan, I view Christie as brash but I do believe he loves the state he is in. Christie is enamored with New Jersey culture as his noted fanhood of Bruce Springsteen has been widely publicized as has his chip-on-the-shoulder mentality. While I feel that he might be a little inauthentic, I do find him to be someone who loves the state that he governs, a thought that was echoed last night by MSNBC analyst, Steve Kornacki.
To be more than quite frank, I am a firm believer that Chris Christie (barring events such as a scandal, etc.) will run for the Republican nomination in the 2016 electoral cycle. I don’t believe in the word “guarantee” when discussing the future but I do feel quite confident in saying that there is a 99.9% chance on his run occurring. If you read this article to hear my opinion on a Christie run, well there it is.
But how does Chris Christie operate? This is a man who had a similar fight with the teachers union as his geographic neighbor, Tom Corbett, did in Pennsylvania. He should, and is, despised by progressives politically and clearly embraced by the right-wing as a rock star.
Yet, in all the adulation that the right has for him, Christie has always surprised the political world with the occasional “rogue” moment. There was Christie blasting the far-right (though increasingly mainstream) fear mongering of Sharia Law, which was in the midst of the appointment of Judge Sohail Mohammad, becoming the 2nd Muslim to be appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court.
But the brief breaks from the party line have usually been followed by flirtation with the national scene. Not long after the appointment of Mohammad, Christie announced that he would not be running for the Presidency in 2012; basically assuring Mitt Romney wouldn’t have had any establishment rivals in the fight for the Republican nomination.
However while Christie has proven to be an occasional “voice of reason” while equally playing the part of “right-wing rock star” amongst modern day conservatives, his reactions toward President Obama and FEMA”s response to the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy is still considerably shocking.
In case you missed it, Christie repeatedly praised the 44th President of the United States for his leadership in dealing with the tragedy which included the President’s visit to New Jersey on November 1st (less than a week before Election Day). While some pundits praised the duo for putting “people above politics”, more cynical pundits have thought that were more political reasons for their recent manners.
As most know, Governor Christie is up for re-election in a blue state next November. As everyone better know, President Obama could use a “closing kick” to bring home some crucial independent voters who would like to see more bipartisanship amongst the two major parties.
But while that might be rather accurate, it still seems to be a bit of a reach. Governor Christie is a proud New Jerseyian. For all the faults I’ve seen in his gubernatorial career, I can appreciate his love for the Garden State.
As someone who was born in raised in South Jersey, we might’ve even had similar childhoods. I remember going to Asbury Park as a young teenager when my family & I would visit my sister who, at the time, was studying at Monmouth University. Governor Christie, in the aftermath of Sandy’s destruction, openly lamented the destruction on Twitter.
So going back to myself, if I were to lose significant memories of my childhood and George W. Bush consoled me on my losses; I would be openly thankful. What we are witnessing with Christie could very well be a man who has lost key memories and doesn’t know who to turn to. What we could be witnessing is someone helping a fellow human through a time of grieving. The fact that both of these people are highly relevant and highly important people on opposites of the aisle could very well be unimportant.
Yet the cynic in all of us, while privy to that idea, is still thinking ahead. There is nothing good about the storm that passed through, just ask the tree thats still laying in our backyard, but could there be political advantages to it? That’s one question that’s trying to be answered now.
Of course 2016 is on people’s minds and the minute this election is called for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, we’ll hear the whispers begin in earnest. If Romney loses, of course Christie becomes an immediate favorite.
But Christie is a smart man, if a wee-bit pompous and short-fused. He saw what bipartisanship did to Jon Huntsman, Jr. in this election cycle. Would he really risk hugging and thanking the President ad nauseam if it could be used against him by say, Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan?
The answer is still being figured out. But make no mistake about it, we’ll hear more from these two in the near and far future.
In case you missed it, over the weekend NBC political analyst Chuck Todd, ignited a small media firestorm in the progressive blogosphere when discussing Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg’s, involvement in Ohio electronic voting machines.
The revelation over Tagg’s investments had created enough sparkwaves to reach Todd’s Twitter account in which the analyst rejected the so-called conspiracies and compared them to birthers, the infamous “movement” that questions the citizenship of President Barack Obama.
Now, on the surface Chuck Todd’s comments aren’t all too shocking nor essentially controversial. Todd is someone who isn’t overtly partisan in his reporting and there isn’t simply enough evidence that would qualify the electronic voting machine theory to really mean anything. In fact, it’ll more than likely be a non-factor especially if current polls continue to show a moderately comfortable lead for President Obama in Ohio.
Yet is it really fair to compare the, we’ll call them “machiners”, to the birthers? Yes, the birthers were a group of mostly far-right zealots that were looking for any way possible to make the presidency of Barack Obama illegitimate. But, how many “machiners”, have you seen in the halls of Congress?
The birther movement, to the informed, is simply a fringe conspiracy-riddled movement that was fostered out of political hate. It’s fairly clear though, even amidst the release of Barack Obama’s short-form and long-form birth certificate, that “media-relevant people” (such as Donald Trump) still find enough credibility in their long-denounced claims.
Often on the left, we sometimes groan or rarely laugh at the newest birther theory simply over the ridiculousness that the theories espouse. Yet, the birthers continue to somehow eek their way into the news media. When has a 9/11 truther received the continuous amount of exposure that the birthers have? How about the Osama bin Laden “deathers”? Same goes with the Mitt Romney “tax returners”?
All of them are quickly labeled as conspiracy theorists, often ridiculed (usually for good reason) and then slowly get phased out of the news over the latest poll or story. Yet the birthers have received more than scant coverage over the past four years. Even if Chuck Todd marginalizes them, he has received some criticism from the President himself on how he covered the “carnival barkers”.
But yes, Mr. Todd please eliminate the birther talk; I fully agree with you in that regard. Heck, you have the freedom to even denounce the “machiners” as well, as there is only circumstantial evidence that it is even a fringe issue. However, let’s not compare the two until you spend the next four years discussing how loony the machiners are.
As Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention kicked off, we got to see why the Democratic Party is celebrating their status as the party of inclusion. While we got a taste of the Democratic Party’s diversity with speeches by keynote speaker Julian Castro, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Newark (NJ) mayor Cory Booker; the night was still mixed with party bigwigs.
But tonight, the night was dedicated to the women of the Democratic Party as they were highlighted throughout the night with notable speeches by Sandra Fluke and Elizabeth Warren.
Fluke as of now, most remembered as the subject to a misogynistic and vitriolic rant by right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh; took the floor to much fanfare. If last night was any indication though, Mr. Limbaugh might have made a grave mistake as he put a face to a controversial measure. Fluke might not be the greatest speaker that the Democratic Party has to offer, but she came across as highly intelligent and passionate about women’s right issues.
Fluke, who has now graduated from Georgetown Law School, voiced why she supports President Barack Obama as opposed to Mitt Romney, in light of the controversy she found herself in the middle in.
Your new president could be a man who stands by when a public figure tries to silence a private citizen with hateful slurs,” Fluke said. “Who won’t stand up to the slurs, or to any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party.”
Romney was widely criticized earlier this year when he responded weakly to Limbaugh. “I’ll just say this,” he told reporters. “It’s not the language I would have used.”
Fluke contrasted Romney’s reaction to that of President Obama, who embraced and defended her after the incident.
“Our president, when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters — not his delegates or donors — and stands with all women,” she said. “And strangers come together, reach out and lift her up. And then, instead of trying to silence her, you invite me here — and give me a microphone — to amplify our voice. That’s the difference.
The crowd went wild when Fluke also warned that under a President Mitt Romney, the future “looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past.” The crowd, diversified not only by ethnicity but also by gender, might have been witnessing the continued rise of a future star within the party.
Fluke, only 31 years of age, downplayed her story saying that it was only noteworthy because it took place in front of Congress and highlighted the fact that she believes other women are “shut out and silenced” nearly every day.
While the crowd loved Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards, it took a while to the party to really start going after the huge Day One. Fluke though, started bringing the crowd to their feet throughout her speech and the crowd only got louder when a progressive rock star took the stage.
Elizabeth Warren, running for Senate in Massachusetts against vulnerable incumbent Republican Scott Brown, took the stage and struggled early to keep the wild crowd controlled as she announced “I’m Elizabeth Warren….and this is my first Democratic Convention”.
In a way that might not be popular with partisans on both sides of the aisle, Elizabeth Warren is to the Democrats as Paul Ryan is to the Republicans. Both do have personal charisma and unique charm, but the big thrill both sides get is the fact that they are policy wonks. Warren has earned a reputation as a “middle class warrior” and she kept the focus on policies and plans throughout the duration of her speech.
Her speech might have only been a tick over 15 minutes, in which the crowd intermittently chanted “Warren! Warren!”, began by marveling over the next speaker; former President Bill Clinton by praising his marriage to Hillary Clinton in which she called one of the “coolest women on this planet” which received even more wild applause and then a shout out to her native Massachusetts delegation.
Warren then discussed the plight of the middle class in this day and age, in which she described her personal story on the “ragged edges of the middle class” and how hard her parents worked to provide for their family. Then she highlighted her career in education and how grateful she is “down to her toes” that America gave her all the opportunities in the world.
Soon, she launched into attacks on Mitt Romney and the current rhetoric of the Republican Party which is focused on limited government. She spoke how government was there for her, and also focused on not just helping the nation today but how it was there to build for the future. She then delivered her most scorching remarks on the current state of affairs in America in which she stated that “people feel like the system is rigged against them….and here’s the painful part: they’re right, the system is rigged.” before launching into an attack on how much oil companies, Wall Street CEOs, etc. demand entitlements.
This is where Warren really started hitting her mark as she was clearly more at home discussing the fall of the working class as opposed to anything else. Elizabeth Warren would discuss how people who “work their tail off everyday”, currently struggling and fearful of the future, don’t “stash their money in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying their fair share of taxes”; a clear rebuke against Mitt Romney.
But the not-so-veiled attacks on the former Massachusetts Governor did not stop there as Warren continued to talk about how the current economic system is “rigged” against the small, everyday working person. She also praised President Obama for spending “his life fighting for the middle class” and for trying to create a “level playing field” to encourage more competition.
Warren’s sharpest rebukes against Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan came here though when she launched into why Mitt Romney is not the right person to lead this nation.
And Mitt Romney? He wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. But for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails? His plans will hammer them with a new tax hike of up to 2,000 dollars. Mitt Romney wants to give billions in breaks to big corporations—but he and Paul Ryan would pulverize financial reform, voucher-ize Medicare, and vaporize Obamacare.
The Republican vision is clear: “I’ve got mine, the rest of you are on your own.” Republicans say they don’t believe in government. Sure they do. They believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends. After all, Mitt Romney’s the guy who said corporations are people.
No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters. That matters because we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people. And that’s why we need Barack Obama.
She then launched into why she supports President Obama as she stated that he believes that nobody should get “a free ride or a golden parachute” and how President Obama believes that “I can’t believe I have to say this in 2012—a country where women get equal pay for equal work” which drew even more applause.
After highlighting her past as a Methodist Sunday school teacher and quoting her favorite scripture (Matthew 25:40), she briefly mentioned former Sen. Ted Kennedy (whose replacement is Elizabeth Warren’s current opponent) and his focus on the future before clearing the stage for the night’s featured speaker, Bill Clinton.
If anyone ever doubted Bill Clinton’s popularity, well their worries/thoughts should’ve been completely vanquished when he took the stage last night to Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” which has sort of become synonymous with the former President and Arkansas Governor.
Bill Clinton spoke for nearly 48 minutes, and like Warren, his ability to charismatically discuss politics and policy was simply astounding. There’s a reason why Bill Clinton was the political rock star that he still remains to this day, and his ability to metaphorically look every single person in the eye is impossible to recreate.
Clinton began by stating “We are here to nominate a president, and I’ve got one in mind” which drew immediate applause from the partisan audience.
After highlighting a few quick reasons on why he supports Barack Obama personally and politically, Clinton launched into a scathing attack on the current Republican Party and even how it contrasts against the Republican Party of the 1990s that tried to impeach him from office.
Clinton, who was praised for the high levels of job creation that occurred under his watch during his Presidency, stated his amazement that President Obama fixed the mess he was left when he took office.
In Tampa the Republican argument against the president’s re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn’t finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in.”
“They want to go back to the same old policies that got us into this mess. They want to cut taxes for high-income Americans more than President Bush did.”
Clinton then used a Ronald Reagan line against the GOP: “As another president once said, ‘There they go again.’
Using a Ronald Reagan quote against the Republican Party? Don’t worry, the former President was just warming up in his scathing rebuke of the Republican Party and his lavish praise for the Obama administration and current Democratic Party. He then praised President Obama for being able to forgive a grudge and would highlight the fact that his bitter primary rival, who happens to be Hillary Clinton, even got a highly important job in his cabinet.
As time wore on, you could tell that Bill Clinton was loving his importance as perhaps the most important surrogate that the Obama re-election team has. In an era in which American workers are reminiscing about the “good ole’ days” that they felt like occurred under Clinton’s watch, you couldn’t help but feel the nostalgia sweeping in as the conventioneers eagerly listened to Clinton.
He then stated that no President could’ve fixed the mess in four years, and signified that President Obama was inching the country into a positive direction. While Clinton didn’t necessarily overstate or understate the struggles that Barack Obama has had since taking office; it could have some negative ramifications.
Bill Clinton spent much of his speech highlighting the 90s, blasting the GOP and constantly praising Barack Obama. But yet, you couldn’t help but think that “man, times were REALLY good under President Clinton, huh?” and Clinton might’ve left room open for Republicans to state “you were better off 20 years ago than you are today” which isn’t something President Obama probably wants to hear in the future.
Another key notation from Clinton’s speech was that there seemed to be a rough draft that was on the teleprompter but Clinton instead deviated from the script for the most part. Whatever tinkers he made on the fly, they were definitely successful in terms of appeasing the audience.
Then Clinton, who famously saw his wife’s “HillaryCare” fail in Congress in his Presidency, then praised the Affordable Care Act passed under President Obama in the beginning of his term. After touting some facts and figures about people who are now covered under the ACA, Clinton would state that “Are we better off because President Obama fought for health-care reform? You bet we are.”.
Clinton’s speech didn’t really attack any individual by name, but the subliminal shot at Paul Ryan was clearly heard by everyone when he called out the Congressman and running mate of Mitt Romney for his brass by attacking “a guy for doing what you did” in response to the Medicare cuts.
As his speech winded down a tad, Clinton then brought up welfare reform and rejected the notion of President Obama stripping the work requirement for welfare, a false attack that the Republican Party has used over the past months before blasting the “massive tax cuts” Mitt Romney would showoff in his Presidency. Clinton would ramp up his job as “attack dog” when stating that “We cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double-down on trickle-down.”
After closing his speech, Bill Clinton posed for some pictures before President Barack Obama came out and the crowd roared as the two posed for photos together. The planned exchange had to be a win for the Democratic Party as it continues to highlight the often “frenemies” relationship the two have had.
But the fact remains, Bill Clinton was the best man to speak for President Barack Obama and his popularity will only continue to ignite in his post-Presidency.
Now will it work in November?