Religious Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum won nomination contests in three states on Tuesday night, just a few hours after a federal appeals court in California overturned controversial ballot initiative Proposition 8, which had prevented gay and lesbian couples from legally marrying. His victories also come on the same day the Susan G. Komen organization lost a key executive, who resigned under a cloud of public criticism for allowing conservative, anti-woman political agendas to end their partnership with Planned Parenthood. The synchronicity of these happenings form an ironic juxtaposition, because while each Republican hopeful espouses roll-backs in women’s reproductive rights and champions continued discrimination against homosexuals, Santorum is the most strident on both fronts. (more…)
These contests tend to play out along a familiar script. Each side has its own fans, rabid in their loyalty. The talking heads spend weeks and months before the event prognosticating outcomes. Marketing expenditures rise to millions and millions of dollars. Finally, when the big day arrives, things turn out a bit anti-climactic, the buildup seeming far more exciting than the payoff. The winner often runs away with the win instead of facing a real threat from the opponent and, at the end of the night, half of the people paying attention are disappointed while the other half are celebrating. The celebratory half get bragging rights the next day but otherwise nothing changes the day-to-day lives of those who spent so much time anticipating the final score. (more…)
By winning the Republican primary in Florida on Tuesday night, Mitt Romney delivered a powerful punch against Newt Gingrich’s effort to eventually secure the nomination. Extending the metaphor, Gingrich faced a standing eight-count in the fourth round of a fight that has eight rounds to go. He can still come back and beat Romney, but Newt will probably need to land a stunning right hook to decisively overcome the perception of the Florida round. (more…)
Barack Obama’s speech before Congress and the American public on Tuesday night served as the introduction to his 2012 reelection campaign. While the Republicans continued to feint and parry with one another through a highly entertaining Florida debate, searching still for the correct message and messenger, the man to beat already boarded the plane and started delivering his message around the country. President Obama visited five states in three days, beginning Wednesday in Iowa and ending in Michigan on Friday, talking about the economic plans he laid out in the State of the Union address. (more…)
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On Saturday night, Newt Gingrich won the Republican primary in South Carolina. The original outcome of the Iowa caucus fell through earlier in the week and went to Rick Santorum instead of the originally stated winner, Mitt Romney. Combine those two contests with the Romney win from New Hampshire and you find a fractured, uncertain Republican electorate. Just as Red Brown and Blue pointed out after Iowa, they simply can’t rally around a single candidate because none of the candidates offer more than a fractional degree of satisfaction to the divided party. (more…)