Kevin Mirando (Editor), Maggie Kulpa
Summary:

The 2012 elections have been a constant battle between two competitors, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. With Obama as the current president, running as the democrat on the ballot, Romney is running as the republican. The two have recently been at a standstill tie, which is projected to break come election day. With the Republican and Democratic Nation Conventions wrapping up, the two have made their platforms under which they will run and continue to contest for the 2012 presidency.

Democratically:

Obama's Campaign Platform

The slogan “yes we can” and a platform of change for the country helped Obama won the 2008 presidency and currently occupies the White House. With the 2012 elections underway, however, Obama struggles to up his votes to break the tie between him and his competitor, Romney. Under the new slogan of “forward” and addressing topics from education to women’s rights, Obama has kept the votes at 48% for both Romney and himself, according to the New York Times voting poll. Yet, come election day, the votes could unexpectedly swing towards or away from Obama.

Obama’s platform consists of movements to help lift America out of the current recession and aid those not just in the lower classes, but the middle class as well. Obama has explained that he will be building the economy up starting with the middle class and then building outwards from there. He has already invested in the auto industry and manufacturing industry, creating millions of jobs throughout the country. Yet, he did not stop there, Obama recognized one of the events leading up to the recession was the need for Americans to bail out big banks. Obama has already set forth a Wall Street Reform, stating that never again will Americans be responsible for bailing out big banks, helping them keep their money. He also believes that taxes and budgeting will help lift the recession, stating that the upper class should not be paying less than the middle class in taxes and must pay their share. Obama also has plans of future cuts in spending and increasing revenue.

At the same time, Obama believes in conservation of the environment and energy and has run on a platform establishing safeguards to help protect Americans’ safety and health, specifically targeting children. He has also put forth towards reduction of carbon pollution to aid stop of climate change and aided in the conservation of national parks and wilderness areas. Obama strongly believes that the environment must be conserved for the health and well-being of future generations. He has also supported the lowering of gas prices to help save Americans' money and promote production of natural gas. Throughout his presidency the production of oil as well as wind and solar energy increased, and he plans to continue this increase in production. Not only this, but he also plans to invest in clean coal production technology for safer production for Americans and the Earth.

Obama’s platform extensively includes the rights and issues of many Americans. Starting with women’s issues, Obama has changed the law so that healthcare companies can no longer charge women more than men. He has also made birth control more widely accessible by providing full coverage, allowing women to no longer have to pay large sums of money for it. Next, he addresses the issues of senior citizens, specifically by closing the gap in prescription drug coverage by insurances, the gap, he says, it predicted to be completely closed in 2020. He has also begin the process to protect social security for future generation. Obama has also based his platform strongly on equal rights. He is the first president to publicly announce support for same-sex couples and has repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. He also has been great support of Americans with disabilities, helping to make education and job searching easier and more accessible for those physically and mentally impaired. Lastly, Obama recognizes the issues of those living in rural areas, realizing that the economy is worse in rural areas than urban areas. He has invested in small businesses in these areas and supports jobs in rural areas throughout America.

Education has been a prominent topic throughout the 2012 elections. Obama’s platform includes not only the education students get, but jobs for teachers as well. He supports the need for jobs in education and is currently investing in improving education at community colleges. Obama has also experienced first hand with his daughters and himself that education is not “one-size fits all” and has reformed the “No Child Left Behind” law to alleviate restrictions that bind education. He has also taken the steps toward ensuring that all soldiers can receive a college education and have an easier time finding a job after leaving the service.

Obama has also provided help towards immigrants and their rights. He has allowed those that are brought to America without a say, i.e. children, to have a right to education and jobs. He has also announced that immigrants that do harm to communities should be those that are focused on and deported, not those that are students, in the military, or seniors. Lastly, Obama has allowed families to remain together throughout the immigration process instead of traditional ways of only allowing the mother or father to be in America for an extended length of time.

Obama’s campaign platform also includes national security, and the return of troops in Afghanistan. Not only this, but Obama has successfully improved America’s alliances with other countries, helping America in times of war and peace. Yet, he did not stop there, Obama has made progress towards the elimination of nuclear weapons throughout the world and plans to continue this progression. Obama leans strongly towards a peaceful world and has taken many drastic steps towards a world without wars.

Towards Election


Recently, the Democratic National Convention has drawn to conclusion and the standstill tie between Obama and Romney was broken, Obama taking lead, with 52% of vote and Romney only 46% of votes. During the Convention, however, Obama was officially nominated for re-election by former president, Bill Clinton, and unanimously by the 5,556 delegates of the Convention. His speech at the convention included many aspects of his campaign platform and highlights of his presidency over the past 4 years. Yet, it did not end there, he began to spell out the differences of the two competitors and how their actions as president will shape the future of America. He stated, "It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future."


Obama's Speech at Democratic Nation Convention
Quotes from Obama's Democratic National Convention Speech

2012electoralmap.jpg
Map showing the electoral votes of the 50 states for the 2012 election as of 9/23/12

Obama's Opponent: Mitt Romney


The opponent of incumbent, Barack Obama, is Detroit native and former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. Romney is a known Mormon. He and his wife have five children and eighteen grand-children. At the Republican National Convention, Romney received the GOP nomination as the Republican candidate for the 2012 Presidential Election.

Romney's Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention

Views and Platform

Obviously, Mitt Romney's views and platform portray opposing views of the Democratic platform. His views and platform goes both ways as they have caused controversy in the media and created an immense amount of support from the Republican party.

Romney is a devoted Mormon that has strong views on moral values and the topic of marriage. The Republican candidate has strict views on the topic of abortion and contraceptive pills. Under Romney, Planned Parenthood would be no more and abortion would be made illegal, as a result of his strong Mormon beliefs. Also, Romney defines marriage as a union between "a man and a woman." Part of his platform includes a plan to create a ban on same-sex marriage in the form of a Constitutional amendment, making standard on marriage.

The GOP nomination has plans to allow foreclosure on the housing market to "hit the bottom" so the market can reboot and improve in the coming years. Additionally, Romney has clear intentions to repeal "Obamacare" and replace it with the health care plan he brought to Massachusetts in the state's time of economic drought and lame excuse of health care. Massachusetts saw a positive outcome in the plan, which gave all citizens individual health care. Furthermore, Romney believes that instead of handing out unemployment checks, Americans will have personal savings in case of unemployment. Believing that Americans are taking money instead of attempting to find work, Romney will assist the federal budget. Speaking of the federal budget, Romney plans to cut the federal budget severely.

Romney is clear on his intentions to continue the war on marijuana and opposes the legalization of marijuana, claiming it is a gateway drug and making it a pharmaceutical drug is not helping the cause.


Controversy

In the middle of September 2012, at a private location, Romney was unknowingly videotaped speaking to a group of wealthy supporters. In his speech he claimed that it was not his job to worry about the 47 percent of Americans, who support Obama and are not likely to vote for Romney himself. He further stated that these are people who believe they are "entitled to health care, to food, to housing" and won't "take personal responsibility and care of their own lives." This quote was used to the advantage of Obama to gain votes from undecideds. Although the quote was taken out of context various times, its original wording and meaning was startling to many Americans. Political analysts believe this controversial quote may cost Romney various swing states and possibly the election altogether.

external image cartoon%20under%20mitt%20romney.jpg
This political cartoon depicts the hypothetical effects of Mitt Romney as President.
What does the cartoon infer?


Paul Ryan

Alongside Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan is the running mate for the 2012 election. Ryan is a Wisconsin native and had been serving his seventh term as a representative of Wisconsin's first congressional district when Romney chose him to be his counterpart as vice presidential candidate. Presumably, the two share political views and plan to bring America back to prosperity. The two were named "America's Comeback Team" by the Republican party.

Ryan's Speech at the Republican National Convention

external image OB-UD393_ryan08_G_20120811094725.jpg
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan after the announcement that Romney had picked Ryan as his running mate
For what reason would the two be called "America's Comeback Team?"

Vocabulary


Recession: "Downward trend in the business cycle characterized by a decline in production and employment, which in turn lowers household income and spending. Even though not all households and businesses experience actual declines in income, they become less certain about the future and consequently delay making large purchases or investments. Consumers buy fewer durable household goods, and businesses are less likely to purchase machinery and equipment and more likely to use up existing inventory instead of adding goods to their stock. This drop in demand leads to a corresponding fall in output and thus worsens the economic situation. Whether a recession develops into a severe and prolonged depression depends on a number of circumstances. Among them are the extent and quality of credit extended during the previous period of prosperity, the amount of speculation permitted, the ability of government monetary and fiscal policies to reverse (or minimize) the downward trend, and the amount of excess productive capacity." (Marriam-Webster)

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A law which prohibits those in the military to ask or discuss their same-sex orientation and preferences to help keep up good morale, order, and discipline
"No Child Left Behind": Law requiring states to make assessments in basic subject areas to test elementary and secondary school students in. Schools must score an average equal to or above a specific score to receive funding



Section Review
1. Obama's 2012 slogan is
a. Yes we can
b. Forward
c. Change is coming

2. As of September 23, 2012, which candidate is projected to have the most popular votes based on the New York Times reader poll?
a. Romney
b. Obama

3. Where was Mitt Romney born?
a. Boston
b. Detroit

4. How does Romney plan to deal with same-sex marriage?
a. Create a law banning it
b. Leave it to the states decision
c. Create a Constitutional amendment banning it

5. What controversial situation affected the Romney campaign?
a. 47 percent quote
b. Watergate
c. The Patriot Act


Sources
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/polls-slight-post-convention-bounce-for-obama/?ref=democraticnationalconvention

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/barack-obama-speech_n_1849068.html

http://freedomslighthouse.net/2012-presidential-election-electoral-vote-map/ (picture)

http://www.barackobama.com/

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57507991-503544/obama-calls-2012-election-clearest-choice-in-a-generation/

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recession

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40782.pdf

http://www.mittromney.com/learn/mitt

http://www.theroot.com/multimedia/mitt-romney-political-positions

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-20/what-mitt-romney-got-wrong-about-the-47-percent

http://www.mittromney.com/learn/paul

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/OB-UD393_ryan08_G_20120811094725.jpg (picture)

http://www.wwrl1600.com/image/wwrl1/UserFiles/Image/cartoon%20under%20mitt%20romney.jpg (picture)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGTi4-ysJS8&feature=plcp (video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZipUINVXIc&feature=relmfu (video)