U.S. 2012 Presidential Election

“Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.” –  Very true words spoken about elections by Franklin P. Adams.

It’s an election year in the U.S. so that means a big show that is seen worldwide has invaded our news networks, social medias, daily conversations, etc.

So who are the candidates, what do they stand for, and what are their chances of winning?

Meet the Candidates 

Barack Obama 

A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard law school, who went on to become U.S. senator from Illinois, and is now seeking a second term in the White House, but must convince an electorate that has been dealing with a poor economy and high unemployment.

2008 election: November 4, Obama won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to John McCains 173. Obama won 52.9% of the popular vote to McCain’s 45.7%.

2008-2012 Presidency

Important legislature and significant ventures:

  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, relaxing the statute of limitations for equal-pay lawsuits
  • Authorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional 4 million uninsured children & reversed a Bush policy, which limited stem cell research funding.
  • Passed legislature on new regulations to help curb gas emissions
  • Changed the direction of NASA
  • NDAA – codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law, for the first time in American history
  • February 17, 2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from the deepening worldwide recession.
  • Intervened in the troubled automotive industry by renewing loans for General Motors and Chrysler to continue operations while reorganizing.
  • “Obama care” – His signature legislative accomplishment, the reform of the nation’s health care system, was met with skepticism among voters and the target of state attorneys general who claimed its individual mandate is unconstitutional
  • Death of Osama Bin Laden
  • Withdrawal from Iraq
Obama

Positions

Social Policy 

Foreign Policy

“a form of realism unafraid to deploy American power but mindful that its use must be tempered by practical limits and a dose of self-awareness.” – E.J. Dionne

  • Securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states.
  • Finish fight with Taliban
  • Rebuild alliances
  • Withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014

Domestic Policy

  • Close Guantanamo
  • Supports Patriot Act
  • Immigration – issued an executive order for his administration not to pursue deportations and/or legal action against illegal immigrants who had been brought to the country as children and were not in violation of other laws or regulations
  • Gun Control – Supports for stricter gun control, a ban on semi-automatic weapons, and stricter accountability for gun show dealers.

Economic Policy 

  • Tax Relief Program – extended unemployment benefits
  • Stimulus Package
  • Desire to extend tax cuts only to those making under $250,000 a year (often met with opposition by Republicans)

Check out Obama’s positions on all the issues.

Read about Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden and his role in U.S. foreign policy.

Barack Obama

Mitt Romney

A graduate of Harvard, former Massachusetts governor, a successful businessman, and the classic Presidential look, he is the ideal candidate for Republicans to run against incumbent President, Obama.

Bain Capital 

After working for Bain & Company, a management consulting company for 7 years he cofounded a spin off company, Bain Capital, where he was President, sole shareholder, and CEO.

The “private equity” company was initially venture capitalist but switched to a more lucrative focus as “leveraged buyouts.” Buying existing companies with money mostly borrowed from banking institutions using the newly bought companies’ assets as collateral, then taking steps to improve the companies’ value, and finally selling those companies once their value peaked.

As a result of his business career, Romney and his wife have a net worth of between $190 and $250 million.

Governor of Massachusetts

In 2002 Mitt was elected Governor by running as a “not a partisan Republican” but rather a “moderate” with “progressive” views.

His health care reform, naturally called “Romneycare,” was the first of its kind the United States. It requires nearly all Massachusetts residents to buy health insurance coverage or face escalating tax penalties, such as, the loss of their personal income tax exemption.

When elected, he faced a $650 million shortfall and a projected $3 billion deficit as Governor, through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes the state achieved surpluses of around $600–700 million during Romney’s last two full fiscal years in office.

This is grounds for credibility in ability to reduce spending and cut the deficit as President.

Positions

Social Policy

  • Pro life (but this has changed several times over political campaigns)
  • Stem cell research breaches ethical boundary (2012)

Foreign Policy 

  • Labels Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe”
  • Preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear capability should be America’s “highest national security priority”
  • Formally label China a currency manipulator and take associated counteractions unless that country changes its trade practices

Domestic Policy 

  • Supports Patriot Act
  • Continue Guantanamo Bay Operation
  • Repeal Obamacare
  • Substantial increases in military spending
  • Environmental – Opposes the use of mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions to deal with global warming.

Economic Policy 

  • Reducing individual income tax rates across the board by 20 percent, maintaining the Bush-era administration tax rate of 15 percent on investment income from dividends and capital gains
  • Cutting the top tax rate on corporations from 35 to 25 percent

Check out Romney’s positions on all the issues.

People magazine included Romney in its 50 Most Beautiful People list for 2002.

Read about Mitt’s Vice President choice, Paul Ryan, and where he stands on the issues.

Mitt Romney, Republican Nominee

Important Political Issues in 2012 Elections

  • Foreign Policy – What will be with Iran? Taliban & terrorism?
  • Taxes – Should the wealthy be taxed more? Should Bush tax cuts be extended? What reforms need to be taking to help the middle class?
  • Immigration – Its agreed USA needs an immigration reform, Obama struggled to make any strides this presidency but ‘promises’ more progress if reelected. Check out each candidate’s stance on Immigration Reform (Obama  Romney)
  • Economy/Unemployment – One thing is on everybody’s mind – jobs, jobs, jobs – Check out the candidates plans to create American jobs. (Obama  Romney)
  • Abortion & Contraception – Should contraceptions be covered by health insurance? Should abortion be legal?
  • Gay Marriage – Obama announced he supported gay marriage, while Romney strictly opposes the notion, but agrees they deserve similar marital rights.
  • Healthcare reform – Obamacare vs. Mitt’s free market healthcare solution 

Swing States

U.S. presidential elections, the Electoral College system allows each state to decide the method by which it awards electors. In general states vote consistently red or blue/Republican or Democrat.

However there are a few key states where no party or candidate has overwhelming support, and could go either way. Since a national campaign is interested in electoral votes, rather than the national popular vote, it tends to ignore states that it believes it will win easily; while these swing states are covered in campaign signs, rallies, and ideal photo opts for each candidate.

For example, many southern states like Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi tend to vote conservative (Republican) while states like New York, California, and Oregon consistently vote Democrat. Many people in these states feel their votes don’t really matter.

This elections swing states:

Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Nevada

Map of Swing States and how they might vote.

Swing States

Polls have the two candidates only a few points apart, and it is clear these states will probably play the largest role in who will be in the white house for the next 4 years.

Obama vs. Romney 2012

Check out some music inspired by the Presidential election. :D

Election day is on Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Who do you think will win this Presidential election, and what do you think a victory for Obama or Romney will mean for the rest of the world?

This post is not suppose to have any bias, just presenting the facts, providing information, and easy access to sites with information for you to make your own decision on who is the best guy for the job. :)

Foreigners.cz

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